Last March I took the opportunity of forwarding a Crooked Dice post regarding their interesting partnership with Edgehill University, to create a new Pulp addition to their 7TV line. I have since played two games of it including an episode of G-Men and the Secret Ring played at one of my local conventions, Call To Arms.
I wasn’t convinced about buying the product because I am a big fan of Pulp Alley and don’t know when I would use this product, though to be honest, I felt the same way about Spyfy when I bought it and I play it quite a bit. It is the nature of Pulp Ally that you can do just about any form of skirmish game you want from it. I have used it for not only the obvious games but also for such oddities as wild west and a historic world war one boat battle fought on Lake Tanganyika.
So why 7TV first. 7TV is a complete product. While you can certainly can create your own cards, and use whatever figures you would like, even create your own casts, you do not have too. A lot of the work is already done for you. Even if you want to use your own casts and figures, 7TV’s general casting allows for archetype characters, getting your figures on the table quicker.
The two Crooked Dice products that I am familiar with both using an unusual meta concept. Rather than being a wild adventurer as in Pulp Alley, or of that matter most games, your characters are instead cast members of low budget movies or TV. This is not just fluff, but can add unusual events to occur through the countdown cards (Cliffhanger cards in Pulp). This adds a certain unexpected and often humorous occurrences, some of which can be game-changing. There is certainly a bit more humour and camp in the Crooked Dice products. Lastly, there is often some familiarity in the casts or in the sculpts of the figures which are fun.
G-Men and the Secret Ring is a Pulp show following the adventures Brash Special Agent Eddy Kane and Crusading Private Investigator Charlie Bosco as they try to stop the nefarious plans Agent Z and the Secret Ring. Agent Z’s Nazi agents have infiltrated “Big Al” Moretti’s mobsters in an attempt to build a secret base under New York.
The episode was “the Rescue”, where the Heroes had to save a kidnapped VIP from the clutches of Big Al. Being a convention I created the two casts with little groups within them. For the Heros that was P.I. Bosco aided by a unit of NYPD and Special Agent Edwina “Eddy” Kane with her unit of G-men. Opposing them were Big Al and his boys and German Agent with some Nazi thugs and paid muscle.
An interesting new addition to Pulp are the “Peril Cards”. Each side gets to pull one or more based on the player’s agreement. We allowed one each. The Heros Peril card gave their opponents two hidden bombs that managed to delay the Heros attack even catching the police wagon full of cops on fire, luckily they extinguished it without great damage.
Agent Z, on the other hand, snuck into the warehouse that housed the McGuffin and entered into a duel with Bosco stopping all other activity until it was finished, with Bosco down. (The picture shows them both down, that is an error).
The G-Men rushed in hoping to free the victim which led to a very bloody and closely ranged firefight but it was ended in the Gangs advantage.
On the other flank, the dirty Nazis raced forward in their truck and assaulted the cops. One of them foolishly rushed in to beat Otto with his nightstick, Otto simply grabbed him in a bear hug, later he did the same to a would-be rescuer. The Nazi agent spent the rest of the game just holding two cops!
In the end, the Secret Ring did manage to get away with their victim, and unexpectedly the Philosophers Stone as well. (One of the other new things added to Pulp is a McGuffin card that can be drawn when the main objective or McGuffin is picked up). The G-men were badly beaten, though their police extras did manage to arrest on of the Nazi agents. Perhaps he will talk…
Until Next time, Cheers!