Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Commercial Break: Buy more cars! Now!

The fast & the feasting
Comment: I have been asked to tell more details about my 1:43 cars. Without further delay I will now present my whole carpark:

Lynn presents three Humvees. I bought them in a German online shop. They were listed commercial models, but have a"Motor Max" sign at the bottom.

In the next picture we see the late Mrs. Whiteface with two '99 Ford Crown Victoria. Both vehicle kits are from "Welly", have a pull-back motor and require minor work to glue some parts together (I think all my Welly models are multiple parts vehicle kits). I bought them at a German online shop too.
If you happen to live in the USA and are not on a budget I would suggest to take a look at Policecarmodels. They have a great variety of...errr...police car models.

A series of pick-up trucks is presented by my loyal assistant Igor-Bob. The white Ford F-250 is from "New Ray" and comes together with a trailer and a Honda Sportrax 400 E quad. Great Model! The next pick-up is a metallic blue Ford F-150 XLT from "Yat Ming". I have bought both models on Ebay. The last one is a light blue '48 Ford F1 from "Yat Ming" purchased at a German online store.

The next three convertibles are from "New Ray" and have been bought at Ebay. They may be old, but they're kept in perfect condition by my favourite mechanic, Mr. Grease. It's a silver '66 Pontiac GTO, a dark blue '59 Chrysler 300E and a black '66 Oldsmobile 4-4-2.

Be careful when checking those SUVs. There may be someone in there. It's a red Ford Explorer from "Welly" and a metallic green Toyota Land Cruiser VX.R from "Yat Ming". Both are from a German online shop.

More SUVs are brought to you by the Whiteface Family. There is a yellow Hummer H2 from "Cararama". Didn't paint a big "3" on it's doors, yet. The other is a silver '08 Ford Escape from "Motor Max". Both purchased at an online store.

Here we see Lynn with a white Ford Transit, again from an online shop. I think it's a "Cararama" model. The other car is a silver "Welly" Mercedes C-Class from a local flea market. 

Be honest, there aren't just American cars or German imports in US towns. The must be some asian cars around. My shooping spree included three Japanese modelcars from "Welly": a white Honda Integra Type-R, a red Toyota Celica and a blue '02 Subaru Impreza WRX with golden wheel rims.
I had a gluing mishap while finishing the Subaru. Now it's windows look like a passenger had a sneezing accident. A serious sneezing accident.

Now we buy American cars again. Presented by my...err...well, by something. Purchased at an online shop, a black Chrysler 300C HEMI from "Motor Max".

These zombie couple really loves their cars. They have a dark blue '05 Dodge Magnum RT from "Motor Max" and a red '03 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible from "Welly". Both bought at an online shop too.

We needs more power!!! The Whitefaces and Lynn have decided for horse power. Mr. Whiteface snatched a blue ' 68 Ford Shelby GT-500KR from "Yat Ming" (Ebay), Mrs. Whiteface borrowed a red '04 Ford GT from "Motor Max" and Lynn outright stole a red '99 Ford Mustang from "Welly".

'68 Ford Shelby. Even a pile of ten thousand iPhones, iPads and other electronic junk doesn't have that much built-in coolness. 

Finally an import car again. A white Porsche 911 (997) Carrera S from "Welly" (online shop). It is not the car that I had intended to add to my collection - a silver 911 (997) Turbo - but it was a less expensive alternative.
Just in case you are wondering: this miniature, let's call him Mr. Ghost, isn't finished yet. I am still fighting to add some highlights to the straps around his chest and the weapons haven't been painted at all. All the details kill me, but nevertheless he's on a good way to become the best painted miniature I've ever done.

Final comment: If everything had been going according to my plans (financially) I would have purchased some 1:43 trucks from "New Ray" this month. Not pick-ups, but the real thing. Anyway, sooner or later I will add some big trucks to my collection...and maybe, just maybe if I am in a money wasting mood I will have to get these Luxury Die Cast models as well.

By the way, does anyone know where to get a 1:43 Abrams Tank?

Friday, January 7, 2011

The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky… (Part II)

Day 21 - late evening
This is the second part of my yesterday batrep. Team Whiteface has only one building with two floors left and there isn’t any opposition on the board. Peace everywhere.

Turn 36 cont.:
(3 / 2) Team Whiteface is active and is now standing in a dark corridor, ready to open an apartment door.

They encounter one National Guard soldier (NG #4, Rep 4, assault rifle, protected). I use a table from “I, Zombie” (Havasu People Lists) to improvise a check if he is one of those guys from earlier today. I am lucky, he isn’t.
Nevertheless I lose the NPC Interaction with minus three successes and have a serious run in. Did I tell you that Mrs. Whiteface had been the one doing all the talking? She was a BORN LEADER after all. This guy plots revenge, but without this being Havasu or any similar settlement I ignore this again, but keep it in my memory.
He wants me to leave this apartment and Whiteface doesn’t really want to know what this guy had been doing here.

Turn 37:
(6 / 2) No one is active, as there are no zeds around. Whiteface is still evaluating this situation.

Turn 38:
(4 / 3) Team Whiteface is active. This soldier is well armed, protected and in cover. As much as he’d like to loot him, Whiteface thinks the risk is way too high. Team Whiteface exits the apartment and walks up to the upper floor.
Here they discover another solitary human. He is armed with an assault rifle and wears a protective vest. Whiteface hasn’t met this man before, but he recognizes the uniform (NG #5, Rep 4, assault rifle, protected). There must have been a major base of the National Guard in this area.

Whiteface is ready for some NPC Interaction. With minus three successes and a result of [8] he gets more interaction than he’s wished for. All go for a Draw Down.
Mr. Whiteface wins the Draw Down versus NG #5 by two successes and scores a result of OOF. This damage is changed into a result of knocked down because of the soldier being protected. Could have been better.
Now the National Guard activates. NG #5 recovers from knock down. Remembering the bad tempered soldier NG #4 from downstairs I check his possible action on the NPC Action & Movement table from IZ. NG #4 runs up the stairs triggering an In Sight test by Mr. Whiteface.
Gritting his teeth Whiteface sends a burst of bullets in his direction. One round vanishes with an ominous *clank*, but the other bullets hit and score a true OD on his target.
With NG #5 having recovered, everything will depend on the next activation. Seven shots fired generate two zombies outside the building.

Turn 38: 
Comment: Yeah, I know. I am not good at counting.
(6 / 5 / 6) No one activates, but wait, there’s a random occurrence! A nearby building catches fire. This event was triggered by the activation dice of Team W and the National Guard, so I had to look for a building close to them.
Guess what, fortunately they are in a building right now! What an easy decision.

The camera switches to the source of the *clank* sound last turn. There is a pipe, a bullet hole and a spark…

Comment: OK, suddenly I was in need of rules for a burning building in addition to attracting zeds. I had to create something and this is what I came up with:
1.) A fire starts in one floor. In the actual situation it’s the ground floor.
2.) Every fire starts with a random fire rating of d6.
3.) Every turn I will roll a d6. If the die score is lower than the current rating, than the rating is raised by one. If the die score equals the current rating, then the rating is raised by two. You can estimate, but you won’t be sure.
4.) A floor is uninhabitable if the fire in a floor has reached a rating of 6. It’s an instant OD barbecue. This will cause the adjacent floors to burst into flames in the following turn.

The burning building attracts the attention of seven zombies. All I had to do now was to roll a d6 to determine the fire rating of the ground floor.

*Boom!*…no wait, make that *BOOM!!!*

The whole building trembles in a fiery explosion. I rolled a “6”, so the whole ground floor is engulfed in flames.

Turn 39:
The second floor starts with a fire rating of 3. As long as I roll higher than 3 nothing won’t happen, in a worst case scenario Team Whiteface will be dead in turn 41.
(1 / 3 / 5) The zeds activate first, followed by Team Whiteface.
The zeds activate and move closer.

Team Whiteface activates and fires burst at NG #5. Most shots miss their target, but Lynn scores a knock down with her last bullet.

Six shots create four more zombies, two of them in the nearby trailer park. Those civilians will probably see some action soon.

Turn 40:
I roll a five, so the fire rating will stay at three.
(4 / 6 / 3) All humans are active, Team Whiteface acts first.
Whiteface drags the NG #4’s corpse from the corridor to the balcony of the second floor. No way he is going to leave all that useful stuff behind him. Little Dotty is under shock, but still follows her daddy closely.
Lynn walks up to the still knocked down NG #5 and hissing something like “Goodbye, mustard!” she places a single bullet in his cranium. She has most of her movement left, so he drags NG #5 to the balcony too.

One shot creates one zed. Doesn’t really make a difference now…

Turn 41:
I roll a six, the fire rating will stay at three for this turn. No worst case happening.
(6 / 5) Whiteface, Dotty and Lynn don’t activate. There is so much heat and smoke, they just don’t know what to do next. Uh, hello?!

Turn 42:
I roll a three. This is equal to the current fire rating, so the new rating is five. There is a chance of more than 80 percent, that this building will be completely aflame next turn.
(4 / 6) Whiteface and Lynn activate and drop both soldiers from the balcony.

Mr. Whiteface scores two successes on a challenge roll, so he jumps down to the backyard without problems.
Lynn helps little Dotty over the balustrade and drops her into her father’s arms. Whiteface has to do another challenge roll to catch the falling Dotty and rolls fabulous boxcars.

Comment: Zero successes with the worst possible die score when trying to catch a falling four to five year old girl. Ugly.
I had to pause the game for some minutes. Wandering around my gaming room, pondering on the situation until I made a decision. No way, not two Whitefaces in one scenario!

It was his challenge roll, not Dotty’s, so he used his LUCKY attribute to roll again and caught his daughter without problems.
Lynn jumped behind them, scored one success and hurt her leg. Her movement is now reduced to 4”.
At this time most of the zombies are in front of the building or on the highway, but one puzzled zombie is just one step away from Team Whiteface. Another one isn’t far away.

Turn 43:
I roll a four, so the fire rating of the second floor is increased to six and explodes. This was a close one.
(6 / 3) Only the zombie horde activates and moves.
One zombie enters the trailer where the two civilians are hiding. After rolling an In Sight test both snap fire at him. The walking dead is hit by a shotgun blast. The woman with the AK hits him too, but her AK runs out of ammo after that burst. The zombie is killed.
Two zombies in the backyard move forward and start to feast on both National Guard corpses. These feasts will end in turn 44 and turn 45. Lynn passes a See The Feast test with two successes and carries on.

Team Whiteface is inactive to scan the area. They plan to kill some zombies in melee next turn.
The shots fired this turn – including a shotgun – create four new zeds. The trailer where the shots have been fired is close to the burning apartment block, so yes, two of those new zeds spawn right next to Team Whiteface. So much for planning the next turn in advance.

Turn 44:
(1 / 1) All are cancelled and the feast ends.

Turn 45:
(3 / 2) All are active, Team Whiteface acts first.
Whiteface walks one inch toward Lynn, grabs her and carries her away. Dotty follows him, dodging around all those scary zombies. Team Whiteface leaves the table without having more than half an inch movement allowance left. This scenario ends.

Final comment (Part II): Everyone found loot and everyone killed zombies. This mission was a success. Yes, Mrs. Whiteface is gone, but Team Whiteface had already lost the previous scenario because of this. The “Harry, are you OK?” roll didn’t win or lose this mission.
Mr. Whiteface wasn’t able to raise his Reputation, but Lynn was. She is now a Rep 5 survivor and will be the leader of Team Whiteface next time. Reaching Rep 5 I let her check on the Quirks & Phobias table from “I, Zombie”. Now she is Animal Friendly…not including cats. She really, really hates cats.
I checked for her recovery after a mission and scored one success. I ruled that she isn’t fully cured yet and her movement allowance is increased to 6” plus one d6 for fast moving.

Playing this mission was great. I felt pretty safe most of the time and after I left the diner I thought this wouldn’t be much of a batrep. Suddenly my story was taken over by Hollywood. I still can’t believe, that everything happened because of random die rolls, but it did. The timing was just perfect, although I really would have liked to loot the rogue National Guardsmen. Next time.

Don’t let the horde catch you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky… (Part I)

Day 21 - Late evening
Cast: Mr. Whiteface, Mrs. Whiteface (OOF), Dotty Whiteface and Lynn
Objective: Discover
Area: suburban Whiteville
Special: still Day 21, late evening with a LOS of only 18”

It’s a beautiful, warm summer evening in the southern US. Nothing disturbs the peaceful silence outside. No traffic noises, no church bells or even sirens can be heard. The girl – Lynn - has been observing the area through the sun-blinds for more than two hours now. Without saying a word.
You may not see it on her face, but the sound coming from the inside of the trailer is wearing her down. A long moan, not loud, but with a hollow, unearthly voice. Hushed words behind a closed bathroom door and the soft sobbing of a little girl having run out of tears many hours ago.
Lynn glances over her shoulder at the door of the bathroom. This wasn’t going to end well. She knew the signs.

Setup: It’s the same 4’ x 4’ setup as in my previous batrep The sun ain't gonna shine anymore. All zombies have been removed from the table and the little group of survivors is still hiding in a sun bleached trailer in section nine. The is one PEF in section two, inside the diner, another one behind the Humvee, in section four and a third PEF in the supermarket in section 6.

Turn 1:
(6 / 3) Only the PEFs activate. The PEFs move.

Turn 2:
(4 / 4) All are cancelled.

Turn 3:
(4 / 3) All are active, Team Whiteface activates first.
Team Whiteface activates and Mrs. Whiteface rolls a d6 to check for “Harry, are you OK?”. As a Rep 3 Survivor she needs a 6. Unfortunately it’s just a 4. Not enough to survive in a desirable condition. Her husband opens the door. Without talking everything is understood and Lynn calls for Dotty to join her in the living room and takes the little girl in her arms.

After a short moment a single shot breaks the painful silence.

The PEFs move closer toward the white pick-up in the trailer park.

The single shot doesn’t create any zeds.

Turn 4:
(4 / 2) All are active, Team Whiteface acts first.

“Hush, I think I’ve heard something!”
Team Whiteface moves to the window to get a better LOS to the PEFs. The first PEF (REP 5) turns out to be a false alarm.

“Prob’ly just a cat.” Whiteface says under his breath.

The second PEF (Rep 3) is a false alarm as well.

“These days it’s never just ‘a cat’...” Lynn whispers without looking at him “and by the way I really, really hate cats.”

The third PEF (Rep 2) exits the supermarket and moves until it is only 18” away and therefore in LOS. It resolves to be the third false alarm. Being on the bright side of life, eh?

Turn 5:
(6 / 4) Team Whiteface doesn’t activate and there isn’t anyone else to play. I do roll for activation, because it is possible to have a random occurrence by rolling a double six.

Turn 6:
(6 / 4) Team Whiteface isn’t in the mood to activate. They still continue to observe the area.

Turn 7:
(4 / 5) Team Whiteface activates.
Mr. Whiteface grabs his sports bag, his BA Pistol and Dotty, who’s still staring at the bathroom door. Lynn puts on her baseball cap, grabs her new assault rifle and follows them outside. All move to another trailer, home of Darlene and Billy, as a colourful sign next to the door announces.

Turn 8:
(5 / 2) Hesitating. Listening. Breathing. No one activates.

Turn 9:
(1 / 2) Team Whiteface activates.
They enter the other trailer to find Darlene and Billy in full zombie mode. Having expected trouble Team Whiteface wins the zombie surprise test.
Whiteface fires two shots with his BAP at Billy and knocks him down.
Lynn fires a single shot with her assault rifle, but misses. Despite of having the RUNT attribute she kills Darlene in the ensuing close combat.

Three shots draw the attention of granny zed from the nearby supermarket.

Turn 10:
(4 / 3) All are active, Team Whiteface acts first.
Whiteface walks up to the knocked down Billy finishes him.

Granny Zed shuffles closer.

No new zombies are created.

Turn 11:
(2 / 3) All are active, but Granny moves first.
The elder zombie lady walks enters the trailer park.

Whiteface activates and exits the mobile home. He charges the zombie and kills her.

Turn 12:
(6 / 4) All are inactive. No one to play.

Turn 13:
(1 / 5) Team Whiteface activates.
Whiteface walks back into the trailer while absently removing blood from his large BA Pistol.

Turn 14:
(5 / 2) All are inactive. No one to play.

Turn 15:
(6 / 2) All are inactive. No one to play.

Turn 16:
(4 / 2) Team Whiteface activates.
Lynn and Whiteface take their time to investigate this mobile home. Lynn finds a .45 BA Pistol and Whiteface puts a smaller Pistol in his bag. He would have preferred something to eat, but you take what you can get.

Turn 17:
(2 / 4) Team Whiteface activates and leaves the trailer.

Turn 18:
(6 / 6) See, I told you! A random occurrence!

“Over there!” Lynn shouts and fires a single bullet through the sun-blinds of the third trailer, because she thought she saw some moving shadows. Dangerous shadows.

This shot creates one zombie.

“Calm down, Lynn, there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just shadows.”

Turn 19:
(2 / 3) All activate, the newly created zombie acts first.
He shambles closer between the trailers.
Whiteface puts away his large revolver and prepares his assault rifle. Lynn fires a single shot at the zed. A well placed bullet kills the zombie.

This shot doesn’t attract any zombies.

Turn 20:
(3 / 4) Team Whiteface activates and enters the last trailer. They find two civilians inside. A girl…boy…well, who knows what may be hidden under that haircut…with a SPAS-12 (Rep 3 civilian) and a woman with an assault rifle. Whiteface isn’t sure what irritates him more: the barrel of her AK following every movement of his head or the Eagle, Globe and Anchor on her shirt. (Rep 5 civilian).
He loses the NPC Interaction by minus two successes and has a serious run in. I ignored the part about “plotting revenge” for this time, but it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t in the mood for small talk. Maybe Lynn shouldn’t have shot a bullet into their home?
The woman orders Team Whiteface to leave her mobile home and no, they can’t have any of the MRE packs piled up in the kitchen. Whiteface hesitates, but eventually concludes that the odds aren’t in his favour.

They would have been a great addition to Team Whiteface.

Turn 21:
(3 / 2) Team Whiteface activates and leaves the trailer.

Turn 22:
(5 / 1) All are inactive and scanning the surrounding.

“Just shadows, eh?”

"Oh, shut up, Lynn..."

Turn 23:
(6 / 1) All are inactive while making some new plans.

Turn 24:
(5 / 6) All are inactive. There is a hushed voice coming from the trailer:

“If those bozos outside aren’t gone in ten seconds I’ll kill them…”

Comment: I am not adding an activation dice for the civilians, because they won’t do anything but barricade themselves in the trailer.

Turn 25:
(4 / 5) Team Whiteface is active.
They fast move across the road and enter the super market. This building is occupied by a single zombie, but win the zombie surprise test. Both fire single shots and Lynn kills their target. Whiteface loots a combat knife from the corpse and puts it into his sports bag. The knife, not the corpse.

Two shots generate two zombies.

Turn 26:
(4 / 1) All are active.
Team Whiteface leaves the store to fire at the new zombies. Both fire single shots and miss.
The zombies move closer.

No new zeds are created.

Turn 27:
(2 / 6) Only Team Whiteface is active and both charge one zed, with Whiteface scoring another zombie kill. It’s something personal.

Turn 28:
(1 / 1) All are inactive.

Turn 29:
(2 / 4) All are active, the zombie acts first.
The shuffler moves closer.
Team Whiteface activates and charges the lone zombie. They kill him violently.

Turn 30:
(6 / 5) All are inactive to catch their breath.

Turn 31:
(4 / 6) Team Whiteface is active and walks to the diner.

Turn 32:
(3 / 1) Team Whiteface is active again and enters the diner. The building isn’t occupied.

Turn 33:
(3 / 1) Team Whiteface is active. There isn’t anything to eat, but Whiteface finds a machine pistol and some ammunition in the microwave oven.

Turn 34:
(4 / 6) Team Whiteface is active. The exit the diner and move towards the brown apartment block. They stop at the lawn where the Whiteface’s had met the rogue National Guard soldiers some hours before.

Turn 35:
(2 / 6) Team Whiteface activates and moves closer to the brown apartment building.

Turn 36:
(3 / 2) Team Whiteface activates and enters the ground floor.

The camera lingers outside for some time, slowly beginning to zoom out until a sudden black screen ends Part I.

Final comment (Part I): This is the last building (two floors) to check and this has been a very sedate scenario so far. The civilians in the trailer don’t cause any trouble and there isn’t a single zombie on the board. What can probably go wrong?

I guess you know the answer.

Check in tomorrow to see if you are right.