Thursday, 7 January 2021

Terror on Skull Island - Pulp Action AAR

And so our intrepid Adventurers took their first steps into the dark jungle of Skull Island...

The 'star' of the Terror on Skull Island Scenario, Kong seen atop the Island's Volcano...

The Action on Skull Island!

All four Expeditions pushed forward into the dense undergrowth as fast as they could inspecting every square inch of the ground they covered...

...and it was not long before the dangers of Skull Island began to reveal themselves; the SS Titan’s First Mate Erasmus nearly drowned in a fetid swamp which he and his ship mates were forced to circumnavigate…

…then Needlework Ladies became engaged in fisticuffs with some fiery Natives whom they eventually overcame.

The English Gentlemen and the Nazis soon split into two groups to cover the ground more quickly…

…it was a decision which the Nazis would later rue!

The unlucky Sailors meanwhile ran into quicksand and Erasmus again required rescue…

… only for them to encounter even more quicksand into which Popeye slipped into and had to be saved from…

...encountering quicksand seemed like a walk in the park compared to the the experience of the Needlework Guild's Les Beau-Dyke when turning a corner while following a small jungle path she was confronted by a monstrous Man-Eating, or in her case Woman-Eating Plant! Reacting quickly she sprayed it with perfume (quite a nice Parisian scent) and while the nasty plant recoiled she ducked back the way she had come!

…the fauna as well as the environs of Skull Island were taking a toll, Nazi Average Bloke Schutze Hans Mauser noticed a pretty butterfly as he stumbled through the dense foliage. He decided to snare it to take back to the Fatherland for research purposes, unfortunately it stung him, quickly his faced swelled to twice its normal size and moments later he fell dead before his comrades Feldwebel Schultz and Schutze Willi Luger!

The rest of the Nazis led by Walther Bergman continued on unaware of the fate of Hans Mauser… the meantime the Needlework Guild after getting the better of the Native Warriors pressed on toward the Volcano only to be ambushed by even more Natives determined to make the Ladies day worse than it had already been! Professor Les Beau-Dyke and Fanny Farhts took them on and dispatched them in due course…

The Ladies were not the only Explorers in strife, while they battled Natives the Sailors ventured into the Pygmy Village only to be confronted with a Dinosaur! The creature leapt from the jungle literally ripping Popeye to shreds only to then slink back into the undergrowth from which it had sprung its hunger sated.

After this horrific incident the Men of the SS Titan and the Ladies of the Needlework Guild clashed in the Pygmy Village. After a brief exchange of shots, the Sailors scurried off leaving Cookie lying in a pool of his own blood riddled with bullets from the Guild’s Lewis Gunner, Helen Back. She sneered after the retreating Sailors taunting them while cooling changing her guns magazine!

The Englishmen at this time were plodding forward and quietly amassing Artefacts while keeping their heads down. They had uncovered some Ancient Tablets and maps of Skull Island made by the Long Lost 1933 Expedition. The crew of the SS Titan had also found treasure at this time albeit after avoiding a man trap consisting of a barrage of poisoned blow darts!

Nazis in the foreground and English Explorers in the distance almost came to blows near the second Pygmy Village!

At this point a terrific roar could be heard across the whole of the Island along with a deep drumming sound…the Mighty Kong had appeared on the lip of the Volcano’s crater beating his chest and bellowing…a more ferocious sight none of the Adventurers had ever encountered. They all looked upon him in awe and held their breath!

The Movie Cameras of the Expeditions were quickly set up with the emergence of Kong, every Team except for the Women’s Needlework Guild successfully took footage of the Great Ape. Unfortunately, the Ladies Cinematographer John Arnold fell as one of the Island’s frequent Earthquakes began and he split his head open on a sharp rock, Skull Island continued to claim the lives of the Explorers!

After the Earthquakes reverberations faded the Teams plunged further into the jungle but very wisely the Englishmen and Nazis dispatched their Cinematographers back to their Base Camps with their precious film footage ‘in the can’.

At this point both the groups of Nazis were assailed by Natives who were promptly dispatched in truly Teutonic style!

The ‘end run’ was now on as the rumblings of the Volcano became ever more audible and an eruption began…that's right an ERUPTION had started, the teams now had a limited time to clear out of the jungle!

The fine fellows of the Shooting and Yachting Club were next to fall foul of the fauna and flora! Their ‘second’ team were assailed by a violent Raptor! John Puller was snatched and disembowelled while his associates looked on helplessly!

Then to top that off Expedition leader, Colonel Crisp E. Bacon was confronted by a wild Man-Eating plant only his deft explorer skills allowed him to avoid a nasty whiff of poisoned pollen!

Smoke, flame and lava belched from the Volcano as the Nazis made a last lunge to investigate the ruined Temple, maybe it would have been better if they hadn’t! They were confronted by a wailing Priest and two fierce Native Warriors who were in the process of sacrificing a stray Hollywood Actress, Pauline, yes Pauline was in Peril!

A violent struggle ensued and both Walther Bergman and Hauptman Adler were killed!

Eruptions, Man-Eating Plants and Raptors, the men of the Shooting and Yachting Club were at the end of their tether, with enough discoveries and footage of Kong in their possession to justify their trip they decided to trek back to their Base Camp.

The Needleworkers too headed for the Temple as brimstone rained down upon them, they successfully chased off the Priest and Natives and rescued Pauline whom they escorted back to their own Camp!

With the other expeditions in retreat a final search through the jungle as the Island seemed to be exploding around them Captain Smith’s Crew stumbled upon the wreckage of a Lockheed Electra. It was the plane of lost Scottish Aviatrix Amelia Braveheart! She joined the Sailors and they escorted her from the jungle (as an aside she kept these rowdy Sea Dogs at a proper distance with her pearl handled pair of six shooters!).

The only remaining Characters on the play area as lava filled it were Feldwebel Schultze and Schutze Willi Luger. They were overtaken by the flow only a fraction of an inch from safety, it was an unpleasant end for them and the violent end to the game!

The Prestige Points for the expeditions were tallied and the results were:

First, The Royal Overseas Shooting and Yachting Club with 40 Points
Equal Second, Nazi ‘Ahnenerbe’ Expedition with 35 Points
Equal Second, The Crew of the SS Titan with 35 Points
Last errr Third, The Women’s Needlework Guild of America with 21 Points

The Survivors

Winners on the night were The Royal Overseas Shooting and Yachting Club! Loaded with riches and playing a conservative game they acquired all they needed to win and successfully got back to their Royal Navy Frigate losing only one man, John Puller to a roaming Raptor!

Equal second were the Crew of the SS Titan and the Nazis...

The rowdy Sailors got some vital film footage, saved a famous female explorer and picked up some treasures on their journey. They came close to winning and only lost one man the unfortunate Popeye felled by ravenous Skullasaurus!

The Nazis lost their Leaders to the Native Warriors and their Average Blokes to the fauna and last minute lava flow (ewwww nasty!) but gained clear footage of the mighty beast AND kept their powder dry earning their Evil Regime brownie points in international circles!

Last were the Ladies of The Women's Needlework Guild of America, their only casualty was their Cinematographer John Arnold who fell during the earthquake knocking his head on a rather sharp rock! They got quite a stash of artefacts together and even saved a stray Actress, losing their Cinematographer cost them the game!

The Credits

Okay to wrap up, a great game ensued and fun was had by all! The figures were great, the terrain looked good and the Event Markers worked as planned creating the story BUT there were a couple of points that need to be addressed if it is played again or if we play another large Pulp Action game using the Event Markers. First up, as play progressed players expected the Event Markers would only result in 'bad news' (not true!) so a couple started avoiding them, next time to ensure there is more interest in them they'll be a Prestige Point awarded to teams for each Event Marker investigated, in this game this could have given the Game to the Ladies or the Nazi's! Secondly half the players didn't reach the middle of the play area and because of this the old 1933 Camp Site was not investigated, so again to encourage this they'll be 10 Prestige Points awarded to the teams for reaching central locations, in this case the Temple and 1933 camp site, again enough points to have changed the result in this case. Lastly next time I plan a scenario of this type I won't have a huge impassable piece of terrain dominating the tabletop, the volcano was spectacular and really essential to the storyline but it prevented a lot of player interaction!

Next Time: Captain Darling and the Sudan!?!

PS for those interested here are the Player Sheets, The Events list and the Teams special victory conditions!

Monday, 28 December 2020

Terror on Skull Island - The Historical Background and Scenario Details - A Pulp Action Game

Well we're all set to play Terror on Skull Island this evening! Here is the Scenario Background and information on the Teams involved!

Members of the The Royal Overseas Shooting and Yachting Club tackling
the flora of Skull Island!

Historical Background:

The 1933 Expedition to Skull Island aboard the SS Titan departed Southampton as the sun rose on a cool autumn morning. The Titan could be seen steaming into the distance until Noon whence it disappeared over the horizon, it was never heard from or seen again!

We go to Berlin March 1936 and to 29 and 30 Bruderstraase the premises of the Deutsche's Ahnenerbe, in the spacious and well-lit upstairs operations room eminent Dutch Prehistorian Herman Wirth and his six staff poured over the very same Skull Island documents that the 1933 Skull Island Expedition had possessed. It was decided in the name of Aryan research that a group of Himmler’s Henchmen would travel to the Island to carry out a survey and search for artefacts of interest. Little did Wirth know during this crucial meeting but British Secret Agent Edward Bigger was in the room disguised as a Grandfather Clock. Bigger a master of disguise recorded all the details of Wirth’s operation and before nightfall that very day he had communicated the Ahnenerbe's intensions to his supervisors via carrier pigeon.

With the information of Skull Islands location and mysterious history revealed the Great Democracies of the West were prompted into action! To counter the Nazi’s Skull Island plans both the British Joint Intelligence and the American Interdepartmental Intelligence Coordinating Committees dedicated their own teams of investigators to travel the high seas and explore Skull Island!

October 1936 and all three of the new Expeditions were ashore on Skull Island preparing to strike inland but they were not alone! A dark enigmatic old tramp steamer had also dropped anchor near the southern coast of the Island. A closer inspection of this vessel revealed it was the long-lost SS Titan! The now rough pirate crew after abandoning the 1933 Expedition to their fate had heard through the dens of iniquity of South east Asia of the renewed interest in Skull Island so had returned in an effort to purloin some of the booty the new Explorers were in search of!

And so it was four intrepid bands ventured into the unknown…

The Teams:

The Head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee needed to find just the right sort of men to comprise their Company for the Skull Island escapade. They required men who could handle the Nazis whilst also coping with the demands of travel aboard into hostile environments. Where else would this breed be found but the Exclusive Men's Clubs of London, they approached The Royal Overseas Shooting and Yachting Club and they eagerly took up the task!

Colonel Chris P. Bacon (retired) - Hero Type - Revolver
Lord Butmann - Hero Type - Revolver
Dr. Whet Faartz -Trusty Chap - Revolver
Fred Quartermaine - Trusty Chap - Shotgun
John Puller - Average Bloke – Elephant Gun
Willie Stroker - Average Bloke – Elephant Gun
Gil Taylor - Average Bloke – Cinematographer with Revolver

Once the brief on Skull Island reached the Oval Office President Franklin D. Roosevelt summoned J. Edgar Hoover and set him on a quest to find the best representatives for the USA's mission to the Island. Hoover's G Men soon found a resolute group that would be ideal for the job, they were hands-on, practical and spirited, they were a close-knit clique from the Women’s Needlework Guild of America!

Tanya Hyde - Hero Type - Revolver 
Professor Leslie Beau-Dyke - Hero Type - Revolver
Francis “Fanny” Fahrts -Trusty Gal - Revolver
Hazel Knutts - Trusty Gal - Revolver
Tara Dacktill - Average Chick - Rifle
Helen Back - Average Chick – Lewis Gun
John Arnold - Average Bloke – Cinematographer with Revolver

After abandoning the Explorers of the 1933 Skull Island Expedition to their own devices the disgraced crew of the SS Titan took to the pirate life! Marauding the Seven Seas they became feared and hated. Yet they were always haunted by the events that had unfolded on Skull Island and were destined to return to the site.

Captain Ed Smith - Hero Type - Revolver
First Mate Erasmus- Hero Type - Revolver
Cookie -Trusty Chap – Thompson SMG
Popeye - Trusty Chap - Bolt Action Rifle
Davey Jones - Average Bloke - Bolt Action Rifle
Jack Tar - Average Bloke – Bolt Action Rifle
Dante Spinotti - Average Bloke – Cinematographer with Revolver

From Nazi Germany
Herman Wirth from the Ahnenerbe scoured the ranks of the Gestapo and the Schutzestaffel for the best of the best to find the recruits to form his Expedition to Skull Island. All were men who were ruthless and dedicated to the core! They would stop at nothing to deliver the 'goods' to him. their leader was a failed artist and the Gestapo representative had been a chicken farmer, the rest were a motley band of wannabes he figured with these stellar backgrounds how could they fail!

And the updated one page FUBAR Rules we'll be using...

Here's the Skull Island table ready to go, all the Event driven terrain has been removed and the silver Event Marker discs are now discretely hidden by jungle looking lichen!

Next Time: the Terror on Skull Island AAR!

Monday, 21 December 2020

Terror on Skull Island - The Trailer - A Pulp Action Game

Welcome to Skull Island located in the most remote part of the Pacific Ocean... island of dangerous flora...

...and even more dangerous fauna...

...swamps and quicksand...

...home of Evil Cults...

... and fearsome native warriors...

...and most importantly a land overflowing with great treasures!

Into this land only the bravest and some would say the foolhardiest would dare! In 1935 at the height of the exploration season three Expeditions and the Crew of the SS Titan ventured deep into Skull Island's impenetrable jungle to unlock its secrets and hopefully sneak a view of the most fearsome creature on the face of the Earth, the Mighty Kong!

Okay we're ready to play! Below are the characters who will risk all and go forth into Skull Island's hinterland.

Expedition Great Britain. Dotty Ol' Chaps!

Expedition USA. Cool Jazz Age Chicks!

The SS Titan's Crew. A Rowdy Bunch!

The Evil Nazi Expedition. Yep Everyone Hates These Guys!

Full Scenario and Character details will follow soon!

Oh and you may have noticed the picture of Skull Island is dotted with silver markers, there are 54 to be exact. During play on inspection of each marker by a character a playing card from a full deck, including the Jokers will be drawn which will be checked on a list to see what if anything may occur or be discovered! The events that the cards refer to will get progressively nastier the deeper into the jungle our intrepid adventurers advance ( this will be controlled by staggering deck, Hearts will be available first, then Diamonds, then Clubs and lastly Spades and Jokers)! To ensure total randomness of what will occur only half of the cards are actually linked to 'events'.