Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Bump in the Road

"The radio was reporting that there was a cordon around the city, at the highways.  That means anyone inside the highway loop is going to be left to their own devices."  Cindy sighed.  "They said something about check points at the interchanges."  Cindy finished a can of soda.  "They want people to report refugee centers, at the schools in the 'burbs."

"Well, we can try down Spencer, or Prospect Avenue..."  Mark offered.

"Both of those go west - the airport was a war zone two days ago, and I think we can still see smoke rising out there.  I say we go east, towards the Locks area."  Cindy tossed her can in a recycle bin nearby.  "Besides, I may not have cell service, but I still have an app with realtor codes.  We can get into dozens of empty homes to hole up until we can all get home."

"Sounds fine to me.  I don't know where anything is around here!"  Allen laughed.  "Plus it will be better than sleeping on the floor, or in my truck for the next week!"

"Okay, so we head up Carlton Street and then try and cross the highway at Calumet..."  Mark started discussing their plans, as the sun climbed into the hazy morning sky.

I decided the group would take the rest of day 2 to get to know each other, take stock of what they have and just prepare in general.  This would be Day 3, and start in the morning. 

The group split into two vehicles, Mark and Ben in Mark's red Jeep would lead the way, with Allen and both Cindy and Dawn following in his big rig.  Everyone carries their weapons, a unit of food and everything else is divided between the vehicles.

Before I started, I rolled 2d6, and passed 0.  That lead to a random encounter, which I rolled up as a gang that has setup a road block.  I generated 5 gangers, with 2 cars, blocking an intersection.  They would be hostile, but Team Mark wouldn't attack until attacked (they are still citizens, and they have not had to deal with hostile living people yet.)  There will be no zombies at the start, but 1 +d6 will spawn on every doubles roll.  These will appear in a random section of the board.  If they appear where someone has died, or in the two locations with dead bodies, the zombie will replace the body.  The encounter rating is a 4, and the law is active (they will arrive in 1/2d6 turns after shots fired.)

This looks like trouble
Starting with an in sight test, Mark wins and swerves off the road and stops.  He and Ben bail out of the jeep, and move forward through the car wash and gas station.  Both groups are well out of range of each other, so we start maneuvering towards each other.

Allen and the big rig drive onto the board the next turn, and stop to the right.  Allen's team jump out and head up the alley on the right.

This alley seems quiet
"Maybe this is a check point?"  Ben whispered as he and Mark ran forward.
"I don't think so.  Those aren't cops.  Still, we'll see if they will just let us pass."  Mark suggested hopefully.

Mark Ran forward, and triggered the in sight test again - this time a few figs were in range of each other (everyone has pistols or a machine pistol) and we find out that gangers are not a talkative lot...

Hey, can we just drive through?
Mark poked around the hood of the Hummer, and yelled at the nearest gang member.  "Hey - what's going on?  We just want to get through!"  The answer was a hail of bullets, thudding into the hood and engine of the truck.  "Hell with this!"  Mark pulled out his pistol and fired back.

For once things really went my way.  Two gangers opened fire, one with a machine pistol, the other with a pistol,  They couldn't hit the side of a barn.  Mark shot back on reaction and dropped one, but only stunned him.  On Mark's next activation, he did the same to the other ganger in range.  The police were only two turns away at this point, so Mark decided to try and get into the gas station kiosk/office on his next turn.  The PEF inside resolved as two zombies.  Mark easily handled them in melee.

Never fails that an unfinished building becomes the center of action.
Ben made his citizen brown pants roll, and moved up behind Mark.  From there he fired his shotgun and killed one of the gangers.  The remaining gangers must be fanatics, as they shrugged off the loss of three members and continued the fight.
Ben moved up and exchanges fire
"Ben get in here!"  Mark yelled as the last zed slid to the floor.  I can hear the cops coming, I don't think we want to be on the street when they get here!"
"Gahhh!  Those guys are coming after me!  Don't shoot!"  Ben shrieked and ran.

The next turn, the gangers activated, and one moved to trigger an in sight test.  Ben failed his brown pants roll and ducked back, behind cover by the office.
Citizen Ben, how disappointing.
Meanwhile, over in the alley, Allen's group entered the auto parts store from the back.  They ran into a group of citizens hiding out.  Pleasantries are exchanged, but that's all.  With the police just about to arrive, the group decided to stay with their new friends for now.  Tactically I should have moved out and used Team Allen to fight the gangers, but I didn't want to see everyone arrested.
This is actually inside, not a roof meeting...
Ben recovers and climbs through the window into the store.  Ben fails another brown pants roll, and Mark misses the gangers.  The gangers move up on Mark and Ben, and begin to pepper the building with shots.  The police roll up and get out (and promptly don't activate for two turns) but the gangers keep firing.
Time for the law to assert control.
The three gangers poured enough fire into the building and managed to hit Ben, who went down stunned.  With the last shot, one ganger caught Mark, who also went down stunned.  With cops behind them, I figured the last ganger would move up, either to finish off Mark and Ben (and take the shotgun!) or use them as hostages.  The ganger ran to the door.  The gangers went first, so Ben and Mark recover from their stun.

Shots cracked around Mark, tinging off of the displays left in the store.  Ben groaned and crashed to the floor.  Mark felt a kick in his shoulder and spun to the floor.  The world grew suddenly quiet, and blurry.  Shaking off the cobwebs, Mark saw one of the gangers standing in the doorway, raising his pistol...

Doubles come up, and two zombies wander into the area.
Mr. zed shows up.

The next turn, Mark activated, the ganger missed two shots, and another as Mark charged him in melee.  Mark killed him in melee, right off.  The gangers outside fired again, but missed.  Even seeing one of their own dead, they still decided to stick it out.

More doubles came up, and zombies pour into the streets.  Including the dead ganger right next to Mark.
Here come the dead
The police put one zombie down right away.  The gangers manage to take out one zombie, but the others close in on them.  Mark and Ben decide to just watch from the store.  Mark picks up his pistol and Ben loots the dead ganger.

The zombies shamble forward

The zombies sense food

The undead finally get to the gangers

Officer Daniels faces a zombie
"Wow its gone to hell out there."  Mark whispered to Ben.  "Well, more hell than it has been recently."  Mark was watching the melee outside.  One of the gangers went down under a pile of zombies and the other ran.
"FREEZE!"  Officer McDougal yelled at the ganger as he rounded the sign.  The ganger didn't even slow down.  Firing twice, the ganger dropped to the pavement.

The end of this gang

Officer Daniels falls to the undead.
A couple of turns go by with no activation for Team Mark.  The zombies kill officer Daniels, and Officer McDougal runs for the hills.  Not an impressive showing by local law enforcement.  As the zombies begin to feast, Mark and Ben emerge from the gas station.

"Let's get 'em!"  Mark yelled and charged.  Ben hefted his bat and started to follow Mark.  As he rounded the Hummer, he saw the zombies tearing apart the ganger's body.  The gruesome sight made Ben's stomach lurch.
"Oh God!  What are they doing!"  Ben yelled and ran back, loosing his meager breakfast along the way.

Mark passes 2d for see the feast, and charges the zombies.  Ben only passes 1d, and slumps back to the store.

The dead don't seem so bad after that...
Luckily Mark has turned into a zombie killing machine.  He kills one, and the other two fall to him when they attack on their turn.  Ben rallies, and he and Mark begin searching for keys to the blocking cars.  There are only a couple of bodies available to search, or we have to hope some one left the keys in one of the cars...

My luck doesn't hold, and I am going to have to try and hot wire them.

"Ben!  Hop in to the gold one and see if you can hot wire it."  Mark yelled as he ran towards the truck.  "I'll try this one!"
The gold Camaro fired up, some tune thumping from the car's interior.  Ben smiled as he backed it up through the intersection.  Killing the engine, the streets seemed suddenly quiet.  "They left them in this one!"  Ben laughed as he got out.  "Maybe we should keep it - it seems fast!"
"Do you really want some gangers car?"  Mark asked.  "If these guys have friends, they may not like the idea of you cruising around in it."
Lets move, Ben!
Ben rolls a one for the gold car.  And finds the key in the ignition.  Ben moves the car and he and Mark head back down the street to the jeep.  Meanwhile, Team Allen pile back out of the car parts store, and get his rig running and headed up the street.  As Mark and Ben get back to the jeep, I roll doubles, and more zombies show up.
More Zeds
"Head on Allen!  We'll catch up!"  Mark waved the truck forward as he charged the zombie.
With a roar, Allen's big rig rolled up the street, zombies shambling out of side streets desperate to grab the fleeing truck.
Allen floors it past the roadblock.
This time the jeep starts!
"Hey we got company coming!"  Ben yelled.  He fired a couple of shots from his shotgun, but missed.  "I don't think they want to ride!"
Mark slammed the jeep around, and headed up the street after Allen's truck.

Quite the welcoming committee
Off we go!
Mark ran over one zombie, and managed to keep in control.  It was a short trip to the exit from the board.  

Once they left the board, the scenario was over.  I would call this at least a marginal success, and as it was an encounter between "major" scenarios, I am not going to check for advances, nor will I check for keeping together.  Regardless of the outcome of the next game, Mark will qualify for survivor status afterwards.

Mark zipped up past Allen's truck, taking the lead again.  For just a moment, he thought he saw a policeman running down a side alley.  "Just a few more blocks to the highway!"  he yelled at Ben.  "Let's hope they don't just start shooting!"
"Mark, I'm sorry man, I lost it back there..." Ben was shaking.
"Don't worry about it!  This is crazy, just pull it together and stay with me, we'll get through this together."  Mark reassured Ben.  "All of us together..."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Its Dangerous to Go It Alone

They may not be Mystery, Inc. but the rag-tag band of survivors is coming along.  Here is a quick roll-call:

Mark (Star, Rep 5, Sav 2, Pep 1, Pistol and baseball bat, Logical and Rage) is the leader of our intrepid band, he was a supervisor for a construction company before the apocalypse.
Mark - Batter up!
I used a baseball clix figure (not sure who) and I have added some pouches from Victoria Miniatures.  He is based on a urban base from Secret Weapon Miniatures.  Both companies have some nice stuff IMHO.

Allen (grunt, Rep 4, Sav 2, Pep 1, BAP, Machete, Free Spirit) was the first survivor to join Mark.  He was an over the road driver before the apocalypse - his big rig is available for use.
Allen - Did I break your concentration?
Allen is a Horace Action from Reaper Miniatures.  He is unmodified.

Ben (grunt, rep 3, Sav 1, Pep2, Shotgun, baseball bat, Medic) joined on day 2, when he was found in a garage with a broken car.  He was a med student just before the apocalypse.
Ben - likes the boom!
Ben is a Gallup, zombie survivor from Reaper Miniatures.  He is not carrying the guitar he comes with, but is otherwise unmodified.  His shirt is a rough copy of a Black Ops 2 shirt my son owns.

Cindy (grunt, Rep 4, Sav 3, Pep 1, Sub Machine Gun, Improvised Melee Weapon (Hammer), Initiative) also joined on day 2, when she and Dawn (below) ran into the group near the industrial park.  She was a real estate agent before the apocalypse.
Cindy - Maybe you want to aim?
Cindy is a Wargames Factory Survivors: The Women model.  This model is a straight build from the set.

Dawn (grunt, Rep 3, Sav 2, Pep 1, Pistol, Improvised Melee Weapon (Pipe/club), Logical) was on the run with Cindy when they joined the group.  She was a personal banker before the apocalypse.
Dawn - See, this is aiming!
Dawn is another straight build from the Wargames Factory set. 

The group is going to try and leave the city.  There are roadblocks all over, and law and order has really begun to break down.  At the start of the next game, if they pass 2d, they will go to a check point encounter, if the pass 1d, they will have to approach on foot.  If they pass 0d, there will be and encounter before the checkpoint.

The group is ready to roll!
I hope to get another bat rep up soon, but I did just get Game of Thrones Season 3 on Blu-ray.  That is going to cut into game time this weekend...

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 2, Where To Go (long)

The morning sun came up red on a bleak charcoal cityscape.  Smoke still hung in the air, and the occasional crack of gunfire could be heard in the distance.  Echoing through the streets was the more rare siren of an emergency vehicle, and the moan of the undead.

Allen looked out over the neighborhood.  A couple of shapes shambled along the streets, paying him no notice on the roof where he and Mark had spent the night.  Allen wondered if he would ever make it home.  

They had barricaded the doors last night and felt pretty safe, but Allen worried about his wife and kids.  Minneapolis was still a long ways off, and if this was happening everywhere...  The sound of a truck starting up and speeding off broke his reverie, and woke Mark up as well.

"Anything happening?"  Mark rubbed the sleep from his eyes and walked up to Allen.  The red pickup sped off, into the morning light.

"Nah, its all good.  Just a couple of walkers down there."  Allen took a drink from a plastic water bottle.  "We should check that bar for some more grub.  Maybe look in those garages."  Allen nodded to his left.

"No time like the present I guess."  Mark stretched out a bit, picking up his bat.  "I don't know how long we want to be here, maybe we get some gas from that pickup for the jeep.  We can try and get to my house, its in the burbs - nothing ever happens there..."

"Well, let's see what trouble we can get into around here."  Allen laughed.  "Do you 'spose the bar is open this early?"

This scenario is Day 2, morning.  The objective is to search the warehouses, the truck and the bar (and of course survive!)  The guys are looking for fuel and food, but of course anything at this point might make a difference.  From the previous scenario, they have barricaded the doors to the building they are in.  To start, only one door is going to be opened.  The front door is the one I picked.

Out the Front and into the Street...
Turn 1 started and I generated 3 PEFs.  Two were in buildings, the third was in the ruins of the factory across the street.  I started out moving towards the warehouses, figuring on taking care of 2 objectives as quickly as possible.  There were two zeds in the area between the buildings.  As both Allen and Mark have good melee weapons, I figured starting out quietly was the way to go.

Nice early morning zed fighting
"Let's take these down quick and quiet."  Mark whispered to Allen.  The two of them hefted their weapons, and ran across the parking lot.  Both zombies were standing, swaying in the morning light.  Mark's bat splattered the head of one zombie across the pavement.  Allen ran up to the other zed and his machete split the zed's head like a melon.  Both corpses collapsed to the ground.

First up was warehouse #1 - it had a PEF in it, so almost a guaranteed encounter.  I resolved the PEF and found a civilian.  Apparently he had been hiding in the warehouse all night, because he was eager to join Mark and Allen.  Ben is rep 3, with a shotgun and medic skill.

I can think of worse place to hide.
Ben introduced himself to Mark and Allen as they searched the warehouse.  "I was on campus a couple of days ago when this gross dude crashed through a window and bit this chick sitting there!  I saw the whole thing, that guy should have been dead even before what the glass did to him.  I didn't see anything on the news, and when I went to the physiology prof, he had cancelled class for the week."  Ben checked his shotgun absently.  "I knew something was up.  I came here to get my car, but more of those things showed up, plus I still have a busted axle.  I was afraid I was stuck."

Searching the warehouse yielded a baseball bat, food and meds.  The car will not be drivable, but does have 2 units of fuel for the team.  After the search, the group moved to the next garage.

Let's be careful in there
Only one.  Batter up!
The zombie was knocked down by Mark.  Ben ran in and got his first kill, using the recently found bat, he brained the zed.  With a cool pile of loot, I had hoped for some good stuff.  Instead, all the group found was food.  Disappointing, but still something useful and needed.

The team headed out the back door and towards the pickup truck.  Thanks to some missed activations, one of the zombies spotted Allen, and moved closer.  This actually turned out to be a good thing, although I wasn't paying attention to the PEF at the time...

Always look around...
Allen fired two shots, one knocked the zombie down, but he had missed the head.  "Damn!  I thought I was a better shot than this!"  Allen grumbled.
"I got him"  Mark sprinted forward with his bat at the ready.  The zombie head made a squishing sound as it exploded.  Mark shook off the gunk from the bat and looked up the street, he knew more zombies were around...

Got him.  Ben, do you see something?
More survivors!
The PEF resolved as two civilians.  The first was Cindy (rep4, armed with an SMG, skill:Initiative) the second is Dawn (rep3, pistol, Skill:Logical).  They were moving through the intersection between three zombies.  We were not exactly at a meeting, but I ran the meet and greet at a distance - and gained two more for the band!  So far a very successful scenario.  Now if we can all survive...

"Hey!  Head over here, we can work together!"  Mark shouted.  The zombies milled about the two women, who broke into a run towards the pickup truck.  Soon gunfire echoed around the block, the women fired as they ran, and Ben let loose with his shotgun.

Sound and Fury...
Wow, so I let loose with 13 dice of shooting, and managed to hit only once - Dawn with her pistol.  As it is impact 1, the zombie barely flinched.  Hopefully the dice gods were not going to totally leave me...

On a side note, I elected to not have the police roll up from the gunfire.  It is only day 2, and they should have arrived in d6 turns, but I was playing this as a less populated area of town, and I wanted to see how shooting was going to work for me, so I fudged it this time.

Only a few more zombies
"Get back to the truck, we will fight them off there!"  Mark yelled as the group fired wildly at the zombies around them.  A sense of dread was starting to come over Mark, as if something had gone wrong, and he just didn't realize it yet...

Having a rep 4 leader really helped me activate so much more, it made some of the tactical movement easier.  My shooting didn't improve though.  I love the shotgun, all those dice helped Ben get a kill.  Of course its a lot of noise...

The alley is blocked!

Here come some more friends
Ahh yes, finally a bunch more zombies appear.  Eight more zeds entered the board, with two of them blocking my planned route.  I figured it was time for Mark to earn his star status.

"Follow me - down the alley, and around the building!'  Mark charged into the alley to clear a path.  "And stop firing!  Its just bringing more of those damn things out!"

Two more for the count.
Now I started to move around the abandoned building.  I wanted to limit the approaches the zombies could use, so I could maximize the effectiveness of shooting when the time came (the SMG and Shotgun could hit multiples I figured.)

Of course plans don't always work out quite right...

Move along

The corner looks clear
The zombies didn't activate for two turns.  This would have normally be great, but I needed them to move.  Now I had to wait and hope for decent activations from behind the building.

The horde on the move
Here they come...
So the horde moved towards me, and piled down an alley, where one zombie had gone (I figured they would follow-the-leader in that case) and I had a nice narrow opening to face them one or two at a time.  The first one was knocked down, but not killed.  Then I drew a random event...

I just know who is going to get this...

Mark smashed the zombie down, but as he went for the finishing blow, the bat slipped from his gore-covered hands.  "Crap!  Get around the corner and into the building!"  Mark yelled as he wiped his hands on his filthy pants.  He grabbed the bat and ran after the others towards the corner.

It could have been worse, Mark activated the next turn and the zombies didn't.  I was figuring on getting inside and to relative safety and finishing the scenario as a marginal win, so I picked up the bat and moved.

Which door is open?
It made for a good cinematic moment, but I couldn't believe I had forgotten the door was barricaded.  Even if I spent the time to open it, the zeds would just pour in after me.  Well, onto plan B.
I think they found us!
View from the TV 4 helicopter over head...
I only need to get past one zombie to get to the front.  This seems doable - Allen has a machete, and Ben has a bat, we can deal with this one and run for the front.  Mark can hold for a turn and then we run for it.  If I can get everyone out of sight of the zombies, we have a good chance to get away.

"Allen - take that one down.  Ben, stand by to help out with the group when they come through.  The rest of you get around the front quick!"  Mark set his feet between the building and the heavy dumpster, ready to deal with the zombies...
So far so good.
Mark saw the group piling up around the corner.  The press of bodies threatened to overwhelm him.  Swinging furiously, Mark fought to hold his ground, but felt the pavement slowly slipping under his shoes...
Hold the line!
Again, Mark is going to earn his star status.  I figured a mass of zombies realistically could just run him over.  Not very fun to just let that happen though.  I checked how many zombies could move past him, and rolled a d6 for each one (8d6) versus Mark's rep (4d6) if the zombies scored more, it would work just like losing melee.  If Mark scores more, he stands, but doesn't kill any zombies (he's just holding them up).  It seemed reasonable.

I scored 3 successes to 3 three successes.  I figured Mark held, barely.

Not pushing my luck, I tried to open up the area, Mark fell back and I started shooting.  Predictably, more zombies started showing up.  Things started looking grim.
They're everywhere!

Not how I want to go out.
Step up and..

Put 'em down.
Ben clocked one down with the butt of his shotgun.  Mark was swinging away as the zombies crashed into them.  The zombies were not going to stop.  The crackling of gunfire shattered the morning air, the boom from Ben's shotgun reverberating off the walls.  Mark could feel the hail of bullets stream around him as he pummeled a pair of zombies down to the ground.  As the smoke cleared, and Ben's shotgun clicked empty, everyone had a moment of hope.
The next waves come in.
Maybe its help?

Nope.  Just one zombie from the last PEF
"Go for the front!"  Mark wanted to get off the street.  If they could get past this group, maybe it would be clear.  "Just get inside, but stop shooting!"
Close Combat

Is that a zombie around the side?
Dawn managed to make it to the door.  She found it open, and was about to push inside when a dragging sound came from her left.  A zombie shuffled around the corner, outstretched arms covered in gore.  Yelling at Cindy she ran back up the street.
Any more?

Stop shooting!  Start running!
Even though Allen shot when he was charged, it worked out okay.  He managed to kill one and knock a second zombie down.  The horde was definitely broken at this point.  Now the group moved around the front, with some people going inside, and Mark hanging out front for the last two zombies to come close.
I need a good workout
Mark stood outside yelling at the last pair of zombies.  "Over here you rotten bastards!  I got what you need!"  He clubbed them down and split their heads.  When no more appeared, he figured the area was as clear as it would get.  "Let's hit the bar while its clear."  Mark said from the doorway.  The others all moved out with him.
Maybe we shouldn't split up
The groups split up to search the bar and the two cars parked behind the buildings.  After the first search (luckily no zombies!) I came to my senses and kept everyone together for the last car.  No zombies, thankfully.  I did manage to find a pistol, two units of food, and  two units of luxury items.  the group retired to the abandoned building after this.

The after game checks went well.  Mark advanced a rep, to go to 5.  Very nice.  Allen also increased, going to 4.  Nobody else managed an increase, but everyone decided to stay (Dawn won't have to check after the next, mark more than doubled her successes.)

Mark proved himself a star in my mind.  I am going to have a new 'survivor' fig done for him.  I may do the same for the girls as well.  I realized as I was playing I need to make up some more survivors!  I have several gangers, cops and such, but I have not been making many survivor types.  Luckily I have the the Men and Women sets from Wargames Factory, plus some hero/horror Clix I can convert.

Quite the busy morning!  I figured I would have some trouble, but I didn't expect this.  Still, I more than doubled the size of my band.  The next scenario is going to be trying to get out of the city, although I think they will be using Allen's big rig (its all they have available that will carry them all.)