Campaign Game 3 - On the Road: part 2 Batrep

The survivors move forward, wary of the fact there are not many zombies around.

[I rolled using the zombie threat level for the game and only 3 zombies were placed at the start of the game]

The survivors move cautiously forward

The zombies, some how sensing live flesh is nearby move forward for a feed.

 As Jack and Celina chew up some ground and make it up on to the top of the bus. Ned hesitates as four more zombies appear.

Jack and Celina breath a bit easier.

Even zombies like ice cream!

Three more zombies appear - somehow they know there is flesh to be eaten.

Jack, knowing what it is like to be cornered wastes not time and makes his way up the truck and across the top of the trailer.

 While Ned climbs onto the top of a car, Celina joins Jack on the truck.

The higher they are, the safer they feel

Jack moves to the end of the trailer, but Celina stays put – that way she will be in range of Ned should he need some ballistic assistance.

 [Random even allows Celina to buy a new skill at ½ cost after the game… provided she lives.]

Why is the back of the truck open? What was in there?

Jack jumps onto the icecream truck, while Ned makes it on to the front of the truck just as zombies appear behind him and to the his flanks. 

Hurry up Ned!

While waiting for ned to catch up both Jack and Celina wait for him to catch up as the zombies start to form hoards around the truck.

Will Ned make the jump across to the trailer?

[My rolls for zombie spawning is not so great – most of them are turning up at the end of the truck… right where the Survivors need to exit the table.]

Ned tries to jump from the cab to the trailer but falls between the two. There is no way he will be able to climb up on to the back of the truck safely, so he will have to bolt on foot and try to get out if he can.

Celina dashes across and successfully jumps onto the ice cream truck.

Not wasting time, Ned sprints along the side of the truck hoping to make it to the exit point.

Jack fires into the mass below him, taking out a zombie.

Nope, he wont make it

This is our ice cream - get your own!

 The zombie dying to zombie appearing ratio picks up a bit as Jack and Celina drop eight between them, and Ned takes down one.

Ned gets to the end of the truck and halts… there is a zombie to the rear of the ice cream truck - can he get past it?

Run Ned, Run!

Jack thinks he sees a zombie that used to be someone he knew. He takes a guts check and passes, deciding it wasn't any one important if he did know them. 

[Random event had a survivor make a gut check thinking they saw a zombie they used to know before the apocalypse]

 The zombie lurking behind the ice cream truck rushes at Ned and a furious combat begins. Ned lands a couple ineffective hits before the shock and pain of numerous bites drops him to the ground and he comes zombie food.

Look out!

[After a lot of shooting last turn I have a record dice grave of 24 dice. My luck changes a bit as only 6 zombies are spawned from this lot]

Jack and Celina continue to fire away at the zombies blocking their escape route.

The red counters indicate how many turns Ned will be chomped on

[Seven zombies are spawned this turn but most appear on the far end of the table]

Jack and Celina kill two zombies each, clearing a way to safety. Jack jumps down ready to make good his escape.

Jack doesn't bother to get himself an ice cream

 Just when he thought the nightmare would end, a zombie appears right in the path Jack has to take to get away. 

 Fortunately Jack gets to move before the zombies do and puts two rounds into the new zombie's head.

With escape so close Jack runs for his life, with Celina moving to join him on the road.

As she gets off the roof, Celina notices a bag next to the car with some molotov cocktails sticking out of the top

[This was a random even, and a most welcome one indeed!]
So close... can Celina make it to safety?

Picking up the bag Celina catches up to Jack and both make it to safety.... for now.

The zombies at the end of the game

Once in a safe area Celina opens the bag and find a pamphlet that must have been placed there by the original owner when they were fleeing. It says that there is a pick up point in the city where survivors can be rescued and be taken to a safe haven. It also suggests that the CDC has a vaccine for the zombie virus, and that all major cities have an immunization point that people can head to.

[These two were rumor events that happened during the game and I used the molotov bag to tie it into the story]

So ends game three in my campaign.

Ned was eaten - so now I am down to two survivors. Again I am not that upset at loosing Ned, as he was only intended as a fill in survivor for my first game.

 Now that I have my Hasslefree Miniatures I can add new survivors to the game, but I would not be so casual about it should they be eaten.

 The choke points I made using the cars was useful... it stopped the zombies moving freely in a direct path, thus slowing them down a bit.

 If it wasn't for this, I am sure Celina and maybe even Jack would not have survived the game.

The events worked well and I will add extra events into the deck so new survivors can appear.

In my next games I will use the initiative deck they way it is used in 'The Rules With No Name' and allow a character to hold back their action until they want to use it or when the turn ends.

Had I done this, I think Celina and Jack would have been able to protect Ned from the zombies near the escape point.  

 My next game will be a "supply run" scenario, simply because the survivors need to eat, and they have eaten the supplies they were carrying.

I have a new road that I am making for future games and I will have to make a few buildings too. Between this and work it may be a few weeks before I get to play my next game, but I have something in mind to fill in the gaps between games that I will post.

Campaign Game 3 - On the road: part 1, the set up

"I'm gonna tell you about an incident, and I don't wanna hear 'act of God!'  
My name is Jack Berton. I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things. 
Take for example the other day - we were chased by zombies and just managed to escape in a car by a hair's width, only to have it run out of fuel on the highway."

"We had to make it down the road, dodging zombies as we went, and it was going to take crackerjack timing.
 Celina pulled out those hand cannons of hers and turned to me and asked if I was ready. Ha. I was born ready!"

This is the setup for my next game. I would like a few more cars, but it doesn't bother me that much.

 The game only has the three survivors in it, and as such I am reducing the number of zombies that appear in the rule book for this scenario to reflect the lower point value used.

 I also placed the vehicles in a convenient way - provided the survivors can climb on top of the vehicles I have given them a bit of a risen path way to the other end by using the bus and the truck to walk along.  Now they just have to get up there and get down again.

I will be playing this game over the weekend, and hopefully get a battle report up soon after.

My Zombie Campaign - what I want to do with it and where it is headed

I just thought I would take the time to ramble on about my zombie campaign and what the game objectives are.

The primary objective is simple - to have the characters survive. Seems fairly simple, but the zombies want to throw a spanner into the works.

The next important goal is to find a safe location to hole up and use as a base of operations.

 Going hand in hand with objectives one and two are collecting supplies to ensure survival - the three f's: Food, Fuel and Firearms.

With this 'under control' my survivors will begin the next phase - finding other survivors, find out what happened, and establish a colony to ensure the continuation of survival.

As part of the last one, I will have rumors in the game about safe havens, why the zombie apocalypse occurred, and even a chance to find a cure.

 Each time a survivor is found I will make a roll on an 'occupation' table to see what skills, if any, these survivors will bring to the colony. Tradesmen and health practitioners will be in high demand, but so are workers to help protect the colony and act as laborers. 

 Of course tradies and doctors are not the only skills on offer but I need to come up with a good list of skills to see what I can do for my fledgling colony.  Military and Emergency services are also very useful.

On a game side of things, I will need to make up a lot of scenery, but once that has been done I should have to spend less time on buildings etc and a lot more time playing the game.

 It might be ambitious, but I want to make part of a housing estate for suburb settings (as well as shops to go with them) and a city block or two for bigger scenarios.

 To this end I will need to make a list of useful shop types and the useful things that can be scavenged from within them. This is intended to help the survivors build their colony.

 Things like tools, clothes, power sources, food, medical supplies and so on will all need to be considered, as will the chance of other looters having already taken useful items.

Obviously not all of these things will happen at once, but I will build up to it and see where it all goes.

Happy Campers, Ice Cream and a retired Marine

I wasn't able to do to much over the weekend due to other commitments, but I was able to finish off a few things today, as well as another vehicle arriving in the mail.

First up I have finished painting some more "Loads" (I might rename the "Loads" to "Zombie Bait").

 I saw these Reaper Miniatures on their web site and had to have them for the game:

 Next up I have an Ice Cream van - commonly called "Mr Whippy" here in Australia, and they always seem to play "Greensleeves" as they drive around. Personally I think they are like clowns - creepy.
 When I saw the van on ebay I knew I had to have it:

 And last up is my new survivor character: USMC Gunnery Sergeant (Retired) Thomas Freeway:

 This figure is from Eureka Miniatures and meant to be a WW2 Pulp figure, but I decided to paint him up in a Hawaiian shirt (well, I attempted to). 

What Thomas Freeway was hiding in his house when the zombie apocalypse came along should prove useful - a .45 Thompson SMG and some grenades: "Oorah!"

 I have yet to base him up, but I will do so soon.

Kameko and Kamiko painted, plus some new vehicles

My Hasslefree Miniatures arrived this week, and I have been working on painting them up.

 The first to be finished are Kameko and Kamiko. I painted them in the uniform from "St Agnes", which is the school featured in a Japanese comedy drama called "My Boss My Hero".

 I painted the SMG carried by one of the twins in pink, and if I could have painted it, I would have put a "Hello Kitty" picture on the side of the gun.

 I went with the pink as Japanese seem to really like 'cutesy' things alot, and as the SMG is a modified ingram, I thought "why wouldn't a Japanese school girl want one in pink?"

which one is Kameko and which one is Kamiko?

I also had two 1:43 cars turn up in the mail today after I bought them on ebay. The first one I will use as my Government Agents vehicle for scenarios when the Agents are involved.

The second one is a police ute (pickup truck = ute in Australia) that will be useful for traffic, or to putting stores in the pack when I play supply run scenarios. Who knows, it might even have gas bottles in the back for the next game I play.

Biotek Billboard

I finished making my biotek billboard to go next to my road today.

 I should have re-enforced the actual board itself, as it buckled a little when I painted it, but apart from that I am happy with how it looks.

I was intending to put a wash over the reverse side to give it a dirty look, but I decided not to after seeing how the cardboard was warping.

Number Crunching

I had a "Professor Farnsworth" moment last night.

While watching TV last night I did a bit of number crunching during the commercials and statistically my survivors wont last many more games in my "No More Room In Hell" campaign.

Percentage wise my current three survivors will be able to hit 2.4 zombies when they shoot at them a turn.

 Of the 2.4 zombies they hit, they will only be able to kill off 1.68 zombies.

 Of all the shots fired to kill this 1.68 zombies, they will attract 9 zombies per turn. (Based on a medium Zombie threat level)

 And this doesn't factor in the chance of running out of ammunition, which I have found to happen quite easily.

Why did I work all of this out? Well, I was taking a look at my "On the Road" scenario set up and trying to figure out the best way to have my characters survive the game, and it doesn't look good to say the least.

 Now admittedly I am down about 600 points worth of Survivors as laid out in the actual scenario in the rule book, so this doesn't help one bit. This is compounded by the fact that I am using the suggested number of zombies.

This means I may have to do one or more of a few things:

a) get more survivors. I don't want to use this option because I don't want to fit the extra characters into the story line I am working with just yet.

b) make the weapons stronger. By ignoring the AZ value of weapons and using the AP rating only I double my chances of killing a zombie. This means some weapons go from a 30% chance of killing a zombie to a 60% chance. I could argue that survivors know that they need to shoot zombies in the head to stop them, otherwise they probably wouldn't be survivors, but it throws a few survivor skills out the window making them useless.

c) scale down the zombie numbers.  This is most likely the option I will take. Rather than use the full number of zombies that start in some games I will reduce the starting number of zombies, and or drop the zombie threat levels down a level, so a ATL of 5 becomes a ATL of 4.

I will play test a few different options and see how they go. Hopefully they wont unbalance game play, and I suspect option c) will be the best. If I played the "On the road" scenario as it is meant to be played, then 10d10 + # rounds fired each turn zombies can show up. Not only do I not have that many zombies, but the chances of surviving what is supposed to be the second scenario in a campaign would be very low indeed.

Brmm Brmm

I was out paying for my travel insurance today and I took a look around the big franchise toy shop in the same area. They had mostly small matchbox sized cars or big remote control types, but they did have a couple of 1:43 scale trucks on special.

 I found this one hidden behind other stock - so maybe someone saw it and hid it until they could come back with some cash. Either way, I don't care, as this little beauty cost me $14.00 AUD.

 The great thing about it is the trailer is detachable, and the back doors open on the shipping container, which means I can have some nasty surprises in the back as part of the plot I am developing.

A photo of the truck with Jack standing next to it

The truck with the trailer detached and showing the doors at the back.

I have seen 1:43 scale trucks online for $80 plus dollars, so I snapped this up quickly. The other two trucks left at the store were a live stock carrier and a flat bed truck with two tractor things on the back. I considered getting this last one, but the tractor things looked like cheap nasty plastic toys.

 I am happy I found this truck - the sheer length of it will give a bit of zombie free movement.. if survivors can reach the top that is.

Lace War Zombie Apocalypse?

As mentioned in a previous post (about the Napoleon Zombie figure) I was contemplating a zombie game set in different eras.

 The horse and musket period is one of my favorite historical periods... in fact it was the first period I ever played as a wargamer.

 After a bit of thinking I decided it might be more fun using Seven Years War figures instead of Napoleonic figures, especially as I can get mounted and dismounted cavalry figures; something that isn't that common with Napoleonic figures.

 With this in mind I painted up a Hussar figure I had purchased from Eureka Miniatures a while ago as a sample.

 To play a game I would have to make a few changes - such as not having so many zombies to swarm on the table, as well as come up with a different reason for zombies to be around - after all the modern science we have today wasn't around in the 18th Century.

 I am thinking that the occult might be a better way to create the zombies for this game, and only a set number are created per game. The bites of zombies would be less likely to turn characters as they were raised from the buried dead due to dark arts and not some kind of virus.

 While not high on my list of things to do, I will keep working on the idea and see where it goes.

Event Cards & Event Deck

As part of the game I am  creating an "Event Deck" to enhance game play

The back of the event card - I like the syringe, as it 'injects' something to the game

In the initiative deck I have two cards: one allows for an event if drawn before the turn ends, and the other kills off the chance for an event if drawn before the other card.

 This can make the occurrence of an event possible, but not so frequent that it controls the game.

Why events?

 An event can change the way the game is played and adds the "Murphy" factor.  Some events are good - like finding some ammo or food. Maybe a friendly survivor comes to the character's help for the remainder of the game.

 Other events can hinder the characters and really throw a spanner into the works.

 Another kind of event is a 'plot' event - something that drives the story behind the campaign.

 I prefer an event deck to a chart, as you can re-arrange the deck with a minimum of effort and cater it to what figures or scenery (if needed for the event) rather than roll on a chart and find you don't have a figure needed, or that the result rolled on the chart totally blows.

 You can also include more than one card of a particular event to increase the likely hood of an event happening, or not happening as the case may be.

I make the cards like I do the initiative deck cards - print a front and reverse side and them laminate them to protect them from excessive handling.

So far I have 80 event cards, with more to be added as I go along. I don't use all the cards at once. Instead I select a certain variety of cards to suit the scenario.

The type of cards I have are:

Bonuses - anything that helps the survivors with dice rolls
Penalties  - anything the doesn't help the survivors with dice rolls
Items - an item that can be used during the game or essential supplies
Rumors - used to drive the plot: who caused the apocalypse, news of safe havens
Encounters - good or bad guys that turn up during a game: Government Agents, Corporate Soldiers, other Survivors, Bikers, SEAL Teams, Delta Force, Military - both local or foreign.
Story - a card that develops the story and drives the campaign a certain way.

my first road

Over the weekend I started to make a road section for the next scenario "On the Road".

 I had looked at the excellent roads that Zombie Ad had made (you can see them here) but didn't have access to the boards to be able to make these.

So, I had a rethink, and after coming up with a few ideas, and changing my mind a few times, I decided to go with what I already knew, only with a few modifications.

I taped out my road using paper masking tape on a large board and then spread caulking over it. Whiles it was still wet I sprinkled fine sand over it.

 As it is winter here and rather wet and cold at the moment, I left the 'road' to dry over the weekend. This also gave me time to duck down to the local 'cheapie' shop and buy some cheap black paint to paint the road.

 With the caulking/sand dry I painted the road and because of the cold I left it to dry until Sunday afternoon and then painted the reverse side to stop it sticking. 

 First thing Monday morning I painted a bit more black on to the road over the bits I missed, and while that was drying, I cut myself a jig (a tool, not a dance) to would allow me to paint my road markings in the right spot and at the right length.

 A quick search to find out what colour to paint the road lines later and I decided to use yellow. The jig worked perfectly and I left the road to dry completely for the rest of the day.

Now that I have waffled on a  bit, here are two photos of the finished product:

 This last photo also shows the signs I made for the game. I want a few more cars before I play this game, and I will make some more signs and my billboard before I play the next game. 

Campaign Game 2 - Rescuing Jack part 3

Turn 9

 Johns previous gun fire has attracted 3 more zombies to his “little party”

John,  fires his smg into the group, hitting two, but causing no damage. To make it worse for him, he needs to reload!

Celina heads towards the car where jack is.

John swings wildly with his smg club at the zombies but misses.

Jack gets the car to kick over, but it doesn’t start

Ned dashes after Celina, leaving the "loads" to catch up.

Jack still cant get the car started as Celina screams at him to get his act together.

The zombies "slush" (shamble rush) over the gate and after the fleeing survivors.

John somehow survives a deluge of blows and doesn’t get any further injuries

Celina makes into into the neighbours yard and takes up a firing position behind the wall

Turn 10

6 zombies appear over the far side of the action…[phew]

Celina goes on over watch to protect the loads incase the zombies get too close.

Ned catches up with Celina and takes up position behind the gate, while Jack fires the car into life [Finally!]

The loads get ever closer to the neighbours place, but are taking their time.

The zombies take down john and begin to feast on him, while those zombies at the farm house make short work of the small gate blocking their way.

Not wanting to slow their escape, Jack and Celina get into the car.

Turn 11

Two more zombies appear on the other side of the log cabin [they should be too far from the action to worry me]

Jack moves the car forward, knocking the gate down and waits for the others to get in, and Ned, not needing a second invitation, scrambles into the back seat

Not sure is they are seeing things, the survivors think they see a different type of zombie in the hoards around them that somehow act differently  [Event card that was drawn]

The zombies finish eating john and look for their next meal...

Turn 12

Three more zombies appear at the far side of the action, this time on the far side of the farm house.

Jack frantically honks the horn while Celina and ned yell for the loads to hurry up.

Unfortunately the shock of seeing the zombies eat john must have frozen them to the spot, for the hoard is upon them!

Turn 13

With more zombies appearing close to the crate tower, the hoard of zombies start tearing into the "loads".
Those in the car are stunned, unable to do anything as the watch the zombies attack the "loads".  [The turn ended before they were able to act]

Turn 14

The zombies finish eating as others move forward to join in the eating frenzy.

 [This was another short turn, which was very frustrating for me at this point... would the turn of the cards mean the difference between my survivors living or dying?]

Turn 15

The zombies, making a short meal of their latest victims, start to swarm towards the car.

Ned throws a cocktail out the window in the hopes of clearing some away – one dies and two flame up.

Turn 16

Bouyed by his success, Ned throws another cocktail, taking out two more,and setting another two on fire. This helps keep the pressure off a fraction.

Jack finally wake out of his stupor and speeds out of the front yard and out of immediate danger, leaving the moaning hoard gnashing their teeth at them in the rear view mirror.

 Game ends.

After Action Review:

 If I was to play this one again, I would have not moved John so close to a spawn point. I also forgot to use his Molotov Cocktails. Had I done so, I think he would have survived.

 Having said that, I am not too upset with his loss, as the figure is one of the "Government Agents" I have, and I will be needing them in future games. I just hope my Hasslefree order can turn up soon! I really need those figures to add to my character pool.

 The zombies were lucky with the draw of the cards for a few turns. If I hadn't decided to have a few characters run when they did I probably would have lost all of my characters.

 The Molotov Cocktails worked a treat - I limited the number of dice to roll for effect to 10d10, but only used that many once in the game. It is well worth having some of these on hand.

 Regretfully I only have one cocktail left for the next game, so I had better make good use of it.

 The next game will be "On the Road" - I made a nice road section just for this scenario, and I will show it in a post tomorrow. I would like a few more cars before I start this game: two more cars showed up in the mail today making a grand total of five cars and one bus.

  A few trucks would be very helpful, as they offer some height away from the zombies.

Campaign Game 2 - Rescuing Jack Part 2

Turn 3

The zombies move, and more take up the interest in Celina behind the wall and start to move towards the gate.

[Turn ends on the first card drawn, which means only the zombies were able to move]

Turn 4

John heads out of the farm towards the neighbours place, but hesitates once he clears the gate and wonders if he is doing the right thing.  [I drew an event card that caused him indecision, thus loosing a move]
The zombes move towards the gate and Jack stands on top of his tower and pretends he isn’t there.

Celina sees red and takes out 4 zombies with her .45 socom pistols.

Turn 5

 The shooting has started to attract more zombies, which appear behind the main hoard of zombies, which in turn moan forward and start to claw at the farm yard gate.

Celina throws her second last cocktail over the fence near the gate and six more zombies catch on fire and she drops three instantly.

Unable to crash through the barrier, the zombies on fire turn to ash.

Turn 6

3 more zombies appear drawn by the noise of the battle.

John heads towards the scrub hoping not to attract the zombies' attention in any way, and he makes it into some scenic cover.

The zombies shuffle forward, filling the gaps of their fallen.

Celina throws the last of her cocktails with devastating effect: 8 zombies catch on fire.

Ned makes him self busy grabbing essential items from his house grabs ammo for his assault rifle, not really caring about the battle out side, or the plight of his cousin Jack.

The loads take one look behind them and move after John.

Turn 7

The easing up of gun fire has summoned fewer zombies (1 this time) but they are all appearing near Jack, making him very uneasy, but as they shamble past, he sees a gap forming that he might be able to escape through

The zombies start to move the gate in its foundations, making it very shaky.

[Another short turn  due to the turn of the cards]

Turn 8

As John blunders about in the undergrowth, three zombies appear right next to him!

The loads make a dash for the neighbour’s house in an attempt to get to the car

Jack steadies his nerves [passed a gut check rolling a 2] and sprints towards the neighbour’s place, taking advantage of the gap in the zombies.

Ned stopps messing around in the house and comes out into the yard.

John fires a burst at the zombies near him, but shoots low, the bullets ripping into the chests of the flesh eaters.

Getting unnerved, John runs towards the neighbours house, but the zombies lunge at him slowing him down, but inflict no damage.

The zombie numbers at the farm build up on the gate and they push it over.

The three zombies near John converge around him with their teeth nashing. John holds his nerve and fights back, but misses out on killing one.

 The three dead heads converge on him and one bites John

Jack hurdles the fence and rushes to the car [note - I was thinking like an Aussie and had the steering on the wrong side when I parked the car!]

Celina wastes no time and runs and jumps over the wall to the rear of the farm and Ned quickly follows.

Celina catches up to the loads and puts herself between them and the zombies attacking John.

Jack gets in and attempts to hotwire the car, but is under a bit of pressure and fails.

To be continued....