About Me

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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!!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Treasure Alley

Hi all! After a wee break from blogging (but not gaming or painting) I thought I'd come back with a black powder bang and write up a report of our latest Pulp Alley escapade. This game was held at the G3's annual Spencer Warner Memorial Games Day, which is a really good idea and all the proceeds go to the Macmillan cancer charity. Last year we did some dinosaur wrangling, so this year we thought we'd keep up the tradition of doing something a little different and blending genres. So, without any more preamble, I present Treasure Alley...!

Dramatis Personae
Front: Long John Silver (centre), Israel Hands (left), Scurvy Jack (right)
Rear (left to right): Job Anderson, Billy Bones, Black Dog

Front: Squire Trelawney (centre), Cpt Smollet (right), Jim Hawkings (left)
Rear (left to right): Abe Grey, Allen, Dr. Livesey

Front: Cpt. Dick Bolitho (centre), Cpt Hayward (left), Midshipman Rodney (right)
Rear: Royal Marines
Missing from the shot is Lt Aubrey who was brought in after we gave Bolitho the Commander ability.
Aubrey became the sidekick and Hayward an ally
The scenario was mostly a rework of the Mukubwa Shetani scenario from the Dirk Drake campaign last year. Basically, the crews had to get to an obelisk (major plot point) in the middle to decipher some runes which tell of the location of unimaginable riches. Unfortunately, they needed to 'persuade' one of the local native chiefs (minor plot points) to translate some of the more obscure runes first. Of course, these chiefs were escorted by some warriors who would move directly towards the nearest character in an extremely perilous manner..ahem! :)
The table

Of course, once the secret of the stone is unlocked, the powers unleashed will alert Kalinago, a twisted, necromantic shaman who is guardian of the stones and it's secrets.
Kalinago and a mob of those unfortunate enough to encounter him.
Long John Silver's crew creep through the jungle towards the nearest chief.
The marines form up around their captain and begin trying to put down the encroaching natives.
Squire Trelawney's crew also engage the natives, but their master at arms was clearly drunk last night and the powder must have got damp. The natives scream their curses and close in,
Israel Hands, Silver's brutish bodyguard, puts himself between his captain and the irate locals.
Trelawney's men clash with the natives in vicious hand to hand. The momentum of their charge puts his men into some trouble and things look bleak.
Silver's men hurry to provide support as Israel Hands struggles to protect his boss.
The highly disciplined Royal Marines form a firing line and prepare to receive the native's charge.
With the support of his crew, Silver clears area of warriors and captures the chief. Understanding the finer points of a cutlass, the chief sullenly capitulates (the counters are where natives were killed. All will become clear!)
And his men swarm up the ruins. Unfortunately, Silver's own peg leg seemed to hinder him a little...!
Billy Bones tries to single-handed fend off the marines. It appears he really doesn't like the Navy. Can't think why...!
But the marines immediately respond in true military fashion. By bringing superior firepower!
Miraculously, Billy Bones survives the hail of lead and falls back. But the pirates come under some real pressure as Bolitho urges his men forward.
Finally freeing his peg leg from the cracks in the stone steps, Long John Silver hobbles to the top and makes the chief translate amid the din of battle. He turns some dials on the stone which reveals the location of the treasure, but his hair stands on end as a strange energy pulse is released.
As Squire Trelawney's men finally break through the native warriors, seize their chief and close on the ruins a terrible moaning emanates from the temple behind them. With a shriek of anger, Kalinago appears and a horde of hideously rotten walking corpses disgorges from the crypts.
As Kalinago began raising the recently fallen warriors, Trelawney's men are caught in a desperate struggle. The horrified marines fan out in panic and Silver's men flee into the jungle.
And that's when we ran out of time! But that's OK. Nothing like a good cliffhanger! We have some ideas about how things pan out and we'll certainly be picking this theme up again. Overall, for some reason, Pulp Alley really, really suited this setting and I think George and I came out of it with the view that this was our best game of PA yet. I think that central to this was the black powder rules. We used the option of having to spend an action to reload their guns, which meant that the movement and positioning felt a lot different. It also meant you thought twice about dodging over firing back and promoted the cutlass and sword over the pistol. For example, Trelawney's men managed to get a single volley off before the natives charged and then it was all hand to hand. This just felt right and gave a really exhilarating and cinematic game.

Once again, Pulp Alley proves it's pedigree and I promise not to leave it so long again before I post the sequel!
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