Tesla Lightning Gun Artillery Steamer
Cause it wouldn't be a steampunk universe without NIKOLA FREAKING TESLA!
The development of the Tesla Lightning Gun began before even the first cylinders of the first War of the Worlds were launched from the red planet. Nikolai Tesla had been experimenting with ways to transfer power without wires (cause that's safe) but when the Martians landed in London, the eccentric Serbian realized that his failed power project could be the key to bridging the ludicrous technology gap. The United States Military took interest but dismissed the project initially as infeasible due to the huge power requirements of such a system and the fact that massive arcs of electric power generally are near impossible to aim, but once the forces inside the great coils of captured Martian electric wire could be tuned to seek out the strange alloy of the Tripods, Humanity finally had a weapon to rival the cruel beams of the Heat Rays.
First only employed in static defenses, Tesla soon was able to miniaturize his lightning gun to the point where it could be mounted on a Holt Steam Tank chassis and distributed throughout the US Army as a much needed force multiplayer when holding unprepared defenses. Even the great Land Ironclad Albuquerque had its fore 7 inch gun replaced with one of these weapons.
In All Quiet on the Martian Front
As befits such an eccentric weapon, the Tesla Lightning gun has some pretty wacky rules in game.
For mobility and defense, the Tesla Steamer has similar stats to you standard MK II steam tank, with a movement of 6 inches and a defense of 4 and armor of 7 (one less than the 8 of the Baldwin tank due to the open top). Its when we start talking about weaponry that things get interesting.
The Lightning Gun has the special rule Lightning Gun which has the majority of a page dedicated to it in the rule book but we'll try to keep it simple here.
Essentially, every movement phase the player may make the choice of either move or charge the weapon. If they choose to move than the Steamer moves its six inches and nothing of particular interest happens. If the player instead charges the weapon, a die is placed next to the tank to indicate its status. It is totally possible to simply skip a turn however without charging or moving. The super capacitors in the trailer can sustain a charge of two dice indefinitely but players do have the choice to overcharge to three with the downside that if you don't fire the Lighting gun at the next opportunity then you loose all three dice as there is an emergency grounding to prevent the weapon from frying itself and its operators.
When firing the Lightning Gun, choose a target within 40 inches and line of sight. Then roll every die you have generated at once and add them together, the result of this arithmetic is the power rating of your attack, though if you roll there of a kind the delicate machinery inside the cannon is fried and it can no longer fire for the rest of the game. Yes this does mean that you can theoretically have a power of 30 (then again you could have a power of 1). But the fun doesn't stop there. Once the damage has been worked out roll a die. If there any units within the resultant value in inches than they are hit to as the energy arcs from this original target to its new victim. You then roll the same amount of dice you originally had against the new target. Then you do it again, and again, and again, till either there are no new units within your dice roll of the last target hit or you roll three of a kind, though if you roll three of a kind with arcing attacks you can still fire. Yes the arc can strike friendly units so you might want to pull your dough boys back before unleashing the power of Zeus.
A Tesla Lightning Cannon will cost you 350 points to add to your United States force.
|American Forces in All Quiet on the Martian Front|
|Armored Fighting Vehicles:||Baldwin Steam Tanks - Mk IV Steam Tank - Flame Tank - MK IV ACP - Mk V Goliath - Land Ironclad|
|Transports:||Fliver - Armored Infantry Carrier|
|Infantry:||US Infantry Squad - Forlorn Hope Team - US Command Squad - Machine Gun Squad - Armored Infantry Squad - Rough Rider Motorcycle Squad - US Cavalry Squad|
|Artillery:||Field Gun Battery - Heavy Field Gun Battery - Anti-Tripod Gun Battery - Mk II Mobile Artillery Steamer - Tesla Lightning Gun Artillery Steamer|
|Support:||Cargo Steamer - Mk II Tesla Minelayer - Ambulance - Field Engineering Unit|