The Congregation: Pulp Alley Horror

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On an early Sunday morning 1941, Father Strange and Bella “BB” Besse was near the church in a small town in France (that fashioned their church on American influences) when strange things began to happen. Congregation members were walking slowly and awkwardly towards them. Eerie moans are heard nearby and a mist appears around the outskirts of the church.

(Welcome to the battle report for Pulp Alley, The Congregation, starring Father Stange Played by Thom, and Bella “BB” Besse Played by Adam. (2 Sidekick Level Characters) We used the scenario of the month Oct. 2018: Deadrise. The goal was the survive for 6 turns and gain as many objectives as possible to see who wins, but I think just surviving is the most important thing! The Horror deck was included in this game for added effects and unhappy tidings.)

The Quiet Church

(As a game note Thom and I found it funny that while rolling for scenario horrors and such, we rolled to have a hazard zone in the center of the table, which happened to be exactly where the Cemetary was that we were planning to make hazardous anyways.)

The Cemetary AKA Hazard Zone

The Game Begins

Both of us were confronted by zombies that were close enough to engage us, Bella, tried to shoot hers with little success. Before Father Strange could use his holy power of rays from the cross he found that in this unearthly mist his powers didn’t work. Father Strange ran for the chainsaw near the tree and stood toe to toe with the zombie.

(Okay going to say this straight out, first turn we biffed on the combat rules which by turn 2 we figured out, but it made first turn very deadly for us. What did we mess up you ask? Health checks and later the Restore check. Needless to say, our saves had a low success rate and we each got wounded. So we both were down to d6’s right away.
Thom also pulled a horror card 1st turn that he was unable to shake the entire game, which didn’t allow Father Strange to shoot… At all!)

Father Strange with his Chainsaw lost in the mist

Father Strange fended off the zombie but got lost in the mist and was stuck for several turns (His horror rolls were terrible.) Bella, on the other hand, had fended off several zombies shooting her way through them, trying to rescue the dog.

Bella fighting her way around the hedge.

Father Strange still lost in the mist and the sight of the zombies finally struck fear into Bella, and she ran (Okay Bella’s Horror Card was run in a random direction for 2D6 inches.) Not looking where she ran, she went right into the Cemetary to meet a roaming zombie.

Bella meets a new Zombie running blindly into the Cemetary.

Once inside the Cemetary, the earth begins to move, and zombies rise. She tried to shoot but fear struck her strong (She moved too far on the random move to shoot.) One zombie blocked the gate while two approached her.

Bella becomes surrounded in the Cemetary

Trying to get to the dog, and still struck by fear, Bella runs again just outside the gate this time pushing the zombie to the ground and begins opening fire with her SMG (By the way she’s french resistance.) Giving herself just enough breathing room from the dead.

(So I end up with two forced movement horror cards, one was a random direction and the other was directly away from zombies. I rolled to see which card was the active card each activation, this time was run directly away, but it was under 6 inches, oh yes PEW PEW!)

Father Strange finally breaks the bonds of the mist and begins making his way to his church, noticing the poor lost dog and moves to help him. He watches from a distance as Bella fights for her life.

Father Strange makes his way to save the dog while Bella continues to flee the zombie horde fending for her life.

Giving up on the dog Bella flees as quickly as she can as the zombies fall to her bullets. But those that did not fall smell new fresh brains nearby and begin chasing Father Strange. The doors to the church burst open and another zombie comes running out. Unable to use his holy powers begins swinging his chainsaw in a fierce fight for his life. The dog that he thought he saved now joining the struggle to keep the Father Strange alive.

(Okay so zombies go towards the closest character, FINALLY, Bella was not the closest figure by .25 of an inch.)

Smelling new fresh brains the zombies rush for the Father Strange.

Father Strange never gave up thefight, cutting zombies in half, in forths even with his trusty chainsaw, and finally, after a long struggle melee, he is bitten, dragged to the ground and killed. Bella witnessing the horrors runs to the woods, looking back once to see Father Strange be taken down by the zombies. No zombies following her as she leaves this apocalyptic church and finds safety for now…

(This was a rough way to end for Father Strange, this was turn 6, the last turn we had to survive. Bella had the two cards with random movement that were randomly chosen at the start of each activation, the last restoration round I was able to remove one. Looking at the odds I kept the one that makes her run away from the zombies and not randomly. She rolled an 11 and got the hell out of dodge. I tested what would have happened if I kept random move and it would have taken me off the board and would have lost. Without the ability to shoot the entire game Father Strange was unable to shoot incoming zombies and had to deal with them at hand to hand, he had been widdled down in health to down. The last turn he did not make his restore check and was dead. It was the last roll of the game, so sad.)

Bella flees for her safety but watches from a distance as Father Strange is pulled down.
Father Strange dies to the hungry zombie congregation.

Recap/Final Thoughts

The game was fun, though we did mess up on health rolls and recovery rolls early on which resulted in us being a bit more wounded in the game to start. Bella wasn’t able to make any health recovery checks and stayed down to d6’s while Father Strange was able to get back up to d8. but the last two turns he just got brutalized by the mob of zombies. The only downside from the scenario is Thom (Father Strange) got stuck in the corner and couldn’t move due to horrors and another effect, and so for 3 turns he pretty much just sat there, while Bella was the closest target to all active zombies and was constantly trying to fend for her life. Bella’s big luck is that she was able to recover from the horror cards, and the random move was huge because it states MUST move random 2d6, which meant when a zombie locked combat with her she ran on her next activation. (She sucked at hand to hand fighting anyways.) This allowed her to shoot, and light up some zombies successfully.

I did find the fortune cards to be very limited help, several of the cards simply had no umph to help in the game or the situation really didn’t arise. It helped once with improving a health roll chance, and another time making a zombie only able to move 3 inches. I mostly discarded the cards to use abilities that were locked from horror card effects, but Thom with all of his horrors needed his fortune cards to allow Father Strange to do anything.

It was a brutal ending, down to a dice roll Father Strange could have got up in the restoration phase or died, and Thom failed the roll. It was a tough game and I personally thought Bella wasn’t going to make it when she ran into the Cemetary.

I had a blast and can’t wait to try out another scenario! A big thanks to Thom for having amazing terrain for this scenario!

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