Monday, December 31, 2012

Some bad news

I haven't gotten a chance to put together another solo session of ATZ to write-up in this blog yet, hopefully when I'm done with the holidays.

But in some bad news, the real life Irene is, like the ATZ Irene, a roller derby enthusiast.  This year she got drafted to a major WFTDA (Women's Flat Track Derby Association) team and would begin practicing for the 2013 season in just a few weeks.  A couple of days ago, Irene fell while skating at a kiddie rink (or more accurately, a small child bumped into her, causing her to fall) and broke her wrist.  It will likely be in a cast for several weeks, but there's a chance that she won't be allowed to skate for several months, which would pretty much prevent her from participating in the 2013 season.

So we are all kind of bummed out.  I picked up a new "rollergirl" mini to paint in her new team's colors, but maybe I need to pick out a different outfit instead!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Liebster Blog Awards

Black Smoke over at The Colour of War was kind enough to nominate me for a Liebster blog award, and was even kinder still to say that the reason why was because he enjoyed the All Things Zombies battle reports.  The idea is to promote relatively unknown blogs that you enjoy, so here are the rules:

The Rules
  • Copy and paste the award to your blog, linking it to the blog who nominated you.
  • Pass the award to your top five blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their blog posts to notify them that they have won the award and list them on your own blog.
  • Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you have made someone's day
  • There is no obligation to pass this onto anyone but it is nice if you do.

My Nominees
  • Barking Alien mostly RPG's rather than wargaming, but this guy's Venn diagram of RPG's virtually mirrors my own.  Plus he once created 300 NPC's for a Star Trek game.
  • Blood of Prokopius Easter Orthodox Christianity meets OSR?  Plus Fr. Dave is a member of the clergy.
  • Battle Game of the Month as a pretty serious victim of "Hobby ADD" I can deeply respect a man committed to a project (even if it isn't my scale)
  • Solo Nexus a true disciple of solo wargaming and solo RPG play, plus some truly funny Heroclix-based batreps.  There's some great resources here too.
  • Waystar High Port I'll admit I've been saving his solo Traveller RPG sessions in a document on my computer so I can read them like a novella.
Speaking of battle reports, I'm hoping that I will be running Robb and Irene through the gauntlet on Friday.  If so, there should be a new batrep forthcoming.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My birthday present

My gaming group has a tradition of giving each of its members a special one-of-a-kind shirt to each member on their birthday.  What did I get?  Well, let's just say the gaming group is a fan of a certain blog.

In some also vaguely real-life news, the Real Irene was drafted to the local professional roller derby team.  As soon as I figure out which of the four in-house teams she plays for, I will paint a version of her miniature in the team colors.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vincent and Jules

I finished up these two figs, both from Copplestone's "Bad Guys in Suits" range.  These two definitely look like "Vincent and Jules," Marsellus Wallace's two goons from Pulp Fiction.  I can't figure out if I want to use them as Survivors for Robb and Irene to run into, or as Gangers representing some organized crime group.

In any case, they were a joy to paint like everything Copplestone does.  One note: my blister only held four figures, while the one on their website shows five.  That stinks.

Friday, October 26, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 14: Monty

"So let me guess this straight: you've been inside the whole time, surfing the internet?" said Robb incredulously.
"That's right," said the young man who had approached Robb and his girlfriend Irene a few days ago during their encounter with the National Guard.  His name was Monty, and for the past few days he had been hanging out at Robb and Irene's house.  "I've been following all the news websites, forums, et cetera, not to mention chatting with my friends from various online games.  This outbreak is everywhere.  And in some places the army hasn't managed to contain it.  There's whole cities that have been overrun with zombies.  Everything is falling apart."
"You can hear sirens sometimes, but there's still plenty of zombies walking around in our neighborhood," said Irene softly.
"Okay, I think we can safely say this isn't going away any time soon," Robb said as he gathered up his gear.  "That means that we need to keep looking for supplies.  The fact is we simply don't have enough.  And it wouldn't be a bad thing to try to organize some sort of community watch program or something.  Get people together.  Monty, we're going back out there to look for stuff.  I saw a semi rig parked a few blocks away.  Those guys often have a lot of supplies with them while they are on the road.  If the owner didn't bail with everything, there might be some good stuff in there.  If not, there's plenty of other buildings and houses in the area.  I've not seen a lot of other people that haven't been infected out there, so I think we can assume that they are either dead or have moved on, maybe to one of the shelters the National Guard has put together."
"Speaking of which, why aren't we doing that?" asked Irene.
"I don't think the police and the National Guard can handle the crowds.  Remember Katrina?  All those people crammed into a football stadium?  Now imagine if a few zombies got in there and started attacking.  We're better off taking care of ourselves and being smart about it.  Again, this is a quick out-and-back-in-again trip.  Grab anything you can and head back here."
"Hey, I only have this knife.  Can I have a gun?" asked Monty.
"You ever fired a gun before?" asked Robb.
"I played a lot of first-person shooters."
Robb rolled his eyes.  "No, I'll keep my gun then."
Monty looked over at Irene.  "Can I have your bat then?"
Irene's eyes went wide and she clutched the bat to her chest.  "Absolutely not!  A girl needs protection out there."
Robb frowned.  "Just stay behind us.  If you get into trouble, run as fast as you can.  If you have to fight, get them under the chin and into the brain.  And for God's sake be careful."

It's day fourteen of the zombie apocalypse, and I'm doing a simple Explore scenario.

Robb is a REP 4 Civilian Star with People 3, Savvy 2, Initiative and Born Leader.  He is armed with a BAP (his trusty Colt 45 ACP) and a one-handed weapon he's wielding in his off hand (the infamous machete)
Irene is a REP 4 Civilian Star with People 2, Savvy 3, Fast and Logical.  She is armed with a shotgun and a two-handed weapon (the even more famous baseball bat). 
Monty is a REP 2 Civilian Grunt with People 0, Savvy 1, and the attribute "Poser."  He is armed with a knife.
River City is a suburb with an Environment Rating of 3.
Rolling 3d6 for starting zombies I got eight: three behind the school, two in the cottage next door to Robb's house, two on the street, and one across the street.

The red PEF is REP 3 and is by the school.  The white PEF is REP 5 and is down the road.  The blue PEF is REP 6 and is behind the police station.

Turn 1: Robb 2, Zombies 6

Robb stepped out onto the street and fired twice at the zombie down the block, hitting it squarely in the head.  Irene fired at the second one, tearing it apart and it too fell.  "We're off to a good start," said Irene confidently as they carefully walked down the road.

Robb fired twice, hit once, and got an OD using the "Easy to Kill" rule.  Irene fired 6d6, got 3 hits, and an OD result as well.  Rolling 5d6 (2 for Robb and now 3 for Irene's shotgun), one zombie was summoned.

Turn 2: Robb 1, Zombies 1

With a growl, the zombie Irene had shot just moments ago stood up and charged towards her.  Irene yelped with surprise and batted at the zombie with her shotgun, knocking it back to the ground.

Two ones mean a random event.  I rolled a "14," indicating that the closest dead zombie wasn't dead after all, which meant Irene's previous target.  Irene only could roll 1d6 on the charge and passed 0d6, meaning she couldn't fire.  The zombie only got 2 successes in close combat to Irene's 5, and Irene knocked it down.

Turn 3: Robb 3, Zombies 4

"Stay down!" said Irene, smashing the butt of her shotgun into the zombie's skull.  Another zombies came around the corner of the nearby school, and Robb took two shots at it with his pistol, both bullets crashing into its head.
"Look out behind you!" said Monty as two figures staggered out the doorway of the cottage in front of them.

Irene got an easy OD on the prone zombie with her improvised weapon.  The red PEF came into sight and the tables showed one zombie.  Robb shot twice, hit twice, and got the Obviously Dead result.
The two zombies in the cottage came out, but were a mere fraction of an inch shy of connecting with the heroes.
The white and blue PEF's came into LOS, but both turned out to be nothing.

Turn 4: Robb 3, Zombies 4

The two zombies that had emerged from the cottage charged towards them.  Robb fired his pistol, killing one while Irene shot the other.  Before they could congratulate themselves, a third zombie ran up and attacked Monty.  Monty flailed at it with his knife and fists, but only knocked the zombie to the ground.
"The kid's in trouble!" Irene shouted.
"I got it," said Robb, who came up and shot the zombie in the head.

Robb and Irene both passed their Being Charged tests and both got Obviously Dead's on their results.  But between the shots, three more zombies were summoned, one behind the school again while two more south on the road.  While Monty passed his Being Charged test 2d6, he had no firearm and so went right into melee, getting a surprising three successes (REP 2, one-handed weapon) with an additional bonus success for fighting a zombie.  The zombie got one success, but Monty only managed a knock down result.
Robb was not in melee at the time, and so could approach the zombie and "pop the weasel."  No zombies were summoned.

Turn 5: Robb 5, Zombies 2

A moaning zombie ran towards Irene, who smacked it squarely in the skull with the butt of her shotgun.  Bone crunched, and it fell to the ground.

Irene passed her Being Charged 0d6, so could not fire, but got 2+1 successes to the zombies 0, and managed to get an Out of the Fight result, making the zombie Obviously Dead.
Robb's side did not activate.

Turn 6: Robb 4, Zombies 2

The street swarmed with zombies from all directions.  "Let 'em have it!" shouted Robb as he poured fire into the crowd.  Irene fired as well, and two of the zombies' heads flew apart.  Monty rushed forward with his knife, ramming it into the face of the closest zombie.  With a gurgle it fell to the ground.
"I got one!" said Monty with glee.
"Great kid, but don't get cocky!" growled Robb back.  He hacked one zombie down, but Irene managed to only push her opponent to the ground.  It clambered back to his feet.

Robb and Irene both charged into melee, firing as they went.  Robb only managed to knock down his target, but Irene got an impressive Obviously Dead on two.  Shotguns are nice that way.   One zombie was summoned, however, and there were a lot coming towards them.
In melee, Monty got only 2 successes to the zombie's 1, but rolled a 1 for a result and killed it!  Irene got 3 successes to 0, but only got a knocked down, while Robb got a remarkable 5 successes to 2, and killed his.

Turn 7: Robb 3, Zombies 6

Robb ran over to the zombie and started hacking at it with his machete, but using his left hand made for clumsy work.  "My turn to take care of business," said Irene.  She placed the barrel of her shotgun against its head and pulled the trigger.
"We have got to get you a smaller firearm.  That things makes a huge racket." said Robb.
"Oh, I don't know.  I'm getting kind of fond of it." said Irene with a grin.

Robb entered melee with the zombie, getting 3 successes to 1 but only a knocked down result.  Irene, however, could "pop the weasel" (just as Robb had done earlier) but her shotgun blast summoned yet another zombie.

Turn 8: Robb 1, Zombies 3

"Hop up there and take a look inside the truck," Robb said to Irene.  "We'll cover you down here."
"Okey, dokey!" said Irene, who nimbly climbed the side of the vehicle.  "Knock knock!" she said with a smile, throwing open the door and pointing the shotgun inside.

A flood of rotted arms reached out of the cab and grabbed for her.  Irene pulled the trigger of the shotgun reflexively as several zombies pushed her back out of the truck.   She landed hard on the ground, slamming her head and back on the pavement as she fell.

"What the hell!" said Robb, turning around to see several rotted creatures clambering out of the vehicle.

Rolling 6d6 to see how many zombies were inside the truck (vehicles count as buildings, but can only be explored by one person), I got a frightening four zombies!  That truck was a fricking zombie clown car!  Irene passed 2d6 on the Being Charged, got three hits, but only killed one zombie (no Easy to Kill while being charged).  I was counting on a better result, and now Irene was fighting three zombies on her own!
Irene beat the first zombie 3:1, but got a knocked down result.  The second zombie was beat 3:1, but this time she got an obviously dead.  But the third zombie beat her with three successes to her one!  Irene was knocked down and stunned for one turn.

Turn 9: Robb 3, Zombies 2

Robb starting swinging his machete at the zombies surrounding Irene.  "There's more of them!" shouted Monty as several more zombies charged at him on the street.  While Robb's flailing machete failed to find its mark, Monty manage to again stab another in the face, but only hold off a second.

First of all, I had to check to see if Irene was infected as a result of being stunned in close combat by a zombie.  I held my breath and rolled the dice: a 6!  That made a total of 10, and Irene was fine (if out of combat this turn).  Robb attacked two zombies, getting 3 successes to 1, and 4 successes to 3 on the other. He got a knocked down result on both, which was bad news because they were getting quickly outnumbered.  Monty managed to get 3 successes 1 to one the first zombie, and impressively did get an Obviously Dead result, but the second zombie got two successes to Monty's two, meaning they were matched in combat.

On the zombie's activation, Robb's opponents got up, then were both knocked back down again.  Monty knocked down his own.

Turn 10: Robb 6, Zombies 2

Irene painfully sat up, then got to her feet.  She swung her shotgun at the back of one of the zombies, but it only bounced off.  With a growl, it turned towards her.
"We've got to keep these guys from overwhelming us!" said Robb as he sunk the machete into another zombie's head.  Monty plowed his shoulder into a zombie, tumbling it over, but couldn't follow up with the knife.

Irene had recovered from being stunned and was attacked by one of the zombies, getting 2 successes to its 2, meaning they were matched.  Robb got 4:1, and squeaked out an Obviously Dead result.  Monty got 2 successes to 1, but only a knocked down result.

Turn 11: Robb 3, Zombies 2

Robb and his friends found themselves being thrown into a desperate fight.  Everywhere there seemed to be grasping claws and snapping, rotted teeth.  In his panic, Robb just swung his machete wildly, opening severe wounds in his undead opponents, but never the critical blow to the head.  Irene and Monty weren't having much better luck.

On Robb's activation, Irene beat her opponet 5:2, Robb 3:1, and Monty 3:2 but they all only got a knocked down.  Melee combat is very, very difficult to win in ATZ:FFO.  

On the zombies activation Robb only got 2 successes, which worried me greatly until the zombie flunked with 0.  Irene got 5:2, but again did poorly on the damage roll, getting a knocked down again.  Monty got a 2:2, meaning he was matched up.  I didn't think he could break away from combat easily with his REP 2, so we stuck it out.

Turn 12: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 13: Robb 2, Zombies 5

With a triumphant yell Robb slammed the edge of his machete on the zombies head.  It collapsed to the ground.  But Irene and Monty were still struggling with their opponents.  

Robb got 4 successes to the zombies, 1, and finally rolled lower than the difference.  Irene got 5:2, again with a knockdown, and Monty got a surprising 4:2, but again only a knockdown.

Turn 14: Robb 4, Zombies 2

"Okay, while they are on the ground, get them in the head!" said Robb as he brought his blade down upon another zombie.  But Irene couldn't connect with the butt of her shotgun, only catching hers in the chest.
"Hold still, you..." said Monty as he tried to stop on the zombie's head.  His foot glanced off the zombie's face, and it suddenly grabbed his ankle. Monty howled in pain as the zombie sunk its teeth into his calf, and he fell to the ground.

This should have been a great opportunity: the zombies were all knocked down, and Robb's team went first, giving them a 2d6 bonus in combat.  Robb only managed to beat his zombie 3:2, but surprisingly I rolled a 1 and killed him.  Irene's zombie got a shocking 3 successes, but not beating her 4.  The high number for the zombie meant it only stayed knocked down, however.  Monty also only got a knocked down result, but on the zombie's activation it managed to beat Monty 2:1!  Monty was knocked down and stunned for one turn. What's worse, I rolled a 1 on his "Are you okay, Harry?" roll, meaning he was infected!

Turn 15: Robb 5, Zombies 3

The remaining zombies staggered to their feet.  One rushed at Irene, grabbing at her shotgun.  Still dazed from her fall, she couldn't wrestle it away.  Robb dodged the zombie's attack and swung his machete, but his blow fell short and only cut away at the zombie's leg.  Monty rocked back and forth on the ground, clutching at his leg.

Damn!  I needed Robb's side to activate, and they didn't.  Irene ended up locked in combat 3:3, while Robb won 3:0, but couldn't seal the deal.  Poor Monty was stunned this round.

Turn 16: Robb 5, Zombies 1

Irene head butted with her helmet the zombie grabbing her shotgun and it let go and fell to the ground.  Robb swung his machete in a wide swing, taking the head off his opponent.

Irene beat her opponent with 4 successes to 1, but again got a damned knocked down.  Could these things ever die?  Robb showed Irene how it was done, though, getting a whalloping 5 successes to the zombie's 3, and with a relieved sigh I rolled a 2, get the Obviously Dead.

Turn 17: Robb 5, Zombies 5
Turn 18: Robb 3, Zombies 2

"For the love of God, die already!" screamed Irene in a desperate voice.  She drove the barrel of the shotgun into the zombie's eye socket, and it fell to the ground.
"Irene, Monty, are you okay?  Did any of them bite you?" said Robb worriedly as he checked Irene over, then turned to Monty.
"I'm fine, Robb.  I probably got a hell of a bruise on my back from when I fell, though." said Irene.
"Guys..." said Monty weakly.  They turned to look at him.  He was clasping his leg right above where a grisly wound could be seen.  "I got bit.  They say there's no cure for this.  I read that online.  What do I do?" he asked plaintively.

Irene beat her opponent 3:0, and managed to finally roll low enough to get an Obviously Dead.  I was feeling incredibly lucky because they had fought almost thirteen rounds of combat and the dice hadn't turned on either of my Stars.

Turn 19: Robb 2, Zombies 3

Robb was silent for a moment.  "You can hold still," he said, and before Irene could stop him he pointed his pistol at Monty and pulled the trigger.  Monty's head snapped back and he tumbled backward onto the sidewalk.  Irene covered her mouth in horror.  
"Wait here while I go look in the damned truck," Robb said to Irene as he picked his way over the bodies and into the cab of the vehicle.  In a moment he emerged, holding a large pistol.
"Here," he said, handed it to Irene.  He stopped to pick up the fallen knife from Monty's hand.  "I'm sorry I brought you along, kid.  This is all my fault."

  Monty, though, wasn't as lucky, and although he hadn't turned, he had to be dealt with.  Ironically enough, Robb's shot summoned another zombie, again behind the school.

Turn 20: Robb 4, Zombies 3

Robb and Irene heard the far-off growl of a zombie.  "We're done here, run for it!" said Robb, and the two of them took off down the street.

The new zombie draws closer, but I decide I have pushed my luck far enough for the day, and Fast Moved it back towards Robb's house.

Turn 21: Robb 2, Zombies 3

Gasping and tired to the point of exhaustion, Robb and Irene dashed into their homes and barricaded the door once more.

I managed to Fast Move again, and the game had ended.

By far this was the most hair-raising game to date.  Every time I rolled in close combat I knew that one of my three heroes' numbers could come up.  I actually thought I had lost Irene until I rolled that six.  Sadly but not surprisingly, Monty's tenure with the gang was a short one, but they did manage to find a resource, making the session a Pyrrhic success.

Monday, October 22, 2012

ATZ Campaign,Day 8: A Brush With the Law

"Have you noticed that the neighbors' dogs have stopped barking?" asked Irene as she walked into the living room.
"I don't even want to think about what that means," said her boyfriend Robb.  "It could range from 'really bad' to 'catastrophically horrible.'"
Robb and Irene had been holed up in their house for days, listening to the occasional broadcast on the radio with news of the zombie epidemic.  People were, at least in River City, being told to stay in their homes.  The National Guard was apparently attempting to organize around the university campus, and they could hear sirens at odd hours day and night.  Otherwise there was little activity that could be seen except the rare zombie wandering around out doors.
"We still don't have enough food to last us for very much longer.  I think we need to try going out again to see what we can find." said Robb.
"We'll wait until it is broad daylight, and then we'll do some shopping," said Irene, beginning to scrounge around for her protective pads.

Using the new All Things Zombie, Final Fade Out rules, I decided to do the "Week Two-Robbery!" scenario which could feature a specialized PEF chart.
Robb is a REP 4 Civilian Star with People 3, Savvy 2, Initiative and Born Leader.  He is armed with a BAP (his trusty Colt 45 ACP) and a one-handed weapon he's wielding in his off hand (the infamous machete)
Irene is a REP 4 Civilian Star with People 2, Savvy 3, Fast and Logical.  She is armed with a shotgun and a two-handed weapon (the even more famous baseball bat).  With the new rules, she'll need to take an action to swap out weapons, however. 
River City is a suburb with an Environment Rating of 3.
For PEF's I used three poker chips, red, white and blue.  Red was REP 6, White 5, and Blue 3.
For starting zombies I rolled 2d6 (1d6 per person) and got seven zombies: two up the street from Robb's house, three across the street, and 2 behind the house.

Turn 1: Robb 3, Zombies 1

Robb and Irene quietly exited their house, and glancing up the street saw the five zombies starting towards them.  "Take out the bigger group first, but keep the others at a distance!" shouted Robb as he fired twice at the group of three zombies standing in front of the store.  He hit one and it went down.  Irene pointed the shotgun at the group and pulled the trigger, and the other two went down.  They darted across the street towards the store.

This was pure plucky gamesmanship.  Robb and Irene were essentially surrounded at the beginning, and I hoped that by taking out one group and then moving in their direction, they would put some distance between them and the other two groups.
Robb fired twice, hit once, and got an Obviously Dead thanks to the "Easy to Kill" rule.  Two zombies were immediately summoned, however, twelve inches away.
Irene fired once, but got the best 3d6 of  6d6, easily dealing with the other two.  Now, and here's a question for the rules lawyers out there.  There doesn't appear to be the rule saying that shotguns are particularly louder than regular shots now, and the rules for summoning zombies say check once per shot.  This seems to make the shotgun damnably useful, provided you don't run out of ammo.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  In any case, no zombies were summoned.
Shooting at this point in the timeline means the police will be summoned, and the die roll said it would happen in two turns.
The remaining zombies all moved in towards Robb and Irene, who were thankfully out of range.
White and Blue PEF's moved away, while Red moved 12" closer.

Turn 2: Robb 1, Zombies 6

Robb turned towards the other two zombies on the street, who were now very close.  He shot twice, dropping one of the zombies, while Irene again blasted away the other.  "You're only about half good with that thing," said Irene with a grin.
"Big talk from the girl with a scattergun," replied Robb.

Robb again fired two shots, hit once and got an OOF.  Irene got a similar OOF with 3d6, and summoned one zombie.

Turn 3:  Robb 6, Zombies 4

Robb and Irene looked around nervously.  Zombies had begun to appear out of every alleyway and back corner of the buildings.  They had seriously underestimated how bad it was.
Suddenly an SUV roared down the street, lights flashing but without a siren.  The black-and-white vehicle was clearly a River City police car.  It pulled to a stop and two patrolmen got out, pulling their pistols from their holsters.  "Hey!  What's going on here?" shouted the larger of the two policemen.
Robb shouted "What's it look like?  We need help!"
"Hang on, we'll be right there!" said the first policeman as he beckoned his partner towards the surrounded pair.

The zombie moved in around Robb and Irene, who were certainly lucky to get some reinforcements.
Sgt. Spinelli was REP 5, PEP 4, SAV 3 and Dim.  Pvt. Jackson was REP 3, PEP 1, SAV 2 and Agile.  Both had BAP's and nightsticks.
Robb passed an amazing 4d6 on the "Meet and Greet" to Spinelli's 0d6!  These guys would do what they could to help.
The Red PEF moved into sight almost right next to Robb.  I rolled on the special "Robbery" table but got a single zombie.

Turn 4: Robb 6, Zombies 3, Police 5

Spinelli and Jackson began to shoot at the zombies moving towards them.  Both were clearly trained men, and three zombies dropped, bullets in their heads.  But there were still more zombies on the street, and two of them staggered towards Robb and Irene.  Robb shot wildly, clipping the zombie in the torso and making it fall, while Irene shot even more wildly, missing entirely.
With a growl, the zombie lunged at her, but Irene dodged out of the way, swinging the shotgun desperately.  The clumsy blow knocked the zombie to the ground, but it wasn't out.

Spinelli shot twice, hit twice, and scored two Obviously Deads.  Jackson fired twice, hit once, and got another dead. Amazingly, no zombies were summoned.
Robb passed his Being Charged by 1d6 and fired once, but only knocked it down (no zombies summoned). Irene cleanly missed with the shotgun but managed to summon another zombie in the process.  She got 4 successes to the zombies two in melee combat, but only managed a knocked down result.  Not a good turn for her.

I forgot to move the PEF's this turn.  Not surprising, given the number of variables in play now.

Turn 5: Robb 4, Zombies 1, Police 5

The two police officers shouldered aside Robb and Irene and calmly fired a single round into each of the prone zombies' heads.  "You two better get inside somewhere safe," safe Spinelli.
"Good idea, officer.  C'mon Robb, we'll duck into this building," said Irene with a purposeful look at her boyfriend.  The Chinese restaurant had been their goal all along.   Robb opened the door and stepped inside.  From behind the counter a mangled, bloody figure raised its limbs and ran towards them.  Rob fired off a quick two shots, catching the former cook in the face and causing him to collapse in a heap.
"The place looks pretty good," said Irene hopefully.  The two of them quickly searched the restaurant's storeroom, uncovered several canned goods which were quickly stashed in pockets and backpacks.
"I wonder what's going outside?" Irene wondered aloud.

Outside, Spinelli and Jackson surveyed the south side of the street.  Unbeknownst to them, two zombies, attracted by all the gunfire, quietly lurked behind their police vehicle.

The two police activated first and "popped the weasel" on the two zombies that had been knocked prone but had not had a chance to activate first.
Robb and Irene entered the building and, rolling 6d6, had only 1 zombie appear, a bit of good luck.  The zombie's surprise total was 6, Robb's 7, and Irene's 5. Robb managed to fire twice, hit once, and again through the Easy to Kill rule dropped the zombie.  Both Robb and Irene scored finding food on their search rolls for the building.
Outside, zombies approached the two police, but I ruled the intervening SUV and the positioning of the police blocked LOS.
The White and Blue PEF's both move closer.

Turn 6: Robb 3, Zombies 4, Police 6

Jackson felt the two zombies slam into his back before he heard them.  He rolled slightly with the blow, shrugging one off and clubbing it with his nightstick, but the second clamped onto the back of his neck, and with a howl he dropped to ground in pain.  Two vicious bites later, and Jackson was dead.
Spinelli turned in shock to see his partner being torn apart with a spray of blood.  His mind went blank and he tore off down the street, ducking behind a parked car.  Spinelli's stomach churned and he began vomiting on the ground behind the car.
Robb and Irene had heard the noise and came out to take a look.  "My God!" said Robb, "get back inside!" He shoved Irene back into the restaurant and slammed the door shut. "That policeman is dead!" said Irene in horror.  "He was trying to help us!"

The police fail to activate at all, so the zombies charge the closest person, REP 3 Officer Jackson.  Jackson takes a penalty for being charged from behind and ends up passing 0d6.  In the melee combat, Jackson passes 3d6 to the zombies 1d6 and gets an Obviously Dead result, but on the other combat passes only 1d6 to the zombie's 2d6.  What's more, the zombie got an Obviously Dead result.  A roll showed that the zombie would only feast for one turn, however.
Spinelli passed his "See the Feast" 1d6 and would Duck Back and be stunned for 3 turns.
Robb and Irene each also only passed the See the Feast 1d6 and Ducked Back into the store to be stunned for one round.  (I could not remember them ever seeing a zombie eat a human before in the campaign.  I will have to go look and see if I was right.)
Blue PEF fails to move, while the White PEF moves away (again).

Turn 7: Robb 2, Zombies 1, Police 3

Robb and Irene glanced out the blinds in the windows of the store in horror as the zombie continued to devour the dead police officer.
"We have to do something!" said Irene.
"There's nothing we can do for him now," said Robb, "but we do need to get out of here."

Robb, Irene, and Officer Spinelli are all stunned, while the zombie is feasting.
I forgot the PEF's once again.

Turn 8: Robb 3, Zombies 1, Police 2

"Let's do this," said Robb.  He strode out into the street and fired twice into the zombie just as it was getting up from its meal.  Irene turned towards another zombie that had moved down the street towards them and fired her shotgun, but aimed low.  The zombie fell, but quickly got back up again.  "Damnit!" Irene shouted in anger.

Robb fired twice, hit once, and got another Obviously Dead (a common pattern).  The shot summoned another zombie, this one across the street by their house.
Irene fired the shotgun, only hit once on 6d6, and only managed a knockdown result, which the zombie promptly recovered from on its activation.
The Blue PEF moved away, while the White PEF moved very close to Robb and Irene, but with no LOS.  Both PEF's were dancing very close to the pair at this point.
Spinelli continued to be stunned.

Turn 9: Robb 6, Zombies 6, Police 4
Turn 10: Robb 3, Zombies 2, Police 1

Robb fired two shots at the zombie in front of Irene but missed both times.  At this range, however, Irene practically couldn't miss.  She bought the shotgun up and reduced the zombie's head to fine mist.  Robb was so caught up with Irene's assailant that he didn't notice the zombie running at him from across the street until it was almost on top of him.  With a surprised cry he swung his left hand up, catching the zombie's head neatly with the machete's blade.

A heavy-set man ran out of a house across the street.  He was wearing a superhero t-shirt and wrinkled shorts.  In his hand he clutched a large kitchen knife.  "That was awesome!  Are you guys okay?"  He asked.

"Secure the area!" shouted a loud voice from behind the police SUV.  Three men in military uniforms streamed around the vehicle.  They were well armed, once of them scanning the street with a heavy machine gun.  One of the men, obviously the leader, looked at Robb's gore-covered blade and barked, "what's going on here."

"Well, um, we saw that these policemen were being attacked and came out to help.  We were too late to save this man, though." said Robb, thinking quickly and gesturing to the savaged figure at his feet.

The soldier looked at the three people in the street intently.  His eyes caught sight of Spinelli, rising from behind the car, his uniform front covered in vomit.  "Okay, but you all better head home right now," he said sternly.

"Absolutely," said Robb.
"Hey, would you mind if I came with you guys?" said the man with the knife.  "You guys look like you know how to take care of yourselves."
Robb glanced uneasily at the man.  "Err, I'm not sure..."
"Yeah, c'mon," said Irene.  "I'm Irene, and this is Robb."

Robb shot twice at Irene's knocked down assailant, but missed both times (no zombies generated).  Irene hit  three times, getting an OD result.  But that left one zombie on the field and close by, and he charged Robb, the closest figure.  Robb passed being charged by a disappointing 0d6, meaning no shots would be fired.  In close combat Robb rolled 4d6 (four for his REP, one for the machete, but minus one for it being in his off hand) and got a surprising four successes!    The zombie only got two successes and lost the melee.  Rolling damage, Robb got a "1" meaning an immediate Obviously Dead.

The two PEF both came into view, however, and required rolls on the special "Robbery" chart.  The first revealed a single REP 2 Civilian armed with a knife, who I will need to work out later.  The second revealed the "National Guard Checkpoint" which I wasn't quite sure worked with a PEF appearing where there had been nothing prior, so I just figured it was a Guard patrol.  The roll showed three Guardsmen, two with REP 4's and one with REP 5.  In the "Meet and Greet" however Robb won 4d6 to 3d6, so the Guardsmen told them to go home.  With no zombies or PEF's left on the field, and food in Robb and Irene's pockets, I figured it was a good time to end the game.

Final Notes

ATZ: Final Fade Out is much more streamlined than its predecessor, but I feel like the shotgun has become a much more attractive weapon in the game.  I can not figure out if that is a bad thing, or given its iconic status in the genre, a good thing.  Regardless, it was remarkably effective in this scenario, making Irene much more of a shooter rather than a slugger.

I'm not sure how I feel about the addition of a REP 2 Grunt.  On one hand, its another person to help fight and search for things. On the other hand, its another mouth to feed (although at this point I have three food items, so we're good for the month).  It may be moot, since a REP 2 character probably won't last two long.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Zombiesmith 4

Hey, All Things Zombie Final Fade Out is available and you know I bought it!  In recognition, here's four newly painted zombies from Zombiesmith!

It will be a couple of weeks before we see Robb and Irene once again attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse, but it will happen!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

10,000 Pageviews!

The last post got me over the 10K mark!  Thanks for making this blog such a joy to write, and I hope that the adventure of Robb and Irene (and a few new characters) begin soon!

Our House, in the middle of our street...

Continuing my build-up of my table for the upcoming All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out campaign, I've added a new house.

It is the "Raised Ranch House" from Stoezel's Structures.  What I like the best about it is that the building is made with in the intent of using foamcore to reinforce the walls and floors.  What do I not like?  The biggest thing is the roof, which is almost exactly flush with the side of the building, rather than having it hang over the edge slightly like real roofs do.  But it is pretty cool with a fully detailed interior including a two-car garage, and for the low price of $5.00.  Morever it includes several different color exteriors so you can make different homes that won't be completely identical.

Note: I didn't put the exterior steps on the building because I find cardstock steps particularly fiddly and I can make ones pretty easily from Hirst Arts blocks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reading "The Walking Dead"

This may cause me to lose my zombie-blogger cred, but I haven't seen the TV series The Walking Dead, despite owning the first season on DVD.  The big reason is because frankly I don't have time, and then when I do my kids tend to be around and the show isn't elementary-school friendly.

But I heard it was good, so I went to my local friendly library and checked out most of the trade paperbacks for the comic book series.

Trivia bit: at least four of the people in this picture are now dead in the series
For those who don't know, the main character, Rick, is a sheriff from Georgia who wakes up from a coma to discover the world has gone to zombie hell (it's very 28 Days Later, making me wonder who ripped off whom).  In the many, many episodes that follows, Rick drifts from situation to situation with a rotating cast of characters who could end up being killed by zombies or humans at any time, usually in a striking graphic manner.

The over-arching theme of the series is really to continually subject Rick to torment after torment to the point where Rick can't even garner the smallest bit of hope when things start to go right, usually with good reason. As a reader, all I can say is don't get too attached to anyone.

The Walking Dead does a lot of things right.  The true horrors are the people, people reduced to barbarism, cruelty, and insanity.  The characters are complex, likable while falling just shy of heroic.  On a technical note, the series features the "no room in hell" style zombies where you can turn once you are bitten, but you can also turn if you die from other causes (the claim is that everyone is exposed to the zombie-producing element, but a living person can fight off the infection semi-effectively.  The location/character/plot turnover is pretty well done and keeps the story from getting too stale.

There are moments when I think the story goes too far, though.  A long time ago when I was a teenager I was talking to horror writer Stephen King (long story) and he said that he frequently used children in his stories as a way to get people emotionally involved in the story.  It is, in a way, a sort of cheap ploy in this regard, and not only does the series exploit this often, but often horrifically.  Children are the subject of attempted rape, they are shot and killed, and in several cases kill other people.

[spoiler alert after the break.  Stop now if you don't want to know at least one serious plot event.]

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Armory

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm bulking up my campaign's material.  With that in mind, I built a second building from the World Works Games Mayhem Armory, this one looking more like, well, an armory.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Some cars and looking ahead

I haven't gotten around to doing another adventure of Robb and Irene lately for a three good reasons: work, kids going back to school, and getting a new dog.  While I was in this zombie slump Two Hour Wargames announced a new version of All Things Zombie entitled Final Fade Out which is getting good reviews out in the zogosphere (that's my own name for zombie blogs--if you use it make sure to give me credit!) and is due out to the general public in late September or early October.
In the meantime, I've been aware that I would like to flesh out (no pun intended) the cast and setting of my ATZ campaign.  That means buildings, vehicles, and figures, especially gang members and survivors.  So my plan is to spend September bulking out my campaign, and then re-launching when the new rules come out.
To get the ball rolling, I picked up three die-cast vehicles I spotted at my local CVS, all looking good in terms of scale.

Both of SUV's have doors that open, and the VW bug is just fun.

My plan is to paint up a few more figures, and hopefully build a few cardstock and foamcore buildings to go with it.  I'll keep you posted throughout September as I keep things going.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 4: Going out

"Is this...okra?" Robb asked as he poked at the mysterious food in the bowl in front of him.

"What it is is the last of the food in the freezer," said Irene dryly as she poked around in the kitchen.  "I've been trying to use up as much of it as we can since I'm worried the power is going to go out at any moment."
For the last few days Robb and his girlfriend Irene had been holed up in their little house in the suburbs.  The news reports on the radio had confirmed that there had been an outbreak of a bizarre disease which turned regular people into shuffling, cannibalistic monsters.  The disease had spread quickly, and local law enforcement and emergency personnel had been overwhelmed.  The military base a few hours away had been deployed to handle the disaster in the larger cities, leaving smaller communities like River City on their own.

Robb and Irene had covered the windows of their home with heavy blankets, thinking that it would cover much of their movement and light and prevent attracting attention from the occasional zombie that seemed to wander aimlessly through their neighborhood.  From time to time they would peek out, seeing a former neighbor now covered with gore walking around staring sightlessly at the world.  The fear, combined with the cooped-up conditions, was threatening to take their toll.  The two had kept themselves occupied stockpiling their meager supplies: counting bullets, filling old water bottles, and coming to the depressing conclusion that they were very, very unprepared.

"We need to find food," Irene said for the hundredth time.  "Not to mention medical supplies, ammunition, and quite frankly a vehicle wouldn't be a bad idea either.  There seem to be more and more of those things out there every day."

"I also would like to know what was going on out there," said Robb as he checked his pistol.  "Okay, we'll leave tomorrow at first light."

"Great," said Irene.  "I'll go get my derby gear."

For the first session post-Day One, I decided on a simple "Discover" scenario from ATZ: BDTZ.  Robb and Irene desperately need food, having found nothing on the first day in terms of resources.

Robb is a Rep 4 Civilian with Born Leader and Agile, a BAP and a machete.  Irene is a Rep 4 Civilian with Athletic, a bat, and a shotgun.

Rolling 2d6 (1d6 for each human) I ended up with six zombies: four behind the house, one in the alley across the street, and one down the street towards their goal: a supermarket.

Turn One: Robb 2, Zombies 1

As they quietly exited their small cottage, Irene whispered, "there's one of them in the alley, right across from the house."
"There's another down the block.  I think we can handle two." said Robb with what he hoped was a confident voice.  As he walked down the street he drew his pistol and aimed at the one down the block.  He snapped off two shots, hitting the zombie once and dropping him.

Robb fired twice, hit once, and with the "Easy to Hit" rule scored an OOF.  Rolling two d6, one more zombie was summoned, this one in the large building to the right.  The other zombies began to close on the group.

Turn Two: Robb 5, Zombies 1

The zombies draw closer, but don't make contact since Robb and Irene had moved away from them.

Turn Three: Robb 1, Zombies 3

Turning to see how close the zombie that had been in the alley was to them, Robb was shocked to see four more closing in from around his house, while Irene saw another exit the large building on her side.  "Where did they all come from?"  Irene asked as she unslung her shotgun.  She pointed it at the crowd of zombies by the house and fired a single blast.  Two of the rotting zombies tumbled to the ground.  Robb fired twice again with his pistol, again only hitting and dropping one.
As two of the zombies rushed towards Robb, he reached back with his left hand and pulled the black-bladed machete from the scabbard on his belt.  With two deft swings he cut the sharp blade into both attackers, removing the heads from their bodies.  Irene had barely managed to get her bat into play before the last zombie was upon her, but she managed to ram the bat's end into its face, stopping it cold.
"You okay there?" asked Robb with concern.
"It's not easy juggling all these weapons.  You've got two holsters."
"We'll see what we can do about that later," said Robb.  "For now, let's keep moving."

Robb automatically passed 2d6 on the Receiving Charge table, and Irene successfully passed 2d6 as well.  Irene fired the shotgun, getting the best 3d6 out of 6d6, hitting and making two OOF, while Robb shot twice but only killed one.  That's a lot of noise, but I didn't need the two of them getting overwhelmed by zombies in melee combat.  Robb divided his 5d6 (4d6 for Rep, 1d6 for a higher impact weapon) between the two, easily getting an Obviously Dead on both tries on the first go-round.  Irene, with 5d6 to 1d6, only scored one success!  Thankfully the zombie passed 0d6, a grim reminder about how easily melee can turn on a person.

Only two zombies were generated, both towards the bottom, thankfully in the opposite direction from where they were headed.  The two would have to be dealt with for Robb and Irene to get home, however.

Turn Four: Robb 1, Zombies 6

The pair of heroes moved right up to the store's entrance.

Turn Five: Robb 3, Zombies 5

While Irene watched the street, Robb slowly opened the door to the small supermarket.  He glanced in, seeing nothing amongst the trashed shelves and empty coolers.  As the door shut behind Irene, a small bell attached to the door rang with a tinkle.  Suddenly three zombies appeared from behind the shelves and rushed them.  Robb barely had time to get his machete up, but managed to catch two of them, making short work of them with quick downward strokes.  Irene had a rougher time of it because her bat got tangled up in an empty rack.  She lashed out with her heavy boot, knocking the zombie back and splitting its head upon the ground.
"Man, I am having an off day," said Irene with disgust.
"Don't worry about it," said Robb.  "Let's just look around and see what we can find."
Unfortunately, the store's contents had been completely ransacked.  What little there was to find was completely useless.
"There's a restaurant next door.  We can try there," suggested Robb.

The "What's Inside" table revealed 1/2d6 zombies.  Rolling a 5, that meant 3 zombies would be in the store.  Moreover, on reaction table I rolled a 5 for the zombies, but only a 4 and 2 for Robb and Irene respectively, meaning that they wouldn't get off a shot before going into melee.
Like before, I split Robb's dice 3d6/2d6, but he still managed to beat both off easily.  And again, Irene only passed 1d6 out of 5d6, but the zombie again passed 0d6, meaning it was Obviously Dead.  Another close one for the Derby Girl.
In a stroke of bad luck, the store turned out to be empty after both searched it.

Turn Six: Robb 6, Zombies 6

I rolled on the random events table, but got one that only applied to them being in a car.  I just moved on.

Turn Seven: Robb 1, Zombies 4

Robb and Irene ducked out of the store and quickly moved to the restaurant, a skeevy-looking place called "Stinky Pizza."
"Those two zombies are still coming down the street," said Irene with concern.

Turn Eight: Robb 2, Zombies 6

As the two entered the store, a zombie in an waiter's uniform flung itself at them, its apron an unrecognizable mess of gore and Italian food.  Robb hacked at it with his machete, leaving it an even messier figure slumped over a table.  Robb checked the dining arena, while Irene went back into the kitchen.  "I've found some food!" she shouted triumphantly.
Quickly they gathered up the various goods in a red-checked tablecloth and left the restaurant.

The table again showed zombies, but this time only one.  Again, though, it tied Robb for its reaction roll, meaning it would be melee rather than shooting.  Thankfully with 5d6 Robb handled it easily.
Robb failed to find anything, but Irene did, thankfully getting a "food" result.

Turn Nine: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Turn Ten: Robb 3, Zombies 6

Robb and Irene began walking back towards their house.  The two zombies, a cheerleader and a woman wielding a traffic sign, were coming in the other direction.
"What's the plan?" asked Irene.
"We shoot them, and then failing that we tear them apart," said Robb.
"Ooh, that's my favorite plan," said Irene.

Turn Eleven: Robb 3, Zombies 2

Robb once again drew his pistol, firing twice.  The cheerleader staggered and dropped to the ground, pompoms flying.

No zombies were summoned by the two shots.  Thank goodness!

Turn Twelve: Robb 4, Zombies 3

With a growl, Irene launched herself at the last zombie.  She feinted one way, then zipped back the other, catching the zombie with a clean swing that turned its skull into a red spray of bone and gore.
"Are you crazy?" asked Robb.  "I could have shot that thing!"
"I didn't want to risk making any more noise than we had to," said Irene with a wolfish grin, "besides, I needed to prove that I still got it."
That kind of thinking is going to get her killed, thought Robb grimly.  But he pushed aside that thought and headed home, pleased that they would be eating better than okra tonight.

I decided to risk melee combat against the last zombie, rather than risk summoning more.  Besides, it seemed like something Irene would do.  Irene passed the first round 2d6 to the zombies 0d6, and the combat was over.  With no other zombies on the board and the pair less than a foot from home, I figured it was done.

Rolling for Rep increases, I got a 6 for both, meaning that miraculously both would advance to Rep 5!  Robb and Irene were quickly becoming serious bad-asses.  I wouldn't have minded the chance to increase the group's size though, but they did manage their primary goal: gaining a food resource for the month. Not to mention living another day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Armory

So I decided to try to build a cardstock building with an interior, using World Works Games' "Mayhem Armory" set.  It's not build to have foamcore walls, however, but instead is some sort of "TerrainLinx" set up where the walls are made of folded-over cardstock.  I didn't pay too much attention to how the whole Linx thing worked; I figured I would just adjust the set-up to accommodate the foamcore walls.  It was a little trickier than I thought, for one thing the interior walls are strangely shorter than the exterior ones.  But here's the final result of my first effort.

Not super-great, but a good learning experience.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

THW Games

Two Hour Wargames, which made All Things Zombie: Better Dead than Zed (the game the story of Robb and Irene use) has announced that they are coming out with a new version of the game called All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out.  Over at TMP, Ed from THW said the following:
ATZ-FFO will be compatible with all ATZ supplements. It will be compatible with After the Horsemen, New Beginnings and heck, even Long Rifle.

ATZ-FFO is not being updated to be like CR 3.0 as CR 3.0 is a bare bones game. The melee, shooting, In Sight and Reaction Tests will be upgraded to those in New Beginnings and After the Horsemen which are a bit more advanced than CR 3.0.

Then there's the add ons in those rules not found in CR 3.0 such as Skills and Attributes to personalize your Stars.

Plus there's the zombie rules, very different than ATZ-BDTZ plus campaign info upgraded and more.

ATZ is one of the last old school sets that doesn't have any of the newer stuff found in current rule sets (Muskets and Mohawks, Long Rifle, ATH, Star Army, New Beginnings, etc.)

BTW – Final Fade Out refers to the last edition of ATZ and not the end of the world..
 I'm glad he addressed my primary issue--namely whether the new rules would work with the additional supplements for ATZ.  Vampifan had said in his review of After the Horsemen that the In Sight and Reaction tests were more complicated, which sounds like ATZ is moving up to that level.  I am curious about how zombies are going to operate differently, however.  I guess time will tell.

Naturally, I could just stick with the old rules.  There's little wrong with them, and I abandoned the "newer is always better" mantra back when I turned 40 or so.

In other news, I built a second shell building; I didn't bother with pics this time since it looks so much like the old one, just shorter.  I'm also working on making a Mayhem Armory building, but with foamcore walls.  We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Abandoned Building

I decided I really needed to add to my terrain collection for River City, the locale of my ATZ campaign.  Plasticville buildings are okay, but aren't that cheap.  I've seen some nice work with cardstock, but I don't have a ton of experience in this regard.  So I'm easing into it with some easy scenery projects for World Works Games.  For $3.50 you can get the "Abandoned Building" which is good for making simple "outer shell" buildings."  Rather than just use cardstock I built a box with some foamcore I had lying around, painted the corners black, and then just glued the panels right onto the box.  Easy as pie, and a good way to "bulk out" the city.  I also bought the Mayhem Armory with the intent of using it to make up some stores as I get more confident with the craft.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The (true life) story behind the machete

About fifteen years ago I was the director of a camp program operated by the Episcopal Church in western Virginia.  The way the camp worked was the people, usually youth and adult chaperones, would come and spend a week repairing and renovating the homes of severely impoverished people in Appalachia (for those outside of the US, that's the mountainous region between roughly Pennsylvania and northern Georgia best known for its small, coal mining communities).

At one of these camp sessions a guy drives up in a shiny new SUV and drops off his daughter who was to be a camper that week.  Interestingly enough, she's outfitted with a frame backpack and rather than bringing construction tools (which is pretty normative), she is only wielding this black machete.  A quick conversation with the girl's father, a somewhat older (for a teen parent) gentleman reveals that he thought this was a "backpacking the Appalachian trail" camp, not a work-project camp.  He's not upset, though, in fact he thinks the whole idea is a great one, and asks if there's any available openings for another adult (his daughter, as you might imagine, was less than thrilled to hear dear old dad would be sticking around).

The guy's name was Alexander Bell (no relation).  He had been born in Africa, the children of British colonialists, for lack of a better word, right before World War II.  When the Nazis over-ran the area where his parents lived, his parents fled their home and were taken in by African tribesmen.  They lived with the tribesmen for years, even after the war had ended.  Eventually his parents returned to Great Britain with their son who was put into a British school after having spent most of his life in the African bush.

He must have done well for himself because he ended up getting accepted with a scholarship to UCLA in the United States.  The scholarship just covered his classes, however, not his housing, and with no money to speak of Bell spent the first couple of years at UCLA living on the streets of Los Angeles as a homeless person while still attending classes before finally scraping up enough money for a place to live.
After graduation he got a job working in the automotive industry, finally making his way to being a senior executive before retiring.  "The SUV out there?  I get one every year from the company to drive--whatever the newest model is."

At the end of the camp, Bell gave me the machete and the toolbelt he bought for himself to use that week.  I still have both, now that I've been reunited with the machete.  So my zombie apocalypse weapon, both in real life and ATZ, comes from bad-ass stock.

On an unrelated note, I figured Irene and I were due for a Rep increase despite not having recovered any resources, but not getting OOF on the last day.  A six on my die on and a five on hers means we are both Rep 4 civilians now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 1, Part 3: Conclusion

Bruised and battered, Robb staggered away from the store and looked over at his girlfriend Irene.  "I've got a great idea," he said with effort, "let's just get home in one piece."
"Sounds good," she said.

Final location for Day One: Home (returning from the first location)
Robb is a Rep 3 Civilian Star with Agile, Born Leader, and a BA Pistol.  Irene is a Rep 3 Civilian with Athletic, a shotgun, and a very, very useful baseball bat.

Turn 19: Robb 6, Zombies 6
Turn 20: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Turn 21: Robb 1, Zombies 6

"Let's see if we can pick up the pace this time," said Robb wearily.  He took a few tentative jogging steps then faltered.  "Okay, I can't."

A seven once again means zombies, three this time, two towards the top, one off to the left.  Robb attempted a fast move and failed 0d6, meaning they move normally.

Turn 22: Robb 5, Zombies 3

The zombies draw closer.

Turn 23: Robb 4, Zombies 1

A guttural moan announced to Robb and Irene the arrival of more the dreaded zombies.  Irene quickly bashed one with her bat, but she and Robb found themselves once again desperately try to fend of one of the undead.

Quick note: I totally forgot to roll to see if they could shoot, but went straight to melee combat.  At least I wouldn't be summoning more zombies this time.  Irene defeated one, and tied the other.  Rob tied his zombie in combat and it would go to the next turn.

Turn 24: Robb 3, Zombies 3

Robb continued to try to hold off the decaying corpse that was trying to eat him.  Irene shoved her zombie back with her shoulder and then smashed it with a backhand from the bat.

Robb again tied, while Irene defeated hers.  Having a weapon makes all the difference in this game!  I also decided not to mess with the doubles.  I don't know how a three-way fight would work out, and I figured that my Star had his hands full as it was.

Turn 25: Robb 6, Zombies 4

"Get away from him!" Irene shouted as she smashed the bat down on the head of the zombie wrestling with Robb.  "Thanks," Robb said, wondering how many he owed his girlfriend at this point.

Irene easily managed the final zombie.  I keep getting lucky with Robb's rolls--he's come too close to losing melee combat while unarmed.

Turn 26: Robb 4, Zombies 6
Turn 27: Robb 4, Zombies 5
Turn 28: Robb 1, Zombies 4

Hearing another moan from behind them, Robb said, "okay, now I can run" and the two of them began racing down the street.  Irene decided she would not get too far ahead of Robb, despite easily moving faster than he could with her skates on.

Robb passed 1d6 on a fast move, giving the two of them some comfortable distance between them and some of the pursuing zombies.  It did mean they were moving closer to one between them and the house, however.

Turn 29: Robb 1, Zombies 1

Three people were running down the street in the opposite direction.  "Coming through!" Irene shouted and she plowed into two of them.  Robb shouldered his way past one and kept running.

Doubles again, for the upteenth time.  Three panicked civilians.  Robb handled one, while Irene handled the other two.  

Turn 30: Robb 5, Zombies 3

The zombies (moving at a slower clip) pursued from behind, while the one in front of them drew closer.

Turn 31: Robb 3, Zombies 4

More zombies appear, four this time.  Two to the right, one at the bottom, and another on the left.  The one in front was right on top of them.

Turn 32: Robb 6, Zombies 4

Robb skidded to a halt at the sight of the zombie just in front of his house.  He quickly drew his Colt .45 ACP and loosed a wild shot, missing the zombie as it lurched towards him.  Irene stepped in front and clubbed the zombie to the ground.

Robb passed his "Zed or No Zed" test and his Being Charged test 2d6, but then missed completely his shot with his BA pistol.  Irene easily handled the zombie, however, rolling 4d6 to his 1d6.

Turn 33: Robb 4, Zombies 2

The remaining zombies drew every closer, now inches behind Robb and Irene.

Turn 34: Robb 4, Zombies 5
Turn 35: Robb 4, Zombies 6
Turn 36: Robb 2, Zombies 6

Robb and Irene bolted into their house, slamming the door behind them.  A glance outside showed several of the zombies milling about.  They watched in terror until the zombies, now apparently unable to locate them, began to move towards other targets.
"Too close," said Irene.
"Tell me about it.  You still uninjured?"  
"I'm fine.  The bat is pretty badly gunked up, though.  I wonder how many I killed?"
"No idea.  I'm going to go check the garage to see if I can find anything I can use for a weapon myself."
"That's fine.  Say, it looks like a package was delivered on the front stoop."
Robb quickly opened the door and grabbed the package, then shut the door quickly.  "It's from Ohio," he said.  "I wonder what it is."
He opened the parcel.  Inside was a black machete, it's blade spotted with bits of old debris and rust.  
"It's the machete we left with your friend back in our own hometown," Robb said.
"She must have found it and mailed it back to us," said Irene.
"Good timing," said Robb as he examined the weapon, "because I think we're going to need it."

Author's Note:
After I started blogging the campaign, the true life friend of ours read the notation where Irene mentions having left the machete that I used to own with her back in our old hometown.  She had been using it to help control the weeds and the like around our house while it was still on the market.  When she saw that "Robb" and "Irene" had missed it, she sent it to our new house.  I was glad to have it back, both because it has an interesting history involving a man who lived in the African bush in WWII, was later homeless on the streets of LA, and finally became a major executive for an American automotive company, but also because I could have claimed it as a weapon in ATZ if we had possessed it in the house at the beginning of the campaign.  In honor of our friend's willingness to send it back (and because he desperately needs it), I'm adding the machete to Robb's arsenal.