Friday, June 6, 2014

Bump in the Dark

Allen shifted his weight, and moved again to look out the windows.  Snoring came from the office where the rest of the team were sleeping.  Allen smiled, shifting his small flashlight around, turning it off.  Outside distant thunder rumbled and a breeze blew dust against the front windows with a small tinkling sound.
"Seems like a nice night, I always did enjoy sleeping during the rain."  A distant flash of lightning briefly lit the sky.  "Should be Mark's turn soon."  Thunder rolled from far away, but getting closer.

This scenario takes place during the night as the team rests at the quarry.  I decided each time they stop, there is a chance of an encounter.  Pass 2d, no encounter; pass 1d, a voluntary encounter; pass 0d, involuntary encounter.  I rolled a contact, just like a PEF to figure out what kind of encounter to have.  I rolled gangers, and got PG+2.  I decided it was a group coming back to fuel their vehicles (hence the reason the pickup and sports car were empty.) 

The gang:
Butch, Peaches, Terry, Shelly, Max, and Cleo
Randomly rolling up a group, I ended up with two at rep 5 (Butch and Peaches) and four at rep 3.  Grabbing various figs, I settled on the team above.  Everyone is armed as they appear, except Terry has a shotgun, and Shelly carries a pistol in addition to two swords.  Butch and Peaches are protected (wearing body armor) which I randomly determined by rolling a d6 and added the rep to the result, a 10+ meant they had body armor.  I would run the scenario from their point of view, until the team activated, and then go from there.

The gang is not expecting anyone at the quarry, and is looking to gas up their cars and get out of the area.  Two figures are carrying 4 units of fuel each, which is slowing them down to 4" of movement.  They can try and fast move, but will only gain 2" for each success.  They can drop the fuel for free and suffer no movement penalties, if wanted.

To start, it is night, with vision limited to 6", there are 3 PEFs, and 11 generated zombies.  The Encounter Rating starts at 3 (its night, and a bit more dangerous).  The gang moves onto the board and we start...

Butch shifted his vest for the fourth tie in 10 minutes.  "Damn this thing itches.  Must be zombies around!"  He whispered at Peaches.  "Damn girl, you want to help scratch?"  He chuckled.
"Now?  How about you buy a girl dinner first?"  Peaches giggled back at Butch  "You should just wear your road leathers, like me.  Plenty of protection, and comfort, see?"  She shook her ass at Butch.  "Just like at the club!"
"Damn, when we get the 'stang running again, we'll scratch both our itches!"  Butch laughed.  "Terry, Shelly, you guys got that gas okay back there?"
"Yeah, yeah.  It would be nice to trade off hauling these gas cans though."  Terry complained.  "I'm getting tired of hauling this gas all over the county."
"Then you shouldn't have had us run outta gas here yesterday!"  Butch snapped back.  "You were navigating us, I said we had to get to Point and you strand us short.  Be grateful you still get to ride in the truck!"
The gang moves down the road
With it dark, it really messes with vision/sight checks and limits weapon range to 6", which means the group is walking right up to some zombies and have no idea they are there yet.  The first PEF moved into the building with Mark's group.  It was resolved as nothing (passed 0d).
If only they could see
The next turn brought a random event.  An armed zombie was wandering the road right in front of Peaches.
It doesn't seem fair.
I guess this zombie also was an orc cosplayer...
A brief flash of lightning lit up the area, and Peaches nervously stopped in the road, looking at the fence.  Crickets fell silent as the thunder rolled through the quarry.  "Did you see something by the fence?"  She asked nervously.
"There ain't nothin' out there.  This place was empty yesterday, probably just a deadhead stuck on the rocks out there."  Butch said but pulled his twin hand cannons from their holsters.  "Still pays to be careful though."

The nearby PEF moved to the fence, and was just at 6" from the group on the road.  It was a bad time for the humans to not get to move...
Hey what is that?
 Another flash of lightning arced in the night sky, giving illumination over the are for a few seconds.  The chain link fence rattled and a bunch of zombies clawed at the flimsy fence.  "Holy shit!"  Terry yelled.  "There's a ton of them right here!"  He dropped the gas and brought his shotgun around.
"Grab that gas and run for the truck!"  Butch yelled
Part of the fence falls!
I gave the fence a DV of 1, its just a chain link fence, and not very sturdy.  Two sections hold up, but the 'middle' section collapses in one go!  Zombies pour through the opening, and the noise of the fence crashing down begins to attract the zombies wandering around.  The gang reacts as the zombies come into view.
Gang firing line
Gunfire rippled out in the night. Lightning flashed adding to the strobe light effect from the muzzle flashes.  Thunder blended with the heavy reports of the gang's guns.  Shattered bodies pitched to the ground as the gang's fire pierced the rotting corpses.  
"They're still coming!"  Terry yelled, reloading his shotgun.  "We have to get outta here!"
"Calm the hell down!"  Butch shouted, giving Terry a shove forward.  "There can't be that many of them, we've handled this many before!  Don't be such a pussy!"

The gang fired and killed 5 zombies, and the noise attracted a few more.  Unfortunately, Allen didn't hear the gunfire, or confused it with the distant thunder.  I figured he had to pass 1d on a savvy check to hear the commotion and understand it was something worth checking out.

Zombies recover and move to attack
More gang shooting thin out the zeds as Shelly charges
Zombies charge!
The gang manages to knock some down
Allen paused, looking out the window.  Flashes lit the night, and Allen thought he heard thunder.  "That's not thunder...That's gunfire!"  Allen ran into the office, waking up Horace, right by the door.  "Get up!  Someone is outside shooting!"
Allen wakes up the team
Butch looked around, zombies were pouring out of the quarry.  Flashes of lightning gave him the impression of a sea of undead, shambling towards the gang slowly, but inevitably.  "Damn it all!  Everyone shoot something!"  Punctuating his shout with hammering from his huge pistols.

The zombies win initiative, and the resulting charge crashed into the gang.  Not a good time to loose initiative...
Zombies swarm the gang
The horde attacks!
Peaches swung her knife high, shattering one zombie's skull.  Kicking out, she knocked another down, and with a backhand with her pistol, knocked down the third zombie attacking her.  "We need to move!"
Butch clubbed a zombie down to the roadway "We'll make a hole and get to the car!"

Earlier the gang had done some very impressive shooting, but the last couple of turns they went cold.  Luckily they have 2 rep 5 characters, plus their hand to hand specialist (the swords gave +2d) so when the zombies got to melee I didn't think it would be too bad.  Of course that leaves 3 characters at rep 3...
Terry gets chomped!
Meanwhile I rolled a d6 for each member of Team Mark to see how long they will take to get ready.  looks like it will be a few turns before Mark and Dawn are ready to go...
Everyone up and at 'em!
"Oh man! Oh man!" Max was yelling.  "Terry is down, that thing just chomped him!  We're all gonna die!"
"Damn it Max, its time to nut up!"  Butch kicked down a zombie trying to bite his arm.  "I am so sick of your whining, stop being a bitch and start killing zombies!"
Max fired his pistols, one clicking empty after a couple of shots.  "I'm running out of ammo!"
Falling back from the road
The next turn a random event came up.  You can probably guess what is about to happen...
The storm arrives
I rolled a 5, so still a few turns off yet.  The zombies win initiative again, which makes it extra tough on the gang trying to fight their way free.
Here they come!
More zombies crash into the gang
Butch clubbed a zombie down, its lifeless body crumpling to the pavement.  Looking around he saw a sea of zombies.  Three were close around him, trying to grapple him and pull him down.  He could see zombies all around Shelly, and even one attacking Max.  "We just need to get these down and..."
A strong lifeless arm clubbed Butch in the head from the zombie that had killed Terry.  The world spun, and went dark for Butch as he crashed to the ground.
"Butch!  NO!"  Peaches screamed.  "Get off of him you bastards!"  
"Screw this!  I'm gone!"  Cleo yelled and ran into the night.
"You bitch!  Get back here!"  Peaches yelled as Cleo darted into the bushes.  "Shelly, kill those things and head for the truck!  Max, cover our asses and move!"  Peaches ran to Butch, dragging his unconscious body down the road. 
Peaches drags Butch away from the zombies
Butch killed two zombies in melee, knocked a third down, and was knocked down by a fourth.  He passed 1d on his knockdown roll, and was OOF.  Cleo passed 0d for the man down check, and ran away.  Max and Shelly both passed 2d, and Peaches passed 2d with a pair of "1"s, and went into hero mode.  Even with the various move penalties, the group managed to relocate quite a ways up the road from the zombies.

Meanwhile, Allen and Horace unblock the front door, planning on heading outside to see what is happening.
Horace and Allen head out

Another turn comes up, and the zombies get initiative again, and the gang (well all humans) don't even get to go.  Ouch, really bad time for that.  Losing initiative several turns in a row really bites, and changes the whole tactical situation.
The zombies pursue the gang
The gang wins melee
Flickering lightning gave the charging zombies a jerky appearance.  Peaches and Max fired as the zombies crashed into them, but their aim was off in the lingering darkness.  Peaches clubbed two zombies down, kicking their failing legs out from under them.  Max shattered one zombie head open with his empty pistol, kicking over another trying to eat him.
"They're still coming!"  Max yelled, wiping grime from his face.  "We should just cut and run!"
"We're not leaving Butch!"  Peaches screamed, kicking one of the collapsed forms in front of her.  "I'm not leaving him to these things!"

The gang did okay in melee, although Shelly only managed an evenly matched with her opponent.  The next turn, a random event came up:
Randomly determining from all the living (including Team Mark) it seems Max has a problem.  The gang is really hurting, and this doesn't help.  They continue to fall back towards the truck, with Peaches trying to get Butch into the back.
Get to the Truck!
The zombies try to keep up
"We'll take the truck!  Max get it fueled, Shelly, hold those things up and I'll get it started!"  Peaches yelled as she dragged Butch forward.  As she got to the driver's door, she could see the front of the office building, a different SUV was parked in front.  She saw two figures moving around the corner towards her.
"Hey there!  We're alive, do you need help?" Allen shouted as he saw a young woman dragging an unconscious man forward.
"Max, Shelly!  Help!"  Peaches yelled, raising her machine pistol and taking aim at the lead form by the SUV.
"Drop the weapon lady!"  Horace barked.  "We don't want to hurt you!"
"This is your fault!"  Peaches screeched, dropping Butch to the ground to steady her aim.  "Screw you!"
Max and Shelly ran up beside Peaches, ready to face the new threat with zombies shuffling behind...
Peaches meets Horace and Allen

So I probably didn't run the In Sight check exactly right.  Horace and Allen were out, near their SUV, facing the road.  Peaches moved up to 6" away from Horace, triggering the check.  The whole "unit" of the gang should have been able to move, and I didn't want them to move up piecemeal, each triggering a check (that doesn't seem right according to the rules, either) so I completed the gang move, with them getting the 2" additional move once they reached the same point as Peaches.

As far as a check goes, Peaches decided to go straight to Walk the Walk.  My pictures of the actual showdown turned out...poorly.  You can see the aftermath below:
End of the line for the gang
Allen wasted no time, shooting the crazy woman as she raised he pistol.  She spun around, hitting the pickup truck before crashing to the pavement.  Horace let fly with his shotgun at a punk brandishing a pistol, and some chick with two swords charging at him.  They both collapsed to the ground, the man missing a large portion of his head, and obviously dead.
"Damn!  What was wrong with those idiots!"  Horace said as he reloaded the shotgun.  "I wonder if they knew we were here?"
"Who knows...Watch out!"  Allen replied as a zombie lurched out of the dark and attacked Horace.

The gang lost the in sight test pathetically.  Allen dropped Peaches, getting a kill result right off.  Horace then fired next (Peaches would have gone next, but Allen beat her to the punch) and killed Max, but only stunned Shelly.  Zombies were closing in the gang before, and now had new fresh meat to pursue...
No more gang, plenty of zombies!
Horace cracked the zombie in the head with his shotgun, shattering the skull and dropping the zombie to the ground.  "More zeds coming up the road!"  He yelled, seeing Mark and Dawn coming out of the building.  "There don't appear to be any other people out here."
"Let's start clearing them out!"  Allen said and walked forward, shooting.

Shelly passed 0d for man down, and at her next activation, fled off the board.  I figured she crawled away as the zombies closed in, and with the gunfire, the start of the rain storm and it being night - nobody noticed.  Maybe she could find Cleo and they could get someplace safe...

The team moved forward a bit and started shooting up the horde as it approached.  Mark and Dawn added in after a turn, helping clear out the zombies shambling up the road.
Horace and Allen start down the road
Mark and Dawn join in
Thinning out the horde as the rain starts
Last few zeds
It takes a few turns, but the zeds thin out.  From all the shooting some more wander in, and the team has to face them down as well.  The zombies pin the group by the pickup truck, but not many get to the team.  Luckily, everyone is carrying a melee weapon in addition to their guns.  Even one handed, a bat or a machete makes a big difference in hand to hand.
The zombies die off
Just a few left
With the zombies down, I move to the last PEF, figuring the group isn't going to rest until they feel the area is cleared out.  It gets revealed as an increase in the encounter rating.  With nothing else going on, the scenario ends.
Check out that area over there...
"Well, there doesn't seem to be anything else out here."  Mark said, rain pouring off his head in the dark.  "Let's head back inside, we can check the area when the sun comes up.  Maybe the rain will let up by then."
"Yeah, I don't think any of us want to drive in this weather in the dark."  Allen said, shaking water off his pistol.  "It's raining cats and dogs out here!"
"Its still a few hours until sunrise, lets get dried off and what rest we can until then."  Dawn suggested.
"Sounds good to me."  Mark replied.

The scenario was a success, everyone lived (well, Team Mark lived) and they managed to loot some fuel (I ruled the gas cans had been shot up and spilled during the fighting, so only 2 units) and some more weapons.  They pick up a pair of pistols, a machine pistol, two BAP and two sets of body armor.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

What do we do with this guy?
Butch wasn't infected, but was still OOF, and his whole gang was dead or run off.  Does the team kill him?  Leave him?  Wake him and try to work it out?  Honestly, I am not sure what to do...


  1. Great report some of the cards were highly amusing especially the cos playing Orc and the guy who had a bout of IBS! I wonder what will happen to the survivor of the gang......

    1. The cards went poorly for the human side, but such is life, I guess. Its strange, many times I don't get many (or even any) random events, and then I have a game like this with several in close proximity.

  2. Great scenario yet again, very entertaining and believable if a little harsh on the characters involved (6" night visibility rather than 12" - must have been a new moon!). The number of events seemed well above average and not one seemed to help the humans, but despite everything the team came out on top and rightly so.
    As for the captive, if he survives, the thing to remember is that the Survivours are the good guys !

    1. I was figuring on the gang using the middle of the night to get back to their rides, and the darker time would help with sneaking. It would have worked for them as well, as the zombies were wandering around randomly...until the PEF made a beeline and caused the chaos. I really had planned the gang to be more sneak in/get out - not a shootout!

      I have been trying to keep the team more human, and not just bloodthirsty killers. I am leaning towards leaving the gang leader, with his gear, in the offices when the team departs.

      Maybe he turns up again...

  3. Excellent episode dude.
    When it rains, it pours. Literally.
    Never fight zombies at night, at least "our" gang did OK.
    As for the survivor, questions.

    1. Thanks! I had hoped for more sneaking, less 'zombies chew on gang members' but you make do with what you get.

      As Zabadak pointed out, Team Mark are supposed to be the "good guys". It is still only day 23, I have hard time believing they would kill someone found unconscious in the rain....

  4. Like your story. Lot of suspense and fun.
    Bad luck for the gang....

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. It could have been much different had the gang not encountered the zombies when they did.

  5. That was very atmospheric, though I think that Team Mark are all going to be sleep-deprived for at least the next day - what with the storm and the fight in the middle of the night!

    You know, to start with I felt sorry for Mark &c, having a couple of hard-case gangers and their followers descend upon them in the dark. But then I started to feel sorry for the gangers as they had a really rough time (especially when Butch went OOF), But then my feelings changed again when Peaches opened up on those who had offered to help - screw the gangers!

    If/when Butch does recover, he doesn't know anything about Mark's group, does he? He was unconscious before they were encountered and it was dark...

    1. I was playing the gang as best I could - I didn't just hang them out there, and I felt they had a decent chance of success. The reactions for gangers really make them hard to feel sorry for - they will go to guns very easily!

      Butch has no idea who the group is, where they came from, etc. Of course, he knows the area, and if/when he finds the rest of his group dead, he may react differently...

      Hopefully you keep enjoying the campaign reports. We'll see what trouble the team can get into next...

  6. Awesome Batrep... he might have some useful information for them, or know about somwhere safe? Decisions, decisions!

    1. Well, hopefully he wouldn't just go straight to walk the walk... Maybe he does have some good info, it could be worth a try to see if he will share.

  7. That was most enjoyable! Team Mark came out of it very well with no casualties and a nice cache of loot. It is entirely possible that they don't even know Butch is still out there wounded, given the restriction you placed on vision. Perhaps they'll just leave him be, unaware of his close proximity.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! It didn't turn out how I expected, but things seldom do...

      for if the team even knows about Butch, Peaches was dragging him to the truck, and when the team went back to loot the dead gangers, they would find him. At first, I figured they would just kill him. However, I am going to make the same mistake all "good guys" make in these stories - they'll let him live and we'll see if turns up as a villain...

  8. Wow. SQuarry II was even better than SQuarry I. When fate decided to not let go. It happened to me few times when random encounters kept on coming and none of them good for the team. That is when you know you will have to leave the area asap. For the last ganger, I suppose the group would be sorry for him and leave him alive. This can be a great governor type of opponent (from the Walking Dead tv, not the comics), and maybe will want to kill the b.stards who slaughtered his friends (from his point of view). Looking for the next scenario.

    1. It is odd how sometimes the random events do just take over. I was really surprised the gang took the worst of it. I figured Team mark would get hit by one at least.

      A possible reoccurring villain is why I am considering leaving him be. I also considered him becoming a hero, maybe the fact that someone didn't kill him, makes him just a touch less 'gangster'. We'll just have to see what develops!