Saturday, June 21, 2014

Road Wreckage

"Are you sure we should have just left him in the office?"  Dawn asked as Allen guided the SUV down the county road.  "I still can't believe we left him with some gas, food and his guns."
"We should have just put a bullet in his head and taken his stuff."  Horace grunted.  "No doubt he would have done the same to any of us."
"Damn Horace, aren't you a cop?"  Mark asked, taken aback.  "A month ago I doubt you would have even arrested that guy!"
"If he was creeping around armed to the teeth, I would have shot him like a dog in the street!  You saw his tats, he was a ganger, hardcore."  Horace shifted from watching the road to facing Mark.  "I know we agreed to leave him, but believe me, we are going to have to let go of 'the way things were' because if we don't, the old world will kill us."
"Hell man, if we're going to kill people in cold blood, how are we any better than the creepers out there?"  Allen said, swerving around a downed tree.  "We have to be careful, but I don't want to be a murderer."
"We will have to deal with everyone we meet however they deserve."  Mark said.  "If they try to hurt any of us, we will protect ourselves."  Looking at Horace he continued "We won't just wait for someone to shoot us, either - if someone is a threat, I will fight, and kill, for any of you."
Dawn filled the silence that followed.   "How about a little music?  My player connects to the SUV..."  She started the player, some random pop song starting to fill the truck with synthesizer sounds.
"What the hell is that?"  Allen asked, looking ahead down the road.
"Lady Gaga I think..."  Dawn started to say and followed Allen's gaze.  "Oh.  Looks like an accident."

Approaching the crash
The setup for this is pretty straightforward.  There is a gang of 5 people (gangers) that have setup an ambush.  Team Mark all pass 0d, and will drive into the ambush before reacting.  The gangers consist of three people (rep 3,3,4) with rifles (2 bolt action, 1 semi-auto) which form one group, hiding behind the wagon loaded with hay.  A second group of 2 (rep 3,3) are armed with BAP and SMG, and are hiding behind the broken down big rig.  They will approach, going through the standard meet and greet.  However, they will not barter, and instead be willing to 'trade' (seize) 4 weapons, units of food or fuel, and then let the group leave. 
The riflemen ambushers
Close combat group

There are 3 PEFs, and no starting zombies.  No zombies will appear until shooting starts (I figure the gang keeps the immediate area clear) once shots are fired, normal zombie summoning rules will apply (engine noise, gunshots, etc.)  It is morning, the ER is 3, zombies will appear on '6' for attracting zombies.  Success will be exiting the board in any direction.  Leaving any direction besides the opposite side from the group entry will cost 1 additional unit of fuel.

Layout/seating in the SUV
From the previous encounter, the group left the unconscious ganger in the office building, with all his gear.  They also left a unit of fuel and food for him.  Dawn is wearing the body armor looted from Peaches (she is the only team member it will fit) but otherwise there have been no other changes to the group's equipment.
Looks like an abandoned crash site
"It looks like there was a fire.  I doubt there is anything useful."  Allen said as he drove towards the crash site.  "Maybe we should just try and drive around."
"Pull up near the truck, I'll hop out and make sure the SUV can get through.  With that rain last night, last thing we need is to get stuck off the road here."  Mark offered.
Pulling up next to the wrecks
Things happen fast after the group moves up.  The two gangers move into sight, and we all go to in sight checks.  The gangers decide to walk the walk, and the team reacts.
Gangers appear and draw!
"Hey there are people out there!"  Dawn said, looking out the passenger window.  "They're armed..."
"They're drawing!"  Mark yelled and shoved his own pistol out the window.
"It's an ambush!"  Horace yelled.  "Get us outta here Allen!"
Gunfire erupted from the SUV as figures took aim from a hay bale ahead...

So we go for in sight tests, and a draw down.  Not what I was expecting (or wanting) but that's how things go sometimes...
Unlucky gangers
The riflemen are ready though
Mark hammered shots at the nearby ganger.  One shot went wild, but the other slammed into the ganger, dropping him in his tracks.  "One down!"
Mark shoots one ganger
Dawn brought her SMG up and sprayed the second ganger by the truck.  Bullets tore up the already flat tires of the truck, and slammed into the ganger.  Blood and gore erupted from the ganger as Dawn's shots hit home.  He was dead before he hit the ground.  "Looks clear!"  She yelled triumphantly.
Dawn kills the second
A dull thunk sound followed by the tinkle of broke glass cut the silence in the SUV.  A sudden bloom of blood spread across Allen's chest.  "Ugggh" was all he managed as he slumped behind the wheel.
"Allen!" Dawn screamed, lurching for the wheel.  "Help him!"
Another crack sounded and Dawn cried out as a slug hit her in the chest, slamming he back into her seat.  "I'm hit!"
"Horace!  Grab the wheel!"  Mark shouted as he hauled Allen's body into the backseat, spilling blood over the beige leather interior.  "Stay with us Allen!"
End of the turn
Allen was hit, not killed outright, and passed 1d for his recover from knockdown.  He was Out of the Fight.  Dawn was hit as well, and passed 2d for her test.  She is wearing the body armor recovered from the previous encounter, and is able to Carry On.

Horace attempts to take control of the SUV, suffering a -1d penalty from the backseat.  He passes 2d, and moves into the driver's seat.  The group is out of the range of the riflemen - the longest ranged weapon is the SMG at 24".

Shooting has occurred, so zombies spawn from the noise.  Yet another thing to deal with.  At least the PEFs are not charging in...yet.

The next turn starts with the SUV moving forward (it has to move half its previous speed forward as Horace gains control) and the zombies closing in.  Of course, the zombies win initiative, but at least Team Mark has the remaining gangers beat.
Its going to be a tight fit
Horace settled into the drivers seat, sliding on blood left from Allen.  "Hang on everyone - I don't know if this beast will fit through here!"
"I see the shooters!"  Dawn yelled.  "I'll try and get them!"  She leaned out the passenger window bringing her SMG to bear on the gangers.  Squeezing the trigger she fired a long burst into the wagon, aiming for the rifle armed gang members.
Dawn is on target!
Amazingly, Dawn gets two hits.  With the SMG, she spreads the hits across two targets, getting an OOF and a stunned result.  Not kills, but good enough.  The last ganger rolls a man down check and passes 0d, deciding its time to run away.

Mark shoots the nearest zombie, killing it.  No sense in letting zombies swarm the SUV, if I can help it...

The next turn requires two separate checks for Horace to avoid the tree and the wrecked truck.  Pass 2d means clear, pass 1d is 'glance' and requires another check, pass 0d is a crash (full bash value crash.)  The ganger recovers as Horace is driving around the wrecks, and promptly runs away (I rolled a man down check - he passed 0d).

Horace passed 2d, missing the tree.  He then passed 1d, and recovered with a pass 2d.  They made it around the wrecks!
In the clear!
So the group is in the clear, but there are three downed gangers, with weapons to be looted.  There were also a couple of tents and a cabin nearby to investigate.  There are still 3 PEFs and a few zombies active to deal with.


The SUV heads off to the west
"Should we check those guys out?" Horace asked as he swerved around the wrecks.
"Hell no!  Just punch it!"  Mark was holding Allen, trying to stop the bleeding.  "We need to stop and patch up Allen.  Dawn are you okay?"
Coughing and changing out her magazine in her SMG dawn replied "It feels like I was kicked by a horse.  I'll be okay though."  Dawn managed a small laugh "I guess I shouldn't complain about the new outfit..."

I chose to just leave the table.  One PEF had moved up to start the turn, and there were just too many ways for it all to go bad.

After the battle, Allen passed 1d, and would recover.  I decided he would be out of action for the rest of the day.  At least he was alive.

So I know this was a pretty short encounter, and one of the rather lame "cross the board" scenarios.  It was almost the end though - pistols versus rifles is bad at longer ranges.  The group got lucky, and Dawn's shooting made all the difference.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scenery: Ruined City Block

 I had an inspiration from a picture something like this:
Ruins in Detroit
Its a shame, but Detroit provides some great modern ruins examples.  I had found this at a second hand store, and figured it might be worth a shot at converting.  It is half of an old Fisher Price Little People Main Street play set.  I picked it up for the princely sum of $1.25. 

Little People Main Street, circa 1975

No way is this in scale with anything, but with the bigger openings, it does make it easier to move figs around inside.

I started by ripping off all the doors, the carry handle and I considered the stickers.  However, nothing really wanted to peel those things up, so I went over with a heavy black paint/water wash.  If they stick through that, they will be fine in the long run.  I printed off some new signs to cover the old.  I decided this would have been a payday loan and a quick lube shop.  Thank you internet for handy signs!
A few washes later
In addition, I added some gravel to various random areas to add texture.  This will hopefully make it look a bit less like a giant plastic building.
Sand/gravel added
Cheeky sign on the side
After the gravel, I did a few heavy washes in black and some dry brushing in various areas.  As you can see, I added some random bullet holes on a few walls as well.  I grabbed some various dollhouse toys and furniture and added those to the base as well, just to add some 'debris' of a vaguely recognizable origin.

Unfortunately, I didn't remember to get any in progress pics at this point.  Oops. 

Here is the more or less finished ruins, being explored by Rex and Eden (both from Reaper Miniatures Chronoscope line):
Run down and blasted
Still ruined
View from back
Ruined apartment
Overall, I am pleased with the result.  It does look like a fire/disaster destroyed a portion of the building.  I may go back and add some graffiti to some of the walls, and maybe some junk to the ground floor interiors.  I wanted to keep them pretty open to make figure placement easy, which it is.  Again, the building is oversize for scale, but doesn't look too bad with figs on it.

I recommend playing around with any junk toy play sets you can find.  This didn't take much time, and was rather inexpensive.  I think I spent more on paint than on the toy, and these are pretty common.  I like taking old toys and turning them into useful terrain.  It's kind of a recycling effort...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bump in the Dark

Allen shifted his weight, and moved again to look out the windows.  Snoring came from the office where the rest of the team were sleeping.  Allen smiled, shifting his small flashlight around, turning it off.  Outside distant thunder rumbled and a breeze blew dust against the front windows with a small tinkling sound.
"Seems like a nice night, I always did enjoy sleeping during the rain."  A distant flash of lightning briefly lit the sky.  "Should be Mark's turn soon."  Thunder rolled from far away, but getting closer.

This scenario takes place during the night as the team rests at the quarry.  I decided each time they stop, there is a chance of an encounter.  Pass 2d, no encounter; pass 1d, a voluntary encounter; pass 0d, involuntary encounter.  I rolled a contact, just like a PEF to figure out what kind of encounter to have.  I rolled gangers, and got PG+2.  I decided it was a group coming back to fuel their vehicles (hence the reason the pickup and sports car were empty.) 

The gang:
Butch, Peaches, Terry, Shelly, Max, and Cleo
Randomly rolling up a group, I ended up with two at rep 5 (Butch and Peaches) and four at rep 3.  Grabbing various figs, I settled on the team above.  Everyone is armed as they appear, except Terry has a shotgun, and Shelly carries a pistol in addition to two swords.  Butch and Peaches are protected (wearing body armor) which I randomly determined by rolling a d6 and added the rep to the result, a 10+ meant they had body armor.  I would run the scenario from their point of view, until the team activated, and then go from there.

The gang is not expecting anyone at the quarry, and is looking to gas up their cars and get out of the area.  Two figures are carrying 4 units of fuel each, which is slowing them down to 4" of movement.  They can try and fast move, but will only gain 2" for each success.  They can drop the fuel for free and suffer no movement penalties, if wanted.

To start, it is night, with vision limited to 6", there are 3 PEFs, and 11 generated zombies.  The Encounter Rating starts at 3 (its night, and a bit more dangerous).  The gang moves onto the board and we start...

Butch shifted his vest for the fourth tie in 10 minutes.  "Damn this thing itches.  Must be zombies around!"  He whispered at Peaches.  "Damn girl, you want to help scratch?"  He chuckled.
"Now?  How about you buy a girl dinner first?"  Peaches giggled back at Butch  "You should just wear your road leathers, like me.  Plenty of protection, and comfort, see?"  She shook her ass at Butch.  "Just like at the club!"
"Damn, when we get the 'stang running again, we'll scratch both our itches!"  Butch laughed.  "Terry, Shelly, you guys got that gas okay back there?"
"Yeah, yeah.  It would be nice to trade off hauling these gas cans though."  Terry complained.  "I'm getting tired of hauling this gas all over the county."
"Then you shouldn't have had us run outta gas here yesterday!"  Butch snapped back.  "You were navigating us, I said we had to get to Point and you strand us short.  Be grateful you still get to ride in the truck!"
The gang moves down the road
With it dark, it really messes with vision/sight checks and limits weapon range to 6", which means the group is walking right up to some zombies and have no idea they are there yet.  The first PEF moved into the building with Mark's group.  It was resolved as nothing (passed 0d).
If only they could see
The next turn brought a random event.  An armed zombie was wandering the road right in front of Peaches.
It doesn't seem fair.
I guess this zombie also was an orc cosplayer...
A brief flash of lightning lit up the area, and Peaches nervously stopped in the road, looking at the fence.  Crickets fell silent as the thunder rolled through the quarry.  "Did you see something by the fence?"  She asked nervously.
"There ain't nothin' out there.  This place was empty yesterday, probably just a deadhead stuck on the rocks out there."  Butch said but pulled his twin hand cannons from their holsters.  "Still pays to be careful though."

The nearby PEF moved to the fence, and was just at 6" from the group on the road.  It was a bad time for the humans to not get to move...
Hey what is that?
 Another flash of lightning arced in the night sky, giving illumination over the are for a few seconds.  The chain link fence rattled and a bunch of zombies clawed at the flimsy fence.  "Holy shit!"  Terry yelled.  "There's a ton of them right here!"  He dropped the gas and brought his shotgun around.
"Grab that gas and run for the truck!"  Butch yelled
Part of the fence falls!
I gave the fence a DV of 1, its just a chain link fence, and not very sturdy.  Two sections hold up, but the 'middle' section collapses in one go!  Zombies pour through the opening, and the noise of the fence crashing down begins to attract the zombies wandering around.  The gang reacts as the zombies come into view.
Gang firing line
Gunfire rippled out in the night. Lightning flashed adding to the strobe light effect from the muzzle flashes.  Thunder blended with the heavy reports of the gang's guns.  Shattered bodies pitched to the ground as the gang's fire pierced the rotting corpses.  
"They're still coming!"  Terry yelled, reloading his shotgun.  "We have to get outta here!"
"Calm the hell down!"  Butch shouted, giving Terry a shove forward.  "There can't be that many of them, we've handled this many before!  Don't be such a pussy!"

The gang fired and killed 5 zombies, and the noise attracted a few more.  Unfortunately, Allen didn't hear the gunfire, or confused it with the distant thunder.  I figured he had to pass 1d on a savvy check to hear the commotion and understand it was something worth checking out.

Zombies recover and move to attack
More gang shooting thin out the zeds as Shelly charges
Zombies charge!
The gang manages to knock some down
Allen paused, looking out the window.  Flashes lit the night, and Allen thought he heard thunder.  "That's not thunder...That's gunfire!"  Allen ran into the office, waking up Horace, right by the door.  "Get up!  Someone is outside shooting!"
Allen wakes up the team
Butch looked around, zombies were pouring out of the quarry.  Flashes of lightning gave him the impression of a sea of undead, shambling towards the gang slowly, but inevitably.  "Damn it all!  Everyone shoot something!"  Punctuating his shout with hammering from his huge pistols.

The zombies win initiative, and the resulting charge crashed into the gang.  Not a good time to loose initiative...
Zombies swarm the gang
The horde attacks!
Peaches swung her knife high, shattering one zombie's skull.  Kicking out, she knocked another down, and with a backhand with her pistol, knocked down the third zombie attacking her.  "We need to move!"
Butch clubbed a zombie down to the roadway "We'll make a hole and get to the car!"

Earlier the gang had done some very impressive shooting, but the last couple of turns they went cold.  Luckily they have 2 rep 5 characters, plus their hand to hand specialist (the swords gave +2d) so when the zombies got to melee I didn't think it would be too bad.  Of course that leaves 3 characters at rep 3...
Terry gets chomped!
Meanwhile I rolled a d6 for each member of Team Mark to see how long they will take to get ready.  looks like it will be a few turns before Mark and Dawn are ready to go...
Everyone up and at 'em!
"Oh man! Oh man!" Max was yelling.  "Terry is down, that thing just chomped him!  We're all gonna die!"
"Damn it Max, its time to nut up!"  Butch kicked down a zombie trying to bite his arm.  "I am so sick of your whining, stop being a bitch and start killing zombies!"
Max fired his pistols, one clicking empty after a couple of shots.  "I'm running out of ammo!"
Falling back from the road
The next turn a random event came up.  You can probably guess what is about to happen...
The storm arrives
I rolled a 5, so still a few turns off yet.  The zombies win initiative again, which makes it extra tough on the gang trying to fight their way free.
Here they come!
More zombies crash into the gang
Butch clubbed a zombie down, its lifeless body crumpling to the pavement.  Looking around he saw a sea of zombies.  Three were close around him, trying to grapple him and pull him down.  He could see zombies all around Shelly, and even one attacking Max.  "We just need to get these down and..."
A strong lifeless arm clubbed Butch in the head from the zombie that had killed Terry.  The world spun, and went dark for Butch as he crashed to the ground.
"Butch!  NO!"  Peaches screamed.  "Get off of him you bastards!"  
"Screw this!  I'm gone!"  Cleo yelled and ran into the night.
"You bitch!  Get back here!"  Peaches yelled as Cleo darted into the bushes.  "Shelly, kill those things and head for the truck!  Max, cover our asses and move!"  Peaches ran to Butch, dragging his unconscious body down the road. 
Peaches drags Butch away from the zombies
Butch killed two zombies in melee, knocked a third down, and was knocked down by a fourth.  He passed 1d on his knockdown roll, and was OOF.  Cleo passed 0d for the man down check, and ran away.  Max and Shelly both passed 2d, and Peaches passed 2d with a pair of "1"s, and went into hero mode.  Even with the various move penalties, the group managed to relocate quite a ways up the road from the zombies.

Meanwhile, Allen and Horace unblock the front door, planning on heading outside to see what is happening.
Horace and Allen head out

Another turn comes up, and the zombies get initiative again, and the gang (well all humans) don't even get to go.  Ouch, really bad time for that.  Losing initiative several turns in a row really bites, and changes the whole tactical situation.
The zombies pursue the gang
The gang wins melee
Flickering lightning gave the charging zombies a jerky appearance.  Peaches and Max fired as the zombies crashed into them, but their aim was off in the lingering darkness.  Peaches clubbed two zombies down, kicking their failing legs out from under them.  Max shattered one zombie head open with his empty pistol, kicking over another trying to eat him.
"They're still coming!"  Max yelled, wiping grime from his face.  "We should just cut and run!"
"We're not leaving Butch!"  Peaches screamed, kicking one of the collapsed forms in front of her.  "I'm not leaving him to these things!"

The gang did okay in melee, although Shelly only managed an evenly matched with her opponent.  The next turn, a random event came up:
Randomly determining from all the living (including Team Mark) it seems Max has a problem.  The gang is really hurting, and this doesn't help.  They continue to fall back towards the truck, with Peaches trying to get Butch into the back.
Get to the Truck!
The zombies try to keep up
"We'll take the truck!  Max get it fueled, Shelly, hold those things up and I'll get it started!"  Peaches yelled as she dragged Butch forward.  As she got to the driver's door, she could see the front of the office building, a different SUV was parked in front.  She saw two figures moving around the corner towards her.
"Hey there!  We're alive, do you need help?" Allen shouted as he saw a young woman dragging an unconscious man forward.
"Max, Shelly!  Help!"  Peaches yelled, raising her machine pistol and taking aim at the lead form by the SUV.
"Drop the weapon lady!"  Horace barked.  "We don't want to hurt you!"
"This is your fault!"  Peaches screeched, dropping Butch to the ground to steady her aim.  "Screw you!"
Max and Shelly ran up beside Peaches, ready to face the new threat with zombies shuffling behind...
Peaches meets Horace and Allen

So I probably didn't run the In Sight check exactly right.  Horace and Allen were out, near their SUV, facing the road.  Peaches moved up to 6" away from Horace, triggering the check.  The whole "unit" of the gang should have been able to move, and I didn't want them to move up piecemeal, each triggering a check (that doesn't seem right according to the rules, either) so I completed the gang move, with them getting the 2" additional move once they reached the same point as Peaches.

As far as a check goes, Peaches decided to go straight to Walk the Walk.  My pictures of the actual showdown turned out...poorly.  You can see the aftermath below:
End of the line for the gang
Allen wasted no time, shooting the crazy woman as she raised he pistol.  She spun around, hitting the pickup truck before crashing to the pavement.  Horace let fly with his shotgun at a punk brandishing a pistol, and some chick with two swords charging at him.  They both collapsed to the ground, the man missing a large portion of his head, and obviously dead.
"Damn!  What was wrong with those idiots!"  Horace said as he reloaded the shotgun.  "I wonder if they knew we were here?"
"Who knows...Watch out!"  Allen replied as a zombie lurched out of the dark and attacked Horace.

The gang lost the in sight test pathetically.  Allen dropped Peaches, getting a kill result right off.  Horace then fired next (Peaches would have gone next, but Allen beat her to the punch) and killed Max, but only stunned Shelly.  Zombies were closing in the gang before, and now had new fresh meat to pursue...
No more gang, plenty of zombies!
Horace cracked the zombie in the head with his shotgun, shattering the skull and dropping the zombie to the ground.  "More zeds coming up the road!"  He yelled, seeing Mark and Dawn coming out of the building.  "There don't appear to be any other people out here."
"Let's start clearing them out!"  Allen said and walked forward, shooting.

Shelly passed 0d for man down, and at her next activation, fled off the board.  I figured she crawled away as the zombies closed in, and with the gunfire, the start of the rain storm and it being night - nobody noticed.  Maybe she could find Cleo and they could get someplace safe...

The team moved forward a bit and started shooting up the horde as it approached.  Mark and Dawn added in after a turn, helping clear out the zombies shambling up the road.
Horace and Allen start down the road
Mark and Dawn join in
Thinning out the horde as the rain starts
Last few zeds
It takes a few turns, but the zeds thin out.  From all the shooting some more wander in, and the team has to face them down as well.  The zombies pin the group by the pickup truck, but not many get to the team.  Luckily, everyone is carrying a melee weapon in addition to their guns.  Even one handed, a bat or a machete makes a big difference in hand to hand.
The zombies die off
Just a few left
With the zombies down, I move to the last PEF, figuring the group isn't going to rest until they feel the area is cleared out.  It gets revealed as an increase in the encounter rating.  With nothing else going on, the scenario ends.
Check out that area over there...
"Well, there doesn't seem to be anything else out here."  Mark said, rain pouring off his head in the dark.  "Let's head back inside, we can check the area when the sun comes up.  Maybe the rain will let up by then."
"Yeah, I don't think any of us want to drive in this weather in the dark."  Allen said, shaking water off his pistol.  "It's raining cats and dogs out here!"
"Its still a few hours until sunrise, lets get dried off and what rest we can until then."  Dawn suggested.
"Sounds good to me."  Mark replied.

The scenario was a success, everyone lived (well, Team Mark lived) and they managed to loot some fuel (I ruled the gas cans had been shot up and spilled during the fighting, so only 2 units) and some more weapons.  They pick up a pair of pistols, a machine pistol, two BAP and two sets of body armor.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

What do we do with this guy?
Butch wasn't infected, but was still OOF, and his whole gang was dead or run off.  Does the team kill him?  Leave him?  Wake him and try to work it out?  Honestly, I am not sure what to do...