Sunday, September 4, 2016

Things Fall Apart, Part 2

Dawn looked around the cemetery, the long grass hiding more than monuments and head stones.  Zombies seemed to spring from empty fields.  Rising slowly out of the tall grass, zombies were appearing in greater numbers than she expected.  "We need to get moving!" she yelled, waving Jack forward.
"I hear ya!"  Jack yelled back.  "Looks like we've drawn a crowd!"  He yelled as zombies shuffled through the nearby open gates.

Zombies surround the group
Previously, the team had gotten strung out as they tried to move through the cemetery.  They had just moved into the cemetery and had a rather poor turn of shooting.  Brenda is stunned having just first seen the feast.  Not a great situation, but not too bad either.  The next turn, however, the survivors do not activate.

Zombies shambled forward, outstretched arms reaching for the living.  Screams echoed from the cemetery entrance, where Brenda huddled in fear.  Dawn's face paled as she watched the zombie grab Brenda, who couldn't fight back.  Dawn felt the horror creep over her as she saw the attack, but a groan from nearby brought her attention around to a zombie trying attack her too.  "Not today."  she said, leveling her handgun and firing into the head of the zombie.

Zombies charge Dawn and Brenda
Zombies charge Jack and Joyce
Things really go sideways this turn.  The zombies swarm into the survivors, and the damage is done.  Brenda is stunned, and cannot defend herself.  She is killed outright.  This triggers 'man down' checks, which Tina fails completely, and decides to 'run away'.  Everyone else passes the check.  Joyce fails her brown pants check, tries to break off from combat and ends up fighting in melee as if she was unarmed.  The three zombies make pretty short work of her and she is killed.  Jack and Dawn both fire before melee, Dawn killing her attacker and avoiding hand to hand.  Jack kills one, and faces two in melee.  It takes a couple of rounds, but he ends up winning in hand to hand combat.
Things go bad
Very bad
This was one of the worst turns I have probably ever had in ATZ.  Brenda is dead, Joyce is dead and Tina is running away.  Dawn and Jack are separated by about 10", with 5 zombies between them as well.  They are going to need to stick together to get out of this alive.  

The next turn, the survivors activate, but the zombies do not.  Tina runs off right away, hopefully she'll show up after this game is over...  With so many zombies entering the cemetery, it really only leaves the opposite side open for Jack and Dawn to escape through.  There is a search marker on the way, with five left to reveal, I decide it's worth the risk to expose it.
Well, that stinks...
"Head towards that shed!"  Dawn yelled, running and dodging zombies trying to grab her.  "We'll get around the wall and head for the street!"
"Great, haul ass!"  Jack yelled back, kicking over a dead zombie as he jogged forward around a tombstone.  Movement ahead of him near the shed made Jack stop.  "What the hell?"
The door swung open and a woman came out with an assault rifle raised and aimed at Jack.  Two other men emerged from the shadows around the shed, weapons leveled and ready...
The search marker is an ambush, and three random gangers (all rep3) appear and we go right to in sight checks.  The gangers are armed with an assault rifle, shotgun and machine pistol.  Yikes!  That's a lot of firepower.  The in sight checks go better for Dawn and Jack, but they are still outnumbered.
In Sight Dice
Dawn skidded to a stop as she saw the guns pointed at her and Jack.  The gangers looked desperate and she didn't even think about what they might want.  Raising her pistol, Dawn drew a bead on a woman in a ragged jacket and fired.  The moans of the zombies were quickly replaced with the chatter of gunfire in the late afternoon air...
Dawn fires first
Dawn gets three successes in the in sight face off, and fires first.  She fires twice, hitting the woman with an assault rifle once.  She doesn't kill her, and the ganger passes 2d on her knocked down check and is stunned.  Jack and the ganger with a machine pistol both have two successes, and will shoot at the same time.
They each take three shots
Jack kills his target with one of his shots.  Jack is hit and not killed by the ganger.  Jack manages to pass 2d on his knocked down test, and is stunned, but alive.  The remaining ganger fires his shotgun at Dawn, getting two hits.  One is a knock down, the other is a kill result.  Dawn is hard as nails and it changes to knocked down instead.  She passes 2d on two checks, and being protected, carries on.
Shootout in the cemetery
Dawn felt the buckshot slam into her vest, a pellet grazing her right arm, drawing a line of fire across her bicep.  Crashing to ground she let out a yell of pain.  "Bastard!"  She screamed, rolling over and fixing the shooter with a fierce gaze.  "You're dead!"
Fumbling with the pump action on his shotgun the ganger's face went pale seeing Dawn unfazed by the shotgun blast.  Fearfully he reloaded and aimed at Dawn...

Eight more zombies arrive from the shooting.  The gangers pass their man down checks, and will stick around.  The next turn, Dawn and Jack activate first, then the zombies and the gangers do not activate.  There is a huge mass of zombies closing on Jack, who will still be prone when they attack...
Dawn is NOT leaving a friend to die
Black spots ran across Jack's vision and his head ached.  A burning in his side told him he was alive, but also where the bullet had hit his ribs.  Focusing on his SMG, he picked it up, barely able to get to his knees.  Suddenly the setting sun was blocked out by Dawn standing over him, firing her pistol.  She was yelling at Jack, but all he could focus on was the swarm of zombies stumbling over each other just behind her.
"Run!  Get out of here!"  Jack yelled at her as she turned towards the undead.
"Not a chance!"  She yelled back, attacking the zombies as they lurched forward.  "Get your ass up and moving!"
Is this the end?
Dawn could have run away and probably made it without much effort.  No way is she leaving a friend to die if she could help out.  I have her move just past Jack and fire at the last standing ganger.  She gets a hit and an outright kill.  Eight zombies are going to charge her and Jack.  This is going to be a messy melee, and one that I am not very clear on how the rules handle.
I figure each round she manages to win, she can keep the zombies off of Jack.  Otherwise he will have to fight a round of melee with two zombies.  I'll have both his and her melee fights going simultaneously, and it is crazy confusing to try and write up!
Two zombies get shot!
Dawn manages to kill two zombies by shooting them to start the melee.  The first round of hand to hand has the zombies rolling 8d, Dawn rolls 7d.  She ties the first round.  The second round she loses by 2.  This reduces her rep by 1 and we go to another round.  Two zombies now attack Jack, who rolls 5d (rep 4 plus weapon) but the zombies roll 6d (+2d for Jack being prone)!  Jack ties his first round.
The next round Dawn ties again.  Jack loses by 1.  He isn't killed, and loses 1 rep, now rolling 4d.  Dawn manages to kill one zombie the next turn, taking some heat off of Jack.  Jack loses again by 1, dropping his rep again by 1 (now rolling 3d)!  Dawn ties the horde again (7d vs 7d) and Jack loses for the last time, going Out of the Fight.  Dawn finally wins a round the the next round, by 2.  The zombies win the next round, reducing her rep by 1 again, but then Dawn wins the next two rounds, by 2 and by 4, finishing off the zombies finally.
After a brutal fight
Dawn wiped the back of her hand across her brow.  Blood and ichor was splattered on her from the fighting she just finished.  Her left arm was sore, and she was afraid her shoulder was sprained.  Kicking over a dead businessman, Dawn heard a low moan and cough from Jack's prone form.  "Well, you're alive." she said, exhausted and surprised.  "Let's hope we can stay that way."
Looking around, Dawn saw dozens of zombies moving towards her and Jack.  Giving her aching body just a moment to protest, she grabbed Jack and started for a nearby fence.  "We came this far.  Let's hope neither of us have been bitten..."  she grunted and slowly walked away with Jack's unconscious body.
More zombies appear...
Dawn rolls a 6 for her infection chance.  She is not infected.  Jack manages a 5, and just dodges infection as well.  Now Dawn is dragging Jack, I'm trying to get to a board edge, and preferably not the same one I entered from.  The next turn Dawn goes first, then the zombies, then the remaining survivor.  First though doubles come up, which indicates the sun is setting, plus a random event.
Not very helpful
The only remaining grunt is the ganger.  If she gets to act, I'll treat her like a star.
Dawn moves away, but the zombies follow
Dawn moves towards the edge, but I can't quite get off the table.  The zombies follow along, plus finish off the ganger, who is just recovering from her stun.
Dead gang
Dawn manages to win initiative the next turn, and can easily escape the board.
Sometimes surviving is a victory...
Daylight was fading into darkness, Dawn dragged Jack to a small utility shed.  The shuffle and moan of the undead seemed just behind them.  Hoping for the best, Dawn pulled open the door to the small shack, finding it empty except for a small workbench, various garden tools, supplies and a riding lawnmower.  "This will do."  She muttered, pulling Jack inside and closing the door behind them.
Minutes passed into hours and the zombies lumbering about in the darkness didn't bother with the shed.  Dawn spent a long night keeping an eye on Jack and trying get some sleep.  As the first purplish light of sunrise shown through the small window of the shed, Jack coughed and sat up.
"We ain't dead?"  He almost laughed and winced as pain lanced through his chest.
"Not yet."  she whispered back, grim and depressed.
Jack looked at her gore-cover form and smiled back.  "Honey, you look like hell.  When it's light, let's get out of this shack and put some distance between us and this god-forsaken town."
"You want to stay together?"  Dawn asked, looking surprised.  "I have made some bad decisions, maybe you'd be better off withou-"
"Horseshit."  Jack cut her off.  "I'm with you 'til the end now."  Jack spit out a bloody chunk of phlegm.  "I'd have done the same in your shoes, besides, I figure I owe ya."

I roll the normal post-battle recovery check, Jack recovers, but Tina never reappears.  The keeping it together roll was tough.  Dawn rolls 1d, versus 2d for Jack.  She gets 1 success, he gets 0.  At least they'll stick together for a bit now.  I roll to see if either of them loose rep, but they roll a 3 and 4 and don't drop.

Now they need to figure out where to go next.


  1. Brilliant! Love the cemetery setting too.

    1. Thank you! I wish the cemetery hadn't been such a sign of how things were going to go...

  2. What a bloody game, brilliant! Nice write up mate and really tense

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Playing through it felt like it could be the end. I'm glad it wasn't, but it still was pretty brutal.

  3. Oof! That was a bad day, for sure. As if a graveyard full of moaning undead wasn't bad enough, you then have to stumble on some psychotic, heavily-armed kids.

    1. You're right, it was a bad day... I thought the gang ambush was going to be the end. Hard as nails pays off again. At least Jack and Dawn survived, so things can continue.

  4. Great to see you posting again. A brutal game indeed - after a few nasty experiences my own survivors were pretty much moving back to back at all times!! Spreading out has its own advantages but not this time, the poor blighters...

    1. Thanks! The holiday weekend here in the US gave me a chance to get more game time in. I made mistakes this time, and the group paid for it. I should have just kept the team split up, and grouped up instead of in a skirmish line. Well, at least some survived!

  5. Well that was a bit more brutal than I'd anticipated, Dawn's bit of luck from part one soon dissipated into nothingness and I did think that at one point she was finished.
    Great write-u.

    1. When your luck runs out, it runs out I guess. I know better than to let the survivors get spread out like that. I pushed their luck just a bit too far. It was funny because just as the last turn ended before the disaster, I thought about the zombies getting a free turn, or even initiative. Just a bit late. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Sometimes it turns out way~ differently than expected. It was a very tough game. It feels that Dawn and Jake will have a tough time in the next few games.

    1. It was a better ending for a bad day, but still a bad day. We'll see if things improve for them...

  7. Love to know what happened to Tina...