Yer ain’t from round here, are you boy…
So you’re thinking of booking into Flying Lead, well good for you, it is one of the most fun games I’ve played. I've played five or six games now and each one has been bloody good fun.
But I found myself quite apprehensive about what to expect at first, so this is a rough guide to explain a few things to anyone that is thinking of signing into the next Flying Lead game, but is not sure if it’s a good fit for them.
First off Flying Lead is a ROLE PLAYING game with AIRSOFT guns. It’s not a Western airsoft game. There is a big difference. Depending on what happens you might not get to shoot a BB all game.
So let us get to it. Flying Lead is a game where you will get out what you put in. If you don’t want to walk around, talk to people, try and find out what’s going on, find out who likes who, find out who is trust worthy, find out what services people can offer you, find out what you can offer other people and generally get to know every single player, then you won’t enjoy it so much.
If you are thinking about all those magnificent Western films and the amazing guns fights, where the good guy quick draws and kills seven bad guys with his six shooter and you are looking forward to having a big ol’ shoot out, then this game is probably not going to be for you.
Now that’s out the way, let’s get to what you should look forward to in a Flying Lead game:
Everyone here is a fantastic person. You will never find yourself left out unless you choose to exclude yourself and if you have to ask a question about the rules you will get an answer. You will not get the arrogant role player here no sirrree. So don’t feel that you have to know the rules inside out to play, just make sure you understand them and if something isn't clear, just ask!!
One important thing to remember is that as a Role Playing game you have to SUSPEND YOUR BELIEF. Just because YOU as a person know something, doesn't mean your character does. So play as if you don’t know, even if you do. You can talk out of game at any time by making the “Time Out” sign with your hands, (just make a T shape with your hands). This will let you talk frankly and ask questions, but remember when you have finished your “out of game” talk, you need to pretend your character doesn't know. Trust and Honesty is what makes the game so DON'T use this as a way to gain an advantage, or the entire town will come lookin' for you...
As an example of this: Clothes are used to recognise a player. So if you decide to rob someone, you can pull a scarf or a bandana over your face, take off your coat and rob that person and the in game character will not know who you are, even if they DO in fact know who you are in real life. It’s all about honesty and trust. Don’t go after someone that mugs you of your cash just because you know it was them, you need IN GAME PROOF it was that person and then you need the Marshal's permission before you take the law into your own hands.
Onto the rules. A few things that I needed explaining to me and I’m passing the knowledge on now, as well as some things that you should bring.
BANDAGES and DYING:
You have ONE life to use. After this is gone, you are DEAD PERMANENTLY. Card draws are used to decide if you will live or die after a fight. These are explained further down.
Getting shot, stabbed, scalped or anything else, and you will at some point have one of these things happen to you, when you are hit, fall to the ground, screaming in pain, "ARGH GAWD MY LEG !!!" Make it very obvious you have been hit. Stay on the floor until help arrives to heal you. You have FIVE MINUTES to get a bandage applied or you will bleed to death.
Now, ANYONE can heal you and apply WHITE bandages, you are allowed to have one WHITE bandage. Doctors apply both WHITE and RED bandages. You can have a WHITE and RED bandage on you at the same time, but a third hit will see you killed and you will have to take a card draw. There is an example of bandages in play further down.
Applying a bandage stops you from bleeding out and dying but DOES NOT heal the wound. You MUST see a Doctor to have the bandage removed and the Doctor can charge for this as the Doctor is properly dressing the wound, applying a RED bandage. The WHITE bandage is then unusable and goes to the GENERAL STORE and you need to buy a new bandage. You can go out without a bandage if you wish, but it is risky.
If you bleed to death, or you are shot while wearing a WHITE bandage, you need to do a card draw back at the main camp. A deck of cards comes out and if you pull any BLACK card you are back in the game, having survived your wounds, if you draw a RED card, you're character is DEAD PERMANENTLY. All money and possesions are returned to the bank and you must make a new character to play...
If you come through the fight with a WHITE bandage still tied to you, you have a choice. You can carry on walking around with the bandage, knowing you are one shot from death or you can pay a Doctor to fix you up. This is when your RED bandage comes in. Someone wearing a RED bandage has been healed by the Doctor once already and they can then take another hit before dying. So if you are in a fight and see someone with a RED and a WHITE bandage, take him out and he will then need a card draw.
All wounds heal at the end of the days play. So it’s your choice if you want to walk around with your bandage on and try to make it to the night and let your wound heal. You can also pay a SURGEON to heal all your wounds, but price is high. Remember everyone is trying to make money in this game. Remember, Doctors can only apply RED bandages in place of your WHITE bandages.
If you need a new character after drawing a red card, take yourself back to the main camp and someone there will tell you who to come back as. Either you will come back as another guy in your chosen faction, or you may get to play a stint as one of the “Wanted” characters. I’ll get to them later. Or you can make a new character with a new faction and start again.
EXAMPLES OF GAME FLOW USING BANDAGES AND CARD DRAWS :
EG 1 =
Player gets a WHITE bandage.
Player get shot and has WHITE bandage applied by any other player.
Player pays SURGEON to remove WHITE bandage, player then has to buy WHITE bandage back from general store.
Player chooses to walk around with WHITE bandage still applied and risks getting shot and killed after a Card Draw at the main camp.
EG 2 =
Player gets a WHITE bandage.
Player get shot and has WHITE bandage applied by any other player.
Player is shot again and now needs a CARD DRAW to decide if they will live or die.
If the player lives, he will continue to wear the WHITE bandage, until he pays for either a SURGEON to remove the bandage, or pays for a DOCTOR to apply the RED bandage in place of the WHITE bandage, allowing the player to be hit again and have the WHITE bandage applied for a second time.
Player has no bandage what so ever after choosing not to buy a WHITE bandage from General Store
Player gets shot
Player can pay Doc to apply WHITE bandage.
Player gets shot a second time.
Player can pay Doc to apply a RED bandage and remove the WHITE bandage
Player gets shot third time and has WHITE bandage applied, so he now has both RED and WHITE bandages.
Player gets shot a forth time and needs a card draw to determine if they live or die.
Player survives to end of fight, pays SURGEON to remove WHITE and RED bandages, or choose to walk around with WHITE and RED bandages still applied.
CHARACTER AND CLASS:
Now then, as Flying Lead is a Role Playing game, a lot of people write a character for themselves. I personally game my guy a different name and a little back story to explain why I was out in the wild west.
Now just to clear this up, IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL, to have a back story and a different name, but the guys organising Flying Lead have said that anyone that does write a back story may find it incorporated into the main game further down the line. So if you write a story for yourself saying you were a bank robber from New York that ran West with all your money, you might just find some Federal Marshals coming your way further down the line.
As much as anything, it’s fun pretending to be someone else, so give it a go and then try to act like the person you have created. If you’re a grizzled civil war veteran, go ahead and act like one, ham it up good and proper, no one here is trying to win an Oscar, or even a Bafta, when they act like a different person, they are just having fun, so join in and act like the person you have made.
When picking a CHARACTER CLASS, think about what type of game you want to play. Someone playing the LAWMAN / TOWN MARSHAL will have to get round all the different factions and make sure they know exactly what’s going in and be able to solve disputes without turning to gun shooting. A MINER will need to get themselves signed up to one of the Mining corporations and then earn money by getting paid by the mine owner. So think about what you want to do.
Now you probably want to know “How does mining and hunting work, I don’t actually have to do any WORK do I?!?!?” The answer is no, when you “work” in Flying Lead it’s all time based. So every hour a mine will produce one bar of gold. This bar of gold can then either be stored or escorted to the town bank and sold. The money is then returned to the strike owner, who will then pay you, or not pay you, you need to work that deal out yourself.
If you play a character that can hunt, then every hour you will be able to go and gather pelts from the forest to return to the town bank. If you work for a security firm (THE PINKERTONS) your work will come in the form of securing supply crates and returning them to your base camp, holding them for a period of time, then returning the goods to the town bank to collect your pay.
If you play a Free Agent, in other words, you decide to play a guy that has a class but no faction, it’s up to you to wonder the site and try to find whatever work my need doing. Maybe you will join a faction or just work for hire, the choice is entirely yours.
MISSIONS AND THE TELEGRAM SYSTEM:
Your missions will generally come in the form of a telegram from somewhere. Now that somewhere could be your HQ, your boss who is out of town or maybe your mum who wants to make sure you are getting well fed. Just keep an ear out as the crew will always call out your faction name or character name when they have a telegram for you.
Also something of great importance is that if you find yourself with nothing to do, you can SEND a telegram for a price to your HQ, your boss or your mum and tell them what’s going on with you. Here’s an example of a telegram:
Telegram from Pinkerton Gang guarding National Rail Line to Pinkerton HQ.
“Rail Line secure, all quiet in town, have had no trouble with towns folk, all is well, further orders needed.”
This telegram is then “sent” to your HQ and then within the hour you will receive a reply. What really happens is that the game organisers will think of a story twist or a mission for you and your faction to undertake to keep the game moving and keep you from sitting around feeling left out.
Now the reply might be “Pinkerton gang of the National Rail Line, the notorious gold thief ‘Jimmy the Hat’ has been seen in town, find him and collect the bounty on his head.”
You gang will then have to get around town and the other factions and look for ‘Jimmy the Hat’ and then bring him in, dead or alive.
BOUNTY'S AND SPECIAL CHARACTERS:
In town there are Wanted posters nailed up outside the bank. Pay attention to the names on these posters. From time to time, one of the crew or someone who died in a gun fight may start to play as one of these special characters and they always have a Bounty on their head. Special characters will take a lot of hits to put down, anywhere between four and ten from what I saw, so if you plan to try and track them down, make sure you are well armed and ready for a fight. The Special Characters are always dressed very differently from most people in game will have a very distinct hat on, maybe with a playing card stuck on it somewhere. They have a high dollar amount on their heads, so if you see someone you have not seen before, ask them their name, but be ready, they might just shoot you instead of talking to you.
So game wise, that’s all I can think of that is important to know before you turn up to Flying Lead. Now onto the out of game stuff you should know.
Costume is important, make an effort to look the part. Charity shops and the wedding sections of outlet stores like Matalan can provide some smart, period looking clothing for cheap. Don't worry about having the best of the best, just looking the part is enough.
WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION LIMITS:
List of weapon rules is pasted here as they are buried quite deep in another thread :
BLANK FIRING WESTERN GUNS ARE ACCEPTABLE.
PERIOD LOOKING REVOLVERS - SAA's, M10's etc.
PISTOLS AND RIFLES THAT REQUIRE A MAGAZINE - One magazine only and must be reloaded by hand.
REPEATER RIFLES - Winchesters etc
WOOD FURNITURE BOLT ACTION RIFLES (All effort must be made to hide any modern feature)
SINGLE AND DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS - Shell loading models that fire the complete shell may carry as many shells as they like (bloody expensive though)
NO PUMP ACTION SHOTGUNS
NO SPEED LOADERS
Western airsoft guns tend to be expensive and hard to find. KTW Springer Winchesters are a good rifle and can be found at a few places for a lower price than most period weapons you will be able to use. Tanaka make the best 6 shooters but they will cost you over £200. Marushin SAA’s are usable but vary in quality. In short, your better of saving money for a few events, seeing if you like the game, then deciding to take the plunge and buy a Tanaka if you want one.
LIST OF ACCEPTABLE WEAPONS:
This is not a definitive list, it's just a rough guide to get you on your way so you know what kind of weapons are acceptable:
Tanaka & Marushin - Colt SAA's and VINTAGE LOOKING revolvers like M10's - If you are not sure if a gun is allowed, look at the year it was first made. If it was made later than 1914 then there's a good chance you WILL NOT be able to use it. Revolvers are mostly gas weapons but you can get some spring ones but they are very cheap and generally do not look like period weapons. REVOLVERS ONLY, no semi auto pistols allowed.
Hartford New Model Army Revolvers
Marushin Derringers, Super Redhawk / Black Hack (These have none fluted cylinders, be sure you are buying the right model as Marushin make two types of the Redhawk and Blackhawk.
Marushin Winchesters (Gas)
KTW Winchesters (Spring) KTW Mare's Leg (Spring) KTW Flintlock Pistol (Spring) KTW Flintlock Rifle (Spring) KTW Lee Enfield (Spring)
HS / Hudson Sawn off and Double Barrel shotguns. (Use Gas shells)
Marushin Winchester Shotgun 1887 Guard's Gun (Gas powered Shell Ejecting Shotgun)
A Blunderbuss (Yes some of the guys made there own, it shoots 40mm grenade shells)
NO PUMP ACTION SHOTGUNS ALLOWED
Period Looking Bolt Action rifles - Now when using a bolt action rifle, remember all guns should shoot at 330 FPS or below, so if you have a uber suped up VSR, you're going to have to change the spring and lower that FPS. Also, the gun furniture MUST be either wood or wood effect. And do you dare think about bringing ANYTHING that has a RIS on it!!! Also you are NOT ALLOWED to use scopes, iron sights only.
COOKING FOOD AND CAMPING:
Cooking food and eating can be done in game or out of game, your choice, but please clean up any mess and try to keep any modern looking equipment (EG a gas camping stove ) out of sight if you take it to your in game base. THE GAME WILL NOT BREAK FOR LUNCH. You can come out of game to eat, but don’t think your base camp is safe because your busy eating.
Camping with modern equipment is perfectly acceptable, the modern tents have one side of the car park and the period tents setup around the main town. You won’t be excluded from any social gathering if you don’t have a period tent.
You are welcome to bring along things to make your base camp more of a comfy place to sit, feel free to bring along a kettle to make coffee and tea at your base, but as previously said, try and keep the modern stuff out of plain site. A lot of players make a small fire pit and use wood from the forest to heat their food and water. Make sure any fire is properly extinguished before being left untended.
Drinking alcohol in game is allowed, it’s your choice, BUT if you are found to be drunk you will be removed from game until sober and not given a refund if you fail to sober up. BE SENSIBLE, if you want to have a couple beers fine, but make sure you are still in full control of yourself and your functions. Also try to hide bottles unless they look period and be sure to tidy up any rubbish you have.
Important game things to bring:
Something that will pass for a WHITE bandage and a RED bandage to carry around on your person.
Something you can use to cover your face should you decide to try and mug a player or hit a gold mine.
Something to carry BB’s in, your ammo is limited and every gun loaded by hand, so a little pouch for ammo is advisable to save it dropping out your pockets.
Please feel free to post questions and I’ll try my best to answer them. As a new player these where the points I felt I needed to know to understand better how the game works, hopefully it will help a few more of you decide that this fantastic game is worth giving a go.
UPDATED OF AS JUNE 2014 FOLLOWING 'THE BREW' EVENT - BANDAGES EXPLAINED IN MORE DETAIL AND ONE LIFE RULE WRITTEN UP.