Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Longest Day (Part 1)

The predawn morning was cool, and the western sky glowed a sinister orange from not too distant fires.  Occasional gusts would bring the smell of burned rubber, wood and an underlying stench of decay.  Mark moved very slowly along the balcony, trying not to draw the attention of the few zombies shambling along the street below.  In the east, the sky was showing a deep lavender color, giving the hint of dawn coming soon.

A rattling chatter sounded in the distance, some automatic weapon firing several bursts breaking the silence.  Mark looked to the north and could see scattered headlights on the roads.  Still far away, but a source of potential problems.  Sighing, Mark leaned on the rail, wondering if they were doing the right thing staying here.

Five days before, an army patrol had come through the neighborhood.  Just after they saw the President's address on TV.  Martial law had been declared, FEMA camps opened, help promised.  The Richardson family took the opportunity to move to a nearby "safety center" (not refugee camp) after the recent home invasion they suffered.  The last family, the Coles, had barricaded their home, as had the group.  In the last two days, the power flickered a few times and died.  Mark figured it wasn't coming back.

Mark missed Pamela, and felt the tears flow as his thoughts turned to the past.  He hated to feel the pain at her loss, but it seemed to be coming at him more every day.  With a glance at one of the zombies, he felt the sorrow turn to rage, and moved back into the house, waking up everyone.  Mark had a feeling it was going to be a long day, and he sensed they had best get started.

Far overhead, silent and out of sight, a drone executed a lazy turn,, its cameras recording the neighborhood.  It the control room, the drone operator entered data into his terminal.  "Confirmed living in sector R-7" he said with little emotion.  Glancing at the map, he piloted the drone along its designated patrol route.

"Sector R-7 is along the movement axis for Task Force Roscoe.  Those folks might be in trouble."  Lieutenant Moore said to the operator as he walked by his station.  "Keep an eye on that area, maybe we can help."

Predawn in the neighborhood looking north

This is a watershed scenario, the military has started taking over the security from the local police forces.  Unfortunately, they have stirred up the zombies and various survivors in the nearby city, and the military forces are withdrawing to a new security line.  I have a few special rules for this scenario, and it will be a long game.

Yea rulez!

The plan for the scenario is to play through the entire day, with the situation deteriorating the whole time.  The game will end when either the group is eliminated, leaves the board, or manages to clear the board of zombies.  Enough rules and stuff, this will be long enough, let's get started!

"I'm telling you, it sounds like something is out there.  I don't want to find out it's some gang looking for easy prey."  Mark said as everyone finally got their gear together.  "We'll check it out and get back in cover, no problem."
"I hope you are right.  It certainly looks like the city is burning, I hope that doesn't get here." Allen replied.  "After those punks attacked the Richardson house, I don't want to have unwanted visitors, either.  Let's go."

Getting an early start
I used some wood shapes I had laying around to represent barricades on the houses.  Each would be a DV3 barricade.  It would slow things down, but not really stop that much.  The plan is to check out the PEFs and get the day moving.  To win, I figure I need to get through the various parts as fast as I can, and try and keep the zombie numbers down.
More zombies arrive (this will be a common theme)

Two PEFs bracket the house (they moved closer)
It was dark, so sight was limited to 12", which made me have to move pretty close to reveal the PEFs.  Luckily the first two moved closer right away.  Hey, this is going to be easy!

The group meets Frank
The first was a Rep 4 civilian, Frank who brought a BAP and joined the group.  He moved up when Allen found some more friends in the street.
Zombies!  Who expected that?
Dawn watched the last zombie drop.  "Quite a morning workout!" She giggled, actually feeling good being outside for the first time in days.  "Nice walk in the cool morning air will do us all good..."  She paused as the zombie stood back up and lurched forward to attack.  She panicked, but couldn't find any place to run to.  The zombie soon crashed into her, and Dawn found herself fighting for her life.
First random event
Dawn is surprised to see the zombie come back

Allen and Frank hold back the horde
The zombies won initiative, and crashed into the group.  Dawn managed to fight to an evenly matched, and then win the next round of hand to hand.  The rest of the group shot up the zombies in the road.
Gunning in the street
On the next turn, the first non-zombie group entered the board.  It was a pair of deserters, armed with assault rifles and wearing body armor.  They will move from house to house, searching for loot and possibly a place to hide.  They will react like gangers, as far as meet and greet, and will react violently if attacked.
With still one PEF left on the board, I was having trouble advancing to the next day part.  The group moved to reveal the last PEF, hiding in the tall grass in the northeast corner of the board.  Meanwhile, the deserters start looking through the cars and houses.
These appear looted.

Nobody is home
Allen moved through the underbrush, suddenly a house cat bolted from the shrubs.  "Nothing here, just a cat!"  The group moved back towards the road.  "The sun should be up any minute."
Echoing from the south came the sound of car engines.  They were moving through the neighborhood.
"That better not be another gang coming here!"  Ella growled.  "They are going to be sent packing!"

It took another turn, but the day part changed, and morning started.  Instead of zombies, I drew a pre-generated group, and ended up with a police patrol.  Two squad cars entered from the south, and drove through the neighborhood.  Maybe they were looking for the deserters?
Who's driving that car? Stevie Wonder?

Not in the cross walk means fair game!

The patrol keeps moving

More PEFs at least one is close...
The deserters remained hidden in the house, and while they could fire, they chose not to when the cares first appeared.  Zombies started filling the streets, but the police were running them down or shooting them from the cars.  The group worked to avoid the police (no sense going to jail now!) and worked to get to the PEFs to get the day moving.

One zombie triggers a PEF, and a new group shambles out towards the police cars.  The group moves forward to a nearby PEF as well.
Behind the neighbors house
Zombies in the woods
What could be in the road?

We meet Gene and Horace
"Whoa!  We're alive!"  Horace held up his hands.  "Gene here and I are just trying to survive."
"Yeah, the city was getting a little too crazy for us.  You folks got a place to stay?"  Gene lowered his sub machine gun.  "We're not a threat if that is what you are worried about..."

The PEF resolved to a pair of civilians, Rep 3 Gene with an SMG, and Rep 3 Horace with a BAP (and nightstick, he is an ex-cop).  The meet and greet goes well, and they join the group.

The police patrol moves forward, and the deserters hold fire again.  Zombies start piling up on the western side of the board, even with the police thinning them out.  Really it seems like this is pretty tame so far, nothing to worry about...
Lots of zombies in the road
The lead car lined up the zombies on the road.  They had killed quite a few during their cruise around the neighborhood.  No reason not to keep doing what was working...
Easy peasy...
Until you miss two control rolls, and the car gets into a crash...
The car careens out of control...
...and bursts into flames
So the car should have exploded and killed all inside, or at least flipped over and just hurt everyone inside.  I went in between - it crashed, burst into flame and the occupants rolled against a value 3 hit.  They both survived, and were protected, so shrugged it off.  Their friends following them had issues and ran off the road after taking out one of the zombies in the road.

While the police were playing with the zombies, the group moved forward trying to get to the last PEF to be able to advance the day.  As they moved forward they stayed in cover, the police officers bailed out of their burning car, into the open street...
Moving towards the PEF
The deserters choose to attack
The last PEF raised the ER level (now 5) as the shots rang out and the police driver was killed.  The zombies went next, some swarming the house, others going after the detective.
Zombies move up the middle
With the shooting, the group withdrew back to the east.  I decided to let the police and the deserters have their fun (it was drawing in the zombies) and hold out to advance the day part.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The fire spreads into the house
Regrouping police kill zombies
A group of civilians enter on the far northeastern edge of the board, but they don't get to move for a turn.  A pair of zombies enter right next to them, and we have a race up the board edge.
Do you know these people?

Zombies close on the deserters position
The zombies start entering the house to get at the deserters.  Unfortunately for the deserters I drew a random card - one of the deserters recognized a zombie, and hesitated.
At least the group doesn't have to deal with it

They fared poorly in the charge roll

But did well in melee
Along the northern side, the group of civilians got caught from behind.  The last man in line was quickly devoured, and the others panicked and fled.  Too bad, they were heading in the group's direction, it would have been nice to try and get more recruits.  I kept the civilians on the board, only to see if they would get eaten or escape.
Keep running!
The police moved up while the deserters were occupied by the zombies, but couldn't move fast enough to exploit the distraction.
Lots of open ground to cover
The police cleared out some zombies, but the shooting brought more, plus another group entered nearby.  The police took this as a hint to leave, and fell back to their car.  The deserters saw far too many zombies nearby, and started to relocate to a different house.
Time to move
The deserters don't quite make the next house

Time to leave the neighborhood, as the fire spreads to the trees
Fires and zombies spread unchecked
Another group of civilians entered the board, unfortunately right in sight of a zombie feast.  The entire group failed their see the feast checks.  Two panicked, I simply removed them.  The last two dropped in place, stunned.
This way seems safe, wait, what is that?

Maybe they can hold out?
With the fire spreading, the group started to head back towards home - they might be able to hold it back, or at least get their stuff out.  Between the spreading fire and the constant crack from the assault rifles of the deserters, the group was thinking it might be time to leave altogether...
Heading for home
"We may need to try and fight that fire.  I don't think any firefighters are heading this way."  Mark lead the group back towards home.
"Maybe we can just hunker down and let this blow over."  Ella suggested.  "I'd like to get off the street before someone shoots me!"
"Yeah, anyone else getting hungry?"  Frank asked.  "I could go for some water at least..."
Mark checked his watch, it was just past noon.

To be continued...


  1. Wow, so much going on! Nice story; I vote for hiding out and waiting for all the sh*t to end :-) .

    1. Believe me, I was thinking along the same lines. For a good portion of the morning, the group basically just hung out in a neighbor's driveway. I am sure the group would love a break...

  2. Wowsers! Awesome Batrep! Fires and Zombies spread... unchecked, very exciting.

    1. Thanks! I'm happy to hear you are enjoying it!

  3. A cracking good batrep. However, I do worry when you say things like "it was all going so easy." I just know that something really bad is going to happen but I hope you prove me wrong.

    1. You have picked up on one of my subtle messages. Although when I started it did seem much easier than I expected, these things do seem easy right before they turn horrific...

      Not that I am saying that is going to happen in this scenario, I am just saying it seems to happen that way... :)

  4. That is one hectic aar, I shudder to think how you managed to keep track of all that was going on.
    Very enjoyable.

    1. I hadn't realized just how crazy it was going to be. It took a very long time to play out the whole scenario. The amount of disparate groups added much more time than I expected.

      Glad you enjoyed the read!

  5. What a terrible day. I hope they can manage to leave alive.

    1. It's meant to be a bad day, and it is living up to it. The group has been in some tight spots before, I figure they have a good chance to survive... at least for awhile.

  6. Really good batrep.
    Time for lunch, then an afternoon of kicking ass and taking names.
    Keep it coming, this is good stuff.

    1. Mmmm, a nice light lunch and then a good cardio workout with the locals...

      In the afternoon, the group is going to need to be pretty active, what with zombies, fires, etc.

      Glad you have enjoyed it so far!

  7. An exciting part 1 with plenty going on. Look forward to the next installment :)

    1. With so much going on, it takes a bit to write these up. I'll get the next as soon as I can.

  8. What a brilliant idea. 24 in blog form. I love the way it's panning out. This style is a must for my game later on. Great photos, good story. Look forward to more.

    1. It did make for a long (I do mean LONG) game. It was fun and did convey the situation I wanted. I may consider another similar scenario in the future, but not for a while...

  9. Looks like being a survivor is a dream job for adventurous people - not two minutes, let alone 2 work days, are the same!
    Great work!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Every day is an adventure during the apocalypse...