Monday, March 24, 2014

Won't You Be My Neighbor (Part 2)

The police made a cursory inspection of the house, covered the bodies up and ran crime scene tape across the front door.  The cruisers hit their sirens and lights maybe half an hour after they arrived, speeding off on Farmstead Drive, no doubt responding to another emergency.
"They seem to be gone."  Cindy said as she looked back from the front windows.  "We should check out the rest of the neighborhood, maybe even see what's left next door..."

"Sounds like a good idea, same plan as before?"  Mark replied as he finished off a bottle of water.  "Anyone object?" 
"Nah, let's go see who is out there!"  Allen was excited to get back outside and explore the neighborhood.  "Hopefully we can find some information about what has been going on."
Early Afternoon starts out
Three PEFs are the only other figures on the board.  One is rep 6, one rep 5 and the other is rep 3.  They are scattered around the house the group is using as a base.  Once again, Mark will be running on his own, Allen and Dawn will be a group and Cindy and Ben will be another group.  Zombies (1+d6) will appear on the first doubles roll equal to or less than the encounter rating (which is 3) and a random event will occur on any double 6 roll.

At the start all 3 PEFs roll to approach the group.  The first raises the encounter level (to 4) and the second PEF reveals a lone zombie.  The last PEF is hidden just behind a tree, next to the group's starting location.
Did you hear something behind us?

Looks like a lone zombie
" Head for houses, I'll take care of our friend."  Mark said as he looked at the zombie.  He heard a rustling in the trees next door.  "I'll see what's happening in the trees too."

Mark moved into the trees, and resolved the last PEF - another increase in the encounter rating (now 5).  The groups moved out towards the homes.
Turns out to be just nerves

Moving up the road
Double 6's come up, and I draw a random event.  It seems the zombie is actually another citizen.
Its one way to stay alive
"Don't Shoot!  I'm alive!"  A young woman, who had appeared to be a zombie and dragging a golf club behind her suddenly yelled from the intersection.  "I'm looking for help!"
"Are you from around here?"  Mark yelled, somewhat wary.
"No, I have been trying to find a place to wait this out."  She yelled as she approached Mark.  "My name is Ella by the way."
"I'm Mark.  Nice to meet you!"

The meet and greet goes well, and Ella joins the group.  Doubles come up and 4 zombies enter from the board edge.  Mark meets up with Ella, and prepares to face the group of zombies.
A zombie skirmish line
Mark can't move far enough to charge the zombies, so I make sure he is positioned to be the closest target for the charge, keeping the zombies from getting to Ella.

Meanwhile, Allen and Dawn get no response at 1217.  They do manage to get two newspapers for the information check though.  Cindy and Ben move on to 1215 Woodstock Lane.  They knock, but the front door is open.
This seems like a bad idea
"Its open, let's check it out!" Ben said happily.  "Hello!  Anyone home?"  Ben yelled as he stepped inside.  "See - nobody is home!"
"Look out!"  Cindy screamed as a zombie shambled into the front room.  Ben yelled and ran out the front door as Cindy charged the zombie.  "Get back here!"  Cindy yelled after him.

The owner shambles in
I am using my dungeon tiles from Dwarven Forge.  I have a ton of these from years ago (I use them for Dungeons and Dragons and any other fantasy or any interiors, really) so the home isn't decorated in late medieval style, if you were wondering.  The various furnishings are from toys I have found at the local secondhand store.  I am going to setup each house on a separate table as I need them.

Ben fails his Citizen brown pants roll, and ducks back, just outside the front door.  Cindy charges the zombie, as others start shuffling in from other parts of the house.
Ben Hides outside
Meanwhile, Mark fought the approaching zombies in the street.  He could only knock two down, not killing them right off.  The other zombies continued to stagger forward towards Mark.
Mark fights in the street
Keep knocking them down
A deep groan echoed from the kitchen, and another zombie staggered around the corner.  Cindy yelled for Ben "Get back in here and help me deal with these things!"
Ben wiped sweaty palms on his jeans,his hands shaking so bad he couldn't grab his shotgun.  "They'll get me!  They'll get us all!"  He cried.
Ben fails to recover

Cindy knocks another zed down
Mark and Ella move to 1216 Woodstock, knocking on the door.  Finding a family home (5 citizens) and they make a peaceful contact.  Normally the result would have been a 'join' if asked, but I figured nobody would leave home to join some random folks with guns.  If nothing else, the groups can trade with each other, or help out.

Allen and Dawn move on to Springfield Road, having found two sources of information, but nothing about the house at 1217.  Mark and Ella also gain some info at 1216 while talking with the neighbors.
New neighbors

Allen and Dawn move on
Cindy keeps trying to convince Ben to come back into the house.  Zombies keep interrupting her, as another one stumbles down the stairs.  He keeps remaining ducked back.  I decide to send Mark and Ella over to help him recover (use some leadership!)  Cindy scores an evenly matched on the last zombie, and combat continues.

"Ben!  Get your ass in here or the zombies won't be what you need to worry about!"  Cindy yelled as the dead hands tried to drag her down.
Ben shivered as sweat poured from his body.   Looking around he couldn't believe the zombies weren't just waiting for him everywhere...  "I...I...Can't"  he mumbled.
Cindy faces off with yet another zed
Allen and Dawn heard signs of movement from the house as they knocked on the door.  It was locked, but it sounded like someone coming to the door.  "Hey!  Finally someone's home!"  Dawn said as the garage door creaked open behind her.
"My god!  Look out!"  Allen pointed behind Dawn as two zombies staggered into her.  With a crash a third zombie came out the front window and grappled with Allen.  "Dawn! Watch out!"  Allen struggled with his attacker as he watched in horror as Dawn was knocked to the ground, and the two zombies collapsed on top of her.
The zombies sense a dinner
Things go bad in two spots.  Allen and Dawn are surprised by the zombies, and Dawn is knocked down (luckily not just killed) by the second zed, after scoring an evenly matched on the first.  Allen fights to an evenly matched result as well.  Meanwhile, Ben finally blows his recovery roll and runs away.  Mark and Ella don't make their fast move rolls, and end up at the door to the house - just in time to see Cindy knocked down by the zombie she was fighting.
Where is Ben?
"Gahh!" Cindy screamed as the zombie clubbed her head.  As the world went dark, she saw Mark running up, but felt the scrabbling fingers of the zombie on her legs.  "Help..." she croaked out.

Mark charges the zombie the next round.  Cindy makes her recovery roll, and is only stunned.  At this point, I elect to check for infection at the end of the scenario (okay, actually I thought that was when I was supposed to.  Oops!)  Ella and Cindy meet, and Mark asks about Ben, who has vanished.

Dawn recovers from her stun, and Allen still struggles with his zombie, staying evenly matched.  The zombies get initiative, and Dawn manages to stay evenly matched (even though prone!)  Allen goes a third round of evenly matched (that was getting ridiculous!)

Allen wrestled the zombie, spinning in place.  The zed's foul breath stank like week old meat, left in the sun.  As they turned, Allen saw Dawn thrashing on the ground, kicking out and heaving the zombies away from her.
Finally, with a snap, Allen broke the things neck, and bashed the head into the house, killing it.  Quickly turning around, he found Dawn standing over one remaining zombie.
"Damn girl, you are a bad-ass!" Allen grunted as he moved over and helped finish off the last zed.
"Aww, I just got this outfit clean!"  Dawn complained.  "Looks like more laundry when we get back home."
Allen and Dawn finally finish the last zombie
With no more zombies, I take a couple of turns to loot and reorganize.  I pair up Ella and Cindy (they find keys to the SUV in the garage, load it up with stuff and head for home) and Mark heads off to join Allen and Dawn to check the last house.  Each group also grabs some info/newspapers along the way.  I have not been paying attention, and I don't know if I have 6 different ones.  I was gathering the papers off to the side, so I was going to continue to gather info before I ended the game.
Regroup at home
Cindy and Ella head to the crime scene house - figuring no one will be home, nor will anyone miss anything.  Mark leads the rest of the group to the last house, and find a family home.  The meet and greet goes well, and I should have a mission success.  Instead of just heading straight back home, I figure a loot of the nearby car wreck makes sense.
Need to avoid the police tape

Dawn finds a bat in the car wreck

Everyone back home.  Where's Ben?

Paper collection - got 6
So I didn't see what happens to someone who 'runs away' after an encounter.  I rolled a 2d check for Ben, passing 1 or 2 meant he went home, 0 would mean he ran away completely.  He passed 1d, and the group found him when they got home.

Mark looked around as Ben sheepishly came out of the basement.  "Sorry guys.  I just couldn't handle it any more."  Ben said apologetically.  "There's just too many of them, I can't believe we can survive!"
"You can't just run away like that, not cool man."  Allen was firm, holding back anger.  "Any of us could be in trouble then!"
Dawn came running into the kitchen, crying.  "No, no, no, no!" she just kept repeating.
"Were you bit?"  Allen asked, horrified.  "Please, no!  I tried to help, I really did!"
"Not her, me."  Cindy said calmly.  "Looks like that last one got a bite on my leg."  Cindy gestured to her torn pants leg.
Everyone broke into tears, they all knew this was a death sentence.  "We'll take you to the hospital, get some help.  Hell, let's get the cops here again, they can help out!"  Mark was trying to suggest a solution.
"You know that won't cut it.  Besides, I am already shaking bad, and burning up.  I won't see tomorrow, and I don't want to cause any more deaths.  Someone take care of me."  Cindy was actually very calm for asking to be killed.
"I can't - I won't."  Nobody wanted to be the one who killed their friend.  
"I'll do it myself."  Cindy grabbed a pistol and stormed out the front door.  "It could be any of you next!"  She yelled as she walked into the woods.

Dawn rolled a 6, and passed her check for infection.  Cindy, unfortunately, rolled a 3, and is infected.  This changed the successful mission to a failure (someone died) and figured into the keeping it together roll.

I gave Dawn a chance to increase her rep, but she failed her roll.  I also checked for Mark to be reduced (this was technically two failed missions in a row.)  He managed to stay at his current rep.

Allen and Dawn rolled only one success each, and Mark managed two, so they would stay.  Ella had no successes, and would stay (and not need to check next time).  Ben passed two dice, and would leave.  Cindy was going to die, and traded her SMG for a pistol, and left as the sun went down.

It was a downer, but not a disaster.  At least most of the group stayed, and in the end, the group is only down one, and has plenty of resources to last for some time.  The group will consolidate their home, getting useful items from next door to make it livable (pots and pans, bedding, some chairs?) and try and see if this whole things passes.

I don't think things are going to get better...


  1. Ack! Wrestling with zombies will always end badly. Even if you win the fight, your laundry day is going to be a lot of work!

    Poor Ben. If I remember right, he didn't do very well the last time either?

    1. HTH is still the quietest option for the group right now. They really need some bows...

      Ben has suffered some poor dice rolls in the past. It was apparently his lot in life.

      The group will miss his shotgun tho.

  2. Great Bat-Rep and nice to see the narative developing. Loved the use of dwarven forge, every home should be decorated in the late medieval style and once again, love the use of the papers as info. marker. Great idea, consider it borrowed :)

    1. The dwarven forge stuff is pretty handy, and I wasted a good chunk of change years ago on it, so it will show up again in the future. The papers made for nice litter, and it was a handy objective marker.

      I'm glad you enjoy the ongoing tale. Hopefully it continues to grow.

  3. There was much to admire in this batrep. So, victory was snatched away in the end by the cruel hand of fate giving poor Cindy a death sentence. I liked Cindy. She was a gutsy fighter, unlike that craven coward, Ben.

    1. This was a fun game. Once again, overconfidence gets me. Early on Mark looked like he was going to be overwhelmed, but took on 4 zombies. I didn't think about all of his advantages, and let the others get into trouble. In the end, I was lucky to only loose one person.

      I will miss Cindy, she was becoming a fun character. Hopefully some more friends will come along, and keep it interesting.

  4. Great game report. One loss isn't so bad you did gain a team member as well. Look forward to the next instalment!

    1. Thanks! The campaign is coming along nicely, although it has gone in directions I didn't expect. Which is really what I wanted anyway (keeps me working on stuff!)

  5. Yet another gritty AAR, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading; this episode has so much going on, with both highs and lows that make it all the more believable.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I figured this was going to be a 'boring' adventure. Goes to show you, things can go sideways very easily, and the zombies will be there waiting...

  6. A great game. As you found out, tackling zeds in H2H is not wise and the most enjoyable thing (?) how the game throws all your ideas into a cocked hat, it just goes on. Love it. can't wait for more.

    1. For what was going to be a pretty simple 'look around' mission, it did get a bit exciting. Melee isn't always the best, but there are times where it is the better option (noise issues for one reason.)

      Glad you enjoyed the read!

  7. That's a worthy continuation of a previous report indeed!
    I like the idea of separate interior, it allows you to play with all that nice terrain you got :)

    1. It was fun to play through, it spiraled out of control pretty quick.

      The only downside to the separate interior is the disconnect to the rest of the board/battleground. For ATZ, this isn't a big deal, and I actually like it. I can make the buildings a bit larger on the inside without crowding the overall game.

      Of course then I will have time lords to deal with, but what can you do?

  8. So Ben got Cindy killed then leaves the group in shame! Great how the game just writes the narrative itself. Looking forward to their next outing

    1. Exactly! The game makes an interesting story if you let it. Besides, the fun is in the journey, I am curious to see where this leads.

  9. Excellent Bat Rep sir. Really exciting, hand to hand with the dead is do or die stuff. Like your set up, interiors are cool too. Long may this continue!

    1. Great that you enjoyed the report! The hand to hand was touch and go. I thought for certain Dawn was dead meat, the dice decided to give her a chance tho. We'll see what happens next.

  10. Nice AAR. It is sad to see one falling from the zed, but I think the group is doing good, considering the whole world is collapsing around them.

    1. It is the apocalypse, not everyone is going to make it. As a whole, the group is doing pretty well. Hopefully that will continue for them...