Sunday, October 18, 2015

Back from the Future - a Pulp Alley Game

Dr Veruckthaar has decided that today's technology is not enough to fuel his schemes for world dominance. Technology from another time and place is what he needs. He builds four time portals to draw unsuspecting beings from another time and place. Four groups of suddenly homesick, technologically advanced warriors, all arriving at once, all wanting to know how to get back home...what could possibly go wrong?
A five player game at the club. Four teams start at the dimensional portals, one on each side of the table. To get back home, they must grab one of the temporal inversion crystals from the centre of the table and get it back to their portal. Simple? Well, it's a peril to grab one, and a peril to fit it correctly onto the portal. And once you do fit it on, only one character can get home at a time. The next character has to reactivate the crystal and the portal (another peril). Oh, and at any time, the crystal might be rendered unstable - you have to drop it immediately and wait for it to stabilise.

For Dr Veruckthaar, the task is far more straightforward: harvest the technology by grabbing (defeating in a brawl) one chosen character from each of the teams.

I controlled Dr Veruckthaar.
Master M ran the space smugglers.
Rhys (who had painted all the other leagues), deployed his brain creatures (didn't quite catch what he called them).
Trevor played the Daleks.
Sangeeta ran the robots.
Half way into the first turn and it was pretty clear that Dr Veruckthaar's encounter with futuristic technology would involve less harvesting and more being harvested by...four out of six characters already down or out.
As they closed in, the leagues began trading shots with one another.
To add insult to injury for Dr Veruckthaar, the black cat honed in on Stanley.
Robot on robot carnage.
The leader of the icky brain critters (that's the scientific name) is the first to grab a temporal inversion crystal. He/she/it speeds back to the dimensional portal and successfully activates it. Home sweet home!
Meanwhile, one of the other crystals has become unstable. Will insufficient supply drive up the prices? No, we'll just reduce demand.
Davros motors in and grabs himself a macguffin temporal invertor crystal.
After numerous attempts, Master M finally grabs a crystal, only to have it go unstable on him. Serves him right for relentlessly attacking his Dad!
Davros makes it back to the Dalek's dimensional portal and both he and the white Dalek get away despite Dr Veruckthaar's attention.
The smugglers and the robots are left scrapping over two unstable temporal invertor crystals as the end credits roll.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hunting the Treasure Hunters - a Pulp Alley Game

Someone is onto something very valuable. A group of European speculators have descended on the small town of Outer Fociz. A sailor who has jumped ship, an aviatrix, a butterfly collector, a black marketeer, and an archaeologist. One of them must be hunting for something worth having. The question is, who?
The boys and I played this one with Nick (a different Nick from last time), a mate who's a keen boardgamer who hasn't played much in the way of wargames. The scenario is the Soerbaja Manhunt from Perilous Island - one of the European speculators will be the major plot point, but each league must complete a minor plot point before they can find the major one.

I took the spies.
Nick led the tramp steamer crew.
Master M used Dr Veruckthaar.
Master S ran Jack Sampson's adventurers (minus the dog, plus an Arab).
I had a bad day with the camera, so some of the photos are a bit dodgy.

The town of Outer Fociz.
The market place.
Nick's tramp steamer crew fruitlessly trying to pry information from the aviatrix.
Jack's adventurers grab the butterfly collector, but he's not the speculator we're looking for.
The sailor proved to be a tough customer!
Jack's followers rush through the market to try and question the aviatrix. But his arab follower is coat-hangared by a pair of pink bloomers (peril for rushing through the market)!
So is Miss James!
Finally, Erich manages to negotiate the bloomers of doom.
Mr Blunt makes for the black marketeer.
He grabs him, but getting away again isn't going to be easy.
His plan to drop through the window goes slightly awry when the black marketeer descends on him from a great height (Blunt failed the peril for climbing down the wall.)
Meanwhile Jack does a runner with the butterfly collector, but what is that ominous shadow?
Nothing to worry about really!
But Jack's not safe yet. Foes from all sides rush in.
Amidst a flurry of fists and a rain of raygun fire, Jack goes down.
Dr Veruckthaar grabs the butterfly collector, and forces a confession from him. "It's me. I'm here to catch the Upper Ikhwan Mauve Emperor. A priceless specimen!"
Victory for Veruckthaar!