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.
Albedo Combat Patrol:ACP164.
The Defence of Science Station Z1430.
A couple of weeks ago, my good friend Patrick had an unexpected free afternoon so we decided to have a go at the introductory ACP164 scenario - Defence of the Science Station.
Set on a planet, many light years away from Arras Chankra an ILR Planetary Invasion Fleet has recently landed and plan to annex Ralon186 to the Republic,
Taken by surprise, the planetary HomeGuard were quickly overthrown at the starport and main population centres, however there are many pockets of resistance that need to be cleared before the ILR can claim a complete victory.
Science Station Z1430 was a biological research station, engaged in valuable research to determine if cultivated plants could be used to supplement the critters mainly synthesized diet. A single section of 8 HomeGuard had been tasked with its defence, however the platoon HQ was also located in the building and an additional section were close enough to support if reinforcement was neccessary.
The left flank was secured by a fast flowing stream and number of dirt tracks led to the science station.
The EDF split there section in to two fireteams. Alpha Fireteam positioned themselves behind the sturdt walls of the plazza.
The LMG from platoon HQ was set up on the roof of the research building with a commanding field of fire.
The defenders did not have to wait long for the first wave of planetary assault troops to advance through the light woods and move towards the cover of broken ground to the left of the building.
Long range fire, particularly from the defenders LMG thinned out the attackers, but did not prevent them from making it to cover.
The HomeGuards Bravo Fireteam had positioned themselves amongst some rocky outcrops to the right of the research station. It was not long before they had multiple targets to engage.
Although the ILR took heavy fire, and lost some good rabbits that day, it was not long before a second quad joined them to consolidate there position.
Eventually a second squad of HomeGuard arrived as reinforcements and started to move forwards.
Alpha Fireteam had born the brunt of the ILR assault for many turns, casualties were mounting and cohesion was beginning to break down. Here we see a critter failing a morale test and heading for the next piece of cover...inside the building.
At this point, the Republics finest decide to settle the issue by close assault
The ILR win the melee after two turns of bitter fighting.
Charlie Fireteam, part of the reinforcing section counterattacks, but they are also overcome by the aggresive ILR Troopers,(who are quiet handy at close quarters).
Delta Fireteam move forwards, but are too late to prevent the science station falling into enemy hands.
As always, an exciting game of Albedo. The scenario was pretty well balanced with a platoon attacking a reinforced section. Up until the last turn I had felt that I would get my reinforcements into the battle and that they would make a difference, but it was not to be and Patrick and the ILR won a well deserved victory.
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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.
While I was at Hammerhead last month I got chatting with the guys over at Pig Iron Productions, they have some great stuff in their range and they are another independent 28mm Sci-Fi manufacturer based like us in North Yorkshire.
I had shown Alex some conversions that I had done a while back using Albedo ILR bodies and Frostgrave Barbarian heads to make some Sci-Fi freedom fighters and we got to wondering how the Albedo bodies and weapon systems would match up with Pig Iron Heads.
I went home with two packets of different Pig Iron heads, and promised to put some conversions together and take some photographs.
The top three miniatures are built using EDF Heavy Infantry bodies armed with LAKW 1-56 Assault Rifle, MAKW 3-60 Light Machine Gun, and Officer Data Pad arms together with Pig Iron System Hunter heads.
The Albedo range contains four sci-fi / near future AFV's (2 x light tank / 2 x APC ).
The optional vehicle crew set contains single piece resin castings of hatch with crew shoulders allowing and head to be glued in place to customise the vehicle.
I used a set of Pig Iron System Commando heads to convert the Albedo AV8B APC.
Here we have a converted Heavy Weapons team using Pig Iron System Commando heads and Albedo ILR bodies together with ILR Light Machine Gun and Loader arms.
On Monday, Doug and I played the 4th scenario in our Lord of the Rings narrative campaign.
This is based on the Games Workshop Fellowship of the Ring Campaign book. This was a great publication, now sadly out of print that combined scenarios based on events from one of the films with some great painting and modelling articles to help you construct the terrain for the game.
Strictly speaking, the Fog on the Barrow Downs scenario is based on events from the Fellowship of the Ring book rather than the film, as I don't believe that the Barrow Downs and Tom Bombadil ever made it into the movie.
The four hobbits are lost (again) stunling around in the fog on the edge of the Old Forest where the lands open up into rolling hillside and valleys where the cold grey stone of ancient barrows mark the landscape. The good player fields Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin with the hope that Tom Bombadil will apear on a D6 roll of 6. The evil player fields four barrow wights who start in base contact with there respective barrow. As usual we played the scenario twice, both taking turns to play good and evil. In the first play through I played the luck less hobbits.
Evil won the first priority roll, and of course the wights moved 6" and the hobbits 4" so they soon caught up with the hobbits, initially focussing on Frodo. For evil to win they had to either kill Frodo or paralyse any two hobbits, drag them back to there barrows and sacrafice them in there evil ritual.
Once the first wight had paralysed Frodo the rest of the hobbits headed pack to attempt to resue him. If a hobbit started there turn within 6" of a wight they could roll a D6 and on a 6, the alarm would be raised and Tom Bombadil would come to there assistance. We must have rolled over a dozen times during the game and that '6' just was no where to be found.
While the barrow wights are within 6" of there barrows they can expend a point of 'Will' for free which is very useful for casting paralyse spells.
The hobbits put up a brave fight, on a number of occasions they charge the wights (they need to pass a courage test to do this), they even win the melee when they manage to get two hobbits fighting a single wight, but fail to do any damage as the relative difference between there strength of the hobbits (2) and the defence of the wights (7) meant that they then needed a 6 followed by a 4+ to wound... which was a big ask and just did not happen either.
Once the wights had dragged there victims to there barrows they needed to roll a 4+ to sacrifice them. On the last turn, 3 hobbits were paralysed and the wights managed to sacrifice two of them for an evil victory.
When we swapped sides and I played evil, a similar result was obtained, although at a different barrow with a different mix of victims.
The game was fun to play, and looked good but the scenario was very difficult for the good player to win if Tom Bombadil did not turn up to help the hobbits.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been making some new trees for my terrain collection and I got them finished just in time for this game. The trunks are 3D printed from a design by Printable Scenery. Once they have been painted foliage was added made by spraying some rubberised horse hair with brown paint and then gluing some Woodland Scenic foliage on top off it.
The terrain boards are made using Sally 4th Terra-Former kits. These are kits with standard profiles for hills, roads, rivers, streams etc that build 12" square modular terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together.
Last weekend, Ann & I finally managed to schedule in some time to play the second game in our Burrows and Badgers campaign. In our first game Ann's Warnand 'Ruffus' Roughcoats' had come of slightly worse than my 'Long March Patrol' as one of her Characters, Centus had managed to get himself captured and she did not have the funds to pay the ransom. I had my own problems following the first game as both of my archers had picked up arm injuries meaning the could no longer use a bow. I did however manage to pick up a new recruit at the Slave market, a likely looking young Shrew called Joseph.
We had a slight cheat, rather than roll for a scenario we choose one, as I wanted to play a game featuring this fine Inn model that I had recently 3D printed and painted.. The scenario choosen was 'Defend the Haul'. In this scenario a warband has discovered some treasure hidden in a building and are just about to make off with it when a rival warband turns up to challenge them for it. As Ruffus' Roughcoats had the lower warband rating (30 compared to my 45) they were the defender and got to set up first in, or within 6" of the building.
The attacking warband 'The Long March Patrol' set up within 2" of a table edge and could split up to deploy on multiple edges. I elected to split my warband with half led by Sur Davros du Long March attacking from the rear while the remaining members led by Red Claw the Otter, his able deputy attacked from the front. Both parties had an archer with them.
The 'Long March Patrol' pose for 'Critter of Fortune' magazine, prior to deployment. Front left we have Joseph the Shrew and Sur Davros sporting his ancestorial great sword. Rear rank, left to right we have Red Claw the Otter, Frances Downer the Fox, Hector the Hound and Tanotalos the Otter.
Ruffus' Roughcoats brought (from left to right) Winston and Rammus the Foxes, Rufus the Cat and Darley the Dog.
Ruffus deployed his full warband to the front of the Inn, but on seeing that he was being attacked from both sides, set off to defend the rear of the Inn himself accompanied by Rammus leaving Winston and Darley to defend the front of the building. Darley finds a gppd archery position by the beer barrels and starts to put down effective fire on the attackers. Joseph the Shrew moves up to the shelter of the dry stone wall and returns fire.
At the rear of the Inn Ruffus and Rammus have just got into position in time as Hector and Sur Davros approach under an effective barrage of arrows from Frances.
A serious scrap develops. Sur Davros suffered a serious head wound in the last encounter and is straining to keep contol and avoid flying off into a beserk rage.
Winston makes his way up the drive to have a go at Tanotalos with his double handed axe. Both opponents score hits on each other before Red Claw hurles himself forward and finishes off the fight.
Winston is on the ground, and out of todays action. The Long March Patrol had drawn 'Loot' as a secondary objective so Tanotalos spends the next turn searching Winston and relieving him off any loose coin or trinkets.
The action at the rear, hots up and Hector the Hound is knocked to the ground. Frances drops his bow and draws his sword rushing forward to join the claw to claw combat.
Under Red Claws direction the patrol move forward to start searching the building.
Rammus, the Fox with a huge two handed hammer falls to the ground from a well aimed thrust of Frances longsword.. Ruffus steps forward and lands a blow on Sur Davros fulfilling his secondary objective of coming to grips with the enemy leader.
At the end of turn four The Long March Patrol had five critters in contact with the building, compared to three from Ruffus' Roughcoats giving them the victory. Both sides gained experiance and pennies. Ann's warband 'The Rouhcoats' earned enough with wanderings and a lucky session with there gambling den to be able to pay the ransom to have Centus returned to them.
We're looking after my Daughter and Son in Laws dog Sparkie at the moment. She thought it was a great game and wished she had a Great Sword like Sur Davros to play with!
The figures are all converted from Frostgrave Plastic Miniatures, apart from the Shrew who was converted from a Copplestone Castings Halfling using Albedo Miniatures Critter Conversion kits. These are packs of heads and tails that can be used to convert any miniature into an anthropomorphic figure.
The clear bases are 25mm diameter clear Perspex bases from Sally 4th and the terrain modules rae all built using Terra-Former terrain tile kits which are 12" square with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together.
The Inn is the 'Winterdale Tavern' from Printable Scenery.
Check out this 3 minute video play through of game.
Last weekend Sally 4th was at Hammerhead Wargames Show at Newark Showground. Hammerhead is put on by Sally & Paul from Kallistra Models and the show is unique as all of the games are participation games.
Doug Wight kindly ran a game of ACP164 The Albedo Miniatures Game for us.
The scenario saw the ILR troops (Independent Lapine Republic) who had landed and taken control of government buildings, digging in along the edge of some parkland that surrounded the main broadcasting station.
An EDF Mechanised Infantry Platoon had been tasked with recapturing the building.
The ILR had plenty of time to dig in and had a couple of very good fighting trenches forming the basis of there defensive position.
The EDF dismounted at 500 metres and advanced cautiously forward makingthe best use of cover.
The AV8 Armoured Personnel Carriers laid down suppressing fire from there HMG's as the troops moved forward.
The terrain for the Albedo game was built on Sally 4th Terra-Former tiles, including the new trench tile that we released last week. The ability to have terrain features 'dug in' below the surface of the terrain is one of the key benefits of the terrain system.
The game was a lot of fun, the forces were very evenly matched with the increased number of attacking EDF and there superior weapon system being countered by the strength of the ILR's dug in position.
This was a fantastic participation game that 3 Shires gaming put on using a modified version of Wargames Foundries 'The Rules with No Name'
The terrain featured pretty much everything from the Sally 4th Exotic Locations range. This range is based on the idea of 'Film Lots' that are converted from one set to another as the needs of filming dictate. The range contains 'Locations' these are 10cm cube pieces of terrain that can be re-arranged to make lots of different gaming layouts. The Set Dressing packs contain the furniture needed for each location and the Props packs are the detailed bits and pieces that bring the set to life, such as the trays of food in the cafe, the snake in the basket for the souk and the exhibits to go in the museum cases.
This area uses the 'Ricks Place' location, set dressing and props packs.
The museum of antiquities uses both the 'Museum and the Ricks Place' location set plus the furniture and museum display cases from the Museum set dressings and of course the pack of detailed resin museum display pieces.
This area uses the market stalls and goods from the Souk Set Dressings and Props packs together with the Souk Location pieces.
This really was a suberb presentation from 3 Shires Gaming, through ut the day there were lots of people taking part. THe game which involved searching for treasure and avoiding 'The Mummy' looked like a whole lot of fun.
The terrain making genius at COGS had put together these fantastic looking battle board for 'Vanguard', Mantic Games fantasy skirmish game using one of the Sally 4th 'Terra-Former' Contested Crossing Sets.
Terra Formers are kits to enable you to construct perfect 12" terrain tiles with a wide range of profiles such as streams, roads, hills, canals, beaches etc.
Each tile comes with 12 rare earth magnets that align the boards and hold them firmly together so that they do not drift apart during a game.
The precision profiles mean that features flow perfectly from one board to another.
Click here to take a look at the terra-block range or click here to take a look at some of the videos that explain terrain building using Terra-Former tiles.
Sparky, my daughter and son in laws dog enjouyed Hammerhead 2019.
Thanks Sally and Paul for putting on another top show.
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.