Yesterday Lewis & I had a fantastic game of Pulp Alley, played over Zoom... because that's what you do in 2021!
We rolled to see who would command each league, Lewis won and got to play with Captain America and the Howling Commandos and I commanded Red Skul and the Agents of Hydra.
We played on of the standard scenarios from the Pulp Alley rulebook, Scenario 3: Trail of clues. This meant that the four minor plot points were placed on the table (roll of camera film, document in safe, cipher pad by radio set, weird scientific equipment). The first player, whose character solved one of these clues gets to place the major scenario plot point, the plans for the cipher machine. We rolled for scenario events, Captain America got Familiar Area giving him a bigger dice for rolling for starting Director, he'd obviously been well briefed on the mission. Red Skull got Reconnoiter meaning that characters could not move more than 6" or attack on turn one.
Captain America and the Howling Commandos deployed in the North West corner, entering the base via the stairs.
Red Skull and Hydra entered the base via the South Easten entrance way.
The first turn was spent moving slowly onto the table. Early in turn 2, Dr Zola succesfuly attempted the peril and challenge to open up the safe, discovering a clue that led him to believe that the plans for the Cipher Machine were still in a powere boat that was alongside the Eastern dock.
Agents of Hydra used there jet packs to good effect to take up positions on the cargo ship moored on the Western dock and engage 'Bucky' Barnes in a fierce firefight.
Meanwhile on the Eastern Dock, Red Skull and his minions swarm forward to secure the Powerboat. Unfortunately, for Red Skull, he is distracted by some banter from the guards and does not get to move more than 3", preventing him reaching the plans on the boat this turn.
Captain America rushes forward and tosses the hapless Hydra Soldier guarding the Eastern Jetty into the water.
'Hey, America...Nameless Hydra Soldier 5 was my best buddy". The Hydra Gunner and Grenadier give Captain America all they've got placing a long burst and 3" burst down. Captain America easily passes both of the associated perils and moves forward heroically.
The Howling Commandos; Reb, Pinky, Dum-Dum, Gabrieal and Cohen all run to Cap's assistance and a fierce firefight develops on the Eastern Jetty.
Pinky Pemberton returns the compliment and catches the Hydra Gunner & Grenadier in a Long Blast from his machine gun, taking out the Grenadier.
Captain America steps down into a power boat, and starts shooting in an attempt to prevent Red Skull from finding the plans.
... and nearly succeeds. Red Skull is only saved by the cover provided by the boat. Americas round is deflected by the casing of the outboard engine!
Red Skull overcomes the peril and challenge and finds the plans for the Cipher machine. Uncannily the evil anti-hero, needing but a single success, rolls six hundred, three score and six on 3D8.... It's a sign!
Dr Zola boards the motor boat and gets underway with Red Skull and the Cipher plans. We decided that a random skill check was required to untie the mooring lines, and another to start the engine.
Captain America, 'Reb' and the other Commando's leg it to the end of the Eastern Jetty and lay down as much fire as they can on the small craft.
The rest of the Howling Commandos, led by Dum-Dum Duggan run towards the southern end of the western jetty in order to be able to fire at the boat too. They come under fire from Agents of Hydra still in position on the cargo ship.
We are now on turn six, the final turn and Red Skulls getaway looks assured.
The boat comes alongside on the Eastern Dock, and Red Skull jumps off and heads the cover provided by the container ship.
Meanwhile the Captain America League seize the initiative by killing a Hydra minion and play a fortuner card that extends the game to a seventh turn. Agent Carter heads for the camera, overcomes the peril and challenge to recover the film. When she draws a random reward card for the minor objective, I can not believe it; she draws a reward card that extends the game by another round as well. In the space of 3 or 4 minutes we've gone from game over to having to protect the plans for an additional two turns.
After much fumbling with the mooring lines, Captain America and Reb are finally underway in another boat, in hot pursuit. 'Reb' is at the helm, and just getting into the swing of things when the pesky Hydra Gunner takes to the air with his jetpack and sprays the boat with a 'burst' from his machine gun.
Unfortunately (for Captain America), 'Reb' goes down under fire and the boat swings out of control and collides with the jetty.
To add insult to injury, in turn eight the Hydra Gunner covers the boat with another burst, causing it to sink and leaving Captain America and 'Reb' to swim to safety.
At this point Lewis conceded. The end result was 4 victory points to Red Skull for the Major and a minor plot point and one victory point to Captain America for the film salvaged by Agent Carter.
This was one of the most exciting Pulp Alley games that Lewis and I have played in a long while. Just when we thought it over, the game was extended to eight turns, but still finished with a nail biting conclusion.
The game was played using 2nd edition Pulp Alley - click here for further details.
Red Skull and the Hydra League were modelled using figures from Pulp Figures Weird Menace range (PWM01 Weird Villains 1, PWM37 German Jet Troopen 1 & PWM38 German Jet Troopen 2) - click here for details.
Captain America and the Howling Commandos are represented by miniatures from Sally 4th Classic Movie Range (Able Company) Theses are available now to pre-order on Kickstarter (until Monday 15th March) - Click here to take a look at the Kickstarter campaign.