Friday, January 18, 2013

ATZ Campaign, Day 28: Beans and Bullets, part two

You can read the first part of this adventure here, but to quickly recap:

Robb, Irene, and their new teammate Erin are exploring the city in a desperate search for ammunition and food.  They have successfully found ammunition in a gun store, but are now being chased by a small horde of zombies as they make their way to the food market.  Behind that building, they find a surprise.

"I said,'who are you?'" the voice repeated.

Robb looked with surprise at the two teenagers standing behind the market building.  One was a small young woman with mousy brown hair pulled back in pony tail and a scuffed jacket.  She held a small pistol in each hand.  The other was as swarthy, slender kid pulling a suitcase.  He was wearing a gray hoodie and had a double-barreled shotgun slung under his arm.
"My name is Robb.  This is Irene and that's Erin," Robb said, quickly pointing to his friends.  "We're obviously alive like you but we won't be for long unless we get out of here.  There's a lot of zombies on our tail, and we need to get inside there."
The girl looked skeptically at Robb.  "That's just great.  The last thing we need is to be hooked up with three losers like you.  C'mon, Francis."  She started to move away from the them.
"Louise, are you sure?" Francis asked.
"Yeah, c'mon!  Let's get out of here!" said Louise urgently, and the two began running through the back lot.
Robb let out a cry of frustration.  "There's nothing we can do.  They obviously aren't going to listen." said Irene, going for the rear door of the market.

The Red PEF showed up, having made its way across the board.  Surprisingly, it passed it ER roll by 2d6, meaning it was something.  Another roll revealed...civilians?  The next roll said there were two.
Louise is a Rep 3 Civilian grunt with the Runt attribute and two pistols.  Francis is a Rep 3 Civilian grunt with the Fast attribute.  I thought this would be an easy recruitment, but Robb flunked out his "Meet and Greet" roll, passing 0d6, while Louise passed 1d6.  That meant they would "exchange pleasantries" and move on.  Robb must not have inspired much confidence.

Turn 9: Robb 2, Zombies 6, Louise 3

Sighing heavily, Robb opened the door to the back of the store.  It opened into a small room with a second door leading onto the main floor of the store while a set up stairs led upwards.  "There must be an apartment up there," said Irene.
"We'll check it out if we have time, but I don't think we will," said Robb.  "There's still those zombies behind us."
"Presuming they didn't follow the kids," said Erin quietly.
Looking at Irene to make sure she was ready, Robb opened the door to the store quietly.  Inside the store, several figures could be seen wandering the shelves.  None of them looked healthy.
Irene fired at two of them, but her aim was low and the just tumbled to the ground, wounded but still alive.  Robb fired is pistol as well, but his shot also just sunk into the zombie's body, and not its head.
Robb ran forward and slashed at one of the prone figures, chopping it in the head with his machete.  Erin also moved forward, stabbing into another zombie's head with her knife.  Irene had less success clubbing at the zombie with her shotgun, and it kept thrashing around.

So again, rolling 6d6 for zombies within the building, I get three.  Rolling a 2 on their surprise die, their initiative total is 5.  This time Robb and Irene's total was 9, but Erin's was 6, meaning she would not shoot before melee.
Irene hit two with her shotgun but only knocked them down.  Robb shot once (I was getting antsy about attracting more zombies to the table), hit but only knocked his down.
Melee had Robb and Erin handily killing their zombies (+2d6 against a prone opponent helps), but Irene only managed to knock hers down again.

Louise and Francis passed their Fast Move roll 2d6, and moved off the table to safety.  Maybe we will see them again.

Turn 10: Robb 2, Zombies2

With a snarl, the zombie that Erin had stabbed in the face clambered to its feet.  The knife wound had apparently just gone into the lower skull, missing the brain.  Erin kicked back at it, making it fall into a rack of potato chip bags.

Doubles again, and this one it said one dead zombie comes back to life and charges.  Rolling randomly, it turned out to be Erin's opponent.  The zombie got a bonus to its Charge into Melee roll, helping it beat Erin's 1d6, but Erin managed to beat the zombie in melee 3 to 1.  She only got a Knock Down however.

Turn 11: Robb 4, Zombies 5

Irene continued to try to smash the butt of her shotgun into the zombie's face.  "Hold still, dammit!" she said angrily.  Robb's machete blade rose and fell into the skull of the zombie staggering out of the potato chip rack.

Erin couldn't seal the deal on her knocked down zombie, even with the advantages of it being prone, but Robb managed to handily get the Obviously Dead result.  Irene, however, was tied at 3 to 3.

Turn 12: Robb 5, Zombies 2

Leaving the dead zombie on the chip rack, Robb stepped over to Irene just as the zombie she was fighting had made its way back to its feet.  With a rough shove, Robb knocked it to the floor again.  There was a loud bang and its head exploded.  Erin stood there, rifle in her hands.  "Tell me that's all of them," she said.

The zombie made its way back up to its feet on its activation, but Robb got 5 successes to its 1.  Sadly, he couldn't kill it.  Erin decided, no longer have an opponent, to move over and "pop the weasel," by shooting it.  Thankfully no zombies were summoned.

Turn 13: Robb 3, Zombies 4

The three quickly began to search the store, gathering up canned goods and other items that looked safe into their pockets and bags.  After a minute or two, they had gathered all their could reasonably carry.
From the back of the store, though, they could hear pounding on the back door.  The zombies had clearly not gone after the kids, but were trying to get in.  What's more, a lone zombie was trying to smash in the glass door of the front of the store.

Robb, Irene, and Erin all passed their loot checks by 1d6, which was a stroke of good luck since I needed 3 food items for next month.  Two zombies battered at the back door, but couldn't reduce it to DR 0.  The same was said for the zombie at the front.

Turn 14: Robb 2, Zombies 5

"There's fewer out front than out back," said Robb, throwing open the front door and firing twice.  His shots were wild, however.  Erin fired her rifle, striking the zombie in the chest and making it fall to the ground.
"No time to finish him off, just run!" said Robb, stepping over the body and limping off down the street.

Robb fired two and missed, but Erin got the KD on her shot.  The white PEF showed up, by the way, but turned out to be nothing at 0d6.  

Turn 15: Robb 4, Zombies 6
Turn 16: Robb 4, Zombies 6

Robb and his friends began walking down the street.  Robb was still concerned about his ankle, and didn't want it collapsing on him.

Turn 17: Robb 6, Zombies 4

Behind them, the horde of zombies had smashed down the rear door and were moving through the store.  Out in front of the store, the zombie that Erin had shot got to its feet and charged towards them.

Turn 18: Robb 6, Zombies 4

Robb turned to see the zombie Erin had shot moving close to them.  He fired twice but missed.  Irene let loose with her shotgun at point blank range, pulverizing its head.

Robb had clearly started having problems shooting, but thankfully Irene's shotgun took care of things.  The shots summoned a zombie right in the direction they were heading, however, cutting off that route unless they could go through him.

Turn 19: Robb 5, Zombies 2
Turn 20: Robb 5, Zombies 2

The large mob of zombies exited the store and began moving towards them.  Another gave away its presence, growling as it came down the street.  In the back of his head, Robb realized that there were nine zombies, and only three of them.  Things looked pretty bleak.
"Teal, teal, teal!  Kill, kill, kill!" shouted Irene as her face took on a manic gleam.  She fired her shotgun into the crowd, shouting the battle cry of her roller derby team.  Gore sprayed in every direction as the slugs tore into them.  Robb began firing his pistol into the crowd of zombies as they surged towards him.  A bullet tore through the head of one and it fell.
Erin seemed paralyzed with fear.  "I don't want to die!  Not like this!" she wailed.

Then they were upon them.  Robb struck one in the head with his machete, then another in shoulder.  Erin snapped out of her panic just in time, lashing out with her knife to stab one in the side of the head, then slamming a second with her hip, bowling it over.  Irene neatly kicked out at one, breaking its knee sideways. As it fell, she clipped in neatly in the back of the head with her shotgun.

Hoo boy.  You have a moment in this game when you realize that this might be the last entry.  I needed EVERYTHING to go right here if the group was to survive intact.  Irene got the ball rolling, though, getting a surprising 3 Obviously Dead's from a single shot of the shotgun.  Robb managed to add another with his shot.  Erin passed her Being Charged roll 0d6, and could only melee.

Robb took on two opponents, getting a surprising Obviously Dead after beating one 3 to 2, and a more predictable Knock Down after the other 3 to 2 win.  Erin redeemed herself with her own Obviously Dead on a 3:1 win, and a second KD on a 3:2.  Irene got the third OD of the melee with a 4:2 win.  Seven down, two to go.

Turn 21: Robb 3, Zombies 5

"This ends now," said Robb, driving his machete point-first into the skull of the downed zombie.  Irene crushed her skate into the head of the other.

They looked around.  The street was completely quiet.  Nothing seemed to stir.
"That's all of them, I think," said Robb quietly.
"Time for home," said Irene, and they walked silently back.

Melee continued, but the odds were now on Team Robb's side.  Robb and Irene both beat their opponents 4:0 and got OD's.  That was the last of the zombies on the table, incredibly enough, and Team Robb could opt to exit the table or continue searching buildings.  Deciding to not press my luck, I had the team leave the table.


That evening, Robb found Erin sitting quietly in the living room.  Irene was humming away happily in the kitchen, cooking up a small meal for the three of them.
"You okay?" he asked.
Erin was silent for a moment.  "No, I'm not.  I'm thinking about those two kids we saw today."
"Yeah, I wish they had come with us."
Erin was silent for a time again.  She looked away from him.  "I had a family, you know."
"I didn't know.  Were...they killed after know..."
Erin smiled ruefully.  "No, they weren't.  I don't know what happened to them.  When all this started, they were in Heartland City.  They were trying to get back, but the roads were jammed and people were being told to go to shelters.  My husband said he would try to find out, to let me know where they had gone.  I haven't heard anything from them..."  Erin broke down with a sob.
Robb didn't know what to say.  "I can imagine that the cities might have had some ways to help people, to keep people safe," he said.  He didn't say what he was also thinking, that the cities would also be more heavily populated, prone to panic, and fertile ground for the zombie outbreak.
At that moment, Irene came in, balancing three plates of food.  In silence, they all began to eat.

For the "Keeping It Together" post-scenario roll, Robb only managed to tie Erin with 2d6, despite his Born Leader advantage.  What's more, while Robb and Irene failed to get an increase, Erin did, becoming Rep 5.  Erin would become increasingly difficult to keep in the group unless Robb got a lucky break.

On the upside, the scenario was a complete success.  Robb and Irene are now back to full speed (for now) and they have enough food for the three of them for the next month.

As always, comments welcome.


  1. Well, *that* could have ended very badly! A few bad activation rolls in a row and you're in trouble! Still, shotguns are handy :-) . Congratulations on surviving, if not progressing.

    Damned captcha is being very difficult today!

  2. Another exciting aar. Yes it could have ended a lot more seriously. Congrats on surviving.

  3. I'm thoroughly enjoying your campaign, WQ. That was a very exciting batrep and well done to Team Robb for surviving. Erin at Rep:5 will be a huge asset... if she stays. I hope she does.

  4. Great bat-rep and an excellent result, lucky that the final shooting (turn 20) didn't generate even more z's, the gang were already pressing their luck.

    1. I went back into my notes to make sure I had rolled for it, and I had. But I understand about pressing luck. I thought around Turn 17 the group could just get off the board by outrunning the mob (even at 6" a turn) but then there were two turns straight in a a row when Robb didn't get activated and I realized they were going to have to fight. I honestly thought I would lose at least one of the three right then (my money was on Erin, who just couldn't seem to get a lot done this game).

  5. This was great! It definitely had some good tense spots.

  6. What great batrep, Hopefully you'll bump into the kids again and have another chance at getting them to join. They will be two more mouths to feed though.

    1. Yeah, that dawned on me too, not to mention another 2d6 in starting zombies. That can get overwhelming after a while.