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.


  1. Superb batrep once more Oliver! Keep up the good work. I do think, though, that you were a bit harsh on yourself with the fire rules though. That said, they were a good bit of improvising and the only harsh thing is the increase by 2 part - I think increasing by 1 is bad enough! (Does this mean I need to do some fire counters as well now?!)

  2. The beauty of ATZ is you never know what's going to happen. One encounter can turn the whole story around. It's happened with me and it certainly keeps you on your toes. I guess the moral of the story must be "expect the unexpected!"

    I have to agree this was a success for your team despite losing Mrs W. Well done to Lynn on her Rep increase but a shame Mr W didn't manage a Rep increase. Good work, Oliver, and another great batrep.

  3. You gotta write her back in! Go Hollywood on this :)

    It is like I say, "Let the dice tell the story". When things come our way we simply roll for it and it is amazing how well the dice create story lines.

    I didn't know you were back in business Oliver! I need to see what I missed.

  4. @cmnash: it does only increase by two if I roll exactly the fire rating. If I roll less it's just an increase by one. This makes it less predictable.
    Fire counters...hmmm...

    @Vampifan: I found a lot of loot, i.e. weapons, killed some zombies. Without a doubt a successful mission, althought the mood is a bit grim.
    But now I have a Rep 5 with an assault rifle in my team. Good thing! And her miniature is 99% painted. Only the rim of her base and the varnish is missing.

    @LTL Dad: No! No Hollywood in my zombie campaign! An Exploding house in slow motion, while Team Whiteface is jumping from the balcony is so 90's.

    This is how Hollywood would have ruined my bathroom scene:

    "Hasta la vista, Baby." (Terminator)


    "Consider that a divorce!" (Total Recall)

    Ah, but this may be the fitting accent for Mr. Whiteface.

    I agree, the story is done by the dice. It's strange how it all fits together.

  5. You're welcome.

    Now I need an inspiration for my next terrain setup. With a broken PC and without a new zombie scenario I am starting to get on my wife's nerves... :o)