Friday, 29 March 2013

March Terrain Projects

With the painting competition finished I'm straight back into terrain building, I had a number of projects lined up since last Autumn and I was itching to get back to building stuff. 

First up we have a River from GaleForce 9, they are apparently discontinuing this set which I wish I had known prior to purchasing it. This is actually a replacement product as there was a manufacturing fault with the original which left a cracked glaze over the water and was pretty ugly. GF9 for their credit did replace them without challenge. 

All I've really done here is a couple of layers of flock so that they match my other boards then added a few clumps of foliage and grasses along with some taller grass. I feel it does look even better in real life and it will fill a gap in my terrain collection that's been annoying me for years. 

Next up I've a load of random scatter terrain, these first 2 are just CD base terrain and were essentially made from spare rocks and stuff after I finished with my other scatter terrain. I didn't want to waste anything so I bunged these together. 

 Next I've a load of new scatter terrain, inspired by my brothers use of the 4Ground tree bases I thought I'd do my own, I unfortunately mis-remembered the size of the bases and it wasn;t until I'd ordered some 40+ 40mm bases I realised the that the 4Ground bases use 60mm ones. Handily Warbases came through with a custom order of something similar built for my 40mm bases. They were a little more expensive than the 4Ground ones but will do the job.

I based up a random collection of rocks and tall grasses to make some difficult ground areas for skirmish gaming. We've always struggled defining the edge of such areas with our existing terrain and so these will be a great addition. I've already got another couple of sets of bases being worked on and will be rebasing my all trees onto 40mm bases so I can use them in the same style of base. I may also try and get some larger bases from Warbases soon.

Finally I've some new plot point markers for Pulp Alley, some Aztec/South American style ones which I believe came from some AVP miniatures, I based them to match the rest of my jungle terrain.  

I've also some interesting pyramid like markers which came with the Horrorclix starter set and will make great markers for any mythos based adventure I'm sure. 

That's a wrap for now, I've a huge pile of stuff to work through and I'm keen to just kick through it while I've the energy to get on. I've miniatures for fantasy, 40k and Victorian/Steampunk projects lining up on my desk as well as more terrain and some additional pulp bits left over from the competition. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Butch Sullivan and the Lost Idol - A Pulp Alley AAR

Our fortune hunters find themselves in French Indo-china, Butch and his party have been third by a local tribal elder to recover a ceremonial statue lost deep in the jungle. After many days hacking through the bush it would appear that Butch and co are nearing a possible resting place for the revered idol. Two local guides lent to Butch have followed a trail of old clues to this point, they however have reported of another group in the area who appear to be looking for the same statue.

Captain Jerome has been summoned by the local regional Governor to ensure that the dastardly Americans do not remove the idol from the country.

Our heroes must follow a train of clues to discover the Ceremonial Statue, tracks in the ground would seem to indicate that there is a stolen baggage train in the area and there is rumour of hostages lost in the jungle, this local knowledge could be invaluable.

Butch and his crew make the first move, splitting their group Butch heads off with Indiana, whilst Lauren and Kazim follow the two local scouts.

Meanwhile the French group move up, heading towards the missing hostage.

Andre struggles through the thick jungle leading the pack but the effort seems too much and he becomes tangles in vines, sustaining light injuries escaping from the perilous area.

His struggle was not in vain as he stumbles into one of the hostages, the man appears to have knowledge of some papers which were stolen in the raid against the baggage train, the chest of documents included several cryptic papers which talk of the legends in the area.

Jerome investigates the lost baggage train, the donkeys are not impressed with the disturbance and lash out. The French captain narrowly escapes the dangerous hooves as he moves to calm the beasts. Stashed in the equipment is a journal detailing an ivory skull carved with texts describing the now abandoned temple where the Statue was housed. Perhaps it may also detail its fate.

Kazim rushes Captain Jerome knives drawn, he almost takes a tumble but manages to regain his footing before going toe to toe with the ex-military man.

Not so far away the Captain's not so brave hound tries to escape from the deadly jaws of Indiana.

In the centre of the old temple complex one of the local guides let's loose a hail of arrows and wounds old Gerard.

Lauren moves up to a vantage point to help out but once again appears to be out of ammo.

Gustav charges towards the local to avenge his fallen comrade, whilst in the background Jerome and Kazim trade blows.

Andriy investigated a hidden chest, deadly spikes shoot out causing lacerations across his hands and face, unperturbed he opens the chest and draws out the Ivory Skull, reading the ancient inscription Andriy has discovered the whereabouts of the missing statue, he better retrace his steps and try band locate it.

The race is on to get to the giant statue first, but the Captain sprints ahead of Butch and Lauren to clam his prize. The French Governor will be pleased, Jerome hopes the reward will cover the trouble his crew have been through.

Post game comment.
Another great game, it would seem that the scenario was against Butch and co, the French group steamed through the plot points leaving little for the Americans to do but try and chase them down.

Some good use of the fortune cards on either side this game, none of the uses seemed overpowered and all weekend to play out quite well. I really like the duel mechanics of the fortune card/challenge, it adds a neat unexpected level to the game whilst also powering the storyline and character development (see Lauren "empty chamber" Stone.)

We also used more perilous areas in this game, the larger jungle bases were uses to represent particularly thick jungle and it was goods to see some characters power through whilst others had to take the long way around.

Overall really happy with the game, and now my printed cards and paper rules book have arrived up from the other side of the pond to added another level to the game. The cards are particularly nice, on decent weight card and in their own box to keep them in good condition.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Painting Competition Month 3

Well the final month was a bit of a slog, I really struggled to summon up the enthusiasm for more painting, each time I sat down to do some I found myself getting distracted by other projects, mostly terrain related which were not part of the competition.

That being said I did manage to get myself well past the 500 point target I set for myself. In month 3 I managed to summon up some 32 assorted miniatures and vehicles in the final month.

I'm just going to post a quick set of pictures with little explanation as I've loads to sort out today, but as usual it's quite a few pulp miniatures, I was really happy to get the mounted Kali Cultists done within the competition as the Professor and his crew much be getting over to India soon, the Brigade Games Merchant seamen were an impulse buy just before the US postal rates went up and I was pleased with the results. I loved making the markers too, gave me a bit of a distraction from churning out miniatures.

Now I've a backlog of terrain projects I must get around to finishing in time for my next gaming session in May and I've another couple of AARs to get around to posting up plus a review of the Pulp Alley rules and Cards I received recently. Expect some more content coming your way soon. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Tomb of Ahmet Raa - A Pulp Alley AAR

Our first game on of the weekend takes our two groups of adventurers to Egypt, to locate the lost treasure of Ahmet Raa. Both groups have had a tip off from an anonymous caller as to the whereabouts of the tomb entrance and the fortune in treasure that lays within.

The Major Plot Point for this scenario is the Colossal Tomb of Ahmet Raa, and the minor plot points are; Ceremonial Hieroglyphs, Disassembled Survey Equipment, The Jeweled Orb and Smuggled Explosives

Our adventuring parties include:

Butch Sullivan's League of Adventurers, featuring the brave, talented and ever ready Butch Sullivan, his partner in crime Lauren Stone and regular adventuring buddies, Kazim of the Umbaku tribe, Marcus, Akhmed the eagle-eyed and finally Indiana the dog.

Société des Antiquaires de France led by Captain Jerome Lefranc, ex French foreign legion and now leader of the society's expeditions, Andriy Shukhevych the eastern European muscle of the party, Veronique Dujardin our dangerous same and mooks Gerard and Joseph.

Andriy and Joseph move up towards one of the the Orb, Akhmed lives up to his name and takes a potshot at Joseph, wounding the Frenchman, looks like he may be down for a while.

Lauren moves up through a perilous area of old crumbling pillars, she deftly dodges out of the way of some falling masonry and makes it through safely.

Andriy reaches out to grab there sacred Orb, a snake slithers out from among the trinkets and attacks him. In a show of strength Andriy strangles the beast with his bare hands. Collecting the orb he stashes it safely and takes up position behind the plinth.

Butch make his move forward and stumbles on something buried beneath the sands, kicking the dirt aside he uncovered a discarded crate, the marking on the sides suggest the contents are explosive. With a swift boot Butch smashes through the lid and he retrieves several sticks of dynamite.

Captain Lefranc steps out from a stack of crates and with a single shot downs Kazim as he makes his way around the sphinx.

Veronique makes her way over to the crates and with deductive cunning she reassembles the surveying equipment and she soon moves away back to cover.

Gustav makes a brave attack on Indiana but the larger dog clearly has the advantage and savages poor gustav.

Lauren bravely moves up weaving along the side of the Sphinx and taking aim she squeezes off a shot against Veronique, with an uncomfortable click Lauren realises too late that her pistols are out of ammo and the chance is wasted. Nearby the taste of blood enrages Indiana who rushes Gerard and the two engage in a deadly melee.

Lauren moves up to provide some cover but Andriy quickly closed the gap and swings and the adventuress, Lauren has some moves of her own and deftly breaks away from his attack.

Butch seizes his chance and makes a dash for the tomb entrance, lighting the dynamite he steps out of the way and a mighty explosion destroys the seal and grants entry to the treasure inside.

Butch and his team recover the lost treasure of Ibis hidden within Ah met Raa's tomb.

End of Game roundup:
This was my Brother and I's first real game of Pulp Alley, generally it all seemed to work really well, I love the added fun the cards grant and the mechanism of the perils seems to work well.

We did find that sometimes the challenges seemed a little easy due to the random draw and so for more major plot points we may draw 2 cards or some such.

The only other thing we struggled with was remembering who had the initiative and when you took it from each other, I suppose we'll just get used to it over time.