Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Pulgasari - North Korea's Godzilla

A couple of years ago I came across a film called 'Pulgasari'. There is a Wikipedia article on it here:, but in a nutshell it's a Japanese-style monster movie made in North Korea in 1985, using a kidnapped South Korean film-director. As Kaiju movies go it's actually pretty good; certainly better than some of the Godzilla movies of the 1970s (not that being better than them is that difficult). We ran it by our South Korean exchange student last year, and he enjoyed it - it was certainly good enough to while away part of a slow Sunday afternoon.

The basic story is simple (aren't they always?). set in Korea's past, it's about a bunch of rebels fighting against an evil king. The rebels acquire, via magical means, Pulgasari, a huge monster who eats iron, and with him in their ranks rampage across the kingdom. The king tries various ploys to defeat them, but is overthrown, at which point the victorious rebels have to decide what to do with a giant monster who is still hungry for iron. It's basically 'Godzilla' meets 'the Water Margin'.

Anyway, there's big battles, a monster and other HOTT stuff in there, so away we go.

The Rebels With Their Monster

1 x Warband general (Rebel Leader) @ 2AP
1 x Behemoth (Pulgasari) @ 4AP
7 x Warband (Rebels) @ 2AP
1 x Lurker (Rebel ambush) @ 1AP
1 x Sneaker (Disguised as prostitute) @ 3AP

The rebels are enthusiastic but a bit inept, and work well in bad going, so are classed as warband. Pulgasari is big and stompy. The Lurker and Sneaker add variety and reflect some of the plot elements.

Unfeasible Artillery
The King's Forces
1 x Blade general (Top general) @ 2AP
1 x Artillery (Various unfeasible devices) @ 3AP
1 x Magician (Hired priestess with back-up group of singers and dancing-girls) @ 4AP
7 x Blades (Royal troops) @ 2AP
1 x Lurker (Cunning ambush) @ 1AP

Pulgasari On The March
The Royal troops aren't up to much, but are no worse than the Rebels, so don't really merit being Hordes. They use a mix of swords and shields, and polearms, so you could have some Spears if you wanted. Blades seems the best all-round classification, though. The Artillery represents various fanciful weapons employed against Pulgasari, including fireball-hurling catapults, rocket batteries and some amazingly impractical cannon. A magical priestess was also used in an attempt to defeat the monster.

Hired Priestess
These armies would be easy to make, using various Chinese/East Asian figures. I don't think you can get a Pulgasari miniature or, at least, not one at a scale suitable for the tabletop but any Godzilla-style monster toy would work nicely. You'd probably have to scratch-build the artillery though.

I Can Haz Ferrous Metalz?


  1. wouldn't Pulgasari work better as a God ? with a special rule that it doesn't leave but goes free agent on a 1 ?


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