Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Pulp Alley AAR - Lost Marbles!

My current obsession with Pulp Alley continues and with the addition of three Deep Ones, two of Scotland Yard's finest detectives and police dog "Nibbles" I have completed my first two leagues for the game.

Cult of the Unspeakable Nether Tentacle

This nefarious cult works behind the scenes with many acolytes positioned within all strata of British society. They aim to release and raise the unimaginable horror that is attached to the aforementioned Unspeakable Nether Tentacle from its watery tomb. This cult includes in its number some members who have evolved into Deep Ones after years of loyal service.

Scotland Yard's Paranormal Investigations Group

Senior officers within Scotland Yard have long recognised the threat presented to the realm by the more eccentric and occult criminal groups, forming the P.I.G. to focus on them. It is a secretive task force recruiting only the best officers with the strongest constitutions and ably led by veteran detectives; Inspector Greenacre and Sergeant Croft.

Joey and I have had a couple of test games of Pulp Alley and have been impressed with these fun, flexible, elegant but simple rules so thought it was high time to present an AAR using the Trail of Clues scenario rules.

 I present the curious case of...................................

Lost Marbles!

Private Investigator, nanny extraordinaire and English knitting champion 1927; Miss Marbles has been staying in the quiet and oft forgotten seaside village of Little Puttapon-by-Sea after a series of grave robberies and unexplained seismic activity have plagued the small isolated village. 

Where Miss Marbles goes trouble is sure to be uncovered and as a result informants for both the Cult and P.I.G. have notified them of her strange activities and nocturnal wanderings whilst staying at the cosy and much doilyed Inn frequented by the more elderly gentrified visitors to the village. Both leagues rush to the village after instructing their respective informants to shadow her and missing each other by only a few minutes interrogate the perplexed innkeeper as to her whereabouts.

"Everyone seems to be asking about the little old lady tonight Inspector! Only a minute ago a queer looking fella in a purple dressing gown asked me the same question. I told him what I tell you. She went up to Old St Putt's church. Rushed off they did....................... oh bye then"

The decrepit local parish church of Old St Putt's opposite the burial plot of the infamous Tiller family.

Tom's Paranormal Investigations Group League.

I made a set of cards for this league using the official pulp alley character cards. This made keeping track of the characters much easier. I didn't have enough ally cards to do the Cult so will hopefully be picking some more of these up at Salute. This league had no perks for this game.



Joey's Cult of the Unspeakable Nether Tentacle.

The Cult league consisted of the The High Priest of the Tentacle (Leader), three cultists (Allies with a flamethrower, Tommy Gun and Pistol each and one cultist (Follower) who was unarmed (apart from a cigar). This league had the Companions, Dominion and Dark Pact perks. Joey rolled well with his High Priest's cunning and got four points to spend with Dark Pact. He opted to give his High Priest the Winged ability, the Flamethrower Cultist; Shadow step and Aura of Night to the Tommy Gun Cultist.

The Cult won the initiative. The two models shown are the informants who will be the first minor plot points. It will be race to see who can capture the opposing informant first.

Joey placed the hapless PC Dogberry in the church. He has evidently lost the sprightly 80 year old amongst the grave stones.

Meanwhile I placed the equally incompetent cultist by the wall surrounding the Tiller family plot.

The opposing Leagues set up in opposite corners over 12 inches away from the first plot points. The decrepit church and its immediate vicinity along with the ill rumuored Tiller family plot was designated perilous areas along with climbing over any walls, jumping through windows etc.

Joey's first move was to "shadow step" the flamethrower cultist through the church wall and no doubt give PC Dogberry the biggest scare of his life. It's not every day that a flamethrower wielding cultist walks through a solid wall and attempts to accost you.

PC Dogberry takes to his heels and finds a place to hide and who can blame him.

The first of the cultists take up position behind a low stone wall.

Inspector Greenacre attempts to capture and interrogate the Cultist informer while Sgt Croft covers him. Despite his excellent skills of persuasion the Inspector fails to get the cultist to divulge any information.

"Your looking at a long spell if you don't co-operate fella"
"I don't spill to Old Bill!"

Meanwhile more cultists move up while the High Priest hangs back.

The uniforms move up to support their detectives.

The smoking cultist runs up to the church door. Maybe he can find PC Dogberry hiding in the church.                                                             

Cultist run across the open road.

PC Barnes takes aim with his rifle and and fires of a couple of rounds but both shots go wide hitting the tarmac at the cultists feet.
Meanwhile Inspector Greenacre gives the cultist another crack but just fails and decides to let his Sergeants knuckles do the talking.

The Sergeant obviously has a way with the more degenerate types and gets one success.

"My gov'nor's been right friendly with you fella, now you get to speak to me .......... BOOFFFFF!".

The High priest uses his winged ability to levitate across the open road and place himself by the Tiller family plot wall.

PCs Dobbes, Healey and Healey's trusty dog "Nibbles" jump over the wall into the burial plot taking up position behind Ol'Uncle Benjamin Tiller's sarcophagus.

Meanwhile in the church the search for PC Dogberry continues. The flamethrower cultist doesn't have much luck.
Tommy Gun Cultist takes cover behind the wall in preparation for taking on the advancing coppers.
Meanwhile the cultist informant still holds out against the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine.
The flamethrower cultists limited visibility due to his flame proof goggles allows PC Dogberry to sneak up on him and hit him over the head with a large ornate candle stick.


"That will make you think twice about defying the laws of physics!"

The smoking cultist manages to avoid a similar beating and closes in on the evasive constable.

The remaining members take up position behind the wall. The stage is set for an epic struggle in the burial plot. Will the Tillers ever rest in peace?

The informant finally spills the beans................

"STOP! STOP! I will tell you everything; you two are doing my head in! I lost her near an open grave by the church. She knew I was following her and gave me the slip the wily old bat."

The next plot point revealed. PC Barnes runs across the road to cover it.

PC Healey and "Nibbles" move further into the burial plot.

While PC Dobbes falls foul of a perilous shallow grave and has a close personal meeting with the remains of a Tiller family member.

The flamethrower cultist fails to regain consciousness after his bashing and is eliminated from the game.

However PC Dobbes clambers out of the grave with only unpleasant memories.

 No sooner has he gotten to his feet before he is presented with the horrid sight of the High Priest levitating over the grave stones towards him waving his large sacrificial knife and chanting something hideous.

"You will be meat for my fishy pets! Fhtagn muhilarr ziccklar ka jerlp!"

Dobbes fires off his pistol but is too horrified to be accurate and they go wide.

Sergeant Croft comes to his colleagues assistance scaling the wall avoiding loose and slippery bricks

"Take this you fiend!" - an epic brawl ensues among the grave stones.

Meanwhile PC Dogberry is finally caught and tells what he knows.

"Don't hurt I me, I have three children! I lost her in the wood shed. She appeared to be fiddling with a coffin."

PC Healey is gunned down by the Tommy Gun cultist despite taking cover behind a grave stone while "Nibbles" takes a bite out of the other cultist.

The brawl continues with wounds being dealt by both sides on the main protagonists.

PC Barnes runs towards the church entrance. Will he be able to rescue PC Dogberry?

Fortune favours the police again as PC Healey gets up unscathed by the hail of bullets from the Tommy Gun. The cultist however was mauled too badly by the vicious "Nibbles".

Inspector Greenacre inspects the open grave and descends it by rope..

This grave appears to have disturbed a network of tunnels causing them to become blocked. One appears to lead to the church.

As he reaches the top of the hole he notices a flashlight coming from the large coloured glass windows of the church.

Miss Marbles!

Oblivious to the chaos ensuing around her has been engrossed in her studies of the old church searching for the secret entrance to the tunnels she discovered in the open grave.

The brave "Nibbles" attempts to protect his master but is sadly dispatched by the butt of the cultists Tommy Gun.

The cultist wastes no time in spraying PC Healey with more bullets but is saved by the cover provided by the grave stones.

Both High Priest and Sergeant Croft go down after an exchanged of lethal blows; weakened by previous rounds of fighting. The cultist informant escapes custody and PC Dobbes can do nothing to apprehend him as he escapes over the wall.

PC Healey closes down the cultist to exact revenge for his poor doggy.

PC Barnes enters the church to find the cultist nonchalantly smoking a large cigar in the archway.

 Both the good Sergeant and the evil High Priest are too badly wounded to renew the fight. Croft crawls off behind a sarcophagus to see to his wounds while the High Priests malevolent spirit will live on in another cultists body.

Greenacre approaches the large ornate window. Will he be able to reach Miss Marbles in time?

Unable to apprehend the cultist; PC Dobbes runs of to assist Healey.

With their leader gone the cultists think better of fighting to the death and call Parley.

With Parley called neither side is able to reach Miss Marbles in time. She is seen to descend a small dank staircase into an ancient cellar.

She is still missing.........................

Where is she?

What are these strange tunnels?

What is causing the seismic events?

Who is committing grave robberies and for what purpose?

Stay tuned for further Pulp Alley Adventures for answers to these questions!

The Board at the end of the game. Both sides had one minor plot at the end of the game and the result was declared a tie.

Joey and I had lots of fun playing this game and hope you enjoy this report.