Last Sunday (12th May 2019) Yorkshire was blessed with sunshine and light winds so we took the opportunity to take our gaming gear and set it up on the patio to top up the vitamin D while rolling some dice and having fun.
These circumstances do not occur that often, so we need to make the most of them.
I was joined by Mike Wilson and Doug Wright for another great game of Pulp Alley, using the new 2nd edition rules.
Doug and I are seasoned Pulp Alley veterans. It was the first time that Mike had played, although he had brough and read the rules last year.
The scenario was set in the world of Albedo, so each league was made up of Anthropomorphic Genetically Engineered Life Forms (or critters) for short. Since the critters developed memory and self awareness there society has been fixated on finding answers to the fundamental philosophical questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Who made us? For what purpose? This has been the catalyst for Albedo society’s quest for the stars. In this game three 'away teams' from competing factions have made planet fall on the planet Diazgon III to investigate a strange edifice from a departed civilisation, as sensors reveal that the most advanced life forms are primitive and aggressive Simians.
In Pulp Alley terms, the scenario played was 'Treasure Hunt'. Minor plot points were placed on the table to represent clues to how to unlock the doors to the mysterious tower where the ancient artifact was located. These were 6" in from the table and 6" away from other plot points.
The major plot point would be placed by the player whose character was the first to solve a minor plot point. To fit in with our story line, we decided that the Major Plot Point must be placed somewhere within the tower.
Scattered deployment was used to set up our Leagues on the table. Starting with the 'Director' each player takes turns placing one figure anywhere on the table (as long as they are at least 6" away from a plot point or enemy figure).
We decided that the large jungle areas, the rocky paths up the cliffs and the inside of the building were dangerous terrain which meant that they only became perilous if you ran (moved more than 6") through them. The patches of carniverous plants and the piranha infested river was perilous terrain, whatever speed you travelled through it!
The critters were surprised to find their investigations hampered by a tribe of belligerent simians. Although in the Albedo universe there are 165 species of genetically modified critters none of them are based on monkey’s apes or pigs. A little known piece of Albedo trivia!. The simians were played as wandering perilous areas. At the end of each turn a D8 was rolled to determine direction and distance for eacj model to be moved. If a character moved into or activated within a small blast template centrered on the model they had to pass a random peril.
My Otter heavy league comprised of Leader Kao Kazo, two Sidekicks Arka Chanlu and a cat character Felras Lacal and lastly another female otter ally called Aka Bowinmi. At the start of the game my league split with Felras heading to investigate a clue near the foot of the cliff and Kao and Arka heading for a clue at the front door of the tower. Not quiet sure what Aka is doing, but she seems to be attracting a lot of incoming fire from the other leagues.
Aka goes down, but she takes her assailant with her.
Felras turns away from the clue that he was investigating to return fire against the lappine who had opened up against him. Felras does not like to be disturbed. He uses his quick shot ability, sprays and prays with 5D6 and his prayers are answered. Bunny hits tyhe dust (and rolls down the cliff dramatically).
Meanwhile, the main action is going on at the front of the mysterious alian structure. Kao is struggling with the clue, he manages to get it half figures out. Arka moves up to help and to protect his back at Erma and some of her buddies are also trying to muscle in on the action.
At the far corner of the table, down by the piranha infested river Mikes Leader Charha (beret wearing fox) has discovered a clue and prepares to fend off a Simian attack. Dougs leader Zhdibo, unfortunately has got stuck in the Piranha infested river thanks to some mean Fortune Card play from Mike.
The action hots up outside the main doorway. As all of Mikes League (bar the leader, Charha) attempt to stop Kao from completing the clue.
Charha is assailed from all sides. Doug sends some of the supporting cast up to give covering fire to his leader as he battles with the piranha fish.
Felras had an unlucky moment... not only was the clue he had spent so long trying to solve a 'Red Herring', but Zhibo made it out of the river, joined forces with one of his followers Zhbo to gun down Felras in a hail of gunfire.
Felras pulled his act together and headed for the cliff where the new clue had appeared, taking out Zhbo for good measure.
However, before he could solve it Dougs Leader Zhdibo shot him in the back.
Meanwhile back at the tower, Kao had solved the clue, unlocked the door and ran up the stairs passing the perils on the way. The major plot point was in sight!
The closing scenes provided some unexpected twists. Mikes leader, Charnha proved to be a bit of a Ninja. pulling off a climb up the wall of the tower and squeeze through the window that stretched over two turns with accompanying perils. Charha was then blocking the route around the balcony to the plot point, so Kao was oblidged to leap across the gap. This peril was passed. A sniper also took a few shots at him before he eventually solved the puzzle to claim the major plot point, on the last activation of the last turn of the game!
Down at the entrance Arkha had been bravely defending his back for turn after turn, but was eventually felled im melee by the brutish Dean.
Here are the character cards for our Leagues. The top one is my League, led by Kao Kazo the Otter. The next League is Doug's led by a feline EDF officer, Zhdibo.
Mike's League led by the foxy ninja Charnha and co-starring the iconic Erma and Toki.
The character cards are all pre-generated Pulp Alley character cards. I took photographs of the miniatures, printed them and cut them up and then before we started the game, we drafted our leagues in a similar way that you would draught in a collectable card game. We started with leaders and went round the table in a clockwise direction taking it in turns to select a leader from the deck. We then draughted sidekicks going back around the table in an anti-clockwise direction until all the sidekick characters had been selected. This worked very well. As usual Pulp Alley provided a fun and exciting afternoons entertainment, with everything to play for right down to the last activations of the last turn.
All of the miniatures are from the Albedo Miniatures range.
The terrain boards are built using theTerra-Former modular terrain system.
Miniatures are based on Sally 4th clear bases.
The library / tower is 3D printed from a design available from Printable Scenery.