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 year we added a number of packs of miniatures to our Classic Movie Miniatures range based on favourite films and TV shows. These were figures which we felt would work particularly well with Pulp miniature games such as Pulp Alley and 7TV. One of my favourite packs is 'Everything but the Goose' based on Tales of the Gold Monkey. The pack was named as it had all of the main characters, even a model of the Gold Monkey to use as a plot point but was lacking the main star of the show, 'Cutters Goose'
Cutters Goose was the Gruman Seaplane operated by Jake Cutter to run a cargo delivery service around the Pacific Islands.
On Monday I had a day off as compensation for working the weekend at Salute, so finally got around to building the kit that my good friend Buck Surdu had kindly brought over for me from the States when he visited us last year.
The kit went together very easily, the pieces were a good fit. I have given the model a basic paint job which is inspired by the 'Goose' from the show rather than a direct copy.
I think that at this point it is good enough to use in a game, so I now just need to put some character cards together for a Pulp Alley league based on Jake, Corky, Sarah and Jack.
I am planning to make some decals at the weekend for the registration number and the 'Cutters Goose' logo, and hopefully will be posting a games report based on 'Tales of the Gold Monkey' in my hobby blog very soon.
The Goose Kit is the Lindberg OA9 Goose Kit
The Miniatures are 'Classic Movie Miniatures' Everything but the Goose pack
The Terrain is built using Terraformer 12" terrain tile kits
The clear bases are Sally 4th Clear Bases
The Pier is the Terraformer Quayside Pier kit
On Monday, as a bit of a change the Ripon RPG group came round for a miniatures based fantasy skirmish game. We normally play 'Fate' set in a Harn setting as a narrative game without the distraction of miniatures or other props. I've been playing Pulp Alley for the last five years in the 'Pulp Era' setting but also for a huge variety of other periods and genres including WW2, Pirates, Western, Judge Dredd, Star Wars, HP Lovecroft themed Horror, Post Apocalypse, Zombies, Scooby Doo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and many more. One of the genres that I had not tried to date was Swords & Sorcery themed fantasy.
Over the last couple of months I have been busily working away converting a wide range of miniatures from Frostgrave, Perry Miniatures, Wargames Foundry and many more manufacturers to anthropomorphic fantasy miniatures using the heads and tails Critter Conversion Kits from Albedo Miniatures. I created enought characters for four leagues using the Pulp Fantasy rules from the Pulp Alley Rulebook and some renaming of abilities to make them fit better with the genre, so for example the 4th level ability 'Inspiring' became the 'Bless' spell and the 2nd level 'Burst Fire' ability became 'Fireball'.
The scenario that we played was 'The Four Faces of Dr Fang'. I've played it a couple of time now in different settings and it is always fun. The city, Kingsport is being plauged by a run of gruesome murders and the adventuers, being outsiders are under suspicion. There mission is to solve the plot to uncover who or what is behind the murders to clear there names.
The investigation is represented by solving the first four plot points. Each plot points gives the league a clue token (The Means, The Suspect, The Connection and the Motive). The investigation is hampered by the attentions of the City Watch'. These were represented by 5 spear armed rat soldiers in blue and white quatered livery. Until the suspect was revealed these acted as semi-randomly moving perilous areas.
If a character activated within three inches of a City Watchmen they had to overcome a 'Peril', if they failed they could not act that turn. If they took a wound and went 'Down' they were arrested by the WAtch and taken off the table into custody.
Unlike many scenarios for Pulp Alley a plot point stayed in play once it had been resolved to allow other leagues to attempt it. The first league to resolve it got the reward and a clue token but every league that subsequently resolved it also got a clue token. Once a league had solved four clues the last plot point became 'The Catch'.
As the adventuring leagues were under suspicion and the city watch were patrolling and paying particular attention to them blatent acts of aggression on other leagues such as combat were not allowed, how ever we allowed leagues to use other less tracable means such as playing Fortune cards to hinder the competitions progress or even the odd 'Spell' that was not tracable!
As this was the first time that the playres had tried Pulp Alley, there was a learning curve around considerations for plot point placement and subsequent league deployment. Some plot points were placed in difficult and perilous areas which made them very difficult to reach.
In fact, one player decided that looking for clues was going to be difficult so elected for his league to surround the last plot point, that was going to be the catch and to then link arms to prevent anyone else getting into contact with it.
Once a challenge had been revealed for a plot point, it remained the challenge for the whole game, but the peril that had to be overcome first was revealed by a card draw from the Fortune Deck and was a new threat for every attempt.
On the top of the ruins surrounding the sorcerors tower, the last clue is solved and the culprit is revealed. From the sewer grate in front of the ancient shrine a green vapour formed and took shape, revealing a foul many tentacled beast from the abyss.
This was a little disturbing for the characters who had linked arms around the shrine. The horror rules came into play, so any character of level 3 or below needed to take a horror check before activating. Many allies & followers fled screaming. However, in the end it was not as difficult as expected to dispatch the beast. Although tough in melee, a few well placed 'Fireballs' were played, The creature failed the associated peril and subsequent health checks. This weakened it, reducing it's health to D6. A number of Fortune cards were then played to add complications to the wound before it was finished off by a volley of bow fire.
It was an exciting game. I think everyone enjoyed it and are looking forward to playing another scenario with the same leagues in April.
The terrain boards were constructed from Terra-Former modular terrain tile kits.
The rules used were Pulp Alley
Yesterday Ann & I visited Lewis at University across in Hull, after catching up on news and going for a walk we settled down for a really enjoyable game of Pulp Alley.
As we had received printers proofs of the new 2nd edition Pulp Alley rules a couple of weeks ago, we decided to use them and to play one of last years 'Scenario's of the Month', 'The 11th Guest'.
The 11th Guest finds visitors stranded in a creepy hotel in a thunderstorm while all manner of unpleasant events unfold. The central area represented the hotel, The area 12" in from the edges was an area of difficult terrain, so no problem walking up to 6" per turn, but if you ran over 6" you needed to pass a random peril. We used a Fothrington Hall kit to represent the hotel.
Each player controlled one level three (Sidekick) character and a scenario event deck was used to drive the storyline along. The game duration is 6 turns and the player with the most clues at the end of turn 6 is the winner. Some of the event cards such as old photographs and press cuttings gave a single clue, but most clues were saved as a reward for solving plot points. Plot points were various bodies, of guests who had come to a grizzly end at the hands of the 11th guest. One card is entitled 'Unexpected Twist' if you drew this card you were the murderer and the other guests could then attack you.
On the 2nd turn, Ann drew the 'Unexpected Twist' card, and her character, Beths secret was out. Knowing that she was now a target she hurried outside to try to destroy any evidence left on the bodies.
My character Baron WIlfred hurried out in pursuit and a protracted cat and mouse shoot out developed,, however, Beth somehow always seemd to find time between shooting to rediscover her victims and destroy any evidence remaining (i.e solve the plot point and take the clues).
As we were playing at Lewis's uni digs, we had to bring everything with us so we did not have our usual range of plot points and accesories, hence these Lord of the Rings Petrified Hobbits had to stand in for 'Drowned Lawyers' and other murdered guest plot points.
Lewis's character 'Davidson' had initially had some success nunting for clues at the back of the Hotel, but once he had heard the gun shots at the front he rushed round to try to help aprehend the murderer.
What ever we did, Beth stayed two steps ahead off us, dodging bullets and solving plot points. At the end of turn 6 Ann's character has a significant lead with 7 clues to Lewises 5 and my 2!
Pulp Alley 2nd edition is available to pre-order on Kickstarter until 24th March 2019
Sally 4th are running a 10% discount deal on Pulp Alley products until trhe kickstarter ends, click here to view our Pulp Alley Store. The discount code is 'PULPALLEYKS2', just enter it when you go to checkout basket.
Lewis and I recently enjoyed a great weekend playing some of our favourite miniatures games. Over the weekend we played two games of the new Pulp Alley China Station campaign.
The first scenario of the campaign saw our leagues shipwrecked off the coast of China, at night, searching for our missing companions.
When morning dawned, it became clear that our missing companions had been captured by the enemy and were being held in a military camp a few miles down from China Station. The day was spent planning and resting. As night fell the heroes crept forward intent on putting 'Op Breakout' into action!
Last Saturday (16th Febuary 2019). Lewis and I got together for some exciting two fisted Pulp Alley adventuring. We've both been huge Pulp Alley fans for many years and have been looking forward to getting started with the new China Station campaign every since it was announced. We decided to dust off the original leagues that we had created for the first Perilous Island campaign and give them another outing. Lewis's League is based around Manfred (an occultist of some note) who is often accompanied by two witches Gwainor and Lillianne together with a pack of three hellhounds. My league is the Royal Archeological Society, led by the highly capable Professor Snow.
The starting scenario in the China Station campaign sees our explorers shipwrecked, at night off the coast of China searching for there comrades while attempting to evade the hostile patrols that have been sent out to hunt down survivors.
There were four plot points on the table. A Chinese Shrine, an abandoned camp site, a hut and a truck. Each of these could be searched, with the hope of discovering another member of your league.
Professor Snow decided to head off for the Chinese Shrine with the hope that he would find a friend before attracting the attention of the soldiers patrolling along the side of the stream.
Manfred decided to check out the abandoned truck first, so heads quickly to cross the bridge.
At first it looks as if there will be nothing of any interest, but on closer examination he notices a ring and some footprints leading to Gwainor the Witch. However the search alerts a guard, who moves closer to investigate the strange sounds in the night.
Down by the river, the manhunt intensifies as more and more soldiers join the hunt.
Manfred makes his way to the deserted shack, he sees a movement and shouts, it is his old friend Lilianne. Unfortunately a guard gets a bead on the witch and shes falls to the ground, (she is on her feet in no time at all, passing her recovery roll with ease).
Poor old Professor Snow is having no luck at all, everytime he thinks that he is on to something, his hopes are dashed as it is more enemy soldiers that appear rather than his friends. The scenario cards include a search deck, there is a 50/50 split of plot point cards that mean you find one of your comrades and cards that mean more enemy patrols arrive. Unfortunately for Snow, every time he completed a succesful search he drew an enemy patrol card, while every time Manfred completed a search he found a comrade....just not his lucky day.
..of course his luck was not helped once Gwainor had been discovered by Manfred and sent of in his direction to blast him with arcane energy at every opportunity.
The first blast caused a leg injury on top of other discomfort that stopped him from running for the rest of the game!
It looks like Manfred has found another of his league near the old deserted shack, but the braying of the Hell hound has brought an enemy patrol to investigate.
Even three success challenges did not slow Manfred down, the final result at the end of the game was that Manfred had found three of his league and Snow had not found any!
However, with Pulp Alley, the game is so much fun that you have a great time even if Lady Luck has completely abandoned you.
At the end of the scenario, we rolled for one of our league members who had gone down or had not been found. These had been taken prisoner, and our next mission was going to be to bust them out of prison.
The scenery is all made from Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain kits.
Last week Doug and I got started with our Vice Alley Western Campaign.
We had a trial game in this setting a couple of weeks ago, which had worked very well, so I decided to stick with my league, unchanged. As my league is made up of four sidekicks, I nominated Marshall 'Leather' Durham as there nominal leader.
The rest of the league includes Wilson 'Wild Hog' Hurley, Bernard 'Glory' Barnes and Ralph 'Wild Boy' Hicks. Durhams boys are Vigalantes, intent of tracking down the Spectre and ridding the West of his unhealthy presence.
We rolled up the scenario to start the campaign, and came up with a standard set up, major plot point in centre of table and four minor plot points at least 6" away from any other plot point. There had been a murder in town, and Missy May (the major plot point) had seen it all happen. The various clues were scattered around town and icluded the murder weapon (a curious heavy metal statue, painted balack and shaped like a bird), a blood stained journal, a camera and mysterious package.
The town was also troubled by three wandering perilous areas, (a flock of geese and a couple of dogs). Doug rolled up a Bystander as his scenario event and I rolled up 'Danger' making the wildlife especially dangerous.
I split my team in to two teams of two, with the thought that one could attempt the plot point while the other protected his back.
Doug double checks the scenario set up and carefully deploys his league. I'll try to remember to photocopy his roster so I can describe it in better detail, however he did take the traditional approach of a leader, a sidekick and some 6-gun fodder.
Doug's sidekick heads for the camera plot point at the corner of the Red Hotel, comes under heavy fire and takes a wound.
Miss May is still stunned by events and stays put in the center of town while the dog and bystander wander off.
What's this? Looks like 'Ralph 'Wild Boy' Hicks' has found a blood stained ornament. Peril and Challenge overcome in relative peace and quiet.
Meanwhile competition to find out what incriminating evidence was captured on film heats up, and Marshall Durham gets the worse off it.
However, luckily for him, he has backup. A shot from across the street takes Durhams assailant down, leaving the path open for 'Wild Hog' Hurley to grab the camera. Two plot point to the Vigilantes.
This much evidence in the bag, emboldens 'Bernard 'Glory' Barnes to have that chat with Miss May. However, he's initial opening line was a little untactful and he gets nothing out of her other than a slap around the face (he failed the peril but saved the health check, ending his activation).
Next wound Barnes apologises and Miss May spills the beans (Major plot point peril and challenge passed). Durham pulls himself together, and between them they silence the rest of the opposition.
The final result was two minor and a major plot point to Durhams Boys, meaning that they gain 4 influence and rolled up a 'Bar' as a location that they can use in the next game.
Another great game of Pulp Alley. If you've not tried it out, you can find out all about it by clicking here.
If you could use a few gunslingers or outlaws to start your own Old West campaign click here to take a look at Artizans Western Range.
Last week Doug and I got together for another fantastic game of Pulp Alley
We had not played Pulp Alley for several months so our trigger fingers were itching to give a western themed game a go as we have been talking about having another play through of 'Vice Alley' using outlaws and lawmen.
As we had not played for a while, we decided to keep it simple, so we choose the 'Smash and Grab' scenario from the main rule book. In this scenario, all the plot points are on the table at the start of the game. The major plot point in the center of the table and the four minor plot points anywhere on the table that is at least 6" from another plot point or the edge of the table.
We decided to have four movable perilous areas. These were represented by a dog and three horeses, who were obviously very spooked by the gun fire. At the end of each turn these moved D6" in a random direction projecting a 3" diameter periolous area around them.
The stray horses, proved just as dangerous as the flying lead!
For my league, I had focussed on quality rather than quantity. I took the 'Com,pany of Heroes' perk that allowed my league to include four sidekicks, Marshall 'Leather' Durham, the leader for this game (Quick Witted & Sharp), Bernard 'Glory' Barnes (a Deductive Veteran), Ralph 'Wild Boy' Hicks (a Daredevil Veteran) and WIlson 'Wild Hog' Hurley (A Quick Shooting, Eagle Eyed, Shotgun wielding SOB!), we also gained a Level 1 Brawler as a random scenario event, although he did not last the day, as is often the way.
Doug took a different approach and seemed to field a cast of hundreds, (well quiet a few).
In traditional style our leages deployed at opposite ends of the main street, my league split up heading for minor plot points hidden in the back lots and side streets.
Doug's crew emerged from a side street between the Saloon and the Bank and a savage fire fight errupted that lasted several turns (but did not cause the off duty cow hands to spill the beer they were sampling out side the saloon).
Here we see Bernard 'Glory' Barnes and Wilson 'Wild Hog' Hurley captured for Time Life Magazine by a passing photographer while taking cover behind some handy sacks and barrels while tradding shots with one of Doug's sharpshooters.
Distracted by the photographer, they were very surprised when a stick of dynamite landed behind the crates!
However, this low down trick was not enough to carry the day and Marshall Durhams boys slowly whittle down the opposition.
Eventually Doug's leader goes down in a 'Blaze of Glory' leaving the Marshall in possesion of the major plot point plus two minor plot points.
Another great nights entertainment from Pulp Alley that has left us both eager to refine our leagues and get started with an Old West themed Vice Alley campaign.
Sunday was Fathers Day. Lewis came over and we chose to play an exciting game of Pulp Alley, one of our all time favourite games.
For the last 6 months David has been publishing a fantastic series of 'Scenario of the Month' scenarios. The game that we played was the second in the series, titled 'The Four Faces of Dr Fang', set in Vice Alley somewhere in North Africa.
Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on some bits and pieces to help keep all my Pulp Alley bits and pieces together in a single 'Really Useful Box' for storage and taking to shows. The Pulp Alley dice tray is part of the set. Designed with compartments for holding different dice types and a felt lined compartment for dice rolling. When not in use the token tidy sits inside of it for storage. If you're interested in further details, you can take a look by clicking here.
We set our game in a quayside area with arab markets, narrow alley ways, roof top bridges and a tramp steamer alongside.
The Tramp Steamer is the latest addition to our Pulp terrain range. Click here for further details, and loads more photos!
Instead of playing our normal leagues, we decided to use some of the lovely official Pulp Alley Miniatures manufactured by Statuesque Miniatures. Lewis' leage was the Raven Squadron. My league was made up of Mak O'Reilly, Gauge, Bosun and Ramjeet Singh. I took the company of heroes league perk so fielded them as four sidekicks with Mak nominally the leader.
My league deployed in the bottom left corner and the Raven Squadron deployed in the top left corner. The plot points were all clues leading to discovery of a murderer and included a blood trail, and ancient altar, a drunk, a beggar and a musican. Each of these plot points yielded a clue, when a league had collected all four clues they could reveal the murderer!
Bosun and Mak deployed by the quayside and waited for an opportune moment when the local police were not to close to start there investigation.
The local police were also investigating the murder. Each officer was a moving extremely perilous area. Here we find the Raven Squadron have retreated to a rooftop to wait until the police have stopped talking to the 'drunk' who is the witness they want to interogate.
The coast is clear and No 1 has a chat with the old beggar but he takes a dislike to her and she goes away empty handed.
As the police move off, No 2 moves in and talks to the drunk but fails to make sence of his ramblings.
Lewis, feels that the answer must be on the cards, and has a good look at his Fortune hand. Mak and his chums have solved all four clues and move in to confront the suspect, the old musican.
Bosun confronts him in an alley way beside the quayside.
Imagine her surprise (and horror) when the kindly looking entertainer transforms into a be-tentacled, slavering fiend from the nether worlds.
The rest of the crew rush to her assistance.
However, Raven Squadron No 1 has taken up a vantage point on a roof top and with calm determination brings the beast to the ground in a hail storm of hot lead.
An interesting and exciting game. Mak O'Reilly and his crew painstakingly follow the trail and solve every clue and then the Raven Squadron muscle in right on the last die roll and steal the glory by felling the hideous creature!
This years participation game at Partizan was 'Dice another Day', Spy-Fi action set in a port somewhere in North Africa.
The game had a number of different locations (mini boards) where different scenarios could be played. These included The Marina, The Commercial Port, The Souk, Rick's Cafe, The Embassy, The Dig Site & Professor Evils Underground Bunker.
The game was played using Pulp Alley, which is a hugely flexible set of rules that can be used for plot-point driven, skirmish action in any time period from cavemen through to science fiction.
Apart from the 3D printed harbour walls and the die-cast cars, pretty much all of the terrain used is from various Sally 4th ranges. The base boards are built using Terra-Former terrain tile kits and the Arab buildings are from the Outremer Middle Eastern range.
Here we get an overview of the commercial port to the left and the marina to the right. Behind the port is the souk area. The flat roofed Middle Eastern buildings are linked at the roof top level using some of our lattice sided arched bridges.
The first scenario was set in the Souk Area. The objective of this scenario was to talk to Mohammad Ghazi, the local underworld boss who knows the location of Professor Evils bunker. Unfortunately he is a very secretive character, so two other contacts need to be interrogated to uncover his location. This was basically a train of clues scenario, the contacts were minor plot points, Ghazi was the major plot point. Major plot point could not be attempted unless your league has solved two of the minor plot points. Easy enough, apart from the guard dogs. Guard dogs were mobile, extremely hazardous areas. Each turn they get to move D6" in a random direction.
... and as is often the case, the terrain proved to be one of the major hazards, with the pesky dogs thwarting plans on a number of occasions.
Here we see Spectre agents in action. Blofield has a discrete chat with the contact while Jaws charges, the minions start a fire-fight and No 2, looks on knowingly.
Rules : Pulp Alley
Terrain : Terra-Former Terrain Tiles
Arab Buildings : Outremer Range
Ships & Boats : Tramp Steamer Kit
Marina / Harbour: Large Quayside Platform
Miniatures : Copplestone Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Next time we run this game, we are planning to use some of the excellent Brigade Games 'Spies and Patriots' miniatures as well.
Sally 4th are going to be carrying these at shows and on our web site. At the moment they are on pre-order at big discounts until 21st June, click here for details
When Sloppy Jalopy told us that they were going to make a set of 28mm Canal Folk we were very excited as both Ann & I have done a lot of messing around in boats over the years and within Sally 4th's portfolio we already had canal sections, canal bridges and a nice British Pub that would make a lovely towpath side Inn.
The Sloppy Jalopy Canal Folk are great value at £15 for 12 x 28mm scale figures. The three female figures have cast on heads, the 9 male miniatures have seperate heads so if you buy several packs you can get a lot of variety with these miniatures. I will be using mine as part of my 'Peoples Army' for Very British Civil War (VBCW) gaming as well as for Pulp gaming using Pulp Alley & 7TV. Sloppy Jalopy has also released 20 packs of seperate heads to give even more variety. Each pack contains 5 heads for £1.25
One of my favourite miniatures is the lady with a basket full of Molotov Cocktails. The other female figures are armed with a pistol and a rifle. One of the male figures is kneeling with a rifle, the rest of the gang are armed with a mixture of pistols, smg, rifle and shotgun.
Two of my favourite poses are standing in the cockpit, one has a heaving line with a grappling hook on the end and the other has a boat hook. Very boaty!
When I heard that the castings were on their way, I got to work to design some canal boat kits to go with them as canal folk need some where appropriate to live and work. I was supposed to be making a single canal boat kit, but got a bit carried away so we ended up with three!
The blue boat is a working canal boat. It has seperate cabin / living accomodation and a hold for transporting cargo. The cargo area can be left uncovered or you can model a removable tarpaulin to cover some or all of it.
The 'red boat' is a recreational canal boat. This would have been converted from a working boat. This features linked cabin and living accomodation. The two roof sections lift off revealing lots of gaming space inside.
The 'green boat' is a bit of fun, as one of the games I am going to be using my canal folk in is the ficticious Very Britsh Civil War set an an alternative 1930's timeline I thought that an armoured barge would be a bit of fun. This might be used for transporting troops or logistics up to the front line. In the kit we've included a sprue of Renedra Plastic Sandbags, a 37mm deck gun and three MMG's on mounts fromPulp Figures Deck Weapons Pack and some Plasticard model corrugated sheeting.
The 'George and Dragon' and the terraced houses are all from our 28mm photo-realistic building range. These were designed for VBCW gaming and feature sturdy MDF shells and easy to apply, realistic professionally printed cover sheets.
We always get lots of questions about our figure bases. I mounted the canal folk on '25mm diameter cross bases', these are from our range of 80 different clear perspex bases, which means that the figures look right when standing on stone paths, wooden bridges and boats. The cross design means that the figures can be placed closer together and they fit into boats, vehicles, buildings and terrain clutter far better than if they were on square or round bases.