Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Hey true believers! I'm back.
Had a few 'wilderness months' this summer weaving in and out of jobs (last report: out), doing exciting 1:1 scale building projects and generally being a multipurpose jack-of-all-stuff.

So less about me, here's a report and pics from last weekend's GASLIGHT game at FallCon 26 here in Calgary.

The game was titled STEAMSHIP TROOPERS. Do you want to know more? Then keep reading, otherwise the Bugs win.

Scenario design started at ambitious, moved to merely creative as the days drew closer and pretty much hit F*CKIT when I got smeared with a raunchy cold a few days before.

So for a fast and dirty 8 player (upped to 9 on account of computer glitches) I described an island recently discovered in the Indian Ocean. Filled with ruins of ancient civilizations (ain't they all?) the island was rich with Glowitanium a miraculous mineral of astounding properties. However...a race of aggressive Arachnids guard the blue material with their large chompy mandibles and multiplicities of fiendishly faceted eyes.

The Island, with the objective Glowitanium source in the centre.

'He he he..just you wait...'
Marco says: 'bring it'
This picture (right) we see Mike J in the centre pulling out his wonderfully painted Fez'd Camel Patrol. Don(l), Mark and Marco (r) look on. 

More players assemble. Left to right: Mark, Marco, Terry, Sean and Rob. Not pictured is Glen and Chen-Song but I think we get to see him later.

OOB was thus:
Mike J: His Fez'd Camel Patrol supported by a Gatling Gun.

Don: Renegade Legionnaires with the Black Guard as auxilaries.

Mark: Capitano Spumanti and the Italian Steam-Tank Contessa.

Marco: Pasha Spice and the Pirates of De-Nile and their big cannon.

Terry: Once again claimed McCracken's Camel Corp and deadly Lal Singh as his force.

Sean: New to the game he fielded the 23rd Cuminpore Rifles and the redoubtable Daffadar Stampy the Fighting Elephant.

Rob: Could we imagine him with somebody other than the Landing Party of the HMS Callipygia? Nope. And that's who he took.

Glen: Would field Maj Bampott and his fighting Highlanders. Supported by a Highland crewed mountain gun. Also new to the game.  

Chen-Song: Led Prince Haille Unlikely and his Beja horde of camels and tribesmen to glory. I think it was a first GASLIGHT time for him as well.

Liam the Real Teenage Visigoth: Not a player but monster-runner and card flipper extraordinary. Allowed me to float about the table (literally, I was on cold medication for the odd time in my life)and help adjudicate encounters and melees.

Family Teenage Visigoth confer prior to game.
Objectives were straight forward. Gather as much Glowitanium as possible by moving your hero in contact to a blue gem and rolling a save. Destroy the spiders and be the first to claim the volcanic source of the Glowitanium.

I really don't remember the sequences and what happened in what order, so I'll dispense with sequence and causality and just tell the cool stuff. Such is the fraught adventures of reffing a game whilst strung out on cold meds.

Camel Corp and Sikhs join forces, advance.
Daffadar Stampy vs The Arachnid Menace. Lal Singh moves to support.

The game was set up with no 'sides', it was a free for all. Like a Victorian 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World' with Gatling guns and giant spiders. Such was the power of the Glowitanium! The promise of it's power led all present to disregard their allegiances and loyalties. In order to keep PvP action to fair and controlled minimum carnage, I allowed players to make partnerships with each other. These partnerships could be broken (and they were..) at the cost of the cad paying over half of his obtained Glowitanium.

The trick was, each time Glowitanium was obtained it disrupted the order of things on the Mysterious Island and so potentially spawned a spider.

Mike's Camels deploy very textbook like.
More Camel parades.
Pasha Spice duels with the spawn of Shaitan, which went on all game.
The spiders had two hits, one attack at 11 and a save of 14. A little too over-powered, maybe, but I wanted to have creatures tough and menacing. Monster movie baddies rather than bugly cannon fodder. They proved tough adversaries, killing one hero and chomping up more than their share of extras.

After some glowy globs were obtained and some spiders dispatched (one hit with the Highlander's cannon! SPLAT!) partnerships and alliances grew tenuous as players watched each others success and position. Suspicion and fear took hold and dark betrayal grew in the breast of once stalwart allies...

Italian steam tank lurches into the Spice Pirate's line of fire.
Here we see two such instances. (Top) The Italian steam-tank Contessa made a quixotic left run in front of the Spice Pirate's Big Damn Gun. Marco was faced with the choice to keep faith or betray Mark with a choice shot. Marco being Marco took the shot. Alas for him, it missed. Incensed, Mark brought the steel behemoth about and over-ran the offending gun, scattering the crew. While his hero, the dastardly Pasha Spice fought for his life against the eight-legged freak of death, Marco ordered his scallywags of the Nile to swarm the steam-tank. They actually scored a hit. They actually scored a hit that made the crew bail from the smoked filled mechanical monstrosity. Which was pure delight to Marco as his pirates massacred the helpless tankers.

Treachery! Prince Unlikely's Beja over-run the Highlander's gun. 
Chen-song too turned traitor and blind-sided the Highlanders. His camelry(above) slammed into the unsuspecting gunners, slicing them to tiny bits. 
The Highlander foot rallied and delivered a punishing fusillade to the camels, shredding their dromedary ranks. After they repulsed the camels a fresh wave of Beja warriors smashed into the Scots, resulting in a Pyrrhic slug match.

Beja camels are paid in full for treachery.
Maj Bampott and Prince Haille Unlikely duel to the death.
The Shore Party holds the line.
Elsewhere, Sean's Sikhs made a slow steady advance. Rob's Swabbies where locked in a fight with a couple of truculent spiders, which cost the valiant Cmdr Crankshafte-Whirlingate his life. The shore party rallied, finally killing the spiders. Devious Terry took this opportunity to bushwhack Rob with a rapid camel charge. Not totally successful, Terry was strung out with neither Rob's Gardiner gun or shore party neutralized. Sean kept his word to Rob and his Sikhs blasted the tricksy Camels. Terry was reduced to lurking about the board with his hero, snapping the odd bit of glowy stuff.Shockingly, Terry's 'special' hero Lal Singh was knocked out of action. Now, Lal Singh never dies, he just comes back next game, tougher and deadlier than ever.

Rob fared better than Terry, his survivors rallied and with the support of the Sikhs moved to secure the Glowitanium Volcano.

Across the other side of the board, Don and his Legion was engaged with a surplus of spiders. Combined with his customary caution, this kept Don and his units at the fringe of the game. Contrastingly, Mike's fezzed patrol was collecting Glowitanium and dispatching bugs with solid efficiency. So it seems only fair (it was random!) that the biggest of bads, Shai-Hulud himself should appear. Erupting amidst the ranks of Mike's forces the mighty sandworm promptly chomped a camel and rider. However, the Fez Patrol were sanguine about this. Hauling around the Gatling and surrounding the worm with rifles they dealt a punishing blast to the worm and dropped it cold.

'When Sandworms Attack, next on Fox'.

1,2,3 and Shai Hulud was out of there.
That's was pretty much where we left the game.

Mark and Marco had eliminated each other. Similar situation on the other side where Chen-song and Glen had shredded each others ranks, with only the redoubtable Maj Bampott (himself dispatching Prince Unlikely in an epic hand to hand duel)and a few loyal Scots remaining on the field.
Terry as stated was pretty much knocked out, though never to be underestimated. Rob's survivors clung to their hard won purchase of the Glowitanium volcano, testament to Rob's continued morale roll successes.  

Mike J, Don and Sean all controlled substantial, intact forces. Don was too far from the action to grab vital ground anytime soon. Mike was spurred on by his worm killin' to make a grab for the volcano. However Sean held true to his word a second time and came to the rescue of the shore party. The Sikh's musketry sapped the martial ardor of Mike's fezzed legions.

Quick, jerky movie of the table at the game's end.  
Mike J celebrates his win.
I'm keeping the hat.
In the end, Rob won the Objective and Mike won on points. I tipped the win to Mike for his surprising kill record on spiders and giant sand worms. I awarded Sean my 'Audacious n00b' prize for being gallant and effective against treachery. Glen won his Maj Bampott figure for a series of epic heroics. Everyone left happy and laughing. Which is why we do this. A great bunch of guys and some silly and stirring stories.

Sorry if the narrative is a little disjunctive, my brain was firing like a rusty lawnmower that day.

See Terry's nifty blog for more pix. I reposted a few here to make up for my customarily dodgy pictures. Thanks Terry!

Mentioned in Dispatches: The game was a great buzz (no, not just the cold medicine...) and demonstrated the resilience of the GASLIGHT game in the face of sketchy scenario design.
Yeah, the spideys were over-powered. I think I'd up their attack to 12 and drop their save to 12 as well. Love the Reaper bones series. Hope Reaper continues to make bugs and other gigantic freaks.
The sand worm was just unlucky.
Next time I think we invade Australia...