Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aliens vs. marines with Flying Lead

We tried out Flying Lead from Ganesha Games recently, with mixed results (mostly owing to my own mistakes in the rules). Ganesha also publishes Song of Blades & Heroes, our club's current favorite fantasy skirmish game.

Flying Lead is built on the same rules engine, with each model having just two stats plus a few special rules. You'd think this would make for a speedy game, but I must admit that Flying Lead required a fair amount of rulebook-flipping to get through a basic combat. The multitude of special rules was also a big hindrance...rather than making each figure unique, it caused headaches as I tried to remember which of my identically painted Colonial Marines had the Hitman rule, and which had the Elite rule, and which had the NCO ability, etc. Better to minimize the special rules, perhaps, and only give them to one or two key models? But then, where's the fun in that...?

Anyway, we played an aliens vs. marines scenario on a dustry, dry wasteland planet strewn with boulders and scraggly trees. It looked pretty sharp, considering we threw the table together in a few minutes without much effort.

This was the second time our group tried Flying Lead, and I made the same mistake in this game that I did in my previous game. It was just a misreading of a rule, and as a result, my marines were slaughtered by the encroaching aliens before they even got out of their deployment zone. Here's an example of how the game went for me:

Our second game, a 3-player scenario where the aliens were deployed in the center of the table and had to fight against both marines and Predators, went a little better. But Flying Lead still seemed far less intuitive than Song of Blades & Heroes. I don't understand why...perhaps the nuances of a shooting-based game causes the whole rules engine to slow down a bit?

Anyway, the search continues for the right sci-fi skirmish game. Up next is 5150, Future War Commander Skirmish, Wastelands v.3, and perhaps Nuclear Renaissance. We'll find the ideal ruleset or die trying!


Tim said...

Good Game. I think the system works, but the extra step of adding in the weapon value, along with all the other subtle differences between FL and SBH would take some getting used to. I put up a couple of my photos of the game at Board Game Geek.

Ben Lee said...

Great report, I found the same thing with SOBH and FL. There;s just soemthing not right about the latter.

If you're looking at rules, please have a look at my free system at: