Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Jack revved the car engine and sped down the highway.  He smiled as the CD played "Long Cool Woman" by The Hollies.  Smiling at Dawn in the passenger seat he laughed "Just like a road trip!  nice breeze and good tunes!"
Dawn looked at Jack and shook her head.  "Just pay attention to the road."
Ethan sitting in the middle back seat leaned forward and pointed ahead.  "There should be a gas station up ahead, near a cheese factory."  Ethan had been through the area, and was helping direct the group to where they might find some fuel.  "It was in ruins, but it had a big tank next to the building, maybe it still has some fuel left."
As the car topped a small hill, the sign from the distant gas station was visible.  Gleaming stainless steel storage tanks were on the other side of the road, denoting the location of the cheese factory.  Jack started slowing the car, steering clear of a tractor sitting in the road.  "Looks like there could be some wrecks in the road ahead."  He said, adding "Looks like some dead heads wandering around too."
The group enters the area
It is afternoon of Day 65, a few hours after the previous scenario.  The group is looking for fuel while heading east.  They are staying on rural roads and away from civilization (or the ruins of it) as best they can.  They have decided to stop at a ruined gas station and possibly a cheese factory (they are in Wisconsin after all) that is located nearby.  It is ER 4, there are 9 zombies and 3 PEFs.

The plan is to drive into the gas station area, deal withe the zombies and PEFs and hopefully get some fuel.  If the team can search the large fuel tank for four consecutive turns, they will find d6-1 units of fuel.  That plus checking the couple of vehicles, I hope to get enough fuel to continue the trip.

Of course the survivors don't activate the first turn.  <sigh>  One of those games, I just know it.
Jack hits the first zombie
Being in a moving vehicle, the team goes first but can't turn except to avoid a collision.  There is a zombie on the road, but I decide to just go ahead and plow it over.  Unsurprisingly, it is killed (bash 5 for the car versus 1 for the zed.)
Jack keeps speeding down the road, towards the wrecks
Struggling with the car, Jack swerved as he felt the hard thump and crunch of the undead as it went under the front wheels.  He kept on the gas, straightening out the sedan as it tried to skid off the road.  He actually managed to grin at the idea of being behind teh wheel again.
"Jack!  That's the gas station we're flying past!"  Ethan yelled gesturing to the right.
Beckie looked out the window, seeing zombies swarming the gas station lot.  "Uhh, guys...I don't think stopping is great idea..."
The first PEF moves up
It's a swarm of zombies!
This turn gets messy quickly, all of the PEFs pass 2d and move to contact the survivors.
Another PEF comes out of the car wrecks
"What the hell?"  Jack said, still driving the car at a breakneck speed along the highway.
Ahead in the back of a smashed pickup truck, a figure in camouflage stood up waving frantically to the car.  "Hey!  I need a lift!"  The man yelled, looking around the area.
We meet Gary
The next PEF is a survivor, Rep 5, armed with an assault rifle and the medic skill.  Meet and greet goes well, Dawn scores 3 successes to Gary's 1.  Sweet!  Medic and well-armed. Just what I need.  The last PEF comes out of the nearby cheese factory.
What is next?
The door to the factory swung open and a ragged group of people spilled out.  Pausing as they stepped into the parking lot, the group drew their weapons and took aim on the red sedan speeding down the road.  Their leader, 'Big John' pointed at Gary standing in the ruined truck.  "Get that bastard!  He's part of that group that killed Leslie!"
A gang emerges from the building
Wow, so what I figured would be zombies is a gang instead.  It is lead by "Big John" a rep ganger with a BAP and Hard as Nails.  There is a second ganger at rep 5, with a pistol, two gangers at rep 4, armed with machine pistols and two gangers at rep 3, armed with a SMG and Pistol.  I know it's a surprise, but the meet and greet goes poorly (both sides score 3 successes) and we go to In Sight checks.
Not so good for the survivors
The gang is a bit better
So this is a big mess of a turn.  I'll try and keep everything straight, but if I miss something, I'm sure you'll pick it up from the pictures.  Resolving the In Sight checks in order, we start with Gary and one of the gangers.  The ganger has a machine pistol, and while he probably should shoot a zombie (that is what is closest) he trades fire with Gary.
Gary kills two and is stunned
Gary manages to kill two with his assault rifle, and is knocked down by the machine pistol from the ganger.  He passes 2d, and is stunned.  All told, it's a pretty good result for the survivors.  The rest of the gang, with the exception of one is out of range to the car.  That makes things a touch easier.
Two gangers kill the nearest zombies
The gangers clear out a couple of zombies, and the last one takes a shot at the car (she needs a 6 to damage it) but misses.
Gang has all fired, time for the survivors to go
So there isn't much for the team to shoot at.  The gang is mostly in cover, although Dawn takes a shot and manages to knock down the leader (but not trigger his hard as nails.)
Dawn manages a hit
Beckie lets fly with her shotgun, into the mass of zombies.  She rolls well and kills two zombies.  I did make a mistake though, she doesn't shoot the nearest zombie.  I didn't catch this until much later, so it is what it is...
Mistakes were made.
The team passes 2d on man down (luckily Dawn adds a leader die for Jack). The gang also passes their man down test and decide to stick around.  Now, the zombies activate to finish the turn.  Whoops, I forgot about them.  Most just get closer, however I missed the one in the road in front of the car.  It saunters over to Gary, who is stunned and unable to defend himself.  Now everyone gets to witness the feast.
One feasts and a few more zombies appear
The survivors finally get to activate and manage to go first.  The zombies will activate second and the gang third.  Rather than face the gang in the open, with zombies close by as well, I decide to continue down the road and get the wreckage between the team and the gang.  Along the way, Jack runs over a zombie and Traci shoots another.  Beckie tries to shoot a few more as well.
Jack runs down one zombie
Traci kills one, Beckie misses
The zombies activate and close on the car.  One charges and manages to fall under the wheels, being crushed.
Silly zombie, charging the car
The gang stays put and shoots at a lone zed
The gang stays put as their leader stands up.  They pass 0d on the NPC movement chart, so do not move.  Zombies spawn from the gunfire and car noise.
More zombies!
Jack saw more zombies shamble from the shattered ruins of the gas station.  Scattered gunfire echoed from the cheese factory, Jack knew there were still some gangers alive over there.  Shaking his head, he punched the gas.  "Looks like we need a new plan!"  He said as the wheels squealed.
"Wait.  We're not stopping?"  Ethan asked from the back seat, looking around the area.
"Not here."  Jack replied.  "Like I said, we need a new plan."
Jack speeds off
Wow, turn three and the survivors don't activate.  They just speed ahead, leaving the table.  Except for all the PEFs, this was a rather short game.

The keeping it together check goes about like the mission went.  Dawn only manages 1 success, everyone else scores higher and would leave.  Luckily Jack and Traci don't have to check, and I decide Beckie isn't going to leave (she's infected and I want to see how that plays out).  Ethan does decide to leave though.  Dawn manages to roll a three for her Rep check, and stays at 5. 

Not my finest hour, but at least Dawn survived and can continue her journey.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Stop in the Country (Part 2)

Jack took a last swig from the can, savoring the warm beer, letting out a small burp.  Tossing the empty can into the kitchen sink, he scattered the various bottles, cans and other junk he had found in the room.  "Nothing good." He muttered, checking his SMG.  Gunshots from the front of the house had slowed, and he glanced out the front door.
"Jack!  Any day!"  Dawn shouted from out front.
He could see everyone shooting in the road out front.  "YEAAHH!"  he shouted as he ran towards the front of the house
Zombies close in
On the next turn, the survivors win initiative.  Jack is coming out of the house, adding into the fighting this turn.  The group moves towards the intersection, I'm trying to get them with open fields of fire, I'd like to make it easier to move around and take down the zombies.
Dawn steps up and shoots
Beckie fires her shotgun at the crowd in the street
Traci runs out and finishes off the crowd
Jack ran down the hallway towards the open front door.  Gunfire echoed from the street and as he ran through the doorway, Jack could see most of the zombies were down.  To his left he could still see one zombie moving in the nearby intersection.  Using the momentum of his run, Jack hopped up and slid across the hood of the red station wagon parked on the street.  As he slid off the hood, he fired twice from his pistol, killing the last zombie.
Throwing a wink and a grin at Dawn, he laughed "That didn't seem too bad."
Dawn shook her head and pointed just past the nearby stop sign.  "It's not over yet."  She replied.
Jack jumps out and adds his fire to the group
With everyone out, they have a great round of shooting, and clear the table of zombies.  It's a rural area, so more zombies appear on a 6 from noise.  Four more appear at the end of the turn.
More zombies appear
Apparently all that shooting was too much for the survivors, as they don't activate the next turn.  The zombies get closer and then win initiative the next turn!
First they move closer...
...and then they charge!
The zombies manage to charge both Dawn and Traci, with three of them attacking Traci.  Traci fires as they approach and kills two with her SMG, leaving just one for her to face in melee.
Traci face down a zombie
Traci fired a long burst into the zombies on the road as they shambled towards her.  She could see another coming towards her from her right, but made sure to concentrate on the two in front of her.  Once they were down she swung the SMG around and clubbed the third zombie just as it's rotten hands brushed against her right arm.
"Yuch!"  She said as the head split open and blackish goo spilled out over her shoes.
Dawn faces a lone zombie
Dawn and Traci handle their zombie opponents in hand to hand.  Once again the table is empty of zombies.  Beckie decides to investigate the station wagon, she finds two zombies inside before she can search it further.
Beckie finds two zombies!
Her shotgun takes care of one
Beckie opened the driver's side door, startled that two zombies started to crawl towards her across the front seats.  Quickly she leveled her shotgun, blasting the drivers head apart in a spray of red-brown gore.  As she pulled out her knife to finish off the second zombie, she felt a pain in her arm as the zombie grabbed her.  She struggled, lashing out with her knife, slashing the zombie across the face.  The zombie kept coming, the two struggling and slowly moving into the road.  Finally, Beckie jammed her knife down into the head of the zombie, dropping it lifeless to the pavement.
"Are you okay?" Dawn asked as she glanced at Beckie covered in gore.
Hesitating just a second, Beckie shook off a chunk of gore onto the ground.  "Yeah, I'm fine."  Beckie replied, looking at her scraped arm, already feeling a burning in her wounds.
Beckie is infected
Beckie wins the combat, but does loose one round.  She fails the infection test, and is slowly turning into a zombie.  I decide to make it a horror movie moment, Beckie doesn't tell any one.  I give everyone a savvy check to tell if she is infected, and will each time she gets worse.  Beckie will roll here people skill (4 dice) and everyone will roll their savvy.  Whomever scores the most either figures it out or hides it.  (Hopefully this makes sense.)

This will make the game a bit more interesting...  Using the new rules from Fade To Black, the infection will spread each time doubles come up for initiative.  It may happen quickly or slowly, depending on how often doubles come up.  While it requires more tracking, I rather like the feel of this rule, versus just d6 turns.

On the positive side, the car has 2 units of fuel and the keys are in the ignition.  At least we get that out of dealing with the zombies.
One zombie appears from the shooting
On the next turn, I test out this system with a random event.  At least the random event works in the survivors favor!
That will help a bit
Beckie rolls three successes for 'hiding' her condition.  Nobody manages to match that, so Beckie hides her infection.  Thanks to the event, there won't be any more zombies appearing from gunfire.  That should make the rest of the game a bit easier.
Dawn shoots the lone zombie
Beckie searches the ruined van
They find nothing in the van, and move onto the yellow hatchback.  There is a lone zombie inside, which Traci takes care of. 
Checking the yellow car
They don't find anything of interest in the car, beyond the zombie they kill.  Moving on, they check the red SUV.  They manage to find a unit of food.  Nice to get lucky with some searching for once.
The SUV is empty
This is getting boring.  Dawn and Traci head into the church.  Finally something interesting happens...
Oh, hello.
"Hey, just take it easy there."  A young man said from behind the altar as Dawn and Traci entered teh small church.  "Let's not kill each other here."
Dawn and Traci covered him as he stepped out, holding his pistol low and away.  Both women cautiously lowered their weapons as well.  "Well, cutie, what's your story?"  Traci flirted with the stranger as Dawn sighed and shook her head.
"I've been trying to find a place to stay as far away from the FEMA camps and the military.  You guys passing through?"  he asked looking out the doors at Beckie and Jack.
"Yeah."  Dawn answered. "We're heading east, to a farm I have friends at."
Traci flashed him a smile.  "We could use more help, if you want to come along!"  Traci asked in her best bubbly voice.
"Sure!  The name is Ethan."  He replied.  "I'd love a place to go."

Entering the church, we find a Rep 4 survivor, armed with a pistol and with the attractive attribute.  The meet and greet goes well, and Ethan joins the group.  There is one more building to check out, and then we can move on.
Approaching the garage
"Hey we may be in business!  Check out those fuel tanks, I bet we can get gassed up here."  Jack said pointing at the fuel tanks just outside the garage.
"Open up the door and let's see what we can find."  Dawn said pointing at the large roll-up door.  Ethan stepped forward to grab the door when they heard movement from the roof.
"Stand down!"  A voice called from the roof.  "Step back and drop your weapons!"
Everyone looked up and kept their weapons ready as two soldiers appeared on the roof, armed with assault rifles.  Dawn yelled back "We'll leave, but we're keeping out weapons!"
The two soldiers glanced at each other, whispering about orders and missions.  Finally one of them gestured towards the road and yelled out "Just move along!  Stay away from the area and away from the military patrols!"
Military patrol?
An odd group to find, but the garage has two military personnel inside.  They are on some sort of mission, and from the meet and greet, they advise the group to move on.  I briefly consider walking the walk, outnumbering them 5 to 2, even though they are both rep 5, makes me at least consider it.  I figure they will tear up the group pretty bad even if Dawn and the team survive, they won't get that much out of attacking them.  Instead the group gets the station wagon and gets the fuel from the black sedan, before leaving the area.
Driving on east
The group decides to stick together, while it was mostly a successful mission, it is considered a failure for Beckie and Dawn.  Everyone manages to stay together on keeping it together, with Jack and Traci not needing to check after the next game.

The car rumbled to life, the stench of death slowly getting better as they drove with windows down.  Jack checked the radio, finding a CD still loaded, someone's idea of a road trip mix started up, and Jack smiled as they drove along the highway.  "Not bad!  Sometimes life is pretty good, right guys?"
Ethan shifted a bit uncomfortably in the middle back seat, but replied "It's better than walking!"
Beckie shivered in the seat next to him, the summer heat lost to her as what felt like broken glass pumped through her veins.  "Sometimes..."  She mumbled.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Stop in the Country (Part 1)

Dawn looked over at Jack, shaking her head as she saw him watching Traci checking her SMG.  Glancing at Traci, Dawn shook her head at the girl's skimpy outfit.  Clearing her throat Dawn mentioned "You don't need to wear that you know."
Traci slapped the magazine home in her SMG, holding it in her right hand and striking a pose with her left hand on her hip.  "This was one of my favorite outfits at the club.  Besides it's hot as hell, I'm not sweating my ass of like you are in all that leather you have."  Traci blew a kiss towards Jack and slung her weapon as she gathered up her backpack.  "Besides Jack doesn't seem to mind, why should you?"
Jack laughed and raised his water bottle in a toast to Traci.  "Wear whatever you want, I won't complain, especially if you want to look that good!"
Dawn shook her head.  " I don't care what you wear, I'm just saying you don't need to dress like a stripper if you don't want to."
Traci paused, looking over at Beckie who was finishing up a bottle of water from breakfast.  "Beckie told me that when we got out that club, didn't you Becks?"
"Damn, just leave me outta this."  Beckie replied.  "If we are heading to some farm, let's get going.  It's already hot and I want to get moving again."
"Good idea."  Dawn said, putting her own pack on.  "Let's go."

It is day 65, morning and the group has moved east towards Ella's farm.  The group have been hold up in a ruined building for a few days, getting to know each other and figuring out a plan to move east.  The area is rural and has an ER of 3.  Zombies will appear on a 6, and 7 zombies are active on the board to begin with.  There are three PEFs on the table as well.

As usual, I am using very tight ammo and scarce looting house rules.  These are pretty standard in my campaign now, as the time moves into months after the outbreak. It makes it tough, but it is a more survival oriented game.

From the previous game, Jack has lost his SMG.  He is now using a BAP as his main weapon, and has a pistol as a backup.  Finishing up the two new survivors, I found that Traci had a luxury item as well as her SMG.  Beyond the guns, both Beckie and Traci have improvised melee weapons as well.  The group is down to two units of food, one unit of fuel, one unit of meds and everyone except Beckie has a luxury item.  They need to find 4-5 units of fuel to keep moving east with the sedan they have.
A new day dawns!
Stepping out into the morning light, Traci walked to the front of the sedan as she scanned the road for zombies.  As everyone filled in behind her she heard Jack groan in disappointment.  Glancing back she asked "What's going on?"
"Well that's just great."  Jack said and pointed at the rear tire on the passenger side.  It was flat, the car wasn't going anywhere.  "Let's hope there's a car we grab around here."
What a start.
We start out finding the car has a flat tire and isn't going anywhere.  It still has one unit of fuel, so there's that at least.  When the turn finally starts, all three PEFs close on the group.  One gets revealed as it exits the nearby garage.
What is coming next?
As Traci stepped into the road, the door of the garage across the street slowly opened and banged shut.  She paused, looking closely for any threat from the building.  Nothing came out of the doorway and she focused on the zombie in the road ahead of her.
"That was creepy!"  Dawn said from behind her.  "Take out that zombie, we'll all cover you."
Traci takes aim
The first PEF turns out to be nothing.  Traci moves up to shoot the zombie in the road and triggers another PEF.  It turns out to be 'Something Out there' and the ER is increased to 4.  Traci fires at the zombie, and manages to run out of ammo.  What a way to start!
Dawn charges the zombie in the road
Dawn charges the lone zombie and kills it easily.  The rest of the team moves up, I want to be ready for the nearby PEF if it decides to pop out.
Ready for trouble
Beckie watched the ruined house, hearing a creaking from the upper story.  As she watched, a few loose shingles slipped from the broken roof.  A creek and scratching sound echoed from the building.  "Watch out!  Something's moving!"  Beckie yelled.  Traci worked to reload her SMG and everyone else stood ready for whatever was coming from the house.
With a loud 'CAW' a large black crow scrabbled out and flew into the summer sky.  Everyone relaxed, realizing nothing was there.
Jack laughed and gave a shrug and grinned at Traci.  "Well, sweetie, you don't need to worry about reloading for that!"
Slapping in a fresh magazine, Traci gave a smirk back at Jack.  "I think I can handle myself."
"Enough you two.  There's more zombies to deal with, pay attention!"  Dawn yelled.
The PEF moves out
The final PEF turns out to be nothing.  Whew.  Traci manages to reload, but if she runs out again this game, she is out of ammo.  they move forward, getting into position to shoot up the zombies as they stumble forward.
Moving towards the house
The next turn the zombies don't activate, so I take the chance to investigate the house.  Dawn leads the way into the ground floor, kicking open the door.  I am using a generic house layout for the interior, each room has a chance for zombies, using a draw from the risks and rewards deck.  In addition, I will roll for zombie spawns inside the house.
Dawn leads the way into the house
"Everyone, let's check the house before those zombies attack!"  Dawn yelled, jogging to the front doors and kicking them open.  The dark humid interior smelled of something rotting and the faint tang of spilled blood.  "Be careful in here!"  She added as she ducked inside.
Dawn enters the living room
Dawn heard rough shuffling from ahead as she passed a pair of recliners in the living room.  Watching ahead, Dawn saw pictures of a happy family, kids at play and a family vacationing at a beach.  She paused looking at the images of a world gone, momentarily feeling grief for a life she wouldn't have a chance at.  The door creaking open from Traci entering behind he snapped Dawn back to the present, and she moved ahead.
Dawn finds two zombies
Everyone checks the house
Dawn fires twice and misses, Traci fires and manages to kill one zombie.  The shots bring out two more zombies, and the next turn the survivors go first.  Dawn charges the zombie she missed, with Beckie and Traci shooting up the other two zombies.
More zombies appear
The zombies are put down
 With the ground floor clear (no more zombies appear from the shooting) everyone spreads out to search.  Jack manages to find some food in the kitchen.  Beckie gets lucky and finds a luxury item by matching with Carolee (she counts as an automatic match for anything in the deck).
Everyone searches
Dawn glanced out the front and saw the zombies coming closer.  "Time's up!  Let's head back out there and take care of the ones on the road."  Dawn pulled her machete and ran out the front door to attack the zombies.
Dawn charges the closest zombie
After a couple of turns, the ground floor has been searched.  I decide to head out, I want to check the vehicles and see if I can find a new ride for the group.  Dawn leads the way, with everyone else following up... eventually.
Traci takes a shot
Beckie's shotgun clears a chunk of the street
Jack watched everyone run out the front door.  Pausing as he heard gunfire, he opened the refrigerator door and pulled out the can of beer he had found earlier.  "Might as well enjoy this while I take another peek around here." he thought as he heard Dawn yelling about a last zombie.  Taking a swig, he looked through the junk from one of the drawers, hoping for something valuable.
Jack's greed keeps him in the house
Jack spends an extra turn searching the house thanks to his greed attribute.  I roll a 1 for the number of extra turns, so I am not going to worry too much.  Yet.