Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pulp Western at Guns of August: Pulp Alley Games

Fallen angels at the town saloon.  The terrain and details were absolutely
amazing in the game.
Post two of two on Guns of August.  Our last game on Saturday was Pulp Alley.  I highly encourage you to check out their site as they have tons of downloads and I have NEVER played a game that was so fast paced, full of action and insane twists and turns.  In short:  INCREDIBLE!

A view of the town, with my banditos in the lower right.
We sauntered over to the table and I played as a gang of Mexican Banditos-just think Eli Wallach from the Magnificent Seven ("If God didn't intend for them to be sheared, he wouldn't have made them sheep") , my son played as some Gringo bankrobbers, my friend Greg as a vigilante Parson and his shotgun toting Sunday school teachers.  Another gentleman, Rob, joined us with the Sherriff and his deputies, and a young fellow played a squad of Pinkerton Detectives.

Jose and his Henry rifle make a dash for the witness.
The game starts off with players drawing fortune cards and placing their gang.  The fortune cards represent challenges that players must overcome with their abilities (dice rolls)  The object is to capture plot points, in this case:

    1.  A bank robbery
    2.  A bartender looking for a bribe
    3.  A witness needing to be rubbed out
    4.  A horse asking to be stolen
    5.  A mugging in the alley beside the saloon

Based on your faction's level of morality you either prevent or assist in the skullduggery.  If people get gunned down or brained along the way, so be it.  Initiative is controlled by whoever last took a plot point or gunned a player down.  It is not arbitrary at all.  Whoever holds the initiative can tell what players to take their turn and when, until each character piece has moved/taken an action.

Dry gulched by a Sunday School Teacher.  The tokens help you keep track of who
has fired, run, taken a hit, a blow to the head...just about anything!
My muchachos immediately went for the witness, and I took the first hit, when a Sunday school teacher came up behind me in an alley and "dry gulched" me.  Thankfully, I beat the roll with my health and was back in the game the next round.  At that point, the gloves came off. 

Non-stop action:  Muggings, assassinations, petty thievery and flying lead...all at the same time.
The parson stopped the bank robbery, without a shot, but my son's gang made for the corral and stole the horse.  Then he made his wade to one of the saloons for the crooked bar tender.  Gunfire in the streets between the Parson's bleeding hearts and my son's gang. 

The Parson's "Ladies" challenge the bank robbers.

Capturing a plot point involves "Peril".  When a character is in peril, players can lay down a fortune card that identified a challenge (or series of challenges) one must overcome with ability dice rolls.  The game master also plays a final random challenge (my son spent half the game trying to steal one horse as a result).

Fight gone bad:  Desperados and Sunday School teachers sling lead in the streets.

Meanwhile I was up to my ears in deputies and Pinkertons.  I was able to eliminate the witness, and had worked around the deputies with my gang leader and sidekick, initiating a gun fight that ended in fisticuffs.

Keeping the deputies busy while we kidnap a witness.

As the sheriff made his way across the street to gun down my gang leader who had captured the witness (you can lose plot points) I played my "Out of Ammo" card. 

Jose has the witness, vamanos muchachos!

He had to reload in the middle of the street.  This allowed me to abscond with the witness and gun down another deputy.  It also allowed me to get over to the mugging in the alley and fight my son's gang for the honor of robbing the town drunk.

Sorry, law dog, you've had your six.

In the end, my son had stolen a horse, Greg had stopped a bank robbery and placed the bartender under citizens' arrest, and I had silenced the witness and mugged a drunk.  Since the bank robbery was a major plot point and was worth two point, Greg won.

A simple mugging goes horribly wrong when two gangs end up in the alley at the same time.

It was a great game, we were laughing the entire time as it lent itself to recalling cinematic events from golden age Cowboy films and serials (i.e. my Eli Wallach reference).  So as a result, I am building more western buildings and downloading Pulp Alley game material.  More on that next time!


  1. Hey, thanks for the kind words about the game.

    1. Absolutely! You did a great job explaining the rules to us newbies and keeping things going. I had such a great time. Hope to see you at the next con!

  2. So glad y'all had fun! THAT'S what it is all about.

    Pulp Alley

  3. So glad y'all had fun! THAT'S what it is all about.

    Pulp Alley