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Get to the Chopper! – O’Hammerer Brocon 2014: Pt1

Magos Kurgan (MrSaturday), Leprechan Officer (Just John), Inquisitor Verhoeven (me), Zardork (theottovonbismark) prepare to lock swords/

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

CTTC Rules SheetA_D1-01

GTTC Rules SheetB_D1-01

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…

2014-07-19 11.05.18

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.

Helga-interior

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.

Corrupted Adeptus Mechanicus scuttle through the undergrowth.

Da Black Major titters evilly as he hides near 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.

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.

The Inquisitor and the Melmacian discuss possible approaches. “Over the fence” is the unanimous decision.

Catchng the scent of moustache wax, the Leprechans zero in on Zardork.

Catching the scent of moustache wax, the Leprechans zero in on Zardork (top right).

First blood to the plucky barefoot folk.

First blood to the the plucky Private Bush.

The sneaky scuttling continues...

The sneaky scuttling continues…

The Leprechan officer is ambushed by a Death Ferret while investigating a corpse.  However, products of Leprechan Officer School are not put off so easily...

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 had prepared him for this.

…then again, nothing could have prepared him for this.

Their scuttling finished, Magos Kurgan is unimpressed to find that a Cthellean Cudbear is oicking his teeth with the card key that he has been tracking down.

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 find thatthe key codes that he requires are located in the corrupted memory stacks located in this damaged servitor.  He applies the most relevant of his skill sets to the problem.  The sounds of fists upon cyborg resound through the undergrowth.

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 strokes 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,

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.

Zombies arrive, putting Milos limited IT skills under further pressure.

Zombie arrive, putting the Leprechans considerable agrarian skills under 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...

With some deft slight-of-mechadendrite, Magos Kurgan grabs the keycard from the bear…

The Cudbear howls with rage.  It is unclear whether it is due to the departure of his planned next meal or due to the arrival of zombie Michael Jackson.

…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 toe Emperors work ater I get over that fence.  It is as He wills it" mutters Inquisitor Verhoeven to nobody in particular.

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 filthy holes in the ground prove to be just as familiarly straightforward to Zardork as might be expected.  "Ive got a gol-den ti-cket" he hums tunelessly.

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 Cthelleas Greatest Hug Machine away from the Magos, who makes abreak for the landing pad.

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.

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.

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 mush in passing. "Ive got a gol-den twin-kle in my eye..."

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 unmitsakable sound of an Ann Summers whip cracking accompanied by bestial roaring, Zardork heads straight for where the action is.

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 cidbear rutting season and the approach of a large, stinking and hirsute creature, the semi-engorged bear intercepts intercepts Zardork.

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.

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 confusion.  But he fails to get over the fence due to the pathetic cries of "Dont leave me!!!" from the injured ALF, grasping at his greaves.

…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.

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.

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, closoing on the choas 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.  Verhoeven falls off the fence for a second time.  Everybody except Verhoeven laughs.

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.

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.

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.

"Tokusatsu super-sentai team, Ninja Storm, Gamer Form, Power Up!" L to R: theottovonbismark (almost hidden), Just John, Mr Saturday, me.

“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.

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19 Responses

  1. Looks like Massive fun was had. I have to say seeing Alf fall from his fence made me laugh like a kid. Having such events in a game gives more depth to the game and even more value to the heroic acts of our heroes. Splendid table on top of that? What more to ask?

    Like

    • ALF falling off a fence in front of an S&M clad ork with a whip was funny enough, but Verhoevens efforts to scale the fence while his Eunuch sidekick held the waves of zombies at bay were spectacularly awful. Harold Lloyd levels of incompetence. Very funny.

      It was a great game. Memorable for years to come I suspect 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback JB.

      Like

  2. That is awesome! I love the mission brief.

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    • Thanks Simon.

      We hoped that the game would turn into a desperate, sacrifice and triage filled race against time to board the vehicle, just like any number of silly movies and TV shows that we have all seen. That the game tied in nicely with the sort of vibe that we set up in the brief was very satisfying.

      Like

  3. Great looking game. It looked massive fun.

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    • Danny, I am happy to say that by any definition the game was a hoot. In addition to just being fun it was great to get together with three other guys who had made an effort to make the game/weekend a good one. It paid off 🙂

      Like

  4. Great post. ALF’s tragic demise was the greatest of many amusing quips.

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    • Thanks Argentbadger. I do try, even if it doesnt always work. It does pay to use amusing miniatures and play with guys with a sense of humour in the first place though 🙂

      Like

  5. Really impressive looking game. Would love to play on this table some time. I’ve had the Pulp Alley rules for some time now but never got round to playing as my pulp forces need a lot of work. Using ti for 40K though…

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    • I imagine that it would be simpler for you to make the trip over here to play on one of our tables than for us to cart all the stuff over to something like BOYL Erny, but stranger things have happened.

      There are many genres that I would like to game in, but time and resources dictate that not all of them can be shoehorned in in the time allotted. With that in mind I have been trying to squeeze a few of them in to my sci-fi stuff, as sci-fi is my hands down favourite. Plans are afoot for a space western featuring Strontium Dogs for example and the ork Freebooters that I am currently working on are obviously intended to scratch the itch that I have to play some pirate games.

      Pulp Alley is a good system for representing any of those larger than life genres and sub-genres with minimum fuss. 40K also being a larger than life, pulpy, heroic environment means that representing Dan Abnett style Inquisitorial games is very straightforward and very good fun. It is my favourite table top miniature gaming system.

      Thanks for the feedback Erny.

      Like

      • I’m really impressed with the team work you O’hammerers put into your games. Tables this good don’t happen by accident and I’ve now seen two games you have put on together that have really pulled out the stops.

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        • Thanks Erny. Each of the four members brings unique skills to the group. Its a collaborative thing, with the enthusiasm and friendly competitive elements of the preparation bringing out quality efforts. Its fun and it encourages each of us to raise the bar a bit.

          The time for procrastination has passed. Its time to get some of those projects that we have been putting off for twenty-something years done. No more excuses 🙂

          Like

  6. If I actually played with my little metal men instead of just painting them and talking to them, this is the kind of game I’d love. Chaotic, disastrous and largely tongue in cheek.

    How do you write these reports after the fact? Do you have a secretary thrall keeping track of what happens, or do you just do it from memory? It’s pretty detailed…

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    • Thanks No Such Agency. The games that I want to play are inevitably on the pulpy, heroic side of things. I dont trust anyone who cant see the inherently absurd nature of real life, never mind the absurdity of the 40K universe in miniature. The games have to be a bit melodramatic as far as I am concerned.

      I dont make notes, I just take photos. If I write the reports a day or two after the game I am usually able to remember sufficient details to make the report coherent. The photos are good enough cues to get the info back out. If the time between reports goes on too long then it fades.

      I dont record the mechanical details of the events, the die roll scores or results on charts or anything like that: its all opinion piece based on my emotional recollection. The photos are the key memory aid which in turn remind me of the general chat and giggles during play, which in turn is where the report comes from.

      Im glad that you got some entertainment out of it NSA. The more familiar iteration of Zardoz will be featuring in one of these before the year is out I hope.

      Like

  7. Total triumph, well done gentlemen. I’m very impressed.

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    • Im glad that you liked it Warlord Paul.

      The game was genuinely hilarious and very enjoyable, made all the more so by the immersive terrain and the investment in the background into the character models, carried through to the work on the models themselves. The game would have been fun without a heavily converted ork version of a character played by Sean Connery in a bizarre 1970s movie, but its definitely more fun with one for example. You get out what you put in.

      We are in discussion about what group project we will get off the ground next. We have numerous fun options in contention.

      Like

  8. You do indeed get what you put in & you guys put in so much you totally seem from what I’ve read here on on Mr Saturdays blog to have gotten a nice big pay back.

    One other thing maybe the next time the Inquisitor might bring a wire cutter with him lol but then there be no fun in that now would there ?

    Thanks for a very enjoyable read & keep up the good work.

    Like

  9. […] Get to the Chopper! – O’Hammerer Brocon 2014: Pt1 […]

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