This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
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.
This blog is showcasing some of the amazing painting done by Hanno Barker on some of the ACP164 Albedo Miniatures game models.
Hanno has a great depth of artistic knowledge that he has used to bring these models to life using an acrylic base coat which then is built upon using oil paints in the manner of the Renaisance Masters.
If you would like to learn how Hanno has acheived these rich tones, he has posted a very useful article on the Albedo Patrol Forums, click here to take a look.
Albedo Combat Patrol:ACP164.
The Defence of Science Station Z1430.
A couple of weeks ago, my good friend Patrick had an unexpected free afternoon so we decided to have a go at the introductory ACP164 scenario - Defence of the Science Station.
Set on a planet, many light years away from Arras Chankra an ILR Planetary Invasion Fleet has recently landed and plan to annex Ralon186 to the Republic,
Taken by surprise, the planetary HomeGuard were quickly overthrown at the starport and main population centres, however there are many pockets of resistance that need to be cleared before the ILR can claim a complete victory.
Science Station Z1430 was a biological research station, engaged in valuable research to determine if cultivated plants could be used to supplement the critters mainly synthesized diet. A single section of 8 HomeGuard had been tasked with its defence, however the platoon HQ was also located in the building and an additional section were close enough to support if reinforcement was neccessary.
The left flank was secured by a fast flowing stream and number of dirt tracks led to the science station.
The EDF split there section in to two fireteams. Alpha Fireteam positioned themselves behind the sturdt walls of the plazza.
The LMG from platoon HQ was set up on the roof of the research building with a commanding field of fire.
The defenders did not have to wait long for the first wave of planetary assault troops to advance through the light woods and move towards the cover of broken ground to the left of the building.
Long range fire, particularly from the defenders LMG thinned out the attackers, but did not prevent them from making it to cover.
The HomeGuards Bravo Fireteam had positioned themselves amongst some rocky outcrops to the right of the research station. It was not long before they had multiple targets to engage.
Although the ILR took heavy fire, and lost some good rabbits that day, it was not long before a second quad joined them to consolidate there position.
Eventually a second squad of HomeGuard arrived as reinforcements and started to move forwards.
Alpha Fireteam had born the brunt of the ILR assault for many turns, casualties were mounting and cohesion was beginning to break down. Here we see a critter failing a morale test and heading for the next piece of cover...inside the building.
At this point, the Republics finest decide to settle the issue by close assault
The ILR win the melee after two turns of bitter fighting.
Charlie Fireteam, part of the reinforcing section counterattacks, but they are also overcome by the aggresive ILR Troopers,(who are quiet handy at close quarters).
Delta Fireteam move forwards, but are too late to prevent the science station falling into enemy hands.
As always, an exciting game of Albedo. The scenario was pretty well balanced with a platoon attacking a reinforced section. Up until the last turn I had felt that I would get my reinforcements into the battle and that they would make a difference, but it was not to be and Patrick and the ILR won a well deserved victory.
Links for further information:
This week Doug and I have started sorting out our participation game for this years Hammerhead show at Newark SHowground on 2nd March, which is played using Albedo Combat Patrol
The situation on the ground is that ILR Planetary Invasion forces have landed on and around major population centers on Coralaus Prime. ConFed Coralaus Homeguard forces were pushed back after intense firefights.
Over subsequent weeks the ILR consolidated there positions, digging in (bunnies are good at that), around strategic sites, such as the Government buildings and media hub featured in our counterattack game, which sees elements of an Extra Planatary Defence Force (EDF) Mech Company, landed outside engagement range via Aerodynes moving forward in a deliberate assault to recapture these strategic sites.
Across the road from the Government buildings is an attractive patch of parkland that the ILR have used to dig in to form an outer defensice cordon around the sites.
The EDF Mech Infantry debus from their AV8 AFV's making best use of available cover. Unfortunately a stray shot from an ILR LMG team strikes Sgt Davies, wounding her. First blood to the ILR!
The EDF decided to attach over a wide frontage, No 2 section debusses and heads for cover off the tree lined sunken path, while No1 section goes right flanking.
Doug is commanding the EDF forces. Combat is fast, intuative and card driven. All of the probabilities and factors that you would expect from a realistic, platoon level skirmish game are reflected on a unique set of 50 action cards. Shooting involves flipping a card, looking at to hit area which is based on shooting skill of troops doing the shooting, modified by factors such as range, if target is moving, if firing unit is moving etc. If target is hit another card is flipped to which figure in target group is hit, cover stops round and the severity of the wound.
On the EDF right flank we see No 1 section advancing in extended line against a half section of dug in ILR troops. Unfortunately for them there is also an ILR LMG on building roof behind trench which has them in range.
On the EDF left flank, Sgt Davies pulls herself together and limps into cover behind the AV8, while the one pip wonder and the rest of Platoon HQ head for cover of the fast food outlet.
The ILR keep there heads down in there trenches waiting for the EDF to advance into killing range of there less powerful carbines.
In the center No 1 section cautiously advances making best use of cover.
The boss makes it into cover of building, is he checking the map or collating a take out order from Battalion HQ?
Bravo Fireteam, No 1 Section take casualties from incoming small arms fire as they attempt to dash between cover.
Platoon HQ moves through the building to take up firing positions against the far wall.
To be continued - as we spent most off the evening talking about how we wanted the game to play at Hammerhead and finalising the terrain, we did not get the game finished on Monday night. We are planning to finish it next week, at which point I'll update this report.
In the meantime, if you'd like to find out more about ACP164 - click here for the Albedo Web page which has links to video play throughs and interviews on Beasts of War, reviews from magazines etc.
Albedo Combat Patrol, ACP164 is a new 28mm science fiction miniatures game set in Steve Gallachi's “Albedo Anthropomorphics” universe.
Fast paced, easy to learn rules combine with a unique range of miniatures, vehicles and terrain to produce a fun and excitingly different SF gaming experience
Sally4th spent three days with the great guys over at Beasts of War filming some Interviews and 'Lets Play' videos about Albedo Combat Patrol
.... so if you want to see and hear what it is all about check out some of the videos that we made.
Last Saturday (15th September), Doug & I had a first play through of the introductory scenario from Albedo Combat Patrol.
I also played this scenario through with Justin when we visited Beasts of War and we made a 'Let's Play video of it'
The introductory game represents a recce patrol running into a defensive standing patrol. Confed Forces are in defensive positions around the main communications complex. The ILR have sent out recce patrols of fire team strength to identify the defenders state of readiness and the strength of their positions.
This clash takes place in the industrial estate surrounding the comms complex.
As this is an introductory scenario with very small forces involved, each figure gets it's own activation dice and acts as an independent unit. Confed had a fire team consisting off a squad leader with machine pistol and three troopers armed with the LAKW 1-56 Assault Rifle.
The ILR fire team has a team leader and five troopers, four armed with carbines and one with a LMG.
The Confed team leader and foxy trooper deploy into a building, hoping to get a good field of fire from a covered position.
Trooper Fox smashes the glazing with his rifle butt and scans the horizon for signs of movement.
At the far side of the complex, ILR troopers are moving through buildings and taking up positions for a cautious advance.
Confed form a loose line, making best use of the cover in and around the buildings to the left.
The superior range of the Confed rifle takes it's toll, as the lepine casualties mount.
However, the frontal assault is a feint and a pair of ILR troopers make their way around the rear of the buildings. Although one of the pair goes down, the survivor takes Trooper Fox out as he fumbles a magazine change, leaving the path clear for a rush to the exit (which game the ILR three bonus victory points) as they had slipped the patrol and could report on the positions they were shielding.
At that point, on the last turn it looked like a draw with 4 victoty oints a side. Confed had incapacitated 4 ILR troopers for 4VPS, ILR had got a trooper of the table and incapacitated one Confed trooper for 4 victory points. How ever, in the last activation of the last turn this Confed trooper charges and manages to incapicitate his opponent tipping the scales to a 5 vs 4 result for Confed.
This was a very tense and exciting game which could have easily gone the other way. The introductory scenario is a great way to get to grips with the fast, fuirious and realistic card driven combat mechanics at the heart of Albedo Combat Patrol.