Good grief! Where did that month go?
I'm pleased to report that I have FINALLY gotten the 6x5 table setup in the back room, and this last Sunday actually managed to play an ACTUAL WARGAME. You know, with dice. And toy soldiers. And little model trees and houses on a green cloth.
Mi Hermano Semanal Jonesy came around and after some faffing around considering trying a new set of rules, we eventually settled on a simple game of Flying Lead using my VSF/Steampunk figures. Jonesy took a selection from the Pulp Heroes list, while I mixed up the Criminals and Mafia lists for my Evil League Of Evil.
I can't give you a blow by blow account of the battle, but I can tell you that a Mafia Hitman at 150 points out of a force of 400 is well worth it. My "Miss Moran" (one of the GASLIGHT Victoria Hawkes models with a tricked out rifle) started by killing the do-gooders' leader with a max range sniping shot, causing his faithful oriental sidekick to flee the battlefield. After a couple of rounds where she struggled to get a clear shot, she found her mark twice more, prompting the demoralised do-gooders to rout. She scored all of my kills, as the rest of my force were all armed with pistols and outranged by the opposition who had a couple of rifles.
The other games we were looking at playing were Blasters and Bulkheads and Chaos on Chronos, both similar warband-type skirmish games. But while there might be nothing wrong with them for playing in their own specific settings, for a generic pick-up game with different figures, Flying Lead was far easier to get up and running with. The army lists cover WWII, Modern military, Criminal, Pulp and a couple of near-SF options, enough variety to make it easy to pick something suitable for any sort of firearms skirmish. I had to fudge a couple of things in the lists, like replacing machine pistols with heavy calibre pistols, but was otherwise able to play straight from the book. If I was planning this game in advance, I could use the Squad Builder from the Ganesha Games web page to work out exact points values, the same for any Vehicles or even custom built Weapons I might need.
On contemplation, while there's nothing particularly wrong with the GoalSystem rules as used in Blasters & Bulkheads, Chaos in X etc, I think I still vastly prefer the Ganesha Games system based on Song of Blades & Heroes and used in Flying Lead. As long as you're willing to accept that the activation mechanic means you can't guarantee every figure/unit will act every turn, it feels like a much more interesting/uncertain game.
Anyway, now I have the table setup (semi-)permanently, I'm hoping to get a lot more gaming done in the coming months.
What do you mean, "you've heard that one before"?