Monday, April 30, 2012

Things I've learned from my (alter-ego's) untimely death

Well, that was a pretty quick run for my first ATZ solo campaign.  Let's see what I learned.

  1. Rep 3 unarmed civilians are sheep, not sheepdogs.  When you roll 3d6 vs. 2d6 in melee enough times, you're eventually going to lose.  Against panicked mobs you will just lose the location, but against zombies you're done.  I had four combats against multiple opponents on the first day.
  2. Game the terrain.  I had a great suggestion that I should have scavenged the police vehicle for weapons. Not strictly part of the scenario, but I need to give myself the options to take advantage of what's on the table.
  3. Day One is hard--run.  With doubles meaning you face an angry mob and seven's meaning zombies, you have a one-in-three chance every activation turn of getting into trouble.  If you run, you'll be spending half as much time going from place to place.
  4. Sometimes the dice just aren't your friend.  'Nuff said.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 1: Outbreak, Part Three

Having failed to reach home, Robb heads for a local store to stock up on supplies, only to be confronted time and time again with groups of panic-stricken civilians.  The store proves to be the worst, as an angry mob tramples him to the ground.  Things take a turn for the worse, however, as three zombies begin to close in on his position...

The panicked mob proves they have just cause.
Turn 15: Robb 4, Zombies 4

With a guttural moan, the zombies closed in on two of the fleeing shoppers from the store.  One of the men, wielding a knife he had snatched from the store's shelves, found himself confronted by two of the shambling dead.  The other, a bald scientist from the local university, found his way down the street blocked by another.  The two zombies proved too much for the fellow with the knife and top hat, and dragged him screaming to the ground.  The other zombie made quick work of the professor and settled in to gnawing his flesh in the middle of of the street.

"My God!" said Robb, "what the hell is going on!"  He could barely keep from passing out as he saw the two people who just moments ago had been running from the store be borne down by three of the living dead.  With a cry of terror, he ran back towards the store, ducking behind the building in hopes that the zombies hadn't noticed him.

I left two civilians on the table in a desperate hope that they might give Robb the chance to at least make it to the house.  To manage that, I needed for him to win an activation roll, which didn't happen.  The zombies normally get 1 die in melee, but I figured that because the civilians were unarmed they got a bonus die from having the higher impact attacks.  That means that the first civilians had to spread his two die between the four that the zombies would be attacking him with.  He managed to tie the first zombie with 0d6, but failed against the second who beat him 2d6 to 1d6, and he went Out of the Fight.
The second civilian was also beat by 1d6 and went down as well.  At this point I needed to see how long the "feast" would last: 2 turns for the pair of zombies, 4 for the other.  At least one zombie was out of action, but I needed to act quickly to get away.
First, though, I had to roll to see Robb's reaction to "Seeing the Feast."  I rolled two sixes, meaning I passed 0d6!  That's bad, and means he retired back towards the building behind him.  Now I had to rally him in two turns.

Turn 16: Robb 4, Zombies 6
Turn 17: Robb 6, Zombies 2 (zombies continue eating)
Turn 18: Robb 1, Zombies 3

Robb's breath came in great heaving gasps as he remained ducked behind the building.  He realized he could no longer hear the grisly sounds of the pair eating the one fellow. Listening with all his concentration, he could hear the faint steps of the zombies growing closer.

Damn!  I finally get an activation, and rolled another two 6's on my rally attempt.  Now the zombies are just inches away.
The zombies draw closer to our not-so-heroic hero.
Turn 19: Robb 1, Zombies 5
Turn 20: Robb 3, Zombies 2

"It's now or never," thought Robb as he grit his teeth and spun around the corner.  He barreled into the first zombie, but his punch merely rebounded off the decaying flesh.  The zombie grabbed him with surprising swiftness and sank its yellowed teeth into his neck.
I guess it's "never," Robb thought as he felt the darkness close in around him.

On turn 19 I finally managed to rally from being hunkered down.  Now for some difficult decision making.  I could attempt to attack the first zombie with my full dice, then see if the activation rolls would allow me to move onto the second on the next turn, or at least on his own activation.
I had Robb charge the first zombie, who rolled one success (two dice), to my own one success (1 rolled a 1, 1, and a 4).  I didn't take him out, and now we're locked in combat.
On the zombies' activation the second closes in, and I had to split the die between the two.  With only one die to the first zombie's two, I failed by 1d6 and that was it for our hero.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 1: Outbreak, Part 2

Previously: Our hero Robb decides to stock up on supplies after hearing word of some sort of city-wide disaster.  After hitting the bank for some cash, he is caught up in a mob of panicked civilians and is rendered unconscious.  Now, he comes to, wondering what will happen next...

Robb, Rep 3 Civilian.  Attributes: Born Leader

Robb gathers his wits outside a police station

 A shot of the gaming table
Turn 5: Robb 4, Zombies 1
Turn 6: Robb 3, Zombies 6

Robb groggily pulled himself up to his feet.  "What the hell was that about," he wondered aloud.  "If things are this bad, I better head to the store before I go home."  He walked unsteadily in the direction of the local store.

Having failed to accomplish the goal of getting home, my second location for Day One, I moved onto my third: the big box store.  My hope was to get weapons and/or food.

These guys again?
Turn 7: Robb 5, Zombies 5

Robb hadn't gotten far when he saw a very familiar looking mob of terrified people.  "Not this time, chumps," he snarled as he laid into them.  In a few quick blows the mob had scattered.

Doubles again!  The die roll once again came up with 4 panicked civilians, so I decided to use the same group from last time.  The first one passed 1d6 to my 2d6 and was Out of the Fight.  The second passed 2d6 to my 3d6 and was OOF.  The third passed 1d6 to my 2d6 and was also OOF.  The final one passed 0d6 to my 2d6 and was Obviously Dead, which becomes OOF.

Robb gets his revenge.
Turn 8: Robb 2, Zombies 3
Turn 9: Robb 4, Zombies 5
Turn 10: Robb 5, Zombies 6
Turn 11: Robb 1, Zombies 1

Robb carefully made his way down the street.  Stopping to look both ways before crossing the road to the store, he was surprised when two people burst out of the pizza parlor, clutching food desperately to their bodies.  One looked at him and said, "This is ours, you can't have it!" and threw herself in his direction.  Robb barely got his arms up before sending her back with a shove.  The second person lunged towards him, but after a quick tussle Robb managed to land a few solid blows.  The couple tore off down the street, not wanting any more trouble.

Doubles again?  I'm running out of civilians and dipped into a few old Call of Cthulu miniatures I had lying around.  No bases, though, which stinks.  The first civilian passed 2d6 to my 2d6, and the combat went on.  The second go-around found her passing 0d6 to my 2d6, and she's OOF.  The second guy like the first passed 2d6 to my 2d6, but again on the second turn passed only 1d6 to my 2d6, and the fight was over.

Date night turns into something more terrifying.

Robb sends the young lovers packing.
Turn 12: Robb 5, Zombies 3
Turn 13: Robb 1, Zombies 5

Robb quickly sped over to the store.  Inside he discovered to his dismay, however, that the place was in an uproar.  People were running about grabbing food, sporting goods equipment, and anything else they could lay their hands on.  "I better grab something before it is all gone," Robb said.  As he tried to make his way to the hardware department, an angry group of shoppers rushed towards him.  Robb struggled with the mob, which forced him back out of the store.  He tripped on the curb outside and went down again, cracking his skull on the pavement.

Normal rules for Day One say that at the Big Box Store you'll face a panicked mob of civilians, this time 2d6 in number.  I luckily rolled low, once again getting four.  Looks like there will be a few scientists at the store, since I once again had to use CoC figures.
The first passed 2d6 to my 2d6, and then 0d6 to my 2d6 and was Obviously Dead, bumped down to OOF.  The second passed 1d6 to my 2d6 and went down easily.  The third passed 1d6 to my 1d6, but the second turn found him passing 2d6 to my 1d6!  Robb was down again, and I was denied my third objective.  How could things get worse?
Robb runs into a weird crowd at the store.
Turn 14: Robb 4, Zombies 3

"How could things get worse?" Rob wondered aloud as he dragged himself off the pavement in front of the store.  A quick look revealed that the place had been gutted while he lay on the sidewalk.

Across the road, two shambling figures emerged from behind the pizza place.  A third came staggering up the road from the direction Robb had come...

Seven on the activation roll!  That means zombies.  Since it is day one, a suburban area (which is what I'm counting River City as being) is treated as a rural area.  That means 1d6 divided by 2.  I rolled a 6, however, which means three zombies.  Two were off to my right, the third down towards me.  Without any weapons, Robb may be in trouble.

Two zombies make their way from behind the store.

A third heads in the direction of the noise.
To be continued...

Friday, April 27, 2012

ATZ Campaign, Day 1: Outbreak

Well, I'm finally launching my ATZ campaign.  My alter-ego is Robb, a Rep 3 Civilian.  I have semi-sedentary employment, passing familiarity with firearms (gone to the range a few times with friends), and exercise a couple of times a week.  So for Attributes I picked "Born Leader," since a lot of my job involves supervising employees and providing guidance to people.  For the "Getting There" I passed 2d6, meaning things are normal.

Here's the table setup, complete with a combination of O-Scale railroad, scratchbuilt, and some commercially made wargaming terrain.  There's also a pop-culture icon making a cameo appearance.

For Day One, I figured I would first hit an ATM, head home and hook up with Irene, my significant other, and then head for the big box store to buy things.  I've got a few assets at home, including weapons, but I won't get those until I get there (assuming I get there).

According to the Day One rules there are no zombies on the board to begin; they appear when I roll a 7 on an activation roll.  I scattered a few civilians around just to make things interesting.

Turn One: Robb 5, Zombies 4
Turn Two: Robb 1, Zombies 2

"Robb, there's some weird news coming in over the radio, and people have been calling with all sorts of strange stories," said Marilyn, Robb's secretary.  After a quick glance at some confusing news reports, Robb decided that there must be some sort of weird natural disaster developing (not an odd thing in this part of the country) and figured that he better hit the bank before the power goes out and then head home to see if Irene had made it back too.  Then it was definitely a trip to the store to stock up for the duration of the storm.  Since he had walked to work that day, a decision he now regretted, he struck out for the bank.

Robb makes a normal move towards the center of the board, where the first objective, a bank, is placed.

Turn 3: Robb 3, Zombies 6

Robb made it to the bank and quickly withdrew as much as cash as possible.  Now to leg it to the house and see if Irene has driven back from practice, Robb thought.

Robb makes a normal move, getting to the initial objective.  At this point, I'm not sure how you're supposed to do the later objectives while still on the same table, so I basically scooted everything until the bank was at one table edge and the house was at the center.

Turn 4: Robb 6, Zombies 3
Turn 5: Robb 6, Zombies 3
Turn 6: Robb 4, Zombies 5
Turn 7: Robb 1, Zombies 1

As Robb passed by the River City Police Station he thought this might be a good place to get back to if things get really bad.  The doors of the police station suddenly burst open and four people ran out, screaming incoherently and with panic in their eyes.  Robb realized that they were barreling down on him almost a second too late.  With a swing he slugged one man across the jaw and the fellow fell limply to the ground, unconscious.  The second person, a young Latina, came flailing at him.  Robb ducked and gave her a left to the side.  She grunted and stumbled away from him.  

Robb was regretting hitting the woman when suddenly he felt a hard blow upside the head as an old man in a tie-dyed shirt hit him.  Robb took a few ineffectual swipes at the guy before a second blow to the head knocked him to the ground.  As the world span dizzily, Robb thought to himself, this just isn't going to be my day...

Doubles on Day One means panicked civilians, and I rolled four, which was good because I don't own that many (note to self: buy more civilians).  I have to fight each of them one at the time.  The first civilian passed 0d6 to my 3d6(!) and was Obviously Dead, which in this case because a Out of the Fight.  The second civilian passed 0d6 to my 1d6, and was OOF.

The third civilian and I both passed 1d6, meaning the fight went on.  The next round had both at 0d6, but the third round had him passing 2d6 to my 1d6.  Robb was OOF.

This isn't good, since the home location was where I was supposed to meet my team member and get weapons.  I think I'll go the big box store next and then try for home a second time.  Getting knocked on my butt by the old guy is a little humbling though.

To Be Continued....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Zombiesmith Zombies 3

King, Zombie Preacher, Cheerleader, Zombie girl, and Headless
How long has it been since I posted here?  Well, after a bit of a break I'm back to painting zombies for two good reasons.  One, I'm getting back into my ATZ campaign notion.  Two, Mrs. Q said, "hey, whatever happened to that game that you bought all those zombies for?" which pretty much is why there's a "one."

In all seriousness, I'm starting this frugal thing where I'm only spending so much on gaming each month, so why not go with a game for which I already own a ton of miniatures, and a small skirmish game that doesn't require too many more?

Anyways, these are five more from Zombiesmith.