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 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.
Lewis and I recently played 'Buried Secrets' from the Pulp Alley Tomb of the Serpent campaign.
The action takes place in and around a 'dig site' in the desert. I've put together some terrain using Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain tile kits. All of these tiles have been made using the 12" Standard Tile. The kits make a sturdy 12" frame which is 2" high and contains 8 rare earth magnets to hold the tiles together. A piece of polystyrene is dropped in and sculpted. This makes it very easy to make a board with 'below ground' features such as the excavation. I've modelled the dig with statues being uncovered. These were 3D printed and I just printed as much of the top of the statue that I needed for the place it was going on the board. After texturing the board with sand, I added the wooden shuttering, which was made from scaps of balsa wood. The market stalls and goods are from the Sally 4th Exotic Location range. The palm trees were scratch built from 'teddy bear' fabric, florist wire and sisal string, the statues are aquarium ornaments. The ridge and bell tents are also Sally 4th kits.
This terrain worked really well for the plot points identified in the scenario which included half buried statues, a deserted campsite and some sealed jars.
Lewis' Manfred Leage deployed in the market place. Those Hell Hounds he brings with him always look a bit intimidating!
Dr Jones (from my Royal Archeological Society League) hurries down the ramp to check out a statue and comes under fire from Manfred who's 'Fighting Dirty'.
The rest of the Archeologists follow him into the dig site where some interesting urns were also spotted, however they soon become transfixed bt a weird force eminating from Lewis' witch.
Don't you just hate it when you get your own stuff used against you? Professor Rockstompin' gets charged by Manfred's Hell Hound who 'Sallys 4th'...Ouch, that hurt!
Yet another Hound charges Ms Cook, who draws a hidden .45 and takes it down. Pow, Pow!
Manfred's sidekick finds an interesting looking vase in the market place, she trys to swipe it put is challenged by the stall holder, (she failed the plot point challenge).
However, in the deserted campsite Manfred has a little more luck and finds some important papers hidden inside a packing crate.
Down in the excavation 'Snuffles' Manfred's favourite Hell Hound worries Ms Cook and Ms Fothrington. It is amazing how disintrested these beasts are in the diggers, NPC's obviously do not taste as good as Followers and Allies!
Manfred's sidekick is still attempting to make away with an ancient vase from the market stall.
Unfortunately for her, the fatal words "You've got it, how can any one fail one sucess with might finnese or cunning" were uttered.
Manfred skilfully negotiates the perilous terrain to make it down the wickety wooden ladder down into the dig site to take a look at another archaic piece of pottery. Meanwhile his witch is temporarily disarmed.
Professor Snow & his local guide Mohamad take advantage of the temporary respite from the witches eldritch powers and move in to deal some good old fashioned 'two fisted action'
... while at the other end of the excavation Dr Jones & Mr Cook confront Manfred over the vase, "That vase belongs in a museum".
In the final turn the stall keeper is distracted by the snake charmer and his pet and the artifact on his stall is spirited away for a win by Manfred with two minor plot points collected compared to just the one recovered by Professor Snow. Another fantastic game of Pulp Alley. It never fails to deiver an enjoyable afternoons gaming!
Click the links below for further information on:
Episode 1, First Patrol had not gone so well for 'The Buffinator'.
Buffy and the Scobbies had been on a routine patrol around the dead centre of Sunydale when Luke and his minions had turned up in force, spiriting away a pair of 'innocents' with out as much as a 'by your leave'.
After consulting some boring old books in the libary, Giles comes up with a that there must be some underground tunnels that the Vamps disapeared down, outstanding work, Giles... now let's get on with the 'stake out'
Underneath the Mausoleum in the cemetry is a crypt, and it looks like the wall has been broken through and a tunnel dug behind it.
The tunnel links the crypt in the graveyard with Sunnydales sewer system.... Yuck!
By using the sewers the Sunnydale Vamps can travel all around town without exposing themselves to sun light.
Luke and his minions have a neat little pad to hang out in, an underground cavern thats been connected to the sewers via a secret door.
Luke briefs his gang on tonights mission. "No feeding, you need to bring them back here so that when the planets are aligned we can sacrifice them and collect their blood in the sacred 'Cauldron of Alamazar' in order to perform the ritual to raise 'The Master'.
Plot points for the scenario include a Cop who's investigating missing person’s reports, a mystical pillar, the cauldron, the secret door and the major plot point is the innocents that are going to be sacrificed.
After a short delay due to Christmas and New Year, Lewis & I finally played this scenario last Wednesday (17th January 2018)
We rolled to see which leagues we would play. I got the Scooby Gang and Lewis played Luke and the pointy teethed fiends from hell. We decided to use a slightly modified version of 'Trail of Clues' for this scenario.
Our first clue was the helpful looking lady cop, but we figured that there were bound to be more clues in the cemetery so Buffy & Willow headed off towards the cemetery gates while Giles & Xander went to ask the cop if she had heard anything about people going missing in Sunnydale.
We decided to have a phased deployment for the bad guys. We shuffled the 6 character cards for Luke and his Vamps and drew the first three from the pile. The Vampire Lieutenant a Vampire Minion and a Freshly Sired Vamp. At the start of turns two to four the next card would be turned and the Vamp could be deployed underground or in the cemetery but not within 6" of an opposing character or plot point.
The road and the entrances to the tunnel systems were declared as perilous terrain and the pre-scenario event turned them into extremely perilous areas. Unfortunately Willow, head in books has a near miss on the busy road outside the cemetery gates. She manages to avoid injury, for now.
Giles impresses the cop with his English accent and a touch of Finesse. She tells them that she thought she had heard a noise coming from the locked mausoleum door.
Meanwhile, down in the rat infested sewers; Luke has decided that he needs to aid his minions by reminding them the penalty for failure.
Back in the cemetery Buffy introduces one of Luke’s minions to 'Mr Pointy', "Ouch, did that hurt you?".
The doors to the mausoleum are temporarily free of blood drinking fiends so Ms Rosenberg has a good crack at opening the doors. She does not come to any harm and identifies that it is a fairly simple lock but drops her hairpin before the tumblers fall into line.
The Vampire Lieutenant heads down the secret entrance underneath the well that leads to their lair, and the prisoners.
The steps of the Mausoleum soon become 'Vamp Central'. A Minion lunges for Willow, who normally likes to keep out of the fighting as she is basically 'Harmless', but on this occasion she defends herself with ease, staking the Vamp with her HB pencil. Vamp disappears in a puff of dust. ‘Go Willow!’
Buffy & Xander help out too and soon the Vampires are no more.
The doors are quickly unlocked and our blond headed, stake wielding combat machine heads down into the sewers.
Willow & Xander are delayed by the arrival of another 'Freshly Sired Vampire'
When Xander finally makes it through the crypt to the tunnel, he is startled to see Buffy running in the opposite direction. She's obviously 'got the wiggins', Luke has completely unnerved her and she is running away!
Meanwhile, back in the sewers, Rupert experiences an unexpected wave of bravery and goes hand to fang with Luke, electing to 'deal two and take three' in the smug assurance that he is going to be 'Alright'.... until Luke played 'Misfortune' to cancel it out with equal smugness. “Ouch... that hurt!”
Seeing Buffy run, and hearing Lukes approach, Xander is overcome with 'Intense Fear'
For a moment Willow thinks that she will rush past Luke and head off on her own to rescue the prisoners while Giles keeps Luke occupied.
.... But when Luke’s trusty Lieutenant arrives on the scene it becomes clear that a rescue is not going to happen today.
Buffy and Xander never managed to shake off the 'Horror' effects, and that is what really prevented them from rescuing the prisoners (they were the major plot points), so at the end of the game Willow & Giles had both collected a minor plot point each, but overcome with fear and running away, the major plot point eluded them (again). Better luck next time Buffy. Don’t give up, you are after all the chosen one!
Click on any of the following links for more information.
Rules: The game was played using Pulp Alley, The Game of Extraordinary Action & Adventure.
Terrain: The terrain is built on Terra-Former terrain tiles. These are 12" square tile kits with embedded rare earth magnets to align them and hold them tightly together
Sewers & Lair: These are 3D Printed from designs available fromPrintable Scenery.
Clear Bases: The Miniatures have been remounted onto clear bases from Sally 4th's clear Perspex base range.
Last week I played the first game of the campaign to try out the characters and the Pulp Alley solo deck mechanism.
Here's an overview of the Sunnydale Cemetry location. All off the game boards are built on Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain tiles which include some strong rare earth magnets mounted in the sides to hold them together during play. The iron railings and gravestones are from the excellent Renendra range.
This game was played using the Pulp Alley Solo Deck. This is a great addition to the game. It replaces the normal Fortune Deck and goes a long way towards proving an intelligent opposition in solo play. Instead of drawing Fortune Cards the first three characters to activate each draw a Solo card and work out the effects. Some effects are the same as plot point challenges, others are like an opponent playing a fortune card on you to prevent running or shooting and some are positive effects. The deck worked very well and did a great job in preventing the predictability that could spoil a solo game.
The major plot point for this game was a pair of innocents foolishly drawn towards the cemetery for a romantic meeting. The clues to their whereabouts were a rucksack, high school text books, a piece of jewellery and a disturbed grave. We were playing the trail of clues scenario, so each league had to have solved two minor plot points before they could go for the major plot point.
This was my league, Buffy, Willow, Giles and Xander.
I'd prepared an encounter table with 5 different league compositions. I rolled a 9 for the opposition which meant Buffy would be facing a Vampire Lieutenant, a Veteran Vampire, three Vampire Minions and a Newly Sired Vampire.
So... on to the action!
Oh dear... not the best start for our Slayers career! Lets hope she does better in the recovery mission.
However, it was a great sucess for the Solo Deck. It was the first time I'd used it and it played really well. No where near as good as playing with a real opponent, the banter was very one sides and stilted, but better than no Pulp Alley on those occasions that you have not got a real opponent.
Further Information, (click the links to find out more)
Last week Doug and I played the 4th game in our Pulp Alley - Tomb of the Serpent Campaign.
Sideshow of Horrors sees my French Foreign Legion league going up against the Servants of Apothis in a desperate hunt for an ancient relic, The Ring of the Pharoahs.
Click here for details of Pulp Alley Tomb of the Serpent Campaign
We've had a few questions about the tents and caravans.
The round multi-colour tents are our medieval jousting tents kits, click here for details, the ridge tents are from our modern range, click here for full details. Caravan will be released in the next couple of weeks!
Multi-player Pulp Alley chaos at Hammerhead 2017. We had five cut down leagues consisting off a sidekick and three allies.
The scenario involved these teams searching for clues relating to an ancient artifact believed to be hidden in Casablanca.
We used 8 minor plot points, and nine reward cards. One was a Red Herring, meaning the plot point had to be returned to the table 6" away.
The leagues included a French Foreign Legion League headed up by Lieutenant Bernard Girard, the evil Germans led by the sinister Franz Scneider, and three international archeology teams led by Cassandra van Pelt, Jane Brook-Smythe and Dr Bill Conrad.
We had two types of perilous areas. In the centre of the Souk, the snakecharmer has left his snake unattended, this is extremely perilous! I also ruled that entering a building via a door subtracted 2" from your move, but entering via a window was perilous because their could be a police officer, security guard, house owner or guard dog on the other side.
Entering via a window seemed to be the most populat tactic, and we saw lots of allies going down, as things went horribly wrong. One gamer commented that it was working out more like 'Keystone Cops than Pulp Adventure!
Some gamers had incredibly bad luck. I guess I should not have said, "It's a gift, all you need is one success using any skill"!
Their was a lot of fighting between the different leagues, some easy plot points were overlooked while others were fiercly contested.
Dr Bill Conrads league heads to the Souk.
The second game saw some fierce rivalry between Lewis and his Dad Kevin.
And our youngest gamer was very certain that he wanted to play the evil Germans and played very well and certainly displayed Teutonic ruthlessness.
During the last turn off the last game, we saw an excellent piece of Fortune Card play when an opposing character is knocked into the perilous area surrounding the snake and fails the challenge and health check!