Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Steam Transformers via GASLIGHT

Easter brought the expected excesses of round chocolate goodness entering the Bowman household... along with other gifts including a Transformers game for No.1 son, on his Nintendo...

Well after having his fill of electronic fun, he asked if we could play Transformers, with his toy robots and the GASLIGHT rules.

I had told him many months ago when I was ordering this rules set just what sort of things we might be able to do with it, and I figured giant robots should work just fine...

The only thing with GASLIGHT (if you don't already know) is that whilst it can handle a lot of 'periods' and items, for the most part you have to make up all the stats for vehicles, weapons, personnel etc yourself before the game. Whilst a little lengthy it is fairly easy to do from the charts provided.
So we set to, rolling away...

I was the bad guys, predictably, so picked 6 small robots of varying origin. These were rated as Veterans for Shoot & Scuffle rolls.
After this they got rolls for speed , save , spin and weapons from the various charts. The only thing I couldn't find were 'vehicle melee weapons'. So I just made them 0 range and rolled for SRM (save roll modifier).

Chris rolled up three good guys, one each of Leader, Adventurer and Hero (based on the robots size), for their Shoot and Scuffle values, and then again rolled up various weapons and vehicle stats.

Here's a pic from mid point of game where we stopped for a break... as you can see we are clearly playing in a barren landscape devoid of cover... AKA the lounge floor ;-)

Battle for the lounge floor - the White Raptor charges Bumblebee!

The game proved rather fun I have to say, with Start up rolls, sustain rolls and frequent rolls to hit and their resulting save rolls and damage chart references.

The only issue we had was that vehicles in this game are clearly meant to have a crew, as most of the 'killing effects' upon the vehicles from the chart, were actually an effect of crews being killed. Since our robots were sentient and didn't have 'crews', after some thought we instead gave them 'virtual crews' in the form of 'life points' or 'hit points'... once they were gone, you were dead.

We enjoyed our little game, though Chris got a little tired of the requirement for Start up and Sustain (though I rather liked it). Obviously he was thinking dynamic futuristic robot aliens and I was thinking Steam engines... ;-)

Next time he wants to bring a certain "Optimus", with increased firepower and an 'always on button'...

Some other things that cropped up we weren't sure about:

If a robot failed its sustain roll, and was then charged by an attacker in the scuffle phase the attacker would get one automatic hit. This seemed logical to us?

Also once engaged in melee, neither combatant could be targeted in shooting, for fear of hitting your own guy! (possible exemption from this for the bad guys).

Having played about with the rules this way I'm keen to give them a go with 'proper' troops and steam vehicles...


  1. I think you might have just made me want to bust my copy of the rules out!

  2. We continued the game for a hour or so more tonight. The bad guys were down 3 robots. One destroyed by a catastrophic machinegun hit early in the game, the others worn down and beaten to a mechanical wreck in melee... the good guys finally lost a robot, again to a catastrophic hit from melee... 2 good guys left against 3 bad guys... to be continued, by gaslight, tomorrow!

    We have done lots wrong or simplified the rules for our game, but its still been a lot of fun; whoops of glee, and cries of anguish, have been met within indignant stares and complaints from my 6 year old daughter, because she can't hear the TV in the adjacent room! ;-)

  3. Lol this looks like a pile of fun Scott - think ill have to check this "Gaslight" out.

  4. Yeah it is surprisingly fun, and easy for the kids to grasp too. Our game ended tonight with Bumblebee the last man or robot standing, with several dents in his shiny yellow paintwork! ;-)

    I'm inclined to try the rules out again with my stash of 1990's 40k ork figures and vehicles... I think they'll be the ideal test subject till I get more 'proper' VSF troops painted up...


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