The Pulp City kickstarter is done and done, and has inspired a wave of gaming in our group. Four games in the past few weeks! It's positively madness. It's been a while since we've stuck to one system for any length of time. No, it won't last forever, but I am enjoying the ride.
Full disclosure: I may or may not be on the playtesting team, so I will err on the side of caution on revealing new info. Luckily, a lot of the details are now available to kickstarter backers. Check it out! This is also a great excuse for me to half-ass this post just to get it out the door, since I've been working on this one post for like two weeks.
Our warmup game to get back into the swing of things was a simple street brawl between my real defenders of Pulp City (Mysterious Man, Nuke, the Gentleman, and other local villains) versus a loose coalition of tough characters.
Essentially, I took a horde of shooty characters, and my esteemed opponent Maurice brought some fast close combat hitters. (His ARC monkeys did more than their fair share of shooting, though.) I tried out Anansi, one of the new starter villains. She proved to be a solid addition, a sneaky threat that you really can't ignore. She has attacks that use her trump Agility trait, which combined with her Trickster Spider power makes her a real chore to take down. She will be great for harassing the backfield and contesting objectives.
Yes, he kept falling off the back of the cab. I couldn't resist, though.
The Gentleman won the coolness battle by jumping on the hood of the car to fire into the oncoming enemy (and also get the very handy height advantage. More dice is better, every time.) My plans for swarming over with a pile of minions met a quick end when Guerilla let loose with his minigun and just mowed through them. Seriously, it wasn't pretty. He was a lead farmer.
(I will note that Mysterious Man does make the minion horde strategy very attractive, however. There's just a counter to everything, and the counter to that is an angry ape with a minigun.)
Nothing fancy, but again, got us back into the swing of things. Tanks proved very useful on his side. Consequently, anything that lets you move the position of enemy models proved a worthy counterpoint (hellooo, Xenobi.) Much discussion of the new roles and how they could work, in theory. But, a max of four turns for the game? It doesn't sound like a lot, but you will be surprised how much happens in a turn.
For our next game, we decided to play through all the Plots, one at a time, using the same factions (but with tweaking the teams in between, to work for optimal efficiency.) Maurice is running Coven, and I am going with an all-Nature team, with Dark Solar at the helm. Yes, Nature supremes start at a slight disadvantage to those with Magic origins, but to my credit, I had more Nature figs painted and found them before my other figs. So there's that.
Nothing says 'we're the good guys' like bringing along hired guns in ski masks.
Our Plot for the day was the Time Bomb, requiring us to haul a bomb into the enemy's deployment zone. We added an ad hoc agenda, where we would earn a VP for every level of enemy Supremes eliminated.
My initial thought was to let little Acorn carry the token the long way, while surrounded by a team of blockers. This was... poorly thought out. On turn three, I handed the bomb off to Seabolt, who then got the job done in time.
Dark Solar shows the Coven the power of the Night Sun.
Dark Solar is a real force on the battlefield. In this and subsequent games, I learned more little details and tricks on his card. (Reading the cards proved to be fundamental. Pro tip!) This was also the game where I learned the fully armed and operational capability of Papa Zombie. His aura simply shuts down any Powerhouses that try to come close, and he has a toolbox of ways to ruin the day for a lot of opponents. While I did get the bomb off the board in time, it was Papa chasing down and killing Father Oak (!) that won the day, by putting him over in VPs.
Game three was the rematch of Coven vs. Nature. A die roll gave us the End Zones plot, control your enemy's deployment zone while keeping them out of yours. We also went with the full regiment of Agendas. One was to impress the local citizens with a display of force, another was to 'tag' the structures on the battlefield.
Back to the alley, more or less.
I did my best in this game to stick to the objectives and missions and not get distracted trying to wipe out the enemy. I even did OK in that regard, and halfway through the game was on top, points-wise. The strategy was to get Dark Solar on the opposite side of the enemy force and lean on them from there, while using Father Oak's pull to whittle away on their troops. The new recruit for this battle was Wildman. The idea was to send him after Papa Zombie, and rely more on his copious dice instead of Power Ups. He proved a worthy selection as well. At least twice I expected him to be dead next turn, only to have him keep on trucking. (He did not, however, take out the target, possibly due to poor planning on my part. Maybe with a little follow-up second attacker next time.)
The full raft of Plots, Agendas, civilians, Minions, and terrain is quite the handful to keep in mind; I dig this, as it adds a real depth to the game. But I am not ashamed in admitting I basically forgot about one of the Agendas. And as you may have guessed by my wording above, Maurice turned the game around on points, re-tagging the buildings and shifting the VPs his way.
Now when you're reading the rules, you might think: a game only last four turns? That's not enough. But those turns go by very fast, and a lot happens in each one. Try it out and see. Meaty.
And after this battle, I can say: Father Oak is good, but he's not the Powerhouse to take going up against Papa Zombie. (In fact, I don't see any of the Powerhouses going up against him well, considering he instinctively shuts down one of their major advantages.) We're pondering different teams for the rest of the scenarios, just to get more variety in our lives. But first...
Most recently, I went up against Chris C. (newly arrived in Maryland, home of the Pulp City World Champions) in a rousing battle of King of the Hill. The 'hill' in our King of the Hill layout turned out to be a nice chunky building in the middle of the board. This... may not have been my best choice, squaring off against the all-flying Necroplane air force.
Removing Father Oak made room for Ba-Boom, and man, it was quite a trade-up. A Powerhouse is huge, and by default ends up being one of the focal points of the team.
Right off the bat, the undead villains got to the top of the building lickity-split, meaning I would have to dig them out, after a nice stroll across the board. I had a few tricks planned, but it was truly a mixed bag. (The fire escape leading up the building was even on the opposite side of my deployment. I am smart.)
Early on, Ba-Boom showed his Speedster worth, making quick time around the flank and scaring the Necroplane with some ranging shots. Dr. Tenebrous dispatched Night Fright (who is, in fact, a beast) to handle the situation on the ground floor.
Surveying the battlefield.
Dark Solar followed up on Ba-Boom's advance, and together they were able to fend off Night Fright. However, the effort took crucial time not spent on top of the hill. Solid play, I admit.
Covering the advance of the other portion of my forces was my other new addition to Team Nature: Perun. And dear god, he's good. A bruiser you don't want to get close to, who has the range to hit back at most people close enough to hit him. Good times.
The long walk.
In the second half of the game, I was able to bring my forces to bear and start, you know, trying to dislodge the Necroplane invaders. And it was close! As in, one or two dice rolls going my way instead of his way would have turned that tide. But once I was up there, the fearsome foe started knocking back my heroes, chucking them off the ground! I think we had a total of eight or so different throws off the building. It was kind of hilarious.
And I need to remember for next time: those big area of effect blasts, like, say, Night Sun, could also damage the building, and bring the house down. Which would have been wow.
Wonder Wight + Supreme Zed is a winning combo that I expect to see play out again. Nothing wrong with combining strength with strength.
So. Here we are, a month later, geared up for more more more. It's a good time to be playing the game.