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Author Topic: Questions for GASLIGHT players - new questions 16th Jan  (Read 5989 times)

Offline Red Orc

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Questions for GASLIGHT players - new questions 16th Jan
« on: January 05, 2011, 02:03:36 PM »
If I can crave your indulgence chaps, but I don't own GASLIGHT (Battles by GASLIGHT, Continued by GASLIGHT or whatever), and I'd like to know a few things about how it handles unit composition before I finalise my latest round of purchases (as I sort of assume I will be playing it sometime this year at least).

My understanding is that mostly, units are 10 men including NCOs or officers, and there are also seperate heroes who can be officers or specialists or whatever. Essentially a unit seems to be 9 grunts + 1 leader-type.

For instance, I have a unit of 10 British Line Infantry, including an officer and an NCO; as the 8 men and the sergeant are all armed with rifles, and the officer with pistol and sword, the easiest way to stat the unit would seem to be as 9 riflemen and one leader. Are other options available? Could I if I wished stat it as 8 riflemen, 1 leader and 1 chap (the sergeant) with let's say a Marksman skill and extra morale effect (for a seasoned veteran who's both an inspiration to his men and a crack-shot with a Martini-Henri)?

What about more VSF-techy weapons? If I want to include a mad-science anti-vehicle weapon called a Flux Bombard in my army, it seems I have 4 main routes I may be able to go down:

1 - to give it as a hand-held weapon to a trooper in a unit of 10, replacing his rifle, so I have 8 riflemen, a Flux Bombardier, and a leader;

2 - to have a unit of 9 rifleman, and use the Flux Bombardier as my sergeant/officer with a special weapon. The Flux Bombard then becomes a type of upgrade for my leader-type;

3 - should I stick to a 10-man riflemen-plus-leader squad, and have my Flux Bombard as a seperate unit, perhaps an artillery support base? In this case, it's maybe not a large rifle-type gun at all, but replaces a Gatling gun or suchlike as a fixed position, multi-crew weapon. A similar option would be to have something like a small unit of 3 Brass Clank-troopers with hand-held Flux Bombards for my anti-tank needs. In both these cases, the Flux Bombard(s) are seperated out into a support unit, anyway;

4 - to have a 'heroic character', not attached to a unit, as a floating Flux Bombardier - again, like option 2, this seems to work as a potential heroic upgrade.

Or, are all of these things possible? Many of them? Few or less? If they are possible, what's advisable? Is it best to keep main units simple and add support units, or is it easy enough to add special weapons (and skills) into units?

Your answers may very well affect the raising of a couple of new units, so I thank you all and wait agog for the replies...
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 01:18:24 PM by Red Orc »

Offline VSF Gamer

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 03:37:28 PM »
Every situation you have described is completely acceptable within the GASLIGHT rules. The authors set it up that way. I have played GASLIGHT for many years and have tried many different variants with my units as well as variations of the rule systems.

Question: "Is it best to keep main units simple and add support units, or is it easy enough to add special weapons (and skills) into units?"  

Currently I run my units with a leader, NCO (each with different stats) and 8 regulars (all same stats). VSF-techy weapons, depending on the size, I usually have run by a special unit. However if they are man portable, I have added them to a unit replacing one of the regulars and upgrading the operators stats slightly.    

The thing about GASLIGHT is that it can be played and modified to suit the kind of game you and your friends like to play.


Offline Malamute

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 03:47:04 PM »
Yep, as VSF Gamer says, you can do all of the above. :)
 Hopefully Bullshott will see this thread shortly. He is after all our GASLIGHT Guru, whoom the BLAMers turn too for GASLIGHT related queries. ;)
"These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but go on age after age, feeding on the blood of the living"  - Abraham Van Helsing

Offline Red Orc

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 04:22:25 PM »
Well, that's smashing, thanks to you both. I will go ahead with planning my Aetherines (like Marines, but they go by airship), my Royal Corps of Halberdiers unit, my Atlantean Sepoys and my (Victorian) UNIT Riflemen, all with various special weapons capabilities, without worrying overmuch!

If anyone else wants to comment at all on this, please feel free to do so.


Offline mysteriousbill

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 06:43:46 PM »
In my basic squads I prefer 9 regularly armed men and a Sergeant, Corporal or just a Private that has some experience in combat. That squad leader has better stats (and always some kind of Save) and usually a special weapon (Semi-auto heavy rifle or at least a firebomb to give the squad some kind of anti-vehicle weaponry).
In the real-life military there are lots of soldiers for every Officer. My officers tend to be seperate characters (usually with a fire-bomb or two). I also tend to have my special-weapons personnel fight as individuals and always have my armored vehicles fight as individuals not groups.

Offline Jonas

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 08:18:59 PM »
I also think it depends on what kind of game is wanted, for convention games I like all men in the units to have same weapons and stats, so it is faster to activate and shoot.

For large games I also kind of like all men in the units to be the same.

In both cases I have independent characters which are officers, inventers and people with special weapons etc.

For smaller skirmish games I think it is ok to mix the stats and weapons inside the units, but we actually rarely do that in practise.

Offline Red Orc

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 09:33:30 PM »
OK, so my original assumption of 9 guys + leader (whether officer or NCO) doesn't need to be the case either. It could equally be 10 riflemen, especially for a large game - if this comes off, I should be able to field 7 10-man squads and a couple of heroes as well as some steam-mech... is that a large game?

At the moment my British Line Infantry has to be organised as 9+1, as one of them has a pistol and sword, and I think my Atlantean Rifle Brigade has 8 troopers, an officer and a sergeant as well (and short of buying lots more minis, that's what I'm stuck with); but I'll think about making some of the other squads 10 identical troopers, and some 9+1 with the 1 being a special-weapon sergeant.

Thanks for all your insights into this chaps; if I'm going to be playing this game (and I really hope I am this year) I'd like to at least try to put together some units that don't make it too hard to play, while at the same time keeping a bit of the madly-VSF flavour of improbable weapons and whatnot.

Offline The_Beast

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 12:30:48 PM »
As my younger twin from a different mother stated, and he's our local guru, all are acceptable.

However, the whole meme of GASLIGHT is of a cinema; the lowest soldiers tend to be extras. Blam, they're dead. Officers tend to be, at least, characters, and certains in our games, get a saving roll. Now, as casualties are randomly distributed in a unit, there's a chance that the officer will get the shot, and perhaps die, but also has that saving roll.

I think it can slow things down a bit, but does give marvelous colour.

Oh, and it's been awhile since we thrashed something out, but I recall the officer helps the morale die roll beyond a simple extra body, so worth having.

Somebody correct me if I've erred; I tend to let brother VSF Gamer follow the rules and correct me if I'm wrong, losing myself in the action. ;->=

Doug

Offline Red Orc

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 02:19:01 PM »
All rules are arbitrary, and can easily relate to different things. I won't get too hung up on distinctions between different grades of commissioned and non-commissioned officers; if my Aetherines need a tough NCO for cinematic purposes, I'll happily assign the role (and rules) of 'captain' to him, while keeping the rank of sergeant. I started to use the term 'leader' (I'd call him 'squad leader' but that sounds too modern) because I was getting too bogged down in whether someone was a sergeant, a sergeant-major, a lieutenant, a captain or whatever.

So, I have a very fluid notion of what being an officer or NCO constitutes in game terms; my 10-man Home Service Infantry patrol may be led by a figure designated in the brochure as an officer, and another may have three stripes on his sleeve, but I'm happy that the rules I apply to them are somewhat arbitrary, and could in another instance relate to a sergeant and a 'private first class' or 'senior rifleman' or something. The important thing I think is that, if anyone has a particular talent or stat-buff, the mini should be recognisable (different weapon, different hat, different decoration). That's the main thing.


Offline Fuzzywuzzieswiflasers

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 09:38:55 PM »
In Gaslight each ten man unit does need a "leader"

Units consist of characters i.e. figures with an extra Save skill to give them a better chance of surviving a hit, the other figures are classed as "extras" and like in the movies just die like extras  :D

I treat my 10 men units as platoons, normally commanded by a Lieutenant and sometimes with a 2ic NCO type character.

Most of my gaslight games feature four to five standard units commanded by a hero character.

Gaslight can let you assign additional skills to your characters (and extras in some cases like cavalry the extras would have a riding skill).

You can equip your units and characters with any type of historical or fiction super weapons you want.

For a night's gaming I would reccomend about 6 units per side include a vehicle or two.

It is a good idea to have your regular infantry have some kind of anti vehicular weapon otherwise they can become spectators in the battle.

I also prefer some kind of scenario rather than a straight up battle.

Gaslight is a good game but it could do with some tweaks. I think the morale system could do with an overhaul and I detest the "move or shoot" turn sequence. We use the house rule that a unit can move and shoot if armed with modern weapons. Smoothbore musket equipped units need to remain stationary to reload. Lastly the points system in "Battles by Gaslight is not very good. Gaslight does not have any fluff so requires more of an effort to set up a context but most VSF/Colonial fans can easily find background material for their games.

Cheers  FUzzy  :D

Crikey, sir. I'm looking forward to today. Up diddly up, down diddly
down, whoops, poop, twiddly dee - decent scrap with the fiendish Red
Baron - bit of a jolly old crash landing behind enemy lines - capture,
torture, escape, and then back home in time for tea and medals.
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Offline Jonas

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 10:25:59 PM »
True, but I usually think the method to determine who is random hit is too slow, so we just remove models from one end to the other and when the final model is left, which is the leader, he is removed (unless he is a special character).

This makes for a faster gameplay for conventions, but I guess it is not recommended for a more detailed game.

We have just had a very massive battle which we brought around and every little thing which was not necesary was removed to speed up the process.

I think one of the good things about Gaslight is that it is so easy to tweak it for whatever you want, but the bad thing is that it is rather cumbersome for larger battles.

Offline Red Orc

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players on unit composition etc
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 01:17:37 PM »
Craving your indulgence once again chaps, I have some further questions.

I'm building units that have 9 troopers and a special character (whether officer or NCO). I'm also getting together some heroic individual characters. That all seems to be going OK.

As for what I can do with them, I'm basically assuming that there is a 'standard human profile' and I'm adding various improvements to these basic statistics - extra shooting ability, extra movement, extra combat ability, extra morale boosts etc.

A couple of examples: one of my characters has a rocket-pack and a partly metal suit - I'm mentally listing his abilities as Flight, Armour and Extra-strong Punch, which I assume affect his movement, defence and combat statistics.

Comparing two units of riflemen, one will be a 'standard' unit of infantry with a leader with a pistol and sword - he will get an improved combat stat, but a lower shooting stat than the riflemen; the second unit are 'elite' riflemen and get a slightly higher shooting stat - their leader is an NCO with a special weapon. Both the leaders, I would assume, confer some sort of morale bonus to the unit.

How these relate to the actual statistics I don't know, but am I on the right lines? If I am, I can get to work on mapping out the bonuses even without the actual rules; by assigning ability names I can have a notion of how things will work even without the actual stats.

Also, are unit cards helpful playing GASLIGHT? If they are, there's a certain amount of work I can do sorting them out even though I don't have the rules yet.

Offline Jonas

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players - new questions 16th Jan
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 02:52:46 PM »
I think you are on the right track... We usually have a basic human grunt stat and depending if they are close combat troops or shooty troops they have highest scuffle or shoot stat and then we have heroes and such which generally has higher stats.

Also I think it is a good idea to have cards, it makes it easy to find the stats for units and character. For convention games or larger games we usually has similar stats for most units, so they can easily be remembered in the head, but still use the cards as it helps the player.

Here is an easy to do version of cards as I have done some in word:



You should not look at the stats as they are not made the best way, but you can get the idea of cards. I think some other Gaslight players on forum has some card examples too.

On these cards you see the British high general, that is why his stats are so good and the tank has a bit high in sustain as we had problems with tanks doing nothing in convention games.

We made Lord Cornwall an adventurer, so that we did not have heroes with 2 activations, we did this because all our heroes generally commanded more troops and we had larger Battles by Gaslight games
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 02:54:58 PM by Jonas »

Offline Red Orc

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players - new questions 16th Jan
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2011, 07:32:57 PM »
Thanks a lot for that Jonas, it's really helpful; I've printed off your response and the cards to give me an idea of what I'm doing.

I've also used this post from many moons ago as a kind of template for different sorts of vehicles, characters and units.

Thanks muchly!

EDIT: and found this post here also with GASLIGHT info.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 05:12:50 PM by Red Orc »

Offline Jonas

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Re: Questions for GASLIGHT players - new questions 16th Jan
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 05:47:38 PM »
The most important part is probably to get a few games played and adjusting stats and rules to what works best for you, your models and your group.

 

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