She looked at the two people sitting in her apartment. One was wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora like he was out of an old Sam Spade film. He even had a tie on. Under his coat was a large pistol and a machete hanging from a holster. He was also taping up his ankle using an ace bandage he had found in her bathroom.
The other person was a tall woman decked out in elbow and knee pads and appeared to be wearing a bike helmet. On her feet were black roller skates, and across her back was a shotgun and a bat in an improvised quiver. A large revolver was tucked in a belt she wore around her waist.
"That's right," said the woman who called herself Irene.
"We've been chatting with you on the newspaper's website," said the man, who was named Robb. "We decided we ought to try to make contact and stick together.
"Unfortunately, things haven't worked out as well as we'd hoped. I sprained by ankle on the way over, and we're both running low on ammunition. But we've got more back at our house, along with some food and some other things."
Erin thought it over in her head quietly. Robb and Irene seemed okay. Certainly a lot more normal and friendly that what she'd run into already, and she had been very, very lonely. "Okay, let me get my stuff," she said.
In a little while Erin returned from her bedroom. She had a hunting knife strapped to her thigh and a pistol-gripped firearm across her back. In her left hand she lugged a chainsaw.
"Chainsaw?" asked Robb, raising an eyebrow.
"You know," said Erin, "for emergencies."
Irene grinned. "I think I like her, Robb."
Erin (whose name is too close to Irene, but I had chosen to use friends' middle names for their alter-egos in the game) is a Rep 4 Survivor Grunt with Pep 2 and Sav 3 and the Agility attribute. She is armed with a knife, a chainsaw, and "the hogleg." I'm not sure what's on her back in the miniature, but it has a pistol grip but is longer than a pistol, so I'm calling it a pistol-gripped rifle, something like a carbine. She can either fire it two-handed normally or one-handed with a -1 Rep penalty.
This is part two of the "Escape!" scenario from ATZ:FFO. The heroes must move diagonally from one side of the board to the other. I'm using the same board as before, retaining the zombies and PEF from the previous turns. Robb is currently at -2" movement and has no reloads for his BAP. Irene also has no reloads for her shotgun.
Another random event, but it was the "if you just checked a building" one, which didn't apply.
Turn 22: Robb 2, Zombies 2
A large dog bolted from across the street, heading right for Robb and his friends. "Another dog?" asked Irene.
"Yes, and like the other one, he's brought friends," said Robb
Another random event? And this one was the dog again. My kids were upset that the dog died in the previous adventure, so I was a little glad for a chance to have another dog in the game. Also she was being chased by only one zombie.
Turn 23: Robb 3, Zombies 4
As the zombie moved closer to them and the dog, Erin unslung her carbine. "I got this one," she said confidently as she fired at it, but the bullet missed the zombie entirely. Robb tried to coax the dog closer to him. "C'mere girl. You're okay. We'll take care of you."
But the dog wasn't having any of it, and kept Robb at a distance. Panic was evident in her eyes.
Erin is the only one who could hit the zombie at more than 12", but missed. Thankfully her shot didn't summon any zombies.
Robb attempted a "Meet and Greet" with the dog, who was Rep 4 but outnumbered 2:1, giving Robb a 1d6 bonus. Robb only passed 1d6 to the dog's 2d6. I counted the dog as a Survivor, so he's just exchange pleasantries and move on.
Turn 24: Robb 2, Zombies 6, Dog 1
Robb moved closer to the zombies coming towards them along the side of the buiding across the street. "No one messes with a dog in my town," he said, firing twice. A zombie fell to the ground, dead. Irene and Erin both fired as well, but both of them failed to hit. But their gunfire was attracting more zombies, including behind them.
Robb shoots two, hits one, and gets an Obviously Dead thanks to the "Easy to Kill" rule (I think the shoot two, hit one, kill one should be called the "Robb Special.") Erin and Irene both missed, Irene having switched to her BAP in hopes of not attracting more zombies from the sound. What's worse, they summoned two zombies between them from the noise.
Turn 25: Robb 5, Zombies 4, Dog 1
With a yip, the dog took off down the street. Man's best friend, Robb thought grimly, but he didn't blame the animal for running away. The zombies drew closer, hemming them in.
Zombies moved close and would be in melee range on their next activation.
Turn 26: Robb 2, Zombies 1, Dog 5
Irene holstered the pistol and drew her shotgun. The trio of zombies in the alley were too tempting a target to pass up with the scattergun. She fired, hitting three and killing two outright. Erin fired her hogleg as well, killing another. Robb turned in the other direction and pulled the trigger on his pistol twice.
Once again, it clacked impotently. "Son of a bitch!" Robb snarled, realizing that he'd worked his way through the last of the ammunition for the pistol.
Irene shot and hit 3d6 and OD'ed two, Erin fired once and got another. Robb, however, rolled snake eyes again for his pistol. Because he had only passed 1d6 when he had reloaded it previously, he was not out of bullets and the pistol could not be used for the rest of the game.
Turn 27: Robb 3, Zombies 4, Dog 5
The zombie rushed at Robb, whose eyes widened in fear. He got his black-bladed machete up just in time, blocking the zombie's rush and knocking the disgusting creature to the ground. "I got it," said Erin, whipping out her dagger and plunging it into the zombie's eye socket.
Robb was charged and passed 2d6, but it didn't matter. He beat the zombie 3d6 to 2d6, but only got a Knocked Down result. Erin moved in to assist, getting 3d6 to 1d6 because the zombie was prone, and got the Obviously Dead result.
Turn 28: Robb 6, Zombies 5, Dog 3
Tongue lolling out her mouth, the dog turned left, away from the zombies down the road now approaching it, and broke away.
Turn 29: Robb 1, Zombies 5, Dog 6
Robb felt the tide turn in his favor and he began hacking away at the last zombie still standing. It fell to the ground. Irene stepped in, clubbing the zombie with the butt of her shotgun and crushing its skull. "See, I can finish off my boyfriend's opponents too," she said to Erin.
Robb got 3d6 to the zombie's 2d6, knocking it down. Irene, benefiting from the same bonus Erin had, got 4d6 to 2d6 and got the Obviously Dead.
Turn 30: Robb 1, Zombies 5
With a sigh, Robb slid the Colt 45 ACP back into its holster and switched the machete to his right hand. "Looks like you're my dancing partner now, Belle," he said to the gore-covered blade.
"He's talking to his machete," Erin whispered to Irene.
Irene looked back at her steadily. "If that's his only eccentricity after all that's happened, I'm not complaining."
The heroes finally began to move towards the opposite end of the table. I decided, in the fear of getting Robb snarled up with his ankle again, to move them the crawling 6" pace, which would mean several more turns on the table than normal.
Turn 31: Robb 2, Zombies 3
Robb and his friends continued down the street, not aware that behind them, the door to the building was swinging open.
Turn 32: Robb 5, Zombies 2
Three zombies, all wearing scanty g-strings and pasties emerged from a police station behind them. In the back of his head, Robb wondered if they had been picked up on some charge, but then been attacked while in custody. Any attraction they might have once held was gone with their pallid flesh and grisly limbs. A second later the three undead hookers were upon them. Irene raised the shotgun and hit one, its head snapping back before it tumbled to the ground. Erin swung her carbine up in an awkward one-handed hold and pulled the trigger. The hogleg missed, and then the zombies were upon them. Robb fended off the first with his machete. Irene slugged the second across the jaw with the stock of her shotgun, crunching in the skull. Erin's knife lashed out at the zombie whom Robb had knocked to the ground, but it thrashed around too much for her to be able to get the blade into its skull.
One thing I hadn't realized until recently was that zombies didn't need to be in actual contact, just within a few inches of the heroes to start melee. That meant that melee was much more likely, and these zombies were well within range from the building in which they had first appeared.
Robb passed his Being Charged test 3d6, but it didn't matter. It just meant he'd still count as being armed. Irene and Erin both passed 2d6, Irene taking out one zombie instead the three I'd been hoping for, and Erin,whose shooting was down 1 Rep from being one-handed, missed. I kept the hogleg at the one-hand status because I wanted the knife in the inevitable melee.
Robb beat his zombie in melee by 1d6, but only knocked it down. Irene beat hers by 1d6, but I rolled a 1, meaning the zombie had been killed. Erin went after Robb's zombie again, but failed this time to do any damage, despite beating the zombie by three.
Turn 33: Robb 5, Zombies 3
The last of the zombie strippers staggered up, just in time to have its head removed by a wide sweep of his machete blade. Robb glanced over at the two women. "Sometimes, I kill my own zombie," he said with an ironic grin.
The zombie got up on its activation, but lost melee combat to Robb by 3d6. Robb got the Obviously Dead result.
Turn 34: Robb 3, Zombies 1
The trio moved up the street. There, several zombies who had just hours ago been feasting upon a dead dog came shambling towards them, blood still dripping from their mouths. Erin aimed her carbine at the group, squeezing off a shot that cleanly hit one of them in the head. Irene fired as well, hitting two and killing it outright, which the other was just knocked to the ground.
The gunfire summoned one zombie.
Turn 35: Robb 3, Zombies 1
Erin fired at the zombie as it struggled to rise, but missed. Irene cocked the slide of her shotgun and fired once more, and the zombie stopped moving. Irene moved the slide of the shotgun up and down again, but this time the sound was different. She pulled it down and glanced in the chamber, then looked at Robb. Robb stared back at her, knowing what had happened. Irene's shotgun was out of ammunition as well. Without a word, she put the shotgun in her back sling and pulled out the bat. Her fingers tensed on the handle nervously. In her other hand she pulled out the revolver she had scavenged from the semi-rig whose occupants had nearly killed her the week before.
Erin had fired and missed, but Irene had fired and hit three times, easily getting the Obviously Dead. Unfortunately there were two 1's in the roll, meaning she was out of ammunition from the random event earlier in the session. We were now down to Erin's carbine and Irene's pistol. The bat is technically a two-handed weapon, but I was going to just penalize her 1d6 like it was being used off-handedly. The pistol also was in the wrong hand, just so the bat didn't have a double penalty.
Turn 36: Robb 2, Zombies 5
The three of them hurried around the corner, moving closer to their goal of getting to safety. Unbeknownst to them, two zombies were lurking in the alley, having been slowly following the sound of gunfire from before.
This is one of those moments where I was doing something that wasn't as smart as I could, but I was thinking "in character." The zombies were moving towards them, but were shielded from sight by the buildings. I could have swung out wide, but that would mean acting on knowledge that Robb & Co. didn't have. It might cost me, but I want to play this straight.
Turn 37: Robb 1, Zombies 4
The alley disgorged two zombies silently behind them. Robb and Erin were both totally taken by surprise, but Irene had caught the slightest glimpse of them and her derby-borne reflexes had her spinning, pistol barking out loudly. The bullet went wide, however. Still spinning, Irene brought the bat crashing sideways into her target, and the zombie sank to the ground. Robb and Erin had not been expecting the attack but had both shrugged off their attacker and brought him to the ground. Robb's machete rose and fell repeatedly, slashing deep cuts in the zombie's face until it stopped moving.
Robb and Erin both failed their Being Charged tests at 0d6 because of the penalty of being charged from behind. Irene passed 1d6, but her shot missed (thanks in no small part to the off-handed penalty). In close combat, Erin beat her zombie by 1d6 and only knocked it down. Robb beat his by 3 and I had high hopes, but they were swiftly dashed and he failed to roll low enough to kill it. Irene, despite her penalties, beat her zombie by 4 and killed it with the bat.
On Robb's activation, he beat his own zombie by four (thanks to the prone penalty) and got the Obviously Dead.
Turn 38: Robb 3, Zombies 2
Turn 39: Robb 2, Zombies 1
Robb looked around. He thought he could still hear moaning off in the distance. He considered whether he wanted to duck into a building, half for safety and half on the chance of finding something useful, but decided against it. "Between those buildings. Go," he commanded and staggered towards the gap between the two stores.
Within a few minutes, they were back at their home.
Even slowed, the zombies still on the board could only pursue without catching the team. Robb, Irene, and Erin moved off the board steadily, finishing the scenario successfully.
Despite that, I had to roll on the new rules about keeping the group together. Erin is Rep 4 (randomly determined) and wouldn't just fall into line. Robb got 4d6 to Erin's 3d6, being helped out by his "Born Leader" attribute. Erin obviously had some questions about how competent Robb and Irene were, given everything that went wrong, but they were all alive and that counted for something.
This does mean that they are now out of food at the end of the month, however, and would need to go out again soon.
Rolling, none of the three got advances. Perhaps next time.