Thursday, November 4, 2010

You can run... (Part 1)

Day 10
Cast: Mr. and Mrs. Whiteface
Objective: discover
Area: suburban Whiteville

The Whitefaces had survived for several days in the woods. They hadn't seen anyone for some time now...even the sound of gunfire had eventually died down. Mrs. Whiteface had demanded that they return to their old neighbourhood to gather some food and maybe, just maybe find a clue about Dotty's whereabouts. For want of a better plan Mr. Whiteface had agreed.
Three hours later they hide behind a group of rocks at the border of the White Park Residential Area. A quiet, sleepy part of Whiteville. Almost like dead.
Setup: This discover scenario is played on 4'x4' board with the Whitefaces starting in the bottom right corner. This is the first of two scenarios in month one. There will be no ragers, as Project Lazarus hasn't been executed yet. PEFs are represented by little pieces of paper with their REP written on them. They use the zombie activation die.
I used several house rules this time. I included one PEF instead of each zombie usually created at the start of the game and resolved them by checking on the Building - Occupied Or Not? table. In hindsight I have to admit that this might have been a very stupid idea. Nine PEFs (sic!) on the table is very intimidating. They are Rep 5,4,4,3,2,2,1,1,1.
During the game I added a rule that every human - that is including opposing NPCs - would trigger the resolution of a PEF in his LOS. Furthermore I use the NPC interaction rules from I, Zombie.
Turn 1: Only the PEFs with Rep 2 to 5 are active. Two of them move to the wood where the Whitefaces are hiding.
Turn 2: Some of the PEFs (Rep 3-5) move. The Whitefaces are still inactive.

Turn 3: All are active, but the PEFs with Rep 2 to 5 move first. A Rep 4 and a Rep 3 PEF move into LOS. I resolve them using the Building - Occupied Or Not table.
Rep 4 = chance of 1d3 zeds with "1" being zero zeds. I roll a one.
Rep 3 = chance of 1d3 humans with "1" being zero humans. I roll a one.

OK, Lady Luck seems to be on my side this time.

The Whitefaces move around the rock and stumble into a Rep 2 PEF.
Rep 2 = chance of 1d3 humans with "1" being zero zeds. I roll a 6.
They are three Rep 4 National Guard Soldiers (Protected, Assault Rifle)

Mrs. Whiteface (a Born Leader) talks to them using the new NPC Interaction table. With +2 successes she scores a seven on the Positive Reaction table. The Soldiers are very friendly and offer to help for this encounter.
Turn 4: Only Team Whiteface is active. They move around another rock to resolve three (!) PEFs next to the green house.
Rep 4 = chance of 1d3 humans with "1" being zero humans. I roll a one again.
Rep 2 and Rep 1 resolve into one  Rep 4 Ganger and three Rep 4 Survivors. All of them carry Assault Rifles.
I decide to check everyone against everyone on the NPC Interaction table. Team Whiteface scores a "run in" against the Ganger and a "run in and plot revenge" against the merry group of Survivors. The Interaction between the Ganger and the group of Survivors leads to a Draw Down which turns into a running guunfight. The ganger ducks back behind a tree.

Turn 5: All are active. PEFs (Rep 4 to 5) go first, Ganger next, Team Whiteface and lastly the Survivors.
The Ganger decides to pop up from his cover to fire a burst at the Survivors. As a result of the In Sight test two Survivors fire single shots at him and he goes OOF.

Team Whiteface activates and the Soldiers burst fire at the dangerous Survivors. Nine bullets, but only one Survivor is OOF. The remaining opponents check for Man Down. One Survivor - I call him Bob - ducks back behind a tree, but the other one goes Heroes All and starts to return fire.
His burst doesn't hit anything, but one National Guard Soldier and the Whitefaces duck back.
When the other two Soldiers fire again one of them goes out of ammo, but the other one ODs his target.

The last Survivor - Bob - activates but decides that he doesn't want to leave his cover right now.

21 shots have been fired, but only 3 zeds are generated.

Turn 6: The Rep 5 PEF activates first and moves towards the nearest PEF. Survivor Bob activates next, everyone else is inactive.

Bob takes a shot at the single zombie behind him and ODs him. Another zed is generated due to shooting.

Turn 7: All but the zombies and PEFs are active.

Bob acts first and shoots another zed.

The Soldier who ducked back in turn 5 fires at a zombie, but misses. The Whitefaces move around a rock and Mr. Whiteface fires two shots at the zombie and ODs him.

Four shots fired generate one zed.

Turn 8: Only the zeds and the PEFs with Rep 4 to 5 are active. Survivor Bob and Team Whiteface cancel each others activation.
Turn 9: Only Team Whiteface is active. The Gangers and zombies cancel each other.
One Soldier moves closer to the Whitefaces, the other two fire at the playground zombies killing one of them.
I want Mr. and Mrs. Whiteface to charge the zombie close to them, but both halt and may not fire. They are Stars...I know, I know...I tend to forget things. Same problem next turn.
The Rep 5 PEF moves towards the nearest enemy (Bob) and has to be resolved.
Rep 5 = Two Gangers. A Rep 5 hard case with a submachine gun and a Rep 4 banger with a machine pistol.

They interact with Bob ending in a +3 negative reaction. The following Draw Down results in both Gangers getting the drop and firing a burst at Bob. Bob is dead.

One zombie moves closer to the downed survivors and another moves towards the Whitefaces.
Six shots fired generate four zeds.


One zed is generated.
Turn 10: Only the zombies and PEFs with Rep higher or equal four are active. Team Whiteface and Gangers cancel each other.

The zombies charge Mrs. Whiteface who panics and retires behind a rock. A Star, I said I know. The Soldier standing close to her is retiring as well.
Only Mr. Whiteface is able to melee. He kills the zombie.

Final Comment (Part 1): This scenario is far from being over yet. It took several hours and gaming sessions to complete it. I am not sure if the following batreps will be in the comic book format. It took very long to write just the first ten turns in this style (even without the text in between which I have added today). One thing I have learned is: test every house rule before you include it in you game. Thinking five minutes about a rule change may not be enough.

Stay tuned for more bullets and zombies!


  1. PS: the pictures have been taken without a comic book format in mind. Usually they show the end of a turn. That's why downed survivors are till able to shoot in the turn 5 picture.

  2. Very good as always, I like the format.

  3. Wow, Oliver, NINE PEFs! I'm sure there's a good reason why Ed suggests starting with just three. Still, all credit to you, Team Whiteface are still in the game. You must have been so relieved when the soldiers joined forces with your heroes, especially seeing how well armed and armoured they are.

    I'm looking forward to reading part two. I really like your gaming board. It looks like such a nice area to live in... until you look closer!

  4. Thanks, I like the format too, but as I've said it's a lot more work. Maybe I just have to get used to this software.

  5. @ Vampifan: Hehe, see, I told you I had a lot of PEFs. I thought about this method for PEFs when I played my first (short) campaign. Back then I used rural buildings and almost didn't encounter anyone. This time I run around in the suburbs. Does change a lot, but I was pretty lucky to resolve three PEFs as nothing until now. Will change to a BDTZ / IZ combination when I play my next game similar to the encounter rules that you use. Have already written them down to have everything clearly arranged in one place and modified to my needs.

    Yes, having three protected and armed Rep 4 buddies is a very good thing. Mrs. W. had received the Born Leader attribute the minute I had seen the NPC Interaction tables in IZ. Mrs. Whiteface is definitly a peoples person with natural authority.
    My intention was to get as much out of this unexpected support as possible. On a negative side I had the feeling, that the Whitefaces weren't the real Stars in this game. Maybe that's why I made a lot of mistakes (rules) or frequently forgot something.

    My board was roughly generated by the new terrain setup rules in I, Zombie. You may notice small changes on the gaming board. I played the whole scenario in four sessions. Between Turn 3 and 5 I received a package with Scenemaster Street Accessories and in later turns the white wall in the background will be replaced by my new zombie-wargaming-stuff shelves (So necessary!).

    You need a lot of luck and patience to survive as a Rep 3.

  6. Just caught up on your campaign(s). Splendid batreps Whiteface! Looking forward to the next instalment. I would say don't worry about being the stars - think of it as an ensemble tv show and it was someone else's turn to get the storyline this time. As long as the WF's survive, they're winning!

  7. @cmnash: Hello and thank you. Problem with my Stars not being of a scenario is that my immersion into the game is not as deep. Anyway, it's the only way of improving my Rep and getting my own tv show.

    BTW, you've chosen a great name & subtitle for your own blog. This sounds so much like me...

  8. Oliver, I wouldn't worry too much about forgetting stuff. It is so easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment. It's only with hindsight you realise you should have done things differently. If I was playing ATZ without having to worry about doing a batrep, I'm sure I'd make a lot more mistakes.

    However, I don't have to tell you how labour intensive and time consuming it is do a batrep. I spend a lot of time setting up my camera to get the best shot of the action. When I first started doing my ATZ batreps I was asked by some followers to take more close ups. Fortunately, I have an excellent camera (a Nikon D40) and I'm able to do that. But what really eats up the time is writing down everything that happens in a turn. Because of the time I spend between turns I can analyse what's going on before I start the next turn. Even so, if there's a big fight, It is so easy to get swept away with the action.

    Colin hit the nail on the head regarding the Whiteface's apparent lack of involvement in this episode. As long as they survive and get the chance to increase their Reps, I wouldn't worry too much. Survival is the key and if that means letting others grab the glory then so be it!

  9. Hey, all the glory for Mr. Whiteface! He shot one zed with his BA Pistol and killed another in melee.

    Even in my own language I am not a writer person. Decent word pool, but no real feeling for a natural text flow. I spent many years being a RPG Gamemaster, but I am more the technical, logical kind. Bullet proof story structure and NPC motivation, but a serious lack of flowers and moonlight.
    I am still in admiration of PDoids latest batrep...

  10. Oliver - I think that you are doing a fine job with your batreps and you are being too hard on yourself! I have sat and read all of the posts on your blog and I wouldn't have done that if they weren't:

    a) engaging
    b) enthralling
    c) entertaining!

    So don't be so hard on yourself! As for English not being your first language, as someone for whom English is their only language, I am full of admiration for your writing and your dedication in learning a 2nd language.

    More Please!

    PS - thanks for the comment about my blog title ... it does fit my habit (I would say hobby, but 'habit' as in an addiction, feels more appropriate!) perfectly

  11. @cmnash: Thank you very much! I wasn't fishing for compliments, really. My job is easier now. Instead of writing a description I can just paint "Bang!" or "Thud!" on a picture. That is pure art ;o)

    QUOTE: "More please!"
    Err, yes, there will be more, but this time I have a real excuse for a slight delay. My internet connection (at home) is down and I have no clue why.

  12. Oliver, Oliver, Oliver,

    I see you admit your mistake with new house rules, you didn't playtest first. Don't worry I think we all have been there a time or two. I know I have.

    Nice Batrep. I myself am still on the fence about the Comic Book format, some Bat reps look great while others just look to busy and cluttered, I myself will probably stick to the format you used previously when I get around to doing Batreps.

    Keep up the good work and dont use any more Eric Clapton song titles as your post titles, every time I see the I Shot the Sheriff title I get that song stuck in my head, you evil evil man. LOL

  13. Dang! I'm late to the ball but what an incredible layout you have Oliver! You are getting so advanced in ATZ and the comic style reps that I am going to be too embarrassed to post anything any more.
    Very professional look bucco me lad.

  14. @Doug:
    Could be worse. The most evil signature I ever saw read something like this:
    "The moment you read this, the sound of 'The Final Countdown' starts inside your head".
    Now that is evil!
    I am not sure what Part 2 of this batrep will look like. I'll decide that when my internet connection is working again.

    @LTL Dad:
    No, don't stop posting! There's nothing like your nappy french shouting "vive la france!". Of course I'd like to see another LTL family batrep again.
    Oh, and talking about Nappy Wargaming: I think I once saw 6mm zombie miniatures... ;o)

  15. I have a tendency to go on binges. I'm immersed in Napoleonics but don't worry, we will throw up something crazy soon.