Obadiah Johnson’s desperate dash
Having got quite a lot of minis together for AWI Rebels & Patriots we decided to have a Pulp game set in the period.
We used the new Pulp Alley scenarios book choosing ‘Lost Cause’ scenario for the game and set it around the antics of a desperate politician called Johnson who’d promised too much to too many. No it wasn’t Boris but perhaps an ancestor who actually managed to make his latter day namesake look a stable personality.
The major plot point was the aforementioned Obadiah Johnson, leading politician in the North Carolinas. Being a politician Obadiah had cut rather too many deals with too many different parties and with things hotting up he made a final deal to pledge his area to the Loyalist cause, seized a horse and galloped like crazy towards the British lines before erstwhile partners and enemies could catch up with him.
The 4 leagues involved were :-
The Loyalists. Basically they didn’t trust Obadiah as far as they could throw him so sent a force headed by Lieutenant Simison to ensure he arrived with his pledge of allegiance before he could become ‘diverted’.
Obadiah had previously being cosying up to the Patriots in the area. They were understandably put out that he’d cut a deal with the British but the Patriot leader Zebulon Perch was even more upset that Obadiah had been cosying up to Perch’s voluptuous daughter Rosie. As a consequence Perch headed out with a league to bring Obadiah to justice (or at least their version of it).
As well as politics (and philandering) Obadiah had dabbled in smuggling. There had been a ‘misunderstanding’ over some contraband with a gang of French veteran smugglers. The net result was that Gaston Le Pew’s gang were after Obadiah.
Finally Obadiah had also indulged in the real estate business. Unfortunately the land he sold off was still claimed by the Kickapooh Indian tribe. A gang led by Buffalo Hump were out to part Obadiah from his scalp.
With a private and professional life unravelling faster than battle bus pledges things had got too hot for Obadiah hence his mad dash.
There were 4 perilous areas of swamp on the table and 4 wandering ill tempered cattle. Jumping over fences was also perilous. In fact experience from past games has shown fence jumping to be more injurious than being shot at.
The game started with 4 minor plot points being placed as per scenario. One by each faction. The four were Bessie Broadbottom the buxom milk maid (Code Breaker point). Shifty McGraw the spy (Seeker point). Lady Ophelia Malhuruex, and Jebadiah Slinger (Brute plot point). Once the first minor point was taken Obadiah could be placed on the table (near the centre according to the scenario).
The game was set in the sleepy hamlet Hookers Town on the edge of the Black Mingo swamp. It was far too pious a place to live up to it’s name, not that Obadiah had a chance to stop and check it out.
Hookers Town (by name but not by nature).
In rolling for events Simison and Perch gained ‘well prepared’. Buffalo Hump ‘reconnoitre’ and then there was Gaston. Most of the Leagues had fitted themselves out for shooting, Gaston’s had in particular done this going for Company of Hero’s perk and utilising marksman and eagle eye. True to form Gaston rolled ‘limited visibility’ which reduced visibility to 12”. He should have known.
Gaston’s gang of cut throat’s did however win initiative and set off to accost Shifty Mc Graw who for reasons best known to himself was dressed as an old woman, clearly he was taking his spying thing too far. Gaston roughed Shifty up (literally and metaphorically) and taking the minor plot point placed the hapless Obadiah as near as possible to the gang of cut throats.
Whilst this was going on Simison wandered out of the woods and prevented the unfortunate Lady Malheureux from stepping into a swamp. Guiding her to safety in a perfectly gentlemanly manner Simison used the ‘redirect the major plot point ‘ skill to steer Obadiah away from Gaston.
Clearly Obadiah had now recognised the figures emerging from the mist as being Gaston and his gang. He hurriedly headed back towards the town.
Buffalo Hump had a gang based league with a side kick and a small child, Mowgli, who’d run away from the settlers to learn the way of the Red man and live a life of high jinx in the wilds. Basically Mowgli is a ‘harmless’ ally. A version of Mowgli appears in one guise or another in nearly every game. Everyone tries to kill him. It’s just the way it is, it’s almost like there’s an unofficial plot point for dispatching Mowgli. Buffalo Hump approached Bessie the milk maid. She wasn’t interested in learning why he was called Buffalo Hump and it took help from Crazy Turtle (sidekick) and the scheming Mowgli to overcome Bessie.
Zebulon’s militia took their time recruiting their nearest plot point Jeb Slinger to their league and having recruited him immediately launched him towards certain death slugging it out with an indian gang.
Buffalo Hump whispered to Mowgli that whilst it was all well and good to help them persuade Bessie to ‘join’ them the way to show he was a true warrior was to run up the street towards Obadiah and grasping the reins of his horse lead him back to Buffalo Humps tender clutches.
Dutifully Mowgli set off on his sprint towards Obadiah and glory. Unfortunately this brought him within 6” of Zebulon’s rifles and Mowgli breathed his last on the dirt of main street. After this the two gangs traded vicious blows and even more vicious insults for the remainder of the game with only Zebulon and Buffalo Hump with a few gang members left at the end of the game.
This left the field clear for Simison and Gaston to fight it out for Obadiah. Gaston had the first chance but a tough challenge saw him fail and Simison and his sidekick launched an assault on Gaston and Pepe.
Obadiah shrank back in horror as the carnage ensured around him. Perhaps living a quiet life was better.
Finally Simison stood alone next to Obadiah, ready to snatch triumph in the final turn (6) of the game. He reassured the fretting politician all was now well and reached out a steady hand only for a cruelly aimed musket ball from one of Gaston’s crew to cut him down.
With the bodies strewn around and blood spattered across the church porch Obadiah panicked and dashed away from the scene so ending the game in a draw with each of the leagues gaining a minor plot point but none capturing the major point.