Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dangerous Ground (Part 2)

"Go!"  Brenda yelled, waving Eric and Tina into the store.  Everyone hustled for the rear door, jumping into the dark store.  Brenda slammed the door closed, only to find the latch broken.  "The door won't stay closed!"  she said, turning to face the rest of the group.
"That's fine."  Dawn said, holstering her pistol.  "We'll set up in here, Jack and I will hold them up up and Joyce and Tina can shoot them."  Dawn pointed to a small ladder.  "You and Eric take the roof.  Keep shooting them and try and draw them to the back."
Eric flashed a thumbs up to Dawn.  "Sounds great to me!"  He smiled and quickly climbed up the ladder, Brenda trailing behind.
The group gets to the store
The next turn starts with a random event, from double 2's.  At least only one zombie spawns.
Broken Key
I figure the broken key/lock will apply to the back door the group just used to enter the store.  The zombies will be able to just waltz in...
The survivors win initiative and everyone enters the store.  They spend a turn searching, but don't find anything useful.  The zombies begin attacking the front gates (which won't do anything) and others begin moving around the sides of the building.
Zombies converge on the store
Eric and Brenda head to the roof, ready to help draw the undead to the store if they start to wander away.  Eric at rep 2 has a difficult time shooting, but I figure this gives him a good chance to get a zombie kill.  I am going to have him kneeling/prone as he leans against the roof edge, and give him a +1 on his hit rolls.  If a zombie manages to get to him before he can react, he will be effectively prone in melee.  They should be relatively safe on the roof.  I hope.
Eric and Brenda go up top
After everyone gets into position, the zombies continue to shuffle towards the group.  Some of the zombies manage to enter the back.
Zombies swarm the store
Two zombies manage to get inside...
...But they don't stand for long!
Eric knelt down next to the edge of the roof, using it to support his rifle.  Looking out into the parking lot, he could see zombies closing on the shop.  Adjusting his sights, he looked for his first target.
"Try to shoot the ones closest.  It will make it easier for the others inside if they have to fight fewer at a time."  Brenda suggested, as she pulled out her pistol.
Eric shifted his aim, finding a close zombie.  "Sounds good to me!"  He said and started firing.
Eric takes a free shot
The survivors get a free turn, winning initiative with the zombies not activating.  I consider having Dawn and Jack exit the back and attack the zombies, but that will leave them exposed to even more zombies to attack them.  The next turn the survivors win initiative.  Brenda takes a couple of shots with her pistol and Eric knocks down a zombie.
Brenda and Eric shoot some zombies
The zombies get a free turn next, with the survivors just standing watching them storm the store.  Jack faces three and Dawn takes on four zeds.  Jack doesn't have any problem, killing his opponents in two turns.  Dawn has more problems, but still finishes her zombies in four turns.
Zombies pile into the shop
Dawn was feeling nearly exhausted.  Bodies piled on the floor were making it hard to stand.  A slow dragging sound and the heavy thud of undead footsteps told her there were still more zombies moving towards the shop.  "They just keep coming!"  she exclaimed between heavy breaths.
"Maybe we need another plan."  Jack replied, cleaning his blade on a scrap of shirt.  "Too many more and we're in trouble in here."
With a groan more zombies moved through the broken rear door...
Zombies start climbing the trash dumpster

Dawn and Jack face another horde
Jack faces two zombies and takes them down pretty easily in one round.  Dawn starts strong, killing one zombie the first round, then looses the second round!  She isn't killed, and looses a die in her melee score, and combat continues.  She ties a round, wins by one another, then ties for two rounds before winning the final round with four hits.  Having lost a round in melee, she has to check for infection.  Rep 5 means a 4+ on a d6 and she is safe.  I roll a 5, Dawn gets lucky.  Maybe I need a different tactic, the melee has been too close!
The next turn, the zombie go first with the last PEF moving up close behind the zombies at the front of the store.
Now what?
Two zombies clamber onto the roof, and more enter the back of the store.  Maybe it's time to make a run for it.
Can they do that?

Melee gets more and more dangerous
Jack and Dawn face another six zombies, three each this time.  Jack has some troubles, taking three rounds to defeat his three.  He tied, but never lost a round so no infection check.  Dawn kills two right off, and ties for four rounds before finally killing the zombie on round six.  She has to check for infection again, and rolls a 4 - just passing!  It's time to get a better plan!
Brenda faces two zeds
Brenda passes her brown pants check and faces two zombies in hand to hand.  I was worried with how the dice had been going for Dawn but Brenda handles her opponents is a single round of combat.  Whew.
Eric takes a peek at  the PEF
Eric crawled along the roof edge, using the ledge as cover.  As he reached the front of the store, he slid his rifle out and slowly sighted the street.  The zombies continued to pound on the barricaded front of the store, but Eric caught movement from across the road.  He used his scope to get a better look...
Are they friendly?
The PEF resolves as an encounter with the living.  It is one of the 'gangs' of the area, this time it is a FEMA patrol that is still "on mission".  They react as a gang, although if walk the walk comes up as result, instead a random team member has to pass a zed check.  If they pass 2d, they won't fire unless shot at, pass 1d they won't fire at all, and if they pass 0d they will fire immediately.  (Similar to the disguised as a zed random event.)

The meet and greet goes to the gang (4 successes to 1)...

Crouched behind a burned tree, Corporal Peter Kowalski tried hard to concentrate on covering his fellow squad mates as they all bounded through the burned forest.  The June sun had turned hot, and Peter felt a steady trickle of sweat down his back.  A signal from Sergeant Jackson made Peter run to his next piece of cover, a burned out Ford hatchback.
“Kowalski!”  Jackson whisper-shouted.  “Stop daydreaming and keep that SAW ready!”
Peter gave a short wave in acknowledgement, wincing at the movement of his bruised shoulder.  A sniper had caught him just on the edge of his vest.  The nasty bruise he had on his right chest and shoulder was better than the alternative, but it reminded Peter that the undead were not the only things to be worried about out here.
A burst of gunfire sounded ahead, the second group of shots today the team was investigating.  Peter saw sergeant Jackson and the civilian doctor Fletcher talking and pointing ahead.  It looked like the team was headed back towards town, Peter really hoped it wasn’t an attack on the outer fence again.
Sergeant Jackson gathered everyone together near Kowalski’s burned out car.  “We’re going to check that gunfire out.  Doc still wants to try and contact any survivors, get them into the camp.”  One of the soldier groaned.  “Stuff it.  We’ve got a job to do, these people may need protection.  That’s why the camp is here.”  The sergeant looked at each soldier, daring them to disagree.  “If they don’t want our help, we’ll have them move on.  We’re not arresting or grabbing anyone.”
“What if they shoot first?”  Private Martin asked.
“Then they are going to need a lot more help.”  Jackson said, spitting into the dust.  “We’re going to check this out and then we’re heading back into the camp, right doc?”
Doctor Fletcher cleared his throat, looking at the fire team.  “Yes, we should try and fix any breaks in the fence we find on our way back, but I’d say a return to the barracks is in order.”  The doctor paused as the men looked a bit more upbeat.  “I am hoping to at least get some blood samples from any civilians, so let’s try to convince them the camp is a safe option for them.  Or at least so I can get a health check done on them.”
Blank faces from the soldiers told the doctor they didn’t care and he’sdbe lucky if the group of civilians didn’t just run at first sight of the patrol.  “Right.”  Sergeant Jackson said, checking is rifle.  “Let’s move out.  Kowalski, you’re on the right, Harris you stay with Kowalski.   Martin and Gonzales take the middle.    I’m on the left, doc stay behind us, keep an eye out to the rear.  We’re going to move quiet, don’t shoot until I say or you have to.  These damn things will swarm us if the hear us.”
The small team of soldiers moved out through the burned forest towards the nearby gunfire.  As they approached the shop Peter spied a rifle barrel slowly extend out and a head pop up behind the scope.  "SNIPER!"  He yelled before firing off a long burst at the rifleman.
Eric learns not to point a gun at armed soldiers!
Kowalski passes 0d and fires his SAW at Eric.  Yikes!  Luckily, Eric is in cover, and manages to not get hit.  He is outgunned and passes 0d for his received fire check. Eric decides to head for the hills!  Instead of just removing him, I have him drop prone, and I will move him to the nearest board edge as fast as possible.  I am going to 'break' the rules and give the other survivors a chance to get him and convince him not to just run off (a re-roll of the test).  The patrol finishes off the turn by shooting at zombies...
A lot of shooting, not a lot of hitting...
With 12 shots, the soldiers manage to kill 3 zombies.  That's not going to get it done!  The next turn starts with a random event. (double 1's, so only one zombie spawns at least.)
It helps...a little
The distraction allows me to re-position one model which may trigger in sight checks.  I move Joyce to roof, out of sight.  Hopefully she can help clear out some zombies!
Joyce goes to the roof
The clatter of automatic weapon fire echoed from the street, bullets pinging off the barricade on the front of the building.  Dawn waved to the roof ladder "We need to get out of here!"
Joyce hustled up the ladder, onto the roof.  A thumping from the roof was followed a bang from the dumpster in the back.  "Tina!  find out what's going on up there!"  Dawn said as Tina climbed the ladder and got out on the roof.
Moments later more zombies entered the back of the store.
"Time to dance, hon!"  Jack said to Dawn with a grin as they fought the undead.
Eric starts off with a run to the back..
...he jumps down to the dumpster...
...and off into the nearby neighborhood!

The living win initiative, but Eric starts everything off.  He passes 2d for fast move, and even with a 4" penalty for getting up from prone and dodging Brenda, Eric manages to make the table edge.  He passes 2 2d checks for jumping down, once onto the dumpster and the second to the ground.  Apparently Eric is a parkour expert!

The patrol commences fire!

The patrol starts firing on the zeds, I figure they had better start using their overwhelming firepower or they will be buried under zombies.  One member clears his out of ammo, everyone else whittles away the undead.
The survivors take some shots as well.
Three zeds enter the store - it was still a bit close at the door for Dawn and Jack to go outside and fight, so they waited for the zombies to enter.  Three zombies manage to get to the patrol as well.
Dawn and Jack clear out the store
Zombies surround the patrol
Gunfire was thundering in the air, the near constant tinkle of spent brass spilling on the pavement filling the silence between gunshots.  More and more undead shambled from the ruins, drawn to the cacophony of the battle.  Sergeant Jackson looked around, they were too exposed for this.  "We need to move!  Make for the fence, we'll leave the civvies on their own!"
The guttural moan of zombies from all sides made Kowalski look around, worried.  "Sarge!  We need to go!"
"On me!"  Jackson yelled, charging his weapon as he turned towards the camp.  "No bounding, we run and gun!"  The team turned and started fighting their way towards the ruined camp.
Zombies coming for the patrol
With the shooting, there are an impressive 22 zombies closing on the soldiers.  They are going to execute a left turn and go for the camp.  There's only a couple of zeds near Dawn's team, but Eric has run off.
It's getting clear behind the liquor store
"If we hop the wall, it looks pretty clear towards the tank!" Joyce called out.  "We can make it up the street or even through that fence if we want."
Dawn and Jack exchanged looks as they cleaned their weapons.  "What do you think Jack?"  Dawn asked.
Pausing for a moment, Jack looked out the back door.  "I think we leave the army to it's battle and we try and find Eric."  He looked back at Dawn and added "I wouldn't want to leave a kid out there alone."
Dawn nodded.  "My thoughts exactly."  She yelled up the ladder "We're going after Eric!  Jack and I will clear a path, let's go!"

Dawn is facing a failed mission anyway, but even without that the group wouldn't let Eric just run off.  They are going to follow Eric and see if they can catch him.  I guess we may see the FEMA camp in a later game...

I didn't grab pics, the team easily extracts from the building and makes the board edge (it's barely 6" from the door to the edge) killing four zombies on their way out.  I'm going to hold off on the keeping it together check, as the next scenario is more or less a part 2 of this one.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dangerous Ground (Part 1)

"We should just clear out."  Brenda said, worriedly looking up the road towards the FEMA camp.  Wandering forms shambled along the road and among the debris filled fields, zombies or shocked humans was impossible to tell.  "This feels very dangerous."
Jack barked a short, humorless laugh.  "That's an understatement sweetheart.  This is downright stupid."
"Enough."  Dawn said, turning back to face the group.  "We're going to see how bad this is while it is still here, not at our house."  Dawn looked towards the camp as a smattering of gunfire echoed in the distance, catching everyone's attention.  "Sounds like someone is still alive in there.  Maybe we can help."
Dawn and company arrive at the Camp

The group is approaching the FEMA camp at Somerset.  It is afternoon of day 58, the area is ER 6, 24 zombies start on the board, and zombies appear on a 4+ from noise.  Success for this mission for Dawn is surviving, everyone else surviving and everyone exiting the board edge opposite the one the team enters from.  Everyone else is just trying to survive for a success.  If the group exits inside the fence, the next scenario will be investigating the compound, otherwise they will enter the town.

There are several special rules I am going to use for this scenario:
1.  As in the previous scenario, I am using scarce looting (I need to match two draws from the loot deck to find something) with the exception of there will be 'something' (a straight draw) in the tent marked as a first aid station.
2.  Each tent, trailer, building and some of the vehicles have black markers.  These are all treated as PEFs for when any model 'enters' or investigates the location.  None of these will move, they just count for the search.
3.  There are four markers that are "zombie generators" and marked by a d6.  Each turn that the initiative dice come up doubles a zombie will spawn at each location that is equal to or greater than the number on the marker.  There is a 1 in 6 chance that any zombies spawned will be 'special' - as the previous scenario had.  A model may reduce the number on the marker die by 1 for each activation spent in contact with the base.
4.  Any PEF resolution that results in an increase to the ER will reduce the spawn number for zombies (from 4+ to 3+, etc.).
5.  Really Tight Ammo - per the normal rules.
6.  Slightly modified "new" melee rules (my new standard house rules.)
7.  The main fence has a break in one section, this will be randomly determined when the first figure (zombie or human) reaches 6" from the fence.

The group should really just leave...

Finally getting started, the game starts with a random event, from double 4's so each zombie generator spawns a zombie.  Hopefully not a sign of things to come.
Not the worst that could happen
 A barricaded/locked door is the random event.  There's not many options, rolling off between them, it seems the front doors of the liquor store are securely barricaded. 
These doors are secured.
Resolving initiative, the zombies go first.  The PEFs move around a bit, but nothing moves into contact.  The zombies shamble forward and the team has to decide how to deal withe the horde.
Here comes the horde
"Ha!"  Jack yelled as he fired his SMG until it clicked.  "Awww, man!  Empty!"
Dawn stepped forward and fired her pistol into the mass of zombies, watching two lifeless bodies flop to the pavement.  "Reload!"  She yelled, looking at the zombies falling around the group.  "Brenda!  Be careful!"
Brenda ran past with her spear held tight.  "I've had it with these things!"  She yelled, charging ahead.
Brenda charges the zombie
Brenda passes her brown pants check and charges the lone zombie left from the group of five.  She wins melee easily (rolling 6d vs 3d).  All the shooting (14 shots) spawn more zombies than were killed (8).  At this rate, the group will be overrun in no time.  If they are going to move forward, time for a plan...
More zombies appear
"Head for the liquor store!"  Dawn yelled, pointing with her machete.  "We'll swing around the back - that front gate should hold them back!"
"What if the back is as secure as the front?"  Joyce asked, loading her shotgun.
Dawn looked up the road before replying.  "We'll just make it up from there."
Dawn charges some zombies
The group is trying to get to the liquor store to get off the street.  I'm hoping to limit the number of zombies that can attack and more easily use guns.  I normally don't have gunfire inside attract zombies outside the building, and with how easily zombies are appearing, I need to limit the chances to spawn more.

Dawn easily handles the zeds (7d vs 4d) before being charged by 2 more.  Tina also gets charged, and after a round of being tied, she wins (rolling 5d vs 3d).  The new melee rules make it a bit more touch and go, even with a 2 die advantage, plus a free success, Tina still tied the first round.  That made things a bit scary.
Things are getting dicey
Two more zombies spawn from the three shots.  At least Jack manages to reload his SMG (he passes 1d, the next out of ammo is it for his SMG this game).  Eric has been firing each turn, but his rep of 2 is making it difficult to hit anything.
Zombies everywhere!
Two PEFs move towards the group.  First is the PEF in the store, it decides to leave and moves to contact.
What now?
Dawn paused, looking at the rear of the liquor store.  Slowly the back door swung open, she could imagine it creaking like a horror movie.  A shadow passed across the alley, but nothing came out of the store.  "Looks clear..." She muttered as everyone else yelled from the parking lot.
"More zombies in the street!"  Brenda yelled.  "Let's go!"

The PEF turns out to be "something out there" so instead of the ER increasing, zombies now spawn on a 3+.
A second PEF in the street
It's Zombies!
Everyone legs it to the store, Tina taking a couple of shots as they start running.  Once they get to the store, Joyce fires her shotgun to help cover the move.  Jack and Dawn head into the store to clear it out...
Heading towards the store
Dawn and Jack check inside
"Whew, what a smell."  Dawn said as she stepped into the dark liquor store.  Dawn looked around the small store, broken bottles were strewn across the cheap tile floor.  "Smells like Miller time."
"You know what I say when it's Miller time?"  Jack said with a grin, turning to face Dawn.  Before he could continue, a scrape and crash of glass told them they were not alone.
"Look out!" Dawn yelled as zombies shambled from the shadows to attack.
Zombies fill the shop
I check for zombie surprise, we move right to melee.  I'm not sure how to handle a mixed melee under the new rules - it says all the zombies that can, will fight.  With two humans and six zombies, I figure I can go with an even split.  Dawn handles her three pretty easily (7d vs 5d) killing them in two rounds of fighting.  Jack (5d vs 5d) ties for two rounds, kills two in round three and finally wins in round 4.  Another round and he would have to check for infection.
The zombies mill about
Real life gave me a break, I had to step away from the game and lost track of the turn.  The zombies end up not moving this turn, though I believe they were supposed to.  Oh well.
Joyce, Tina and Eric watch the horde shamble towards them
Will the liquor store turn out to be a safe move, or a big trap?  The game continues...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fun in the Desert

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I just got back from an extended vacation in the southwest USA.  My wife and I flew to Las Vegas and drove to visit my brother's family (we met our new niece!) in Sacramento, CA.  We stopped by Death Valley as well as Lake Tahoe.  I took a few pictures, some of which I figured might be interesting...

McCarran Airport Welcomes us to Las Vegas...

North of Las Vegas we passed to the west of a military base.  For being so secret, everyone seems to know about it!
Just over those hills is Area 51...
Apparently there's aliens around?
Being Nevada, of course there's a brothel attached!
Entering Death Valley, we stopped a couple places to get some pics.  It was about 1PM and 113 degrees F (about 45 degrees C) outside.  Nice and cool!

We stopped at a ghost town just outside Death Valley as well.  It's called Rhyolite, and can be found on google maps, if you are curious.  I found the ruins interesting, I kept expecting some sort of apocalyptic survivors to emerge from the shadows!
Abandoned caboose
Great weathering on the inside!
Most of the town was just partial ruins.  Still cool and inspiring for scenery.

This used to be the bank
There were several cool buildings in ruins.  A couple felt a bit more creepy...

Graffiti in the small room.

Another day, and Lake Tahoe.  It was pretty, less inspiration for gaming, but good looking.

After a few days in Sacramento we headed back to Vegas.  Our trip took us near Edwards Air Force base, including an aircraft boneyard.  Still it was mostly desert...

Miles of this.  Sand and Cactus.
Aircraft boneyard, pretty far off.
A solar power setup.  Pretty cool to see.
We finished up back in Vegas.  The strip is pretty crazy, and goes from family fun to adults only.
From off the strip - pretty cool view
It was a fun trip, but tiring.  I'm glad to be home.  I'm planning a return to gaming once I've rested a bit.