Casting menacing red light, the sun sank in the west. The last rays of sunlight passed through the heavy smoke from three burning buildings, and the world sank into darkness. The steady shuffle of zombies dragging themselves through the streets continued as night began to fall on a world being conquered by the undead.
Inside the house, Mark hefted his bat. As the sunlight failed, he moved towards the zombies clawing their way through the shattered windows. If he didn't start killing zombies, the next sunlight would find him shuffling along with the already turned...
As evening started, 3 new PEFs were generated. One was between zombie groups, and would become more zombies. The other two were both quite close to the rest of the group, making it easier to get to them (I was hoping for more survivors to use for reinforcements) and finish the day.
Allen's group had completed their move around the east side of the board, and formed a firing line in the street. They started firing on zombies heading for the house, which did distract some of the zombies from going into the house. This helped take some of the pressure off of Mark and Horace.
|They shoot, just not very well...|
The zombies didn't activate for a turn, which gave me a great opportunity to thin out their numbers. Allen and team formed more of a circle for firing, as zombies summoned by their fire last turn had revealed both PEF markers. This turn they were a bit more successful.
|Allen and friends find themselves surrounded|
In the house, Mark and Horace make good use of their chance, and clear out the dining room. They move to the front hall, to make the zombies from the kitchen move to them. I used some Advanced Heroquest tiles for this house (quick and easy!)
The house shook, the thumping and pounding from the zombies was incessant. Mark was exhausted, and tried to keep Horace moving through the house. "We'll hold in the door, you watch the back, and shoot any that come around!"
"There's no time!" Horace shouted as the front door caved in and zombies spilled into the hall. "They're all around us!"
|Trying to clean house|
|Zombies swarm the house|
Just in case you had forgotten, the last deserter was hanging out a window, getting ready to jump from the gas filled house. She had managed to not even activate for two turns, so even though the zombies hadn't all moved into the house, it was time to go. She needed to pass 2d to drop to the ground and be able to move 4", pass 1d to drop to the ground and not move (but can move up to 4" by passing 1d on a second check) passing 0d results in an impact 1 hit, and no chance to move.
The deserter passed 0d, and hit the ground with a thud. Being protected helped, she passed 2d on the recover from knock down. Unfortunately, she gets charged by the nearest zombies.
|Charged, she fires at the zeds, killing two.|
|Spotters say you got 27 with that blast...|
Being charged, the deserter fired on the zombies, killing two, but detonating the gas filled house. On the up side, she did kill nearly 30 zombies in one shot. Too bad she died in the blast as well. Of course, she did kill poor Frank, so I didn't shed any tears...
Mark and Horace were fighting for their lives. Zombies grasped at them, stumbling through the broken remains of the house. A muffled thump shook the house, sending already broken windows to the floor in a cascade of shattered glass. "Sounds like another house exploded! I hope the gas lines don't all go!" Mark shouted as he swung his bat.
"We need to get out of here!" Horace yelled and fired a blast from the shotgun. "Everything is falling apart, let's just get the truck and go!"
|Fighting in the hall|
In the streets, waves of zombies continue to move towards the house and Allen's group fighting in the eastern side of the neighborhood. They tried to shoot up the horde, but their shots were wild, and didn't get much done.
|More zombies shamble into the area|
Doubles come up and I drew the "No More Zombies" card. I could actually see the end of the zombies, finally... However, as the group continues to fire, zombies have piled into the Cole family house. The Coles are two Rep 3 and one Rep 2 civilians, I figured parents and a child.
With a crash, the zombies came through the window, scattering broken glass and bits of window frame through the house. "Stay back!" Rob Cole yelled at his daughter. "Head for your corner!" Rob kicked a table into the zombies, slowing them down.
His wife, Samantha, grabbed a knife and attacked one of the zombies. "Honey, get outside and run!"
A zombie crashed around the table and grabbed Rob by the leg. He crashed down into the gnashing teeth, blood pumping out. Samantha screamed, slashing one zombie which collapsed to the floor. A second zombie slammed into her, biting her shoulder and two of them crashed to the floor.
Maggie Cole scrambled to her 'secret' corner. She could slip out between boards on the window, but she needed to hurry. A zombie lumbered closer, Maggie screamed...
|Zombies in the house and street|
|Maggie tries to escape|
The family makes a stand, but only the little girl survives the first round of melee. She runs for a corner as the zombies close in...
Allen and the gang fire on the zombies closing in, listening to the screams of their neighbors getting cut off inside the house. The little girls scream curdles their blood, but there is nothing they can do to help from where they are.
The zombies charge, and Dawn fails her citizen brown pants roll, and hides behind the house. Allen knocks down the zombie that triggers Dawn's flight, as it tries to eat him.
|Dawn runs from the zombies|
The gunfire attracted a couple more zombies, but I managed to roll a 6 for one of them, and no more zombies would appear from gunfire. Now I just needed to roll the same for the zombies appearing each round, and the group could finish the day...
The zombies win initiative, and charge. Gene misses his brown pants roll, hiding near Dawn behind the house. The rest of the group manages to shoot up the zombies, fight a couple off in melee, and then regroup by the back of the house.
Mark's grip on his bat was getting slippery. It seemed he had been swinging the bat for hours. Horace kept up a steady stream of shots from the shotgun. Corpses and body parts littered the floor, creating a grizzly carpet that made footing treacherous. "Just keep shooting, we will wear them down eventually." Another zombie fell under the swing of his bat.
|The zombies have thinned out|
|Mark and Horace make a stand at home|
|Mark presses forward|
|More zeds join the fun|
|Mark and Horace fall back to the kitchen...|
Maggie felt the fingers grasp her from behind, dragging her back into her room. She kicked down on its foot, but got no reaction. Screaming, she shoved backwards with all her strength. The zombie fell over backwards, loosing its grip on her shirt. Maggie turned around and kicked her dresser, just like her Mom told her never to do. The old TV that was perched on top fell over and with a dull crunch, killed the zombie.
Grabbing her stuffed rabbit and backpack, Maggie wiggled out the window, and ran past a startled Ella, off into the darkening evening.
|...As more zombies shamble into the house|
|Maggie runs off|
Amazingly, Maggie passes her brown pants roll, WINS the melee against the zombie that attacks her, and rolls a kill. Tough kid. The meet and greet with the group goes her way, sort of. Allen manages zero successes, Maggie got 1, and just runs off. I think she just might turn up again...
|More zombies enter|
As more zombies enter, I roll a 6 - this is the end of the horde! They are spread out pretty well, the group just needs to organize to shoot them down. I didn't mention it earlier, but everyone was suffering a -1 on rep for fatigue at this point. I put that penalty into play when 5 turns of evening had gone by.
|Horace knocks one down in melee|
|The shotgun clears out the back rooms and Mark moves forward|
Dawn snapped out of her fear, running back around the house, emptying her magazine into the nearest group of zombies. "Sorry about that guys! I'll help sort these out!" She was changing magazines, getting ready to shoot up the zombies still stumbling up the street.
"Glad you came around! Hey, where is Gene?" Allen asked as he fired off a pair of shots. "I thought he was right here!"
|Zombies start clearing out|
So Dawn recovered from her duck back, but Gene failed his and 'ran away'. I would have kept him on the board, like the other survivors earlier, but rather that deal with that, I removed him and will roll for him to rejoin the group after the battle.
|Dawn comes back into action|
Muscles burning from swinging the bat, Mark moved through the dining room. Darkness enveloped the room, a deep blue light filtering in as the only illumination. Mark kept hammering the zombies as he heard a constant crackle of gunfire from the outside. "Just keep swinging. Just keep swinging" Mark keep muttering to himself.
Horace yelled as the zombie closed on him. His shotgun roared, and then clicked empty. The headless zombie tumbled to floor. "Got you!" he panted and started reloading.
|Allens group moves forward, trying to keep zombies away from the house|
|Cleared the house|
Mark and Horace managed to clear out the house, and moved out the front door to rejoin Allen and the rest of the group, shooting down zombies in the street.
|Back into the street|
|The zombies charge, but are overwhelmed.|
|The team regroups|
The team regrouped in the front yard of the house, as the zombies finished feasting on their neighbors, and burst out of the house. With light failing, the team moved up and shot them, leaving just a last pair as night fell.
|The last stragglers|
Night fell at this point, limiting vision to 6". No more zombies or PEFs would appear, and night actually only lasted a single turn.
|The last scene at night|
The group managed to clear the neighborhood, and survive another day. The area is barely livable, so they will need to relocate. Gene returned to the group, ashamed of his cowardice. Everyone, except Gene, became a survivor after this day. Dawn increased her rep to 4, Horace made Rep 4, and Gene managed to stay Rep 3. Dawn will not need to check to stay next time, and everyone else elected to stay together.
All told, I played a total of around 40 turns (day, afternoon and evening were at least 10 turns each) and it felt like a loooong day. Overall, I got the feel from the scenario I wanted, but it was ridiculous how long it took to play. It was almost like playing three to four scenarios in one long chain. I don't recommend trying something like this in one go, I should have split it up over a few sessions.
Exhausted, each person stumbled up the stairs, Allen and Gene moving tables and chairs to block the stairs off. With disregard to safety or comfort, everyone found a section of floor to drop on and fall asleep. Fires burned just north of the house, adding inky pillars of smoke to the dark night sky. The continuing gurgle from the shattered fire hydrant was the only other sound beyond the crackle from the flames in the empty night.
|Night finally comes to the neighborhood|
When the house filled with zeds I thought Mark and Horace were goners for sure! Looking forward to the next chapter
I thought the house would be bad as well, but three things worked out well in my favor - 1. Horace was bang on with the shotgun, and dropped 2-3 zeds each time he fired and 2. Mark is awesome in HTH (rep 5, rage and a bat = lost of dice). Finally 3. the house let me limit my exposure to zombies.Delete
I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed the report!
Epic! You're right about the neighbourhood being unlivable; it's now a mess of ruined houses and festering corpses!ReplyDelete
Good on the little girl - if anyone survives it's often the smallest one :-) .
I almost didn't roll the encounter out with the girl, it felt depressing. Afterwards, I was glad I did!Delete
Thanks for dropping by!
It wasn't jut your survivours that were exhausted at the end of that grueling sesssion then. A truly memorable aar (all four make a great storyline) and overall a good result, nice to see that it's only now that they're getting their chance to improve after really earning the right.ReplyDelete
This has been a thoroughly enjoyable read and I'd say should be a benchmark of sorts for other adventures. There are a lot of aar reports that get a lot of (undeserved imo ) praise where the characters stroll through encounters and they should take a leaf from your aars.
Wow, thanks Zabadak! I think we feel about the same for advancement, I don't want it to be too fast, or too easy. I wanted a reason for my group to become survivors, and after this scenario, I felt pretty good about them all getting the increase.Delete
I really appreciate your comments. Thank you continuing to stop in and read the reports!
That truly was a long day. Excellent batrep again sir. I didn't realise that you were actually playing all in one go, a truly heroic effort. You deserve a rep increase (no roll) for doing that.ReplyDelete
Happy to hear you enjoyed the report! As I said, I should have broken it up, but I knew I wouldn't have as much time later for some of the later parts (not without really dragging it out!)Delete
Free rep increase...hmmm, that is quite the reward! Thanks!
There really isn't much to add - I love your reports. They make a great read and they really are a great inspiration. Fantastic!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your praise! I am glad you enjoy them, that helps inspire me to continue.Delete
What a great ending to what has been one of the best batreps I have ever read. It had everything you could want from a zombie apocalypse scenario. The heroes thoroughly deserved their Rep increases and thank God, Maggie survived as well. I hope we see more of her. Well done, mate. Now take a well-earned rest.ReplyDelete
Wow, I can't say thanks enough! Your batreps are one of the reasons I ever picked up ATZ to begin with, so to hear you really enjoyed one of mine...Thanks!Delete
Rest will be short lived, the group will need to bug out and figure out what they are going to do next. You can't wait too long during the apocalypse!
That was a tough day. I believe they will never complain anymore for a late commute. well, assuming commuting life would be back one day... Thumb up to Maggie. Would be great to see her back.ReplyDelete
The tough days make you appreciate the good ones! I certainly believe the group wouldn't mind the problems of traffic and commuting...Delete
Fantastic and I love Maggies falling TV zombie kill. Sounded like a very long day indeed, the heros need a rest now!ReplyDelete
I was shocked when she not only won, but got the kill against the zombie! Glad you enjoyed the report!Delete
Great batrep, and I look forward to more!! I particularly like your markers for OD, stunned, motor running, etc. Do you have an image or file that you are willing to share with us so that we can print our own?ReplyDelete
Thanks in advance,
I will upload a copy of the counters I have for people to use. I am a bit of a newb with the blog thing, so give me a bit of time to get it out there.
I'm glad you dropped by!