Thursday, 25 October 2012

Regular Programming

Hey readers, sorry it's been so long between posts. As happens from time to time, real life has intruded and put the brakes on blogging. I've got personal stuff going on that means I haven't had much time to blog or take proper photos, or get the games in I have planned.
I've managed to get some terrain built and painted as you can see in the instragram workbench stream on the right, as this is less taxing than painting minis and I can stop and start as I please. I'm finding instagram a lot less time consuming than blogging at the moment, so it's taken the lead a bit out of the two.
Anyway, I'm going to have significantly more time on my hands in a week or so, and I will endeavor to make at least weekly posts from then on wards.

I've had plenty of fresh minis coming in lately, a huge haul from Khurasan (Thanks again Jon!) including the modern zombie hunters, which I am looking forward to painting as I re-watch S2 of the Walking dead while I ramp up for S3.
Also recently in the mail: A lovely bag from Rebel minis, which will be absolutely perfect for my intended John-Woo style games.

I have settled on Ganesha Game's Flashing Steel rules for this project, which seems odd considering they are a 3 musketeers style ruleset, but they include everything I want in this sort of game.

Why not Flying Lead? Sadly, that set just didn't do it for me. It weighed down the elegant Song Of system just that little bit too much to make it smooth and fun. Flashing Steel has a more usable points system (FL requires you to use 2 types of online builder...Ugh.) and has "swashbuckling" rules built in, which allow things like sliding along tables and kicking chairs into people's faces etc. The key word is cinematic... FS is quicker and much more cinematic.

I just had to tinker with the skills and weapons a bit. Essentially, I swapped modern weapons for muskets and martial arts for the different types of melee weapons. Grabbed a few relevant abilities from MDRG and done! We will see how it pans out of course.

The guns were the trickiest part. I wanted them to be different enough from each other that they would be interesting to use on an 18" board, but not so complex that they had too many exceptions to remember.
My solution was to come up with a brand new way of representing movie firearms rather than try to bend the existing ones into shape.
Flying Lead's Assault rifle has 3 different special rules (C+2, Long range, Select fire, move and shoot) while MDRG's has just C+2. Neither has a points value in the rulebook. I wanted something in the middle, so came up with this:

Modern Cinema Guns for Flashing Steel

  • All Guns may fire beyond their designated range at a -1 C penalty
  • All guns have a maximum range of 3x their listed range distance
  • All guns run out of ammo if a 1 is rolled, and cannot be used until reloaded (2 actions)

Keep in mind that these are generalized categorizations, designed to fit my figure collection. A heavy pistol could be a machine pistol or a .50 Desert Eagle for example.
"Support weapon" is intentionally vague. Since I don't intend to use vehicles in these rules (perhaps Bikes, but they are easily handled with skills) it's a big heavy gun as far as anyone in a tea-house or space-bar is concerned.

I am aware that the ranges are not "realistic" in the slightest. Consider them the "effective range" in a chaotic close quarters environment. Hollywood doesn't care about stuff like this anyway, so I'm going for fun over authenticity. (Some easy examples are Han Solo's pistol besting a whole squad of armored troops with carbines, and the Schwarzenegger film "Commando" in it's entirety.)

I have tried to make my rules simple and consistent  so that I can remember them while playing solo. This is quite different than a head to head game, where your opponent's head contains some of this stuff.

Typically, they are untested as yet, although I have my shanty board all set up, and a team of Khurasan cops vs Armie's Army Mercs deployed. I just need to play the game!

See you again soon,



  1. Your rules sound like a lot of fun - if you'd like another solo playtester, I'd be keen.

  2. Sounds like fun. With all of the game-play-design you are going thru, I encourage you, Jacker, to "stay loose" and and not get bogged down with minutia. Make any changes necessary to move the conflict along and to have as many characters as possible entering into and participating in the fracas. IMO, this view of game-play is the most fun and satisfying. Enjoy Sir!

  3. Thanks guys, I'll share anything I come up with!

  4. Looking forward to seeing the report :)

  5. I am a big fan of the "Song of..." system and I like the tweaks to Flashing Steel here so far.

    1. Could this be the end of my long and torturous road to some good playable rules? Let's watch.

  6. Like you, I was not a big fan of Flying Lead because it bogged down an immensly fun and quick playing system like any of the Song of ... books. MDRG is a personal fave. I don't have flashing steel, but it is probably a good choice for cinematic feeling stuff. Glad to see you blogging. I'll still check every day even though you have told me it will be once a week.

    1. Flashing Steel is great IMO, if it doesn't work out for Hong Kong Cinema I will still give a go for pirates or fantasy I think.