Sunday, May 18, 2014

Starting West (Part 1)

"...So we have some fresh eggs, a few fried chickens and several loaves of bread.  Should be a good couple of meals before we are stuck back on our packaged foods."  Mark packed a cooler in the back of the SUV.  "Let's just remember to eat that stuff first, it won't keep."
"Are you sure you won't stay?"  Ella asked again.  "There is plenty of room, and we can be pretty safe here."  She tried again to convince everyone to stay at the farm.
"I can't stay.  I would love to, but I can't until I know if my wife and daughter are safe, or..."  Allen said, choking up at the end.  "Maybe we can make it back this way."
"You will be welcome if you can make it back,"  Ella's father said.  "Thanks for helping get Ella home.  I wish we had more to send with you, but you have a few good meals at least.  Stay safe."
Dawn hopped up on the running board, sliding into the passenger seat.  "We will.  I know we'll see each other again."
Allen started up the SUV and the group rolled out onto the road, heading west...

I have done a bit of campaign planning for the trip west to Minneapolis.  The group is currently in north east Wisconsin, near the city of Appleton.  I have broken the trip into 4 areas of travel, so they will need a total of 24 units of fuel for the SUV to travel between those areas.  They currently have 10.  I have the areas divided up by geographic zones, with each being an area between major rivers.

For each of the major overland areas,  I will roll four times for a 'random' encounter.  These will be from several different scenarios, based on road encounters from I, Zombie, Haven and from some encounters I have designed.  At the end of each day of travel, which will cover one area, the group will need to succeed on a take and hold type scenario.  They will also need to locate fuel, either along the road or as part of a scenario in the area they are in.

Area 1 will be from the Fox River to the Wisconsin River (roughly located about 80 miles west) the first scenario is crossing the Fox River in a small town near the farm.

Approaching the bridge
This scenario starts in the morning of day 22, with an ER of 4.  There are 3 PEFs, 10 initial zombies and two wrecked cars blocking the bridge.  This is a suburban area, and zombies will appear on 5-6.

Allen turned the first corner, driving close to a crashed school bus.  "Damn, that looks horrific.  I hope the kids made it out."
The rest of the SUV was quiet as everyone looked at the blood stained school bus.  A lone knapsack with books and papers spilling out was just visible inside.  Smears of blood covered the windows in places, and the emergency door looked torn open.
"Well, at least I don't see any bodies..."  Mark offered.
Abandoned bus
The zombies didn't move, and a couple were spawned from the SUV driving around.  The next turn, Allen lined up the zombies in the street and drove into them.  Once stopped, everyone got out, I didn't want to try and fight from inside the SUV.
Driving into the small crowd

Everyone hops out
Zombies crunched under the impact of the SUV, the emaciated bodies crumpling from the impact.  "Take that you creeps!"  Allen laughed as he drove through several of them.  He skidded to a stop just through the intersection with the bridge.  "Everybody out!"  he yelled.
"Looks like we will have to move some wrecks."  Mark commented, glancing at the bridge.  "Hopefully they will push out of the way easily enough for us."
"Plenty of wandering zombies around here.  Let's clear out some of them before we try the bridge."  Horace offered.
"Yeah, good idea.  I think there is something else out here..."  Dawn commented nervously.

After getting out, the zombies began to close in on the group.  Dawn triggered one of the PEFs only to see the ER raise to 5.  The other nearest PEF moved away, before moving back towards the group.  The PEF on the bridge sat still for most of the game, but did eventually move down the bridge a ways.  Of course, this is where the group doesn't get to activate for a turn.  Standing by a running vehicle in the zombie apocalypse is not a smart move...
Zombies close in
A PEF moves into sight
 Across the intersection, the front door to the Med Stop opened up.  "Looks like something's coming out!"  Horace yelled.  Zombies slowly continued to shamble closer to the group, blocking them against the SUV.  "It's people!"  Horace shouted in surprise
A pair of men and a lone woman came out of the drug store, hefting a couple of sacks.  They looked around the scene in the street, gesturing towards the group and a yellow SUV parked nearby.  "Good luck!" one of the men shouted.  The three of them fired at a nearby zombie and ran for the yellow SUV, ignoring the group.
Another group of survivors

One PEF exited the Med Stop store (a free card building made by Tommygun, I love his stuff by the way) and revealed to be a group of 3 civilians.  The meet and greet went rather poorly, with the group not scoring a single success to the other group scoring 2.  They chose not to 'walk the walk' and I randomly determined they had completed looting the drug store and were leaving (I rolled to see which vehicle was theirs.)  I ran them as a separate group for the rest of the game.
Everyone clears out some zombies
The zombie spawns the next turn from the shooting lead to a fun incident.  One zombie from Horace's shooting was right on top of the SUV.  I figured it was an injured companion of the second group, who had turned before they could get back with supplies.  Funny how random events can seem almost planned.  I made the second group pass a zed or no zed test versus this zombie (again, trying to keep things interesting) when they opened the truck and found him turned.
Zombie in the SUV
Time to clean out the car
A terrified scream came from the yellow SUV, followed by several gunshots.  Horace looked down the street in time to see one of men pulling a corpse from the truck.  "Either they are car jackers, or they had an unwanted passenger!"  He said , firing on a nearby zombie.  "I think they are leaving."
"They don't matter - let's clear this area enough to see what these wrecks are going to do to us."  Allen said as he moved through the intersection, following Mark who was caving in the head of a zombie with his bat.  "We just need to get across the river before we are eaten by these things!"

The second group didn't hesitate, they passed their checks easily, and shot the zed down.  It did take 4 shots (poor rolling for kills by pistol) and I ruled one fig would spend a turn clearing out the zombie remains before they would leave.
Mark's group moved into the street a bit, he charged and killed a zed in hand to hand, the others took pot shots at zombies as they appeared.  I was trying set up the group to have some clear lines of fire for zombies coming from behind the service station (a few had spawned there - I didn't quite get them in the pics.)
More zombies!

Starting up the Yellow SUV
Zombies behind the service center
The yellow SUV started with a rumble, the deep sound echoing through the dead streets.  More zombies shambled from the shadows, closing in on the sounds of the engine and the gunshots that split the quiet morning air.
"Like I said, they're leaving."  Horace said with a grunt.  "Good riddance, I mean, who doesn't at least offer to help?"
"Looks like more zombies.  Stay alert, let's move back towards our wheels, we need to get that bridge opened."  Allen said, punctuating his directions with a shot through a decayed head.  "I don't think these are going to stop showing up!"

The second group started their SUV, and more or less just drove off the board to the east.  The clipped a couple of zombies, but otherwise all they did was summon more with the sound from their engine.  Mark's group moved back towards their own SUV, clearing up zombies so they could investigate the bridge.  The PEF moved forward, hiding just behind the car wrecks.  I wonder what it will be...

The second group exits
Mark's team advances on the zombies
More zeds show up
Mark smashed the bat into the head of another zombie.  It made a satisfying crunch as the body fell to the pavement.  He heard a startled yell from Dawn just behind him.  "There's more coming from across the street!"  She yelled and let loose a burst from her sub-machine gun, spent cartridges tinkling on the pavement.  "Keep shooting!  They're still coming!"
Mark wrenched the bat back from the head of the dead zombie.  "I'll help in a sec!"

Again the dice decided the group didn't need to actually act.  I had two turns in a row of zombies acting, but the team standing there, doing nothing but reacting.  Luckily, everyone is a survivor now.  Previously, with the citizen brown pants rolls and lower reps (everyone is at least a 4 now) I figure at least half the group would have run off.  Now they stand and fire, or end up in hand to hand.
They shoot a few
Zombies stumble through the tires

Zombies move down the street
Zombies shuffled down the street, oblivious to the bullets hurtling through the air around them.  Slowly they moved through the debris in the street, stumbling into Dawn and Allen.  Soon their yells combined with moans of the zombies as they fought for their lives.
Zombie Charge!
Zombies are shot up
  Dawn fired another burst from the SMG, and another zombie slid to the ground.  "They're still coming!"  She yelled, taking aim at another zombie stumbling around the corner.  Her gun chattered a couple of times and fell silent.  "Empty!  I'm reloading!" she yelled as she grabbed for another magazine.
Mark belted out a war cry and charged into the group of advancing zombies.  Swinging about with his bat, the withered bodies crumpled to the ground, but started to rise until he smashed their heads.  
Horace stepped behind Dawn and fired his pistol into the threatening zed, blasting its rotting head to pieces.  "Ha!  Take that bastard!  Get reloaded, I'm sure there are more coming!"

As the zombies crashed into the group, they got shot up pretty good, plus Allen carries a machete for hand to hand.  He and Dawn made short work of the four zombies that charged them.  The next turn, the group gained initiative, unfortunately Dawn ran out of ammo, and Allen missed his two shots.  Horace moved up, and used his pistol to kill the nearest zombie.  Mark was fighting two in hand to hand and knocked one down and killed another.

The zombies get a free turn, and a second zed attacks Mark, with a spawned zombie sneaking up behind Dawn (who is still trying to reload!)  Mark kills one zed, and fights an evenly matched with the other.
Sneaky zombie!
Allen watched as Mark fought the two zombies, waiting for an opportunity to fire.  He glanced at Dawn, who was struggling to get her sub-machine gun reloaded.  Just by chance, his peripheral vision caught movement behind them.  "Look out behind you!" He cried as a zombie stumbled closer.
Not wanting to risk hitting Dawn, Allen charged into the zombie with his machete.  Singing through the air, the machete cut into the zombies neck, severing the head easily.
"Wow!  I didn't see that one coming!"  Dawn said as she closed the action on her SMG.  "I'm ready to rock again if we need."
"Looks like the street is clear, but I think something is behind the wrecks..."  Mark said as the group turned to the blocked bridge. 
Allen finishes off the last zombie
The group has managed to clear out the streets.  They still need to resolve the last PEF, and figure out how to clear the wrecks.  Can they resist trying to find useful items in the nearby buildings?


  1. Phew, quite an action packed intalmentof the first road encounter. It's yet another very enjoyable read and a great scenario with the team in a seemingly endless battle, let's hope the last PEF is more friendly than the earlier (rude imo) Civiilans they encountered.

    1. Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it! For the first step in the trip, it turned into a much longer scenario than I had planned.

      The civilians they ran into turned out to be on their own mission I guess. At least they didn't attack!

  2. Great AAR looking forward to the next one.
    by the way where did you get thet great looking scool bus?

    1. Hopefully the story continues to entertain.

      The bus was a find at a local Goodwill (secondhand store) and came beat-up already. I took it apart and painted it, adding blood smears and some additional weathering. I have seen it online (its a cheap toy from china...)

  3. You continue to amaze me with your excellent batreps. Great story with loads of tense edge-of-your-seat action. Like Hobbyworker above, I want to know where you got the yellow school-bus? I'd love to own one.

    1. Thanks! I am really glad you enjoyed it!

      Like I said, I found the bus at a local second hand store. The bus is just a cheap die cast toy, around 1/53 scale. On Amazon, I found the same one from Schylling. Hopefully that helps.

  4. Fantastic Batrep and love how you're driving the campain. Those building nare going to be very tempting, after all, they're gonna need some more fuel!

    1. That is my thought - there is plenty of needs, and relatively open buildings make too tempting of a target! Of course, the easier it looks, the more dangerous it probably is...

  5. No don't try your luck... In my games, it all go wrong whenever I think I can make an easy ending. :(

    1. That is usually my luck as well. Still, if the group sticks together, it should be less dangerous, right?

  6. Great batrep dude.
    Yeah roadtrip, this is only the first encounter, what could possibly go wrong.
    Can't wait for the next episode.

    1. I'll try and keep these coming. I'm glad you are finding them interesting!

  7. Nice set up and good story.
    I am sure this trip will be full of event

  8. Great AAR full of bat swinging and bullets flying. Looking forward to the next instalment!

    1. Great! Happy to hear you are enjoying the trip!

  9. Your characters are taking a lot of chances, it seems to me! Still, so far, so good...

    1. This whole trip is one giant risk. So far they have been taking pretty 'safe' risks, at least I think so... We will see where this goes, good or bad!

  10. Fantastic,kept me on the edge of my seat, and a nice cliff hanger at the end, lucky for me part two is posted so I won't have to wait to see what happens.