I recently had the opportunity to run a a playtest session of an upcoming miniatures rules set, Flashing Steel (a Ganesha Game). FS is a set of swashbuckling rules based on the Song of Blades and Heroes engine which is being written by shichitenhakki.
Although I enjoy a swashbuckling adventure as much as the next guy I dont collect historical miniatures generally (I am almost exclusively into sci-fi or sci-fi variants like space fantasy/pulp, sci-fi horror. That sort of thing).
Conveniently, gaming colleague MT bought a large number of the Star Wars collectable figures a few years ago. We didnt really enjoy the official game for those figures and had been looking for a way to get all of that lovely Star Wars stuff on the table. Star Wars is a pretty swashbuckle-y setting so we figured that the large supply of figures that we had available for that would probably be sufficient to cover whatever scenarios that the Flashing Steel rulebook threw at us.
The scenery that we used was a little rough and ready (I really do have to put aside some time/cash to get a decent river model. But that wont show up until FS Playtest #2) but it was functional.
Finally, as the system is in the development stage I wont be going into details as to how the various rules work. This will just be photos with a few lines describing the course of the games.
Scenario 1: Flight of the Dove (or probably in our case something more like “Flight of the Mynock” or similar)
A princess is being held captive on the upper floors of a hunting lodge by an officer, a small group of soldiers and the bounty hunter who brought her in. Three heroes and their men-at-arms have used cunning and guile to get to the front door of the lodge and are now ready to kick it in, blasters blazing.
The ground floor of the lodge. The stairs between the two statues on the bottom right of the shot is the objective for the heroes. They are about to enter via the opposite side.
The floor of the lodge from the other side. I didnt know before I played this game whether I had enough indoor scenic bits and pieces to furnish a large indoor area. Heroquest to the rescue.
Our heroes Lando, Chewie and Han (still removing his disguise) brief their rebel colleagues on Landos little maneuver at the Battle of Taanab.
General Veers gives his stormtroopers orders should the rebels attempt to rescue the princess.
Dengar suspects trouble as he waits with his stormtrooper escort.
Lando blasts the door and rushes in. Han then botches his activations and causes a turnover, leaving Lando all alone.
General Veers troopers are quick off the mark and an enthusiastic but inaccurate hail of fire erupts around the former administrator of Cloud City.
Dengar and one of his troopers also let rip at Lando. Landos smooth exterior makes him hard to pin down and he yet again escapes unscathed.
Seeing as most of the kidnappers have temporarily spent their ammo (FS is based in a blackpowder setting where weapons get to shoot once before they have to be reloaded. I found it very easy to justify why the blasters might work like this in a Star Wars setting. YMMV) Lando uses the opportunity to get to the cover of the book shelves. The rest of the rebels follow.
Dengar rushes at the bookshelves in a swashbuckling attempt to push them over on to Lando. Landos run of luck continues and he sidesteps the crashing shelves with a swirl of his cloak.
Due to the fallen shelves the stormtrooper with the loaded blaster can now see Lando, who he shoots at. This time Lando is forced to the ground.
Inspired by the swashbuckling displayed by Dengar, Han attempts to climb the bookshelves nearest him so that he can swing from the chandelier (the chandelier is specified in the scenario but not represented by a model. We assumed that any figure above ground level could make an attempt to jump at it and swing, Errol Flynn like across the room). In a display of Indiana Jones like ineptitude Han botches the test badly and the shelves crash to the ground, stunning him.
Lando picks himself up as Chewbacca runs past…
…while the rebel troopers covering fire proves lethal and they kill Dengars two accompanying stormtroopers (I am of the opinion that in skirmish games that there should be two types of figure: heroes and goons. Goons should drop very easily from any sort of attention from a hero I think. A rule that I like in FS applied to the Stormtroopers (the archetypal goons) which makes them drop like flies under fire. This pleased us when playing. Who wants to see Han Solo bogged down in a firefight with two or three Stormtroopers? Not me thats for sure).
The last Rebel trooper blasts Dengar at short range, stunning him. Lando takes advantage of Dengars state to blast him at point blank range and take him out of action. Dengar is going to need even more bandages after that.
Under the leadership of General Veers the Stormtroopers reload with parade ground efficiency and fire again, sending a rebel trooper to the medical frigate.
Han, Chewie and Lando sprint towards the stairs.
General Veers realises that his display of Imperial Command efficiency has come too late. He draws his ceremonial blade and runs toward Lando. Lando (who really is having a good day) sidesteps and drops Veers with a fist in the face.
Land runs up the stairs and grabs the princess. ”What have we here” etc. With only stormtroopers left to oppose them, the rebels escape from the lodge victorious.
Part two features Gungans, Geonosians, Tauntauns and Bossk, plus an impromptu river made from blue double ply kitchen roll. Coming soon…