Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pulp Alley, Junta style!

Allen (Black Marketeers) moves his SUV towards the radio station, while Tom (Political Refugees) and Keith (3rd Brigade) look on skeptically
 One of our regular Sunday gaming group, Joel, is know for crafting oddball scenarios for miniature gaming. He correctly decided that it was high time we played Pulp Alley again (Dakota Smith seems so long ago...), but gave it a twist. He set his campaign in the world of the boardgame Junta. Each of us would play a faction from an anonymous South American republic in the game. Mike S controlled the minions of the Minister of Internal Security, Keith some flunkeys from the 3rd Brigade, Allen had a group of Black Marketeers, Tom had nefarious Political Refugees, and I controlled the University Faculty.
The University Faculty faction sprints for the radio station, with their way blocked by a less-than-effective Psychotic Assassin
Here was Joel's setup email to us:
Subject: Pulp Alley - Junta
Location: Third World Banana Republic
Teams:  Rebel or Loyal (hidden agenda) 

Situation:  El Presidenta is opposed by a weak divided Chamber of Deputies, and a court system missing too many judges to be effective.  El Presidenta has increasingly gone beyond the boundaries of the Constitution, which brings howls from opposition (but nothing else).  El Presidenta has a not-too-secret offshore island detention center which houses people without charges or hearings.  Election time approaches, and it looks like friendly associates will be elected. Enter the Rebels.  Major Punto de Trama (major plot point) has occupied the radio station W.Z.A.P. and is broadcasting  a cycle of propaganda, a call to arms, and Slim Whitman music.  Players are to search the area, secure the radio station, and round up suspected rebels.

Leagues & their Perks-

Black Marketers: Network of Supporters
University Faculty: Bastion of Science
Political Refugees: Nefarious
Ministry of Security: Stealthy Agents
3rd Brigade: Mastermind
The Black Marketeers leap from the SUV and prepare to enter the radio station
Setup: The radio station sits in a jungle clearing north of town.  The major plot point is a rebel Major de Trama, in control of the station.  Minor plot points are gold coins ('pay roll'), weapon cache, psychotic assassin (list of names in pocket), and the bomb at the base of the radio tower.  Players are to clear the station in six turns, or less, or the Navy gunboat S.S. Pueblo will begin to opening fire. 

Play will open with a roll d10 for scenario set up -
Choose groups- secretly assign rebel/loyal (50% mix).

The Grad student investigates a suspicious box underneath a dead horse, Prof. Emilia prepares to chase down the Psychotic Assassin, while Duarte cleverly keeps close to cover in case any stray bullets come his way
 We were playing the "large group" league variant with a Leader, Sidekick, and Ally. My Leader was Professor Duarte, along with his surprisingly combative colleague, Professoressa Emilia. They were assisted by a grad student who opposed guns ("Animal" ability -- no Shooting). We quickly sprinted towards the radio station when we saw the Black Marketeers careering wildly that way in their SUV. A former student of Duarte's had been hiding in the back seat and quickly changed sides to ours when he saw his beloved teachers (a Fortune card gave me control of a Level 1 Backup, which had to be placed in contact with another player's character). Although the student never accomplished much, he certainly made the other factions wonder whether to attack him and risk my faction's ire, or leave him alone.
The Black Marketeers seize the SUV, and then ponder what to do next
The lady professor immediately charged the Psychotic Assassin and landed two solid blows that would have knocked out a lesser man. He did try to flee, but Emilia caught him and finally knocked him out. The grad student investigated a box poorly hidden underneath a dead horse and found the payroll for some government organization. Duarte assured him it was doubtless meant for the university, and he should bring it along. Meanwhile Duarte edged cautiously towards the radio station, leery of the gunfire going on inside.
Mayhem erupts inside the radio station, bullets fly, and pieces of equipment crash over onto characters
Peering through a window, he saw a battle between the Black Marketeers and the Refugees over the Rebel de Trama. The Refugees had him by his collar, and several others entered the radio station only to be sent flying by gunfire or falling debris dislodged by the scuffle. When he judged the two (three? four?) factions inside had worn themselves down sufficiently, the professor entered. He was clipped by a bullet shortly afterwards from the gunfire blazing inside. Duarte pulled out his trusty revolver and squeezed off a few shots at the hoodlum holding onto Major de Trama.

Suddenly, the opening Duarte was watching for happened. The hoodlum went down, and the rebel rolling free, but bumping his head into a desk and stunning himself. The Professor of Science activated his experimental Bullet DeMagnetizing Aura and raced forward and snatched up the rebel. All guns were trained upon the goodly professor. Under the onslaught, the aura flickered, then failed, and Duarte felt several bullets strike him. Nothing was fatal, though, and he edged towards the door with the rebel in tow.
Duarte seizes his chance! Springing forward, he grabs the hapless rebel and then turns to face the combined fury of three of the other factions
Far in the distance, several loud thumps could be heard, along with a steadily increasing shriek of incoming artillery. The damned Americans were firing to silence the radio station! All factions broke for the exits when the detonations began to strike the ground and shake the building. Bleeding but triumphant, Duarte was helped to safety by his colleague and student. Together, they escaped, and fled back to the university to examine their findings...

I had actually thought this was merely a one-off game, but Joel assures us it is part of a campaign. If that is the case, my faction is off to a solid lead with the Major Plot Point, and two Minor ones from this battle. Hopefully, more updates in the weeks ahead on Pulp Alley in the world of Junta...

For another (and more humorous account of the game, read Keith Finn's (3rd Brigade) Game Reports blog.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I was able to play the clueless soldiers perfectly, because the email that described the scenario got Spam filtered! So all the info I really had was - go to the radio station, and grad some guy. Perfect for an army operation.