Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Pulp Alley – Perilous Island campaign, scenario 4 – Soerabaja Manhunt

Finally, after months of work (on and off) with the Soerabaja Harbour. We got to use it!
Soerabja Harbour. A couple of buildings, more clutter and bystanders by members of the club.
Some house-rules for this set-up:
- The boat nearest is moving d3+3 inches per turn and is steered by the player having initiative.
- The bridge will close as soon as the boat has cleared it.
- The truck waiting by the bridge will move forward as soon as the bridge closes.
- The crane can move 180 degrees each turn and it is possbile to swing by the hook from one place to another (it's an extreme peril to jump and catch the hook)
Using the clues from the At Death’s Door scenario our heroes have landed in the Dutch East Indies and Soerabaja on the hunt for Lord Darrow. Enquiries into his activities gave directions to an Old Sailor that seem to have known Darrow and also to have actually been on the island we are all seeking.
He is known to frequent the docks of Soerabaja Harbour and our heroes tries to find him there when they suddenly see both cultists and Belgians. The race is on. Who will find the Old Sailor first… and survive long enough to bring him into safety (and interrogation…).
There are five different locations where it is possible to find the Old Sailor (i.e. Plot Points). Each league have to unlock at least one of these before they can unlock the Old Sailor himself and then they must hold on to him. The league in control of the Old Sailor at the end of the game is the winner (giving three reputation points and also a slight bonus next game) and having other Plot Points are also worthwhile (each giving one Plot Point). 
If you're unlucky you might find a Red Herring, meaning you found a false clue and another plot point is set up close by.
The bouncer at the House of ill repute might know the whereabouts of the Old Sailor. Awful lot of sailors there...
The Old Sailor sometimes slept at the shanty. Better ask the locals if they know anything of value.
The Old Sailor enjoyed the view from the crane. There might be a clue up there, or maybe the Old Sailor himself.
He was known to often talk to Miss Nisrina and take boat trips with her.
Sometimes he helped out with the boiler in this wreckage of a boat.  Something could be learned there.
We set up one figure at a time and they could set up everywhere on the board except close to Plot Points and enemies. Turned out that the leagues clustered.
Unfortunately the Independent Phrenologists couldn't make it as Herr Doktor was furiously measuring skulls in the villages surrounding Soerabaja.
The game started with the cultist moving towards the plot point in the river boat.  
Then CSS got to move and Soldato Morto jumped from his starting place at the crane and into one of the boats. As an action he shot with his machine gun and placed a burst on top of the cultists standing by the house of ill repute.
The number one priority at this time was to eliminate these men as they were far to close to Monsignore and one of the Plot Points.
Two of the four men went down!
Padre Sicario felled another with a well aimed shot.
The Belgian League set their sights on the cultists and started to shoot at them to make it difficult to take the Plot Point.
Two Belgian 'gentlemen' close in on the shanty and that Plot Point.
Soura jumps into the moving boat and the Plot Point there.
At the same time cultists crowd the bridge from one side while a lone priest, newcomer Padre Scuro, waits at the other side, his shotgun at the ready. A shotgun places a blast and that is really nasty against low level scum and cultist. 
Next round starts with the cultist trying to find out if Miss Nisrina knows anything.
"Teresat anda babi bodoh besar!" she says.
Where in the name of Ra did you put that dictionary... now let's see... 

Monsignore and his local Catholic helper had reached the bouncer and one of the local girls. They start discussing the weather, bras and Old Sailors. So much to distract a soldier of God here, unfortunately, and Monsignore doesn't achieve much at all. But he's got memories for life...
Concentrate on the mission... oh, dear, that looks lovely... Hello there. Need salvation?
Another local catholic follower is down and out after a well placed shot from one of the Belgians. He stood right out in the open for far to long (I had totally forgotten him and didn't move him into cover in round one... )
She said what? Right... how do you pronounce this gibberish? "Dimana pelaut tua?"
Yep, that was the right question to ask. Miss Nisrina provides a photo of the Old Sailor and the cultists have a valuable clue and their first Plot Point. They can now find the Old Sailor.
Soura finds an old book belonging to the Old Sailor in the boat. A couple of scribbled notes about his preferences gives the CSSS the valuable clue they need and now they can also find the Old Sailor.
The Belgians are also successful in their talks with Mr Creosote who walks his dog among the riff raff. They now know that the Old Sailor often hides in a nook at the top of the crane.
Miss Mayhem climbs up ant tries to find him, but she cuts herself rather severely on the rusty ladder (she encountered a Peril and missed it)
The boat with Soura passed by, the bridge was lowered and, muahahahaha,  Padre Scuro readied his shotgun.
Unfortunately he didn't notice the big fat and hungry rat that crept up to him and took a big bite out of his right foot. Howling in pain he went down. (Someone played a Peril on him when he activated and he missed saving - getting a wound  and that was that for him as he only got one health before going down.)
Groan.... My plans for him didn't survive even a lousy rat.
In an Indiana Jones film it is usually Indiana that does the really daring stuff, like swinging in chains. When other people try the same thing it usually ends in tears...
Soldato Morto tries to do a daring swing when the hook of the crane passes by. He misses spectacularly and falls back into the boat. He will not recuperate...
Cultists swarm over the bridge.
Brave Padre Sicario is jumped by a cultist
...and another one. He retreats from combat in an orderly manner... 
Here comes the lorry, passing the fat rat that munches on poor Padre Scuro. Shudder.
Off-picture Miss Mayhem finds another lead on top of the crane. But not the Old Sailor. No-one had found the Red Herring yet, meaning that there is a 50% chance for Monsignore to find the Old Sailor and 50% for it to be a false lead.
Luckily the Old Sailor stumbles out from the house and when he sees Monsignore he looks rather shame-faced and promises to help the CSSS if Mosignore can take his confession first.
Monsignore swears silently as he have to tear his gaze away from the milky white softness filling one of the bras he was discussing with the bouncer.
Damnation. He really wanted all this to be a Red Herring so he could continue the discussion in a more secluded place and without the bouncer close by.
Lots of vultures, in the form of Belgians are uncomfortably close now, though.
Padre is attacked on all sides by members of the Cult of Ra. Things look grim indeed as he falls.
Other cultists attacks Suora and she fells one but is wounded herself.
Monsignore makes a tactical withdrawal. The loyal Catholic follower prepares to defend his master. Trading his blood for the success of the Church.
Catastrophy. Soura is attacked from all sides as the evil Belgians shoots into the melee. She falls.
End of round and she recuperates. 
Only to be knocked out immediately. But she held up the Cult leader, making her sacrifice worthwhile.
Monsignore and his henchman are attacked by the Belgian league and they hold their own without problems.
Padre Sicario did also revive at end of turn. He is driven back by attacking cultists and has to jump down on a boat behind him. Only to be attacked by Miss Mayhem and her sledgehammer.
He is wounded and is easy prey to Miss Mayhem. He falls knowing he has succeeded in his mission of stopping the opposition as long as possible.
Cultists swarms forward and starts to shoot into the melee. No effect!
End of turn and both Soura and Padre fail their revival rolls, meaning that they are out of the fight for this time.
They did make a great contribution, though, as they functioned as very successful speed bumps, slowing the opposition.
Cultist everywhere, but not close enough to Monsignore to make any difference.
The local Catholic starts the round taking a beating from the two Belgian thugs attacking him...
...and he falls and is out of the game as he is only a mere follower.
He did his job excellently as he protected Monsignore very efficiently.
Cultists attack but can't reach Monsignore as there are Belgians in the way.
Now I play peril after peril on anyone who activates as I have hoarded Fortune cards during the game, helped by the Trusted Informant Contact I bought before game.
Both the Belgian League and The Cult of Ra gave up at this point as I also had some protective Fortune cards. There was simply no way for them to take down Monsignore now.
Victory to the One True Church!
Defeat to the heretics!
Well, this was probably the bloodiest (I lost all of my league except Monsignore himself), most mobile, most exciting and funniest (obviously, as I won…) game so far. The game-board really lent itself to pulp gaming as it encourages movement and also everyone had to take more or less perilous moves jumping from boat to boat.
For once my simple plan worked
1. Unlock the first plot point with Soura - Check!
2. Unlock my second plot point with Monsignore - Check!
3. Let the second plot point be the Old Sailor - Check!
4. Use all resources to protect monsignore - Check!
As you can see, my superior tactics won the day. I'm especially impressed with how easily I succeded with point 3!
Now we are off to the Perilous Island and the next installment in the ongoing saga that is the CSSS.

This board will see more action....
... one club member said 'we' would need a whole 4x6' table with this stone paving, essentially growing what I had already done. WWII he said. Other periods... Endless possibilities. 
... other gaming buddies talked about commando raids in WWII and Operation Seelöwe.
... somehow I have ordered a big submarine-kit. How on earth did this happen?
To be continued, without a doubt.


  1. Cool batrep and stunning terrain and minis!

  2. What can I say? Just stunning! A truly brilliant table! And what a game...what a victory! Well done...for all of it!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Gordon.
      What a victory, indeed.

  3. So. Very. Nice! I'm almost lost for words.

    Now, about these other possibilities. And this submarine ;-)

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Katsuhiko.
      It is not in anyway impossible to make one of your own.

  5. All your hard work paid off with interest Joakim the harbour looked first class, this was a very exciting AAR that gave a very pulp feel to it so well done, the bad news my friend is that you've set the bar very high for all the AAR's that fallow lol.

  6. Terrific stuff! The whole harbor set-up is a great arena for pulp action, and it's nice to see it in action for the first time.

    1. Believe me when I say that I flet the same :-)
      At long last.

  7. Exellent AAR and lovely pictures!!'

    I would think some bounderies/gaming area edges would be nice as the terrain/harbour seems to float in the oeacen in some of the over work pictures.

    1. Thank you
      Yep, I thought the same. Some grey felt or something to mark of the gaming area... or just the easy way, fill the whole board with more of the same :-)
      Or maybe I should just learn how to use a proper program to crop or mask my pics... :-)

  8. Well, that was worth waiting for! What a great report. It sounds like the table and terrain really influenced the play, making it suitably action-packed. Thanks for sharing - great stuff. Really good photos too, by the way.What did you use for the water, by the way? It looks really effective.

    1. Thanks for the kind words!
      The water is a very old and worn mat at the club. Probably PVC.

  9. Super AAR. Great all round, figures scenery and storyline.

    1. Thank you!
      Storyline from the excellent Perilous Island supplement from Pulp Alley.

  10. Superb setup! Very impressive indeed. I really like all the little extra "clutter" you've added, makes it look even more realistic.

    1. Clutter really makes your table come alive. It's an under-used asset.
      You can't have to much, really

  11. Amazing battle report! Soerabaja Manhunt can definitely be a wild action-packed scenario - and that looked like loads of fun! :D

    THANKS for playing and sharing Pulp Alley!

  12. Really good AAR.
    Your minis and scenery are a work of art too!

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Another missed game... It looks like it was a blast. How long did it take you to play one round?

    1. It was a blast, indeed!
      The whole game, with setup, took about 2,5 hours or so... if I remember correctly. Less if you're two players.
      It's a perfect club-night game.

  14. I enjoyed the story though I confess I didn't understand all the plot complexities. However the scenery and the Padres with guns were amazing. Bravo. I would love to play in a club game like this.

    1. Thank you Michael!
      It is a pleasure to belong to Little Wars. The talent there is amazing and the amount of buildings, vehicles and stuff you can use in your games is staggering.
      Also, it's a great bunch of guys there.

  15. Superb AAR. Very nice collection of miniatures and scenery.
    WHO manufactures Miss Nisrina?

    1. Thank you!
      I have no idea, as that one is painted by one of my club mates.

  16. Hi Joakim, I have actually got further than this in my reading but had to come back here so I could tell you how good I think this game is.
    The harbour is fantastic, it must have been a lot of hard work, was it just you or did the rest of your group help. You have a veritable armada of boats in there, some very nice steam launches as well, I'm so envious.

    I have to tell you I'm in love with Miss Mayhem and that big hammer she carries around, I like a woman who is not to be trifled with, and she is certainly that. Do you think if I sent her a First class ticket to England that she might elope with me. We could have little Mayhems running around in the garden, would your gaming partner miss her?

    I've still got quite a long way to go but I am enjoying it enormously.

  17. Thank you!
    The harbour was a labour of love from my part. Most of the stuff are made by me, check this post for what:
    Buildings (except the crane) are made by others, as are lots of scatter terrain, cars, trucks.
    It's been seen in an article in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine, and some of the boats been in another. (Dalauppror is a memeber of the club)
    I'm (very slowly) working on an extension, to cover a 6x4 table.
    Miss Mayhem... well, I think you'll have to ask Jeppan at But he is rather protective and more than a little fond of her (I think they're having an affair, but don't tell him I said so)
    Roll good dice (except when/if we play)!