Monday, April 29, 2013

Recent GASLIGHT Nashcon Game Playtest: Jasper Flint Saves the Queen

At last Friday's HAWKs meeting, I had a chance to playtest  one of the GASLIGHT games that I plan to run at the upcoming Nashcon convention in Franklin, TN, and again later in the Summer at Historicon. The scenario is entitled, "Jasper Flint Saves the Queen". It involves an attempt by the combined forces of Marshal Jasper Flint and his Posse with Victoria Hawkes along for the ride, along with a unit of U.S. Marines, and British Guards, to rescue Queen Victoria from the clutches of evil Prussian agents and their hired Mercenary Gunslingers.  The Queen has been kidnapped during a goodwill visit to the United States, and the Prussians are now holed up in a deserted Texas town, awaiting a zeppelin to fly in from Mexico and take the Queen out of the county.  The allied forces must stop them before the zeppelin arrives in 12 turns.
  Unfortunately, my trusty digital camera, which I've had for over 10 years, chose this night to die.  So most of the pictures were grainy and over-exposed, and tinged red. I was however able to salvage some of these by using a sepia tone and exposure fixes on them. In they end I think they give a good vintage look.

An overview of the table. A sleepy Texas ghost town, soon to erupt in battle
  The set up for the game begins with the Prussians setting up anywhere they want in the town, and placing the captive Queen in a hidden position, while the Allied players are away from the table.  When they are done, the Allied players return to the table, and set up their forces, with the restriction that each force (US, British, and Law Enforcement) must enter from a different side of the table.
The Marines advance, with their Captain leading the way.
   The Prussian players were sneaky and chose to hide the Queen in one of the less conspicuous smaller outbuildings, in hopes that the allies would search for her first in the bigger buildings .  The Allies entered with the Marines and their Steam-walker on one of the narrow ends of the table, and the British and Law Officials opposite each other on the long sides.

The Prussian Kreighosen tries to get the drop on Jasper Flint, but is forced to withdraw and help his companion, the disabled Armored Penny-Farthing.
    Jasper Flint and his Posse, and Victoria Hawkes, along with their Gatling Steam-wagon, came under immediate fire from a Prussian squad holed up in the old sheriff's office.  This fire scored a number of hits on the posse, including the gunner on the Steam-wagon. The posse broke and ran for cover, but was quick to regain itself, and the driver of the Steam-wagon moved over to operate the Gatling gun.
Meanwhile the British Guards and their officer, Captain Harland-White, and an Impervious Suit, made their way into town.  Captain H-W, climbed through a back window of a near-by blacksmith's on to a workbench  directly behind a Gatling gun and it's crew. the Captain quickly engaged the crew in hand to hand combat, but managed to fall off the workbench.  He quickly got up again, and was able to dispatch the crew in good order.  Meanwhile his unit moved towards the back of the Assayer's office but found the building to be occupied by a unit of mercenary gunslingers.
A view of the battle as the Brits (lower right) try to force an entry into the Assayor's Office.  In the distance the shot-up Posse tries to hold it's ground. And on the left, the Marines move up.
   The Americans, slowly made their way up, and had some difficulty trying to maneuver their Steam-walker over a fence that lay in it's path.  The Marine unit however, was able to eventually maneuver into a position to fire  on the Mercenary Gunslingers in the Assayer's office. These Gunslingers broke and ended up routing out the back door where the British Guard unit was, and the Brits were able to quickly dispatch the fleeing survivors.
The Krieghosen peers around the corner of the Hotel, before moving to help the disabled Penny-Farthing.
   As these firefights were blazing away, the Prussian Armored Penny-Farthing  and Krieghosen armored suit patrolled the streets looking for targets of opportunity.  The Armored Penny-Farthing soon, broke down, and the British Impervious suit moved to fire upon it while it was disabled.  The Krieghosen armored suit, moved to offer aid to it's disabled comrade.  A long and ultimately inconclusive battle took place over several turns with the Impervious Suit (which lived up to its name!) and the Krieghosen engaged in a melee of metal.
Major Edelweiss moves to fight Jasper Flint.  After a short melee, Jasper eliminates the Prussian officer.
  As the turns passed, the Allies still had not found the Queen.  The battle see-sawed back and forth with neither side gaining an advantage, but the Allies were running out of time.  On turn 10, the Prussians, by the scenario rules, had to bring the Queen out into the open, to await the now nearby Zeppelin to come and lower a basket for her.  On turn twelve the Queen would be assumed to be out of reach of the Allies.
Some of the carnage outside the Assayor's office.  Just out of the lower frame the Impervious Suit advances to take on the disabled penny Farthing. (photo by Buck Surdu)
As the Prussians brought the Queen out, Jasper Flint, and the rest of his force, raced towards where she was.  Jasper got perfect activation cards, and was able to run up and engage the Prussian officer escorting the Queen. It proved to be a battle to the death for both of them;  the Prussian officer was able to fire his pistol hitting Jasper, just as the Marshal lunged at him with his hunting knife. Both fell dead. With the Queen now unescorted it was a race to see who could get to her first.  On the last turn, the British Guards made it to her and formed a defensive perimeter and the Marines moved up to support them, just beating out a nearby Prussian unit
The final moments.  With Jasper Flint, and the Prussian officer down, the Allies rush to protect the Queen; as a unit of Prussians, at the fence, are a few inchs too late. (photo by Buck Surdu) 
The game was called as an Allied victory.  It was a close run thing throughout, and all the players said they had a great time.  I'm really looking forward to running this now at Nashcon, and again at Historicon.

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