Monday, 28 January 2013

Test Game of Pulp Alley

I thought I'd run a quick solo Pulp Alley game to get myself accustomed to the rules, I spent one of my evenings last week on a train back from London and armed with my tablet and a number randomiser I'd pre-rolled a number of scenarios already and added some flavour to them based on miniatures and terrain I already owned. I've also statted up a couple of Pulp Leagues over the weekend to try out those rules.

So with an hour of free time I whipped out some terrain and miniatures and set too it.

First off the Background.
The renowned explorer Professor Jonathan Granger has stumbles into our heroes camp desperate for help, he must save his reputation. The professor has been travelling back through this dangerous areas of North Africa when he was ambushed by local tribesmen and in the resulting firefight he fled and managed to escape. 

It turns out he was transporting the fabled Tome of Sir Elrik of Lincolnshire, a jewel encrusted book chronicling much of the early crusades.

Our heroes scramble to help, and rush to the location of the Professor's convoy to begin searching for the professors missing equipment and the Tome and securing it before it it gathered by local scavengers

The forces in question are:
Butch Sulivans League of Adventurers:

Suliman's Desert Raiders

The Tome of Elrik is the major plot point and placed in the middle of the board. The rest o the professors equipment and convoy form the rest of the minor plot points which were: An old map, camouflaged rifles, a stolen rangefinder and a talkative officer.

The trucks formed the convoy in the center of the board and the black markers note the plop points. I didn't bother with any perilous areas for this test run but if I run this scenario again I'd probably make the area around the flaming trucks perilous. I was also playing on a 2'x2' board and started the two groups in corners on the same side of the board to speed up getting to the action. 

Once the game began Butch's Adventurers took the initiative and started moving towards the objectives, Markus makes a brave move towards the opposing side armed with his trusty SMG.

Unfortunately in the resulting firefight he's downed by the 3 Desert Warriors on this hill.

Old Hamza and Eagle-Eyed Akmed move towards the stolen range finding equipment and Hamza successfully heaved the heavy boxes onto his shoulders to make off with them. 

The following turn and Suliman's Raiders take advantage of the initiative, Hamza rushes Indiana, Butches faithful hound, with a swing of his mighty blade he downs the mutt in one blow. 

Akmed makes a rush for the Tome whilst Suliman collects an old map of the professors. 

Malik the Thief finds one of the convoy guards is still alive, in the following fistfight Malik beats some useful information out of the poor man, leaving him for the desert to finish off. 

With Suliman's Raiders in possession of several of the Plot points and my hour of free time drawing to an end I called it quits there. 

Overall opinions are fairly positive, I always find it hard to judge a game by solo play, I like the fortune card concept and the multi-dice type combat seems to work alright, though I certainly need some more dice to make it easier. 

Compared to .45 adventure its a fast game and non heroic characters seem to drop real fast with just a couple of poor rolls. I could do with printing some of the rosters out as relying on having the rules and both rosters on my tablet was a bit of a pain in the backside. 

Now to find someone willing to give the rules a try for a proper run through. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Analogue Painting Competition - End of month 1 Roundup

Yup it's been a little quiet around here in January, that's due to the painting competition  Christmas, new Year, my Daughters Birthday and finally a weekend away with some Steampunk Friends of ours.

I've managed to plod along with the painting competition and currently sit a little behind the planned schedule, I've amassed a reasonable 155 points of my target of 500, that puts me at around 31% of target.

I'm actually a little surprised at that figure, and with a good Feb I may actually be able to make the 500 points.

A quick overview of what I've painted so far:

That's 28 miniatures and a vehicle, may not seem a lot for some people but for me this is pretty good progress, I probably only painted 30 miniatures for the whole of 2012 so here's to a year of painting stuff up.

With another couple of orders turning up this last week I've quite a healthy painting queue again, though I'm still ignoring the Saga Anglo-Danes I've got. Up next should be several batches of Napoleonic French, some WW2 Americans and plenty more pulp miniatures. 

These updates will probably only be monthly so they don't cut into what little painting time I have. 

Till next time.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

First Analogue Hobbies Challenge entry

These were actually completed just prior to Christmas as I was keen to ensure I had made a start before we went a travelling around the relatives.

Firstly I have an important looking Indian Gentleman, possibly linked to an ancient Kali Cult or perhaps just an armed merchant. Who knows but you can be sure he'll turn up in an adventure or two.

Second up is a great towering thug of a man, painted up perhaps as the perfect example of Aryan strength for my pulp Germans, either way he's mean and ready to be a real challenge should our heroes encounter him.

I've some more Pulp pretty much finished but the Challenge rules state Curt gets first sight of the pictures so you lot will all have to wait till I've sent them to him and they've been published.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Brink of Battle After Action Reports

Over the Christmas period my brother and I managed to squeeze in 3 Brink of Battle games, which was pretty much on plan, I had 1 spare scenario but I can keep that for later.

The games went pretty well and as I spectacularly failed to take any photos of the first couple so I'll leave it to my brother to do complete write ups over at his blog here:

Whilst he is doing that I'll cover the 3 scenarios we played and ruminate on the rules.

Game 1
The first game we played was the assault on the gate of the German Facility, Phil has filled out the background a little more in his report and I'll not repeat it here. The scenario itself was a simple take and hold the British forces had 12 turns to cover around 3' of board to the gate and must hold the gate. For each turn the gate is held the Brits would gain an advantage in the next game. The forces were an even 700 points each.

We tried a few variants on the rules, the Germans deployed under markers and I allowed some dice rolls for the Brits to represent Intel on the area. The Brits rolled badly and only revealed 1 marker. The mechanic worked OK but it didn't really add a huge amount to the game and did slow it down quite a bit. 

The Germans also only received half orders to represent the static nature of the sentry forces. This worked fine and they gained full orders once half the tokens were revealed.

Overall the scenario worked well until we got in a firefight in the center of the board, this took several turns to resolve as both sides were in cover and difficult to kill. Phil lost a little too much time and too many men and the game appeared to be unwinnable and the Brits retreated.

I suspect the sides were in balanced with the scenario, perhaps the Germans should have had a couple of hundred less which may have evened up their chances as little.

The British Advanced force makes it's approach to the Facility Entrance

Panzershrek action, taking out the Giant Claymore Wielding Scotsman

Some Guard Dogs very effectively taking out one of the British Soldiers in the wheatfield.

Game 2 
The second game was a counter attack from the German forces and allowed me to try some of the weird forces I have, the Germans had to destroy a British Steel Suit charging station at the Allied base of operations. Again this was an even 700 points as side.

This played out pretty quickly and ended in German defeat due to losses. 

The stats for the battle suits worked well, they were a little difficult to damage and took multiple hits to down, a good invention but not unkillable. 

Once again I feel the defender should have had less points. as I hardly got more than a few inches closer than in the shot below before my force broke.

2 PanzerKampfSoldats approach the British defenses under heavy fire. 

Game 3
The 3rd game was more of a dungeon crawl, a 2'x2' board over multiple levels leading to 3 objective rooms which the Brits must destroy. Blighted by poor customer service and Christmas postage my Westwind Cloning Tanks didn't arrive in time for this scenario so I had to adlib a little and the 3 objectives were the ammunition stores, the pumping station and the generator room.

Whilst the game worked well  the firefights descended into back and forth fire with few casualties, meaning that the Brits didn't get particularly far into the facility before they had lost too many men.

Initial Board Set Up

The British Steelsuits lead the fight into the Complex.

2 German Abomination are incinerated by one of the Steelsuits

The PanzerShrek armed PanzerkampfSoldat makes short work of a British Steel Suit


After discussions with my Brother our main concern is the stagnant firefights and non-result of shocking an activated model. We've kicked around a couple of ideas around stacking shock, you get shocked once fine lose your action token, you get shocked again then you may fall back, shocked a 3rd time and you're removed from play, either dead or combat ineffective. Not sure how this will play out in practice. 

We also discussed dropping the Con of everything by 1, we already have a lot of armour in the game and this compounds the effect. Dropping the Con may mean casualties pile up quicker. 

It was a good fun set of games, we're going to continue the fight in February when we get together again at my house. We'll probably cover level 2 of the complex, the cloning rooms and then some fights with really weird abominations. So for now that's our Brink of Battle gaming.