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.
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