Jun 042016
 

I suppose most people reading this is familiar with Abdul Goldberg. If not, let me Google that for you. A while ago, the Emporium of Rogue Dreams (on Facebook, that) joined in a collective challenge to create our own visions of Abdul Goldberg. I must be honest and say, this isn’t really my vision of Goldberg… it’s a bunch of stuff that I managed to fit together and shoehorn into the assignment. It’s ONE interpretation of Abdul Goldberg. I could make many more. So… who is this Goldberg, then?

It's simple, Paulie. Hand over the datafax and nobody gets hurt.

It’s simple, Paulie. Hand over the datafax and nobody gets hurt.

 

Abdul Goldberg, huh? Let me tell you, that guy is as oldschool as they come! He’s been around as far as I can remember – but don’t let the outrageous clothing and graying beard fool you. Goldberg is not to be trifled with! While not completely without scrouples, in his days he have widowed more than he have wed. Those guys all had it coming… mostly.

I’ve always said it’s a blessing he’s a good guy at heart. It’s more than can be said about that green beast perched on his shoulder. What kind of freak gyrinx have wings?! An evil, vicious, insidious and utterly soulles bastard of a gyrinx, that’s what kind.

Gotta say though – since he settled down on McKemmler IV it seems like Goldberg found some sort of peace. We don’t run accross him as much, his crew isn’t jacking shipments or blasting other outfits the way they used to. I don’t know – maybe he’s planning something big, rumour has it he’s working with The Blacksmith… or against him. Blazes, I even heard some people claim that Abdul Goldberg is the freaking Blacksmith. Ha!

So there you have it kid. Goldberg… nobody knows where he’s from, and right now it seems nobody but he knows where he’s going. Exciting times, huh?!

 

An aging space scoundrel enjoying a space cigar...

An aging space scoundrel enjoying a space cigar…

 

With not much of the deadline left when I started the task, I first opted for a classic Rogue Trader figure without any conversion work… but I have had this idea about converting up this Reaper Bones pirate into a rogue trader.  I thought he’d fit just fine as an Abdul and sat down outside with a cigar and my (rather paltry) bitz box.

The first few rough steps.

The first few rough steps.

It started with a Reaper Bones Barnabus Frost model (see top left above). To space him up a bit, I figured he could use some Space Marine legs so out came the 90s marines I haven’t been able to flog for more than a year (top right). A few cuts and snips, and I found myself with the beginnings of a slightly dismembered rogue trader.  To see if it’d work, I used (white) blu-tac and a RTB01 beakie for reference (bottom right above). I was pretty satisfied with where I had gotten in about an hour’s time (which mostly consisted of humming and hawing).

Finished conversion work.

Finished conversion work.

I then continued with adding bits and pieces, and I even got to break out the green stuff. I’m not very experienced with green stuff so it’s always a bit disconcerting. But things turned out pretty fine… Here’s a run-down of the other parts used: The sword blade of an Hero Quest goblin, a plasma pistol and a power sword hilt from the old Ork Heavy Weapons sprue, and a bat-winged cat from Axiom/Jon/Beastface Miniatures. Finally I greenstuffed a cigar, knee pads, some details on the sword and a handguard to strengthen the joint where sword blade met hilt and hand.

The finishing touch to the competition entry was to stat the guy up in Rogue Trader. It was pretty straight forward stuff. As I’m not a grizzled veteran of RT, I only used what I could see on the model – with the exception of some smoke grenades that I figure old Abdul carries in his fanny pack if ever he needs to hastily abscond with some loot or other.

fb_abdul_stats

Yeah, I know – it’s not “legal” with a Cool of 10 if the model isn’t a psyker. I’m pretty sure Abdul don’t care, and neither should you…

 

Jul 072014
 

I recently played my first game of anything at all this year, and with my recent shift to science fiction toys it seemed appropriate we’d give Pulp Alley a trial run. We decided to do a simple Smash and Grab scenario, with four scattered minor plot points and a major plot point in the middle of the board. As I haven’t played scifi games at all for more than a decade, I’m not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to scenery so we used mostly repurposed fantasy terrain. I have made four pump stations, power generators and/or general processing units that are more or less finished (save for some detailing). Those were arrayed around the central pyramid to scifi things up.

Captain Morley and the lawmen of New Haights have ventured out into the wilderness on the far side of McKemmler IV. The legends of ancient ruins from a long forgotten civilization seems to have been proven correct and a rumoured doomsday device have attracted unwanted attention. Master of disguise Abdul Goldberg and his ne’er-do-wells have made planetfall and plan to trigger the activation sequence, threatening not only life on the planet but also the lucrative mining facilities of Armasec in the whole McKemmler system.

Atop the ancient pyramid rests a weathered, ominous statue of elder horrors. Can it be used to bring system wide destruction or is it just old superstition?

 

The game started off with a lot of movement as both sides jockeyed for position on plot points, and since there was no shooting allowed the first turn. The forces of law and order decided to split up, with the disposable ASOLE droids charging up the centre of the table, in cover of the pyramid. Commander Skroob noticed something hidden in a nearby cluster of trees, while the co-pilot covered Morley as he made his way towards some hidden explosives, hoping to use it in the prevention of any evil plots, plans or schemes.

And we’re off!

 

Captain Morley quickly gained access to the explosives hidden away near one of the flux capacitors while the two ASOLEs scaled the pyramid. When they got to the top, they were quickly disposed of by the villains. I had hoped they’d have a bit more staying power.

 

Queue Wilhelm-screams. In the upper left corner you can see a blurry picture of the elusive Abdul Goldberg, in disguise to boot!

On the other side of the pyramid, Abdul Goldberg and his cronies moved up to the base of the pyramid. Goldberg’s second in command had somehow become separated from the others, but being faster than most people he gained on them and could get in contact with the maintenance access hatch.

 

The villains, lead by Goldberg, rounded the base of the pyramid and the blast shots started flying. No matter how many rounds the two pilots fired at him, Goldberg emerged unscathed and could esily dispose of Stickney who had exhausted his rocket launcher amunition and had to resort to his side arm.

 

In the meantime, commander Skroob had uncovered a jade dagger in the small cluster of trees, tucked away in a smaller version of the monument at the top of the pyramid. Without this dagger, the villains would hopefully not be able to activate the device.

 

Unfortunately, one of Goldberg’s crew decided that could not go unpunished and the two came to blows causing Skroob to drop the dagger in the struggle. Goldberg made an attempt at charging captain Morley but slipped and fell. Morley saw his chance and ran to the top of the pyramid, where he uncovered the truth about the pyramid. It was in fact not a device to lay waste to the planet, but a large cache of precious gold. Could it be that this ancient civilisation fell when they discovered gold and were destroyed by warring tribes and colonists?

 

Morley, realizing the cache of golden artifacts could come in quite handy when renovating his ship, attempted to steal away with the gold but was subdued by the dastardly villains. Instead, Abdul Goldberg had once again dodged the long arm of the law. Morley could do nothing but shake his empty fist at the sky when Goldberg’s shuttle craft took off.

 

In conclusion, we had fun with Pulp Alley and it’s still a strong contender for my system of choice for scifi skirmishing. There were a few things that didn’t really sit well with me, however. I’m curious to hear other people’s opinions on them. These are mere observations and shouldn’t be considered a bash or any form of advocating for people to not play Pulp Alley. It’s a solid system with many a benefit.

1. What incentive is there to attack someone, when there is no added benefit from it other than being the one who matches the dice?

2. Hardened Veteran seems like a rather powerful skill as it negates a core mechanic (ie ignoring multiple combats) and as such a Leader or Sidekick with that ability will be very, very hard to get rid of. As a matter of fact, it almost looked to me like a “must have” skill which in my opinion is a bad thing in a rules system. I’m thinking of banning HV from our games.

3. Plot points and the turn limit makes it a race game. I’m not saying this is a fact, but to me it felt a bit like the strong focus on plot points makes this less of a tabletop war game and more of a tabletop race game. Throw a few speed bumps in front of the opponent while you’re running for the plot points with your strongest guys.

4. Plot points can make a scenario idea hard to implement. In the same way the plot point system makes it easy to avoid the old “line your soldiers up and gun it out” it also hampers straight out confrontations.

5. Allies and followers felt a bit too generic and I think part of the charm with scifi gaming is alotting equipment to characters. It’s hard to (stats-wise) differentiate between a space marine in power armour carrying a missile launcher and a colonial marine type of guy with a lasgun, within the confines of ally and follower. One approach is “it’s not important, they’re all just mooks anyways – the leader and the sidekick are where it’s at”. I’m not sure that approach appeals to me in full. I’m a sucker for systemizing my miniatures collection into rule sets.

I had enough fun for me to decide to shell out on the physical product though, so I’ll order the printed rule book and the deck of fortune cards from Statuesque Miniatures shortly. Give the game a spin, I can definitely see myself having some fun participation games with this when I have a few mates over for a game night!