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Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Gluckenstein Incident, a Steampunk Battle Narrative.

Having completed my Samurai figs for Ronin I've launched straight into my next project which has been bubbling away in the dark recesses of my addled brain for quite some time.
I've had an interest in Steampunk / Vic sci-fi ever since I participated in a small 'Gaslight' game many years ago. The fact that my daughter is an avid steam punk fan does help somewhat to fire the enthusiasm as well, in fact we are attending a steam punk festival next weekend in Oamaru, Steampunk HQ of New Zealand.


'Kreigbots' Mechanical Sturmtruppen



Professor Von Kleist and Krumm demonstrate his Lightning Arc Gloves.


Needless to say many hours have gone into assembling and painting my Teutonian Army, and fortunately I have managed to convince my good wargaming mate, Tex Houston, into the absolute neccessity of building an opposing Britannic Army.... fortunately he's a pushover for hair-brained ideas so, thankfully, I have an opponent whose almost as mad as me.

In fact, not only was he enthused, he bleeding well went ahead and knocked together an absolutely brillaint collection of Dystopian Legion and Warhammer 40K conversions that are a pleasure to shoot to pieces.

With our two forces assembled and chomping at the bit to be in action, it was only a matter of time before some minor incident would ignite a full scale confrontation between these two great Empires.

Teutonia annexes Voltavia,War Declared!
Such an incident was the Britannians intervention in the Teutonians affairs in the small Voltavian principality of Gluckenstein.

The diplomatic wrangling and argee bargeeing that preceeded this confrontation is a story in itself  so I wont bore you with any of that nonsense, suffice to say, the Teutonians, with a jealous eye on their neighbours coal reserves have annexed Voltavia and the nosy Brits have decided to come over all indignant and go to their aid. Henceforth a state of war now exists between Teutonia and Britainia.

The opening shots of this war have become known as 'The Gluckenstein Incident".

We used Gaslight (Big Battles) as the rules for this game.

 The game began with the Teutonians agressively advancing toward the village supported by their steam tanks and fearsomeTeutonic steam walkers.


Combined armour and infantry.

Teutonian Heavy Steam Panzer

Panzers Vorwarts!

Totenkopf Sturmtruppen and Jager on the outskirts of Gluckenstein.

The Brits, somewhat more cautiously sent their massive Levaithan walkers forward to get the lie of the land and threw forward a unit of Sky Hussars to assess the enemy dispositions. The Brit force was high in heavy ordnance but very low on infantry which was to create quite a problem for them as we shall see.

The first casualty was a Teutonic heavy steam tank which came under fire from the hulking Brit Leviathan walker. The searing hot shell tearing through the frontal armour and making short work of the poor crew with only one survivor.

Britannic Leviathan Class walker

First blood to the Brits, a Teutonain Steam Panzer takes a direct hit.

The Teutonains retaliated with everything they had and their combined fire managed to topple the monster.The Teutonian infantry also accounted for a sky hussar.



Her Majesties Royal Aetherial Service Sky Hussars

The teutonian scout panzers seemed to be encountering some mechanical problems and it took several attempts to fire up one of the tanks. Fortunately some fuse wire and a hit with a very big hammer did the trick and they headed off to support the infantry advance into the village on the Teutonian left flank.

Lynx, light scout Panzer, Ausf B
 The Brits appeared content to sit tight on the Teutonian right flank and trade blows, counting on superior armour and fire power to annihilate or subdue the enemy. Their Sky Hussars, despite flitting about in their usual flamboyant manner, achieved very little other than to draw fire.
Meanwhile the remaining Brit medium armoured walkers armoured walkers advanced cautiously on the village to tackle the Teutonian infantry which, by now, had established a firm hold of the main buildings.






Bulldog medium walkers move forward to carry out some house cleaning.
The Brits appeared to have made something of an oversight in their planning by not supporting their armour with infantry. It's generally very difficult to shift well defended infantry from buildings without grunts on the ground.

They did, however, have a fiendlishly clever secret weapon up their sleeve in the form of a Fantham, Mk2 Ground Attack Ornithopter. This delightful piece of kit hovered over the village and began strafing the Teutonians to put their heads down prepartory to lining up for a bomb run.


Fantham, Mk2, Ground Attack Ornithopter

 Sadly for the Brit airmen this wasn't to prove their finest hour. The Teutonians, undaunted by this unusual and amazing contraption, simply took a bead with their multi barrelled plasma cannon and disintergrated the blade off the main rotor. This sent the it into an immediate tailspin and only by superhuman effort was the  pilot able to bring his craft to the ground cheating death by a hairsbreadth.


Bombs away!


Thok, thok, thok....BOOM!
To cap off this round of abysmal luck the Teutonians scored a direct hit on a Brit medium walker, neatly severing the body and leaving two smoking legs.



Bulldog, MkIV, medium steam walker

'Deconstructed' Bulldog.

At this point the Britannian Commander decided to call it a day. With no hope of launching a counter attack on the village with the remaining forces at his disposal he reluctantly ordered his bugler to sound the retreat on his steam bugle.


Up close and personal. A Teutonian Knight engages Britanian infantry. 

Leviathan Class Heavy Steam Walkers

Teutonian Light Panzer

Jager

Teutonian HQ
We found the Gaslight rules did the trick but it was decided a lot of work is need to combine the core Gaslight rules and Big Battle rules onto a quick reference playsheet as a lot of time was spent flicking back and forth. I think it fair to say the rules are a bit disjointed compared to some of the latest offerings such as IHMN but are imminently worth persevering with.