Friday, 9 December 2011

Flashbang playtesting

As promised, I played a game of the newly-updated version of Flashbang last night at Wargamers FC. In case you're one of the lucky ones that I haven't yet bored to tears about Flashbang, it's a system I've written for close quarters battle. The initial idea was to allow games with SWAT teams, and to do all the exciting things you see in the movies - throwing stun grenades, rappelling through windows, fighting room to room - which in my opinion most existing games tend to gloss over.

To give a sense of tension, and ensure that players can't rely on just advancing towards the enemy in the open and firing at them, the game has a "noise" system. Certain actions, such as firing a gun, generate noise, which will bring you to the attention of your enemies.

I meant to take photos but forgot...
There are also a number of special abilities available to each group, but there's a trade off between using these or doing normal things like moving or shooting. The idea is that a good combination of abilities can work together to form a more effective strategy.

We played a basic battle scenario. I expect that (if and) when we're playing the game in anger we'll want to use the more complex scenarios I have ready, but for now I just wanted to test the mechanics.

I found a few issues - first, I should have thought more about the terrain setup at the start. As it was we had a sort of linear set up, but when writing the rules I was thinking more about models being able to completely hide themselves, and the two teams getting intermixed. That didn't really happen as we played.

Paul didn't make a lot of use of activities on his plan board - I would say this was for the simple reason that he didn't really know what he could do there, so he didn't realise that he could have combined things more. I think for the next game I'll take the SWAT role, as the Armed Criminals are a bit more straightforward, but I'll also make sure my opponent has time to read the abilities before we start.

Finally, I wasn't really happy that models with a lot of noise aren't in much danger. They struggle to hit their enemies, but that's about it. I'm going to try to work out how to account for your target's noise in shooting instead of the evasion rule I have at the moment, but I don't want things to get overly complicated.

I have another game organised with Pete for next week, so we'll see what he thinks of the rules. Simplicity is definitely the key, so I may need to streamline some areas even more.

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