Thursday, July 31, 2014

Real Life Interrupts

Hello everyone, just a quick note to say I will be on hiatus for a little bit.  Real life has decided to come down on me suddenly...

The proverbial "Dark Cloud"
I have had an increased work schedule, 60+ hour weeks for a few weeks, which has already curtailed my game time.  There are some projects around the house I actually need to finish, which are not related to gaming (so bleh!)

By far the hardest hit for me is that I have lost my Mother.  I was fortunate enough to see her several times this year, and even before the sudden, unexpected end.  She was getting into her golden years, but believe me, nobody expected this to happen...

I miss you Mom, but as I know you said to me many times - Life goes on.

Once I have finished my time to mourn and recover, I will be back.  Until then, keep an eye on the zeds!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gimme Shelter (Part 2)

Dawn shoved Allen out the door.  "Let's move!"
"Mark will be fine!"  Allen said, but moved through the lot.  "He's pretty bad-ass with that bat."
"He wouldn't leave us, so we won't leave him."  Dawn said back, and led Allen back towards the wrecked SUV.

Dawn is back in action!
Picking up from where we left off, Mark is fighting zombies in the street while Dawn and Allen try to get back to help.  Mark is having a good day, and is down to 2 zombies he is fighting.
Mark faces the last 2 zombies...
He knocks them down.
Mark killed the last two zombies, and not seeing any others, ran through the partially open gate.  He almost ran into Dawn and Allen as they walked towards the gate.  "Hey!  You're up, that's great!"
"Sorry we missed all the fun.  Looks like our ride is trashed."  Dawn said as she looked at the SUV.  "The warehouse is clear, should we check anywhere else?"
"Well, we need a place to stay, and I'd like to know who our neighbors are..."
The gang is back together
It may be against my better judgement, but I intend on clearing the remaining buildings, and seeing if one of the vehicles left on the table can used.  I figure on clearing out the derelict building and area first.
Is anyone here?
Mark tried the front door, and found it unlocked.  "That's a surprise, you'd think it would be locked."
"Be careful, anyone could be in there."  Dawn said in a hushed tone.
"Good call.  Everyone ready?"  Mark said as he pulled his pistol out, holding his bat in one hand Mark pushed open the door with his foot.
Two zombies attack
On the first floor, the group finds 2 zombies.  Dawn shoots one, and Mark chooses to go straight to hand to hand.  Between them, they secure the ground floor.  The group moves up the stairs, wanting to clear the building before searching for anything useful.
One more zed
As they topped the stairs, a lone shuffling form lunged out of the shadows.  Mark fire once from his pistol, and the zombie slumped to the floor.  Looking around the empty room, several newspapers and a makeshift bed were found.  "Looks like someone may have been living here."  Allen said.
"I wonder if they turned into the zombies we have found so far."  Mark offered.
"Could be.  We should check the roof also, there is a ladder over here."  Dawn pointed out.
The group climbed the ladder, opening a small trapdoor to the rooftop area.  The view of the bleak burned townscape stretched away from them.  Suddenly, from behind a for sale sign, a lone man stepped out, brandishing a sub-machine gun.
"Drop yo shit and I let you go!" he ordered.
"No way." Mark raised his pistol.
A lone ganger on the roof
Using the Risks and Rewards deck (which I have been using for each building so far, and will continue) the team encounters 1 ganger (Rep 4, SMG).  The meet and greet goes rather poorly, and the ganger chooses to walk the walk.  He and Mark tie for first action, Mark fires, and so does the ganger.
Mark wins the draw-down
Mark fired his pistol twice, and watched the ganger flop to the ground, dead.  Allen let out a low whistle.  "Damn, I felt the shots cut the air between us.  Glad you got him."
Mark shook his head and lowered his pistol.  "Just once I wish we would run into someone NOT trying to kill us."

The ganger tries for all three members, and misses with three shots.  Mark fires twice, hits once and gets an obviously dead result right off.

Technically I could call it a win, and end the scenario.  However, as one team member died, and another went OOF, Mark may have trouble keeping it together.  I am going to use everyone while I have the chance.  The group searches the building, and finds keys and a unit of food.  There are only two viable vehicles on the table for the keys, so the team is off to see what their new ride is...

I am going to skip all the boring moving around parts - it doesn't add anything but time to the scenario.  I did roll each turn for initiative, in case of random events.

The first building the group checked was the nearby garage.
An empty garage
The garage was empty, searching it also yielded nothing.  Not a surprise, but it would be nice to find something useful.  A nearby shipping container is next.
It's a small container
That is empty
The area is apparently pretty boring - the whole area of the factory is empty now.  That leaves only the nearby Family Dollar discount store to search.

Mark walked towards the pickup truck parked outside the store.  He looked through the drivers window, and saw nobody inside.  "Well, I wonder if the keys will fit this."  He said as Allen and Dawn watched his back.  "We could haul all our stuff with this at least."
"That truck would be a decent ride for us."  Allen said as he rubbed a hand over his head.  "That fire is burning out, but I don't think anything survived we can use."
"Have you ever eaten at the Bell?  The fire may have improved things." Dawn joked.  "Although I was hoping we'd be able to find some nacho cheese or something at least.  I'd love a quesadilla."
With a grumble, the truck started.  Mark quickly shut it off.  "Well, looks like we have a new ride.  Let's check the store."
Mark finds their new ride
Rolling randomly, the pickup truck turns out to be the vehicle for the keys the group found, rolling for fuel, it has 4 units of gas - nearly a full tank!  Useful, and certainly capable of hauling their gear.  After finding out the keys will work in the truck, the group enters the store.

As they enter, two forms shuffle out of the shadows...
Zombies in the store
Sunlight tinted red and blue by the colored ads on the windows dimly lit the interior as Mark scanned the shop.  Two shambling forms stumbled from behind displays.  Dawn fired her SMG, the rattling burst sounding angry in the close quarters of the abandoned store.  Allen fired his pistol, and as the smoke cleared Mark stepped forward with his bat, attacking the lone standing zombie.
You know how this will end.
The group dispatches the zombies easily.  Looting the store gives the group one unit of food.  Apparently this area has been pretty thoroughly looted.  The only thing left to do is move the truck to the factory area, and take inventory from the wrecked SUV.  Allen and Dawn take up position at the entrance, Mark is going to drive the truck alone, just in case something goes wrong.
Allen and Dawn wait at the gate
Mark fired up the pickup truck, the growl of the V8 echoing like thunder in the ruins of the town.  "Better make this quick."  He thought.  "This thing is going to be heard for miles..."  Mark spun the truck out of its parking spot, and sped down the road.
Figures started shambling towards the sound almost immediately.  Emaciated undead figures were searching for their next meal...
pffft, its just one
bah, just one more.
Zombies converge on the gate
Mark skidded to a stop inside the gate, barely getting the truck stopped before sliding across the seat and out the passenger side door.  He grabbed his bat and was ready to face the zombies following the truck. 
Zombies sense the group
The zombies go first, and begin to close on the survivors.  Mark manages to pass 2D on a fast move check, and charges the zombies just outside the gate.
Mark has to be getting tired of this.
Mark ran out of the gate and started bashing zombies.  Allen gave him an encouraging shout, and closed the gate behind Mark.  It would help them keep the zombies out of the commercial lot they were going to stay in.  "Go get 'em Mark!"  Allen raised his pistol and took aim at a zombie in the street.  "Let's clear them out!"
Allen closes the gate
Dawn and Allen help clear the streets
The next turn starts with a random event (more doubles).  It seems the dice are not done with Mark yet.
It could be worse
Mark finished off the zombie he had been fighting, and charged the armed zombie. 
The armed zombie gets charged
Mark takes it down quickly
Allen kills one, the zombies charge Mark
This doesn't seem like a problem
A lone zombie is summoned by Allen's gunfire.  As the scenario is almost done, I figure on finishing off the zombie next to Mark and then killing the last zombie in melee (nice and quiet like).  That will only work if the team actually gets to activate...
A zombie approaches
Mark keeps fighting his 'friend'
Dawn doesn't see the zombie approach
For two turns the team doesn't get to activate, but the zombies do.  Mark is fighting in hand to hand, and only manages to knock down the zombie twice.  Everyone is facing away from the approaching zombie, and can't do anything about it!

The sound of scraping on the low stone wall behind Dawn was the only warning she had.  Turning around, she narrowly avoided the overhand blow from the zombie.  "Gah!  There's one right here!"  She yelled, lashing out with the butt of her SMG.
Zombie surprises Dawn
Dawn is charged from behind, but manages to pass 1d for her check.  As she is surprised, I rule she counts as having an improvised weapon (not the machete she carries) and Dawn manages to get an evenly matched with the zombie on the first turn.  Mark finally kills the zed he is facing when it attacks him.  The next turn, the survivors go, and Dawn kills the zombie she is facing.
All gone
The zombies were all dead, and the group just needed to find what was still useful from the SUV.  I took the inventory list and did a simple roll (Pass- it was still usable, Fail - it was destroyed) for each item.  In the end, the group is still pretty well supplied - in addition to the gear they are carrying, they have:
10 units of fuel (4 were in the pickup truck), 6 units food, 5 units luxury, 1 unit meds, 1 machine pistol, 2 BAP, 2 pistol, 1 machete, 1 shotgun and 1 chainsaw.

On a side note, cargo carrying capacity for vehicles has changed radically from BDTZ.  It had been 12 units per passenger, which gave the SUV 72 cargo units (6*12) in FFO it suggests "twice the number of occupants" (pg 54).  A shopping cart has a capacity of 24 something doesn't quite jive here.  I will assume the cargo capacity is in addition to each passenger, and substituting cargo for passengers at a 12:1 ratio makes sense.  That will be what I play with going forward.  I should have looked at that more closely to begin with, oh well.

Rolling for Keeping it together, Mark is down 2 dice (one dead, one OOF) and is only rolling 3d6.  He gets 2 successes, which is better than I had hoped.  I decide to roll according to the modified rep for Allen and Dawn (it seems fair, as they were not in 'top form' for the scenario).  Allen rolls 2d, Dawn rolls 3d, and each get 1 success.  Everything is good, and everyone stays, plus as an added bonus, I don't have to check for them next time.  Whew.

In case you are wondering, the title for this scenario came from the Rolling Stones song, as it came on the radio I was listening to while I was playing.   It seemed fitting for this game.

The group is going to stay in place for a few days, unless something drives them out sooner...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gimme Shelter (Part 1)

"That real estate sign said up here."  Mark said as he guided the SUV down the highway.  "We've had good luck with places that were for sale before...all this happened.  Hopefully this is a place we can rest."
"I'm just glad to be out of that hell hole you found me in.  Another day and I was dead for sure."  Issac said.  "Seriously, what was up with those people?"
"They had to be messed up before this happened."  Dawn added.  "No way could they have gotten that bad in just the past month, right?"  Dawn looked at Allen, who was absently rubbing his shoulder and staring at the countryside going past.
"A lot can happen in a few weeks."  Allen said quietly.  "The whole world can end."
Silence followed his pronouncement.  The SUV rolled through the countryside, past empty farms and fields, finally coming over a rise on the outskirts of a town.  Smoke still hung in the air, and large portions of the town were little more than smoldering ruins.
"Looks like we missed a bad time."  Mark said, slowing down to look over the area.  "I can see the factory that is for sale.  It seems in decent shape, there is even a low wall around the property.  Looks like there could be a storm brewing."  Dark clouds hung in the sky overhead.
"It's not getting any closer by us sitting here and I'd rather be inside if it's going to rain.  Let's go."  Issac said, and Mark moved the SUV forward.

The group added Issac, freed from the basement of the 'family' in the previous encounter.
Issac is a repainted Heroclix of Nomad (#016 from Captain America) all I did was give him a wash, and repaint his vest as a leather jacket, and gave him blue jeans.  As figures go, he is pretty decent for a survivor as is.  I may get another one and modify it with a backpack, or a weapon swap.

The group is trying to find a place to rest, after the ambush by the "family" in the previous scenario.  Mark and Allen are wearing body armor (looted from the family) Mark has the grenade that Horace had found, and Issac picked up a shotgun.  Otherwise, the group is still equipped as they have been for some time.  Due to their injuries, Allen is at Rep 2, and Dawn is Rep 3 for this scenario.

It is afternoon of day 24, and the group is approaching a suburban area, the encounter rating is 3, 3 PEFs and there are 15 starting zombies.  The goal of the scenario is to find a building, empty it out, or find it empty (no zombies/hostiles) and spend at least a turn inside with no zombies within 6" of the building.  The initial plan is for the large "abandoned" building (Stoelzel's Structures Derelict Commercial Building) but any intact (not burned out) building can meet the criteria for success.
Approaching the town
Ashes drifted on the breeze as Mark guided the SUV down side streets.  "That big wreck off the main drag looks best avoided.  Besides, these roads seem to be taking us right there."
"I have started seeing a few of the zeds out there."  Issac said, gripping his shotgun, and removing his seat belt.  "I will cover the side as we drive, and when we get there, I'll stay on this side."
"Be careful Issac, you never know what we'll run into."  Dawn said.  "If we all stick together, we should be good."
Mark drove into the town, passing empty cars and damaged buildings.  "Anyone want a burrito?"  Mark joked as they drove past a Taco Bell.  "It's been a while since I had a taco..."
"We may want to check that later.  There's bound to be food there still."  Dawn said.
Moving into the town
The SUV moved into the town, one PEF moved closer, the others did not move.  After the group moved, zombies charged the SUV.
Zombies charge!
Silly zombies, crushed under the SUV
The next turn, I roll doubles and get a random event.
I randomize the buildings and find out that the Taco Bell catches fire!  Seems the hot sauce is a little too hot.  Another PEF moves forward, and another 8 zombies appear.
Gives Fire Sauce a new meaning
As the SUV moves forward, they spot the first PEF, as well as a horde of zombies in the road.
The road is blocked
The PEF turns out to be nothing, but the zombies in the road make a very fine target...
Not a pedestrian crossing!
Another PEF revealed
Driving forward, the group revealed another PEF, which also turned out to be nothing.  I'm not complaining, I don't need more zombies to deal with.  Vehicles make an effective anti-zombie machine, which I suppose is a bit of an understatement.

The zombies go next, and charge the vehicle.  Luckily the SUV is moving, and charging a moving vehicle is not good for anyone's health.
Zombies attack the SUV
Dawn and Issac shoot as well
Zombies crashed into the SUV.  Mark swerved the SUV around, and the dull thudding of the corpses being crushed under the wheels echoed through the cabin.  Issac fired his pistol out the window, dropping one zombie before it could reach the SUV.  "Hell yes!  Take that!"
Dawn let off a burst from her SMG.  A zombie staggered and fell as a bullet shattered its skull.  "Maybe we should find a place further away from the town!"
"Keep going!  We're almost there!"  Issac yelled.
Time to turn the corner
Turning the corner, I lined up the zombies between the group and the gate.  Smacking the zombies with the SUV seems like the safest plan.
Zombie smackin' machine!
Mark gunned the SUV around the corner.  He lined up several zombies between them and the gates to the factory.  The first zombie crunched apart, parts scattering in the street as the SUV destroyed it.
"Get 'em!" Issac yelled and cheered.

Zombie go squish
Nearly 5000 pounds of steel hurtled down the road, crushing bodies as it slammed into them.  Mark was guiding the SUV down the street aiming for the zombies staggering towards the sound of the engine.  Blood and gore spattered the once deep blue paint job, leaving ugly rust colored stains.
"Maybe this is the way to clear these things out!"  Mark yelled as he hit the last zombie.
One more to go
As the last zombie disappeared under the front wheel, Mark felt the steering wheel jerk in his hands, and the SUV wouldn't turn.  Panic started to grab Mark, and he hit the brakes, only to find the SUV didn't slow at all.  
"Hang on everyone!"  was all he could yell as the SUV crashed into the gate and wall.  Airbags slammed into Mark, and he felt the seat belt wrench him back into his seat.
So I am cruising along, bash 5 vs bash 1 as the SUV piles into the zombies.  Then I roll 0 successes and the zombie manages 1.  Wow, that sucks.  The SUV finishes its move, flips and is destroyed.  Everyone on board takes a hit against a ranged impact 3 attack.  Mark passes 2d, and is protected, so can carry on.  Dawn passes 1d, and is Out of the fight.  Allen also passes 2d, and being protected, can carry on.  Issac, oh poor Issac, is killed outright by the impact.  He should have worn his seat belt.
Mark attacks the zombies
"Allen, get Dawn out of here!  I'll hold off the deadheads!"  Mark levered himself out the driver's door, grabbing his bat before jumping down to the street.
Allen unbuckled, and moved to the front, kicking out the shattered remains of the windshield.  Grabbing Dawn's unconscious form, he dragged her from the SUV, past Issac's still form.  "Damn, sorry dude."  Allen shook his head as he moved towards the nearby buildings.
Allen moves away from the wreck
Mark killed the zombie that had caused the wreck.  He moved onto the next, Allen moved further away, towards the door to the warehouse.  He may only be rep 2, but if they can get to a "safe" building, at least they can escape.
Mark fights in the street
Allen heads for the warehouse
Mark was fighting in the street, and zombies began to gather at the burning Taco Bell.  He couldn't see Allen or Dawn, and could only hope they made it to safety.
Zombie horde gathers at the burning Taco Bell
First he knocks one down
Then attacks another
My plan was pretty simple, kill the zombies in the streets, and fight the remaining horde as it crosses the hedge between the road and the parking lot.  This should give Mark a good chance to keep the zombies from overwhelming him.
Mark killed one zombie, and turned on the next closest.  Sweat stung his eyes, and he was worried about how many were moving towards him.  As he took a swing at the zombie, his focus moved to another zombie shambling down the street towards him.  Not paying attention, he missed the zombie, which slammed him to the pavement.  Gnashing teeth and grasping hands closed on Mark as he fought desperately from the ground...

Mark looses his melee by 1, and is knocked down.  He passes 2d for the check, and (thank you!) can carry on as he has body armor.  This is especially important, as the zombies move next, and another charges Mark as he is on the ground.
Zombies go for a Mark snack
Mark fell to the rough pavement, losing his bat from his grip.  The zombie was on him almost immediately, dead hands grabbing and trying to wrench his arms out of the way of the snapping jaws.  Mark barely held the struggling corpse off of him, he could see another zombie grasping at his legs.
"This is it."  He thought.  "Not without a fight though."  Mark scissored his legs,twisting with the zombie over him.  Reversing positions with zombie bought Mark enough time to grab his bat, and start smashing the head of the first zombie, even as the next grabbed at Mark.  The two struggled with the bat between them, Mark kneeling on the ground as the zombie slowly forced him down...
Mark fights for his life
So Mark manages to WIN one combat, and kills the zombie that had knocked him down.  He manages to get evenly matched with the other zombie.  Really, better than I could reasonably expect.

Meanwhile, Allen and Dawn look for a safe haven.
Allen leaves Dawn by the corner
An empty warehouse
Allen propped Dawn by the building corner.  "I'll check the warehouse, let's hope its empty."  Her limp form crumpled along the ground as Allen moved to the nearby door.  He could hear Mark yelling and fighting, keeping the zombies attention away from them.  Reaching the door, he pulled it open and entered the dimly lit warehouse.
"Empty."  Allen said as he looked over the cracked concrete floor and a few barrels.  "This will work."

Allen found and empty building.  At least he and Dawn have a chance to survive if Mark gets eaten...

The next turn starts with doubles.  It seems Mark isn't out of trouble yet!
Was Mark bitten?
Mark takes the "Harry are you okay?" test, being the only character to have contact with zombies so far in this scenario.  Mark rolls a 6, and shrugs off the effect.  Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come...
Mark gets up and attacks!

Playing chicken with the zombies
Mark only knocked down the first zombie.  There are a bunch of zeds coming from the Taco Bell, so I decide to move off.  Having just stood up, Mark can't move very far, and he fails the fast move test.  I really only have one way to go, which looks like trouble, as its along the road, with a solid wall on one side and a hedge on the other.  I figure Mark is enough more athletic than the zombies - he should be able to get away.
Here they come!
Mark clobbers the first zombie that approaches, killing it easily.  Allen drags Dawn into the warehouse and moves some barrels around to 'hide' her.  I am considering moving Allen out to help Mark, but first I want to make sure someone will survive...
Allen makes sure Dawn is safe
Another roll of doubles starts the next turn, and a random event is drawn:
A bolt from the blue
A random location is struck by lightning.  It hits the large tower across from the deserted factory.  Luckily, it plays no part in the battle.  Unfortunately, the zombies win initiative, all Mark can do is watch the horde come at him.  The zombies charge Mark and quickly surround him.
Alone against the horde
Mark stood his ground as the zombies crashed around him.  He could feel the press moving him slowly backwards, trying to knock him off his feet.  Mark knew if he fell, he would die.  Moving with the press, Mark dodged several blows, and managed to keep upright.  Then as soon as he could, Mark started lashing out with his bat, smashing heads and blocking grasping arms...

Being completely surrounded, and with several zombies with enough movement to carry past Mark, I ruled he could be swarmed over and dragged down.  I rolled 1d for each zombie in melee and each that could actually reach Mark.  This gave the zombies 9d6, Mark rolled his Rep, or 5d6.  The zombies scored 4 successes, and Mark scored all 5.  Bam!  He stays on his feet, and we move to hand to hand.

Mark must have been energized by surviving the surge.  He kills 3 zombies and knocks 3 others down.  I swear Mark moved into Hero mode!  It was his turn to act...
Stop the zombie horde
Mark kept moving, swing the bat in wide arcs, smashing skulls and breaking arms all about him.  As the zombies crash down, he moved to finish them off, then launched at the next standing group.  "Gotta fight my way out!"  Mark thought desperately.
Finishing off the prone zombies

Charging the next zombies

Knocking the dead down
Mark finishes off the downed zombies, and then charges the remaining zombies.  He manages to knock three down.  It seems he has his mojo back.  The next turn starts with another random event (another set of doubles rolled!)  This time, its something good.
Finally something good
Dawn gets a chance to recover, and passes 2d.  She recovers and joins Allen in the warehouse.
Dawn gets back up, ready to go!
Coughing, Dawn sat up suddenly.  "What the hell?  Where am I?"  She looked around and spotted a surprised Allen.
"We crashed.  Mark is still out there, but I dragged you in here to be safe."  Allen said as he checked the door.  "I figured you would be out for a while yet."
"Mark is out there alone?"  Dawn said, getting up and checking her SMG.  "Let's get out there and help him!"

I'll continue this in part two...