Monday, May 06, 2013

Extra Extra, Pulp Alley has arrived!!


As some know, I am a huge fan of Pulp games, I guess it must come from watching all the Indiana Jones Movies when I was younger (Yes I saw them in a movie theater and on opening night!) Also it must come from my time while working at Disneyland on the Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Anyway, like most gamers that have been inspired, I wanted to re create these on the table top. For a few years my buddy Mike and I have been looking for a good set of Pulp rules. We tried a few of them and even used a conversion of the Lord of the Rings/Legends rules. Each one had it's plus' and minus' but nothing really ever felt right.

Well about a month ago while surfing the Lead Adventures Forum I came across a Father and Daughter team (Dave Phipps and Mila) that were working on a set of rules. So I dug a bit deeper and found that they had released their own set of rules called Pulp Alley. So after reading a few AAR reports on LAF and getting a reply from Dave himself on the forums, I decided to go ahead and purchase the rules.

Here they are in all their glory!
 I opted to go for the Combo pack which included a PDF, the Printed rules and a Fortune Deck. The rulebook is slim and looks like a Pulp Comic book, in fact it came in a comic book slip cover with a cardboard backing that was signed by Dave and Mila, a nice little touch!

Signed by the Authors!
 Here is a brief description from Dave on how the rules play:

The Turn Sequence is pretty simple --

Start of Turn
1. DRAW — Draw one Fortune card.

Action Sequence
2. DIRECT — The player with Initiative decides who will activate the next character.
3. ACT — The activated character may move, perform an action, or attack.
     Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all characters have activated.

End of Turn
4. RECOVER — Injured characters may recover.

"Control of the Initiative" -- Unlike checkers, players do not take turns moving models. Instead, the player who currently controls the Initiative can decide which player has to activate a character. In this way, they have a little more control over the flow of the game... but only for as long as they can hold on to it. Be assured, other players will be trying to take the Initiative.

"Hey, they shoot back!" -- When a character attacks another character they best be prepared for the other guy to fight back - immediately. In this way, combat can actually be simultaneously dangerous for both characters. And while we're talking about fighting, here's a little example ---

Let's say you have your character shoot at an enemy. Based on their profiles and any modifiers, both character will roll 3d8 ---

Your guy rolls a 5, 6, and 8
The enemy rolls a 3 (miss), 5, and 6

I should mention that the target number in Pulp Alley is always a 4+. So, in this case your guy rolled 3 hits, and the enemy rolled 2 hits. As the 'attacker' you actually have some control of how this fight plays out --

Option #1 — You could choose to match two of your dice, like your 5 and 6 against their 5 and  6. In this case you only inflict 1 hit, but you do not take any hits. Or maybe you would not play it so safe…

Option #2 — You could match one of your successes, like your 6 against their 6. In which case, you inflict 2 hits but suffer 1 hit in return. Or would you press your luck...

Option #3 — You could go all-out, choosing not to match any dice. You inflict 3 hits but also suffer 2 hits in exchange.

These options represent the split-second tactics fighters use. Is your guy playing it safe or going for blood?

"THE CARDS" -- The cards serve two purposes. The top half of each card describes an unexpected event or situation brought about by luck or skillful planning. The bottom half of each card outlines an important or dangerous challenge. Most often, this relates directly to encountering Perils and Plot Points.

"PLOT POINTS" -- You can think of these simply as 'objectives'. Every scenario is built around the idea of completing/capturing/holding these points. Within the context of the rules, plot points are very important. In addition to giving the scenario more meaning and background, plot points provide you with the means to....

Control the Initiative.

Earn scenario bonuses.
Earn post-scenario resources.
Earn experience for your league.
Develop your league’s reputation.
Determine victory.

So there you go, a short brief from the author himself. You can see more on the LAF forum under the Pulp Section. Once again, the rulebook is slender (45 pages) compared to some, but after reading through them, you really do not need much more rules. As I get older, I want a fun set of rules and I do not need 400+ pages of stuff, give me the rules so I can play.

The front Cover and the Fortune Deck.
The inside of the book is well laid out and easy to read. Graphics and pictures are well done and after reading through the rules I had very few things that I had to look up. Dave & Mila did a great job getting to the point so you can get playing quickly. I like that in rules,give me the nitty gritty and leave the fluff for others. I want to get playing as soon as possible, something that some current rules do not do anymore.

Well laid out rules and nice graphics.
One other thing that drew me to these rules is that this is a Father and Daughter project. it seems that Dave has passed on the gaming gene to his daughter which is awesome. Besides sharing his love of gaming, he was able to work on these rules with his daughter, which is priceless! To be able to share your hobby with your kids is great, especially in this age of X-box, PS3 and Cell phones is awesome. Good job Dave!

So if your looking for a fun set of Pulp rules, than look no further, Pulp Alley is for you! I look forward to getting a game of this on the table next week sometime, so stay tuned for some Pulp Alley reports on the near future!

Shruken Ned gives Pulp Alley two thumbs up, thats if he had thumbs!

Here is a bonus picture for you, yours truly at the helm of one of the Infamous Jungle Cruise boats back in the day! Yes folks that's me, your cruise directer for the next 4days and 6 nights! No I don't shoot the breeze, I shoot the Hippos! Move it up Skip!

Jungle Cruise Skipper Tim! Late 80's early 90's!



Simon Q said...

Interesting set of rules. I quite like the action kicking off at the same time and matching the dice. Quite tactical in its own way.

A J said...

They look interesting, and I've read many good reports on the LAF. A project of mine for the future, I think... :)

Da Green Skins said...

It all looks interesting and should be fun to play. Can't wait to play.

Jerry said...

Some interesting rules. It looks like a great way to play a story-driven game.

Laughing Ferret said...

I played this two weekends ago and enjoyed it. A fun light game with a lot of flexibility for constructing your group and interesting tactical options