Tuesday, December 23, 2014

End of the Line (Long)

"Just up the block, past the Anderson place.  We have a small picket fence out front, unless something has destroyed it."  Allen was pointing up the road, towards his home.  "I am sure Olivia will be happy to see everyone.  It's not a big house, but we should be able to stay for a while."
"It will be fine Allen."  Mark replied.  "Let's just get there first, then we can work out sleeping arrangements."  The group jogged past several wrecked cars, and a burned out house.
"Looks like there was some action here."  Dawn said, absently checking her SMG.  "Let's keep an eye out for more gang members."
"Hopefully we can avoid the zombies."  Larry added.  "They don't seem too active, if we keep moving I bet we can sneak by them."
"We're gettn' close!"  Allen said, clearly happy to be almost home.  "There aren't enough zombies to stop me now!"

The group is approaching Allen's family home.  This is a special scenario, and has a few special rules.  First, the situation at Allens house is unknown.  Once he can draw line of sight, within 12", of the special PEF marker at his house, the situation will be revealed.  Until that time, the 3 PEFs and the initial zombies will stay in place.  If the team moves within 6" of a zombie, or attacks it in any way, it activates and stays active until killed.  A group of 5 zombies will move 4" onto the board behind the survivors (basically blocking their immediate escape) but otherwise will act as the other zombies.

When Allen triggers the special PEF, I will roll a d6, with a chance of 'exploding' meaning if I roll a 6, I will roll again and add the results.  This can continue indefinitely.  From the previous missions, I have an 8 point bonus, which in this case is subtracted from the roll.  The group has 2 luxury items that can be 'expended' for a 1 point bonus each (if I am close I'll use them for a better result).

The group enters the neighborhood, and proceeds to move towards Allens house. There is a small group of zombies I have to fight through to get to Allen's home.  Hopefully they won't be a problem.
The team is a few homes from Allen's house

As an homage to Project Zeke Miniatures, I present a soundtrack for this recap: 

Allen takes off to start, and the whole group spreads out behind him.  Allen stops short of charging the zeds, and shoots at them instead.  He misses both shots (summoning 2 zombies).  This does give the group a chance to catch up.  The next turn, the group gets initiative, and they charge into melee, keeping Allen on his mission.
Allen misses
Allen Takes one down
Mark and Dawn move in and finish off the rest
Allen struggled with the zombie, grappling with the undead.  A silver flash caught the sunlight, and Dawn's machete sliced the zombies head in half.  "Thanks!"  Allen said "The side gate is just ahead!"
"We're almost there, just hold on Allen!"  Mark yelled as everyone gathered in front of the ruined house.  "We have to stick together."
Everyone back together
Allen takes off at the start of the next turn.  The zombies will go after Team Mark.  Allen gets to the side gate for his yard, and we find out what happened to his family.
Allen gets home.
Time to roll for what is going on.  Allen has a -8 bonus to the roll, and I have 2 units of luxury items I can burn for another -2 if it will make a difference.  The chart overall looks like this:

The roll comes through...

Allen ran to the side gate for his yard, just beyond the gate he could see Olivia.  "Livia!  I'm home baby, I'm home!"  Tears ran down his cheeks, and he reached out to open the gate.  "I was so afraid..."
Allen's words choked in his throat.  Olivia turned around, her lifeless eyes seeking out the noise.  Beyond her, a small girl reached out, her pallid skin looking ugly in the sunlight.  A low moan escaped from her ruined throat, answered by other zombies nearby.
Allen finds horror at home.
I rolled a 17.  Even with the -8 bonus, it is still a 9, and Allen finds his family dead, and another 9 zombies (3d6 from the chart + 1/2d6 from the basic PEF that was there) just to add insult to injury, Allen passes 0d on a zed or no zed check, and will count as unarmed when charged next.

Mark saw Allen freeze, he knew the worst had happened.  "Everyone, we're going to need to head back.  Let's try for that car lot, get some wheels and get out of here."  Mark directed.  "I'll get Allen."
Dawn looked at Allen and saw the horror in his slumped shoulder.  "Get him Mark, let's go!"
Mark tries to get Mark to move
I move Mark up and try to use his leader die to help Allen with his recovery.  Still passing 0d, Allen is going to be suffering if the zombies get to him.  The rest of team takes the time to blast the nearby zeds, I hope to clear a path off the table, at least get it so everyone can survive.  If I can get off the table where the team entered, the group will be able to get the car from the last scenario without problem.
Not the best shooting
The zombies move next.  They sweep the picket fence out of their way with no problems.  Mark and Allen are quickly surrounded, Mark is right next to Allen, but can't keep the zombies from getting to him.
Zombies swarm Allen and Mark
Mark swung violently all around, smashing the heads of the zombies as they charged at him and Allen.  "Allen, you gotta fight back man!"  Mark yelled  "Don't give up!"
Allen grappled with the withered husk that had been his wife.  "No! No! No! No!"  He kept saying, acting in a daze.  His machete hung from his belt, forgotten.  "Please God, no!"  Allen wept, but managed to twist and turn with the zombie.  He didn't pay attention to small girl moving closer...
Mark clears out some zeds
Allen fought well, he tied the first zombie (his wife) but lost to the second zed (his daughter).  He passed 0d for his knocked down test, and was killed.  Kelly passes 0d for her man down check, and is running away.  everyone else manages to carry on.
Allen Falls.
The next turn starts with a PEF moving into the open. 
PEF moves out to contact
Great, more zombies.
Kelly sprints off, not quite making the board edge.  I plan on moving the group more or less that way, if I can get the space, they will loop back towards the entrance area, so I can get the car. Mark can't help Allen any more, so I have him charge to try and get to the exit area.  There are plenty of zombies on the board, so no lack of targets.
The group watches Kelly run off
Mark leads the way
 Moving forward the rest of the group kills the zombies that could chase down Kelly.  I have them group up, just in case the zombies get too close.
Not the preferred exit path
Circle the wagons
Mark smashed the bat into the zombies head.  He glanced over the ruined pickup truck and saw the rest of the group following Kelly.  "Come this way!  If she wants to run away, let her go!"  Mark backed up to the truck, seeing a wave of undead coming from all over the neighborhood.  "We have to get out of here!"
Zombies everywhere!
Mark holds out against the first wave to hit him.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team is ready to move.
Mark fights the zeds
More zeds appear
Zombies win the initiative the next turn, and swarm all over Mark and the rest of the group.  Kelly makes her escape off the side of the table, and into the streets of Minneapolis.
Is it a monster mash?  (sorry that was pretty bad...)
Zombies have the right of way...
Zombies groaned, seeming eager to get at the living.  They poured out of the ruined homes and stumbled through the dead lawns.  Larry leveled the shotgun at the approaching mass of zombies.  Waiting as long as he could, Larry fired a barrage from the large gun.  Zombies disappeared, crashing to the ground.  One staggered through the hail of lead and Larry wrestled with it's deathless grasp.
"I'm having trouble here!"  Larry yelled as he narrowly avoided being knocked over.  "Maybe a little help?"
Dawn kicked the zombie down in front of her.  "When I have a chance.  We need to move!"

Larry killed 2 of 3 zombies charging him, and ended up locked in combat with the third.  Nadine shot and killed the zombie charging her.  Dawn killed one zombie, and knocked the other down.
Effective shooting, now melee
Mark smashed and slashed among the zombies.  The undead skulls cracked open, and Mark fought the horde, clearing a space near the ruined pickup truck.  "Come this way!  We can get through the street and get out of here!"
Mark is carving a path

Zombies spawned from the gunfire along the street that Kelly fled down.  I saw an opening for the group and decided it was time to go for it.
I just thought it was a cool pic
Mark clubbed another pair of zombies, their putrid corpse crunching apart as he smashed them with his bat.  "Move!  We have an opening!"  He yelled, waving the rest of the group forward.
Dawn slashed at the downed zombie as she turned and ran.  Bringing up her SMG, she sprayed bullets into two zeds near the pickup truck, bullets shattering their skulls.  Nadine sprinted past, spotting more zombies lurking behind the house.
"We have more company!"  Nadine shouted.  "They're everywhere!"
"Don't panic!  If we stick together we'll be fine!"  Mark yelled, turning to face more zeds moving up.
Larry ran next to Nadine, shotgun at the ready.  "We're faster than those dead-heads, we just need to keep moving!"  He said, breathless. 
The group gets closer to escaping
Next a zombie wave crashed into the team, determined to keep them from escaping...
The horde closes in
Dawn saw the zombie stumbling across the street towards her.  Firing quickly she shattered its head, tumbling it to the pavement.  Nadine screamed behind her "They're getting closer!"
Larry was calm.  "We'll be able to run away, just hang on Nadine!"  He watched Mark smashing zombies to the ground.  "Just be ready to move."
A swarm of zombies crashed into Mark, but he could see the way clearing ahead.  "Just a few more and we run for it!"  Mark's bat was slick with gore, and bodies littered the ground around him like fallen leaves.  "We'll be fine..."
The street clears a bit
One last zombie
 Kicking and swinging, Mark killed the zombies as they charged him.  He could see Dawn shoot one that tried to get her as it crossed the street.  Nadine looked almost panicked, frantically looking around.  Larry met Mark's gaze, holding his shotgun as if it could ward off the undead.  Mark saw shock cross Larry's face, and turned to face the last zombie in the street.
Mark swung his bat in fast arc, but glanced off of the zombie's raised arm.  Suddenly the zombie had grabbed Mark, it's foetid breath escaping its jaws as it snapped just in front of his face.  Mark twisted, wrestling with the inhumanly strong creature.  Mark heard a crunch and saw a spray of bright red hit the street in front of him.  His strength went out of his arms, and he dropped his bat to the pavement as he slumped to the ground on his knees.  Looking up, he saw the zombie's jaws working on a chunk of flesh and his shirt.
Dawn screamed "NO!"  Not believing what she was seeing "Mark, No!"
Larry paled, looking on in shock.  "I can't believe it..."
"It's over!  We're all gonna die!"  Nadine shouted.

Mark's Luck runs out.
Mark lost his final round of melee against the zombie.  The dice were bad that day, and Mark paid the price.  Zero successes versus four.  The zombie only needed two, he got an obvious dead result right off.  Star powers don't work against zombies, and Mark slumps down, dead.
It was bound to happen, but it still made this a tough bat rep to write up, and still finish.  Mark was a hero, so I gave him at least one small action - he throws his pack to Larry (he's going to need the supplies.)
Dawn passes 2d for the man down check, Larry passes 1d and both carry on (there is still barely more survivors up than down) but Nadine has had enough - she passes 0d and runs away.

The next turn the survivors win initiative, for what its worth.
Nadine runs away
Dawn takes matters in hand
Choking back tears, Dawn aimed and fired.  The zombie's head blossomed in a spray of red and gray matter, and it dropped next to Mark.  "Tell me you're okay!"  She cried.
His vision was fading, Mark felt like he was on fire.  He could see the blood pool in front of him, and agony on his left side.  He shook his head slowly, loosing the straps of his pack.  With what was left of his strength, he hurled the bag towards Larry.  "Take it...you'll need it."
He looked at Dawn, vision blurring as his life ebbed out.  "Stay alive.  I know you can..."
Dawn's gun barked once, and Mark was gone.
Grabbing the pack, Larry ran alongside of Dawn.  "I'm sorry.  He seemed like a good man."
"He saved me.  He saved a lot of us."  Dawn wiped tears away.  "Let's find that car and get the hell out of here."
Some survive
Dawn and Larry escape the neighborhood.  I rolled and neither Nadine nor Kelly rejoin the group.  For the moment, I use Dawn as the leader, she rolls 3 successes versus Larry's 1, and they stay together.  If they continue...

Dawn glanced back up the street at the horde falling behind her.  Mark was back there, slowing down the zombies for her one last time.  "Goodbye."  She whispered and  wiped tears away, and concentrated on the road ahead.  "We're going to need supplies, that hatchback should get us out of the city, I may know of a place to go..."

Mark's final location
When I started this, I said I would play this straight, and I did.  Mark lost his melee, and was killed.  This was a tough scenario to play - the dice were cold (Allen's roll was crazy bad) but even beyond that, it was just a bad day.

I am considering continuing the campaign with Dawn as my star.  She certainly has earned it.

Do I keep going, or start a new campaign?


  1. wow..just wow!!!! What a great batrep. I say continue it on.

    1. Glad you liked it. I think Dawn will get her chance to continue...

  2. Sorry that bout allen and mark was killed. ... but i think you should continue the campagn.
    Great batrep.

  3. Great batrep. It would be good to see what happens next

    1. It seems most folks want to see things continue. Glad you enjoyed the batrep!

  4. Great BATREP very exciting. Thanks for the post.

  5. Aw, man - that was tough luck. What a grisly end for the good guys!

    I say you carry on with whoever is left. You never know what might happen...

    1. Some days you get the bear...

      It was a tough day, but that's life. Hopefully things can go better next.

  6. Great story. A sad épisode but that is one of the strong power of the atz rules.
    I think you should continue the story...there is still survivors...

    1. It's turning into something good. I'll miss Mark, but I will be continuing the story.

  7. Real bad luck for the heroes. But sometimes bad things happen. It's tough but good for you for playing it straight. I vote you carry on with Dawn as the new leader.

    1. Yeah, you have to take the bad with the good. Besides, it's the difficulties that really define the heroes.

      Dawn will get her chance.

  8. That was a brutal but very good aar. Mark's demise was a tragic but fitting end to this episode and I think you should carry on, Dawn should now take up the baton as the star leader of the group and their adventures should continue.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the batrep. It was pretty tough to write up, just full of downers.

      I was inclined to continue, everyone just helped make the decision easy...

  9. Whoa. That was some write up, well done for playing it straight. Perhaps you should switch back to the farm for a few 'episodes' as a change of scene? Depends whether you want to keep going, which would also be cool! Where are your road sections from, I think you've told us but can't find it! RIP Mark and Allan!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I will continue with Dawn, but I may do some reports from the Farm. I had considered that, just as a change of pace before. It depends on my mood I guess.

      The roads are from some playset by Tomy. It came with a small scale hospital and some signs. I don't know what it is exactly, I purchased it secondhand, but I think it was the Tomika city series. (Google images look like that...)

  10. Wow! That was epic, an awesome way to wrap up the year!
    You should continue dude, the group will morph and change but that's what gives it a personal history! Dawn for leader!

    1. So happy to hear you liked the report.

      I was leaning towards continuing, and with everyone's support, I plan to move ahead with Dawn.

  11. Continue with Dawn!!! Excellent write up! Inspiring me to write as well!

    1. It was a tough one to write up. I'm glad you liked it though. I'm happy to inspire!