After a break painting up models and playing boardgames time to make some effort on the toy soldier front. Tomb of the Serpent is a campaign set of scenarios for Pulp Alley. Rather than going through them all in detail its heads down for a rush through using the solo rules to see how far one can get. Here we get through 4 games and reach part way through chapter 3. Doubtless mistakes were made with the rules but what are rules for if you can’t break them?
Our heroes will be from the St Trinians films with the Headmistress, Flash Harry, 6th and 4th form girls. The ‘shock’ ability of the 6th former reflects her feminine charms. The 4th formers are a gang and are not going to last long. We assume that they run off and will be back in time for the next episode.
The adventure begins somehere in the home counties with a key artefact hidden down the well at table centre.
The solo player does not usually block hits so a lot of damage was taken on both sides. There also seemed little benefit in that side taking on the minor plot points beyond denying them to our heroines. Two solo ‘faceless’ were sent off after those plot points regardless as having 4 tough enemies going against our small group by the well was not going to work out well. Only 1 character can be in the well at any time throwing the problem of how to get back out when an enemy is standing by the top. This was approached as needing a successful dodge to get out and slide past.
This game saw more movement as St Trinians stay out of the way and concentate on whittling down single enemies by shooting. Eventually they down all but one and the relic is retrieved from the well. There was however rather too much rolling off and recovering from brawling as despite there being 5 plot points only the central well plot point was worthwhile fighting over.
For game 2 we move to North Africa (Libya or Algeria judging by the buildings). One of the 5 dubious individuals scattered around the board may give valauble information leading to our team finding another artifact. When a suspect is successfully interviewed a reward card is drawn from a set of 7. The mysterious cultists have turned up again and we both start from corners of the board. The cultist gameplay is easier here, try to block the girls from getting to too many of the plot points too quickly.
St Trinians get to 3 of the 5 suspects but only achieve limited rewards. There will be some game benefit but no clue as to the next artifact. Most of the school party are already down as the Head Girl tries for just 1 more cosy chat. Alas the cultists are too many and she is knocked down just as the Gendarmerie show up to sort out the mess.
We hear rumours of the artifact showing up again at a dig out in the desert. The gameplay is much the same, 5 plot points with 7 possible rewards one of which will be the artifact.
The cultists are not so strong this time and our league triumphs. The green guys look beefy but are little more than animated brocolli and go down easily. The cultists come out the worst from shooting and our girls break through Flash Harry finally uncovers the artifact hidden inside a lecturn.
We travel south further into the desert to a remote oasis. The cultists are involved in some sort of a ceremony and look a tough bunch. The weather is poor restricting vision to 12″, which will help sneaking up but hinder any long range sniping. If the head honcho cultist by the altar passes 3 challenges then the bad guys win. Our gang have to stop that and capture at least 1 more plot point. The plan is to concentrate on shooting at the cult leader and drop his health so he has less chance of finishing his evil incantations. The girls are not especially good at shooting but they are worse at hand to hand. We dig deep into our campiagn rewards and hire a gunman to help out. He is a little overdressed for the desert in riding coat and bowler but at least he will not get cold at night.
Things start badly with the cult leader winning one challenge then getting a free pass on the next. Luck then changes, the leader is forced back (using dodges to avoid some hits) but takes damage. He is down, gets up again and then goes down and stays down. A clear win.
The next scenario in line requires our leader to pass 3 tests on 3D10 (needing a 4+). She whiffs one so will play another scenario in this chapter and not move on with the campaign.