Sunday, April 6, 2014

Faith in our Leaders

"Breaking News!  Governor Webster is appearing at Memorial Plaza in downtown Chicago today.  Stay tuned for our live coverage."  The television blurted, showing a helicopter banking over a city skyline, while the announcer continued in his false calm voice "You can see him arriving now via helicopter to the plaza.  Security is pretty light, a crowd has gathered, but there only appears to be a few police at the site."

"Hey!  This looks like it could be interesting."  Dawn called out.  "The TV is showing the governor in Chicago, I figured that city would have been overrun by the infected days ago."  In the background the television continued to blab about the governor making an announcement concerning the current "crisis".

"Well, they must be going to show us things are getting better."  Allen said hopefully, wandering into the room with the remains of a sandwich.  "It would be great if I could get back on the road.  No offense guys, but I'd like to see my family again."

"We all feel the same, Allen.  With some luck this is over and we can all go home."  Dawn replied, fluffing up a pillow and sitting down.  "It looks like they are getting started."

On television the helicopter had landed, and the governor, his wife and two state patrolmen had walked to a small stand in the plaza.  The announcer had given way to the on location reporter who was narrating the governor's planned speech.  "This is Trisha Davis reporting live from Chicago where moments ago Governor Webster landed at Memorial Plaza.  He plans to address the small crowd gathered here and comment on the ongoing crisis."  Cameras panned the crowd, showing only a few police officers manning the barricades holding the crowd back.  "We expect him to take a few questions as well, hopefully there will be answers for our biggest questions."

This scenario is a little bit different, as it does not have anyone from the group involved, they are watching it on TV.  The governor is addressing a crowd, trying to appear to be strong and gain political points by appearing in public during the crisis.  Unfortunately, he has ignored the advice of law enforcement, and has minimal protection.  His helicopter arrival has attracted a pack of zombies who will attack after the first round.

The police all all rep 4, with the state patrol captain rep 5, the governor is rep 5 and his wife is rep 5, they are joined by a priest who is also rep 4.  The civilians are all rep 3 and armed with improvised weapons, with the reporter Trisha Davis being rep 4 and unarmed.  The governor will not leave until forced by the state patrol captain, or a zombie attacks him or his wife.  There is a pilot in the helicopter, and it will take 1+d8 turns for the helicopter to be ready to leave.  If a zombie approaches within 8" of the helicopter, and it is ready to fly, the pilot will take off, with or without any passengers.  Any gunfire will alert the helicopter to begin prepping for take off, and any breach of the barricades will make the state patrol captain force the governor to retreat.

Each figure must pass a 2d check to identify the zombie threat, and react accordingly.  Once any police officer sees a zombie attack, or is attacked, they will begin to act aggressively.  They have all been ordered to not use their guns, but will unless they pass a 2d check.  These officers have been fighting the apocalypse for days and are not very reliable.  The patrolmen will jump in their cars and leave after the zombies arrive on any turn they do not pass 2d to start.  The riot police will only leave if zombies pass the barricades, then they will make for the most convenient open board edge.  The governor, his wife and the two state troopers will stay together and try to get to the helicopter, and if that fails, then run for the nearest board edge.

Hopefully that is enough to understand what is happening.
The speech begins
"My fellow citizens, this has been a troubling time for us all, with the strange infection running through our cities.  I am here to tell you the worst is over, we still have a long way to go, but our best scientists and organizations are, right now, working on a cure!  We need to work together to move forward, but I know we can!"  Governor Webster paused, obviously expecting a cheer, but getting only a smattering of clapping.  "Even now, the streets are being cleared of the disease carriers and made safe again!  Soon everyone will be able to return to work, go shopping, see movies - the world will return to normal!"

"We're dying man!"  someone shouted, and it was just caught by the audio pickups.  The crowd shuffled  a bit, some people starting to yell in agreement.

The crowd seemed to be shifting, Governor Webster had hoped for more reaction than this.  He saw more figures moving in to join the crowd, no doubt some late comers.  He continued to give his speech, talking over the few hecklers that tried to speak up.

The zombies enter
The next turn 6 zombies entered the board.  I used Heroscape zombies, so I could more easily tell them from my civilian figures.  The police all missed their zombie rolls, and watched them shamble into the crowd.  Surprisingly, the zombies didn't win each combat.  Two ended up in ongoing fights, and one was knocked down.  The crowd hadn't reacted to the threat yet, I decided to roll a reaction for the crowd, just like the police (pass 2d to recognize the zombies). 
He keep on talking
The zombies continue to attack, and some more enter the board each turn.  finally one of the police make their roll to recognize the zombies, but it is far too late.  Several in the crowd have been killed, and will be rising as zombies in a few turns.  The first signal of trouble is a pair of gunshots that echo out as one of the patrol officers realizes what he is seeing.
Officer Adams fires and misses.
"As I have have said, a cure is being researched, we just need to..."  The governor was interrupted by a pair of shots.  "...Work together."  He scanned the crowd - was an assassin here for him?  He saw the camera pointed right at him - this needs to look good, he thought.  Striking a confident pose he continued his remarks "We work together and move forward, nothing will stop us!"
Screams cut through the crowd, as the undead began their killing spree.  Like a wave, the crowd surged forward against the riot barriers.  Trisha could sense the crowd change, and turned one camera to catch the action.
More zombies enter

Officer needs assistance!
Another couple of rounds went by before the crowd reacted, I even bumped up the roll by rolling an additional 2 dice (one for each gunshot) but they couldn't recognize the danger.  In the next wave of zombies, one peeled off an attacked one of the patrol officers.  He managed to hold out to an evenly matched, and they struggled for a few turns.  Eventually the crowd did make their roll to notice the zombies, and started attacking the barricades.
The crowd reacts
I was using some Dungeons and Dragons figures for zombies as well, they could be more easily discerned from the civilians.  I have a ton of undead figs kicking around, so why not use them...
Anyway, the civilians start attacking the barricades (they are not very strong, something like a def 2 structure, so a couple of hits in melee will break them down.)  The zombies keep moving in.  I use the downed/dead markers to note zombie spawn points, each turn 1-3 more zombies appear on those locations as well as the d6 zombies entering the board.

"Good people!  There is nothing to fear, the government is here to help you!"  Governor Webster was lost in his remarks, and growing annoyed that his spectacular photo-op was turning into a screaming riot.  "Calm down!  There is no need to panic.  I'll be answering questions in a just a minute!"
Trish had changed the angle on one camera and was focused in on a riot cop.  She could tell he was nervous, and ready for violence.  Checking her shot, she could see the barricades starting to give way - just about the same time the riot police saw it also.
Before they could react, there was a crash, and the center barricade fell, spilling people into the plaza.  The shouts of the panicked people blended in with the moans of the undead as they continued to attack.  The camera caught all of the action in beautiful 1080 high definition...
Gotta frame the shot...

The barricades fall, and the police react
The zombies continue to chew through the crowd, and more zombies appear.  The patrol officers take off, except for the center one who eventually defeats the zombie he is fighting.  He fires off a couple of shots and finally decides to take off as well.  The police get a turn where they act without the crowd acting.  The state police officer in charge moves in to get the governor to retreat, passing 2d right off, and they start to move to the helicopter.  The priest moves forward to try and calm the crowd, and everything keeps broadcasting to the world...
The police attack the crowd

They can't stop the flood
The police knock down a few people, but no way can they stop the crowd from passing them.  In fact one of the riot police is pulled down and beaten by a portion of the mob!  While a few start towards the helicopter, most are content to just make a break for it off the board.
The Reverend Thom tries to calm people

Rev. Thom again calls for calm
The last patrolman makes an exit
"This is Trisha Davis, continuing my report.  As you can see, Governor Webster has fled to his helicopter.  People are running through the plaza, and oh my God!  An officer is down, and citizens are continuing to attack him!"  Trisha was getting scared, she had reported from accidents and fires, even covering the North Side Riots three years ago but this was by far the most dangerous situation she had ever been in.
The mob flooded past her, knocking over one camera, she tried to ask people to stop and talk, but soon saw the zombies.  "I don't know if you can see this, but it appears a large group of infected have attacked the crowd!  They are coming through the downed barricades and are biting and clawing at everyone!"

Zombies pass the barricades
The governor and his wife made it to the helicopter, but had a couple of turns to wait before it would be ready for lift off.  The zombies cross the barricades, and the last riot cop was quickly surrounded.  To his credit, he did hold off the zombies from several fleeing civilians.
The zombies flood forward

The barricades fail

Great close up on the zombie from camera 1
Trisha looked around, there were more of the infected than the crowd, and one shambling right by camera one had half his arm ripped open, and his ribs showing through torn flesh.  Zombie was the best description she could come up with.  Her ear piece crackled to life "Trish!  Get back to the van, we are outta here!" she heard Garcia in the broadcast van yell at her.  "We have to get going now, or we may not make it at all!"
Trisha started jogging to the van, abandoning the heavy cameras.  "This is Trisha Davis, signing off from Chicago!"  The video feed continued to show the zombies attacking, several stopping to tear apart a few victims.
With a thudding beat, the governor's helicopter lifted off, flying over the zombie attack.  One of the cameras caught the helicopter as it flew over head, showing a zombie pulling down a young man as the helicopter flew away.  Governor Webster didn't get quite the photo-op he had planned.
The governor's chopper flies away

The dead storm the stage
Trisha jumped into the back of the broadcast van.  "Go! Go! Go!" She yelled.  Without waiting for the time to lower the broadcast antenna.  Trisha watched the feeds as Garcia floored the van and sped into the side streets.  The cameras showed the zombies feasting on the remains of the crowd, and shambling after the few people who survived, running through the plaza.
Final broadcast from the plaza
The screen went blank, flipping through a test pattern before showing the anchor in the studio, who was obviously shaken.  "I am not sure if you saw all of that amazing video, it showed a group of infected attack a crowd in Chicago.  Our viewers should be cautioned, we are going to show this again, and it contains graphic images."  The video started over on the TV, with some additional graphics along the bottom.

"Wow.  That was a mess."  Allen shook his head and walked out of the room.
"I guess its not that bad around here after all."  Dawn said as she shifted position on the floor.  "We may want to reinforce our barricades on the windows and doors after seeing those fail so easily."
"How do you suppose people are going to react after seeing that?"  Mark asked.  "Nobody is going to think that this is contained or isolated or whatever crap they are spewing on the news about this now."

That concludes day 10, the world gets a good look at an attack, live on film.  I ran this as a bit of a break from the normal campaign, and to see how something like this could play out.  It did show how much security is needed, which was woefully inadequate in this scenario.

After this, police forces are going to be pretty well overwhelmed, and national guard and army units are going to get deployed.  The remaining population will react to the images in the next few days, I suspect things can only get worse.


  1. This was one of the best batreps I have read in a long time. What made it so good for me, was the amount of figures you had on the board. It is so rare to see so many figures in one place at one time. Well done for capturing the "reality" of the situation. The scenario pretty much panned out as i thought it would but it still remained hugely enjoyable and very entertaining.

    1. Thanks! I may have stacked the odds a bit, just to make sure the disaster was as bad as it was. In the end, I was a bit disappointed that the governor made it away so easily...

      Still, it was fun to play through a big group. So many failed the brown pants rolls, I was surprised anyone survived!

  2. Some heroes, some cowards, lots of people who don't know what's going on :-) . Great story and I agree with Vampifan; the crowd really did look like a crowd!

    1. It was fun to identify with some figs, only to see some fall, and others rise to the occasion. It helped get a bit of a break from the neighborhood, but still stay in the campaign.

  3. Great idea for a scenario, and the mechanics seemed to work really well also. You definitely felt the sense of confusion amongst the crowd.

    1. I was somewhat surprised it took so long for the crowd to panic. I think I would consider breaking it into sections if I ran it again, it would be hard to keep track of, but it would be even more confusing and realistic.

  4. Seriously! That was an excellent batrep dude. Exciting even though the outcome was always going end badly. I really liked the reporter's angle too.
    Nice setup and lots of cool figures. Kudos sir.

    1. Thank you very much!

      It helped give some more background to the campaign, and I may even work the reporter in later (I do have a crashed news copter to use...)

  5. Great stuff. I like the scenario very gritty

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! The scenario was fun to plan out and try and run. I did stack the odds, just to make sure it went poorly, but it still felt like it fit into the campaign.

  6. What can I say that hasn't been said already ? Great aar and a nice change of pace from your main party - thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the figures on the table.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the report! It was fun to mix it up a bit, and give the main characters a little break.

  7. Excellent game report. I feel a Yonkers coming along now :)

  8. oooohhhhh...

    That is an interesting idea...

  9. Fun report! I saw some Clue minis in there. Mr. Green is the best.

  10. Yep, I have a set of the Clue game figs in my civilian mix. They are a prefect size for 25/28mm gaming, and can be used without much prep.

    Glad you enjoyed the report!

  11. Epic Batrep and a really nice scenario idea too