Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bleed It Out (Conclusion)

Dawn caught a glimpse of the gang leader jumping into the back of the Hummer.  He was too fast for her to shoot at, so she continued to fire rounds into the truck.  She could hear the occasional staccato from Jack as he sought targets for his rifle.  The thump of return fire impacting the house had faded away, Dawn felt things may be turning out better than expected.
Shades gets his SUV running
This is the continuation of the attack on the gang.  It is still day 81, morning, and the battle in the street is raging.  Dawn and Jack have managed to take down most of the gang, and now it appears the surviving gang members are trying to escape.  
Not many zombies for a zombie game...
Zombies have started to spawn, although they will not again after this turn, as the turn started with the ‘No More Zombies’ random event.  I rolled a 6 for one of the zombies during the spawning, so no more zombies from shooting.  There are still two PEFs which may be zombies, or more gang members.
Zombies appear
Mary stood on her barricade, watching the carnage unfolding around her.  She couldn’t believe poor Ned had been killed so quickly by Shades.  This day was going to be a grim one, regardless of who won.  The civilians in the camp huddled near their tents or the back walls, looking like a frightened flock of birds, ready to take flight. 
Will clutched his shotgun and hid behind the barricade.  She knew he was out of ammo, but he held out hope of reloading it someday.  Mary waved at him to move back.  “Will, stay with the others.  If people need to leave…” She was cut off by a rifle slug hitting her in the chest.  As she blacked out, Mary hoped somebody from the camp survived…
Wow.  Blurry.
The last assault rifle armed ganger has a shot at Mary, even though she is partially covered; she is still a pretty easy target.  He fires, gets a hit and knocks her Out Of the Fight.  At least she’s not dead.  The ganger is out of the line of fire from Dawn and Jack, as he is behind the second Hummer.
Shades gets moving
With a rumble and a puff of dark exhaust the Hummer Shades had jumped into fired up.  That drew Dawn and Jacks attention back to it.  Neither could see the driver, but the truck was a pretty big target anyway.  Dawn fired a burst into the truck, followed by Jack, they couldn’t seem to find anything that would break.
“Alright!” Shades yelled from the backseat.  Just back us up into that alley and we can get out of here!”
The scared driver did his best to move the lumbering vehicle backwards while crouching beneath the driver’s wheel.  The patter of bullets hitting the hood and cracking through the windshield was making him flinch and jerk the truck around.
SUV moving for the alley
The SUV shades is in manages to get moving.  He is going to have it back up into the nearby alley, so they can either drive away in cover or he can bail out and run away without getting shot by the SAW.  The first turn of movement goes well, the Hummer backs up a bit and they are on their way.
Zombies moving towards Dawn and Jack
Dawn saw the Hummer moving away, she concentrated her SAW on the front of the truck, bullets shredded the body panels, shattering a headlight and puncturing a hose that started leaking.  The Hummer accelerated, getting closer to the alley and cover.
“Keep shooting Jack!”  She yelled, sparing a glance at the other Hummer.
Jack Followed Dawn’s lead and fired into the front wheel, finally something gave and the wheel jerked and tore itself loose.  The hummer careened backwards into the Dollar store.  After a brief pause, a fireball exploded from the SUV, incinerating the wreck and everyone inside.
“Hell yeah.”  Jack said with a smirk.  “No problem.”
Jack stretched from his firing position, checking his ammo.  “Told ya we’d get ‘em.”  He smiled as he looked around.  “Hmmm.  Looks like the neighbors are out.”  Jack finally noticed the zombies closing in on the house they were using for cover.
“You take care of them.” Dawn said, shifting her position.  “I’ll try and take out the other truck.”
Truck goes BOOM!
Dawn fires at the SUV again, finally getting a good damage result versus the vehicle.  Per the rules, it flips over and explodes!  The cars in ATZ must have been all 80’s action movie leftovers.  Rolling for the impact 4 hit, both the driver and Shades are killed.  That ends that problem quickly. 
The situation gets...Explosive.
Dawn was surprised by the sudden fireball that bloomed out of the SUV.  She couldn’t believe the truck exploded just from her shots and slamming into the store.  She waited a moment, watching for anyone escaping the wreck.  Nobody came out.
She glanced at the last Hummer, with the gang members huddled behind it.  She figured they didn’t pose much of a threat right now.  “Let’s clear out these dead.”  She said to Jack, who was already picking off the nearby zombies.
Zombies shamble towards the final gang members
Dawn and Jack are in a pretty good position.  They have the gang tied up behind the final SUV, and with Shades out of the battle, the gang is at the mercy of the NPC reaction roll.  One zombie charges the SUV and tangles with the driver, who wins, but bails out and joins the others hiding behind the truck.
The gang has been decimated.
Quite a few zombies have closed in on Dawn and Jack, so they need to spend some time clearing out the zombies that are moving in on them.  Meanwhile, the gangers are stuck behind the SUV, one can’t recover from duck back, and neither of the others is going to step out of cover. 
Here come the dead
The zombies manage to score a turn where they activate and the gang doesn't.  It's funny how the fight between the gang and the survivors took so much attention, and now here come the zombies to clean everything up!
Dawn covers the gang while Jack takes on the zombies
Dawn turned away from the zombies gathering at the house.  Jack was taking them down as they slowly clawed up the stairs towards the pair.  Instead of concentrating on the dead, Dawn focused on the second SUV.  She started firing bursts into the truck, trying to knock it out or flush out the gang members hiding behind it.
The bursts from the automatic weapon were like a ringing dinner bell to the undead.  More shambled towards the broken house and slowly they crawled up the stairs, only to find Jack waiting for them.  Gunfire continued to ripple through the town.
Zombie snack!
One zombie manages to charge the nearest ganger.  She rolls no passes on her charge check, and the zombie wins with its one pass.  She fights as if unarmed for the first round, and looses by 1.  It takes a couple more rounds of fighting, but in the end the ganger falls to the zed.
Maybe the zombie will flush out the gangers
Janet watched as the zombie tore down Sally.  In horror, she watched as the undead clerk turned his attention towards her.  Panic took over and she ran down the street, not waiting for anyone to help.  She had to get away!
Ganger Janet runs away
The next turn the zombies activate first.  The one nearest the gangers charges the ducked back ganger, causing her to run away.  He moves on to the last ganger, armed with a rifle.  He turns and deals with the zombie easily.
Charging the rifleman...
...ends predictably.
Dawn watched the ganger run from the zombie.  She considered, momentarily, gunning her down.  Shooting someone running away, in the back just didn't sit well.  The chatter of gunfire from behind the SUV, and the dead body of the zombie flopping back into the street told her the last gang member was still there.  "I'll watch the gang.  You got the zombies?"
Jack laughed, "No problem.  You take care of business with them I got us covered back here."
Jack is charged
Jack is charged, but shoots the zombie as it tries to get to him.  He moves up afterwards and kills the next two trying to crawl up the stairs.
Jack takes out zombies
The battle is starting to wind down, and finally the last PEFs move out of their buildings.  We still don't know what one is, but the other comes out in sight of Dawn...
This PEF moves out of sight
What comes out of the store?
Dawn watched the SUV, waiting for a shot at the hidden rifleman.  She heard Jack firing behind her, trusting him to take care of the zombies while she used the SAW to finish off the gang threat.  Suddenly, the doors to the dollar store burst open and three people ran into the street.
She paused, not wanting to shoot some other survivors.  The trio were waving around with their weapons, trying to find a target.  As Dawn watched, she could tell they were talking to the rifleman.
"Jack!  More Jackals."  Dawn swung the SAW towards them.  "I got 'em."
Dawn spots the gangers
The PEF resolves as three more gangers.  They chose the wrong time to appear, as they are armed with pistol, machine pistol and BAP.  Dawn goes right to in sight check and opens fire.
Dawn guns down more gang members
Ducking back from the SAW
The last ganger from the trio ducks back, and next turn fails her recovery roll and runs away.  Not much support for the gang there.  The last PEF moves up through the nearby ruined house.  Jack and Dawn are ready for it - the last rifleman ganger just won't leave or attack (I keep rolling 1 pass for him, he just stays in cover!)
Dawn and Jack are ready...
Dawn turned her attention to the nearby ruins.  Both her and Jack could hear something moving in the rubble.  Her shoulder hurt from the jackhammer recoil she suffered through during the day.  The ringing in her ears nearly obscured the sounds from the ruins.
"You ready?"  Jack asked, leaning on a damaged support beam, aiming his rifle towards the oncoming sound.
 "Ready enough."  Dawn replied.
The last PEF appears
Three gangers!
Three gangers appear, armed with pistols (2 of them) and a machine pistol.  We go straight to in sight checks.  Dawn gets three successes, the gangers best is only 2.  The SAW opens up on the group...
In Sight checks
To be fair, Dawn only takes down two of the gangers.  Jack takes out the last ganger, who manages two shots but misses.  Not exactly a major threat.  The last rifle man decides to finally attack, moving out and triggering In sight with Dawn, which he wins!
Dawn gets 2 successes
The rifleman gets 4 successes
 Bullets thumped into the ruined house, several others buzzing the air around Dawn.  Turning quickly, Dawn saw the last rifleman had stepped out and was firing at her.  She quickly brought the SAW around, flinching from wood splinters as a bullet hit her nearby cover.
"Watch out!"  Jack yelled, unable to see the gunman.
Well, he tried.
Dawn returns fire, and gets a kill result.  The gangers on the table have been eliminated, Dawn and Jack have several OOF gangers to deal with.  They also meet the camp, again.  Time to decide if they take on the rest of the gang or try and get away.
The gang looses this round...
Dawn and Jack manage to take out the gang members on the attack.  They make contact with the camp, again.  Scoring more successes than the civilian or the last standing survivor, Will.  Dawn and Jack have to figure out what to do next.

Dawn approached the older man treating Mary's gunshot wound.  It looked like she would pull through as far as Dawn could tell.  The man looked up as Dawn stepped closer and said "Well, you've certainly made a mess of things."
"Excuse me?"  Dawn said, incredulous.
"The gang will just come back with more."  He said, wiping his hands on a towle.
Jack laughed.  "We hit them pretty good, I can't believe they'd want any more of this."
The man shook his head.  "I am Doctor Chapra, formerly of FEMA.  We've had a tense time here, but the gang has kept their bargain."  Dr. Chapra continued calmly.  "I  have had this same discussion with Mary here.  She never understood either."
Will shook his head.  "You just wanted to surrender and hope the Jackals would leave you alone."
Dawn  nodded, understanding.  "Well, Jack and I want to stay alive, so we either finish this with the gang or get moving."
Everyone looked at each other, trying to decide what to do...

I am not sure if the group continues to try and attack the gang or just get away at this point.  Dawn and Jack won't get another ambush like this, they need more people to help!  With Zomtober kicking off, I am going to take a moment to decide what course for them to take.  Any ideas?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bleed It Out (part 1)

Dawn and Jack moved through the ruined housing development, towards the camp they had left barely an hour earlier.  They had left the white Buick sitting in a driveway, next to a burned out minivan.  Jack had suggested they make a haphazard attempt to cover the car, to make it less obvious they had another car nearby.
Combining with the humidity, the ash and dust made the walk through the ruins unpleasant.  Remains of the burned homes and cars created an ugly gray film on everything.  Sweat from the midday heat made the film run in black streaks down Dawn’s face.  She imagined both her and Jack looked like strange tribal warriors from another time.
“Let’s be careful and quiet.  If we can sneak up on the camp, maybe we can see what’s going on.”  Dawn suggested as the pair slowly moved through the ruins.
Jack nodded, tying a bandanna over his mouth to keep the dust out.  “Good idea.  What do we do if we get the drop on the gang?”  He asked, checking his assault rifle.
Dawn didn’t pause.  “If it looks bad, we attack them first.  If things seem calm, maybe we try and talk it out.”  She didn’t sound too hopeful.  “Either way, we should deal with these guys right now.”
Dawn and Jack return to town
Dawn and Jack have returned to the town, near the camp they met earlier in the day.  They are making a stealthy approach, and are expecting a fight.  The gang that has taken control of the town has sent a force to see what happened earlier.  It looks like all the elements are in place for a fight!
Some special rules will apply for this scenario, beyond the normal really tight ammo rules.  First, there will be no zombies on the table to start.  After shooting starts, then zombies can appear on a 5+.  Next, there are 3 PEFs, one each in the buildings along the street.  These will not activate or move until shooting starts.  They also will only be gang members or zombies if they reveal as Contact.  They have the normal chances to be a Contact.

There are no rules for stealth in ATZ.  I am going to make it simple – as Dawn and Jack move into what would be ‘in sight’ they will roll their Rep, looking for successes.  I will roll Rep for any groups of models that would be involved in the ‘in sight’ test, looking for successes.  Very similar to the ‘Meet and Greet’ mechanic.  I will take the highest Rep from the group, if they are closer than 12”, they get a free success, and from 12”- 24”, they roll one less die, losing a die for every 12” further away, if applicable.  I will only check this when the sneaking people move.  Once in a position and hidden, they do not need to check again.

Once Dawn or Jack decide to attack, they will go to immediate ‘in sight’ checks, and then to active attacks.
This gang is well organized, well equipped and dangerous.  They are waiting on a final reinforcement to show up - which is a simple check each turn, looking for 2 successes.  The reinforcement will be determined by a D6 roll:
1-2: “Gun Truck”- a Pickup truck with a 30mm cannon mounted in the back, with 2 crew and driver.  The 30mm cannon is Impact 5, Target 2, counts as 6 for zombie spawn.
3-4: “Riders” Bikers – 4 gangers on motorcycles, each Rep 4, armed with SMGs.
5-6: “Party Bus” – An SUV that has been modified with armor and an LMG on the roof.  2 crew plus driver, carries 3 more gangers Rep 4 armed with SMGs.
Once reinforcements arrive, the gang reaction will be decided.  The gang reaction will be determined by the leader, who will have an ‘attitude’ die next to him.  It starts at a 3, each turn Mary (the camp leader) will roll her People skill (which is 3).  If she scores 2 successes, the attitude lowers by 1.  If she scores zero successes, it increases by 1. 

The turn after the reinforcements arrive, I will roll 2D vs the attitude number.  This results in the gang reacting - 2 successes will mean an attack on the camp.  One success means the gang leaves half their number at the camp and the rest move off in search of Dawn and Jack.  Two failures indicate all the gangers leave to search for Dawn and Jack.  Each turn, Mary in the camp will make a People roll to try and reduce the attitude number.
It is still morning of Day 81.  The ER is 5 and there are three PEFs deployed one in each building along the road opposite the camp.  These will react per the special rules detailed above.  The day part may change to afternoon on a double 6 roll for initiative.  Once the day part changes, it will not change again.
The Gang sets up
There are two SUVs (military hummers that have been ‘appropriated’) and 7 gangers plus their leader, Shades, deployed along the road outside of the camp.  Each hummer has a ganger driver still in the driver’s seat, ready to startup and drive if needed.  The gangers are all Rep 4.  They carry various armaments; each group has at least one model with an assault rifle, and another with a shotgun.  The remaining weapons are machine pistols, SMGs and one BAMP.  Shades, the leader of this group is a Rep 5 star, with Hard as Nails and Rage for attributes.  He is protected, armed with a shotgun, BAP and a Machete.  Shades will be a dangerous opponent for certain.
Shades Talks to the camp
“Now, I know we have had problems, but damn, Mary, I thought we had an understanding.”  Shades said while leaning on the hood of the Hummer he had rode in.  Gangers moved slowly around the area, keeping cover from the camp.  “You know this is not allowed.”
“Stuff your ‘allowed’ crap!”  Mary yelled back, her bow in hand, but not ready.  “You’re supposed to be protecting us, that didn’t work so well two weeks ago!”
Shades shook his head.  “I’m real sorry about that mess.”  He looked at the rest of the gang and saw some glancing at each other.  “But you didn’t want to stay at the fort, so you’re out here.  That’s on you all.”
Dawn and Jack get into position
Dawn and Jack creep up the stairs, but stay out of sight for the first turn.  The attitude of the gang doesn’t change, and Shades and Mary keep arguing over the situation.  The next turn Dawn and Jack move into position.  Dawn gets 4 successes on her stealth check, and Jack manages the same – they are both tough to see.  Shades gets 3 successes, luckily he is outside of 12”, I suspect he might have seen Dawn if he was closer…  The remaining gangers don’t score any better, most being even further away.

Negotiations are going no where
“If you’re not protecting us, why do we need you around?”  Mary offered. “We can be attacked without your help, just fine.”
Shades stood up from his casual position at the truck.  “Now, just calm down.  That is how this all got started, remember?  The town was covered in the dead, you were barely hanging on in those apartments downtown.  Where would you be without us?”  Shades finished with a wide arm gesture at the gang.
“Not hostages in our own town.”  A man yelled from the camp.
“Ho!”  Shades yelled back, laughing.  “Is that you Ned?  How is that relic of a rifle working for you?”  Shades chuckled.  “I was wondering if you were going to keep hiding behind Mary’s skirt!”  Shades and several gangers laughed at the comment.
Just about time...
I go a couple of turns, and Mary doesn’t have any luck lowering the gang attitude.  Dawn and Jack stay hidden, waiting to see what is going to happen.  Finally the rest of their reinforcements show up – it only takes about four turns.  It’s the gun truck that shows up.
The gang have themselves an RV!
“What do we do?”  Jack whispered, braced against the ruined roof.  “I don’t know how much longer I can stay still up here.”
Dawn gave a slight nod and whispered back “I know, I’m getting hot and they keep talking.  Maybe that’s a good sign.  We can try-“ Dawn was cut off suddenly by the rumble a heavy truck engine.
The gangers all reacted to the truck driving along the street by leaning more into their positions, more alert that before.  Shades even paused in his discussion and waved at the truck.  He paused, glancing once back at Mary, and waved at the truck with a fist pump, pointing towards the nearby intersection.
Turning back towards the barricades, he yelled back at Mary “Time’s about up.  I need a volunteer to go talk to the boss about what happened.”
The gun truck gets into position
I roll the reaction, it’s a Pass 2, so the gang is going to attack the camp.  I figure they aren’t going to do anything until they have their truck in position, so there is a final turn before the attack as the truck drives into its attack position.
Dawn and Jack see the gun truck
“Crap, look at the gun on that truck!”  Jack said, looking at the gangers getting ready.  “That’ll turn those people into hamburger!”
“I see it.”  Dawn said, watching the scene on the street.  The gun truck drove along the street to the corner, turning towards the camp.  She could see the gang leader heft his shotgun, getting ready to attack.  At the same time, she saw Mary ready an arrow in her bow.
“You’re going to just butcher us!”  Mary yelled as she readied her arrow.  “You’re no better than any of the animals out there!”  Knowing it was futile, she still drew her bow and took aim.  “We’ll still fight for our camp!”
Shades smiled, turning to the gun truck.  “It’s not going to come to that.”
“Go for the gang.  I’ll take the truck.”  Dawn said, clearing the safety on the SAW.

Well, this is it.  I see the gun truck roll up, it’s got a cannon that will level that camp and make short work of everyone.
This kicks off one of the most confusing turns of ATZ I have ever had.  I shouldn’t have, but I give Dawn and Jack their active fire before going to In sight checks.  I figure this is going to be a mess anyway, and it’s an ambush – going first makes sense.
Dawn rakes the gun truck crew with the SAW
Dawn rolls four hits, hitting both gunners twice.  They are killed in the hail of bullets.  At least that gun is out of the fight for the moment.  Jack shoots at the exposed gangers further away, killing two of them.
Jack kills two gangers
Gunfire thundered into the late morning air, bullets zinging and pinging off of the pavement and trucks.  The bullets tore into the gangers on the back of the gun truck, killing them before they even knew what hit them.  Mary watched from the barricade, hearing the bullets cutting through the air.  She looked at Shades, seeing him shake his head and raise his shotgun.  She made a choice..
Mary shoots Shades with an arrow
Mary takes the shot she has on Shades, her bow has a better range than the shotgun Shades has.  She gets a hit and rolls a kill.  His Hard as Nails kicks in and he is knocked down, he passes 2d and carries on.   Her attack will trigger In Sight checks with the camp and the gang as well.  It's a crazy turn!
Dawn fires first and clips two more gangers
Now come the in sight checks.  Dawn and Shades get 4 successes, Jack gets 3 with one of the closest gangers, the rest get ones or two succeses.  The survivors in the camp have no ranged weapons, so they are out of the in sight contest.  Luckily, most of the gang is out of range of the house Dawn and Jack are in, and Dawn fires another burst into the nearest group of gangers, taking out two of them.
Two gangers down, Shades gets to act
Shades is out of range to Mary, but takes a shot at Ned, rolling 3 sixes!  He kills Ned, even with him behind cover.  Heck of a shot!
Jack kills the driver
Jack fires on the driver of the gun truck, its the closest target in cover.  He kills the driver, the truck rolls to a stop.  One ganger returns fire on Dawn and Jack, but misses.The rest of the gangers are out of range, so they fire on the camp.  The cover from the barricades keeps them from hitting anyone.

Now for reaction rolls.  Shades as a star passes 2D for his received fire roll.  The last ganger nearest Dawn and Jack has had enough and is running away.  One of the gangers near the second Hummer ducks back, using the SUV as cover.
One ganger makes a break for it
Dawn and Jack pass 2D for Received Fire, and get to fire.  They shoot at the nearest Hummer, but fail to do any damage.  They do make the driver Duck Back in reaction, and we finally get to the end of the turn.  Whew.  No zombies appear from the shooting, but will now appear on a 5+ from each shot.  Good thing they didn't - it would have been around 35 rolls for zombie spawn!

On the next turn, we get a random event...
Good News?
Well, there won't be many zombies in this game I guess.  we do get some PEF movement, one comes out of the liquor store, revealing two zombies.
The PEF comes out of the store
Two zombies decide to try and eat Shades!
 Across the street a trio of zombies wandered out of the liquor store, attracted to the sounds of battle.  Sporadic gunfire continued from the gang, answered by burst from the SAW or a high powered rifle.  Shades knew this was out of control.  Leveling his shotgun on the undead, Shades blasted at the zombies shambling towards him...
Shades makes short work of the zombies
Shades kills the two zombies, but runs out of ammo.  He gets in the hummer and 'encourages' the driver to recover from duck back.  They will try and drive away next turn.

Shades heard his shotgun click over to empty.  “Damn it!” He yelled, his shoulder aching from the arrow that had miraculously just grazed him.  He could hear the bark of the SAW firing from his left, but couldn’t see where it was.  Bullets pinged off his Hummer, letting him know whoever was shooting had an idea he was there.  He realized the gang was on the wrong side of this ambush.
“Get us out of here!”  Shades yelled at his driver as he dove into the back, dropping his shotgun in favor of a pistol.
"They'll cut us to ribbons if I start this thing up!"  Ted, the driver said from his hunched over position in the front seat.  
Shades pulled back the slide on his pistol, chambering a round.  "What do you think will happen if you don't get this started?"
With a roar, the Hummer fired up and even though hunched down, the driver started backing up towards the cover of an alley.
Shades in in the Hummer
Dawn and Jack shoot at the hummer, but don't manage to damage it at all!  It seems these trucks are made to last.

It seems my ambush plan is off to a good start.  The SAW sure evens out the odds.  I keep pumping rounds into the Hummers, but don’t get a damage result.  Looks like Shades is going to get to cover and escape, but I hope I can eliminate the remaining gangers, regroup with the camp and get out of Dodge!

To be continued...