Pulp 40k Alley: Firebase Fracas

The partially ruined outpost "FB96"

The partially ruined outpost “FB96”

Human/alien hybrids with 1980s synth pop affectations, motile and monosyllabic trees, fascist space-halflings, moustachioed mankini garbed ork geniuses and rapid fire ion blaster wielding anthropomorphic raccoons and a load of robots are only some of the things that collided at Firebase RB96 last Saturday.

Just John, theottovonbismark and Mr Saturday spent last weekend in my place playing games.  Although we each have long and varied histories with Warhammer 40,000, our rule set of choice for sci-fi skirmishing is Pulp Alley, during games of which our forces of reprobates from the 40k universe clash:

The inimitable Zardork, accompanied by Da Black Major and his Red Shadorks

The inimitable Zardork, accompanied by Da Black Major and his Red Shadorks

The ever more unhinged Captain Jameson of the Ratling forces of Leprecia IX, accompanied by his mechanical colleagues.

The ever more unhinged Captain Jameson of the Ratling forces of Leprecia IX, accompanied by his mechanical colleagues.

Interstellar mercenaries Cooper and Char'lee are accompanied by cyber-feline G.I.N.G.E.R. and a recently hacked HK drone.

Interstellar mercenaries Cooper and Char’lee are accompanied by cyber-gyrinx G.I.N.G.E.R. and a recently hacked HK drone.

Magos Kurgan, Heirarch (and electropop enthusiast) Mijur and Brother Char of the corrupted Adeptus Mechanicus of the Kabeiroi accompany a Castellan battle automata to the partially ruined outpost.

Corrupted Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Kurgan, Heirarch (and electropop enthusiast) Mijur and Brother Char of the Kabeiroi Cult accompany a Castellan battle automata to the partially ruined outpost.


The scenario:

Ever since the seismic destabilisation 0f Krellborn IX by a force of orks from the Bigdogz mercenary conglomerate (see: the three part The Ragna Rock campaign) the planet has been in turmoil.  Strategically worthless and lean on natural resources, the weird and not fully understood treasures unearthed by the ork meddling have drawn local factions to the planet like bloodworms to a grox carcass.  All are desperate to profit before the crushing might of the Imperial military/administrative machine can be brought to bear.

Four plot points – a corpse, a weird mineral formation, forbidden texts and a squat captive – are desired by each faction to varying degrees.  A faction in possession of any of those items can subsequently access the still functioning communication pylon situated on the Firebase, beaming the necessary data to their comrades in orbit.

As per most Pulp Alley games, there is a six turn limit.  As it is our first game of the weekend and because there are four players (which will extend the duration of the game significantly) the Leagues are smaller at point builds rather than the standard ten points.


Following Cpt. Jamesons orders to the letter the ominous forms of the weird Leprecian automata sweep through the outpost from North to South.

Following Cpt. Jamesons orders to the letter, the ominous forms of the weird Leprecian automata sweep through the outpost from North to South while the Captain heads East on “Officer business”.

The Kabieroi head South West through the partially ruined putpost.

The Kabieroi head South West through the partially ruined outpost…

...while the Xeno mercs head North West on a collision course.

…while the Xeno mercs head North West on a collision course with the hybrids.


Da Black Major as ever leads his troops from the rear…

…while Zardork – shouting in a loud voice about the phallic nature of ranged instruments of war – blasts chunks of alien bark from Char’lee with a lang ranged salvo, wounding the Foakspherian.


Continuing the sort of mayhem-filled momentum that the strangely cerebrally enhanced madboy has become known for, the moustache preener picks up the tied up squat, tucks him under his arm…


… and plugs a cat.  Never fear ailurophiles. We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

“Let ush proscheed to the Firebayshe” said Zardork, in a secret agent-y sort of voice.


Having been softened up by Zardork, Char’lee shields Cooper, but takes additional damage from incoming heavy bolter fire from the Castellan robot…


With a bellow, Char’lee stomps toward the robot, ready to perform some not exactly routine “maintenance”, but is intercepted by Magos Kurgan, stepping out from the shadows with a twirl of his cape.


Although Char’lee is under severe pressure, he has bought enough time for Cooper to grab the parts of the corpse that he was looking for.


Heirarch Mijur updates his Facebook status, checks his online trading group pages, orders the Castellan to redeploy, checks his online trading groups again “just in case” and retreats.






After pulling up a naturally occurring stool and pouring himself a port from his hip flask, Jameson barely registers the loss of the automata, enthralled as he is by the contents of the forbidden texts that he has located. “I should have brought my gramophone servitor…” mutters the diminutive dictator to himself.


“Blam! Murdered you!” cries the hard-to-make-out-in-the-picture space mammal.


With an inhuman cackle, Magos Kurgan slams the treeperson to the ground and exits with a flourish.


Incensed by the wounding of his friend, but canny enough to keep his eye on the prize, Cooper springs up the stairs into covering fire from the Leprecian Automata which has damaged the HK drone.  Nimbly proving too hard a target to hit, Cooper smashes the robot into the surface of the landing pad with ion blaster rounds…


…only to be knocked from the pad himself by a small character wearing a peaked cap, lurking in the shadows.


Taking full advantage of its bipedal, humanoid design the Castellan climbs the fuel tower. +++ HIGH QUALITY PIPE TOBACCO DETECTED. ACQUIRING TARGET +++


“HES BEHIND YOU!” cries the audience, as the Kurhgan leaps from behind the building to attack the now wounded Cooper.


Close quarter fighting between alien small mammal and human/genestealer hybrid rages, but Cooper is out of his element and the Kurgan has been working out.


Meanwhile Zardorks Amazing Adventure continues, as the big green pauses only to headbut an Automata into a wall…


…and mount Firebase 96 at the same moment that Cpt. Jameson reveals himself.


A now familiar cackle emanates from beneath the hood of the Kurgan as Cooper falls, dropping the crucial piece of bloody corpse that he had been carrying.  The newly conscious Char’lee looks displeased as he plods toward the platform


With the pon farr madness causing him to throw caution to the wind, Magos Kurgan hurls himself away from the irate treeman and onto the landing pad.  Desperate three-way Leader battle is joined.


Having been somewhat overshadowed by Zardork so far, Da Major climbs to the top of a ruined building, takes careful aim…


…and plugs Char’Lee just as Cooper regains consciousness.


The clash of titans continues, while the auto-repair subroutines on the Automata engage again and it rises to its duratanium feet…

…but it is too late and Zardork beams the information retrieved from the squat captive back to the Red Shadork kroozer in orbit, even as the Castellan finally blasts the Automata to component parts.


“NOOOOOO!” cries the recently re-conscious Cooper.


The game was fun and generated a lot of giggles.  The multi player scenario special rule that we were trying out needs a little more work, but it didnt drag the game down or anything, the game objectives still functioned as planned.

Three of the forces fielded were composed of newly painted models that were enjoying their gaming debut, which is always nice.  It was also the first game for some of the new pieces of terrain that I have been working on for the last while, which was similarly pleasurable.  It was extra enjoyable that so much of the action took place on and around the new Firebase.

I will post the images of the follow up scenario over the next few days.


26 Responses

  1. That game was an indecent amount of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like fun was had with great models on a great table amongst equally great beings… that’s th edefinition of “right” in my book.

    Looking forward to the rest

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God, I can’t get over how nice your gaming terrain looks! That dead zone firebase is amazing, it fits perfectly with your other stuff. Also you’re one of the few people I’ve seen able to use plastic aquarium plants and not have them look like… plastic aquarium plants.

    And of course as always, a wild assortment of characters and great storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the encouragement No Such Agency 🙂

      In fairness, it has taken me many years to get to a point where my terrain looks reasonably integrated, while still being reasonably modular, semi-storable and actually painted and ready to game with. It will never look as convincing as some of the beautiful architectural style terrain tables seen at shows and the like, but I do get a kick out of seeing terrain on the table that looks to me a helluva lot like a Star Trek set 🙂

      As for the assortment of characters, Im only to blame for 25% of those. The rest of the oddballs spring from the minds of the other lads 🙂

      Thanks again for the kind and encouraging feedback.


  4. Very nice indeed. Lovely write up, great scenario, and splendid miniatures. Thank you for a few good laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooh! What a treat for the eyes! A lush and almost over-saturated setting, and with each team laced heavily with character and individuality. I can almost taste the derring-do on show 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My super saturated solutions to terrain and miniatures dont appeal to everyone, but I am happy with the overall look. Real life is grey enough, so I am happy to add 1960s style, Lost in Space/Star Trek blasts of colour to my games.

      I feel similarly about the over the top nature of the characters. Part of what I enjoy about the setting is the grossly exaggerated characters and situations, so I try to make sure that is conveyed in the games too.

      Necromunda and or Rogue Trader provide some of that exaggerated style, but those systems dont incorporate the non-combat related story elements into the games as well as Pulp Alley (even if the narrative in the game above isnt an ideal example, being a little more scattered than most PA games due to double the usual number of factions).

      Thanks for the feedback Axiom 🙂


  6. Looks a great game.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As always a highly entertaining read. The gaming envy is off the charts here, I can tell you that! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • BTW, what’s the little pumpstation thingamajig in the top left of the first pic?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Mattias. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the write up. I never really know how much of the reports make sense to be honest – I am bit too close to the games to see them properly in some respects and there are no proof readers in blogging – but I figure that at least there is usually a fun photo or two and occasional toilet humour.

        As for gaming envy, the possibility of you weighing in for a game or two with the very people involved in the game above seems to be getting higher, heres hoping 🙂

        The pump station affair came from Micro Art Studio back in 2011 – I think that its OOP now, but Im not sure. I will cover it and the Generator shown in a later blog post: I only got the two of them finished just in time for the game above.


  8. Excellent stuff. The automata in particular are excellent. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Automata are particularly nice models arent they? They fit in excellently with Johns WWI Ratling/Kindred force. You can see more detailed shots of the figures over on his blog.

      Thanks for the encouraging feedback Mr Kinch.


  9. Once again a great write up, that homage to 60’s sci-fi just bring me straight back to my childhood & is one of the things I love about your site.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. as always an excellent blog post

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent; looks like a great game!

    I love the Genestealer magus checking his Facebook in the middle of the fight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was good fun, lots of entertaining little vignettes. Mr Saturdays Genestealer Cult is getting larger and more interesting every time that I see it.

      Thanks for the feedback Warburton.


  12. Another amazing looking game. Your terrain always makes your battle reports look really special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Azazel. Once I finally had a dedicated games room I was finally be able to put more time into terrain without seeing it getting wrecked due to improper storage. This new terrain set is looking like it will be another step up in quality I think.

      If the terrain is crap, then it doesnt matter how nice the miniatures are. Terrain is more important than the soldiers really.

      Thanks for the feedback Azazel.


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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: