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 Dave Phipps and I got together over Zoom to play 'From Another World', Pulp Alley Scenario of the Month 36 (December 2020).
Here's the video we recorded of the game.
'From Another World' is inspired by the 1950's Pulp Sci-Fi classic, 'The Thing'. For those who have not seen the movie, (which I highly recommend), the story takes place in a remote Arctic research station. An alien spaceship has crashed nearby, the scientists want to study it, the military men want to blow it up! The Pulp Alley ‘From Another World’ scenario does a pretty good job of representing the main plot elements from the film. The scenario can be played solo, against another league or cooperatively. Dave and I decided to play cooperatively, 'The Visitor' is pretty tough so shooting at each other felt like it would lead to diasaster for all.
The scenario is played within the Arctic research station, which has six rooms and a connecting corridor. I used some Terra-Blocks to put a building together. The special cards for the scenario detail five events / plot points that occur in different rooms. One card is turned at the start of each of the first five turns. During the sixth turn the big showdown occurs in the corridor, where the characters try to trap The Visitor. Solving the initial plot points represent learning about the Visitor and identifying its weaknesses. For each minor plot point / encounter passed the difficulty of the final encounter is reduced by one success.
Four of the rooms also contain Bystanders (Carrington, Nikki, Scott & Tex). These characters can be persuaded to join your league if the relevant challenge is overcome.
When you draw an encounter card, a D6 is rolled. 1-3 the plot point is placed and 4-6 The Visitor is placed.
We were unlucky and The Visitor turned up on three turns. He is very tough, being made of vegetable matter, he can absorb a lot of damage. He is also horrific. We had lots of attempts to shoot and melee with the creature and bizarrely the only time we did some damage and drove him off was when a character failed a Horror Check, was overcome with blind panic, ran into the room and emptied his revolver with his eyes closed!
Turn six is the big show down. This represents building a trap in the corridor. We made a video of the game, which Dave is currently editing. Once completed I'll add a link, so do not want to spoil the surprise and give away how we faired against 'The Visitor'!
I have made a set of Free PDF Pulp Alley character cards for The Visitor, Nikki, Carrington, Scotty and Tex together with the characters in the leagues that Dave & I played.Click here to download them.
The miniatures are from Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures range
The Scenario is Pulp Alley Scenario of the Month 36, From Another World. We have put together a special discounted deal that includes the miniatures and Pulp Alley Cards.
The terrain is made fromTerra-Block modules
The miniatures are mounted on Sally 4th clear Perspex bases
Last night I got together with Doug and James to play 'The Arctic Rescue'. This was the Pulp Alley scenario of the month back in December 2018 and features in the Pulp Alley Scenario Book.
During a Top Secret test flight an aircraft carrying an innovative new bomb sight veers off course and crashes into the ice pack somewhere in the Arctic Circle. Several organisations and governments send teams to search the wreckage in the hope of rescuing the pilot and the inventor and recovering the bombsight and development notes.
The game was set out on a 3' square table, made up of nine 1' square Terra-Former tiles. Four of the tiles had crevasses modelled into them, these looked pretty realistic, the ability to model features below the surface is one of the big benefits of using Terra-Former tiles. The central tile had some broken ice flow modelled on and the other tiles were modelled as featureless snow and ice.. I used some WH40K crashed spacecraft terrain to represent the wreckage. As the terrain pieces were quite large a counter was placed to mark the point that you needed to be close to, to search the wreckage.
The 3 teams deployed within 6" of their selected corners. Due to a snowstorm, visibility was reduced to 12" and to make matters worse the whole table counted as dangerous terrain, so a peril had to be overcome if you moved faster than 6" in a turn. In the first turn I tried to get my Leader Andropov and his sidekick Carlos moving fast to be within 6" of the search area for turn 2. Unfortunately, they must have encountered some thin ice, as they failed to pull it off.
Eventually my Leader Andropov does get close enough to search. Instead of using the standard 5 card rewards deck, there is a special set of cards for the scenario. The scenario card deck contains cards for the plot points but also a whole stack of environmental nightmares such as the pack ice breaking up, becoming disorientated in a whiteout etc.
One of James’s Ally’s, Barker was the first to search the wreckage, rather than finding a clue however he drew the 'Disorientated' card. At the time this felt like a nuisance as the random D8 move moved him 8" towards the centre of the table, however it was to prove a blessing in disguise.
Doug’s leader, Captain Hendry was the second to search the wreckage, he also did not discover a clue. His scenario card announced that the Ice Pack was breaking up (must be first onset of global warming) and that anywhere within 12" of the table edge was now perilous terrain, meaning that a perilous challenge needed to be overcome every time you moved into or activated within 12" of the table edge. Barker was now rather pleased that he had moved randomly to the centre of the table.
As leagues attempted to move towards safe ground various exchanges of gunfire broke out as characters came into visibility range in the central area.
Captain Hendry continues searching the wreckage and eventually finds a clue about the location of the Pilot.
The pilot is placed on the table D6 inches in a random direction from the wreckage marker.
In this scenario, the environment was certainly proving to be more dangerous than opposing leagues. Suggestions were made that co-operation might be in the best interests of all as more and more team members lapsed into hypothermia induced unconsciousness. However, the co-operative approach was not popular, so constant sniping added to the perils of being out on the Icepack.
Captain Hendrie’s team had the most success and were declared the winners having recovered the Journal and the Pilot...
...but in truth the real winner was the cold and the shifting ice pack. By the end of the game the majority of characters had suffered either permanent or temporary damage from the environment.
This was another great game of Pulp Alley and the first game for James. It was definitely one of the hardest scenarios we have tried, although we were very unlucky to draw the card that made the ice pack start breaking up so early in the game.
We are all looking forward to more Pulp Alley adventure very soon.
Links for further details:
A couple of weeks ago my son, Lewis came over to stay for a couple of days. We are both huge Pulp Alley fans, so of course planned to play a couple of new scenarios while we were together. I had just received the painted display miniatures back from the very talented Jon Atter for our new Ski Pursuit miniatures which are part of our Whiteout kickstarter which is running at the moment. The Ski Pursuit pack is based on one of my favourite Bond movies, 'The Spy Who Loved Me' which opens with some corny one liners and a high adrenaline ski chase.
We flipped a coin to see which league we would play. I got 'Bond' who is a single miniature 'Extraordinary Character; League. This is a new concept in the 2nd Edition Pulp Alley rules, you pay 5 points for the character and then can spend your remaining 5 points on either supporting characters or in this case on additional skills.
The KGB Assassins League was formed of four characters with the league perks 'Well Armed' and 'Tenacious'.
As usual for Pulp Alley the game was played on a 3' square table. Bond starts at one corner and to win needs to exit from the opposite corner (this is the major plot point). Four minor plot points were placed on the table, these represent places that Bond can perform a stunt (turn, fire weapon and do a backward flip etc.). Only Bond can attempt plot points. At the end of the game the KGB earn all plot points that have not been taken.
Lewis deployed 3 assasins at the top of the slope and the fourth at the bottom.
Bond gets off to a good start and heads to the first stunt location which he performs with style.
The assasins move into position and a fierce firefight breaks out, Bond returns fire and the first assasin bites the dust.
A fortune card allows Bond to deploy an unseen ally in contact with the enemy. This was a nice characterful touch, the ally took one of the assassins down but his comrade turns, shoots and takes him down.
Bond breaks away, and heads down the slope.
One of the assassins barges into Bond (fights a brawl), although Bond is good the multiple combat actions soon build up.
Bond makes excellent progress on the second last turn he even has time to do another stunt (resolve a minor plot point) and only has six inches to travel in the last turn to exit the table, picking up the major plot point.
However, Lewis and his KGB agents pull out all the stops and throw everything they have against him and he does not quiet make it. Bond takes two of the assassins down with him but does not recover. The KGB has one agent left on their skis at the end of the game, so Bond is taken prisoner!
We were unsure how this game would play. Would it be unbalanced with an 'Extraordinary Character', or would it be dull with just one character to activate? We did not need to worry, as usual with Pulp Alley, the balance was spot on, we both had a really enjoyable game, it was very exciting, and the game could have easily gone both ways right up to the last turn. Bond had gained two minor plot points which meant the KGB had the major and two minor plot points for a convincing win.
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.
Race Against Time
For the 2nd game in our Vice Alley Old West campaign we moved out of town to a small mining settlement down by the creek.
It was a race against time, following a tip off that illegal moonshine was being distilled down by the creek my vigalante leage were determined to gather enough evidence to close the operation down. It looked like they had arrived at just the right time as a large wagon was being unloaded in the centre of the settlement. T o gather sufficient evidence my leader Marshall 'Leather' Durham needed to overcome three sets of perils and challenges. My league was made up of four sidekicks, so Marshall Durham was nominated to act as the leader for this game.
Four minor plot points were deployed around the table more than 12" away from other plot points. These included a nervous youth a fiesty old woman, a mysterious envelope and a leather bound journal.
The settlement was home to a number of critters that provided some movable dangers. These included snakes, geese and dogs. Each random plot point moved D8" in a random direction each turn.
The Marshall starts a careful investigation of the wagon and its contents while Wilson 'WIld Hog' Hurley, Ralph 'Wild Boy' Hicks, Bernard 'Glory' Barnes and a young fellow who said he was handy with a 6 gun that they picked up in a bar, fan out to provide a defensive perimeter.
Once the lead started flying, the young lad from the bar was the first to take a slug. 'Aint it always the way, that the nameless minions die young!
Hicks heads off towards the creek to have a word with the nervous youth, who seems to have attracted the attentions of a snake of truely epic proportions.
The flock of geese head towards 'Wild Hog' Hurley, while the Marshall is struggling to make much progress on evidence collection. This is a tough assignment for a league made up of sidekicks without a leader level character.
Down at the creek, Hicks is in good form, after beating the giant asp into submission he turns his attentions on the nervous youth who is all to happy to tell him everything he knows.
Dougs criminal syndicate closes in, a fierce gunfight develops and his henchmen approach the wise old women (with the blunderbus) in the hope of some extra information.
Despite using the tethered horses as cover, Hurley goes down in a blaze of glory.
... and as if the assignment was not hard enough already both the gianst snake and the flock of geese are unexplainably drawn to the Marshall, the wagon and the clues.
Six turns came and went and unfortunately the vigalantes failed to gather the evidence that they needed.One victory point was gained for solving the 'nervous youth' plot point, bringing there influence / reputation up to five.
However, as always Pulp Alley was a great game to play, however badly you do, it is always a lot of fun and it works very well in a western setting.
Links for further details:
The terrain boards are all made using Sally 4th Terra-Formers. These are 12" modular terrain tile kits with a wide range of profiles for hills, streams, roads and many more features together with strong rare earth magnets embedded in the sides to hold them firmly together. Click here for more information on Terra-Former terrain.
Pulp Alley is a set of skirmish rules that can be used for encounters between 2-30 figures per side in any enviroment from the stone age to the space age. Click here to find out about Pulp Alley.
Artizan have a great range of 28mm Western miniatures. Click here to take a look.
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.