Last Tuesday we played a ‘Pulp era’ game over at Phil’s Den of Lead Delights (read: his attic), of which pictures can be found here. The rules we used were .45 Adventure by Rattrap Productions, and we played with some of Frank’s new alternative WWII figures and some of my Darkest Africa figures (with one new one). Players were Frank, Koen, Phil, Eddy and myself.
The scenario involved the delightful Elizabeth, assistant to the archeological team running around the jungle, mysteriously being abducted to a sinister pyramid deep in the steamy jungles (just getting into the pulp lingo here, bear with me). The archeologists, two teams of figures, went out into the jungle to rescue the fair damsel, while a bunch of Nazis and nuns arrrived after them to get to Elizabeth themselves, for reasons that were never really clear.
I played one of the archeologists’ teams, with ‘Winston Churchill’ as the professor, his assistant Arthur and four French marines, Jean Luc, Jean Francois, Jean Louis and Jean Marc. Eddy took the second archeologist team, while Frank and Koen played the (mostly female) Nazis and (entirely female — we think) nuns respectively. The rest of this entry will be a report of the game from the viewpoint of my character.
Before the start of the game, umpire Phil had indicated that according to ancient legend and rumour, one needed three gems to successfully ascend the pyramid, of a fate worse than bears telling would befall the climber. These gems were to be found throughout the jungle, embedded as eyes in a variety of idols and statues. So item number one on the agenda for the good guys was to find these statues and collect three gems. Eddy and I decided to go part of the way together and then split up to take different paths through the jungle to the pyramid.
As it happened, the evil guys arrived on scene fairly quickly, and we (well, Eddy) decided on a change of plan: while Winston would forge on ahead, part of Eddy’s party would try and delay the Nazis who were by then hot on the trail of the two adventurers. Meantime, the nuns took off into the jungle on a path of their own.
While Eddy was playing hide and seek (or rather, hide and be struck down in close combat), I discovered the first statue and duly cut out one of its eyes — gem number one! However, right after getting gem number one, Jean Luc, our point man, discovered the dangers of the jungle first hand when a huge snake reared up from the undergrowth and bit him in the arm. In the end, it took two of Jean Luc’s fellow Jeans to dispatch the slithery bugger (the snake, not Jean Luc).
Undeterred, either by slitherings in the bushes ahead or the cries of combat behind where Eddy was entertaining the nazis, we forged on to stumble upon a crowd of natives (well, three) in front of their hut. Not wanting to go into combat and losing time which we could not afford, I held aloft the gem from the statue and bellowed across the jungle ‘Behold the Eye of Umbulumbuth’. That put the fear of, well, Umbulumbuth into the natives who promptly scattered into the jungle never to be seen again. Well done, methought.
And onwards to the jungle we go, taking out a tentacle (and presumably whatever was attached to said tentacle below the water) with a single well aimed shotgun blast (thank you, Arthur) and accepting the handover of a gem from one of Eddy’s henchmen that had come running forward. Two gems collected!
At this point in the game, Eddy’s delaying action had pretty much played out, with all of his figures in the delaying group being put out of action (something about a blademaster in the nazi camp), and the rest of the gems were out of reach or in the hands of the bad guys. After a mercifully short deliberation, we decided to take the ‘legend says’ part of ‘get up the pyramid with three gems’ with a good grain of salt and take our chances with only two.
So on we went to the pyramid, this time with Jean Francois leading the way. Of course, after successfully vaulting over a stream that turned out not to be fordable at a ford (thank you, umpire Phil), a rumble in the jungle just ahead of him turned out to be a huge herbivorous dinosaur, although Jean Francois might disagree with the plant eating bit, as the dino promptly took off one of his arms. However, fearless Winston, having paid attention in school, dug out the remains of his lunch and threw a healthy bit of lettuce downrange, momentarily distracting the big beastie and allowing the party to smartly bypass the behemoth and start the ascent of the pyramid.
And so it was done. While Arthur and two of the Jeans held off (well…) the increasing pressure of the nazi pursuers (who, together with the nuns, had 3 gems for themselves by now), Jean Francois and Winston climbed the steep steps to the top of the pyramid. It was then that they found out who kidnapped Elizabeth in the first place … a big hairy ape, that was very big, sitting on top of the pyramid and was really big. Did I mention it was big? Anyway, undeterred, or rather being out of other options as well as lettuce by then, I bravely ventured further onto the pyramid. To my great relief, the ape seemed to be ignoring me (bad after shave?), though he did throw Jean Marc (who had had enough of the nazis) into a three a few miles away. After this however, a party of nuns arrived to entertain the monkey, and Jean Francois and Winston reached the top of the pyramid.
Thus we came to the crux of the evening, the pinnacle of excitement, yea even the climactic apotheosis, when Winston took his two gems and placed them in gem sized indentations in the altar Elisabeth was enchained on…. CLICK … turns out that the old legends could’nt count. We won!
I had a blast with this game, even harking back to my roleplaying days (a long time ago when I was still wet behind the ears) at times (the natives and the lettuce ideas came from there). The rules proved a tad awkward at times (a bit too much math on occasion, even is it is just addition and substraction), but they did get the job done. To be repeated, I’m sure.