Back in the glory days of my youth, I played Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K. I loved role-playing games but there was something irresistible in managing an army or small squadron through a tactical situation. Role-playing was about stories about wargaming was about the thrill of winning and the almost more entertaining thrill of losing.
As I got older, I stopped playing wargames because they can all day to play. It is can also get expensive as armies grow and miniatures have never gotten cheaper. The days of spending six hours to fight a battle with an army that takes all year to save up for is long gone.
Thankfully, I have been able to get back into wargaming through the wonderful game of Pulp Alley. Games usually take a two hours and the miniatures can be as few as two and rarely if ever cross over into more than ten. More importantly, the rules are simple but incredibly fun. I have been playing off and on for a year now and couldn’t imagine playing anything else.
The premise is that each player has a small league of like-minded individuals. Each game centers on the leagues trying to achieve the same goal. The players have six turns to gain objectives, deduct clues or just slug it out. Fortune cards are drawn at random and used by both players for unexpected advantages. No one truly dies so even if your league gets wiped out, they will just regroup and be ready for next time.
One of the strengths of Pulp alley is that the rules as written can cover any kind of game genre. Want to play space opera with your Jedi Knights or Cylons? Pulp Alley has you covered. Want to play a fantasy game of rival warrior bands fighting over a temple? Yep, you can do that. I myself have a cult leader and his followers, a band of women adventurers from the mountains of Tennessee and a time-traveling scientist who has an army of robots. Basically, if you ever wanted a game to create your dream group of miniatures, this is the game for you.
I suggest getting the core rulebook, and a set of their fortune cards. If you like it, then I suggest the Pulp Leagues Book which has more skills and rules for creating a game for specific genres. Pulp Alley also came out with rules for solo play which are quite good.