I'm pleased to report that yesterday's burn has now stopped hurting, and I'm left with two modest looking blisters on thumb and forefinger.
Anyway after the excitement of Saturday, on Sunday Mi hermano Albañil Jonesy came round with a selection of Lego Minifigs and we set about trying a couple of sets of rules. The figures were largely from the recent egyptian-style pulp range, with an impressive looking Lego pyramid serving as a terrain objective fought over by my mummies and Jonesy's adventurers. For the first game, we played Flying Lead - well nominally at least. In actual fact Jonesy kept using the combat result table for melee combat instead of the different one for guns, which meant the game was actually closer to the original Song Of Blades And Heroes.
The scenario Jonesy had devised was a simple treasure hunt for a mystical jewel which could have been in one of three locations, followed by a race to the pyramid to unlock "the prize" (whatever that was). I had a couple of fast moving Anubis Guards (Long movement), but the bulk of my warband were Slow moving mummies. Ranged against them were a band of five adventurers, who Jonesy had all rated as Heroes in order to balance the points. Now the core of Flying Lead is the activation roll - choose whether you want to attempt one, two or three actions, roll that many dice and for each dice that succeeds you get an action, but if you ever get two failed dice your turn ends and play passes to the opposition. Well the Hero trait automatically gives a figure one successful dice, meaning that they can go for three actions every turn with a greatly reduced chance of losing initiative, or just go for two and be guaranteed not to lose initiative. With every figure in the enemy warband having that trait it was... painful.
That said, I had twice as many figures, and the Anubis Guards were much better fighters than the adventurers so overall I think things were balanced. I decided the slow moving mummies were never going to make it to the pyramid on the other side of the table, so I sent them on a shambling "zerg rush" against the Heroes at the nearest terrain objective, while sending the faster Anubis Guards up the table. The strategy looked to be paying off initially, as I managed to swarm and kill the Heroes' leader and came close to taking out a second, while the Anubis guards found the mystic jewel halfway up the table. There then followed a horrendous run of bad activation luck on my part, which effectively allowed Jonesy a couple of free turns to pull back his best fighters to block my race to the pyramid. At the end of the game, he'd managed to pull all four of his remaining figures back to hold off my two Anubis Guards, with my Pharaoh and his shambling mummy minions stranded at the opposite end of the table, too far to help. We didn't bother to roll to the grim conclusion, as it was just a matter of time before weight of numbers took their toll.
For the second game, time was a little short, so we just did a very basic face-off using the Chaos In Cairo rules (part of the "GoalSystem" family of games which includes Chaos In Carpathia and Blasters & Bulkheads). This game used a basic "I activate a figure, you activate a figure" turn sequence and a dice pool mechanic, typically rolling 2-6 D6 and counting "goals" (4,5 = 1 goal, 6 = 2 goals). To-Hit and damage rolls were opposed, both attacker and defender rolling dice based on their figure's attributes and traits, with the greatest number of goals winning.
The rules were... OK I suppose. Totalling up the dice for any roll was a bit fiddly as bonus dice could come from several places and it was easy to miss an extra defence dice here or there. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, but I think I was missing the excitement and the tough decision making of the Flying Lead activation sequence. Where I think the GoalSystem games might win out is in their campaign and scenario rules, so we've decided to give them another try with a more complex scenario.
The Lego figures worked well for this game, and once we got into the swing of the game, it really didn't register with me that we were playing with these smiley-faced toony little plastic people rather than painted metal castings.
Finally, I've decided to hammer another stake into the ground and scheduled the "Big Birthday Bash II: Aetheric Boogaloo" for Sunday 29th July. This will be a big GASLIGHT game, using the same "Battle of Weston-super-Mare" scenario developed for the game that was cancelled earlier in the year. This year I'm throwing the doors open and we already have a few new players who'll be having a go with us (Hi Adam from Lancashire). The best part is that since I'd already prepped everything for the game back in May, there's not an awful lot of work required to have the game ready in July.