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.
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 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.
Combat Patrol is fast becoming a generic set of skirmish wargames rules for any period from around 1800 to the far future. The core rules cover WW2 combat and ‘free to download supplements’ add period specific rules for Falklands Campaign, Winter of '79, Napoleonic and now the Old West. Last Saturday, Lewis and I dusted off our western gunfighters and American West terrain and game Combat Patrol Western a try.
We used a scenario from the 'Dead Mans Hand' main rulebook. I played the bad guys and Lewis played the Sheriff and his posse. We both had a mix of different quality characters, our leaders were rated as elite and the rest of the characters a mixture of regular and green. The gangs were divided into groups and set up around the town as laid down in the 'Dead Mans Hand' scenario. My leader had to set up in a building; he was drowning his sorrows.
My leader dashes across the street and takes cover behind the corner of a building. The dice in the picture are 'activation dice'. Each leader (and every group has a leader, even if it is an informal one) rolls a dice at the start of the turn to determine their activation number. Activation is then determined by drawing a card from an activation deck. This contains numbers 1:6 twice, a re-roll and reshuffle card and some other special cards that allow certain classes of unit to activate more (or less) times. So, for example, my leader is the figure with the white shirt. He gets to activate whenever the No 6 card is drawn from the deck.
The action hots up on the edge of town by the corral, Lewis's deputy (in the brown coat) and a member of the posse, close the range before opening up with their pistols. My cowboy in the corral has a '!' token next to him, this indicates that he is stunned, so will need to spend the next turn removing this status. He is stunned because he attempted to 'react' when the lawmen headed down the side street. Any model can attempt to react to enemy movement by turning a card from their action deck and consulting the 'D5' part of the card. If the number is less than their reaction attribute they can react and after reacting become 'stunned' to show they have acted early and taken their action out of sequence., If the number on the card is equal or higher they can not react, and if the card is a '5' they do not react but become stunned anyway.
Two of the lawmen's posse take a shot at the outlaw leader. Shooting is very fast and intuitive. The top of the cards is the shooting resolution table. All of the data about probabilities are built into the cards, rather than having to reference other charts and quick reference sheets. Figures are classed as elite, regular of green for accuracy. This tells you were to look on the top of the card. Underneath the white dots you will see corresponding letters 'E', 'R', 'G'. This is where you start on the card. You then add modifiers for the tactical situation. This are summarised by the icons on the next row of the card. Shift one to the right if target moved, out of command, wounded or at medium range and shift two to the right if at long range or if moving and firing. The posse are 'Green' and are moving and firing so they would have needed a white circle in position five to have scored a hit.
On their next activation they move up to close range and shoot again. This time they are successful, so draw another card and look at the target and cover part of the card. Unfortunately for me it was a 'headshot' with no cover save, so my leader is dead.
Against all the odds the next bout of gunfire to be resolved leaves Lewis' leader, the Sheriff dead from a headshot with no cover save as well!
The action hots up in the side street as well. The figure top left has an 'out of ammo' marker. When you fire there is always the chance of running out of ammo or getting a stoppage that needs clearing. This is indicated on firing part of card. If you are out of ammo you then need to spend a turn reloading before you can fire again.
Another two lawmen 'Go down in a blaze of glory'. At this point Lewis calls it a day. Victory for the Outlaws.
The red markers are for morale checks. Each time a unit is hit, even if round is saved by cover, the unit takes a morale marker which needs to be resolved next time the unit activates.
Combat Patrol worked really well for a western game. The supplement also covers mounted troops, dynamite and all of the other elements and troop types you would expect in a game set in the Old West and best off all it is available as a free download.