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Author Topic: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley  (Read 908 times)

Offline warrenpeace

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The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« on: December 06, 2021, 04:09:35 AM »


I'm posting this thread at the request of my friend, Jeff. Several years ago Jeff embarked on a project to present a game based on Akira Kurosawa's great movie, The Seven Samurai. He painted about 48 figures, built three huts, glued together another three huts and a water mill from mdf kits, and acquired a variety of scatter terrain. That's about as far as his project has gotten so far. Like many other miniatures painters, he gets distracted by other projects.



Last year, in the summer, I ran a couple of samurai scenarios using Pulp Alley rules in order to make use of Jeff's figures, buildings, hills, trees, and other stuff. Those first two scenarios were set in different rural villages. Then about a month ago I ran two more scenarios set at a pagoda (mdf kit glued together and painted by me) flanked by two big stone dragons, aquarium pieces from the local pet store. The bell tower and one of the bridges are also aquarium pieces. The river, pond, and hills were made by Jeff, and were repurposed from other previous projects.



The basic premise was that a young daimyo's wife has gone missing, presumably kidnapped, perhaps by a political enemy. The daimyo himself and various other groups have gone looking for her, including monks from her favorite monastery, some ronin and peasants from a village that she treated well, and her brother. Not all of these were present in every scenario.



I'm not going to give an AAR of the games. I'll just say that the first two scenarios last year resulted in the discovery that the daimyo's wife was being held by ninja, apparently with the intention of using her as bait to get a crack at the daimyo himself. Fortunately for him, other leagues ran into the ninja first. The daimyo's own men took a serious beating too, partly because the various leagues kept getting into fights with him. His wife was not rescued in the fights around the villages. Here are some images from the first scenario:

The ronin & peasants (obviously based on the movie):



Home sweet home:



The first village was at the entrance to the monastery grounds, hence the bell tower and gate:





The monks (not really dressed as monks, but I used them that way):





The daimyo and his men:



Cowering peasants:



There was fighting in the village streets between the monks and the daimyo's men:





The ninja were hiding in the woods near the water mill:







Found at last by the ronin leader, who had to be carried out of the woods after being cut up badly by these nasty ninja. She was not rescued this time.


« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 09:06:52 PM by warrenpeace »
Sailors have more fun!

Offline Codsticker

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2021, 05:17:58 AM »
Wonderful use of Pulp Alley- so versatile. I really like your trees too- especially the evergreens.

Offline marianas_gamer

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2021, 07:45:53 PM »
Nice looking game!
Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.

Offline warrenpeace

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2021, 08:56:48 PM »


The second village scenario didn't involve the ronin as their leader had gone down in the previous scenario. The daimyo's wife's brother and his friends took their place.



There were still woods, based on the excellent Cigar Box mat, but they weren't central to the plot this time.



But there were ninja lying in wait, hidden about the table hoping for a shot at the daimyo, holding his wife as the bait.



The daimyo and his ruffians were again in action, and again they were involved in a lot of fighting against other factions. There seems to be some bad blood between them and the monks and the brother.



The monks were joined by an extra ronin bowman this time, thanks to their relative success at finding clues ("minor plot points" in Pulp Alley parlance) in the first scenario.



There was a cluster of huts near the monks' line of march that contained some clues (minor plot points) as to the whereabouts of the daimyo's wife.



As the monks left that cluster of huts after their search for clues, they were ambushed and shot at by a teppo man who appeared due to a set GM event (I was the GM for all these games).



The daimyo himself was ambushed by some angry peasants with bamboo spears (another GM set event) as he and his men searched for clues in the other cluster of huts. He cut most of them down, but was himself wounded and had to ride away to attempt to recover.



Meanwhile, the daimyo's main sidekick got ambushed by ninja as he entered one of the huts to search for clues.



Meanwhile, there was a bit of a clash between the monks and the brother's friends in the road.



The daimyo's men didn't do too well against the brother's friends either. In the end all of the daimyo's men had been knocked out of the game by various fights. And the daimyo himself had to ride away wounded, having failed to rescue/retrieve his wife yet again.



Ultimately, the monk leader found the daimyo's wife. But there were too many ninja. And once the monk leader went down the ninja again disappeared with the daimyo's wife. So ended the second scenario.



Offline Sgt_T

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 08:27:59 AM »
I love the details on your table!

T.

Offline monk2002uk

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 03:26:34 PM »
Lovely work. Where did you source the peasants with bamboo spears?

Robert

Offline warrenpeace

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 05:29:11 PM »
Lovely work. Where did you source the peasants with bamboo spears?

Don't know where Jeff got those figures. I think he told me they were discontinued. He needs to get quite a few more peasants with bamboo spears in order to complete his Seven Samurai game.

Offline Porthius

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 06:12:26 PM »
Great looking game! How did you find Pulp Alley for Samurai gaming?

Offline warrenpeace

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2021, 06:20:23 PM »


At the request of a friend to put on a game for him and his 14 y.o. son, I decided to run another game using Jeff's figures and terrain, plus the mdf pagoda kit that I had glued together and painted in January and February of 2021.



I also wanted to make use of some aquarium pieces that I had bought at a local pet store, including the bell tower, the little green bridge (swapped the position of the two bridges from that in the first image before we played), and two Chinese stone dragons.



I used a big hill that Jeff had originally created for an Afgan hill fort, which had a convenient cleared area on top big enough to hold the pagoda, with room around it for action. Also used an originally dry river bed that Jeff had made for his WW1 African scenario, "Wells of Kuromo." A few years ago I had painted the river with green and clear varnish to make it look wet for Pulp Alley jungle scenarios called "Island of the Crocodile God." The cobbled roads (don't even know if the Japanese ever used them) are made from cut up Lemax Chrismas Village vinyl mats that have been dry brushed.
 


Had set up this scenario for 4 Pulp Alley leagues, expecting more players. But the guy who requested that I set up the game and his son had to delay a week. So I ran scenario #3 as GM and also had to play one of the leagues myself. I had already set up some of my usual perils and traps. The leagues had to gather clues (minor plot points) from surrounding locations before heading up the hill to the pagoda. Climbing the sides of the pagoda hill rather than via the road required characters to roll one success with might in order to move 6 inches up the hill.



The daimyo's league started out investigating the bell tower, and having difficulty with the perils encountered there (that's a feature of Pulp Alley), while also appearing to be about to send men across the ford.



Then the daimyo changed directions and headed for the gate and the road up the hill. Along the way his gang of spearmen (Pulp Alley includes groups of figures which act as a single character) was ambushed by a wild boar from the first bamboo grove which took out 4 of the gang (causing last 2 of the gang to be removed) and one of the daimyo's allies before the wild boar was finally killed. Sorry I didn't take photos of this exciting action.

The daimyo tried to approach the minor plot point at the gate, but the monks were already there to block his path. So he and his men just headed for the road up the pagoda hill, hoping to take away some minor plot points from others. But he ended up leaving his bowman behind against too many monks, and was only helped by one sidekick and one ally as he ascended the hill.









In the meantime, the peasants and ronin made their way up the steep hillside, after recruiting the teppo man (who appeared to be a woodcutter) to their side along the way. When the daimyo saw the ronin and peasants closing in on the pagoda, he was apparently enraged and attacked them. This led to his demise at the door into the pagoda, as there were too many of them for him and his two characters to defeat. I'm sorry I didn't pause to take more photos of this action, as it was a dramatic end to the story of the daimyo himself.





Ultimately, it was the daimyo's wife's brother and his friends who found her. They had to fight their way through a giant mamushi (pit viper) on the first level, and then through noxious fumes on the second level (a perilous area in Pulp Alley), to find her on the third level. Mysteriously, there were no ninja with her. Perhaps they melted away after seeing the daimyo meet his fate against the ronin and peasants. Sorry again for not taking good photos of this action. But I'll leave this scenario report with images of the brother and his friends approaching the pagoda.




« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 07:10:10 PM by warrenpeace »

Offline fred

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2021, 07:07:10 PM »
What a fantastic looking table - excellent work.

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2021, 07:08:51 PM »
Love those minis

shame they are no longer around

Offline warrenpeace

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2021, 07:40:41 PM »
Great looking game! How did you find Pulp Alley for Samurai gaming?

The mechanics work very well. It doesn't have any specific flavor for samurai action though. We changed one rule about not being able to attack a down character. Since the samurai liked to collect heads, we allowed them to dispatch downed characters. Pulp Alley works great for anything that is focused on the hero and villain and their sidekicks and lesser characters. So, samurai, westerns, Last of the Mohicans, The Three Musketeers, Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, Macro & Cato (ancient Rome), Buck Rogers, etc., are all good topics. But I would really like some specific sub-genre books to provide more flavor for the different kinds of pulp heroic action. Players can add this with their own house rules and their own colorful names for the abilities. Some creative naming would help add some samurai flavor.

Some features that I like:

Action is simultaneous and fast. The characters have a number and size of dice for different abilities, including Brawl, Shoot, Dodge, Might, Finesse, and Cunning. When fighting the target of the attack can exchange fire or dodge or brawl or dodge, and both characters roll dice at once. The system is simple enough that once players get familiar with it the fighting doesn't bog down or become overcomplicated.

There are objectives (a mission to accomplish or minor and major plot points), so it's not just about fighting.

There are multiple levels of characters to reflect that it's not about the technology, but about who is the hero or villain or other supporting level characters:

Mob - very low grade mass of red shirts that function as a single character

Gang - 5 or 6 figures, slightly more capable red shirts, that function as a single character

Follower - lowest level individual character, removed if health level drops

Ally - low level character, but useful, and can get back up if knocked down

Sidekick - strong supporting character, like a Tonto to the Lone Ranger, or Robin to Batman

Leader - the main hero or villain in a league, very strong and difficult to take out

Epic Character - formerly known as Horror, as best I recall, fantastically strong, appearing without supporting league

There are different types of leagues, which allows for variety in how to construct them. For example, one type is made of 4 sidekicks rather than the typical one leader and one sidekick and other characters. There's plenty of options.

I like that the system uses d6, d8, d10, and (rarely) d12, as I'm really tired of so many games that just use d6. I put my d4 to work as markers to indicate the number of combats a character has engaged in during a turn. A success is rolling a 4 or higher on the die, so stronger characters have more d8 and d10 skills, and (rarely) d12.

I'm going to move on from the samurai to other sub-genres of Pulp now that I've given my friend's figures and terrain a workout. I hope that he'll get interested enough to run his own Pulp Alley games using his samurai figures at some point. He has talked about setting up a scenario involving ninja invading a samurai residence. I think Pulp Alley would work well for that kind of scenario.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 07:54:22 PM by warrenpeace »

Offline DivisMal

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2021, 10:06:27 PM »
Looks very much like a fun game. Thanks for sharing it!

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2021, 07:34:55 PM »
Don't know where Jeff got those figures. I think he told me they were discontinued. He needs to get quite a few more peasants with bamboo spears in order to complete his Seven Samurai game.

pretty much all the minis look like the old black hat miniatures which were in turn sold to bridgeminiatures but sadly they seem to have fallen on bad times and while the website seems open, I had trouble when i tried to purchase some

for more peasants the closest I could find were from awminiatures but i'm not sure how they scale?


Offline warrenpeace

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Re: The Daimyo's Wife - samurai skirmish games using Pulp Alley
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2021, 04:02:41 PM »
for more peasants the closest I could find were from awminiatures but i'm not sure how they scale?

Thanks for that tip, Kikuchiyo! I looked at AW Miniatures and passed the link on to Jeff. Besides the peasants, there are a few other interesting and useful figures there. I don't know if he'd be concerned about the scale. If his current figures are old Black Hat, then those wouldn't be very tall either. And I'm not sure what the average height of Japanese people was in the 16th Century...

 

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