Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scenery: Parking Garage (in progress)

Dawn and company, where are they at?
I have another recycled Fisher Price play set, this time it's the parking garage.  I am using the older version, mine has a date of 1971 on it, and has a hardboard base.  I have seen the later (1980's) version, but it has an all plastic base, and doesn't look as easy to make useful.

The original box looked something like this:
If it was in the box, I might have just sold it...
First thing I did (after a quick cleaning) was disassemble the various parts.  One benefit of the older toy is that it is assembled with screws.  There are two pop rivets that I had to drill out that held the ramp to the base, but otherwise the whole building is held together with screws and some plastic snap tabs.
Bunch of pieces
"Tower" splits open easily
The actual parking area
I considered re using the base, but it had a really bad corner, and was an odd size.  I will cut a new piece of hardboard for the new base.  Still, the old base looks interesting; it's pretty nifty what they put on the base as far as artwork goes.
ahhh, memories...
For the next step, I replaced the turntable with a piece of foam core, the original turntable is a soft plastic, and paint won't stick to it.  I had to tear it up to get it off the building, so it's not even useful for scenery.  No big deal.  I added a little texture to some areas of the parking structure to make it a bit less 'plastic'.
First primer pass
The primer didn't completely cover up the existing stickers, but it doesn't have to.  I plan on a few coats of primer before the final coat.  I am not entirely pleased with the fill in disk on the top of the parking garage.  It is quite visible, but short of a full cover of the top, I'm not sure I can hide it.

Instead of the elevator, I am going to make the 'tower' a staircase instead.  I am making the stairs out of foam core and I painting it to look like concrete.  The stairs are more for looks, rather than functional, but I have some landings to make it possible to place figs "on" the stairs.
Foam core stairs and gray paint
On one side of the tower, removing the mechanism for the elevator leaves a rather large opening.  This is large enough to reach into the tower and place figs.  I am going to come up with a 'window' to cover the opening at times, but be removable to use the interior.
Tower and stairs, open side
On the ground floor, there is an open are where the old base had a picture of a hoist for the old elevator.  I am filling in the space with a piece of a floor sample tile.  I recommend a trip to the DIY store to check flooring samples for some useful base/scenery pieces.  Some of the tile can be used right off as a base for a smaller project.

Things go together pretty quick from here.  I put the floors into the tower, and get everything glued together.  I reuse the original screws that held it together, on the chance that I may want to take it apart someday and do something different.
Ground floor, concrete look
I paint some pf the parking lines, and a few other minor details, and get everything placed on the new base.  There are not enough parking spots for this to be a really useful structure, but for gaming purposes, I think it works okay.

I'm not quite done, I plan to add some billboards to the front of the parking levels, partially to cover the gaps where the elevator used to move between floors.  I still need a large window for the side of the staircase, and detail work on the base.  
Some cars and survivors check the layout
Open staircase - needs a window

Moving between levels
Careful near the stairs
So it's not quite done, but it's come along pretty well in the past week or so.  It just might figure into one of the next scenarios in the campaign, so everyone will get to see it in its completed glory soon.  I was inspired by another toybash from the internet.  Searching google will give plenty of results, but my personal favorite, and the most direct inspiration is at Combat Zone Chronicles, the Park n' Blow.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!  Thanks for looking.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Oh No... Zombies!

Happy Mother's Day
This weekend being Mother's Day, we spent some time as a family this weekend, and I didn't get to as much of my projects, or campaign, as I would have normally.  We did, however get an afternoon of boardgames played (Mom is a game collector, and loves boardgames) one of which was the board game Oh No...  Zombies!
The box says it all.

The game is from Archie McPhee, and is meant to be a relatively simple game.  It is listed as for ages 12+, and comes with 14 plastic figures.  My son received the game for Christmas, but we haven't had a chance to play it until now.  There were four of us playing, which worked out well, it could handle up to 4 players.

The players each control a survivor, they have holed up in a cabin.  They need to get batteries for the CB radio in the cabin to call for help.  If it's the zombie apocalypse, I'm not sure who they are calling for help...
All the components

Anyway, there are four corner locations that have batteries, and a shotgun each.  Combat with the zombies is particularly deadly, you draw a card from a provided deck.  From the mix of the cards, there are only a couple of chances to kill a zombie, about a 50/50 chance to be able to run away and the rest of the results are, well, predictable.  There are some weapons (Torch, Shovel, Cricket Bat) scattered around the board that allow players to escape the zombies.
Game survivors with some 28mm survivors...
All the figures on the board.
As humans are turned into zombies, they continue to play, as a zombie, and chase down the remaining humans.  The other, NPC zombies, move according to a die roll (one color activates) and are moved by one of the players.  It gives a bit of backstabbing and some strategy of working together and against each other from turn to turn.

The game played fair enough, although two of us were turned into zombies (yes, I was the second to go!) in the first couple of turns.  The game gets much more difficult as the other players turn into zombies, and work to eliminate the living.  It did take a while to eliminate the last living player, but we managed to corner her and a bad draw in combat ended the game.  Sorry, no in-game pictures, I didn't have the camera handy...

Overall, this was an okay game, although I would only recommend it for kids or for a quick diversion.  The figures are too large to be useful for most gaming scales, although if you used the normal toy soldier scale, they would work for that.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Mother's Day!
Someone has to prepare!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Damnation Alley (Part 4) "Collision Course"

"Go Larry!  I'll take the shot as soon as I can!"  Blake yelled from the top of the Humvee.
Larry had the Hummer wide open on the freeway, scraping past wrecks and signs as he flew down the road.  He was desperate to get close enough to stop the other truck.  "We'll get them, I swear!"  He yelled as Anna groaned in the back.
Orange warning signs flashed by, a construction zone was just ahead.  The roar of the military Humvee filled the air, stirring the undead into a shambling frenzy.  In the eerily quiet Hummer the agents were driving, Agent Smith watched the undead slowly trying to catch their truck, even as the civilians kept pace in the other lanes.  "I don't think they are leaving!"  He yelled out.
Agent Johnson hesitated for the first time in his career.  Should they engage?  "We'll attack them only if we have to."
Both Humvees enter the construction zone

This is a pretty straightforward scenario.  The team is trying to force the agents to stop, and will do whatever they can to get "the cure" for Anna who has been bitten.  If needed, both vehicles can continue onto adjacent boards in pursuit.  If that occurs, I'll deal with how one side escapes the other.

A note on vehicle rules:  In Final Fade Out, the vehicle rules are pretty basic (they even mention that in the rule book) so I have a few minor modifications I use while playing.  First change is that a vehicle can make a number of turns per its turn rating at it's max speed (C=1, B=2, A=3) if going below half of max speed, all vehicles gain an additional turn, if less than a quarter of its max speed the vehicle gets another additional turn.  Second is that the vehicles can make their turns at any point during their move.

Turn one starts, and the agents don't activate, the survivors do, and then the zombies.  The agents vehicle moves first, being inactive, then the survivors.  Both vehicles start in sight of each other - which makes a very big difference in how this encounter plays out...
The agents reveal the PEF
They find more zombies
Agent Johnson turned to avoid the wrecked car.  Zombies were everywhere and the construction site was crowded with equipment and debris.  He didn't want to slow down, the other Hummer was still so close.  "Smith!  We may need to clear the zeds!"
"That other truck is coming this way!"  Smith yelled out, following the other Hummer with his machine gun.  "Should I engage?"
Larry drives into the construction site
Blake looked over the rifle sights, and saw the agent swinging his machine gun up towards him.  It was now or never.  He fired once at the gunner, and without waiting, he then fired into the engine compartment of the Hummer.  "Got 'em!"  He yelled.
Blake shoots the agents
Blake has an amazing round of shooting.  First, he fires one shot at the gunner, hits and gets a kill result.  Boom, head shot!  He fires his last two shots into the Hummer.  Had I been paying attention, I may have just fired all three shots into the Hummer to begin with.  To damage a vehicle, you roll a d6 and add the target rating of the weapon.  Blake started with one shot to the gunner, leaving him needing a 6 to damage the Hummer.  Luckily, he gets a six.  He then wins the 6d bash roll off, resulting in the Hummer rolling over and everyone inside taking an impact 3 hit.  That will be the movement next turn for the

Oh yeah, the zombies go next...
Zombies swarm the survivors
The agents are on the menu
Even with the Hummer out of control, the zombies fall under the wheels of both trucks. Remember, keep moving if you are in a vehicle during the zombie apocalypse!

The next turn starts with a random event.
Well that turned out to be nothing.
Apparently everyone is just jumpy...I roll a 3 and get nothing.  Anna rolls for the infection next.
Anna stays alive!
Agent Johnson struggled with the steering wheel, trying desperately to turn the behemoth truck.  The brakes locked up and the smell of rubber filled the air.  Out of control, the Hummer smashed head on into a parked pick-up truck.  The last thing Agent Johnson saw was the shattered windshield exploding into the Hummer.

The Humvee moved out of control to start the turn.  It crashed into a parked pick up truck, rolled over and was destroyed.  Each person inside suffers an impact 3 attack.  Agent Johnson goes OOF, Agent Smith is already dead, and the last agent is killed in the crash.  Ouch, Phoenix Corp is out for the count.  Doctor Lewis is knocked OOF and Trish is stunned.  Not the worst situation, but I had hoped the doctor would be available to treat Anna...
Blake clears some zeds
Dawn fires on her way to the Hummer
Dawn searches the Humvee for the cure
Larry slammed on the brakes, just missing colliding with the out of control Hummer as it plowed into the pick up truck.  It rolled over as it came to a stop, shattered glass spilling over the pavement.  Without waiting for the truck to come to a stop, Dawn had opened her door and was running to the crash.
"Cover me!"  Dawn yelled as she skidded down the road.  She paused to shoot a nearby zombie as it approached the crash.  "I'll find the cure!"
"Anyone still alive in there?"  Dawn yelled as she pulled dead agent Smith from the top hatch and entered the Hummer.  Dawn could see the agents were in bad shape, they both looked dead.  Trisha moaned from the seat where she was slowly unbuckling in a daze.
Desperately looking around, Dawn grabbed a cooler she had seen the agents carrying to the truck.  Opening the top, she was greeted with dozens of vials, all with cryptic markings.  "Is one of these the cure?"  She screamed at Trisha.  
Trisha moaned "I don't know which ones.  She hit me up with a few different things...I think."
Dawn shook the doctor, still strapped into her seat.  "Wake up!  I need that cure!"  The doctor didn't respond.

Dawn runs to the Hummer and searches, but really needs the doctor to give her the cure.  Trisha is stunned, and comes around as Dawn searches.  Dawn attempts to revive the doctor, I give her a 1 in 6 chance of bringing her from OOF to stunned.  She misses the roll.

The zombies move closer when they activate.  The next turn, the zombies go first, of course the Hummer moves first (being a vehicle.)
Larry pulls the Hummer closer
Dawn backed out of the wreckage, carrying the case with her.  "One of these will hopefully do the trick."  She said, trying to hurry.  "If you want to stay, feel free, otherwise stay close and you can come with us."  Dawn offered to Trisha.
"I'll come along, if it's all the same to you."  Trish said, still groggy.
"Dawn, grab whatever is useful and let's go!"  Larry yelled from the Hummer.  "We have to go.  NOW!"
"I'm not sure what we need for Anna..."  Dawn's reply was cut off by two rifle shots echoing from the truck.
Zombies charge the survivors
Dawn faces a zombie (and kills it)
Anna shuddered and was still.  Agent Killian yelled "Ahhh Help!  She's dead man!"
"Shut up back there!"  Larry shouted back.  "She'll be fine, we've got your stuff and your doctor..." He looked back in time to see Anna sit up, emptiness in her eyes.  Agent Killian tried to back away, but his movement only caught her attention.
Anna finally looses her battle with the infection
Anna misses her roll, and succumbs to the infection.  I should have had her wait a turn before activating, but I got caught up in the moment, and she activates with the zombies this turn.  I randomly roll for which of three targets she will go after (Larry, Blake or the agent) and the agent is attacked.
Anna attacks Agent Killian
Agent Killian is knocked out

Yelling with fear, Larry cried out.  "Blake help!"
Blake dropped into the truck, looking towards the back.  He saw the zombie that was Anna poised over the agent, looking to feast.  "Sorry girl."  He said and fired.

Blake drops into the truck
He kills the zombie Anna and the agent (just in case)

The next turn, the survivors go first, then the zombies.  Dawn grabs agent Smith's body and his weapon, dragging them to the Hummer.  Trisha grabs a weapon from the wreckage and runs for the survivors truck.  They both pile into the Hummer during the turn.  Blake gives a little covering fire from the top hatch.
Dawn shoots a zed before heading for the Hummer
Everyone is on board, time to leave!
The next turn, the zombies get a free turn.  The Hummer moves first, only 4" though!
The zombies chase the Hummer
After running over one zombie, the next turn is another free turn for the zombies.  At least this didn't happen earlier!
The slowest escape ever!
One zombie manages to try and grab the Hummer
The lone zombie misses it's roll, and is crushed by the Hummer.  The next turn, the survivors win initiative, and speed off the table.

"Pull over up here."  Dawn said, pointing to the right, near a pile of rubble.  Looking around, she didn't see many zombies.  "We'll have to be quick."
Blake and Dawn quickly laid Anna's body along the road side.  They set the two dead agent bodies next to her.  Quickly they shoveled some stones over the bodies.  "Sorry we can't do more."  Dawn wiped away tears.  "Let's get moving."  she said quietly to Blake.
As they pulled away, Anna tossed the radios and phones from the agents to the road.  "That should keep them from tracking us down."

So that was a bummer.  The team does come out with a set of body armor, a light machine gun, a baton and Trisha (who also picked up a suppressed BAP) who is a Rep 4 ganger.  I'm not sure how long she will stay with the group.  I will have consider how to best handle it.

The group is halfway through the highway, so in theory they have seven more boards to cover.  We'll see how that goes.  With the failure to save Anna, I do a 'Keeping it Together' check, and Dawn manages 2 successes.  That is enough, she manages to beat both Larry and Blake (who each only manage one success) and ties Trisha.  For now, they all stay together.  I have Blake and Larry both with body armor now, along with Dawn.  At least it feels like they have a chance!

Oh, I almost forgot...  

Doctor Lewis makes her escape!
Doctor Lewis watched the camouflaged Humvee speed off.  The zombies shambled after the retreating vehicle.  Shaking her head, she slowly crawled to the front of the truck she pulled the pistol from wounded Agent Johnson, as well as his radio.  Pausing for only a moment, she used the pistol to execute the agent.
Looking around the wreckage, she found her portable hard drive, and secured the sample case.  Double-checking that she had everything she wanted, Doctor Lewis slowly crawled out of the wreck, keeping it between her and the zombies.  Walking in a slow shamble, she moved clear of the crash.
Once she was clear, Dr. Lewis sprinted for cover behind a nearby sign.  Looking back, she didn't see any signs that the zombies were following her.  Walking briskly, she turned on the radio.  "Control, this is Doctor Lewis.  I have data and samples, require pickup.  Your Agent team has been eliminated."  Just ahead, the doctor could see a container truck.
"This is Control.  Are you safe?  What is your location?"  The calm voice responded on the radio.
"I will be on top of a green container on 35W, near mile marker fifteen.  I will be relatively safe from the zeds, but exposed to the environment.  Need pickup in four hours or less."  Doctor Lewis reached the container, and started climbing up to the top.  "Subject Hotel Seven has escaped.  Radium tracer should be active."  The doctor hesitated before continuing.  "The subject is a class one specimen.  Recommend recovery as soon as possible."
"Understood.  Helicopter extraction scheduled for 30 minutes."  Control said.  "Just stay alive Doctor, we will handle the rest."

Yeah, the story's not quite completed yet...