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One of the major problems with this set of rules is dealing with vehicles. In the science fiction (or, more accurately, space fantasy) setting, vehicles can be expected to be present and they are potentially very powerful. The trick is to keep the spirit of Songs with its extreme simplicity, but you don’t want to make it so simple that it becomes possible for a man armed with a pistol to take on a tank because the combat results are all off one continuous table.

Flying Lead has a separate two-stage vehicle combat section, and this is a way of dealing with the problem. From game experience, however, Greg and I found that want we really wanted to do was shoot at the driver of the car rather than shoot the car. These are heroic, skirmish games, and not tactically intense anti-tank games. That’s just the way I like to play.

As I played with a number of different approaches – getting some good feedback from Alan – I came closer to thinking that the real feel I want from these rules is a pulp, space opera. I am less interested in having a gritty war-game than I am a dramatic war-game. I don’t mind impossible leaps and heroic actions. In fact if this could not happen in Flaming Plasma I’d call the development a failure. I still want the rules to be generic so that games can be played anywhere along a notional time, tech, or setting continuum. But the feeling I am realising I want is in that heroic, dramatic, pulp end of the pool.

This simplifies vehicle combat enormously. A strider may waltz into the playing arena, as may a megahyperdeathbot, but the action remains with the individual man. Weapons +/- are therefore constrained into a very narrow band reflecting ease of aiming, not power of attack. And so the results must be carried by Special rules characteristics. And this allows a lot more less-mechanistic colour. So I would like people to be able to play Aliens with this, but I’d also like to allow a Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon sword ‘n blaster game as well. This pleases me: it fits the vision of the game I want to play.

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