Magos Kurgan (MrSaturday), Captain Jameson (Just John), Inquisitor Verhoeven (me) and Zardork (theottovonbismark) prepare to lock swords.
theottovonbismark, MrSaturday, Just John and I met up at a Limerick convention last weekend to play a few games. This is how it went.
Two different toy soldier scenarios were played over the weekend. This post is about the first, a Pulp Alley game set in the 40k universe:
Get to the Chopper
Uncanny radiation from perilium deposits exposed by recent seismic activity (see “Inquisitor – The Ragna Rock” for details) has caused the dead of the Northern Polar continent of Krellborn IX to rise and attack the living. Being suddenly surrounded by homicidal cadavers has brought the individual agendas of the various factions currently in the area to an abrupt end. Escape is the only thing on our heroes minds and the only reliable route out is by air.
The local wildlife is also aware that death is creeping up. Driven as before an eruption or forest fire, the colourful and hostile local predators are also panicked and aggressive. Therefore the likes of enraged Death-Ferrets, Bouncers, Face-Eaters and more will have to be factored into any plan.
The single available shuttlecraft in the area appears undamaged, but access to the vehicle is restricted. Remains of the prior owners of “The Chopper” surround the local Leprechan agri-science outpost. Hopefully those remains will also be the location of the key cards that allow access to and control of the vehicle. There is only one way to find out…
The scenario is a variation of The Lost Keys scenario from the basic Pulp Alley rulebook. We added some zombies that encroach after a couple of turns instead of a turn limit and we added an extra turn that takes place in the cramped confines of the shuttle once it has lifted off.
The idea was that members of more than one force could end up forming some sort of uneasy truce on the ship in order to get off the planet alive. We figured that this would in all likelihood end in a bloodbath, but we also thought that it would be fun regardless. To that end Mr Saturdays put together a small floorplan of the shuttlecraft to cater for the unlikely possibility that we might co-operate long enough to actually end up with multiple parties on board. In reality it would likely simply help to determine exactly where the little guys were standing when they all killed each other.
Just John built and supplied the outpost/compound for the game and I supplied the rest of the terrain. We each supplied our own small force of troopers for the game (which I stupidly forgot to photograph). Just John had three of his Leprechans (dont call them Ratlings), Mr Saturdays had three of his new genestealer hybrid cultists, theottovonbismark had Zardork, Da Black Major and a Red Shadork and I took Inquisitor Verhoeven for another whirl, this time accompanied by ALF and Milo the Space Eunuch.
Corrupted Adeptus Mechanicus scuttle through the undergrowth.
Da Black Major titters evilly as he hides in the compound, waiting to ambush any keyholders as they arrive at the shuttle. In the background Milo the Space Eunuch prepares to investigate a corpse.
The Inquisitor and the Melmacian discuss possible approaches. “Over the fence” is the unanimous decision.
Catching the scent of moustache wax, the Leprechans zero in on Zardork (top right).
First blood to the the plucky Private Bush.
The sneaky scuttling continues…
Captain Jameson is ambushed by a Death Ferret while investigating a corpse. However, products of Leprechan Officer School are not put off so easily…
…then again, nothing could have prepared him for this.
Their scuttling finished, Magos Kurgan is unimpressed to find that a Cthellean Cudbear is picking his teeth with the card key that he has been tracking down.
Milo the Space Eunuch finds that the key codes that he requires are located in the corrupted memory stacks in a damaged servitor. He applies the most relevant attributes of his skill set to the problem. The clatter of eunuch fists upon cyborg resound through the undergrowth.
Da Black Major gently caresses his nipples as he watches ALF catch his scrotum on the fence as he falls, taking him out of the game. “Epic fail” as kids 38,000 years earlier may have said,
Zombies arrive, putting Milos limited IT skills under further pressure.
Zombie arrive, putting the Leprechans considerable agrarian skills under further pressure.
With some deft slight-of-mechadendrite, Magos Kurgan grabs the keycard from the bear…
…and the Cudbear howls with rage. It is unclear whether the rage is due to the departure of the animals next planned meal or due to the arrival of zombie Michael Jackson.
Milo finally extracts the keycard from the servitor and hands it to the Inquisitor, just before a pack of undead envelops him. “Milos brave sacrifice will allow me to continue the Emperors work once I get over that fence. It is as He wills it” mutters Inquisitor Verhoeven to nobody in particular.
Rummaging around in a filthy hole in the ground proves to be just as familiarly straightforward to Zardork as might be expected. “Ive got a gol-den ti-cket” he hums tunelessly.
With the irresistible scent of hybrid taste sensation in his nostrils, the hybrids work to lead Cthells Greatest Hug Machine away from the Magos, who in turn makes a break for the landing pad.
The zombies put a crimp in Da Black Majors “flee/skulk at great expense in minion lives” MO.
Da Majors dishonorable instincts serve him well nonetheless, as a sucker punch the the charging Magos puts the hybrid between him and the zombies.
Zardork repays Private Bush for his generous donation of las fire with a bejewelled straight left to the chops in passing. “Ive got a gol-den twin-kle in my eye…”
Hearing the unmistakable sound of an Ann Summers whip crack accompanied by bestial roaring, Zardork heads straight for where the action is.
Not significantly smarter than the average cudbear and enraged by the onset of rutting season and the approach of a large, stinking and hirsute creature, the semi-engorged bear intercepts Zardork.
After fleeing the distracted bear the exposed hybrids are put under pressure from incoming fire…
…with very significant further chaos caused by a carnivorous plant bursting through the landing pad and attacking ork and hybrid alike.
Verhoeven rubs hs gauntleted hands together, preparing to slip aboard the vessel in the ensuing confusion, but fails to get over the fence due to the pathetic cries of “Dont leave me!!!” from the injured ALF, grasping at his greaves.
Choosing his stomach over his loins, the Cudbear wanders away from the vastly moustachioed Zardork, due to the smell of gravy and sugar rich ratling blood in the air.
Channelling the star power of a green Sean Connery, Zardork continues his unstoppable approach, closing in on the chaos at the landing pad. Magos Kurgan drops his key. Ever the opportunist, Da Major dodges out of combat and grabs it from under the lashing vines and gnashing maw of the Venusian Man-Trap. Meanwhile, Verhoeven falls off the fence for a second time. Everybody except Verhoeven laughs.
Merrily bludgeoning his way through everything in his path, Zardork makes straight for the shuttle. Captain Jameson sneaks behind the fracas and keys in two third of the access code, but is shouldered out of the way by a cackling Black Major, who opens the shuttle doors. Verhoeven fails to climb over the fence again. Embarrassing.
Zardork jumps aboard the shuttle as the Magos bleeds out. Da Major and Captain Jameson also scrabble aboard as the shuttle lifts off. A tense stand off can be seen between ratling and ork as the cargo door closes. Gunfire is heard and muzzle flashes are seen in the shuttle window, just before a sheet of blood splashes across the interior… Did anyone make it off Krellborn IX alive? Meanwhile Verhoeven fails to climb over the fence for a fourth time. Sigh.
That game was genuinely hilarious. There were very many moments that had the four of us laughing out loud and it cements my love for the Pulp Alley system. No other rule set that I have played could have engineered a narrative game with such entertaining twists and turns that scratched all my in game storytelling itches while still not feeling over scripted/prescribed.
It certainly didnt hurt to be playing the game with a bunch of amiable guys who were all looking for the same sort of thing from the game either. Add to that the effort put in by everyone to make sure that we had nice terrain and miniatures to play with and the game turns out to be a yardstick by which all future games will be measured. High fives, fist bumps and manly punches in the shoulder all round.
“Ninja Storm, Gamer Form, Power Up!” Tokusatsu super-sentai team, L to R: theottovonbismark (almost hidden), Just John, Mr Saturday, me.
The other scenario played over the weekend was “The Quickening”. As this post is pretty huge now, I will put the snaps of that one up tomorrow or the day after.
Filed under: Events, Games in Progress | Tagged: 2014, Brocon, O'Hammerers, Pulp Alley, Sci-fi |