The game ends before the Confederates can launch a final assault on the Adams, as time runs out on the clock (the game started at 9AM and was set to end at 1PM).
Here's Marc not looking too happy about being on the side of the Rebel Scum (a true Yankee he is). In the middle you see two units of cavalry, the USL (United State Leviathan) John Adams, the Hornet and the Wasp USALs (United States Armored Landship). To the right is a unit of Mechanical Cavalry, to the left is another unit of conventional cavalry. In front of Marc is the Grand Battery of five cannons, a Whitworth breech-loader, two 12 pdr Napoleons and two 10pdr Parrots. On his right is the CSL Memphis and the timberclad Jackson. A couple of special rules. Everyone passes their sustain the first turn. and if you start on a road you don't need a sustain check. Note, the Adams is too big for the road. The objective put the Adams on one of the hills where the Grand Battery is now for the win, or get three other Union units, more or less intact, off the far end of the board for a draw.
One of the regular complaints people have made about GASLIGHT is how hard it is to kill a landship. You shoot and shoot, and rarely does anything happen. Even if you penetrate, many of the results on the table do little or no damage. Not this time. The shot from the Hornet penetrated the Memphis for a Critical Engine Hit destroying the vehicle (though 4 of the 5 crew did escape). I don't think in over a dozen GASLIGHT games that I have ran or played in have I seen such a result.
Here is a general overview of the general advance of the Union forces. The Adams set back out of range of the Grand Battery and tried to shell it at long range. It missed and promptly broke down. Note the steam-cycles heading up behind the tree line. The Hornet (by the wreck of the Memphis took a hit from the Grand Battery and lost some speed.
Here the Hornet crashes through the graveyard (bad luck that) and suffers a hit from the Grand Battery that kills the driver. Meanwhile the poor bloody cavalry loose a man to the heavy Gatling on the Jackson. But bravely they charged forth.
And got shot to pieces, The Grand Battery had two cards as long as Captain Pelham stayed alive and here they are massacring the Mechanical Cavalry.
The advancing steam-cycles were jumped by a squad from the woods, and fled ignobly.
After the Whitworth damages the cannon on the Hornet (-6 to shoot), Dynamite Jack blows off some armor (-6 to Save). The Lt. in charge of the Hornet shoves the dead driver out of the way and takes over the controls.
Captain Smith bravely charges part of the Grand Battery.
And is promptly shot down.
Charging the hill the Hornet tries to crush the guns.
While a much reduced squad of cavalry (they started with eight men) take on the other section of the Grand Battery. And loose to a bunch of Artillery men armed with rammers and other artillery tools.
Slowly the Adams advances (at eight inches a turn that is the only way it can advance). The Wasp (the Gatling armed landship to its right continues to be unable to restart its engine. Note the remains of the cavalry squad next to the Adams. Artillery fire and fire from the Jackson have reduced it down to three men. The cavalry played a bloody price for leading the charge, but they attracted the fire of the Grand Battery so the Adams could advance unmolested.
The rocket armed Zouave fires into the Hornet, killing the last crewman, after it has crushed both 10 pdr Parrots,
Cavalry Squad 2 is wiped out to man, leaving only Captain Pelham still standing amongst the carnage.
Late in the battle the Wasp (the landship at the very back) finally starts. Only two are left of the Mechanical Cavalry, one regular cavalry squad has been wiped out, another is reduced to just three trooper, but the last one is still fairly strong (the one in the graveyard). Pelham stands on the hill waving his sword about, trying to get the surviving artillerymen to return to the cannons. All the while the Adams continues its indomitable advance.
The Steam Cycles try to run the gap between the woods and the hill, but are attacked by Confederate Infantry.
The elite Zouaves start to move towards the center of the battle, followed by the Mechanical Man (which spent most the game broke down- it would fail its sustain, the start, then fail its sustain), while the Jackson also breaks down.
The other regular Confederate squad slaughters the last of the Mechanical Cavalry (who finally failed their sustain roll) but lose a man. They fail their morale check and fire at the nearest enemy. A volley of firebombs takes out the Wasp. The sacrifice of the Wasp meant that the infantry had nothing with which to attack the Adams!!!
The Adams goes up the hill. There is one final chance to stop the Adams. Professor Zappinni unleashes his electro-gun upon it. It hits but fails to do damage.
Victory for the Union Huzzah!!! Huzzah!!!
The game ends before the Confederates can launch a final assault on the Adams, as time runs out on the clock (the game started at 9AM and was set to end at 1PM).
Da Guys who played Da Game
It was a real nail-biter to the end. So many ifs. If the Memphis hadn't been destroyed on the first turn, if the Mechanical Man hadn't kept breaking down, if a morale check hadn't made one squad waste its precious firebombs against the Wasp instead of saving them for the Adams. But it is a good wargame were the result is in doubt until the end.
Since I was heading to Decatur last weekend anyway, my friends there talked me into running another GASLIGHT game. This one attracted even more gamers, including a friend I hadn't seen in two years. Word gets out that the opportunity to push miniatures around a table is available and gamers come out of the woodwork.
THE LEAGUE OF SCIENCE VS. THE GOVERNMENT
Throughout the West banks had been robbed, gold shipments had been intercepted, bridges destroyed, and other general mayhem. The difference was that, unlike the normal run of robberies and destruction, evidence was mounting that something strange was going on. Giant mechanical men were seen carrying off safes, other times a beam of light was seen that cut the gold car off from the rest of the train, posses chasing the outlaws found themselves ambushed by people armed with unusual weapons. Agents A. Gordon and A. Oakley were sent into investigate, and found that a league of mad scientists had formed and was raising money for some nefarious scheme. Learning of a planned robbery of $5 million in gold bullion, they got word to the Army. A plan was made to ambush the ambushers.
The League of Science
Lead by Doctor Light this band of scientists, were supported by a few highly skilled mercenaries, plenty of mechanical men, and assorted riff-raff which consisted of "rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists!" who while skilled in killing were not so happy with standing up to people who shot back (counted as half their numbers for morale purposes).
The Government Forces
With information provided by Agents Gordon and Oakley, the U.S Army advanced onto the field. These forces consisted of three squads of cavalrymen, and two Small Armored Landships, all lead by that great leader Colonel Armaggedon P. (no it doesn't stand for Poopsie) Fluster. Men would follow Col. Fluster to their deaths, and probably will some day. Agents Oakley and Gordon had hidden themselves carefully to strike at just the right time, as had a surprise for the League. Another surprise for the league was hidden in the League was hidden in the boxcar at the end of the gold train.
The initial setup had a group of Riff-Raff, lead by the Gunman Gunter in the woods by the logs that blocked the tracks. Another squad, Doctor Light, two other scientists (including Two-Gun Macintosh) with their Mechanical Men, and two Mechanical Servants were in the woods north of the train. The armored train was coming up the tracks, with a Mechanical Man on one side and the Dark Gunman and a group of Riff-Raff on the other side. The train had come to a complete stop while the engineer and the fireman fled (were they paid off to flee, or did they just flee in fear).
A close up of the right. The Mechanical Man promptly broke down, and despite the best efforts of Professor Smith and the Mechanical Servant remained so for a couple of turns.
The two Mechanical Men right north of the train began their advance.
While Professor MacIntosh's Driller Mechanical Man punch a hole in the side of the armored gold car, the other went up a hill to prepare to attack another part of the car. dozens of shots from carbines and the Gatling gun bounced harmlessly off of both.
In the corner farthest from the train Colonel Fluster bravely lead a troop of Cavalry and an Armored Landship onto the table. Only one squad and one Landship could enter each turn.
The Armored Train, the Dark Gunman and a group of Riff-Raff advanced toward the gold train, with the Armored Train blocking the gold trains retreat (which it could have done if someone had taken over the train's controls). Meanwhile Professor Smith continues to pound on his Mechanical Man with a large wrench trying to get it to start.
With the approach of the army Dr. Light lead a squad of Riff-Raff to the other side of the woods, while Professor Jones and MacIntosh kept the Mechanical Men bashing on the gold car of the train.
While the second Armored Landship crested the hill, the first cavalry troop fled after Gunther gunned five of them down on two cards. Those long ranged gas-operated heavy pistols were nasty, especially since Gunther could use one in each hand.
After having smashed and torn more holes in the armored train car carrying the gold (forcing a morale check on the soldiers in the car). The army's armored walker crashed out of the boxcar. Instead of dealing with the Mechanical Men it began a gun duel with the Riff-Raff on a nearby hill.
While the Riff-Raff wisely stepped back out of sight of the Landships on the hill, Doctor Light tried to destroy one with her death ray. Caught a cannon round right to the face.
Meanwhile, Gunther was gunned down by the Landship armed with a Gatling.
It took several turns of maneuvering, but the Fluster finally had his troops in place for a charge.
The two Mechanical Men who had been tearing open the train both came to a halt. One just broke down, but other one was stopped by Sgt. Granite, who stepped out on the gold car's platform and threw a firebomb at the Driller Mechanical Man. The burning liquid seeped into the working and stopped its steam engine.
Taking advantage of the broke-down Mechanical Men, the Army Battlesuit attacked the nearest one. He hit, then did no damage, and promptly was knocked down by a cannon shot in the ass from the Armored Train. After gunning down a couple of the Riff-Raff on the hill near the Armored Train, Agent Oakley killed the Dark Gunman when he tried to get closer to use his Gatling pistol.
After guarding the logs blocking the track for several turns, the Riff-Raff on the hill by the front of the gold train began to move towards the approaching cavalrymen.
Colonel Fluster and his second in Command. Otherwise known as Grandpa Marc and Nate. Grandpa figured out the tactics, while Nate moved some of the figures and rolled the dice. I argued it was unfair for Nate to roll the dice since he hadn't used up all his luck yet at that age. Still they worked well as a team.
Back at the train things were looking bad of the Agents. After gunning down Professor Smith (you only have to stay in 24 inches of the Mechanical Man to control it, not right behind it) Agent Oakley was felled by fire from the Riff-Raff on the hill. Agent Gordon, who had damaged the armor on the Armored Train slightly with a preplaced bomb and badly damaged the sights on the cannon on the train (-6 to shoot!!!), fell to the metallic pincers of a Mechanical Servant (to the right of the boxcar- I need to learn more about doing close ups with this camera). All the Mechanical Men had restarted and continued to attack the Armored Train Car with the gold in it. Except for one, which smashed the fallen Army Battlesuit, killing the soldier manning it.
But it was too late, the cavalry had arrived in the nick of time (which is what they are supposed to do). One troop, led gallantly by Colonel Fluster, crashed into a bunch of Riff-Raff. They took 50% casualties but managed to deal out the same to the Riff-Raff (the Riff-Raff may have poor morale, but they are better fighters than the newly enlisted cavalrymen). Note the Armored Landship with the man on top. That is a Riff-Raff from another group that had boarded the landship and was trying to force his way inside.
That other group of Riff-Raff, that had finally made it too the woods, and was promptly charged by a troop and a half of cavalry. The slaughter on both sides was great, but still both sides fought on
It was over. One group of Riff-Raff broke and fled, leaving the Professors that controlled the mechanical men to the not so tender mercies of the remains of the cavalry. All the leaders of the League of Science were dead. Another gang of Riff-Raff was outnumbered and being overrun (though at great cost to the cavalry doing so). The armored trains cannon was badly damaged and couldn't be counted on to stop the oncoming landships. A victory for the good guys, but at a terribly cost.
A couple things learned. First, even if you have a good Save, you can still die if hit often enough (I may think about giving the leaders 2 hits). Second, timing is everything, Colonel Fluster took his time to establish the landships on overwatch, which killed two of the leaders and kept the Riff-Raff off the edge of the woods (you have to be on the edge of the woods to shoot out or be shot at). Then he gathered his cavalry and was able to make a grand charge, rather than feeding his men in piecemeal to be chopped up separately. That last is just common sense, but too often in gaming players just act rather than plan (which is OK for orcs or French Knights but not OK for everybody else).
For the past two years I have run a GASLIGHT game at Winter War in Champaign, Illinois.
In 2012 I ran
In 2013 I ran
In 2014 I shall run TO KILL A LEVIATHAN (more about that in a later post).
But in 2015 I want to run something different, an air/sea battle with airships, ornithopters, backpack steam-powered wings, steam helicopters, steam launches, and a good size steamship to serve as the main target.
I've been collecting what I need for this game for a number of years and I think I'm ready to start putting things together.
I've got four Crucible Dwarf Ornithopters and have modified one with bits from the bits box and a Dixon 25mm Mounted figure. The second picture is a close-up, showing the light bomb in his hand ready to throw, with another strapped to his machine
But the big aircraft for the South will be a twin-hulled catamaran zeppelin. I'll use two Revell Hindenburgs with a platform between them. Possibly with some helicopter blades for extra lift (see this link for a modern design of an airship helicopter http://blog.flightstory.net/851/boeing-to-build-heavy-lift-rotorcraft/ though mine would be more VSF). Definitely well equipped with bombs and at least one Gatling.
This gives the South one large airship, and four one-man ornithopters. Since the people running Winter War want at least six players, I really should come up with some more aircraft for the Confederates. Another airship? Pterodactyls ridden by boy soldiers? I need to figure this out.
Saturday morning I ran a GASLIGHT Game.
INDIANS AND DINOSAURS VS. THE STEAM-POWERED 6 AND 7/8'S CAVALRY
On one side were the Indians, valiantly trying to defend their home against the white men who wanted their land and dinosaurs.
On the other where the brave men of the 6 and 7/8's Cavalry, lead by the gallant (if a little headstrong) Colonel Armaggedon P. Fluster (no, the P. doesn't stand for Prettyboy).
The Indians advanced in a broad front with a Horned One (with guiding Indians) spaced evenly across the battlefield. Lt. Johnson advanced quickly to seize the waterhole (the whole point of this battle) as regular cavalry and Mechanical Cavalry advanced behind him.
But where was the pride of the Cavalry, the USLS Vicksburg? Broken down at the back as usual. It spent half the game trying to restart, failing, succeeding, then failing a sustain, and so forth. It's absence through much of the battle cost the Cavalry dearly in the end.
Lt. Johnson bravely faced a third of the Indian forces. Using his machine pistol, with help from the Mechanical Cavalry he shotup one band of Braves. Could he survive the Horned One and the other band?
Meanwhile, on the Cavalry right. Colonel Fluster and the Steam-Cycles took the hill, while a unit of cavalry deployed dismounted beside it.
Lt. Johnson kept dropping savages with his gatling pistol, unconcerned about the other approaching band and Horned One. On the very left a squad of Cavalry and a band of Indians clashed in mounted combat. Oh the terrible slaughter on both sides! The Mechnical Cavalry managed to score one wound on the Red Horned One.
On the right Colonel Fluster and Chief Rides Like the Wind engaged in one on one combat, while the charge by an Indian band fell short of the squad of dismounted troopers.
Lt. Johnson drove off one band of Indians and, thanks to losing a guiding Indian from Johnson's deadly aim, the white Horned One wandered off. On the very left the clash of the Indians and Cavalry left the Indians holding the field while the Cavalry fled in disgrace.
The red Horned One and it's guiding Indians smashed the Mechanical Cavalry, with the last trooper being attacked by Medicine Man Buffalo Skull (in the center). The victorious Indians on the very left charged the troopers in the middle. Johnson was cut off and facing two bands. Did he flinch? Never! Coolly he ignored the arrows falling all around him and gunned down two of the band nearest him (I've never seen so many misses and saves in a GASLIGHT game for one character). The white Horned One meandered around out of control.
Finally, the Landship Vicksburg advanced.
On the right the band of Indians was drivden off by accurate fire from the Troopers. Chief Rides Like the Wind, after an epic battle, felled Colonel Fluster, and was then gunned down by the Sergeant leading the Troopers. The yellow Horned One's charge fell just short on the now immobile Steam-Cycles, who luckily dropped two of the guiding Indians (on a 1-6 shots from extras hit the dino, 7-10 they hit the Indians guiding it).
It promptly failed it's control roll, I mean was driven off by the massive fire of the gatlings, and wandered away from the hill, out of control.
The Indians that had charged the Troopers in the center fled, but where replaced by the red Horned One and it's Indians.
Despite a valiant attack by an un-named Trooper that wounded the red Horned One before he died, it crashed through to attack the Landship. Gatling rounds bounced off it's thick hide, as it smashed into it (doing 3 damage to it's Start, just what it needed).
In desperation, Medicine Man Buffalo Skull charged Lt. Johnson, and in one mighty blow cut him down. Johnson would earn a posthumous Medal of Honor and his single-handed successful fight against over-whelming odds made a story told over and over again around Indian campfires.
The red Horned One destroyed the gatling on the Landship, which promptly fled. While advancing towards the Steam Cycles it was dropped by a lucky shot from their gatlings (third and last wound). The remnants of the Indian bands gathered around Medicin Man Buffalo Skull at the waterhole. Leaderless and battered the surviving Cavalry forces withdrew.
It was a good game. The high point was Lt. Johnson's stand. He lived a charmed life dodging or saving from everything two bands of Indians could throw at him, while dropping Indians with his gatling pistol. The low point was the Landship commanders bad die rolling. At two cards of a turn it still couldn't move forward until the very last, when it did little but get pounded on by a Dino. Oh well, that's GASLIGHT for you.
On January 26th at 9 AM the steam-powered Cavalry of the 6 and 7/8 Regiment lead by Colonel Fluster will engage the Sioux Nation and their Dinosaurs at the Battle of Big Big Horn.
The landship USLS Vicksburg, Colonel Fluster on his mechanical horse, and a section of regular cavalry.
The White Horned one and handlers, Medicine Man Buffalo Skull, and a band of braves.
I need some advice. Should I go for Bone or Black for the Dinosaurs Beak. These are the Indians dinos for a upcoming GASLIGHT game.
Finally, I have to room to do the many projects I've been collecting stuff for. No more putting stuff up every week because the wife needed the room for her projects. I am now the proud owner of my own mancave. Ha Ha Ha.
Unfortunately, during the move I found out how many projects I had gathered for but hadn't done much with. No matter, when faced with a big task you hammer it out one piece at a time.
Task I- A VSF Ornithopter.
Having been impressed by anothers use of a Ral Partha Dwarf Ornitophter
I decided to make my own. Out came the box of Ornithopters and much to my surprise I found each box held two. How wonderful. Then I noticed that they lacked landing gear. Expletive deleted, I bought the wrong kind.
What to do, What to do.
I remembered that I had a Fast Lane construction train and it came with a crane (I'd bought it just to have four more pieces of straight track, Fast Lane and Goldlock make nice cheap trains but they never come with enough straight track pieces).
I decided that my Ornithopters didn't take off from a landing field, no they were launched into by a steam catapult.
The crane as it was orginally.
Strip off the stickers, remove the line and hook, flip the crane upside down so it formed a trough.
To the parts boxes.
Needs rivets of course, but a good start.
Here it is with the Dwarven Flyer. Needs a proper pilot and that Dragon Head removed, but I think it has promise.
On Friday evening I ran a Gaslight game. It was suppose to be for six players, but only two showed up so I reduced the number of units. The scenario was called Gearson's Raid (named after the real Grierson's Raid of the Civil War). The Union mechanized Cavalry consisted of a unit on Mechanical Cavalry (mounted on Mageknight horses), two conventional cavalry squads, four steam-powered cycles with Gatling guns (from Deadlands), an Armored Landship with a Gatling guns, and a couple of officers. Their objective was to destroy a Confederate depot. The Confederates had two squads armed with muzzle-loading rifles, who were poor shots and had even worse morale (railroad workers and raw recuits), a Sniper with a repeating heavy rifle, a smoothbore cannon, a large Mechanical man and an officer. Their job was to defend the depot and wait for reinforcements (an armored train and a squad of cavalry that would arrive on a random turn).
On the left the Union advanced with two steam-cycles, the Landship, the Mechanical cavalry, and Colonel Gearson leading from the rear. The Mechanical cavalry has already lost a man to the Sniper.
On the right two squads of conventional cavalry advanced, accompanied by two steam-cycles and Captain Johnson who also lead from the rear.
The Confederates took cover behind a barricade of boxes, with a squad on the right and left, and the cannon, sniper and officer in the middle.
The Mechanical Man advanced and promptly broke down. The mechanics rushed out to restart him, but were stopped by charging Union cavalry. Those mechanics survived four turns out in the open, surrounded by cavalry and even killed several of the Union forces (they only had a 6 Scuffle and a 6 Save but the dice gods smiled upon them).
As the Union approached, the Major Jones charged the Landship, hitting it with a firebomb (I allow people to throw while moving otherwise thrown weapons are not much use). The bomb took out the Landships wheels, immobilzing it, and amazingly, the Major made it back to the barricades through a fusillade of bullets (a high Save and a good run of cards really helped him out).
The Confederates were reinforced with an armored train on the second turn.
The armed railroad workers squad on the right flank emptied the saddles of one of the Union cavalry squad, depite being poor shots. That unit retreated and Captain Johnson had to bring them back into the battle. Those railroad workers stayed longer than they should have been able to, they must have been inspired by the Major's daring attack on the landship.
On the left flank, the squad of raw recuits didn't do so good. After losing a couple of men to the Gatlings on the steam-cycles and immobalized Landship they skedaddled for home. The Mechanical Cavalry took loses from the Sniper, but still closed on the barricade. Since the Mechanical Horses couldn't jump the barricade they stayed on the other side and exchanged shots with the Sniper, Major Jones, and the Cannon Crew (who did more damage with their pistols than they did with the cannon).
Leaving a couple troopers behind to deal with the two surviving mechanics, one of the Union cavalry squads jumped the barricade and wiped out the railroad workers. The railroad workers bravely fought to the last man and even brought down a couple of Union cavalrymen.
Fire from the Gatling on the Armored Train, the Sniper and Major Jones dropped all of the Mechical Cavalry squad but the sergeant, who passed a morale test and was able to stay on the field.
The Confederate Cavalry finally arrived, but was quickly reduced in strength by Gatling and carbine fire. The Armored Train Moved forward to provide cover for the Confederate cavalrymen. The Union troopers threw firebomb after firebomb in attempt to damage the Locomotive and the Cannon Car, but the firebombs either failed to penetrate or did little damage when they did.
And so ended the game.
We were out of time. The Union would have had to spent a few turns rounding up firebombs from fallen soldiers, while under fire from the armored train.
Please note the steam-cycles in the middle fleeing the Armored Train after receiving a spray of steam and boiling water from the Locomotive.
Also note, the last of the Mechanics locked in a struggle with Captain Johnson. That Mechanic survived hand-to-hand combat until the next to last turn.
It was a good game and both players had fun. I am personally amazed at the luck the Confederates had. The Major stopping the Landship in its tracks with his only bomb, the Railroad Workers staying and fighting despite loses (I treated them as counting half for morale purposes), the early arrival of the Armored Train, and incredible job the Mechanics did surviving as long as they did.
It is a week until Winter War in Champaign, IL and I still don't have all my stuff ready for the GASLIGHT game I am running!!!! I have finished the tents and the animals. I put seven rows of rivets on the Artillery Car for the Armored Train tonight (only 11 to go!!!) and I still need to rivet up the Armored Steam Engine. I put things away for the Holidays (people were suppose to come overbut didn't) and put the project off. I'll finish in time, but I'll need to put in alot of work this weekend. Sigh. Next time I will finish the project and to heck with my wife fussing over the mess just because visitors might show up.
Yeah......Right......That's going to happen
At least I have the cards ready. This time I used a Magic Card creator to make a card(s) for each unit. Each card has all the info on it for the unit. Instead of drawing a playing card, I just draw the unit card and hand it to the player. In my previous attempts at running the game, I found that players would forget which cards were their's and then be forced to dig through sheets to find the units stats. I am hoping that if there is a picture of the unit on the card and the stats right in front of them the game will flow better.
I used to run VSF games on a regular basis, but the group I game with now isn't into miniature gaming. Here are the After Action Reports of a couple games I ran a couple years ago using the GASLIGHT rules system.
The first was the Battle of the Bend.
The second was the Battle of Pochantus
I miss VSF miniature gaming. I have enough stuff for both a Union and a Confederate force. Anyone in Southern Illnois play VSF?
I've been gaming since the 1970's and even wrote some RPG adventures in the 80's for the Judges Guild. It seems that I can only get in miniatures is gaming at cons, but I do regularly play boardgames and RPGs.