Advertisements

Inquisitor/Pulp Alley: Final Boarding

ooo

Shuttlecraft Helga sits being refuelled at Libertine spaceport.

After the ork pirates and the evil human mercenaries finished stealing each others wheels they went to the spaceport.  This is what happened next.

"Alright ladz, nice an' casual, nthin to see here..."

“Alright ya skurvy swabz, act kasual…”

As discussed last time, the planet known as Backside is a grotty sort of place, with a morally bankrupt society held together by the ruling Cartels love of profit.  As well as taking take a slice from local dealings, the local Barons control access to and from the planet via spaceport.

Backside has easygoing policies regarding many behaviours frowned upon on more civilised parts of the galaxy: if you have the money to pay for it and the Cartels get their cut, then more or less anything goes.  

Correspondingly, a dim view is taken of parties causing trouble at the spaceports: without unhindered access to and from the planet the Cartel system falls apart.  To that end the Backside spaceports are heavy on security, with armed forces ready to take out potential troublemakers with extreme prejudice before their behaviour spoils the status quo.  Even hardened mercenaries and alien pirates usually respect this, purely for reasons of self preservation.

The thing is, hell hath no fury like an ork pirate kaptin scorned…

The Purgators get their passports and identification ready in their deployment zone.

The Purgators get their passports and identification ready in their deployment zone.

After playing a vanilla (but enjoyable) scenario while trying out the vehicle rules in the previous game, we decided to go for one of the more unusual scenarios from the Perilous Island expansion in this follow up game of Pulp Alley.

Final Flight” was chosen and a convoluted explanation for why ork pirates and human mercenaries might be wandering around a spaceport, buying tickets and and talking to ground crew was invented: the Cartel run, hive(world) of scum and villainy known as Backside has been added to the ever expanding range of locations in our games.

Just another day at Terminal XXX...

Just another day at Libertine Spaceport, Terminal 3…

Three items of note:

  1. Cartels: due to draconian security presence in the spaceport, characters that either Brawl or Shoot in the game become “Wanted”.  Wanted characters begin each action under fire from local Cartel security (Wanted characters are permanently in “Extremely Perilous Terrain” in rules terms).  Although this concept did not require representation on the table, we decided to put some security models around the spaceport to remind us that the protagonists were under heavy scrutiny.  They were literally there just for show, but were fun all the same.
  2. Scenery: the scenery for this game was cobbled together to meet the demands of the scenario from what I have available, it isnt a dedicated set like I have for some other settings.  Therefore the terrain isnt really of the same quality as those shown in my other games (the buildings used have been in very many games since I built and painted them for use in games of GWs Confrontation back in the early 90s for example).  Im working on urban sci-fi terrain at the moment that will fill this gap, but for now, this is what I have.  But y’know, its reasonably easy on the eyes all the same.
  3. Lighting: the top down lighting in the mancave is perfectly appropriate for gaming with, but not as good for lighting in-game photos.  Therefore my daytime games with natural light (like the Backside Roasting game that took place before this one) tend to photograph a little better than this one.  C’est la vie.

On with the story…

———

iiii

To begin, most of the Purgators head toward the gruff officials at the ticket terminal, while a small force splits off to the East.  All sides are armed, but nobody wants any trouble, even as the mercenaries eye up the vengeful greenskins heading towards them from the other side of the strip.

The orks (top right) have sabotage in mind, so are not heqading straight for the ticket desk, but to have a nonchalant poke around the refuelling device in the back of the truck by the shuttle.

The orks (top right) have sabotage in mind, so are not heading straight for the ticket desk, but to have a nonchalant poke around the refuelling device in the back of the truck by the shuttle.

"Did you pack these plasma grenades yourself sir?  Mmm-hmm, everything seems to be in order, although you will have to discard that water bottle and nail clippers immediately."

“Did you pack these plasma grenades yourself sir?  Mmm-hmm, everything seems to be in order, although you will have to discard that water bottle and the nail clippers in this receptacle immediately.”

Having been cleared for departure the Purgators now have to track down a compliant Navigator.  Local cuisine has not been kind to his refined, delicate, mutant physiology, so he is hanging around by the facilities.

Having been cleared for departure the Purgators now have to track down a compliant Navigator.  Local cuisine (pterasquirrel-a-la-mode) has not been kind to Heinleins refined physiology (known locally as a case of “Backside backside”), so the Navigator is currently to be found near the lav.

Whistling tunelessly, Kaptin Fiddly sidles up to the refuelling apparatus and plants the tracer, even as Cartel security start giving him some grief.  The tracer/transmitter which will be transferred to the shuttlecraft via the fuel lines.  Although Fiddy doesnt plan to let the Purgators get to orbit without a fight, an ork doesnt get to wear a bicorne in the Skallywags without knowing the value of a backup plan.

Whistling tunelessly, Kaptin Fiddy sidles up to the refuelling apparatus and nonchalantly plants a tracer-detonator, even as Cartel security forces start giving him some grief.  The sabotage device will be transferred to the shuttlecraft via the fuel lines. Although Fiddy doesnt plan to let the Purgators get to orbit without a fight, an ork doesnt get to wear a bicorne in the Skallywags without knowing the value of a backup plan.

hhh

With his usual utter disregard for his minions lives Purgator Captain Freeman subvocalises his “Attack” command to his low ranking troops, who advance and open fire on the Skallywags, wounding Kaptin Fiddy.  Cartel justice is swift and one of the Purgators is taken down as a result.

The Purgator fusillade continues, with a blast rocking FIddy and the fuel tank that he is next to.  Big BIlly walks through the firestorm, becoming wounded in the process, but the reassuring cawing from Crackers on his shoulder keeps him from drawing his refitted mining laser in anger and drawing the ire of the Cartels.

The Purgator fusillade continues, with a blast rocking Kaptin Fiddy and the fuel tank beside him. Big Billy walks through the firestorm, becoming wounded in the process, but the reassuring “CAW! Deep breaths Billy, deep breaths… CAW, CAW!” from Crackers on his shoulder keeps the huge greenskin from powering up his refitted mining laser in anger and drawing the ire of the establishment.

The Cartel take a dim view of this behaviour and show their displeasure by gunning down

The Cartel take a dim view of the escalating exchange and show their displeasure by gunning down another Purgator and Roger Da Kabin Grot, but not before Roger manages to wound Buzzsaw as she approaches the Navigator with Bull as wingman.  Navigator Heinlein is unconvinced by the bleeding Buzzsaws verbal negotiation skills, but she has other persuasion techniques available.  The sound of a revving ripsaw joins the cacophony of shouts and gunshots…

Having planted the tracer/detonator under trying circumstances, Fiddy wants to have quiet word with the ships maintenance servitor, which is quietly ignoring the ruckus and continuing with routine shuttle maintenance.

Having planted the tracer/detonator under trying circumstances, Fiddy wants to have quiet, reprogramming words with the ships maintenance servitor, currently quietly ignoring the ruckus and continuing with routine shuttle maintenance.

Codename: Bull lends the considerable persuasive skills of a part man, part bulldozer to the conversation with the Navigator...

Codename: Bull lends the considerable persuasive skills of a part man, part bulldozer to the conversation with the Navigator…

...while yet more Purgators open fire and draw the attentions of the Cartel forces.

…while yet more Purgators open fire and draw the attentions of the Cartel forces.

But the Cartel are not to be trifled with.  Chowing down on his pentazamin, the Cartel sniper on the roof of the terminal isolates his target...

But the Cartels are not to be trifled with. Chowing down on pentazemin, the Cartel sniper on the roof of the terminal isolates his target…

...takes aim at the heavy weapon trooper...

…gets the heavy weapon Purgator in focus down the scope of his “Icebreaker” rifle…

... and with a sound like a jar of Catachan Blood Hornet jam being dropped on tiles, separates the Purgators head from his body.

… and with a sound like a jar of Catachan Blood Hornet jam being dropped on tiles, separates the Purgators head from his body.

Meanwhile, XXX the gretchin pilot, still nursing wounds from being forcibly removed from his vehicle last time, is taken out of action as he tries to alter the maintenance servitors sub routines.

Meanwhile, the gretchin pilot, still nursing wounds from being forcibly removed from his vehicle last time, is taken out of action by Purgator fire as he tries to alter the maintenance servitors sub routines.

Big Billys limited patience is at an end.  With a roar he turns and blasts at the cowardly string pulling Purgator Captain  before Freeman can get to the Navigator.  Regardless, the combined persuasive powers/industrial tools of Buzzsaw and Bull prove to much for the Navigator to resist and the Purgators are ready to board the shuttle.

Big Billys limited patience is at an end.  With a roar of “BILLY SMAAASH!” he turns and blasts at the cowardly string pulling Purgator Captain and wounds him before he can get to the Navigator.  Regardless, the combined persuasive powers/industrial tools of Buzzsaw and Bull prove to much for the Navigator to resist and the Purgators are finally ready to board the shuttle.

Kaptin Fiddy is galvanised

Kaptin Fiddy is galvanised.  With a mutter of “If ya want somethin’ done…” he crams new instructions into the servitor with significantly more force than recommended in the user manual and then batters Purgator Codename: Anarchy to the ground with a backhand from his powerclaw.  The Cartel turns it attentions on the ork Kaptin, but he shrugs them off… but the distraction gives Anarchy an opportunity to gather her wits…

...and the Purgator deftly evades the Kaptin and makes it to the boarding ramp of the shuttle, winning the game.

…and the Purgator deftly evades the Kaptin and makes it to the boarding ramp of the shuttle, winning the game.

———

This game was a nail biter, with the result in the balance until the very last moment.  It was loads of fun.

The “Wanted” scenario special rule made the game very enjoyably tense as rival members of our forces walked suspiciously past each other, biding their time until they attacked.  I have played a number of miniature games that featured sentries and alarms and the like in the past, but this is the very first time that I have seen it work in such an entertaining and atmospheric way.  Primarily I think that it was because each member of the force could become “Wanted” individually, rather than the actions of a single character incriminating their entire side, but there were actually a number of other factors.

Regardless, the game was very memorable and very enjoyable as a result.  Work has begun on a dedicated set of terrain that will cover spaceport duties in future.

Advertisements

16 Responses

  1. Excellent stuff! I really liked how the ‘Wanted’ rule restricted what the players could do in terms of ‘going loud’. Reports like this reinforce to me just why I love this hobby in the first place and provide a pinnacle towards which to aspire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very flattering Gareth, thanks 🙂

      This scenario is a good example of what I look for in my games. Occasionally a game where both players line up and shoot at each other is a laugh, but by and large that isnt what I am looking for. I want narrative and melodrama, I want unlikely exist and surprise appearances.

      Most of all I want character A to be forced due to circumstances to engage in practice 1, to which he is entirely unsuited. The bespectacled boffin that cleans a thugs clock or the pinheaded lummox who manages to override the encryption, those are the characters and events that I remember.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Like

  2. Great read, as always. Looking forward to the spaceport terrain!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Im glad that you enjoyed it Subedai. Sometimes getting the report to flow is more difficult than others, but this one came togetehr relatively easily, to my surprise. I thought that the Wanted rule might make it too hard to follow, but feedback has been positive 🙂

      The spaceport terrain will be a subset of my urban sci-fi terrain, but all of the elements are intended to be modular, so that I can have a landing pad in a jungle or a more upmarket, officious looking building in the shanty town etc.

      Im looking forward to seeing it too to be honest, as its a little early for me to fully visualise how its going to look as yet. Its exciting though, as urban sci-fi terrain is what I have been promising myself since the late eighties. 2015 is the year at last (I hope).

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Like

      • Urban sci-fi terrain is the holy grail – I don’t think 2015 has it in store for me, but I am looking forward to the inspiration.

        Like

        • You are the second person to have described the prospect of sci-fi urban terrain as the grail recently, interestingly enough.

          Its definitely something that I have wanted access to since I was a kid. Exotic, brightly coloured jungles definitely say “alien” and shanty towns say “post-apocalyptic” but nothing says “futuristic” like a city. Its a big project to get finished even to the achievable standard that I am aiming for, but hopefully it will work out.

          Watch this space.

          Like

  3. Enjoyable read, I too am looking forward to the spaceport 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ardentea1, I am inevitably neurotically uncertain about how well my enthusiasm for a game will translate to the reports, so I am always happy to hear from someone who enjoys them 🙂

      Like

  4. Another blockbuster I really enjoy it thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can live with descriptions liuke “blockbuster” Frank, thats for sure 🙂

      The goal is for games that feel like a miniature version of Starship Troopers, Dredd or Guardians of the Galaxy. Best to aim high at least I guess, even if we dont always get there.

      Like

  5. That looked like good fun mate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was good fun Chico, thanks.

      A variation on the scenario would make a good Dredd game I think, with two groups of perps trying to avoid the attention of the Judges while they got ready to engage in some typically absurd MC1 crime.

      Yeah, I am going to have to try that actually.

      Like

  6. Great report. I love the space port.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Danny. The spaceport is a bit bare bones at the moment, but having a model spaceship certainly helps with the suspension of disbelief 😀

      It will be improved on soon I hope.

      Like

  7. Spaceports (and associated security or “dicks”) are splendid places. I figure I really need to build myself one one of these days too. Sounds like a great game. I figured Fiddy had it in the bag when he spiked the go-juice. (RP-6? Rocketol? Needs a good moniker.) Anyway, when he got his little plant going and reprogrammed the servitor. Great write up, splendid game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! I read up on “Overreacting Airport Security” on TVtropes while I was writing this. The concept is – as we all know – inevitably played for laughs. Its an easy and commonly used shorthand to get viewers/readers on side.

      Inevitably, some real life security staff are definitely “dicks”, but my experience of passengers (and associated travellers or “selfish assholes”) means that I sympathise with the people who have to deal with them all day too. Not that I wont mine a cliche for a cheap laugh of course.

      As you noted, the game was a nail biter. I really thought Fiddy had snatched it, but unfortunately not. It was close as can be really though, which is the most desirable result in a game I think.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: