Thursday 30 April 2015

Corpo di Spedizione della Santa Sede

Meet my league for Pulp Alley – CSSS or Corpo di Spedizione della Santa Sede (The Holy See Expeditionary Corps).
The adventures take place in the 1930’s and it is very much pulp – think Indiana Jones and you will get the idea. Different gangs, called leagues, are battling each other all over the world, trying to further their ideas – be it finding treasures, de-cloaking Cthulhu cults or further the ambitions of their state or order.
Enter the CSSS – a league sent by the Holy See to further the Only True Teachings and, of course, bring back artefacts to the collections in the Vatican. It is made up of clergy from the Church and men and women provided by the Italian Armed Forces.
As the Holy See has just received the Vatican State from Mussolini they feel that they can’t say no to the kind offer of state-sponsored help and neither can they refuse to further the goals of their benefactors - the Fascist Party and Benito himself.
I’m trying out the league at the moment, and we had a game at the club yesterday when they saw combat for the first time. More on that in a further post.
The League
CSSS relies heavily on its sidekicks (they have a Perk called Company of Heroes giving access to a second sidekick. A Perk affects the whole league and will cost you) and as servants of God they have a wide network of true believers all over the world that will help them (the Perk called Network of Supporters)
The characters:
Soura, Monsignore and Padre
The Leader
Monsignore Cadaverico
Monsignore is on a direct mission from God and he has no problem getting willing allies or followers on his adventures (he has the ability Commander giving him access to 4 points of Allies (costing 2 points) or Followers (costing 1)). He can access the wealth of Church and State (he got the ability Wealthy) and he is able to manipulate his surroundings (ability Savvy). His true strength is manipulation but as a leader he really is good at everything.
Monsignore comes from Shadows over Brimstone. I will change him into another miniature as soon as it gets delivered and painted. Could be some time…
The sidekicks
Don't you dare mess with me, punk!
Suora Innocenza
This is a sister you really don’t want to meet in dark alley. You really don’t want to meet her at all. She is a close-combat machine that will rush anyone (she’s got the abilities Brash (she can get into close combat with anyone without the usual limit of only being able to rush the one closest to you) and surprisingly fast – what you see is a package of muscles (Speedy  - she runs faster/longer than most)
Padre with his most prized possesions - a cross and a tommy gun
Padre Sicario
A very active army priest that likes his cross as much as his guns. He is the sharp-shooter in the gang (Abilities Dead Eye (like Brash but for shooting) and Eagle Eyed (shoots longer))
Padre comes from Warlord and is modified with new head-gear and this and that.
Maligna, Tortura and a guy not used this time.
The Allies
These will differ a bit between adventures, but for the first game I used.
Soldato Tortura and Soldato Maligno
They are booth primarily shooters.
All soldiers from Perry Miniatures and their WWII Italian range. Notes on the paints used here - they are based on real uniforms.
A couple of other soldiers to be used later on. 
Note the map of Isola Pericolosa (Perilous Island - the name of the published adventure from Pulp Alley). As all treasure maps it has a great big X in the middle...
A final shot of the boats from last post, this time with occupants.

Friday 24 April 2015

Boats from Games of War

I’m preparing for one of the scenarios in the Perilous Island campaign for Pulp Alley. It’s set in an Indonesian harbour so we will need ships and boats.
Jolly Boat
These are the first, a couple of small boats from Games of War. They are just £5 each which is a great price for the quality you get. I’m really happy with them.
Paints used:
Wood – Vallejo 843 Cork Brown
Red planks – Citadel Foundation Mechrite Red
Everything washed with Citadel Devlan Mud and heavily drybrushed with Cork Brown and then a lighter drybrush of 976 Buff
That was easy!

Sea Pup
I have also bought the Sea Dog #2 sailing ship and it’s bound to be painted shortly.
They are all 28mm or 1/56 scale. 
Update: the boats with occupants in my next post, to get an idea of their sizes. 

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Chain of Command at Gothcon XXXIX

I went to Gothcon during the Easter holiday with my gaming buddies Thomas, Laffe and Koen, playing participation-games of Big Chain of Command (Big CoC, written by Rich Clarke of Too Fat Lardies) and a fun time we had.
The following is a short description of what we did and some pictures. I let them tell the most of the stories.
One of the jump-off points
...and another
We started with coffee at my place on Thursday after lunch and off we went in heavily dented rental car. We arrived rather late in the evening, checked in at the hotel and went to sleep.
A real-life sunset over the North African walled compound
Friday saw us browsing the vendors and gaming halls and setting up the table for our first participation game, starting at 1400 hours and continued into the evening. Four players, each commanding a platoon.
Saturday saw two more Big CoC games and an evening/night game of ordinary CoC with two players commanding a platoon each.
German platoons have a much higher firepower but the British ones have the 2” mortar that showed its power time and time again in the following battles. A shootout between two squads will probably give a German win but the smoke-grenades from the 2” mortar gave crucial cover.
We changed the available cover a bit between games to try to encourage movement and manoeuvres as the games tended to become static with both sides trying to hug the few pieces of cover there were.
Victory seemed to go the side that actually tried to manoeuvre into favourable positions and in the final fight we threw in more AFV:s and anti-tank assets as we really wanted to see Thomas’ on-fire marker in action.
Burn baby, burn!
We were very satisfied when something finally caught fire.
Gott im Himmel. Engländer!
A great ending of the final game.
Sunday saw some frantic last-minute shopping (I bought the board-game Tsuro – great game!) and then a long trip back to Stockholm.
Afri-Cola – the perfect beverage for a game set in North Africa.
In summary: We were satisfied after an exhaustive weekend playing with Rich’s Big CoC…

Welcome new followers:
James Cotgrave - no blog that I could find
Wardy-la who’s got a bunch of blogs, for example Gjallarhorn - Viking/Saxon/Dark Age campaign, A Project too Far – WWII and Chain of Command and “By the orders of the Great White Queen” – colonial and darkest Africa wargaming. Well worth a look.
Pedro Lopez with blogs Pedro Lopes – his comics and drawings, and Warriors from the Danish Wasteland – wargaming in the Dark Ages, Old West and in an post-apocalyptic world – newly started and shows a lot of promise. Niiiiice!
Fellow Swede Hobbyworker with Hobbyworker blog – all about painting and modelling historical miniatures. Great blog!

Thursday 16 April 2015

More Pulp Alley action on the Tibetian Plateau - AAR

We had another go at Pulp Alley at the club this Monday and my intention was to try out my own league, Corpo di Spedizione Santa Sede starring Sister Innocenza, Monsignore Cadaverica and some proxy models for those not ready for the table yet. I was successful in packing the minis and I actually got them to the club in time. But the paper with the league stats on were still on my painting table. Curses were heard in the club…
We were back on the Tibetian Plateau trying to save the world. I teamed up with another club member and we played my hero-team from last game - the Archaeologists led by the great hero Montana Smith. Fighting for the good of humanity and enlightenment!
The opposition:
The Independent Phrenoligists that we met last time. Evil, I say!
The Brits. Don’t let their looks deceive you. They attacked us totally unprovoked. Really evil.
The Belgian pommes frites eaters. They tried to take the artefact that rightfully belonged to us. Unspeakably evil!
We played one of the basic scenarios from the Pulp Alley rules book, The Lost Keys, where there are four minor plot points spread across the board and one major plot point, an artefact, in the middle. 
 A captive with some important information was the plot point closest to where we set up
Some arcane manuscripts became the target for the Brits.
The Phrenologists set their eyes on a case filled with things crucial to their success.
Hidden in the cargo on top of the car was hidden another crate filled with goodies. This crate was like a magnet for both Phrenologists  and Belgians
You had to unlock one of the minor plot points to be able to unlock the major one.
The major plot point, an Idol, was hidden in the baggage on one of the yaks in the caravan that had stopped to rest in the middle of the road.
Players then took turns deploying one league member a time.
The Phrenologists started in the village on the far left. Archeologists spread around the truck front left. Belgians in the walled compound far right and the Brits front right.
On the first turn each league tried to reach one or more plot-points and some shots were fired. One of our boys was hurt but he managed to take hold of himself in the end of the turn and stayed in the fight.
All leagues but the Belgians unlocked a minor plot point during the second turn but in the process a Shoggoth was released among the Phrenologists (should suit them well, they are evil after all). 
The plot point on the car between the Belgians and the Phrenologists was contended and no one succeeded in unlocking it.
Now fighting started in earnest.
The car was the centre of a bloody battle between Phrenologists and Belgians. It saw firefights and close combat between a sledgehammer wielding Belgian madwoman and the dreaded Nurse Sigrid.
The Belgians finally managed to unlock their minor plot point and in the process let lose a Hound of Tindalos.
The Shoggoth was slain by those blood-thirsty Phrenologist.
Ha, we finally got that golf-club-wielding mad Scot!
The frantic race for the artefact was now on.
One league after the other made a rush for it and that in turn prompted everyone else on the board to shoot at them.
Our heroes trying to protect was is rightfully theirs.
Character after character fell for well-aimed shots, well placed Perils or close combat. The area around that poor yak turned red with blood (We all thought the yak got one between the eyes early on, as it didn’t run away. How wrong we were...)
Meanwhile the Hound went berserk.
Finally, with just two rounds left our heroes did a last dash for the idol. All members of the team still standing tried to find the small artefact in the jumble of cheap trade items in the baggage on the immobile yak.
All the while the other leagues behaved like the cowards they were and shoot down our heroes in cold blood. From behind! (I’m looking at you, Doctor Kopfgelände! There will be consequences...) The Hound of Tindalos set its sight on our poor heroes. It was looking grim indeed.
Our friends failed to find the treasure and one by one they fell or were thwarted by every last Peril card that anyone around the table could find. Very unjust and not sporting at all.
In the end the yak, having played dead, bolted and ran off with the priceless artefact, making us all look rather foolish. The game was over and every league went back to their camps, licking their wounds.
A very tight match and as usual both nail-bitingly thrilling and hilarious. Great fun!
Until next time! Stay tuned for another thrilling adventure with the Miniatures Man J

Finally we started to discuss how to manage a Pulp Alley campaign. The intention is to play the Perilous Island campaign with every player having one league. It is still in the planning phase and you will see more of it here soon.
Back to the painting table now and the rest of the minis for my league, appropriate vehicles for my heroes, some boats, ships and jungle terrain for the campaign and other useful stuff. Oh, and Dust, a couple of fantasy figures, Gothcon and whatnot.