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Pulp Alley 40K: “Exit Strategy”

ExitStrategy48

ExitStrategy29

Genestealer hybrids, ratling tyrants and immoral scientists all experience a transdimensional audit with extreme prejudice, while simultaneously hopping from mega city to graveyard, and from planet to planet.

ExitStrategy32

theottovonbismark, Mr Saturday, Just John and PB visited for a gaming weekend recently.  The main course was this four player game of Pulp Alley.

I put together a simple scenario and some terrain and Plot Point markers for the game and I also served as GM and pict recordist servitor for the afternoon.

Mr Saturdays genestealer cultists.

Genestealer cultist corruptions of the Adeptus Mechanicus: the Kabeiroi

Captain Jameson and his sidekick

Captain Jameson and his fellow Leprecian sidekick codename “Shorty“, equipped with uncanny short range teleportation relics.

St Craniums Cemetery. Note the inscrutable techno-arcana of the portal in the centre of the graveyard.

St Craniums Cemetery. Note the inscrutable techno-arcana of the portal in the centre of the graveyard.

Mr Saturdays genestealer Kabeiroi cultists faced a forbidden technology equipped pair of Leprecian ratlings (led by the almost universally loathed megalomaniac Captain Jameson) across part of the decaying cemetery of St Craniums.

Sector 13, decaying megalopolis.

Sector 13, sprawling megalopolis.  Again, note the incongruous ethereal gateway, straddling the gulf of space and time.

Meanwhile, in the decaying urban sprawl of Sector 13, theottovonbismark took command of an Imperial Audit force, looking to investigate the biological, technological and financial irregularities that had come to light in the business practices of the “Nu U” corporation…

“Nu U – Its Whats on the Inside That Counts

The Imperial Audit: as feared as Horus himself.

The Imperial Audit: as feared as the arch-traitor Horus himself.

Perpetual technological luddites that they are, genestealer Kabieroi meddling with forbidden Adeptus Mechanicus techno arcana has brought a weird gate into being in St Craniums, with attendant pandimensional entities and oddites cropping up in the area.

It is the peculiar but intense readings generated by the gate itself that has brought the power mad ratling despot to the location.

On the other hand, the reckless pursuit of science for its own sake by Nu U has led them to use dark nano-voodoo ritual to stimulate a portal into semi-being in Sector 13, with attendant anomalous occurrences appearing afterwards to cause disruption all round.

After putting in a quick astropathic call to those more well equipped than they to deal with the arcane, the Imperial Audit has doggedly and unimaginatively continued to pursue the corporation for their own reasons: they reason that nobody requires decilitres of amniotic fluid AND that many paperclips.

———

The Kabeiroi pick their way through the ancient burial site, attempting to isolate one of the anomalies, in order to give them access to the portal.

The Kabeiroi pick their way through the ancient burial site, attempting to isolate one of the anomalies in order to give them access to the portal…

ii

…while the hybrids relish the chance to spill blood for the Omnipatriarch.

Codename:

Codename: “Shorty” uses stolen xeno tech to zero in on the uncanny readings…

…while Cpt. Jameson engages his short range teleporter to get to the the source of one of the readings and energise it, causing a bizarre sibilant horror to appear….

...causing a bizarre sibilant horror to appear.

“The crime isss life, the sssentence iss death!” says Judge Death.
“You and I are going to get on just swell” says the rascally Captain.

Meanwhile across the incomprehensibly vast gulf of space, the Audit presses forward through Sector 13...

Meanwhile across the incomprehensibly vast gulf of space, The Audit presses forward through Sector 13…

...closing in on the strange forces of New U.

…closing in on the strange forces of New U.

The super/sub human elements of New U advance through the city...

The super/sub human elements of New U advance through the city…

...and a firefight begins...

…and a firefight begins…

...'twixt cybernetically modified bureaucrat and biologically altered human.

…’twixt cybernetically modified bureaucrat and biologically altered human.

Relishing the chance to at last field test their creations, the unassuming New U lab coat types advance through the sector.

One of the scientists deactivates her fridge freezer sized cloaking device to examine a book.

One of the New U scientists deactivates her fridge freezer sized cloaking device to examine a book. “The Necronomicon, by Samuel Raimison” she reads on the cover…

... then opens the book and her brain foams out of her nostrils and ears.

… but upon opening the book her brain foams out of her nostrils and ears.

Note: the book in the shot is a “ships log” that I glued together from bits and pieces for Space Hulk gaming back in 1991 or so.  I recently found it in a box of game counters so decided to press it into service as a Plot Point in this game for old times sake.

Meanwhile Dr Schadenfreude has a little more luck, his handwavium projector generates a spookily speaking, smouldering spectre, generating enough data to allow the Nu U forces to access the realmgate.

Meanwhile Dr Machiavelli has a little more luck and his handwavium projector generates a spookily speaking, smouldering spectre, giving him enough data to allow the Nu U forces to access the realmgate.

New U Subject Gamma sprays the nearest anomalous reading with explosive rounds, to keep the Audit from it.

New U Subject Gamma sprays the nearest anomalous reading with explosive rounds, to dissuade the Audit from approaching.

Using Holy Bureacratic cant (

Using Holy Bureaucratic cant (“Shift the paradigm with joined up thinking to generate that 24 carat feeling vis a vis ramping up when moving forward”) Adept Middlemanagicus pulls a dimensionally unstable warrior from the ether and begins to convince him of the validity of his cause…

Its science versus bureaucracy when, unhappy to allow the Warrior to grant portal access to the Audit, Dr Shadenfreude confronts the Auditor...

Its science versus bureaucracy when, unhappy to allow The Warrior to grant portal access to The Audit, Dr Shadenfreude confronts Adept Middlemanagicus

Middlemanigicus chooses to retreat as with a tap on a subdermal injector the doctors body begins to pulsate…

...and in a spray of ichor Dr Schadenfreude transforms into Hominus Ultima (thats DOCTOR Hominus Ultima to you by the way)!

…and in a spray of ichor Dr Schadenfreude transforms into Hominus Ultima (thats DOCTOR Hominus Ultima to you).

Many parsecs away, Shorty uses his forbidden short range teleportation tech to avoid a hail of incoming supporting fire and beat the Kabereoi to another dimensionally unstable target. The Keymaster is under Leprecian control.

Many parsecs away, Shorty uses his perditia class range teleportation tech to avoid a hail of incoming supporting fire and beat the Kabereoi to another dimensionally unstable target. The Keymaster is now under Leprecian control.

Magos Kurgan quickly follows suit, using his modified Rod of b’Ugza’ping to draw yet another fleshless daemonic horror partly into the cemetery, giving cult access to the portal…

...which the hybrids head straight for, hoping to glean the rewards of the other side.

…which the hybrids head straight for, hoping to glean the rewards on the other side.

Back in Sector 13, Auditor Secundus Gibb foot-tappingly proceeds on a bloody rampage through the inhuman horrors of Nu U, beginning with a swarm of mutant lab rats...

Back in Sector 13, Auditor Secundus Gibb foot-tappingly proceeds on a bloody rampage through the inhuman horrors of Nu U, beginning by trampling a swarm of mutant lab rats… “Hah, hah, hah, hah…”

“…stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive” he hums as he batters New U Subject Gamma into submission…

Pew-pew... sptang... peow...

Pew-pew… sptang… peow…

Bzapp, bzaapp-zapp...

Bzapp, bzaapp-zapp…

Squelch...

Squelch… “AAAaaarrghh…ugh…”

Clerk Primaris Beancounter uses the confusion to engage in negotiations with another dimensionally unstable character.
“Do you want this body?” asks The Gatekeeper.  
“I am 16% organic from the neck down madam, I experience more arousal from a fully loaded stapler” the Clerk replies.

The Warrior hastily agrees to the recently transmogrified Dr Schadenfreudes proposal. The doctor bundles the warrior under one arm, heads to the glowing realmgate and leaps through it...

The Warrior hastily agrees to the recently transmogrified Dr Schadenfreudes proposal. The Doctor bundles The Warrior under one arm, heads to the glowing realmgate and leaps through it…

...there is an infinite moment of nothingness...

…an infinite moment of nothingness…

...and the bellowing leviathan lands on alien soil a lifetime away. Cpt. Jameson soils his breeches.

…and the bellowing leviathan lands on alien soil a lifetime away.
Cpt. Jameson soils his breeches.

The Kabereoi Castellan robot immediately engages its auto-targeting systems on the learned chitinous gent as it closes on the Captain.

The Kabereoi Castellan robot immediately engages its auto-targeting systems on the learned chitinous gent as it closes on the Captain, the battle is now officially an interstellar four-way.

Whether its the cloud of forbidden nanotech or the unholy stench of digested veal, caviar and foie gras from the Captains breeches that keeps Dr Hominus Ultima at bay concerns the ratling little, because whatever it is, it works.

Whether its the cloud of forbidden nanotech or the unholy stench of digested veal, caviar and foie gras from the Captains breeches that keeps Dr Hominus Ultima at bay concerns the ratling little, because whatever it is, it works.

Back on the groovin’ streets of Sector 13 its
“Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a lover you’re, stayin’ alive…”
Unimpressed with Auditor Gibbs cavalier attitude, Dr Machiavelli decides to be himself and morphs into a taloned terror…

...and quickly renders Auditor Gibb as dead as disco.

…and quickly renders Auditor Gibb as dead as disco.

Things really start to inter-dimensionally hot up at this point, with Shorty dragging the Keymaster through the portal...

Things really start to inter-dimensionally hot up at this point, with Shorty dragging The Keymaster through the portal…

...while the genestealer cultists leap in from the other side...

…while the cultists leap in from the other side…

...the sound of no hands clapping...

…the deafening sound of no hands clapping…

...and the only slightly disorientated Shorty, a professional even under extreme circumstances, uses the Keymasters warp signature to locate the Necronomicon, short range teleport to it, pick it up and place a stasis field around it.

…and the only slightly disorientated Shorty, a professional even under these extreme circumstances, uses The Keymasters warp signature to locate the Necronomicon, short range teleport to it, pick it up and place it in a stasis field.

...the cultists land in Sector 13 moments later. It takes the Castellan another moment to recalibrate its targeting matrix for the altered gravity, atmospheric conditions and magnetosphere...

…the cultists land in Sector 13 moments later. It takes the Castellan only a nanosecond to recalibrate its targeting matrix for the altered gravity, atmospheric conditions and magnetosphere…

before its acquires its target and pours heavy bolter shells at the monstrous form of Dr Machiavelli, who howls in inhuman rage and pain.

…before the machine acquires its target and pours heavy bolter shells at the monstrous form of Dr Machiavelli, who howls in inhuman rage and pain.

Taking advantage of the robots covering fire, Magos Kurgan uses his hypnotic gaze to show Clerk Beancounter how to get on a womans good side, the genestealer way.

Taking advantage of the robots covering fire, Magos Kurgan uses his hypnotic gaze to show Clerk Beancounter how to get on a womans good side, the genestealer way.

Its interdimensionally linked pan galactic bedlam now...

Its interdimensionally linked, pan galactic bedlam now and Jameson barely keeps Dr Hominus Ultima at bay while Dr Machiavelli flees the Castellan robots firepower via dimensional gateway, landing almost immediately in combat with the hybrids in St Craniums.

...Magos Kurgan decks the pen-pusher and turns his gaze upon the Gatekeeper.

Back in Sector 13 Magos Kurgan decks the pen-pusher and turns his gaze upon The Gatekeeper…

...only for another pen-pusher (recently after disengaging from a firefight) to distract the Magos once again...

…only for another pen-pusher (recently disengaged from a firefight) to distract the Magos once again.  Running out of time, the Magos turns and leaps back through the portal…

...with his alien eyes firmly fixed on Shorty and the stasis bound, evil book that he has brought back from another world.

…with his alien eyes firmly fixed on Shorty and the stasis and leather bound book of evil that he has brought back from another world.

Meanwhile

Meanwhile the Kabereoi, New U and Leprecian forces fight for possession of the anomalies, but Dr Hominus Ultima has his altered eyes on the prize and leaps back from one planet to another…

...infinite monkeys use infinite typewriters...

…infinite monkeys use infinite typewriters…

uuu

…and the not-so-good Doctor lands in Sector 13 and prepares for the final communion with the portal.  Can the mutant monstrosity make it?

The chaotic struggle continues back in St Craniums with both Dr Machaivelli and Magos Kurgan managing to extricate themselves...

The chaotic struggle continues back in St Craniums with both Dr Machaivelli and Magos Kurgan managing to extricate themselves and hurtle back through time and space…

...How Deep is Your Love...

…How Deep is Your Love…

...with both landing and each assisting and hindering Dr Schadenfreude equally, denying both the Kabereoi and New U the chance of victory, leading to a draw between both forces.

…with both landing and each assisting and hindering Dr Schadenfreude equally, denying all any chance of outright victory and leading to a draw between New U and the Leprecians.

——–

That was loads of fun to preside over, even though I wasnt actively playing a faction.  The dimension hopping element of the game was fun and worked pretty well, being dynamic rather than a bottleneck (although I dont know if the report makes it clear what was actually happening at various points or not.  I did my best to make it possible to follow).

It was the inaugural outing for both the Imperial Audit and PBs New U force (the latters ability to change form being entertaining in itself), which added an extra layer of fun to proceedings.

As ever, another triumph for the Pulp Alley rule set.  Virtual high fives to the participants, fun loving gents with their eyes firmly on having a few laughs, one and all.

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24 Responses

  1. I suspect that the game was a triumph. The figures and terrain look great, and the less than serious attitude involved makes for a fun read. As to what actually happened, there was something about a book…? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I take my fun seriously. Games have the be fun and have to make me laugh, but the game itself has to be played too. Its a fine line, but there is humour in everything if you look for it: life is inherently absurd.

      As for the plot? Gates need “keys”, opponents need crushing, end of story. Thanks for the feedback Axiom 🙂

      Like

  2. A solidy great, time, the excellent company and Paul’s impressive scenery collection heightened the gaming several levels. The realmgates were bigger than I expected, very desirable models with cracking paintjobs, including some tasty lighting effects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was an excellent session by any measure. The terrain and miniatures are critical of course, but its important to be playing with people who want roughly the same thing from the experience, like you guys.

      Manly, comradely punches to the upper arm all round!

      Like

  3. Wow I’m just blown away by that Paul, like axiom I know your where all after the book I’d all guess the gatekeeper & the locksmith or whatever his name is also had apart to play in things.

    The realmgates like Mr Saturday said are very desirable even if I couldn’t paint them as well as you did, the scenario you came up with was out of this world & many others, I’ll just can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed the post & did I hear somewhere it was for someones Birthday ? well everyone who reads this is getting a present Paul so thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was my birthday gaming session Frank, I turn forty this week.

      As for what happened, all of the anomalies – the Necronomicon, the Dark Judges, Ash, the Keymaster, the Gatekeeper – were minor Plot Points. A force had to have at least a single Minor Plot Point in its possession in order to cross from one battlefield to the other.

      Victory points were awarded for having one Plot Point from ones home battlefield, a Plot Point from the other battlefield and then accessing a Major Plot point back on the home battlefield once that had been achieved. Nobody got the last Major Plot Point, but Dr Schadenfreude/Dr Hominus Ultima came close in the final turn of the game.

      The game was more straightforward than the above paragraph sounds, but it still conjured up all sorts of familiar tropes as hoped. It was great fun, Im glad that you enjoyed it.

      Like

  4. Great report. However…I would like it states for the record that it was in fact Nu-U and I, Cpt Jameson Esq that tied for first place. Correct the historical record or else!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The error has been corrected your Magnificence. I will report to the auto-rack to atone as soon as my shift finishes if it pleases you O Great One.

      Like

  5. Awesome work. I have no idea whether the game I think I’m following through your photo-story resembles the actual game, but either way it is highly entertaining to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah!

      The photo story really is an account of the game as I saw it. I sometimes invent character names when I cant remember the ones used and I definitely infer certain motives and detail in hindsight or based on whatever nonsense we happened to be talking about during the game, but the events depicted are pretty much what happened.

      I sometimes fudge a detail that I cant remember or to take advantage of a particularly apt photo or similar, but honestly, this time you really need pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

      Im glad that you liked it anyway 🙂

      Like

  6. Looks absolutely amazing — very inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a lot of fun to get the wormhole trope working in a game. Its such a familiar narrative device (Portal, Thor: The Dark World, Sliders, Quantum Leap, Event Horizon etc etc) that its easy to get everyone on board conceptually.

      Im glad that you liked it, thanks for the kind words 🙂

      Like

  7. Looks wonderful, I love how a simple plotline can join the most different groups and to make a story you want to folow. Thumbs up for all the easter eggs.
    Great game guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This game was more of a mashup even than usual, always a possibility once “interdimensional” enters the equation. Themed narrative is difficult with multiplayer games anyway, as we each have our own current projects and interests and I dont want to try to force people to work on things that may not turn their crank right now.

      That said, the game was a lot of fun and looked pretty good I think. I am looking forward to my next two player gaming session though, when we will theme the forces and the scenario and the terrain a little more tightly. Im hoping to get some Ordo Malleus versus Chaos Cultist games played in the not too distant future. Proper grimdark, gothic stuff.

      Thanks for the feedback Asslessman!

      Like

  8. Wonderful read, thank you, and a very happy birthday to you Paul!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks like an awesome experience! Playing on such a board and with such minis totally enhances any game and takes it to another level.
    I’m really curious about using Pulp Alley, it always looks terrific on all your games!
    And of course, happy birthday!! I hope the Administratum records are properly updated 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your own terrain is themed very strongly Suber, it looks like a scratch from it would cause tetanus 😉

      Hopefully we will get to see a tabletop confrontation there one of these days.

      Thank you for the feedback and birthday wishes.

      Like

  10. Awesome! Fantastic! Amazing! THANKS for sharing.

    Dave
    Pulp Alley

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Once again a truly stunning write up and a great game. 🙂 I love the way you use PA. You weave together great narratives and action packed games.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweeping battles have narrative appeal too of course, but what it comes down to for me is that I want pulpy, cliffhanger filled, melodramatic romps to fore my imagination when I playing with my toy soldiers. PA is the very best way that I have found to represent that to date.

      Thanks for the kind words David 🙂

      Like

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