Friday, September 19, 2014

Pulp Alley

August is always a fun month. Apart from the fact it's my birthday it's also Call To Arms month here in Welly and the chance to have an entire weekend devoted to gaming with mates. I'm pretty sure my long suffering wife might disagree with those thoughts though.

So this year Dan Wade, Tyrone, my son Michael and myself decided to do something a little different and out on a decent sized Pulp game. With the arrival of "In Her Majesty's Name" and all of the superb figures it has spawned I've built up a reasonable collection of Steampunk / Pulp figures so it was a good excuse to put them to use. Dan also has a fantastic Egyptian pyramid that he built a few years ago so it also gave him a good excuse to pull that out of mothballs.

We set the game on the banks of the Nile with 4 teams all vying to be the first to get into the Pyramid and escape with the Treasure. In order to do so each team had to recruit a gang of diggers form the local town and fight their way past one another in order to actually reach the pyramid which stood at the end of a board 16' long! To be honest we hadn't played the scenario through so we were flying by the seats of our pants on this one. Thankfully everything worked out perfectly and we managed to get the game fought to a conclusion  by mid Sunday afternoon (which is a first for us).

The Town complete with Market and Rick's Café Americain

Entertainment out Rick's café to keep the locals amused
So the gangs represented were Dan's Nasty Nazis lead by Herr Flick with his notorious sidekick Helga,  hell bent on using the treasure for the Fuhrers own nefarious purposes. Michael's gang represented the Cult of the Golden Ankh. Dedicated to using the treasure to fund their plan to resurect some long forgotten Pharoah and take over the world (Bwaa ha ha). Tyrone and I had the good guys. Tyrone's Cooper Team represnted a group of British Archeaologists trying to get the treasure for the British Museum while my Eton and Roedean FP Antquarian Society were trying to get there hands on the treasure for their own glory.

Nazir Moamen "The Eternal One" leads the Cult of the Golden Ankh towards the tomb!

Percy Cooper's gang move tentatively into the town

Lord John Roxton and hired hand "Indy" lead the Eton and Rodean FP Antiquarian Society through the town. Who is that strange person in the corner?

Herr Flick and the Nasty Nazis heading towards the local prison.
We decided to use Pulp Alley as our rules of choice. They have a great mechanism that's really easy to get your head around and give a great feel for the period (I think we only had to refer to the rules once or twice over the course of the weekend). The rules themselves operate around plot points and perils. The plot points have to be collected along the way with the final plot point being the ultimate goal. We set up the game with 4 plot points scattered throughout the town each one successfully achieved gave the winner the opportunity to hire a team of diggers from either the local townsfolk or the convict gang breaking rocks in the prison. having collected a gang of diggers each of our groups had then to make their way to the pyramid by one of three entrances and fight their way past the assorted gribblies to get the treasure.

The ultimate Plot Point. well guarded by assorted Mummies and other minions.

The other unusual aspect of the game is the perils. basically anytime one of your gang tries to do something remotely perilous (climb the side of a building, walk up a dark alley, wade through a stream etc. etc. your oponnents have the opportunity to throw a peril at you. these take the form of cards drawn at the start of each move which demand you to take tests based on your skills (dodge, Might, Finesse, cunning) the tests always require you to score 4 + on a dice but what dice you use depends on how adept your character is with that particular skill. a leader may have skills at D10 and D12 while a follower will be D6. Major plot points also require you take a random peril (drawn from the top of the pack) over and above any that your opponents may throw at you.

We fought the game on a 16' x 8' board which is a tad bigger than the 3' x 3' board recomended in the rules but as were intending to string the game out for two days it seemed like a good idea. Anyway. to cut a long story short it was thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a weekend, we didn't have spend months (and a small fortune) painting up armies and much of the terrain was already in our assorted collections.

The game ended with all three gangs fighting each other and the guardians of the tomb over the treasure. The Cultists actually broke into the tomb first and made life slightly easier for everyone by taking out a good number of the mummies guarding the pyramid. As luck would have it Tyrone's gang (which was the last to break into the tomb) won the plot while everyone else was busy trying to wipe each other out.

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