Sunday, July 5, 2015

Damnation Alley "Dead End"

"If you're serious about going east, we 're going to need to leave the highway."  Trish said as she checked her stolen pistol.  "The military and cops have a war going on the east side."
"They're fighting each other?"  Larry asked as he swerved around another wreck in the road.  "Why?"
"I heard the military tried to take over, and a bunch of the cops decided they wouldn't follow orders from the grunts."  Blake said, looking around the truck.  "I have seen them fighting along the highway, and I have heard the police have a couple of bases around the university."
"Yeah, and the army has a base by the gas tanks near the highway."  Trish added.  "We tried to head east about a week ago, and both sides were shooting at everyone!"
"Our best bet is to get out of town, and I know the farm Ella is at would be a great place to hole up."  Dawn said, looking out the window.  "We'll see what is going on and try to find a way through.  Besides, I don't think we can turn around."
"I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a chopper.  I know we heard one when we stopped back there."  Blake said, moving to the gunner hatch.

Larry drove the Hummer down the highway, approaching the bridge for the Mississippi River.  Wrecks strewn all over the roadway had a much more burned out and destroyed appearance compared to what they group had been seeing.  Larry drove up onto the bridge and slammed on the brakes.  "Oh crap."  He said as he looked ahead.
Zombie Horde!
"What's up ahead?"  Dawn asked, opening her door and stepping out to get a better look.  Black columns of smoke rose from four areas ahead, clearly fires burning and started recently.  An abandoned road block was just past the bridge, blocking the nearest exit.  Just beyond was an endless mass of zombies, slowly shambling westward on the highway.
"What do we do?"  Blake asked, looking to Dawn.
Pausing only a moment, Dawn answered.  "We go through the roadblock, up the exit ramp and work north and east on the side streets."  Hopping back into the truck Dawn pointed towards the exit.  "Punch it Larry, we'll never make it through that horde!"

The group is entering a different part of the Twin Cities, and this area has military forces facing off against a conglomerate police force based out of the ruins of the university.  The military holds a pipeline/fuel storage area, as well as a small pre-apocalypse military facility.  The two groups have been fighting for weeks now, and have reduced much of the area to rubble.

Phoenix Corp has also entered the mix, stirring up a massive horde of zombies and blowing up several barricades on the highway.  They have a method to track Trish, and want to recover her for the zombie cure project.  The group won't be escaping the city yet, and their plan for leaving is busted.

This will kick off a series of somewhat planned scenarios as I settle the groups dealings with Phoenix Corp.  Starting off, the group needs to get off the highway.  This will count as a failed scenario when the team takes their next 'keeping it together' check.  This may be modified by other events, especially in the follow-on scenarios.

For this scenario, the group is trying to get to an exit from the highway.  There is a massive horde of zombies coming towards the group, which will add 15 zombies every turn, in addition to normal urban (4+) zombie spawning.  There will be three PEFs per the normal rules.  The contact tables will be slightly modified, with the civilian, gangers, survivors (0-2 on the day 30+ chart) replaced with 'living', and a second check to determine if it is military, police, ganger, survivors or corporate goons.  The odds for each depends on the area.

On with the show!
Entering the area
Larry pushed the Hummers engine, coaxing every ounce of speed out of the truck as they drove down the highway.  Every second the dark mass of the zombie horde came closer to the team.  With a thump, the truck came off the bridge and onto the highway.
"There's an exit just ahead!"  Dawn yelled, pointing to the right.  "Past that barricade!"
"The middle looks like it's just cones.  I'm going through there.  Hang on!"  Larry yelled to the group as he swerved the lumbering mass of the Hummer across the road.

The group move ahead at full speed, and lines up on the cones portion of the barricade.  Each cone will be a bash 1 collision, where the rest of the barricade will be bash 3.  I've learned my lesson, in a moving vehicle, I make sure to be pointed in the safest possible direction - just in case the group doesn't activate.

Everyone except Larry fires BAP at the nearest zombies, and manage just one hit.  I hope this isn't a sign of things to come...
Shoot more, hit less...
 The nearest PEF move forward and is revealed...
The barricade isn't quite abandoned
"Base this is Patrol Seven.  We have a lone Hummer about to run the barricade."  Detective Martin called in over the radio.  "We need to move, incoming dead as well. over."
"Seven, Chief says disable if possible.  Follow and detain, deadly force authorized."  Came the reply on the radio.  "Clear the area ASAP, no back up available. out."
"Great."  Detective Denise Martin sighed.  "Okay guys, let's try and take down the Hummer.  If they don't stop, we shoot to kill."  The rest of the team checked weapons and prepared.  "Either way, we take a shot and get the hell out of here."

So 6 police appear behind the barricade.  Great, just great.  I have several groups pre-generated, this one is a rep 5 detective, two rep 4 SWAT members, a rep 4 sergeant and two rep 3 patrolmen.  The detective and sergeant have BAP, the patrolmen have shotguns and BAP and the SWAT have assault rifles and BAP.  Everyone is protected.  The meet and greet goes poorly, and it's time to walk the walk.

Dawn and team roll...poorly
The police are ready to go
The detective fires first, trying to shoot Larry.  She misses both shots.  The lead SWAT officer fires at the Hummer, but only manages a 4, and doesn't damage the truck.
The first shots
In the Hummer, only Trish scores a 3, but has no targets.  Moving on to the two successes, the police fire.
More shooting!
Opening up with his rifle, the second SWAT trooper misses damaging the Hummer.  The sergeant fires and misses Larry.  The first patrolman fires his shotgun, aiming for the truck and doesn't score any damage.  The final patrolman fires at Larry and Dawn, getting a hit on each.  Larry passes 2d on the knock down roll, and carries on as he is protected.  Dawn is hit, and the officer gets a kill result right off.  She uses her Hard as Nails and avoids the kill.

Return fire!
Dawn returns fire, and hits one of the SWAT troopers.  He is knocked down, but also carries on.  Blake gets one hit on a patrolman, and knocks him down.  He goes OOF.
One man down
The police all pass their man down checks, and stay in the fight.  The Hummer wasn't damaged, so Larry doesn't have to make a received fire check for that, but he was shot.  Larry passes the check (with help from a leader die).  Dawn passes her check (as a star she can choose her result) so everyone sticks around.

The zombies move last...
One zombie gets to the Hummer
Sensing fresh meat the horde advances...
The only excitement from the zeds was one charging the Hummer, only to be crushed under the wheels.  The police are dangerously close to the front edge of the oncoming zombie horde, they may be dedicated, but not suicidal - they're going to try and take off next turn.
From the shooting and the running vehicles, 26 zombies spawn.  In addition, another 15 enter along the road behind the original 15 that are the front of the horde...
Zombies chasing down the Hummer
Zombies amongst the police!
Larry has a couple of targets...
Sergeant Jacobs ducked as the pistol rounds zinged past the patrol car.  Patrolman Andrews yelled out and collapsed to pavement as a bullet slammed into his vest.  His shotgun clattered on the ground, sliding under the car.
"Andrews!"  Jacobs yelled.  "Andrews is down!"
A thud echoed out as a zombie landed on the roof of the patrol car.  Another zombie dropped off the roof of the semi tractor.  A third zombie crawled out of the rear wheels, stumbling over the rear chassis, trying to grab the downed patrolman.
"Zombies!  They're already here!"  Patrolman Hanson screamed.  "I'm out of ammo!"  He threw the shotgun into the car, drawing his pistol.  "We need to get the hell outta here!"

Three zombies spawned right in near the police.  That should slow down the police from attacking team Dawn next turn.  One zombie spawned in front of the Hummer, and another on the exit ramp.  These may cause some issues, but hopefully not too bad.

The next turn starts with a random event!
A gas leak is nearby
I think I'll avoid the garage...
The next turn, the Police move first, then the survivors, and finally the zombies.  As the team is in a moving vehicle, they will move first.  Everyone starts in sight, so there are no checks this turn.
Zed goes down
Now some cones...
I have Larry roll a basic check to stay on the right course through the barricade.  The cones count as a bash 1 collision each (there's always a chance one jams in someplace odd) but the rolls go well for Larry, and they slam through!

Crashing forward!
Next there is a more solid sign in the road.  This will be a bash 2 versus the Hummer.
It says 'Do Not Enter', Larry doesn't care.
Larry drives through the sign, aiming for a zed
The police act after the Hummer moves.  The two SWAT troopers fire at the Hummer, trying to disable the vehicle, but still get no hits.  The both managed to roll a 4, but needed a 5.  It seemed like a waste, they probably should have just fired at Larry, but I was still thinking of disabling the Hummer.  The detective and the troopers jump into the SWAT van.  Unfortunately, it doesn't start.
The SWAT team might be in trouble
The patrolmen and sergeant fare a little better.  Sgt Jacobs kills the zombie in front of him, moves around the car scoops up the OOF policeman.  He gets the downed officer and himself into the car.  The second patrolman shoots and kills the zombie on the roof of the car, and gets in.  Unfortunately, the car doesn't start.  Yikes!
The patrolmen go into action!
Another car won't start!
Dawn fired wildly towards the zombie stumbling down the exit ramp.  Her shots ricocheted off the pavement and pinged off the metal fence.  Unfazed, the zombie kept coming.  "Damn I missed!"  She yelled.
Blake holstered his pistol and pulled out the machine gun he had taken from the agents.  "Time to rock and roll!"  Blake fired a long burst into the police van.

Even though Blake is not using the machine gun as a mounted weapon, it can still be fired pretty effectively.  Blake rolls a 5, and scores a hit on the police van.  The weapon has an impact rating of 3, which is doubled for a roll off versus the van's rating of 6.  Blake wins the roll, and the van is disabled.
Leaving the zombies a 'snack'
Next, the zombies surge ahead.  The van gives some protection from the attack, but it won't hold the dead out for very long.  Only one zombie attacks the patrol car - they may still get away...
Zombies attack the van
One zombie attacks the Hummer, but finds himself under its wheels instead.  13 zombies pile onto the van, each tearing and slamming the disabled vehicle.  I'm not sure how to handle zombies versus an immobile vehicle, I don't think the normal rules apply.  I had each zombie roll 1 die for its bash value, and the van rolled 6 dice (its bash value) versus each one.  The zombies wouldn't be killed if they lost - if they win, the vehicle will be completely disabled (In this case, the truck will flip on its side).  I'm using this for zombies attacking the patrol car as well.

Of the 13 zombies attacking, 9 get successes.  The van rolls 6 dice against each zombie, and easily wins 8 times...  On the ninth, it gets zero successes, and the truck flips on its side.  I decide it results in an impact 1 attack on the occupants.
The SWAT truck flips over!
From the crash of flipping over, the detective is killed outright.  The two troopers are knocked OOF, even though they are protected, it does no good.  On a positive note, the zombie attacking the patrol car does no damage, maybe those officers will be able to escape.

27 Zombies appear at the end of the turn, 12 from the cars and shots, and another 15  from oncoming horde.  It looks like the Hummer shouldn't have any trouble getting away, just one zombie is in the way, on the ramp.  The police really need to get their car started...
Zombies move through the barricade
Ring the dinner bell!
On the next turn, the zombie activate first, then the police, and then the survivors.  As they are in a moving vehicle, they move first and Larry runs down the lone zed in their path.
Almost There...
Larry wins the roll for the collision and kills the zombie as he speeds off the table.  The survivors speed off the highway and onto the side streets of the Twin cities.  Behind them, the police in the patrol car are all that's left...
Zombies close in on the police car
Four zombies couldn't break through the car.  Unfortunately, they still don't get their car started.  If they don't get it going, they're zombie chow for certain.

Larry hammered the accelerator, the Hummer rocketing up the off ramp and onto the city streets.  "Anyone see them chasing us?"  He yelled out.
"All I see are zombies coming up the ramp!"  Blake yelled out from the gunner hatch.  "There sure is a lot of them..."
Larry swung the Hummer onto a four lane street, and crossed an overpass back over the highway.  As they crossed the highway, they could all see a river of undead shambling along the road.  The mass seemed endless.
"My god, we'd never survive that."  Dawn said as she looked out the window.  "Keep us moving, Larry.  We should try and find a place to hole up until these things disperse again."
"Keep moving." Trish said.  "These things won't just go away.  We should get as much distance as possible and get out of town."
Dawn considered that for a moment.  "Let's see what we find.  I'd hate to drive into and even worse situation."


  1. Yikes! Larry, Dawn & co. didn't make any new friends there, did they? I wonder if the rest of the police will try to hunt them down, or whether they'll have other things on their mind?

    1. Hopefully the coming scenarios will shed some light on the reason the police are so jumpy. There are going to be quite a few people looking for our team...

  2. What I particularly liked about this batrep was seeing so many zombies on the table. This rarely happens in ATZ, so made for a pleasant change. Well done to Team Dawn for surviving this encounter.

    1. I wanted to use a 'horde' of sorts, to make the scenario a touch more desperate. I was in danger of running out of painted zombies, a few more turns would have been trouble!

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Great stuff Steve! Awesome encounter dude. Genuinely scary, the thought of a big herd gives me shivers. I like the sound of your planned encounters too and am eagerly awaiting your next episode.

    1. Great to hear it! I hope that the encounters play out well, and some of the situation in the Twin Cities comes out. We'll see if the dice play along...

  4. Good bat-rep, full ofinteresting decisions to make (both for the characters and for your as the 'GM'
    The vehicle rules in all the variants of ATZ are a real mess, but you've handled the problems well. If you 'bsh' multiple things in a single turn, you take the combined bash results against the vehicle at the end of the turn iirc, making it much more likely to wreck the vehcile. (I've spent a long time trying to get vehicle rules to 'work'.

    1. Thanks Z!

      I have been playing around with the vehicle rules myself as well. I have considered getting 5150 or one of the other games that should have better vehicle rules. I was disappointed ATH didn't have expanded vehicle rules (Mad Max anyone?) I may put up a posting of my own musings on vehicle rules...

  5. Great game so far. I can imagine the two cops waking up in the van to find themselves surrounded by the zombies. Thinking them safe then the detective reanimates

    1. That may make for a great quick side adventure! I just might have to play that out...

      Great to hear you enjoyed it!