Zomtober 2013

 I haven't participated in any thing like Zomtober before, but as I need a kick in the back side to get some figures painted, I thought this would be an excellent way to get me motivated.

 From Brummie's (and others' sites):


"The plan is simple any mini's blogger who wants to join in with Zombtober basically agrees to paint up 1 Survivor or 1 Zombie figure per week in October.

Hopefully the plan is to post your figure on  each Sunday of the month!

So dig out those figures you've been meaning to paint and come join the fun!"

 I will include a list of others participating in this event once there is a complete list available so I don't have to keep editing my blog.

 Thanks to a funny story (funny weird, not funny ha-ha), I now have a box of plastic Studio Miniatures Nazi zombies to make and paint up.

 I am also working on the edge of the rules maybe, but I am including my WW2 Commandos as survivors, so I will be including these in my tally.

 So, I should get cracking on making the nazi zombies, as the game will be a foot tomorrow.

Bolt Action Zombie - work on more scenery

Ok, it has taken a week and a half for me to finish off my recent purchase: the guard tower I found here for sale in Australia.

 It took a while as it was not quite what I was expecting.   I had in my mind it was a laser cut kit you just put together rather like those excellent products made by various companies.

 Instead it was more like a plane kit, where the pieces had to be cut out of a sprue, then files or sanded where the pieces joined the sprue before you could put it all together.

 Here is a sample of the 'sprue' to better show what I mean:

 The instructions said you need a good hobby knife, but I found a Stanley Knife was the best thing to use.

 As I cut the pieces out and filed the tabs back I assembled it without using glue to see how it went together, and once I was happy I glued my tower together.

 Next I added some corrugated card to the tower walls and roof to try and give it more of a WW2 to Modern feel about it.

At first I was a bit uncertain about this, but the end results left me feeling very happy that I made the effort.

The kit has the option of glueing the roof in to place or keeping it separate so as to make it easier to place figures in the tower.  I decided not to glue to roof in place.

Finishing off the tower had to wait about half a week as I wanted to get some brown paint for the legs that I felt was the best colour for it.

 Having secured the paint I proceeded to paint the legs and the ladder and then the walls, roof and leg supports with a dark grey undercoat, followed by a lighter grey top layer.

 As the whole thing looked a bit too clean I used a diluted ink wash on the model to weather it a little.

Once it was all dry I glued it to a base for extra stability and then finished off the base to make it fit in with my other scenery.

These photos show the end results of my work:

Tower with roof on

Tower with roof off

Commando Sniper in the tower. Safest place to be really. Or is it?

It wasn't until I was editing the photos that I noticed the zombies had knocked a tree over in the background. Stupid zombies.

Other scenery

I am making some buildings for use in the game and will have photos of these as soon as I have finished the first batch of them.

 I also found 4Ground make a nice German guard box, so I have requested a Paypal invoice from NorthStar who are selling it with the best postage rates I could find.  4Ground really need to look at their postage rates if they want overseas customers to buy from them directly.

 I also want to make some fences for a German base, but I am not 100% sure on what I will do for this.  I will tinker around to see what is the easiest to make without compromising how it looks.

Bolt Action Zombie - German zombie types

I am thinking of three types of zombies for my WW2 game.

  The nastiest will be SS Zombies - these are creations of an occult experiment conducted by high ranking members of the SS.  They will be fast, hard to kill, able to climb, use things, be semi intelligent or better, have leadership and, fortunately, be in limited numbers.

The nature of their creation is what makes them dangerous and hard to kill.
 They wont have the ability to infect others. They are pure killing machines and nothing else.

Type one zombies

 Next will be your German soldier that has become a zombie through chemical testing to create a Super Soldier. They will be harder to kill, but lack the ability to move fast, climb or use items. Basically a normal zombie, only harder to kill than average.

 Only 'first generation' zombies will be harder to kill; basically only those created through chemical testing will be tougher.

 As they were created in a laboratory  through experiments that have gone wrong, they will carry a virus that infects others that they bite.

Type two zombies

 The third, and last type, of zombie are those bitten by the 'type two' zombie.  They can be other German soldiers, Allied soldiers or even Civilians. They will be easier to kill but still remain infectious, thus passing on their undead curse to others.

Type three zombie

 What does all this mean in game terms?

Type One: can run, open doors, climb ladders, has a troop quality of 10 and is killed on a 6+

Type Two: slow moving, has a troop quality of 9 and is killed on a 5+

Type Three: slow moving, has a troop quality of 8 and is killed on a 4+

The levels as to which the different zombie types will spawn also matches how hard they are to kill. Thus a Type One will only spawn on a 6+, whilst a Type Three will spawn on a 4+.

I will have to play test the different zombie types, but I think they will work.

How to tell the difference between these zombies?

 The Type One zombies are easy to tell - they wear the SS uniform.

For the Type Two zombies I am thinking of painting yellow "glowing" eyes. They will also be in Wehrmacht uniforms.  The reason for the glowing eyes is to tell them apart from Type Three zombies in uniform.

 And Type three will be anything else.

Bolt Action Zombie - back ground fluff

As part of the campaign I am putting together some player hands outs, or red herrings, for the game.

 The first one is an excerpt from a 'top secret' document on the creation of the commando unit that will be the focal point for the game:

It is a work in progress and I will add to it and change parts as time goes on.

I haven't done too much about the game this week - real life is taking presidence again, but I hope to dedicate at least a few hours over the weekend to doing some play testing.

Also I am hoping my guard tower will arrive in the mail early next week so I can add it to my scenery.

MDF Guard tower

I might have found a guard tower made here in Australia of all things!

miniaturescenery make this and a number of other items that are useful for other wargame settings.

At first I thought the tower might not be suited too well for a WW2 game, but a quick google turned up that it is idea, or at worst needing the slightest make over to make it look the part.

Bolt Action Zombie - another play test

I managed to play test another game today.

 This time I only used four commandos, as the others are busy being painted up.

 To start the game I rolled 4d6 for the number of zombies starting on the board and I only rolled 6.

 As the commandos were mostly out of range for a number of turns, I put them on over watch waiting until the zombies came in range.

 The sniper was the only one to fire any shots, and he didn't do too well (as normal). This lead me to make some changes to the sniper rules for the skirmish variant.

Once the zombies neared the dragon's teeth I started firing at them in earnest.  A lot of stuns were dished out, but it wasn't until the zombies made it to the wire did I start to get some kills, and only then by concentrating my fire on the nearest hoard closing in.

Lucky for the commandos, I rolled very poorly for spawning zombies - in about eight or ten turns I think I only added about five more zombies to the table.  Part of that was due to holding fire and keeping the noise levels low, so this helped play test that side of the game.

zombies close in on the commandos

I played this game with the stuns in place, but only with a kill on a dice roll of 6.  My next game will have them killed on a 5+ to see how that works out.  My logic being that zombies are easier to give killing blows to as they move slow and don't use tactics to keep out of danger.

Some other modifications that I will play test include:

Figures with the "Ambush" order get +1 to hit targets.  As mentioned in the rule book, the ambush order includes over watch type of thing.

The Sniper will kill a target automatically on any to hit roll of 7+.  The sniper hit almost every time during my games, but rarely killed anything. Not what I imagine a sniper being capable of.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering about the bunkers in the photo above and pondering how zombies will be able to attack anyone in them, please keep in mind the scenario I have planned out calls for the player to set charges on them... once they have been blown up, they will have a nice hole in them ;-)

Bolt action zombie - underground bunker

Yesterday I started building an entrance to an underground bunker.  After a quick sketch of what I wanted I started work on it like I was possessed.

 Using an MDF coaster I purchased at a hardware store a long time ago I cut out a bunker from foam card, which included stairs down to the entrance itself.

 It was after I made the actual bunker that I changed tack a bit and started added parts of styrene boxes around the bunker so as to give it the appearance it was actually in the ground.

At this stage I started to take photos to post on my blog:

Bunker glued to the base, with bits of styrene placed around it to see how it would work

Same stage, but showing the rear of the bunker.

After covering the inside gaps with masking tape, I started on the next level.

The bunker built, with slight sculpting on the sides.

Undercoat on the bunker itself

Undercoat on the hill. Note the sides have sand glued to them before painting.

Top coat for the bunker applied.

Flock added to the top of the hill; note the glue is still drying at this stage.

The bunker 'in play'

I am toying with the idea of adding more scenery to the hill and the top of the bunker - a clump of grass or small bushes for example, but not too sure on that yet.

The bunker isn't exactly a master piece, but it will suit my purposes.

  Now... is the bunker a haven, or where super nazi zombies are lurking?

Bolt Action Zombie - scenario concept and some scenery

Over the last few days I have been making some scenery to go with my Bolt Action Zombie game idea.

 I made a couple of simple bunkers to put on the table. They might not be 100% historically accurate, but they will do the job.

Foam card bunker

Bunker with Commando peering in to show the size of the bunker

 The scenario concept

 The commandos will be sent in to destroy some bunkers and other defenses as part of a bigger raid.  These targets will be roughly centred in middle of the gaming area.

 The player will need to move the commandos in, coming up with a plan that best suits his needs in  order to get in undetected.  Once there charges are to be set and then the commandos must evacuate of a predetermined table edge.

What the player doesn't know is that there are no enemy troops in the area.  I will keep the player on his toes by making dice rolls for the alert status of the enemy, but these are bogus dice rolls used only to add suspense to the game.

a sample layout for the proposed game

 The real action will start if any shots are fired, or the explosives are set and it is time to evacuate.  By the time this happens, the player should be scratching his head wondering what is up.

A slightly clearer and closer photo of the proposed setup

As soon as a loud noise is made the zombies will start to appear. I will also place spawn points on the table to indicate where additional zombies will appear from during the course of the game. This is when the real game will start.

I have since painted up all of the dragon's teeth tank obstacles, so they are ready to go.  I though I had more wire defenses. I will need to look for these or make some more.

 I would like a guard tower or two, or at the very least, a sentry box, but not sure if I will be able to buy some or make any before I play the game.

 A few barracks or houses for the"German troops" would be nice too. As I am running low of foam card I will have to undertake an expedition to get some before I can add to my building collection.

 The entrance to an underground bunker complex might be in order too...

 In the mean time I am painting up my commandos and continuing with the play test of the Bolt Action Zombie rules.

  I also need to test out grenades in the game, as they are not included in the Bolt Action rules, and I want the player to make as much noise as he can in the defense of his figures.

Bolt Action Zomibe - a quick game before work

I played out another play test of the 'BAZ' game this morning and the results were a lot better... well better for the zombies.

Zombies move in close to a commando. His fires at them, killing one.

The zombies move in on the closest commando and attack him. Lucky for him he dodges their attack.

During this activation the attacked commando moves (read 'runs') away to a safer position, with the zombies close on his heels.

Changes made:

Zombies spawn on a roll of 5+ :  I tried this in the last game and it works well. Enough zombies appear, but not in ridiculous amounts.

 Stuns: hits that don't kill stun the zombies, removing their action for the turn. This helps balance the game a lot and gives the soldiers half a chance at surviving, but needs to be modified slightly.

Things to work on:

 Stuns: I will roll at the start of a zombie's move to remove the stuns. If successful the zombie still gets to act.  I found that stunning the zombies and having them automatically act the next turn gave them too much of a benefit. Having them make the test and then lose their turn didn't work either, as they did nothing and removed the tension. By having them make the test and then able to act should balance this out.

 Zombie kills: at this stage a zombie is only killed on a 6.  I might try playing on a zombie being killed on a 5+ and see if this balances the game or makes it uneven.  I will try the new stun system first before changing the zombie kill rule, as the stun rule may do the job needed.

           at lot more scenery will also change the game. At the moment the commandos have a clear line of sight and can fire at maximum range.  Add in walls, buildings and plenty of cover, the zombies will be able to get a lot closer before the action starts.

Bolt Action Zombie - the findings so far

Ok, following hot on the heels of my previous post today, I have some observations on what I was doing with my Bolt Action Zombie idea.

 After about six turns none of the zombies even made it in to pistol range.  This left the commando officer standing around not doing much at all.

 The British forces were:

 1 Officer with pistol
 1 Sniper
 1 Bren Gunner
 2 SMG toting Commandos

The officer was dead weight, but had melee occurred or some game objectives needed to be reached he would have been busy.

 The sniper only had a 50% at best strike rate. He hit a lot, but only scored a couple of kills.

 The bren gunner and the SMG types were the most useful in the game, but generated a lot of noise counters for the spawn pool.

 In regards to the spawn pool - I had two turns were no zombies turned up at all, and out of eight dice in the pool, the best result for spawning zombies was three at once.

 Rather than needing to roll a 6 for a zombie to appear, I might make a threat rating that allows for different results to see a zombie appear.  Thus one could turn up for every 4 or 5+ rolled on 1d6.  My next game will have a threat level of 5+ to see how that goes.

 Zombie stuns - I think this was actually a game stopper, as it prevented any zombies from actually posing a threat to the commandos.  The zombies in the front rank were stopped in their tracks and picked off by the superior fire power - the closest a zombie made it was 8".

 To fix this, I think I will either get rid of the stuns, or change the mechanic so that they automatically go at the start of the next turn, meaning the zombies get to act.

 This should up the tension a lot as it will mean unless you kill a zombie there is a far better chance they will get into melee with the commandos.

I will play a few turns tonight with the suggested changes in play to see what happens.

Apart from that, the movement and allocation of orders/actions worked well. Bolt Action lends itself well to solo play through the use of drawing order dice, or in my case, order counters.

Edit: I just played out five turns with the stuns removed and the 5+ spawn changes.  The no stuns is a real killer - the zombies are almost upon the commandos and after about 32 shots fired, only two zombies were killed - one by the sniper and the other by the bren gunner.

 I currently have 12 zombies on the table at the start of turn 6. The 5+ spawn chance works well - more zombies, but not so many that it is overwhelming.

 I will either need to put the stuns back in, or make the zombies easier to kill, say on a 5+.  I will think about it over night and play out some turns tomorrow and post the results.

Bolt Action Zombie

It has been a long time since I have done anything hobby wise, and thus just as long since I have made a post on one of my blogs.

 I lot of real life factors have ganged up on me and taken the motivation from me in relation to my hobbies. But at last I see light at the end of the tunnel, and I even did a bit of play testing on my zombie variant for the Bolt Action rules.

  I intend to surprise my mate that I play with with a WWW2 game, so I wanted to get the mechanics of "BAZ" worked out before it is time to play the game.

 To this end, I have put a few WW2 British commandos on the table, rolled for a random number of zombies (nine in total) and played out a few turns to see how things go.

WW2 British Commandos face a new deadly opponent
 Basic mechanics for the zombie rules I am using at the moment and will be refined:

  •  As this is a skirmish game, I am using the "Bolt Action Skirmish" concept I knocked together for the basis of the game, as seen on my other blog
  •  Zombies move slightly slower than the living: 4" per turn 
  • Loud noises attract more zombies: for every shot/loud noise made during a turn add 1 counter to a spawn pool.  At the end of the turn, roll spawn poold6. For every 6 rolled, a new zombie appears.
  •  If hit, as zombie is considered pinned. This is basically a stun or a knockback depending on how you want to think of it as.  To remove this pin, the zombie must use a rally order.
  • When rolling damage, a zombie is only killed on a 6+ just like soldiers are (see skirmish variant).  
  • Zombies that start a game turn 2" or closer to another zombie form a group and move as one. 
  • Zombies will move towards and attack the closest visible living target. If a target is hidden, they will move in a random direction each turn until they find a target, or towards the last loud noise made during the game (i.e. gun shots or explosions).
  • Zombies that form groups gain +1 to melee for each zombie in the group for attacking and wounding for each zombie after the first one. Thus three zombies have +2 to hit and +2 for damage. Anymore than five zombies is considered a hoard.
  • Zombie groups/hoards that  take pins leave the pinned zombie(s) behind when it moves. This may reduce the hoard to a group and a group to individuals.
  • Melee is handled like shooting: attacker rolls d6 to hit, then rolls damage, if any. Defender does not return the attack as per the main rules book, but may act when it is their turn.
  •  Unless up against 'super zombies' (like those in the film "Blood Snow" for example) all zombies are considered to be inexperienced, thus have Troop Quality of 8,  suffer -1 to hit when attacking and take damage on 3+.
  • Living figures (civilians or soldiers for example) must pass an orders test to enter in to melee with a zombie or when attacked by a zombie. They also take morale tests on an individual basis when the unit suffers casualties.  Groups of zombies impose a -1 to the troop quality of the figure making a test, and hoards impose a -2.
  • Smoke and night have no effect on zombies.
  • Zombies set on fire die at the end of the turn regardless of any damage rolled for against them.
  • A figure killed by a zombie will turn into a zombie on a die roll of 6 on a d6. Check each turn, adding +1 to the roll until the figure rises from the dead. Anytime a natural '1' is rolled, the figure is considered dead and will not reanimate.  Figures bitten but remaining alive stand a chance of being infected, but I will work on this for campaign games at a later date.
  • Every time a zombie takes down a target, roll 1d6. On a 5 or 6 they zombie stops to feed on the hapless victim and will only return to the game if a rally test is passed.

That covers the basics of the Bolt Action Zombie rules, and I intend to add skills to the game once I work out the nuts and bolts of the game. Skills will enable individual figures to do extra damage and so on like the unit special rules.

It is these rules that I intend to use for the next PBB if and when it gets up and running. 

Hopefully my budget will allow me to get a couple of boxes of Studio Games Nazi zombies to go up against my Commandos. In the mean time my Mantic zombies will do the job.