Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weary from the Long Road

Dawn glanced at the fuel gauge, watching it drop below a quarter tank.  Rumbling along the back country road, she continued to dodge wrecks, downed trees and other debris.  The late afternoon sun was casting longer shadows, night would soon be falling.
"We should stop soon."  Jack said from the passenger seat.  He had been napping on and off through the day as Dawn drove.  Traci in the back of the wagon sniffled as she looked despondently out the side window.
"I'm hoping we can find a farm house along here.  It should have a well so we can get some water."  Dawn said, looking ahead as she steered around a flipped over pickup truck.
"Sounds like a plan."  Jack said and winced as he checked his SMG.  "My side is killing me.  Remind me not to get shot again."
Dawn gave a short chuckle, slowing the car down.  "We should find a place we can hole up for a while.  We all need to recover."
Dawn finds a lone farm

Dawn has traveled quite a ways from the gang ambush, counting as having traveled to a new area, their car is down to 2 units of fuel.  Jack and Traci are wounded, and will be operating at -1 Rep for the game.  Dawn is tired, and will be at -1 Rep due to lack of sleep.  Once she is shot at, charged, or physically attacked in any manner, she will revert to her full Reputation until the end of the scenario.  Very tight ammo rules are in effect, but normal searching rules (I will draw from the risks and rewards deck).

It is afternoon of day 66, if doubles are rolled for activation, d6 turns later evening will start.  This is a rural area, and away from any urban centers, so the ER starts at 2 with zombies appearing on a 6+.  Success for this scenario is exposing all PEFs, checking each room of the house and dispatching any zombies in the structure and no active zombies within 6" of the house.

As a bonus, there is a generator (small black shipping container) and a propane tank (white tank) that can be checked for fuel, as if they were vehicles.  The propane tank will only work for the house, but will give a +1 success for 'keeping it together' for Dawn.  The generator can be fueled for use, which will give our group some creature comfort and maybe useful...

The game starts with the group driving into the area.  There are nine zombies on the table with three PEFs.  One of the PEFs is in the house, due to the peaked roof, it will be on the porch.
Dawn turns onto the driveway
Dawn slowed the car down, turning to squeeze between the gate and wrecked pickup that partially blocked her approach.  Sound from the rumbling car engine attracted the undead, who began to shambled towards the sound, seeking prey...

The first couple of turns are pretty uneventful, with Dawn driving towards the house, zombies closing in on the sound from the car.  A few more zombies appear, surprisingly, the PEF in the house leaves the building and moves towards the car.

Zombies close in
Dawn gunned the car down the gravel driveway, watching for any movement from the house.  After the gang ambush, she was nervous at being trapped in another attack.
"What was that!"  Jack exclaimed from the passenger seat.  He twisted in his seat, looking back towards the road.  "I swear I saw zombies in the trees!"
"Calm down.  you're just tired."  Traci said, sounding worn out.  "Let's just get this done so we can rest."
Is that something in the trees?
Another PEF emerges from the house
On the second turn, I expose two PEFs - both turn out to be 'something out there' and the ER moves to 4.  That's about the best I could hope for!  Dawn drives to the end of the drive and everyone gets out to start facing the zombies.
Stopping the car and start shooting!
Dawn stopped the car, turning off the engine.  Stepping out into the lat afternoon sun, she drew her pistol and shot at the nearest zombies, killing one as her boots crunched on the loose gravel.  A short burst from Traci's SMG made echoing claps from the house as she killed a zombie near a genertaor shack.
"I'll check the barn and pickup."  Jack said, checking his weapon and pointing towards the parked truck.
"Just be careful!"  Dawn yelled, as she drew her machete, facing down the mass of zombies moving up the drive.
Zombies shamble towards the parked car
Things are going pretty well, and that's always when it comes apart.  Jack moves towards the barn, shooting at the two zombies near the pickup truck.  He kills one, but runs out of ammo.  Dawn moves forward and shoots one more zombie, there are quite a few gathering along the driveway.  Traci searches the jeep, finding keys in it and 2 units of fuel in the tank.  Maybe things are going to keep going well...
Jack gets mixed results
Zombies all around!
Dawn heard Jack swear and hurriedly work on reloading his SMG.  Zombies growled and surged forward, trying to get to the living.  Dawn aimed and fired twice, watching with some satisfaction when one zombie's head exploded in a brown and black muck.  Her satisfaction was short lived as the horde slammed into her and she found herself fighting for her life!
Dawn is overwhelmed!
Slashing with her machete, Dawn swung at heads and arms and worked hard to keep the zombies at bay.  She struck hard on one zombie's head, smashing it open.  Suddenly she felt a hard pull and shooting pain shot through her right arm.  Shaking it loose, she struck again with the machete, kicking the legs out from under another zombie.  Dawn kept fighting, she would worry about her wound if she survived...
Dawn and Traci thin out the horde
Yikes!  Dawn fights a melee with seven zombies.  She ties the first round, wins by one on the second and looses by one on the third!  The combat seems to go forever, but Dawn eventually kills the zombies.  What a first melee combat to return to the campaign.  When she activates next, I roll a six for infection, and Dawn is luckily not infected.  She and Traci shoot up some of the remaining zombies in the open and Traci runs out of ammo!
Jack faces two zombies
Jack faces down two zombies, and manages to kill them both.  Time to get the group all back together I think!
Zombies keep coming
All the shooting keeps bringing more zombies, so I decide to have Dawn take down the nearest zombie in melee the next turn.  One on one is no problem and she kills it easily.  Both Traci and Jack find more ammo, but will run out if they suffer a second out of ammo this game.  Jack decides to check the pickup truck as he moves by it.
Jack checks the truck as he moves towards the house
Jack walked towards the rusty tan pickup truck as Dawn finished killing a zombie near the beat-up jeep.  "Hopefully this rust bucket has some gas."  He mumbled as he looked in the passenger window.
New friends?
Suddenly two men in camouflage uniforms sprang up from the back of the truck.  Both brandishing assault rifles, these looked frightened and unkempt.  They looked around the yard and one of the men barked "Throw down your weapons!  This is an army outpost!"
Jack looked incredulous at the pair.  He laughed as one of the men aimed his rifle at Jack.  "You ain't no soldiers!  Even if you are... or were, look around, the government is gone!"
The man at the end of the truck aimed his rifle at Traci.  "I'm not telling you again.  Throw down your weapons!"
Jack narrowed his eyes, bringing his weapon up, he growled "Not today."
In Sight checks
Checking the truck we find two 'military' occupants.  I check to see if they are 'survivors' or 'gangers' as we are well past the time for police/military encounters.  They turn out to gangers, but I keep the military feel - they are deserters or survivors from a nearby military outfit.  We go to in sight checks as they choose to walk the walk...
Dawn shoots the first deserter
Dawn saw the ragged men stand up, and rather than wait for the inevitable, she took aim and fired.  She saw one figure drop into the truck as Jack fired his SMG at close range into the other.
Jack finishes off the last deserter
That goes well, the gangers are killed and don't even get a shot off.  Even with body armor (following the deserter theory) they don't last.  Traci and Jack move to finish searching the truck and loot the bodies while Dawn finishes off the zombies in melee.
Dawn charges the first pair
The last zombies fall
Having cleared off the zombies, I head for the propane and generators, might as well check them for fuel.
Dawn finds the tank has some fuel left!
The generator is empty
Well, at least one of them has fuel!  They can use some gas from one of the vehicles to get some power and get the house livable again.  With the propane, they can have hot showers and cook at least!  Time to clear the house.
Is anyone home?
Dawn entered the darkened house, the sun outside low on the horizon.  She could hear shuffling from nearby rooms.  She waited just inside the door as Jack and Traci stepped in beside her, both with their SMGs ready.  "We'll go room by room.  Check the corners and under furniture, closets and anywhere these things can lurk."
"Sun's going down fast.  We're gonna run out of light pretty soon."  Jack mentioned.
Traci glanced at the family pictures on the wall.  "Looks like they had a pretty large family.  Let's hope they weren't all home when this hit."

I am using a floor plan I had made for a previous game.  Each room has a chance for zombies, and I will roll for zombies from gunfire, this will replace any zombies being found from the searching.
They find one zombie right inside!
Dawn finds two more just down the hall
Traci finishes off the last one upstairs.
The sun had set, deep purple shadows were swallowing up the farmland around the house.  The silence that had been shattered earlier by the fighting was settling back, a quiet of the country coupled with the end of civilization.  Dawn stood in the front door, watching as Traci and Jack unloaded supplies from the car.
"We'll stay upstairs and sort out the house in the morning."  She said as Jack came back in the house.
Nodding Jack agreed.  "Sounds good to me.  It seems safe enough."
Traci paused on the porch, looking down the drive.  "I still think something is out there."
"I'll take a quick look before we loose all our light."  Dawn said, checking her pistol and machete.  "Just get upstairs and I'll see you soon."
Dawn chases down the last PEF
Yeah, I forgot about the last PEF, so Dawn heads out on her own to deal with it.  It is now evening, with vision restrictions for night kicking in.  I figure this is the easiest way to finish this off.
Dawn finds a lone zombie
Finding one zombie, Dawn finishes it off easily.  She walks back to the house, and we finish the scenario with a win. 
Dawn returns to the house
Whew.  Getting back to the campaign was rough.  I was happy it ended well, the keeping it together goes good, I don't have to check for either Traci or Jack after the next game.  Now they just need to get healed up and find some more fuel to try and get back to Ella's family farm...

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Beckie Takes a Break

An empty country road.
Getting back to the campaign, I need to finish some loose ends before I get a new batrep in.  I think this song goes well with the situation.  Hopefully the track plays correctly...

With a shuddering cough Beckie hacked in the far back seat of the station wagon.  Her cough had a wet tearing sound and she whimpered as she wiped blood and mucus from her mouth.  Her skin was pallid and veins stood out in dark blue and black lines across her exposed arms and face.  After the spasm she shivered and managed to croak out “No more.  I have to stop.”
Traci wiped Beckie’s hands and mouth, giving her some water from a bottle.  “Shhh.  Just a ways further, when we’re away from the gang we can figure this out.”  Traci used a damp cloth to try and relieve the burning fever Beckie had as well.
Beckie rolled her eyes, focusing back on Traci.  “Girl, we’ve been through a lot together.  We’ve always had each other’s backs.”  Beckie managed to suppress a cough before finishing.  “Where I’m going, I don’t want you to follow.  Not for a long time.”
Dawn looked carefully from the road towards the back in the rear view mirror.  She could see Traci trying to comfort Beckie, the two friends both knowing they would have to separate soon.  They were driving away from the ambush site; Dawn wanted to get as much distance as possible in case more of the gang showed up.  “You still doing okay Beckie?”  she asked.
Beckie could hardly move, but shook her head slowly.  “Each bump is like knives driving through my body.  I can’t stand much more of this.”  She managed to squeeze Traci’s hand.  “Find a spot to pull over, I’d like to just sit in the sun for a bit.”
Tears rolled down Traci’s cheeks as she understood what her friend was asking.  “Don’t go.”  She whispered.
“You know I have to.”  Beckie replied as Dawn stopped the car.  “I’ll see you again, not soon though.”
Jack and Dawn helped Beckie to a sunny spot near the road, sitting next to a signpost.  Jack could hardly speak, choking on tears he quickly offered a sad goodbye.  “Stay in the sun Beckie.”  He said as he returned to the car.
Dawn knelt next to Beckie, checking a water bottle and making sure she was comfortable.  “I’m sorry this happened.  I wish there was something I could do for you.”  Dawn said, already mourning another lost friend.
Beckie looked at Dawn and said with a rasp.  “There is.  Leave me a pistol, would you?”
Dawn nodded, pulling a revolver she had from a pocket.  “I thought you may want something like this.  Good luck.”  Dawn gave her the pistol and a hug before standing up.
Pausing on her way to the car, Dawn held Traci's shoulder, whispering to her "Take whatever time you need."  Dawn saw tears on Traci's cheeks, knowing she was hurting.  "You have to let her go."

Traci wiped tears from her face and knelt next to her friend.  She hugged Beckie, not wanting to let go.  "I can stay.  I will stay.  You shouldn't be alone."
“Get out of here.  You got miles to go before you can stop.”  Beckie said, her breath laboring. “There’s not much left here of me.”
Traci cried and hugged her friend close.  “I’ll always love you Beckie. “  After a moment, Beckie feebly pushed at Traci.
“I love you too.”  Beckie said, a smile on her face.  “Now go and don’t look back.”
Traci slowly broke the hug.  Standing up she wiped her tears away and took a last look at Beckie.  “I’ll never forget you.”  Turning and getting in the car, Traci never looked back.

Dawn pulled out onto the road and slowly picked up speed, leaving Beckie behind.  She tried to concentrate on the road, but couldn't help looking at Traci, silently sobbing in the back.  She wanted to reach out and comfort her, but no words seemed to be enough.  After what seemed like hours, Jack cleared his throat and offered "It looks like a nice day to sit in the sun."

Traci cried openly in response.  "It's not fair!"  She yelled.

"It certainly isn't."  Dawn agreed, driving on.

Beckie watched the car roll down the road, over a slight rise and disappear into the distance.  The countryside was quiet once again and Beckie leaned back against the signpost, feeling the warmth of the sun on her face.  For a moment she could let the pain go, just relaxing and feeling free.  A breeze rustled the grass and trees and a few birds called to each other.  Beckie smiled.

Slowly she slipped into a sleep, never to wake alive again.

I'll have a new campaign report up soon.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Fallout Board Game

Vault-tech, for all your survival needs!
All New Corvega, only $199,999!  Fusion Powered!
Iguana on a Stick, Nuka Cola, Radscorpions...
War.  War never changes.

The Fallout board game from FFG, not zombie gaming, but a fairly obvious post-apocalypse game.  Fallout has a pretty well known alternate history world with a post-apocalyptic series of adventures set some 200 years after a massive nuclear war has destroyed civilization. Fantasy Flight Games has published a board game based on the various iterations of the game.
Just out of the box, open rules

In typical FFG fashion, the components are top-notch.  The cards are well finished, the card stock components are nice and heavy and everything has a finish that feels like it will stand up to plenty of playing.  The miniatures that come in the game to represent the players are well detailed and represent several iconic characters from the video games.
Initial Setup

The game board is made up of randomly placed hexagons to create the 'wasteland' which allows for some variation from game to game.  Each game has different factions vying for control of the wasteland, slowly gaining influence as the players each try to increase their own influence by helping or hindering the factions.
Solo game underway with a vault dweller character

oh yeah, enemies will come after you!

On the surface, it works much like the video game and does capture that feel, at least early in the game.  Running around the wastes killing bloatflies, raiders and mutants, gathering loot and caps, trading and interacting at the settlements  and exploring ruins all give a nice immersive feel.
The railroad wins...

The end game is not as climatic, with one of the factions reaching a milestone on a tracking chart of influence, or one player having finished enough quests to achieve a required level of influence.  It doesn't trigger some sort of final quest, the game just ends.  Probably the only part of the game I feel actually fails.

It can be played by 1-4 players, so if you have a hankering for a board game and Fallout, this is a good game for you.  I enjoyed it, I am curious to see how it compares to the Fallout Miniatures game that is coming out.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Well, we made it to 2018.  What a rough second half 2017 gave me.  I apologize for being gone for so long, but my family needed to come first and the time I have to give cut into hobby time.  Things have settled back down, and with the holidays ending, I am able to get back to gaming.
Such a present!

I'll be posting regularly again starting this week.  I'm going to try and ease back into it, with some reviews of the various games I just got for gifts.  I'll continue my campaign in the coming weeks as I have time to write up the battle reports.

To everyone who sent me notes of support, I appreciate it.  I tried to respond to everyone, but I am certain I missed a few people.  The zombie apocalypse gaming community is amazingly strong, I have been shocked at the amount of support and concern I have heard from people. 

Thank you everyone.