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Inquisitor/Pulp Alley: Shore to Ship

The Foaks get militant.

The Foaks get militant.

The follow up to the Lost in Translation game that I documented a little while ago, this installment features swarms of motile plant monsters, irradiated reptile-bugs and knee-high mechadendrite whipping cyborg monstrosities all competing for spaceshipwreck salvage.

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The short version…

Irradiated shuttlecraft wreckage and mutant alien terrors complicate a battle between alien tree people and evil human mercenaries.

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PBs “Purgator” force, made from Ramshackle Games miniatures and fresh from their landslide victory at the Whining Gardens of Stryq

The long version…

Cypher – the Purgator leader – has called for delivery of the Zenith Analytical Probe (ZAP) to forcibly decrypt the Zephyr AI abducted from the Whining Gardens of Stryq (see “Lost in Translation“).  Unfortunately for Cypher the shuttle carrying the Z.A.P. from the orbiting Purgator vessel – The Untouchable – was shot down by hostile anti-aircraft fire en route.

The crash-landing wrecked the shuttle and irradiated the surrounding area, destroying, injuring and mutating local flora and fauna.  The ZAP has proven robust however and despite being dispersed about the wreckage preliminary scans have revealed that its components remains functional or easily repaired.  The Purgators are after the components, while the locals are heading to the crash site to intercept the human forces and disrupt the Purgators plans.

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My Ramshackle Games Mutant Plants

PB and I decided to try out the Gang rules from the new Vice Alley supplement in this game.  He used the mob to represent a group of low tier Purgator troopers and I used the rules to field some of my Ramshackle Mutant Plant models to represent Lesser treebeasts.  Of note is that it is not a requirement of the rules that the Gangs are based as a group as shown in the various photos in this post, but we chose to do so for convenience.

The photos are a lit a little poorly lit.  Thats pretty unavoidable for in-game photos taken in the mancave in the evening Im afraid, where the lighting is ceiling mounted.  The photos should illustrate adequately for this report anyway.

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A hazy shot of the plot points: a local lifeform, a datapad, a corrupted crystal power/data source, a corpse holding important data and the probe that puts the “P” in ZAP.

The play area for Pulp Alley games is 36 x 36″, although we usually tend to dress a 48 x 48″ area for our games, just for the photos if nothing else.  The  Lagoon of Terror scenario used for this game was lifted straight from the Perilous Island supplement, but with a new theme pasted on.

In place of the lagoon, half of the table was covered in craters and wreckage to represent the area currently suffering adverse effects from the shuttle crash.  The aquatic Terror due to emerge from the sea in the original scenario was replaced with an irascible, irradiated Catachan Devil due to emerge from the crash zone.  As shown above, the Plot Point marker concepts were replaced with items more thematically suited to our game.

In terms of rules mechanics the scenario was played exactly as described in the rulebook.

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The table is roughly bisected, split into irradiated crash site to the East and the edge of the still intact forest to the West.

Deployment was scattered throughout the table rather than in the familiar side/corner set-up approach.  Although this adds an additional random element to games, anything that gets away from the usual set-up routine is a good thing in my book.

In addition, dispersed deployment tends to generate fun little sub-encounters and vignettes that are less likely to crop up under more predictable circumstances.  As these less likely encounters tend to drive the narrative and more memorable aspects of games, I am a fan of dispersed deployment.  It can lead to quite energetic first turns however…

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First contact is particularly explosive as the outnumbering Foaks forces close on the Purgators heading for the probe.  No stranger to the occasional probing, Cypher – macabre cyborg parody of the human form and leader of the Purgators – can be seen scuttling off to the Northwest.

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His noble sap burning with rage at the damage done to his homeworld by the humans, Cha’lee the treebeast wades into the gang of Purgators.  This violent exchange would last for quite a while, but the result was never in doubt…

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Once the Purgator cronies accompanying Cypher have been swept aside by bio-weapon fire, the Lesser Treebeasts pursue and engage the Purgator leader.

Having successfully directed the smaller treebeasts to slow Cyphers advance, L'Oreal snatches the Probe from under Cyphers olfactory sensors.

Taking advantage of the time bought in mulched Lesser Treebeasts, L’Oreal uses his inhuman speed and agility to snatch the Probe from under Cyphers olfactory sensors.

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Impaling natives on his mechadendrites as he watches the Eldar flee with the component, Cypher issues revised directions to his minions…

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…who in some cases execute the orders with limited success, such as Codename: Anarchy managing to irritate a local tree sprite (a Plot Point) to such an extent that it ripped her face off.

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Weeping at cosmic tragedy in general rather than the fate of the now faceless stinking ,dirty human, L’Oreal stays on task and ahead of the hastily redeploying Purgators.  Showing none of the indecision that cost the lives of his colleagues during the last encounter, the Eldar extracts the data from the mangled corpse of the shuttle pilots equipment.

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Enraged at the sight of the ZAP components slipping from his gyro-stabilised grasp, Cypher heads back the way that he came, ploughing through the lesser treebeasts almost exactly like an item of industrial grade gardening equipment.

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The bark chipped from his bloody, knotted knuckles, Cha’lee pauses to locate new targets after painting the surrounding forest red with Purgator blood…

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… locating Captain Freeman who is busily trying to extricate the corrupted power source from where it has become embedded.

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With an acorn and blood strewn, homicidal, two and a half metre wide walking tree stomping ever closer, Cypher considers extreme measures.  The Datapad remains in the cockpit of the crashed shuttle,  across dangerously irradiated ground but technically in reach.  The sudden screeching of an irradiated Catachan Devil emerging from the radzone proves to be the deciding factor however and Cypher turns to flee.

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Cyphers escape route is cut off from retreat by callous, calculating Foacks blast fire.  Also caught between a rock and a hard place, Captain Freeman does his best to hold off Cha’lee the treebeast while nervously noting the approach of the huge irradiated lizard-bug.

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Cypher reroutes, barrelling in to aid Freeman, but the Purgators have been held up for too long and the Foak forces have the majority of the ZAP components…

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…despite the enduringly uncooperative local sprites reactions to all comers.

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After the previous game of PA using similar forces was something of a landslide in favour of PB and his Purgators, this game went in the opposite direction in favour of L’Oreal and the Foaks.  As mentioned in the other game, we have experienced few games of PA that went this strongly in one direction or the other, but this session was extreme for whatever reasons.

The new Gang rules were as simple, tight and workable as I have now come to expect from Pulp Alley rules, with the Lesser Treebeast and low ranking Purgator Gangs each showing the strengths and weaknesses of grouping the models together for game purposes.  Since we played this game I have been looking at my other models in different ways, with including small units as Gangs being something that gives me lots of ideas for how to include other odd models from the cabinets in game.  That is very much a “good thing”.

The next PA game scheduled will give the vehicle rules a run out.

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6 Responses

  1. Your reports are always enjoyable! Haha, you certainly know how to add flavour

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try not to get too detailed when writing game reports, I try to cover the overall vibe of the thing rather than the blow by blow elements (unless they are particularly funny). Sometimes it works better than it does others.

      Im glad that you liked it this time Suber 🙂

      Like

  2. Your Purgators look especially nice. Well done indeed sir, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Purgators belong to my buddy PB, but I will pass your kind words on David. They are Ramshackle miniatures.

      Like many of the miniatures that PB has used to beat me with in various games over the years, I am growing to dislike the slimy (and often victorious) maggots ;D

      Like

  3. once again an awesome looking battle report. the photos look great despite the poor lighting. Thanks for the heads up with ramshackle miniatures they look great. What is the quality of their castings like?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words riot 🙂

      Ramshackle models dont require significantly more or less clean up than most other resin models that I have come across.

      The majority of Ramshackle Miniatures are made from a (polyester?) resin. The quality of the resin castings is fine, with an occasional bubble or imperfection that can be dealt with in the usual fashion. Inevitably some mould lines occur which can be filed, cut or scraped off in the usual way.

      The prices – particularly for the vehicles – are competitive. The range is a lot of fun too, with all sorts of weird and unique models. I am a fan. Curtis who runs Ramshackle is a nice guy and very good to deal with too.

      Like

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