This time it was a fight for a bridge and a ford. Steam Powered Armored Landships weigh too much to cross on regular wooden bridges, and have to use stone bridges or railroad bridges to cross even minor rivers. Most fords, while fine for men and animals, can barely handle wagons. This made seizing usable bridges and fords of great importance during the Civil War (both sides regularly captured Landships that had gotten trapped by a creek, or stuck in a ford).
The objective for the Union was to capture to capture the bridge and ford. To do so they had to have two Landships and 20 men on the far side of the river by the end of the game. To make matters worse they weren't sure where the ford was located (after the bridge was built 10 years ago people stopped using the ford). The Confederates got to secretly record the location of the ford (so many inches left or right of the bridge). Men on foot could spot the ford when they got within six inches, but this meant that the Union had to put Infantry on the banks of the river on both sides of the bridge.
As a giant wave of Union soldiers and vehicles surge towards them, the Militia held their ground and fired. Surprisingly, they managed to drop several soldiers with their old smoothbore muskets.
Meanwhile, help is on its way in the form of three units of cavalry, a wagon drawn by a mechanical that mounted a large firegun(flamethrower), and a steam wagon containing men with Whitworth breechloaders that fired .80 caliber explosive bullets. Officially, these guns were only suppose to be used on Landships, mechanical men and constructs, cassions, and other such legitimate targets, not people (yeah like that happened).
The Militia did pretty good, for troops with truly horrible morale. They had no leader bonus. always rolled on the Extras table, and divided their numbers in half for morale purposes (four Militia count as two Regular soldiers). Still they managed to drop a few Feds, and made others slow down by returning the fire.
The USLS Decatur was the first across the ford, and ran right into one of the militia groups (but failed the Scuffle rolls to run someone down). But without anti-Landship weapons they could not harm a Union Landship.
Unfortunately, the Landship promptly broke down (failed a Sustain roll).
The Militia fled from the bridge after firing a volley and a Union squad of Infantry began pushing the wagon blocking the way slowly forward. This kept them in cover from all the recently arrived rebels. They were told that they could push it over the side of the bridge.
Please excuse the gyrocopter set on the ground, couldn't find my flight stand.
The Fire Wagon sped towards the bridge, spun about and fired its heavy Firegun. But the player had misjudge his distance and missed the Union soldiers, but did manage to set fire to the wagon (with some lucky rolls).
The battle then began in earnest. Soldiers crossing the river were cut down by a Special Anti-Landship squad using breechloading rifles, firing .80 exploding bullets. Cavalry was shot up by the combined fire of the USLS Decatur and the Landships across the river.
Two British made Landships and a locally made Timberclad Landship arrived on the board
The Armored Train arrived on the third turn, beating the Confederate Landships to the battle. Heavily Armored (Save 15) and armed with a Gatling and a Breechloading Rifled Cannon.
While the Armored Train could dish out lots of firepower, its length blocked the Landships from joining the battle. The Cavalry also kept getting in the way.
After crossing the river Major Wood found himself in a brutal battle with Colonel Cornpone. The fight lasted for card after card. Sabre slashes were parried, pistol shots bounced off of pocket watches or were stopped by a bible. When two cavalry charged in to help Cornpone, the Major calmly cut one down. This grand battle inspired the troops on both sides to press on.
After dropping off the Special Anti-Landship Squad the Steam Wagon found itself with nothing to do, so it rammed itself into the bridge, further blocking it. This left the Union with only the ford as a crossing point. At the same time a volley of shots brought down the gyrocopter, but not before it had successfuly bombed some cavalry.
Have finally cut down and/or shot Major Wood the Colonel pushed his luck and was taken down by a single Union soldier. The USLS Decatur finally bit the dust. It took some time but with all the armor knocked off (by everything from the Armored Trains cannon to hand thrown fire-bombs) the crew died horrible deaths as steam pipes ruptured (I run that if you roll a natural 20 with a -2 SRM or better you get a catastrophic hit, same if you are reduced to zero armor).
In a desperate last turn attack a handful of Union troops attacked the Armored Train, and blew it up using fire-bombs!! But it was too late. Note, the two Confederate Landships trapped on the other side of the tracks by the train and the charging cavalry. I had been worried that the Confederates had too little armor, so I gave them and extra Landship. They didn't even get what they originally had into battle.
And so it ended, with the Union having the two Landships they needed for victory across the river, but only nine soldiers, out of the 20 they needed for a win. A hard fought battle that cost the South dearly (that train will be hard to replace) but they did win it (BOO - I'm a Yankee at heart). Mistakes were made on both sides, and the lack of room to maneuver hurt everyone, but still an enjoyable game.