Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Pulp Alley AAR – The Tomb of the Serpent campaign – The Evil Below

Time to dust off the CSSS (Corpo di Spedizione della Santa Sede, or The Expeditionary Corps of the Holy See) again.
In the last game of Pulp Alley Monsignore thought, for a brief time, that he had gotten his hands on the fabled Ring of Pharaohs. It turned out that the ring was a fake, but he was lucky, as one of the clues his companions had uncovered hinted that the real ring could be found in an ancient cemetery outside Rome. Unfortunately it was clear that the Cult of Aphopis also knew about this. Time to hurry, as the CSSS needs to be there before the cult finds the ring.
This scenario is set in an ancient graveyard infested with flesh-eating ghouls. The ghouls will strike against lonely character, so if anyone (but not cultist) activates with no friendly characters within 6”, he or she encounters a random Peril. Also, if a character goes down with no-one within 6” the ghouls will strike and that character is automatically removed from play.
The statue, out of focus to spare your nerves.
The ring can be found within a gruesome statue of a cultist. Sounds easy? Well, at the end of each round the statue teleports to another pedestal, and those pedestals need to be toppled to be inactivated. This means that the pedestals counts as minor plot points and the statue is the major plot point, if and when you catch it. The statue is also so gruesome that anyone who comes into contact with it needs to take a horror check, with another one needed if they fail to unlock it.
I had a great time going through my boxes and printing some new stuff for this. I actually had lots of suitable stuff already, but printed some extra pieces just for this scenario. That printer is really chucking out terrain-pieces, and everything printed is circled in red. Lots, as you can see.
Plot points marked in yellow.
The CSSS, from left to right. Front Row: Padre Scuro (ally), Sister Innocenza (sidekick), Monsignore Cadaverico (leader), Sister Sicaria (ally), and Sister Morta (ally, replacing Soldato Morto, her brother, who had identical stats to her. Note the grenade she hides behind her back. Poor Soldato Morto is also forced to learn Spanish. Wonder what Il Duce is up to…)
Back row: Sister Malvagia (lvl 2 Brawler that we got from the Network of Supporters Perk), Signorina Meshina (a lvl 3 Scout backup), Padre Peste (lvl 1 Shooter Contact) and Sister Maledetta (follower).
I felt it was really important to succeed this time, so I bought a backup, contact and even gear (that weren’t used) with resources gained in earlier adventures.
Today’s cultists. A really tough Serpent Priest, a Militant Cultist with a rifle and four Fierce Cultist with hand-weapons. Their job is to stop the heroes.
The CSSS (circled in yellow) split in two groups, the smaller to attack the Erol Otus temple before them and the larger to split in two and try to topple the pedestals on the high cliff and at the Altar of the Fish-God.
The cultist (red) hides behind some suitable cover.

This is the first time I play with the second edition rules. Nothing groundbreakingly new, but some small things here and there that I think lifts the game.

When playing solo you decide who goes first, heroes or baddies, and they activate all their characters before the other side activates. The first three characters to activate will each draw a card from the Solo-deck and apply whatever is indicated. Often bad, but sometimes good, so it is a good idea to decide whether you should activate first and risk the solo-cards or activate second and lose your momentum.
The cultists will first activate the cultist closest to a hero, then the second closest etc. 
Well, Monsignore was impatient and whipped his minions into action.

First to activate was Sister Sicaria who was grabbed by undead hands that held her fast (she drew a nasty Solo-card, failed a challenge and couldn't move this turn. That was a good representation of what could go wrong with activating first).
The other Solo-cards were harmless, and the league is closing in on the pedestals, to be ready to topple them next turn.
Padre Peste looks a bit annoyed to be used as a speed bump...
The cultists attacks Sister Innocenza, who doges a bullet, knocks a cultist down and parries the attacks of another. She is also a speed-bump, and a very effective one at that.
These cultist just move into better positions.
End of round and the downed cultist recuperates and is ready for some serious action.
The Statue teleports to the Altar of the Fish-God. Bad news for these sisters as they understand that they have no chance of unlocking its secrets. Simply far to dangerous.
Monsignore activates first, misses the challenge of the Solo-card, meaning he can't run this turn, but that is not what he want to do anyway. He approaches the pedestal, avoids the inherent Peril of it (he has Danger Sense and automatically passes the first Peril each turn) an easily topples it with a well-placed shot on its fundament (he just passes the Shoot Challenge). First pedestal down! 
When you have completed a Plot Point you get a Reward, that might help you this game and will also give you some important assets to use in later games. They can be Contacts, Gear, Backups, Tips, Experience Points or something special. You also get Reputation from plot points, and these will give you some extra benefits when you have enough. 
Next to activate is Signorina Meschina, who easily passes the Challenge of the Solo-card, steps up to the pedestal, inspects it, sees that the booby-trap on it isn't properly set, and gives it a well-placed kick. It topples! Second pedestal down!
Next is Sister Innocenza. She fights two opponents and have to split her attacks between them. She decides to play defensively and Dodges the attacks of the first cultist. She succeeds and retreats out of reach of the other cultist.
Padre Scuro moves up and readies his shotgun.
The rest of the league moves into position for next turn, and Sister Sicaria takes a pot-shot at one of the cultists, to no effect. 
The two cultist attacks again, and the shooter moves forward and start a shoot-out with Padre Sicario. No-one is hurt, strangely enough.
A cultist rushes Padre Peste and promtly knocks him out of the game. 
The other one takes cover behind the central temple while the Serpent Priest walks forward and send out a stream of negative energy towards Monsignore, who protects himself with his cross, that easily absorbs the vile energies (okay, he passed an easy Challenge)
An arial view of the grave-yard and the combatants
The statue teleports again, this time to the Demon Dais.
Monsignore starts and is more than 6" from a friend, meaning he will encounter a Peril, but his Danger Sense saves him again. He easily overcomes the Solo-card, and then rushes down the steps and avoids the cultist standing close by.
He takes a shot and the cultist is down.
Next, out of picture, Signorina makes a hasty retreat on to the central temple.
After that the idea was to waste the last Solo-card on Sister Maledetta, who isn't the most powerful character. A speed-bump... She has no problem with that card, then passes her Peril and after that miraculously overcomes the challenge and topples the pedestal. Everyone just looks at her. What is it with that woman? She is really proving her worth.
Padre Scuro blasts away with both barrels...
...and that annoying cultist falls.
Sister Innocenza slogs it out, out of picture, with the two cultists, with no effect.
Sister Sicaria lets loose with her gatling gun and the cultist closest to Monignore falls.
Sister Morta readies a grenade, ready to throw it where it will cover the gap between the cliff and the mausoleum, thereby protecting Monisgnore from a rush from the Serpent Priest (you place the Blast Marker where you want it to be, and if no-one is there it will stay in place for the rest of the turn or until someone stumbles into it and thereby take a radom Challenge)
The cultists activates and attacks Sister Innocenza. She is wounded by the first attack, but fells that cultist. The second cultist is lucky and gives Innocenza a slap that makes her teeth rattle. She falls!
The Serpent Priest won't risk a grenade, so he lets loose with his negative energies again, but to no effect.
Lots of downed characters...
... and several are knocked out of the game at turn end. Sister Innocenza is up, though, as is the shooty cultist.
The statue teleports to the only free pedestal...
...where there is a welcoming committee.
My cunning plan for this turn was to let the cultists activate first this turn, to avoid any nasty surprises. Priority one was to give the good sisters the time they needed to unlock the major plot point, while the others were speed-bumps and tried to take out the remaining cultists.
The close combat between cultist and Sister sees both fall, while the Militant Cultist shoots at Padre Scuro, who falls and is immediately attacked by ghouls living under the temple. He is automatically out of the game as there is no friendly (standing) character nearby.
The Serpent Priest charges Monsignore and both characters are wounded. Not at all bad, actually.
My first character to activate was Signorina Meschina, who becomes hysteric when she comes into contact with the statue. But she is of stern stuff, stays focused, deftly defuses another booby-trap and finally topples the statue. It scatters and in the wreckage she finds a ring. This looks like the real thing. It is The Ring of Pharaohs!
The Serpent Priest is beset by nuns and after a short and bloody combat he succumbs.
With that it is essentially over. There is another round of combat, where the Serpent Priest tries to fight but falls to a flurry of blows. Everyone with a plot point retreats while those that don’t carry anything form a defensive perimeter that the two remaining cultists have no chance of getting through.
Cultists and ghouls retreat. The CSSS collect their fallen (injured, but not dead) comrades and travels back into the Vatican.

Safely back in his study, Monsignore goes through what clues, omens and snippets of information he’s got. Everything points to Egypt. The Tomb of the Serpent, where the god Apophis sleeps, is hidden somewhere in the desert, and the only way to find it seem to be to find an ancient map, a tablet and key. They are in Cult-hands in Cairo.
It is time to take the fight to the enemy. Monsignore schedules a meeting with the Pope. He needs some support.
To be continued! (As soon as I have painted the last of the newly printed Egyptian houses)

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

A mixed bag of painted minis


The last batch of minis painted this summer.
It’s a rather varied bunch, and some of them can and will be used in different settings.

Two useful 'heroes' from the Hillbilly Boys box from Black Scorpion. They will see action in Western settings, as well as pulp and even modern. I like this kind of really versatile minis.
A forest-tribe female from Heroes of the Dark Age. She'll be used in my upcoming solo-campaign of Paleo Diet. Just two more to finish and I can start that.
Two useful civilian kids, made by Wizkids, and a zombie, or part of one anyway, from Heresy Miniatures. The kids could also be used in several settings, and the zombie will work equally well in fantasy and modern settings.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Cultists


You can never have too many cultist, right?
I do need more cultists in our games of 7TV, and thought I could make some suitable ones with a sprue of Frostgrave-cultist combined with arms and weapons from a sprue US infantry from Warlord I got for free with a magazine. I also used some spare German arms and weapons I got from a friend (Thanks, Laffe!), also Warlord I think.
Very easy conversions, really, and with them I got some really useful cultist ready for some serious fighting.
The taller figure comes from Shadows of Brimstone, one of a gang of twelve. The other 11, identical to this one, are still unmade. Don’t know if I will ever finish the lot, but the one can always be used in a pulp game or two.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Rise of Moloch – heroes


SMOG – The Rise of Moloch is another un-played miniatures boardgame in the collection, and I want to play with painted minis.
Drago, Walther Cavendish, Emma Swanson and Nanny Tin
I really like the minis for this game, as they are so full of character. A pleasure to paint, even if they take some time to finish.
With these done I have everything painted for the first scenario in the campaign that is the game.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Mythic Battles: Pantheon – Ares, Achilles and Spartans


Seems like I have a lot of un-played miniatures games in my collection, and Mythic Battles: Pantheon is one of them. I do like to play with painted minis, so I started with these to get going. As usual with boardgame-minis I tried to paint the figs so they resemble the illustrations, because that makes it so much easier to recognize the minis during games. In this game the gods are large, to sort of mirror their abilities.
These first Pantheon minis were rather easy to paint, with lots of flesh, and it was real fun to paint the the huge Ares.
More minis are coming up, as I’ve painted a bunch the last couple of months.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

3D-printed houses for Rangers of Shadow Deep and other games


It’s been awfully quiet here, as it’s been summer and I’ve had a bit of a blogging burn-out. I think I’m more or less back on track now, so there will be more posts coming soon.
Here are some buildings I printed during the last couple of weeks. I made them for the first scenario of Rangers of Shadow Deep, so now I will have an opportunity to try that game out.
This, the biggest house, is made by Printable Scenery, and is called Winterdale Small Cottage. You can buy that as it is, or as part of a fantasy building bundle. The latter seem to be on sale at the moment, so it might be a good idea to check that out if you’re interested. A couple more of those buildings are in the printing queue, so you might see more of that soon.
 
Anyway, this is really the nicest of the lot, with lots of details and lots of character. A great kit.
Next up is Small Medieval House from Thingiverse. A bit more basic, but a nice little kit. Can’t complain about the price, as free is hard to beat.
 

The Little Cottage is another Thingiverse model, also free. I really like it as it is well detailed, and it has the option of inserting a piece of transparent plastic sheet as window glass. Great model.
 

Finally we have a hut from 3D-print-terrain and their Age of Pirates set. It’s rather simple and crude, but prints very fast and will see use both in fantasy, pulp and other settings. A really useful model.
I’m really happy with how these turned out.
Next, there’s a bunch of desert style buildings that I’ve finished. But more on those in a future post.