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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Terror of Mkubwa Shetani - Pulp Alley

Tonight, ladies and gentleman, we are thrust into the terror and nerve shredding peril of the Dark Continent! Prepare yourselves for a journey into the very jaws of danger as we witness The Black Smoke embarking on his most menacing adventure yet - to recover the Idol of Mkubwa Shetani!

After the Stygian Idol was snatched from under their noses, the sinister Executive immediately embarked on a plane to Cairo from where they travelled deep into the Congo to search for it's counterpart piece, known as the Idol of Mkubwa Shetani. News of it's discovery had just reached Europe thanks to the work of one prominent archaeologist, Professor Barnabas Smythe. Thanks to their network of agents, Dirk Drake's ally in the fight against crime, the masked vigilante known as the Black Smoke, was informed of the Executives actions and was able to gather some operatives and attempt to head off the master criminal, Mister Stamper. After a frantic dash through the dense, humid African jungle, they arrived at the camp of the Professor just in time...!

The scenario rules were thus:-

  • The major plot point was the Idol of Mkubwa Shetani and was placed centrally on the table. Completing this plot point was to have...ramifications! :)
  • One minor plot point was Professor Barnabas Smythe, who has intimate knowledge of the Idol. The Executive needed 2 success on Might or Cunning to win him to their side. Black Smoke's Network needed 2 success on Cunning or Finesse.
  • One minor plot point was Smythe's daughter, Selina. She could provide necessary leverage if she was to fall into the clutches of the Executive. The Executive needed 1 success against Might, the Network 1 success against Finesse.
  • One minor plot point was the Professor's journal, which holds all his notes on the Idol.
  • The last minor plot point was the natives who worship the Idol. These had the following rules:
    • 10 natives were placed at the start according to normal plot point setup.
    • Each was a perilous area extending to 3" due to their spears.
    • After each player activation, the player with Initiative had to activate a native which would move 6" towards the nearest character in LOS or the centre of the table. This kept a fluid game going and made us really think about order of activation.
    • A native could be completed by getting 2 successes with Shooting while not in base contact. While in based contact, 1 success on Brawl or Might was needed.
    • Completing a native plot point didn't win initiative.
    • Any time a native was completed and removed, a new native moved 3" onto the board from a random board edge or corner.
    • The player with most native plot points held the +1 Experience Reward.
On to the action!
The setup! The Idol is in the middle, the natives are prowling and the Leagues arrive. All across the area the natives are chanting in a most sinister fashion - Mkubwa! Mkubwa! Mkubwa Shetani!
The Executive spot the camp and begin to move in.
The Black Smoke leads his agents towards the camp from the opposite direction.
His sidekick, Vinnie Harold, leads the sharpshooter Cliff Marsh in a pincer move.
Evading the natives, The Black Smoke leads his personal physician, Dr. Rupert Behr and his mechanic and fixer Milton Croft.
But Vinnie Harold is surprised by a warrior and engages in fisticuffs! Mkubwa! Mkubwa! Mkubwa Shetani!
Meanwhile the natives infiltrate the Professor's camp. Mkubwa! The baggage handler seizes the Professor's journal to protect it, while Miss Selina Smythe hides in the undergrowth.
As Mister Stamper and his ever-present henchman, Janssen, close in on the Professor, the noise draws some irate natives close. Mkubwa Shetani!
Dr. Behr climbs up the ruins and comes face to face with the Idol of Mkubwa Shetani! He grips it and pulls. Realising there is a mechanism holding it he sees that he needs to twist it free. As he does so, a click and a thud are heard deep in the ruins. Suddenly a loud 'BONG!' echoes from deep underground and the hairs on everyone's neck prickles as a deep roar resounds across the jungle!
It's dinner bell having been rung, Mkubwa Shetani arrives on the scene! From here on, all natives activating within 12" of the great ape are removed from play as they melt away into the jungle!
The trees and undergrowth shake furiously as the Mkubwa Shetani charges at the nearest snacks it can see!
Klaus Fellows, a follower of the Black Smoke runs to the baggage handler to try and seize the Professor's journal, but the native is too wiry and strong and Klaus is knocked to the ground and loses consciousness.
As the terror from the jungle surges forward, Stamper and Janssen are caught up in a struggle with some natives after capturing the Professor! In the fracas, they fail to realise the impending danger!
Chaney, an exective goon, moves up to the jeep and opens fire on Milton Croft, who is fleeing from the Mkubwa Shetani. He takes a snapshot back and both men hit the dirt wounded. The adrenaline is pumping though and both leap to their feet soon afterwards!
A native Witch Doctor urges his warriors on as the close down on the Executive goons Hogan and Morgan.

Milton Croft climbs to his feet as The Black Smoke sprints past, the giant ape hot on his heels. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour!

The scuffle with the natives goes on in the camp. In the far background, Vinnie Harold has battled his way through the natives to reach Miss Smythe. "Never fear, my dear! I will keep you safe!" "Oh, Vinnie!" Swoon!
Vinnie leads Miss Smythe away from the danger lurking near the camp!
Hogan and Morgan become ever more embroiled in trouble. They wouldn't manage to extricate themselves for the rest of the game!
Dr. Behr attempts to reason with the baggage handler, but he is suspicious of the newcomers and the doctor must dodge back.
Mkubwa Shetani lets out a ferocious roar and charges Mister Stamper who has finally thwarted the native threat! A little late, methinks! 
Janssen and Chaney try to run, but in their panic they lose their footing and only stumble a little distance (I had two Trip Up cards in my hand! Heehee!). However, The Black Smoke is nearby! In a hail of bullets, both men are knocked clean out as Stamper dodges and weaves desperately!
"Run for it!" Dr. Behr finally convinces the baggage handler to surrender the journal and he follows his leader in a desperate rush for safety while Mkubwa Shetani is busy trying to stamp out Mister Stamper!
Once again, Pulp Alley delivers! This was a brilliant game! George and I haven't laughed as much as we did here in ages! The natives and the ape really worked as I hoped. In the early part of the game, the natives were a nuisance and were actually quite dangerous for the lower level characters. But once the Mkubwa Shetani (Swahili for Giant Devil) appeared, they melted away and were only a threat around the fringes, while the Terror became the real danger. Accordingly, and because we were on a 4 foot table, there was less interaction between the 2 leagues, but there was so much to do and so much fun to be had that it didn't matter one jot! The story unfolded in a deliciously pulp manner and the next episode will see the Daredevils attempt to rescue the Professor from the clutches of the Executive's sinister employers!

Tune in for the next thrilling episode!


  1. That's brilliant! I really like the sound of these rules, though it's not something I'd considered before.

  2. Sounds like a great game. I hadn't heard of these rules before, I may have to check them out.

  3. Another great looking game. I love Black Smoke by the way, I was always a fan of The Shadow. I also like all the Jungle terrain pieces and Kong. I would love to see the next installment of this game.

  4. Marvelous stuff! I'm looking forward to more. =)

  5. Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the story as it was a real thriller and tons of fun! And fear not! The next scenario is being drafted and I received a package in the mail today with some of the cast in it!

  6. Outstanding blog and great battle report. I love pulp fiction and need to put a game on and post to my own blog. Thanks for sharing.



    1. Ive just had a rummage on your blog and its outstanding, too! I love a bit of M&T too, and your Historicon game is stunning!


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