Sir Gilbert Hill, taking time out from his vital efforts in the Civil War, was visiting his cousin, Sir Rufus Pitt-Bulstrode, Squire of Much Rampling in Borsetshire. However, before he had time for a well-deserved snifter, he was made aware that all was not well in the Much Rampling area.
Apparently Sir Rufus, as chairman of the local Watch Committee, had got wind of a planned attempt by some political roughnecks to disrupt the annual fete in the neighbouring village of Little Bedding. Sir Rufus had to make an effort to prevent this happening; the local bobby at Little Bedding, Constable Gravy, had no chance of taking on the hooligans on his own. However, Sir Rufus could not call on any of his employees or tenants because they were all, so he said, vitally employed elsewhere.
Realising what was coming, Sir Gilbert, displaying his characteristic brio, offered to come to the rescue. “Don’t worry, old boy, I’ll send some of my people – they’ll put these scoundrels to the rightabout”. He gave instructions to his man, Stirrup to gather together a suitable group from amongst his followers and sent him off to do battle against whomsoever should disturb the Little Bedding peace.
ALL IS CALM AS THE LITTLE BEDDING FETE GETS UNDER WAY
Stirrup assembled the following from Sir Gilbert’s entourage and set out for the village.
Fragrance Sweetmeat, Sir Gilbert’s secretary
Roger Gently (Tenant farmer)
Marlborough, Sir Gilbert’s Dog
As the morris men warm up in the park…..
…..and customers enjoy a drink outside the pub…..
At the other end of the village, trouble was brewing.
Cecil Pimms (Leader) aided by:
Bert, Sam, Bill
PLUS 8 local ne’er-do-wells
Constable Gravy, intent on watching the morris men, is still unaware of danger
Miss Marble, the village school teacher, tells an itinerant she doesn’t want to buy a watch
Stirrup sends his League into the village from the south – Constable Broadbottom on the left; Roger Gently with Marlborough in the centre and Miss Sweetmeat on the right. The morris men head for the pub
From the north, more riff-raff stream into the village
The doctor and his wife hurry to get indoors as gang members line their hedge
Miss Sweetmeat, as always, takes up a favourable position…..
….as does Constable Broadbottom
Meanwhile, 2 female hooligans, brush past staff and customers at the pub in search of a victim
However, the victim – a well known con-man – is ready and deals with both of his assailants
Pimms’ followers now swarm into the park – scattering by-standers (including a reporter and photographer). One miscreant falls while climbing over the wall and breaks a leg – he’s out of it…!
Constable Gravy remains calm
Others (including the sinister figure of Pimms himself) move up the road and through the doctor’s garden. The doctor and his wife flee in terror
Accurate fire from Constable Broadbottom and Roger Gently take out 2 of Pimms’ hooligans. Another suffers the consequences of falling off a wall
Stirrup himself now advances along the main road towards the enemy
Meanwhile, Marlborough the dog, attacks the enemy as they move through the park
A setback for Stirrup’s League – Constable Broadbottom takes a hit
Matters get worse. Roger Gently races to Constable Broadbottom to rescue the situation and is in turn despatched himself. Finally disaster. Miss Sweetmeat attempts to leap the wall to help her comrades and gets tangled up in her long dress and crashes to the ground.
Constable Broadbottom and Miss Scarlet had been gathering evidence of Pimms’ criminal intentions. In an attempt to secure these, Pimms advances towards the helpless pair. However, in the nick of time, he is confronted by the redoubtable Stirrup.
At the same time, in the park, the heroic dog Marlborough despatches his opponent, only to fall bleeding to the ground himself seconds later….ahhh
Stirrup deals with Pimms despite the latter’s great size and strength and then despatches the one remaining enemy with a burst from his smg.
The day goes to Sir Gilbert’s men at the cost of several cuts and bruises and a nasty rip to Miss Sweetmeat’s dress. Marlborough the dog was patched up by the local vet and was soon back on his feet. Most of Pimm’s hooligans fled although the local police, led by Constable Gravy, were able to arrest several of the more seriously injured.
This game was played with the Pulp Alley rules to see how they would work in a VBCW-era setting.
Answer? Pretty good. I’ve left out references to Pulp Alley rule devices such as “Plot Points”. As it happens, Stirrup, as the Last Man Standing would have harvested all the plot points if time (ie number of turns) hadn’t run out. So strictly speaking, the game was a draw. However Sir Gilbert, never one to limited by artificial constraints claimed the win and I’m not going to argue with him.