Added Peril & Weirdness in Pulp Alley!

Sunday’s five-player Pulp Alley game set a number of “firsts” locally, as our biggest-ever Pulp Alley-powered game with five players and about thirty figures on the table, and as the first appearance of the “Weird League” rules from the new PA supplement, Perilous Island. It was also the first on-table appearance of my newly finished urban buildings from Sarissa Precision.

Sean pulled out his half-painted The Shadow figure and quickly thrashed together a League based around The Shadow, using the “Dark Pact” League Perk to add a number of powerful and creepy Shadow-like abilities, notably the ability to vanish from the gaze of men (and women…), and the ability to seemingly teleport straight through solid walls, among other things.

Neither of us have built Leagues with the new “Weird” abilities, but as far as I know The Shadow & friends are properly constructed and we used the rules correctly. The “Weird” abilities certainly add a very cool flavour and some great new powers to the Pulp Alley game, and I’m looking forward to future outings of The Shadow, and to building new Leagues (or re-building old ones) to incorporate more of the “Weird” abilities.

I’m also pleased to report that Pulp Alley moves along just fine with five players and thirty figures; it’s naturally a bit slower with that much stuff going on and that many people, and the tabletop can be gloriously crowded, but the system works just as well for a big crowd as it does for two players with six or ten figures total!

I took a few photos, but only one of them turned out OK. Here’s the setup right near the beginning of the game; only Dale’s Red Air Pirates are visible on the rooftop they arrived at; the other four Leagues are lurking behind buildings or off the edges of the photo! I like how the buildings look, but they really show how I need to crank out a bunch of alleyways, sidewalks and other urban filler/background scenery bits now…

A Pulp Alley game setup, before the action starts. Click for larger, as usual.

Sarissa CityBlock Buildings, Finished

Finally have the Sarissa CityBlock 28mm lasercut MDF buildings to a table-ready state, including another hand-painted advertising sign on the side of one of them.

Here’s all seven buildings (six CityBlock plus one Narrow Townhouse from the Gaslamp Alley range) stacked up somewhat awkwardly:

All seven MDF buildings, ready for the tabletop. Scale provide by three 28mm Pulp Figures reporters. Click for larger.

In one of my earlier posts, Chris had asked in comments about how these buildings came apart, so here’s the Hotel Atlantic spread open:

The Atlantic Hotel spread into it’s constituent parts; three floors and a roof. Click for larger, as usual.

You can see I haven’t (yet) done anything with the insides of any of these buildings; beyond possibly splashing a coat of plain paint in, I’m not sure how much I’ll do inside them.

So, having built seven of the things but not actually written a full review, what did I think? First off, I like them, and will definitely be ordering more of Sarissa Precision’s buildings at some point. They’re solidly built, well designed, have enough detail to look good right out of the box, and are also easy to add extra detail to. Everything fits together very well, the laser-cutting is crisp and precise, and the CityBlock & Gaslamp Alley buildings are good generic city filler buildings, similar to thousands of real-world buildings all over the world, pretty much anywhere Europeans influenced architecture. Use them as-is, you could be nearly anywhere in North America, the UK or much of Europe; add a few “local” touches (different street furniture, a few different buildings for flavour, etc) and you could be in Shanghai, Cairo or Singapore just as easily!

I’ll do a couple of things differently on the next batch of MDF buildings I build, though. First of all, painting MDF is like painting a sponge. The stuff absorbs paint and water like crazy, and is actually quite hard to paint as a result. You go through a surprising amount of paint to get decent coverage; and because of the absorbency you can get streaky or blotchy paint coverage very easily. A couple of my buildings required a second coat of their base colour, and painting details like windowframes and the signs was harder than it should have been because you needed thin, wet paints and a well-loaded brush to get good coverage. So I’ll be doing as much painting as possible before assembly next time, instead of rushing assembly this time just for the joy of having complete buildings sitting around!

Spray cans or an airbrush might actually work better than brushes for basecoats on MDF, if you have access to an airbrush or a better selection of spraypaint colours than I do currently.

I’ve got a whole pile of small scenery detail bits that have been building up on the edges of my painting desk recently, so with these buildings out of the way it’s on to them to get them done and into play, then onto more figures! We’re having a Pulp Alley game tomorrow that should feature all my new buildings, so look for photos of that soon too.