Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bridge of Last Resort

"I can see movement on the bridge, I can't tell what it is though."  Allen said as he turned to Mark.  "Judging by the signs, the government shut down the bridges a few weeks ago.  Hopefully they are not still keeping it blocked."
"What if they were killed or turned?"  Dawn said as she looked around the cluttered highway.  "We seem to be attracting attention of the locals..."  Shambling figures were moving down the road towards the idling truck.  "If we're going to cross, let's get going!"
"You're right.  Let's move!"  Mark hopped up onto the running board.  "Allen, let's get out there."
Allen drove around the wrecks on the road, and onto the bridge crossing the Mississippi.

It is afternoon of day 28, the group is trying to cross a major bridge across the Mississippi.  The setup is special, there will be one of three groups on the bridge.  Either the military, a gang or zombies will have control of the bridge.  The middle of the bridge has 5 PEFs, four marked as a 6, one marked as a 5.  Depending on the group that is revealed, each PEF will be something different.  The Encounter Rating is 6, and zombies will appear on a 5+ from noise.  Zombies will not pop up 12" from noise, but instead will enter the middle of a randomly determined road (1-4).

The group needs to exit the opposite side on the bridge, either roadway, just opposite where they started.  Anyone going over the long sides of the bridge is lost, plunging into the river a hundred feet below.  All vehicles are looted, and have no fuel and no chance to start.  Any not 'wrecked' can be pushed by models, up to 2" per model per turn.

In the middle of the bridge
Before the start, I had everyone swap out their weapons for SMGs.  These are the longest range weapons the group has, and if they get in a shoot out with soldiers (yikes, lets hope not) I want to be able to fight from as far away as possible.  Everyone has a BAP as a backup, plus their melee weapons.  I elect to park just onto the bridge area and walk forward to trigger the encounter, at least I won't have a running vehicle generating 6d chances for zombies.
What do we have to deal with?
"Hey!  We heard you drivin' up for like de last ten minutes!"  The sounds of guns being cocked and safeties being switched off echoed in the silence.  "Dis is our bridge.  Nobody gets across wifout a toll."
"What's the toll?" Dawn yelled out, scanning the barricades ahead.
"Just an hour of you time sweetness!"  Laughter echoed out.  "Wit each of da boyz!"
"That's not going to happen!" Mark yelled back, checking his SMG.
"Dead or alive, we'll take you shit and you honey!  Get 'em!"
Great, a gang.
Randomly it comes up to be a gang.  Each of the PEFs that were a 6 become 3 gangers, all armed with pistols, of reps 2,2 and 3.  The central PEF is two gangers, each rep 5, one armed with an SMG, the other a BAP.  They go right to the walk the walk from the meet and greet.
Ganger in sights
The team doesn't score too well.
The in sight checks don't go very well for the team.  However, on the plus side, only the gang leader with the SMG is in range to fire.  He and Dawn were tied, which led to some fun shooting.
Dawn kills the gang leader
He returns fire, but she manages to carry on.
Allen also fired, but didn't hit anyone.  The gang co-leader passed the man down check, and the gang moved out to attack.  The new leader picked up the SMG from the ground and moved forward to cover.  The rest of the gang moved up and commenced firing.  Lower rep figs, even in numbers have a hard time hitting, especially after fast moving and if their targets have cover...
Lots of fire, not much result
The gang rolled 8d, and got no hits.  Too many of them had fast moved, and everyone was in cover.  The group moving to flank was still out of range, and they made sure to spread out to avoid being caught in a burst from an SMG.  I had one group stay put, they were out of range, but if Team Mark moved forward, they would be in range and cover.  From all the shooting, only 4 zombies appeared, one behind the team, where they entered.
Zombies start to arrive
The zombies go first, followed by Team Mark, then the gang will get to go.
The situation looks bad
Bullets dinged off the burned out car body as the hail of gunfire continued.  Mark could see gangers on the opposite roadway moving towards his side, pretty soon they would be getting shot from both sides.  Dawn was coughing and getting up, but with so many gang members so close, eventually their shots would start hitting.
"Stay here, and follow up when you can!"  He yelled and jumped onto the car wreck, running right at the gang.
"What the hell man!"  Allen yelled.  "There's too many of them!  We'll find another way!"
Mark move forward in cover
So there are a lot of gangers moving up on the Team, and a lone zombie behind them.  I considered attacking the zombie, and making a break for it.  I don't think I could get away before the gangers got close and either shot up the truck or the team.  I considered trying to charge into melee, but I figured they would shoot up Mark before he got there.  Looking at his record sheet, it became obvious...
Mark ran forward, pulling the hand grenade from his belt.  This seemed like the perfect time to use it.  As he ran forward, it seemed all the guns were trained on him.  Pulling the pin, he let the handle fly and tossed the grenade over the car.
The grenade had the devastating effect I had hoped.  Two gang members were only partially under the template, so I rolled a 50/50 chance they would get hit, and both ended up in the blast.  Two were killed outright in the blast, two passed 0d for knockdown recovery, and were killed, and two passed 1d, and were out of the fight.  That evened the odds quickly.

Allen stepped up and shot at the gang leader (second one) and hit twice.  He managed to knock her down, and she only passed 1d, going out of the fight.  A couple of the gangers decided to make a run for it and broke and ran (runaway on the man down check).  Dawn elected to let the zombie charge her next turn, I figured she could handle it in melee...
Some gangers run for it
The gangers move up and return fire.  One moves over, grabs the SMG (that's the third person to use it so far!) and in the ensuing fire, Allen is hit but passes 2d and being protected carries on.
They keep shooting
After the explosion and the shooting, 8 more zombies appear.  They cut off all the escape routes for the bridge.
2 zombies block the fleeing gangers
3 more follow up behind the team
The next turn starts with a random event.  Turns out one zombie is not what it appears.
Not a Zombie!
The closest zombie turns out to be a person hiding as a zombie.  I am going to randomize between ganger, survivor or civilian.  I should double check, but it seems this has happened a few times for me.  Maybe I need to better shuffle the deck...
A new person appears.
"Look out!"  Allen yelled and fired.  "That's not a zombie!"  His shot dinged off the hood of the nearby car wreck.
"Hold your fire!"  Mark yelled out.
"I'm not with the gang!  There's zombies right behind me, and I'd like to get across the bridge..."

Allen passed 1d, and had to shoot.  He missed, narrowly (thanks to cover from the car.)  Mark passed 2d, and elected not to fire, and Dawn passed 0d, and could not fire.  Rolling randomly, I find it is a survivor, Juan (Rep 4, armed with a machine pistol and Hard as Nails) once I had that, we did a meet and greet, which Dawn scored 3 successes, and Juan scored 2.  Juan joins team Mark!

Team Mark wins initiative, and fires on the gang.  The grenade really did change the game...
Mark kills the first ganger
Dawn takes one down
Allen takes another down

The last ganger decides to run for it
Somewhere in there, Juan fired and killed one zombie before falling back.
Juan kills a zed
The fleeing gangers crash into the zombies moving between the stopped cars.  I know this is not exactly how the rules follow for "run away" figures (they should just disappear) but with the scenario setup the way it is, they will have to fight their way out.
One ganger doesn't move as fast...
Zombies move on the team
With the gang broken and run off, the team could concentrate on the zombies, and clear the bridge to drive off.  The first issue was the nearby zombies...
Zombies charge Dawn and Allen
The first two zombies charged, only for one to be shot by Dawn, the other killed by Allen in melee.  Meanwhile, the ganger stays locked in melee, and the next ganger decides not to help!
Rather than help in the fighting, the next ganger decides to run for it!
Next turn, Dawn and Allen finish off the zombie
I have Mark and Juan split off to move the truck blocking the bridge.  There are a few zombies moving close to the truck, so I have Juan move gangers out of the way, looting them, as Mark lines up the zombies.  I want to stop shooting so I can limit the zombies appearing.

On that note - I get lucky and zombies appear on the other span, for the gangers to deal with!
Another zombie blocks the ganger
Zombies move on the downed gangers
The wind picked up and the sun disappeared behind the clouds.  Dawn looked around the bridge, and could see only one zombie lumbering close.  In the distance she could see the signs of rain.  "Great, the weather is turning."  She said to Allen.  "Mark, let's get a move on!"  She yelled.

The start of the next turn is a random event.  Looks like rain is heading into the area.
Rain starts in 4 turns
So I need to move a bit faster if I don't want to deal with the rain.  This is okay, as the zombies have gotten close to Mark, and he starts fighting through them.
Zombies attack Mark.
Mark and Juan clear the way
Dawn and Allen take care of the zed

The ganger finally managed to win and knock down one zombie.  finishing it off, she then passed her break away from melee, and made good her escape.  The last ganger tried the same course as the previous ganger, but couldn't quite make it this turn...
Finally gets a break
Not quite fast enough
Mark charged forward, knocking down zombies as the sky continued to darken.  The cool wind carried the smell of rain and the first few drops were already starting to fall.  "Juan, get over to this truck, let's get it moved!"
Juan pulled a pistol off of a ganger, pushing the body to the side.  "On my way!" 
Mark continues to attack
The last ganger fights well, but doesn't make his break from combat roll.  He is stuck on top of the red SUV for another turn...
Ganger keeps fighting
Mark finishes the zombies, Juan gets the truck ready
The next turn starts with another random event.  It has no impact, and Mark and Juan push the truck out of the way.  Allen and Dawn start up the group's truck and start down the bridge.  The rain is just about to start, and more zombies appear on the span the group is using to leave.
With no buildings no real effect
The truck is moved.
Allen drives forward as zombies feast
Just before the rain starts
The ganger is victorious!
"Jump on the truck, I'll be right behind you!"  Mark yelled to Juan as the rain started spattering down.  "I'll help clear the road!"  Mark gripped his bat and ran forward at the shambling forms now obscured by the heavy rain.
Juan grabbed the side of the pickup truck and hauled himself on.  Hitting the side he yelled "I'm on - he's clearing the road!"

After the crash with the SUV, I wanted to make sure everything would be fine with the truck.  Mark ran forward, but didn't get to the zombies.
Mark comes up a bit short
The next turn, the truck moves first anyway, so it was really all for nothing.
Truck vs zombie
Juan fired a burst as they sped by the zombies.  The machine pistol's rounds thudded into the zombie and it fell.  Two more zombies spun off the front of the truck, their bodies spinning off the side of the bridge.  He reached out as Mark jumped up the side of the truck, helping haul him into the back of the truck.  "Glad you made it!"
"Thanks for the help!  Where are you headed?"  Mark asked.  "Maybe we can travel together..."

The truck plowed over the zombies and sped off the board the next turn.  The team had managed to cross the biggest river they had to worry about.

With the successful mission, I checked for keeping it together.  Mark got 3 successes.  Allen and Dawn each rolled 2 successes, and Juan gets 4 success.  Apparently Juan didn't want to go to Minneapolis, so the group stays as Mark, Allen and Dawn. 

The group is entering the outskirts of the city, and have burned a portion of their fuel reserve.  It is decision time, if they try and head straight for Allen's home, find a 'base' and scout the city a bit, or if they try and find any sort of functional authorities.  Hopefully things go well, whatever they choose...


  1. Very nice batrep dude!
    I love your setups, the bridge was a great bottleneck and things could have gone south quickly. Almost there now, unless they detour and scout things out. How much of a functional authority would remain after 28 days of carnage ?
    Can't wait for the next one. Great work dude!

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

      A functional authority doesn't mean they have anything to do with the pre-apocalyptic (is that a term?) government, who knows what might be going on in the city...

  2. Liked that. Bloody, touch and go at times plus a good result. Interesting times ahead for this team. well done.

    1. They got lucky that I found the grenade on the record sheet. I was really worried about the bridge crossing. I have crossed that river dozens of times, and the last couple of times I thought how bad it could be...

  3. And there goes the Mississippi. It was an edgy encounter. It could have been wrong, if not for that grenade. The issue is that the team is not recruiting anymore people. 3 people may be a weakness if in the next encounter bad guys are better REPed.

    1. Exactly! I think they need some help, but the encounters have not been kind in the humans encountered - they have all been gangers or just moved away. I am considering have the team 'scout' and hopefully be able to recruit some more members.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed that. What an exciting and action packed batrep. Great use of the hand grenade which surely helped secure victory from the jaws of defeat.

    1. I had forgotten the grenade, luckily I had it written down on the record sheet. It was going to be tough encounter, I should have been better prepared, maybe try and find some more longer range weapons and some more team members before going across. Oh well, it all worked out.

  5. One other great report. You can thank the Holy one grenade...:)
    I agree with the run away rules. There is more fun playing the run on the table.

    1. One, Two, Five!

      It was a lucky find to get one grenade, now I'd sure like to find more... Maybe I will figure out some sort of rules for a pipe bomb or something...

  6. Entertaining AAR; the gangers were pretty weak only seemingly having their numbers going for them, Juan was a short-lived boost to the group too.
    "Running away" I play out on the table, it makes for a more realistic situation, zombie distraction etc. I'm considering the reintroduction of a chance to rally after running for a turn (probably using the Recover from Duck-back reaction test after a turn of running).

    1. The gangers were lower reps, but I really thought numbers would make up for it. Without the grenade, I think it would have been over for the team - or if the gang leaders (who were higher reps) had been able to accomplish something (besides getting shot) it would have gone bad quickly.

      I am of two minds on "run away" on an open battlefield, where there is plenty of ways to escape, removing the models makes sense - they run and hide, etc. However, they may draw zombies away, or hold them up, or any number of things. I am not sure about being able to rally, but after a turn of moving away, if they were still on the table, having a chance to rally does make sense.

  7. Once again, when you outlined the scenario and the opposition I was left thinking that the party would be in deep trouble. Yet a bit of luck at the beginning, a chance ally and a hand grenade all combined to produce another absolutely thrilling report. Keep 'em coming, please!

    1. So happy to hear you enjoyed it!

      They got off to a good start, and the grenade made a huge difference. Hopefully they won't need it later and not have it...

  8. Really nice to see a very different set-up, great bat-rep!

    1. Glad you liked the setup and report! The narrative is coming along nicely I think.

  9. What a cracking game report. I really like this scenario your layout looks really impressive. It kind of reminds me of Day by Day Armageddon when they are trying to escape a massive swarm of zombies and they use an abandoned tank to cross the bridge and clear a path.

    1. Great to hear you enjoyed it! I had forgotten about that scene in Day by Day, I am sure it influenced me in this scenario.

  10. Very nice! Great idea using a bridge as the game-board!

    1. Thanks! Having crossed bridges recently, I would dread having to cross one during the zombie apocalypse!