Monday, February 10, 2014

The Next Step

Mark knocked back his second Jack and Coke (light on the Coke) as the TV and lights popped back on.  The same news reporter was still on.

"...reporting that the intersection of ninth and college is to be avoided!  There are still fires burning in the area, and we have seen police shooting, well... whatever these are!  You can see in our footage of the attacks, the infected are brutal in their attacks on people, biting and tearing at people."  The scene shifted to the footage, it was jumpy, but clearly showed a young man shamble into a crowd, coming from an alley.  Soon blood was everywhere, and people were turning into more of "them".  The scroll along the bottom was advising people to stay home, or move to several local schools for shelter.

"Ha!  Not going there." Mark said to no one.  He considered his glass, but heard his wife's voice...

"Just going to give up?  Keep drinking, that will make it all better.  I thought I married a fighter, not some drunk."  Mark cringed, and threw the glass.  He wanted to crawl into a hole and die, but that wouldn't do her memory any honor.  No, he may need a new reason to live, but vengeance would do for now.

Mark gathered up what he could find.  If people were turning into these things, he would get as far from people as he could.  He was stuck in the city for now with the police barricades (the news was useful for that info) so he needed someplace to go with as few people as possible.  Mark knew of couple of old factories being torn down, over near one of the canals...

For this scenario, rather than try and increase Mark's rep, I elected to do a thorough loot of the bar and grill he was in.  I drew loot from the risks and rewards deck, and rolled a d6 to see how many draws I would get.  I figured he would also get 1 unit of luxury items (liquor, readily available.)  I got a unit of food, another luxury unit and a baseball bat (which is awesome, he needed a better weapon!)  I also gave him his star powers - rolling for the first ability I got Logical, and I chose Rage for his second (seemed fitting.)

The goal of this scenario is to secure the abandoned building, an awesome Stoelzel's Structure that is free through Wargame Vault, which is the first of many of his buildings I will make.  I hope to find some other survivors, as well as some other gear (who knows when or even if Mark will make it home.)  While this is an urban area, I am running it as an encounter rating 3 (it is still day 1 after all.)

I think I'll watch for cross traffic...
So at the start, there were three zombies, and I had three PEF's.  My PEF markers are game pieces I found from some board game (wish I knew which) as they are question marks.  I mounted them on a 1" base, with a small dice cup, and sprayed them safety orange.  They wouldn't blend in to the table that way (and I would hopefully not forget them!)

PEF marker in play
Right off, I had a PEF in sight.  It turned out to be just nerves, the encounter rating increased by 1 (to 4).

Mark pulled next to the building and killed the engine.  A couple of zombies were wandering over, but no more seemed attracted by his jeep.  As Mark got his bearings (didn't activate - ye gods I hate that) Mark heard more shuffling and more zombies came into sight!  (The second PEF moved in and was resolved as 2 more zeds.)

GAH!  What is that!?
Mark watched as the zombies shambled toward him.  The sound of a bottle bouncing off the wall drew his attention to the alley.  More zombies!  Mark felt surrounded, and looked for a way out.

I remembered getting stuck before, and when I got to activate before the zombies, I debated attacking one side, but the others could still get to me right away.  Instead - time to climb the tire pile and go over the fence!

Up and over
I passed a 2d physical test, but couldn't fast move.  I figured the zombies would only be able to move 2" on the tire pile, but they would be able to follow Mark, slowly.

They're coming up!
I figured I would just keep moving until I got into a good position to face them down.

This truck is decent cover
I had a random event come up.  At least there wouldn't be many zombies...

Awww, shucks, no more zombies?  I am so sad...
So the zombies fall over the fence, and Mark doesn't activate for several turns (that is the most frustrating thing in ATZ.)  Eventually the zombies move up, and Mark decides it's time to attack.

Die zombie!
Things didn't exactly go as planned...  Mark had a much easier time (bat and rage doubled his dice) but just couldn't seal the deal.  Zombies would get knocked down, only to jump back up.

Zombies surround Mark...
Mark was sweating, fighting zombies wasn't like batting practice.  "Die you bastards!"  Mark shouted.  His wild swings were knocking them down, but not killing them.  Finally, Mark calmed a bit and made sure to aim for the head, gratified as the zombies went down and stayed down.

The dice got better, and the rage and bat really made the difference.  In a couple of turns, the zombies were gone.

Batter Up!
Mark looked around the lot.  The security office was nearby, maybe someone inside would be helpful.  Mark opened the door to find a very spartan, empty office.  "Well, I was trying to get away from people..."  Mark muttered to himself.

An empty office.
Mark looked around, and decided to check the rig parked in the lot.  It looked like it had a sleeper section, maybe there was a trucker inside...

Hey, anyone home?
Mark knocked on the widow, and before he could break the glass he heard a shout.
"Don't break my window!  Back off, I'm coming out."  The driver opened his door and hopped down.  "Crazy!  I saw you beat those things down!  Name's Allen, any idea what's happening?"
"Mark.  More of this all over, and the city is closed - the cops have barricades all over.  I am going to hole up in the building back there.  Want to join me?"
"An extra pair of eyes would be handy, plus I just got in here this morning.  I've been driving for a couple of days, this shit is going down all over!"

Mark won the meet and greet two successes to zero.  I added Allen to my survivor group!  Allen is rep 3, with a BAP and Free Spirit Skill.

Allen comes with a BAP!
 There was a zombie still out on the street, so it was a chance to see if Allen was going to be a help...
Line up a long shot
 Allen aimed off hand, and snapped off a couple of shots.  These sailed wide.  "Damn!  Not quite a video game!"  Allen aimed better and fired off another pair of shots.  The zombie hurled backwards to the street.  "Hells yeah!"  Then started to get up.  It crashed into the gate, hands stretching out at the humans.
"Let me take a swing at this"  Mark said as he stepped up.

 Typical, my dice were bad.  Allen hit only once, and didn't kill the zombie.  Plus a missed activation, and I was glad the gate was in the way.  Mark easily dealt with the zombie when it was stuck on the gate.

Never easier.
"Let's check that building across the street.  I don't know what it is, maybe we can find some others."  Mark started across, and together they entered the building.  A pile of zombies lurched at them.
"Get the hell outta here!"  Allen yelled and ran out the door.  Mark followed quickly.
This looks lopsided...
Once again, overconfidence could be the end.  I moved both figures into the building, although they luckily started just outside the door.  I drew 4 zombies inside, and Allen ran out the door.  Mark passed his zombie surprise roll, wasn't going to stay there alone.  After moving outside, the zombies moved after them.  The next round they charged.

Things are going well.
Allen shot one dead, and then popped the weasel on a second.  Mark knocked one down, and was evenly matched with another.  The firing brought out another pair of zombies, but at least one of the rolls was a '6', so no more zombies attracted by sound!

That is an appropriate sign.
Allen and Mark backed down the street a bit, and Allen picked off one zombie.  Mark took out the other in melee.  I figured the building was cleared, so they might as well loot.
One down...
Looting resulted in a unit of food and a machete (+2d, one handed) which Allen took.  Not a bad haul.  I considered going into the nearby bar, but I figured I had best stay on task - the abandoned building.  On the way, the last PEF resolved as an encounter rating increase (bringing it to 5).  Allen and Mark moved up to the side door, ready to clear the interior.
On 3...
On the first floor, there were two zombies.
Not so empty as I had thought.
Allen shot one zombie down, and Mark killed the other.  The building is mostly empty, so they went upstairs to clear that as well.  They found a beat up desk and some boxes.  Heading to the roof, they found it empty as well.

Just junk, but barricade potential...

The view from the roof as night falls on day one of the apocalypse...
Mark and Allen dragged an old drum to the roof, along with some of the lumber.  They started a fire and bedded down for the night.  Around them the city burned and sirens continued to wail, but they felt relatively safe.  For now.

 After the battle, Mark gained a rep (now a 4).  Allen stayed at 3.  Rolling Mark got 2 successes to Allen's 0, so I could count on him for a couple of fights at least.  All told, I was very pleased with the outcome, although I should have searched a couple more buildings before calling it quits.

I need to figure out what the next scenario will be.  Do I try and get past a police check point?  Stay put and then get out?


  1. Very entertaining write-up and far less intense than your earlier encounters though still very dangerous.There are some really nice bits and pieces in your set-up that set the scene well too, the tyre piles and general clutter etc.
    Are you using a mix of rules from ATZ-BDTZ and FFO ? I've found FFO to be very frustrating.

    1. Thanks for your compliment! I have a drawer full of old toy wheels and tires, collected from cars, trucks and anything I can scrounge. In the future, I plan to use them in more scenery. That is part of the reason behind this blog - I hope the story pushes me to build more! :)

      I have played BDTZ for a couple of years, and recently purchased FFO. I have been trying to stay true to FFO, but old habits die hard. I am sure I am actually playing some sort of amalgam of the two, but not intentionally.

      I have made some house rules in BDTZ (such as ammo as a resource) and one of the first scenarios had some special rules (the office). Now that I have been playing with the FFO rules, they don't seem as well...organized (?) as BDTZ. I am not sure if that is quite the correct assessment, but it's close.

    2. Thanks for that, I think everyone uses there own house-rules as well as those specific to particular scenario.
      I feel FFO was a bit rushed, and an unnecessary overhaul of BDTZ. I think there are some really annoying changes to the rules that make no sense.

    3. I agree that FFO feels rushed. I can understand wanting to simplify the reaction checks and reduce the charts, but it doesn't feel polished.

      I found the addition of savvy and people skills to be a chance to expand, making it more like a RPG system. This does give some interesting options, but the game really shines as a campaign wargame, in my opinion.

      I am glad to find I am not the only person who finds some of this annoying!

      Have a great day!

  2. Another great tale. I'm not sure what to suggest. Do they need food or ammo how long will there supplies last. Will a fire spread to the building forcing them to move on?

  3. Loving the ongoing story of survival.