Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday Gaming part 2 - Pulp Alley

I'm planning on running a two part Pulp Alley campaign on New Year's Eve and having finished Friday's Arc of Fire game early, we decided to get in a practice session.

We used a couple of Leagues (as Pulp Alley forces are called) I've put together from figures given to me by Alan Slater.  Richard used the Cybermen and Andy the crew of the Heart of Gold from the TV series of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Not many pics of this game, I'm afraid.  Pulp Alley moves so fast that it's easy to forget to take photos as you go along.

The Cybermen enter the main room and check out the mysterious
piece of machinery
whilst Zaphod Beeblebrox investigates the
significance of the bronze scarab beetle.
What idiot left a fire burning in the doorway?  Never mind, Arthur and
Ford have managed to get past it.
I was very impressed with how the Cybermen functioned as relatively slow-moving but powerful fighters.  They were also nearly invulnerable to attack; just as they should be.

Zaphod's in trouble - thank goodness for those peril-sensitive sunglasses!
In the end, though, the faster moving and more numerous humans (if Zaphod and Ford meet that description) managed to achieve more of the Plot Points and so won the game (by 5 victory points to 2 if it matters).

Holiday Gaming part 1 - Arc of Fire

I usually try to get a couple of all-day gaming sessions in over the Christmas/New Year holiday period. Tis year's first session started of with a play to play some Arc of Fire in preparation for this year's big Crisis Point game.  In the end we also got in a game of Pulp Alley too.

The Arc of Fire game was to practice house-to-house fighting in Tcherbevan.

In the foreground is part of the Turkish Quarter.
In the background, beyond Culture Ministry Boulevard
is the edge of the Armenian Quarter.
Jamie and Andy played the Andreivian Turks whilst Richard and Ron played the Andreivian Armenians.  Both sides had a platoon of militia types. The Turks, thanks to their highly motivated foreign volunteers, having slightly higher morale.  I also gave the Turks some additional forces to reflect the fact that they were to be on the attack.

The presence of the Andreivian-Armenian flag on the large building in
the foreground shows that it needs to be recovered by the Turks.
It's well defended.
Jamie launched a squad of Mujahideen in an unprepared attack on the southern end of the large building, which was held only by a unit of three Armenian combat engineers.  Unfortunately for Jamie, Richard rolled very well and the Mujahideen took heavy casualties.

In the northern half of the board, Ron had an Armenian militia squad and their HQ unit.  He was faced by Andy with a sniper team, a tank-hunter team, and a "technical" in the form of a pick-up truck mounting a 40mm auto grenade launcher.

Ron's forces advance. 

Andy advanced the technical but it came under heavy fire from the large building and the crew were killed.

Jamie managed to get his second squad of Mujahideen into the large building...

... but they lost the ensuing firefight and we decided to call it an Armenian victory after three turns.

News of the Pulp Alley game next....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Something for the Pigeons

Further progress on the statues shown in the previous post.  I decided to have a go at applying a verdigris layer in the form of a wash of very tinned paint (white with a little green and blue):

I shall have to try a little more detail to get the look quite right.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On the Workbench - More Andreivian Stuff

A trip over to Merseyside at the weekend yielded nothing useful from the Wargames Store in Brimstage but I did get over the the model shop in Birkenhead where I picked up some air support for the Andreivian Armenians:

Following my recent test of the available urban terrain for Tcherbevan I've decided I need some bits of decoration to make the spaces between the buildings look like real streets.  Some 40mm tall architect's models and a piece of plastic packaging are on their way towards making one of those uninspiring pieces of public art so beloved of eastern bloc town planners.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mediterranean Barn

This 20mm scale barn is the latest of my ventures into foamcore architecture.  I originally envisaged it being used for games of Sharp Practice but I reckon it will probably see use in Andreivia too.

The walls are foamcore with the exposed edges covered with tilegrout and then the whole painted with exterior masonry paint for texture.  The tiles are Wills textured plasticard.

The base is thin MDF.  The uprights are bamboo barbecue skewers smoothed to an approximately square profile and the beam along the front edge of the roof is a strip of balsa.

As per my usual policy, the building was designed to fit an available storage box - in this case one of the sturdy cardboard boxes our pay slips arrive in from the outsourced payroll contractor!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Downtown Tcherbevan test

Having completed the batch of middle eastern houses I was working on, I thought I'd have a go at laying out a possible configuration for the sector of Tcherbevan I'm building for the big Crisis Point game in April next year.

The plan is to portray a central boulevard lined with more or less ruined buildings.  Among others I'll be using the Museum Miniatures resin buildings seen in the foreground and middle distance above for this purpose.

Either side of this central no-man's-land will be the Turkish Quarter (background above) and the Armenian Quarter (not in these photos as I didn't have time to set up a 6' wide sector).

The left side of the picture above shows the Turkish Quarter as it exists so far.  Bottom left is The Old Fort - I have the model so it seems reasonable for Tcherbevan to have one.

The Andreivian Turks' Hs-126 flies over Tcherbevan as a Government
Type 61 tank trundles onto Culture Ministry Boulevard.
Andreivian-Turk militia with a technical move up to the front line.

Looks like the Turkish militia have set up a "Dushka" on the roof
of the Old Fort's main tower.

Government A-4 over Tcherbevan.

Type 61 with Andreivian Paras - the elite of the Government army.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

That's not Rufferto...

... that's Mulch!

This isn't going to make much sense to those of you who aren't familiar with Groo the Wanderer.  Sorry!

Among the treasures lurking in Tim Gow's second box of delights were some Groo miniatures produced some years ago by Dark Horse Miniatures.

In theory the set includes Groo, Chakaal, the Sage, the Minstrel and Groo's dog Rufferto.  And very nice they are too except that Rufferto doesn't quite capture the original's mongrel look.

And the answer is, that's because it isn't Rufferto...

... it's Mulch, the Sage's dog.

"What does 'mulch' mean?" being a running joke in the Groo comics.

I've started painting the figures with a view to turning them into a somewhat off-the-wall Pulp Alley league or Song of Blades and Heroes warband but it looks like I'll have to sculpt my own Rufferto.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Expedition to Moria Rules

Here are the rules for the Expedition to Moria dungeon crawl.  They should be fairly self-explanatory.

Expedition to Moria

Each player starts with four figures.
Determine first player randomly then proceed clockwise around the table.
Each player may make two actions:
  • Move (6”)
  • Fight
  • Charge (move then fight)
  • Search (not if you’re fighting)
  • Heal (not if you’re fighting)

Sequence of play
1st Action
Check for wandering monsters if rounding corner or entering room
2nd Action
Check for wandering monsters who charge if unengaged

Roll 1d6 for each side. Add number of figures (Dwarves or men) Add half number of figures (Orcs)
Score < opponents Lose one figure
Score < 1/2 opponents Lose two figures (Dwarves/Men), Rout (Orcs)

Roll 1d6:
1 Secret door
2 Nothing (Secret door if you have the Helm of Clear Sight)
3 Nothing
4 Nothing
5 Treasure
6 Treasure

Roll 1d6:
5 or 6 heals a casualty

Costs one action to escape. Roll 1d6:
Anything but a 1 allows you to escape.  

Wandering Monsters
Present on 3-6, roll again for type:
1-4 2d3 Orcs
5 Trap
6 Cave Troll (counts as four Dwarves)

Expedition to Moria

Jamie and I ran another game for the kids at Millie's school last night.  The idea was to do a fast-paced game of slaughtering orcs and amassing treasure.

We based the scenario on the period after The Return of the King when, with Aragorn settled on the throne of Minas Tirith, the good folk of Middle Earth settle down to slaughter those who followed Sauron.

Parties, each of four Dwarves, are making their way into Moria.  The winning player will be the one who gets out with most treasure!

They have a Cave Troll!  Things look bad for George A's Dwarves.
The figures are all from Jamie's collection.  The tunnels of Moria are built from foamcore.

An excited player looks on as Jamie prepares to deploy yet more Orcs.

Our winner receives the Golden Warrior award
The event was a great success.  We had nine different players over the two hours and several of them came back two or three times to play again.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I've now finished resurrecting a pair of rather tatty resin and white metal T-72s with ERA that  picked up at a bring-and-buy years ago.  Here they are in front of the third and latest of Museum Miniatures resin ruins.  Commander and AAMGs added from the spares box. Click to embiggen.

On the Workbench - Downtown Tcherbevan

Here we see a number of the buildings that will form the area of Tcherbevan in and around the Turkish Quarter.  Apart from the Museum Miniatures partial ruin on the right (the last of four I've had unfinished for several years) this shows my foamcore buildings in various stages of completion.

Lurking at the back, next to the bottle of PVA, is a tower; a simple box made from four pieces of foamcore.  Next to it are a pair of buildings with windows and doors attached and partly painted in  lurid brick-red exterior masonry paint.  Centre foreground are two small buildings that have had their render overpainted.  The most-foreground of them has also been dry-brushed.  They just need the doors and windows painting to be complete.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More Late Roman Basic Impetus

November's Saturday Afternoon Wargame(TM) saw us having another go at Basic Impetus with my (slowly) growing collection of 6mm Late Romans.

Rob and Jamie took on the roles of opposing Roman officials (the Comes Saxoni Litoris and the Governor of Britannia Secundus respectively).  I supported Rob with a bunch of Saxon foederati whilst Andy ran a bunch of Welsh and Irish mercenaries in Jamie's service.

The battlefield was fairly unexciting - mostly open but with a few scattered woods.

Saxons (left foreground) and Rob's Romans (right foreground) face
off against Jamie's Cumbrogi (left background) and Andy's Romans. 
Early on I had a unit of Saxon skirmishers run down by a Cumbrogi warband.  Then, frustratingly, one of my expensive Goth mercenary cavalry units was routed by some Roman light horse.

The hole in front of the Equites Dalmatae with the blue shields
is where another Gothic medium cavalry unit used to be!
The centre of the field degenerated into a massive scrum.

A massive scrum yesterday.
Saxons in the foreground.

Jamie and Rob take stock...
... whilst Andy holds forth on the unreliability of Gildas as a source.
Alas, a large Cumbrogi warband gets the worse of a fight with the
Saxons and is routed.
The Crisis - Rob's red Legionary units (among the last not taken to
mainland Europe by Constantine) fight Jamie's Equites Alares.

The final position - the Equites Alares have been routed.
In the end Rob was the clear winner with all three of the other forces having been routed.

I like Basic Impetus and intend to keep producing more Late Romans.  Probably Legionarii next to replace the Irregular Republicans I'm using as stand-ins.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Angelus, Spike and Drusilla

Moving on the the second Pulp Alley league I've put together from Ground Zero Games not-Buffy figures, here are the Bad Guys.

As usual, all pictures are clickable to expand.


Health d10, Brawl 3d10, Shoot 2d10, Dodge 3d10, Might 3d10, Finesse 2d8, Cunning 3d8
Untouchable - Always counts as in cover vs Shooting attacks
Rugged - May reroll one health check die per fight when brawling
Intimidating - Lower level must pass Cunning test (1 success) or may only Dodge.


Health d8, Brawl 4d8, Shoot 2d6, Dodge 3d8, Might 3d8, Finesse 2d6, Cunning 2d6
Muscles of Steel - Brawl and Might not lowered due to injury.
Fierce - Brawl increased by +1 die (included above)


Health d8, Brawl 2d6, Shoot 2d6, Dodge 2d8, Might 3d6, Finesse 3d8, Cunning 3d6
Dark Designs - At the start of any turn, instead of drawing as normal, may discard any number of fortune cards and draw the same number.

League Perks:
League of (anti-)Heroes - may include a second side-kick.
Dark Pact - gives access to Dark Gifts (see Perilous Island book).

I think these stats capture the trio quite well.  The Perilous Island book is quite handy for Buffy-themed leagues as if contains a number of more magical effects that suit the style of the series.