This time I got a chance to try out the scenario ahead of time with my friend Marc, his son Eric, and Eric's girlfriend over Christmas vacation.
With so few players and limited table space I left out about a third of the forces on each side.
Victory conditions were simple. The lines at Petersburg were broken (via the use of Leviathans and a more intelligent use of the mine, that resulted in reality in the disastrous Battle of the Crater). Union forces are pouring through the lines. The Confederates are trying to get out as many troops and supplies as they can before they are cut off by the Union. The USL (United States Leviathan) John Adams, with accompanying forces must get to a place where it can fire upon the railroad bridge used by the retreating Confederates. A scratch force of Confederate forces have been gathered together from the retreating troops to prevent this from happening. If the Leviathan reached the top of the hill at the Confederate side of the table the Union won, if not the Union lost.
The House rule is that a wheeled or tracked vehicle must make an extra sustain role when in woods or other light cover, or it gets hung up an must make a start roll to break free. The Leviathan was so big it had less of a chance of that happening (it just crushes its way through trees and brush). every thing moves half speed through woods.
By sitting where it started the ASL John Adams was just out of long range of the battery on the hill, but well within range of it's breech-loading heavy smoothbore. With a solid 32 pound shot it smashed the Whitworth. I should have had it start at 48 inches from the hill so the Grand Battery had a chance to fire back. Because I didn't want to give the Leviathan two cards I let it do two things a turn. The only restriction was that it couldn't move and fire. This did allow it to reload and fire, which let it fire each turn. This made setting back and blazing away at the Grand Battery a real option. I think that by starting it within 48 inches of the Grand Battery I can discourage this.
While the USAL (Armored Landship) the Wasp moved quickly forward, the regular cavalry stayed put in cover. The Mechanical Cavalry suffered from breakdowns and when part of it finally began to move forward, shellfire from the Grand Battery took it out.
Moving quickly to get the Grand Battery in gatling range, the Wasp found itself the center of attention as the Confederate Landship, the Rocket Zouave and the Grand Battery all opened up on it. While most hits did little damage, a rocket penetrated and killed the two man crew.
The CSAL Memphis tried to sneak up to get a close range shot on the Leviathan, but found itself surrounded by Mechanical Cavalry armed with firebombs.
The Zouaves hidden nearby dropped a couple of the Mechanical Cavalry, while three more died from long range fire from some regular infantry across the table (five long range shots killed three who had saves and counted as being in heavy cover, good shooting Eric).
The remaining Mechanical Cavalry decided to charge the Zouaves. Bad idea. The Zouaves were an elite unit with higher scuffles and saves.
So the elite cavalry failed to make a dent in the Zouaves. This next charge with regular cav will do the job, not. The only good thing was that after losing a few men in the charge they were no longer in contact with the unit. The Cav's card came up first and pistol fire turned out to be much more effective.
The Leviathan finally began moving forward, which attracted fire from everything on the board. The Grand Battery, the Dynamite Gun and the CSAL Memphis all attacked. Even the Mechanical Man lumbered forward.
Plenty of hits (a +1 or +2 to hit because of size) but the only penetration did a speed hit, slowing the slow moving Leviathan even more. I was going to let the Leviathan Commander make a save to repair the hits, but the opportunity never came up. Instead I think I'll add an Engineering Officer to repair what can be repaired (which will use one of the Leviathans two actions).
One of the units of regular Cavalry had three firebombs, which they used on the Memphis. Two hit, none penetrated.
Finally the Mechanical Man got close enough to the Adams and still within range of its controllers to attack. One hit slowed the Leviathan to a halt. Meanwhile, the untouched regular cavalry swept past the Grand Battery. They were battered but would have been in a good position to harass the fleeing Confederates. With that result the game was called a draw.
As usual in GASLIGHT the game hinged on lucky hits, two speed hits halted the Leviathan before it could even get close to the objective.
1. The Leviathan
In the upcoming con it will start within 48 inches of the hill it needs to take.
Marc never noticed that the Master Gunner in the crew had a higher shoot than the commanding officer. I must point this out.
Need to add an Engineering Officer to make repairs.
Allow it three actions (but not a move and fire) per turn, one for each officer.
Boost the speed to 8 or 9 from 7 inches.
Remove the Locked Hatch special ability so that it could be boarded (not that ever was tried in the test game).
Hits against vehicles from the main gun are rolled on the Catastrophic Hit chart.
2. Union Cavalry
Everybody gets firebombs. A one shot +0 thrown weapon has to get lucky do any real damage to a vehicle.
If at least 15 Mechanical Cavalry, Steam Cycles (not used in this game) or regular Cavalry make it off the board on the Confederate end of the game table, the game is considered a tie if the Leviathan doesn't make to to the top of the Hills.
3. Grand Battery
Oops, the 2nd in command's Shoot wasn't any better than the regular soldiers (each officer could personally control I.E. use his shoot number one type of cannon.
When firing solid shot against a cannon it's Save is 10.