A few weeks ago a group of us got together and tried out a large multiplayer game of Pulp Alley set in a Rogue Trader/40k inspired setting. There were 5 players with 2 players on one side trying to prevent the other 3 leagues from achieving their goals. The other 3 leagues had individual goals and could work together or not.
The table was set up with the Genestealer cult and allied gang defending the entrance to the temples crypts. The Brain boy led Ork gang and an Inquisitorial retinue entered from adjacent corners while the Imperial Ogryn deserters entered on the opposite table edge.
There were 5 minor plot points with the major plot point hidden at this stage.
|Genestealer and Ganger Leagues (Mr Saturday |
|Heisenbork and associates (Cheetor)|
|Inquisitorial Retinue (Furstenburg)|
|Ogryn Deserters (theottovonbismark)|
With 5 players it would be impossible to do a turn by turn account so instead I'll just summarise the actions of each league.
This band of mercenaries were hired by the local planetary official to rescue his daughter from the clutches of the cult before anything too nasty could happen to her. They took a surprisingly stealthy approach gaining a minor plot point and deciding to use the, eh, rear entrance to the temple, which for some unknown reason was hidden in an outhouse in the middle of the jungle. At this point Heisenbork turned on his allies, ordering Big Billy and Crackers to take out the Imperial Assassin.
|Heisenbork, Big Billy & Crackers|
|Approaching the outhouse/hidden entrance|
|Heisenbork considers his options|
Little John's cultists
Allied to, but not entirely trusting of, the hybrids Little John and his gang took up positions in the centre of the table guarding the entrance to the temple's vaults. From these positions they were able to deny the other leagues 2 minor plot points and engage them at long distance. When Little John realised what Heisenbork was up to he sent a strong force into the vaults to guard the governors daughter.
|Little John surveys the battlefield|
|A John Woo moment|
Clash of the Titans
The encounter between the hybrids and Ogryns turned out to be one of the most unusual ones in my (admittedly limited) time playing Pulp Alley. It became a straight up slugfest centred around Beefpounder and the large hybrid. Plenty of others joined in at various stages of the fight, which started in the 2nd round and was still going on in the last round.
|Beefpounder Smash puny hybrid|
|Down, but not out|
The Inquisitorial Retinue
I've played against these guys before and they are tough with a good mix of long range and close combat abilities. Combined with the skill set of their leader these were sure to be in the mix at the end. Or so I thought. Instead we were treated to a long succession of disastrous rolling. On almost every occasion that they engaged in combat they handed initiative to their opponent. Almost every peril, challenge, health check, and recovery roll were failed which resulted in them dropping like flies. On a plus point Thrawn did manage to gain a minor plot point.
|Inquisitor Thrawn and retinue|
Things were progressing fairly well for Thrawn at this point, a minor plot point had been gained, they were advancing on the temple and had just learned about the secret entrance to the underground vaults. Then the (unwise) alliance with the brain-boy Heisenbork ended as the Assassin was well assassinated.
|Stabbed in the back by Heisenbork|
Things went from bad to worse as two members of the retinue attempted to scale the (not very) lofty heights of the temple plinth. Both failed their challenges (it had been designated a perilous area), both failed their health check and both failed their recovery rolls. At this point there was nothing for Thrawn to do other than go home.
By the beginning of round 5 it had come down to whether Little John's cultists could prevent Heisenbork's mercenaries from rescuing the governors daughter. While the fighting continued above ground forces began rushing into the narrow corridors.
In the end despite almost rescuing the governors daughter Heisenbork just falls short. The game ended in either a tie or a victory for Little John depending on who you asked afterwards.
Thinking about it afterwards five players was a bit much and it did slow the game down a lot. However that was probably more to do with it being one player 1st game and anothers 2nd as well as the usual chatting that goes on when a bunch of gamers get together for the first time in a few months than any fault of the rules. Overall another very enjoyable game.