Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Longest Day (Part 2 - Afternoon)

Smoke billowed into the afternoon air, and heat mirages stirred the air.  Trees caught fire, burning like giant torches lining the streets.  A wind occasionally moved the column of smoke, twisting like a giant black snake in blue sky.
Mark looked down the street, embers floating in the air danced in the heat, sparking small fires all over the neighborhood.  "Watch out there are a bunch of zombies in the road down there.  It sounds like something is moving around the back side of our house!"
"Something's moving around back here too!"  Frank yelled out, gesturing with his pistol.  "This is nuts!  We should seriously bug out!"  The steady pop-pop-pop of assault rifles echoed from the side streets, adding to the chaos.

Afternoon started with 3 more PEFs being generated.  One behind the group's house, one back behind them, roughly near the area they had been hiding in, and the last one right in the middle of the zombie horde.  I figured that one was lost, but the group should be able to get the others revealed quickly.
The afternoon begins
Zombies close on the deserters
Starting off, I rolled doubles and drew a random event.  It was "black helicopter" however, before the game, I decided on something a bit different for this event...
A Predator drone enters the scene
Instead of a helicopter, an armed drone overflies the battle, and will engage the largest group of zombies with a modified Hellfire missile.  It enters a random edge, and I orient it pointing at the biggest bunch of zombies available.  It will fire on a 1-5, and hit on anything but a 1.  If it misses, the missile will scatter d6" from the aim point.

Of course, the group ends up blowing their initiative, and watch the drone fly overhead as the zombies continue their relentless march.
The drone looks for a target
"Drone Whiskey Hotel Three four, clear to engage."  The control voice stated without emotion.  "Target any concentration of zed in sector romeo seven."
The controller rotated his camera view, passing over what looked like a group of armed civilians fleeing for a house.  He could make out what looked like the remains of a military patrol, completely surrounded by zombies.  "Patrol element in R7, any radio contact?" he asked his control over his headset.
"Negative, no recorded elements in R7."  A quick, flat response.
"Moving to engage, danger close." the controller flipped his firing toggle to armed, waiting for a signal tone to fire.

Drone Attack!
The drone fired and hit with its missile.  For this I worked out the missile strike as a 1-1/2" blast radius (thank you years of 40K) anything touched would be killed on anything but a 6, and if not killed, then knocked down (and stunned for d6 turns if alive).  A secondary blast radius of 8" extends out from there, with that being an impact 1 attack, but it will knock over any models it doesn't kill.  This represents shrapnel and overpressure from the blast.
After the attack
The blast kills 5 of 6 zombies in the area of effect.  It knocks over something like 10 other zombies, I expected to kill at least one more...  The closest house also catches fire and unfortunately (?), the blast kills one of the deserters. The other gets knocked down, but being protected, carries on, as a zombie just out of the blast radius moves forward...
Mmmmm Brains!
The zombies close on the last deserter, and she shoots one dead.  Getting up, she starts moving towards the nearby house.  Along the way, she triggers a meet and greet with Frank and Horace, which goes right to walk the walk.
Drawing a bead between the trees
Horace fails his citizen brown pants roll, and hides by a nearby tree.  Frank stands his ground, and takes aim at the deserter.  The deserter fires first and Frank is killed outright.

The deserter finishes her move into the house.  The group moves back - trying to get close enough to storm the house and kill the deserter.  Mark starts trying to coax Horace back from hiding.
Stay in cover
I split up the group, with Allen leading Dawn, Ella and Gene towards the house with the deserter.  Mark would stay with Horace to get him to rally, and then join in the fun.  I rolled another random event as well...
Splitting up in the street
oh great...
The blue house right next to Mark and Horace was rolled to have the gas leak.  With fires burning in two other houses, I ruled a 5-6 each turn and the house would explode.  Mark needs to get Horace moving!

I setup the house interior for the inevitable showdown with the deserter.  I was using the NPC action chart, but it is a bit vague, I interpreted the results from hesitation (pass 0d), to defensive action (pass 1D) to aggressive action (pass 2D).  I didn't want completely random actions, so tried to play the deserter realistically.
Mark and Horace smell gas
Upstairs gives good sight lines
Mark keeps Horace from being zombie chow
A big zombie feast
All you can eat zombie buffet forming
Ella tried the back door, and found it still open.  She had seen the shadow in the window upstairs as she ran to the back of the house, so she figured they would be safe on this side of the stairs.  She waved up the others, whispering loudly "I think she's upstairs, stay out of sight of the top!"
Allen entered, and moved to his left -facing the kitchen.  "Nothing here." he hissed.
Gene moved to the door to the garage, finding it open, and the main garage door open beyond that.  "Looks like its been looted."  He said quietly to Dawn.
"Yeah, that was us last week."  She replied, keeping her SMG pointed at the top of the stairs.
Cover the stairs
Mark shook Horace, yelling at him "We have to move!  Can you smell that gas?  We could be dead any minute!"
Horace snapped out of his fright, and followed Mark as they ran back towards the groups house.  "Man, I am sorry about that.  I don't know what came over me, I'll stick with you though, I swear, I can handle it."
"Don't worry about it, none of us like having a gun pointed at us."  Mark replied.  "Just stay calm and we'll stick together.  Let's check the house."
Mark and Horace move across the street
Just in time
To start the next turn, the gas leak finally exploded.  Nobody was close enough to be hurt, but it rattled the few remaining homes in the neighborhood.  Mark and Horace moved around the group's house and found a lone zombie.  Horace managed to shoot it with no issues.
Lone zombie
Horace gets his first kill
In the other house, the deserter moved to a more defensible position, still covering the stairs, but limiting any exposure to one person at a time.  Meanwhile, downstairs, Allen had an idea inspired by the explosion next door.  He began opening up the gas lines in the kitchen, while Gene moved to the front door to make sure the zombies could waltz right in.  As he opened the door, Gene got a good look at the feasting going on, but passed 2D on his see the feast check.
Barricading the bedroom
This will be a problem
I rolled 1d6 for the number of turns for the house to fill, and rolled a 4.  Plenty of time to get away, even if I have to move in a wide circle away from the house (need to avoid the sight from the upstairs windows.)  The group takes a couple of turns making the downstairs funnel the zombies to the stairs, and hopefully into the deserter.  Then they start moving away from the house to the east.
The feast is almost over
Meanwhile, Mark and Horace entered home, planning on getting in the SUV and picking up the rest of the group.  As they were entering, zombies wandering up the road spotted them, moved to the house, and started attacking the barricades.
The zombies start attacking the barricades
They keep coming
Can the barricades hold?
Mark tossed the shotgun to Horace.  "Start blasting them!  The window in the dining room is already going!"  Mark grabbed is pistol and ran to the room, fring out the window at any zombie he saw.
"I thought we were bugging out!"  Horace yelled back, racking the shotgun as he moved to the window and fired.  "I'd rather not be trapped here!"
"With so many of those things, I don't want to be trapped in the truck either!"  Mark fired as he yelled.  "Besides, we can head upstairs, and block the stairs.  Once Allen and the rest get back, we'll take out enough to get away."
"Well, it sounds like a plan..."  Horace started firing.
The barricades still hold - barely
West window barricade falls
Across the neighborhood, the gas finally reaches saturation, making the house with the deserter a danger.  She realizes the hazard, but the zombies are already coming into the front.  She retreats back to the bedroom, opening a window to jump for it when the zombies come into the house.
House of the Dead
Out the window?
Zombies tore down the barricades, smashed the glass and staggered into the dining room.  Mark snapped off a last shot and threw down his pistol, pulling out his bat.  "Looks like we're going to settle this face to face!"  A crash sounded from the kitchen as the back door exploded inward and more zombies shambled in.
"More from the back!"  Horace shouted and fired.  "Its too many!"  He was starting to panic.
Zombies enter the house
With that, afternoon came to an end, and evening began.  Fires continue to spread, and zombies are adding up.  The group is moving to get back into contact, but visibility now drops to 12".  On the plus side, the event deck is half gone, so there is a good chance of reaching the end of the zombie horde.

To be continued...


  1. I need to know what happens next!
    Great scenario, so much cool stuff going on, and I loved the drone idea

    1. With the Easter holiday and work getting in the way, it has taken me longer to write these up than I had planned. Have no doubt the next update is on its way.

      I'm glad to hear you liked the drone, I found the toy and had plans to use it in a cyberpunk campaign many moons ago. It turned up recently, and I thought it might fit in.

  2. Fantastic! I don't think I've ever seen so many explosions in a zombie game before! I can't wait for part 3.

    1. I will admit I may have made the police car damage more dramatic than the rules call out. However, in keeping with the flavor of ATZ, it made the game more exciting, so I went with it!

      The explosions and fires really took on a life of their own, which was neat, but unexpected. Hopefully the evening proves to be as interesting as the rest of the day...


  3. You know, even if the party survive the day there's not going to be much left of this neighbourhood. It's quite a war zone!

    1. This is going to be the end of the easy living in the neighborhood. We'll see who is left and where they decide to head to next soon enough...

  4. Excellent batrep sir.
    Love the ideas, drone, fires and explosions, proper action movie stuff.
    These are a great series of adventures. Can't wait for the next instalment.

    1. Thank you very much! As I was playing, it definitely took on an almost action movie feel, like you said. I can imagine the scene with smoke and fire drifting through the area, mixed with the undead. This should pave the way for further fun times for any survivors...

  5. Just the night to survive then...
    After such an action-packed day, the party must be quite exhausted and their adrenalin "high" will be at its peak.
    Once more this is a great aar, (on-going action report ?) with a lots of things going on -expolosions ! I think I can only recall one aar with an explosion and this has been quite entertaining.
    Now for the party to survive and skedaddle.

  6. Hopefully the evening continues to entertain. The fires and explosions certainly made it more exciting. I am glad to hear you have enjoyed it.

  7. After an action powered morning, the afternoon was not set for taking a rest. I loved the drone idea, it was creative and very aligned with what military would do. Lets hope the evening will be better for the group. I hope Horace can make it.

    1. Well, the evening poses its own set of threats and challenges. Add in it has been a long day (fatigue is going to creep in) and the group still has a long road ahead to finish this out.

  8. Fantastic. It;s all going to hell in a a handbasket! Loving the use of the Dwarven forge and the Heroquest tiles for the interior, very cool. Awesome batrep and the narrative it getting stronger and stronger

    1. Thanks for dropping by, I am glad you have enjoyed the report. The scenario is playing out pretty much as I expected, a bad situation getting worse by the minute...