Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Deadly Ground

Dawn was startled awake by the sound of assault rifles firing at close range.  Bullets pinged off the pavement and shed walls around her as she shook off sleep and drew her pistol.  With a sudden cry Traci yelled out and spun to the ground near the rear doors of the garage.  Dawn could see Jack sprawled out on the floor, he looked like he was still asleep.  She hoped he wasn't dead.
"Come out you bitch!"  A gruff voice barked and laughed.  "You killed two of mine, time to die!"
Dawn grimaced, but just kicked off her sleeping bag, aiming at the man at the front of car.  "

The next turn the survivors win initiative.  Dawn is already in sight to one ganger, and she starts by shooting him down.
Dawn shoots from the ground..
..and starts to even the odds!
Beckie watched Dawn shoot, she could hear the gangers moving around the car.  She knew this could be the end, and even as her bite ached, she knew she could help.  Racking her shotgun, She stood up and aimed over the car...
Beckie stands up
I make a bit of a meta-game decision for Beckie when she activates.  With her being infected, even if nobody else knows, she is more expendable.  I am going to take a chance and hope the car offers some protection in the shoot-out from triggering an In Sight check.  She should be able to catch two gangers, and with her shotgun she has a good chance for hitting both.
Beckie drops two gangers
Beckie wins the In Sight check, and scores well for shooting.  Too bad she couldn’t get more hits, or catch all three gangers.  Her attack drops two of the gangers and she has at least cover from the leader.  Unfortunately, his shooting is pretty good, and he knocks Beckie OOF.  That leaves Dawn alone to face the gang.
Beckie gets shot
The zombies activate, and move towards the gunfire.  There's not much to show, and John moves forward to finish off Dawn.
John moves towards dawn
“I’m going to kill you bitch!”  John yelled as he stepped around the car, looking for Dawn.  “You can’t hide forever!”  The darkness and shadows made spotting anyone difficult, but John could see the mess of sleeping bags where the group had been sleeping.
As John rounded the end of the car, Dawn replied “Who’s hiding?”  Gunfire shattered the quiet night again.
Dawn wins the In Sight Check
John moves forward on his turn (I pass 2d on his action check) looking to finish this with an In Sight showdown.  This was another moment of meta-gaming (hey, this is a tough scenario, I’m trying for all the angles!) as I purposefully had Dawn prone, which gives her a bonus to shooting.  She needs to make every shot count!
John falls!
Dawn manages 4 passes to john’s 3 and shoots first.  She hits twice, getting a kill shot and a knock down.  John has Hard as Nails, and changes the kill to a knock down result.  Rolling for the knock down, he passes zero, and is Obviously Dead.  Woot!
Zombies wander the streets
I haven’t been focusing on it much, but zombies have been spawning near the garage, and the undead are attracted to the sounds of shooting.  Dawn has plenty of work left if she is going to save her team.  She could easily exit the table and survive, but that would be the death of everyone else. 
Dawn protects Traci
Dawn drew her machete, rushing towards Traci as a shambling woman in a dress appeared in the garage.  Her machete sliced the things head in two, tumbling the corpse to the ground.  Dawn paused, squinting into the dark, trying to see if any more of the dead or gang was close.  She could hear the rumble of motorcycles getting closer. 
After a moment, Dawn checked Traci for signs of life and found she was just unconscious.  “Let’s get you into the car.” Dawn whispered and dragged her friend away.
Dawn drags Traci to the car
Dawn has some time to react, first up is taking down a zombie that was attracted to the rear of the garage.  Luckily it didn’t quite make it to Traci, or she would have been eaten!  I decide Dawn is going to try and pile everyone into the car and just get out of the area.  At the very least she can get everyone in the vehicle and not worry about random zombies walking up and eating them.
Sally and team encounter zombies
Sally heard the gunfire from the garage, she had heard John yelling before everything went silent again.  John didn’t yell the all clear, and she knew he wouldn’t be quiet unless he was hurt, or worse!  Leading her group through the ruins was slowing them down, but now as she could see the headlights from the motorcycles approaching, she wasn’t sure what to do.
“Hey, are we going or what?”  Dan asked.  “Standing in the road like this feels stupid!”
Sally shot him a hard look.  “Just wait a sec.  We’ll go when Scott and the bikers are ready!”
Sally's team facing zombies
Luckily for Dawn, the NPC movement rolls for Sally have her waiting more than charging.  Add in zombies moving towards her group, and they don't move much.  This break will give Dawn a chance to not face all the gangers at once.  Dawn spends the next couple of turns getting everyone into the car, and taking Beckie’s shotgun for the inevitable face off coming up.
The bikers arrive!
With a roar the four bikers drove into the area.  Scott pointed to the right as the group passed a pickup truck, and the the group pulled their bikes over.  Their headlights illuminated the area, showing zombies wandering the roads and several feasting on fallen gangers.
"Let's clear them out!"  Scott yelled.  "Where the hell is everyone!"  He continued as he parked his bike, looking for John.
More gangers!
The bikers arrive, and bring more zombies as well.  They have an idea where Dawn is, and move towards the garage, shooting the undead as they approach.
Gangers move towards the zombies
Scott racked his shotgun as his team crossed the road.  "Clear those things from our guys!"  He yelled and took aim at the feasting zombies ahead.
"There's zombies everywhere!"  Eugene yelled, looking around as he loaded his machine pistol.  
"Calm down you pussy!" Scott yelled.  "We've faced more before!"
The gang clears the doorway
The gang lets fly and clears out a bunch of zombies.  Eugene manages to go out of ammo, but otherwise the shooting goes perfectly for the gang.
Dawn moves around the car
Dawn set Beckie in the back seat of the car.  As bullets pinged off the car and the garage around her, she picked up her shotgun.  "I think I'm going to need this more than you for now, Beckie." She said and moved behind the car, waiting for the gangers to get close.

Dawn gets everyone in the car, and I have her grab Beckies shotgun.  The extra firepower is going to be handy.  I have her move around the rear of the car, I'm hoping to limit the number of gangers that can see her when they come in.
I almost forgot - the zombies go.
Zombies close in
Zombie grabs Dan from behind
The zombies crash into both groups of gangers.  Scott shoots his way clear, but Eugene has problems...
Scott clears the horde
Dan is killed
The next turn starts with doubles (Beckie moves to infection level 2) and then the zombies go first.
Zombies swarm the gang!
Two zombies attack Lola!
The zombies attacking Lola have a tough time.  She shoots and knocks one down before melee, and hacks the other in melee easily.
Lola handles the zombies
Scott looked at the undead closing in, they were shambling out of the darkness, in a seemingly never ending stream.  Almost in a panic he started firing his shotgun, yelling at the others to shoot as well.  A choked scream from Eugene told him not everyone was going to make it through tonight.
"Shoot and Scoot!  Towards the garage!"  He yelled as gunfire rippled through the night.
Eugene is down
The gangers activate, shooting and then moving towards the garage.  Scott goes out of ammo (not a surprise from the shotgun) and everyone moves towards the garage.
The gang shoots the zombies
Lola finishes off the zombie nearest her, and Sally once again rolls zero successes, and decides the best course of action is to hold in the road.  Dawn activates last, and I decide it's time to got for encountering the gangers!
Dawn moves up and spots the gangers!
Dawn made sure her shotgun was loaded and ready, and slid along the car to the garage entrance.  She could make out three men, one looked like he was reloading his shotgun.  She bumped the car as she stood for a clear shot and the men spun on her.
"Kill her!"  Scott shouted, desperately trying to load his shotgun.
The In Sight test goes Dawn's way
Dawn fires and manages to hit both gangers who can fire.  One does get his shots back and gets a kill on Dawn, which changes to a knocked down.  She passes 2d and will be able to carry on next turn.
Two more gangers down
Dawn felt like she had been hit with a sledgehammer as the large caliber pistol round knocked her down next to the car.  She was amazed that the road leathers and the ballistic vest still held up to the gunshot.  Grunting as she righted herself and started to stand, she momentarily thought that just a few months ago she never would have considered shooting other people, even as she saw two downed forms in the road in front of her.
Dawn faces off with Scott
Leveling the shotgun on the last ganger, Dawn yelled out “Drop the gun!  I’ll shoot!”
Scott was trying to cram a shell into the shotgun, he had dropped three other shells to the pavement as he heard the blasts from Dawn’s shotgun take down his teammates.  “Screw that!  I’ll kill you!”  he yelled back in defiance.
Dawn shook her head and pulled the trigger, a cloud of lead engulfing the foolish biker.
Dawn finishes off Scott
Dawn wins initiative, stands up and steps in front of the car.  This triggers another In Sight check with the last ganger, Scott.  He is still trying to reload his shotgun, but Dawn isn’t feeling generous, and Scott doesn’t pass any dice in a check to see if he will throw down his weapon and surrender or flee.  Dawn kills him with a shotgun blast.
Dawn wins the In Sight
Sally finally passes her checks and moves her group forward.  We are going to get another round of In Sight checks!  
Dawn heard a gasp and the slap of feet on the road.  She whirled around to see Sally brandishing her pistol and looking shocked to see the crumpled form of Scott on the ground.  Behind Sally Gary aimed his assault rifle, surprised to see Dawn still standing.
“Where’s John?”  Sally yelled, facing Dawn.  Her hand had the slightest tremble as she took aim.
“I have no idea which of them was John.”  Dawn replied, holding her shotgun at the ready.  “Everyone who came in after us is dead.  Why don’t you just run away?”
With a yell, Sally started firing.
Dawn takes down Sally
Mike misses Dawn

Mike misses Dawn, but passes his man down check.  Dawn passes her received fire check and gets a rushed shot.

Dawn finishes off Mike
There are quite a few zombies appearing on the table.  This is going to be a problem, but Dawn can hopefully get in the car and drive away when she finishes with the gang.  Lola isn't close enough for the In Sight check.  She fails her man down check and is fleeing, if she can get away.
Zombies appear in hordes!
Dawn goes first, then the zombies, then Lola.  Two zombies are entering the rear of the garage, so she charges them.
Dawn attacks the zombies
Dawn takes down one zombie and is charged by the other, which she handles easily.  I figure if she is facing zombies, it is best to stay in melee to reduce more from appearing.  Lola and the downed gangers do not fare so well.
Zombie feasting begins!
Lola is swarmed
Dawn heard a scream from the roadway.  With grim satisfaction, she realized the last ganger had been killed by the zombies.  Slowly she moved towards the front of the garage, pausing when she saw the undead feasting on the downed gangers.
"Looks like I'm clear."  she mumbled.  Looking around at the gore nearby, another thought occurred to her.  Ditching the shotgun in the car, she hefted her machete and jogged into the roadway.  "Time to finish off the deadheads!"  she thought.
Dawn stands alone
I could end it here, but I decide to try and secure the area.  The zombies are distracted by feasting, so she can run up them and pop the weasel on most of them.  If she can expose the last two PEFs and clear the board of zombies, I'll take all the looted weapons and four units of fuel from the cycles.
<Cue a montage of action shots!>
Dawn wades into the zombies

Taking on zombies in the road

Checking the last PEF
Dawn runs across the board and reveals the PEFs.  Along the way, she gets doubles for for activation twice, which moves Beckie's infection along to level 4.  In the end, Dawn manages to get a ton of guns and the fuel.
She also notices Beckie turning, as I check to see if everyone survives...

Dawn opened the car and gingerly moved Jack and Traci back to their sleeping bags.  She checked their wounds, dressing them as best she could.  "Looks like you'll be down for awhile."  She said as she tried to make them comfortable.
Beckie coughed from the car, a deep rattling gurgle escaping her body.  Dawn looked at her with concern, worried her wounds were worse than they appeared.  Slowly moving Beckie back to her sleeping bag, Dawn saw dark veins crisscrossing Beckie's neck and arms.  
"Oh Beckie!"  Dawn exclaimed, checking Beckie's arm.  Slowly pulling back her sleeve, Dawn revealed a nasty wound slowly oozing a greenish pus.  A gunshot wound near the infected bite looked like a minor scrape in comparison.
"What do we do..."  Dawn mumbled and slumped to the floor, knowing Beckie was condemned to death.

Everyone manages to survive, though I rule Beckie will pull through just to cause more trouble for the team.  Does Dawn kill her before everyone else recovers?  I say no, for now...

Thursday, March 30, 2017


"They killed Tyrone and Pete Two-guns.  We don't let anyone get away with disrespecting us!"  John was worked up and his deep booming voice was intimidating.  "We are going to hunt them down and punish them for their attack!"  Hoisting his new assault rifle high over his head he yelled "Just like those army pukes!"

Cheers erupted from the assembled gang members, their camp around the backwoods bar erupting in cheers and whoops.  Several men banged melee weapons together, adding to the cacophony.  As the sound died down, a young, tattooed man stood out from the crowd and shouted out "Where do we strike?  How do you know we'll find them?  Why chase down a car when we can go after the weaklings in Bloomer?"

Johns eyes narrowed, and he squared himself to face the accuser.  "Scott, you're not in charge.  I am, and I say they will be at ruins at Jackson Corner.  It's the place that makes the most sense."  Before Scott could reply, he continued.  "The bastards killed some of our own.  We don't let that go unpunished!  We'll deal with Bloomer later."  More cheers erupted and Scott crossed his arms and stood quiet.

"I want bikers to approach on highway 25, Sally and I will lead a team along 64 and we'll meet at the intersection."  John directed the various groups and organized the pursuit.  As a group of motorcycles roared away from the camp, John and his team piled into a pair of pickup trucks.  John paused to pull Sally aside as they moved to the trucks.

"Hey there sweet thing."  John started.  "You okay to go on this?"

Sally laughed and moved close to John.  "I'm ready for anything!"  She suggestively said with a smirk.  "Are you up for this?"

John grabbed Sally's ass as he planted a kiss on her lips.  "Let's get theses bastards and get back to the shack."  He whispered to her as she giggled and groped his crotch.  "We'll finish this later!" He laughed and they jumped into their truck.
The gang enters
This is going to start from the point of view of the gang members from the previous mission.  (Thanks for the suggestion Zabadak!)  They are hunting down Dawn and her team, seeking revenge for two fallen comrades.  I will have a few different rules for this scenario, and I will switch to Dawn's team when the two groups make contact.

This will be in deep night, with 6" vision limits.  It is ER 4, there are three PEFs, but they will not move.  In addition, while they will be triggered by any ganger, while I play the gangers, when I switch to Team Dawn, they will only be triggered by the survivors.  There are 10 zombies on the board to start, they will move towards any noise, but suffer from the same 6" LOS as everyone else.

Dawn's team is going to be in a random location, I have 5 chips marked 1-5, they will be in location 1.  Each time one of the buildings is opened, a sound of 1 is generated, which will attract active zombies, unless they already have a target (such as line of sight to a living human) but not spawn any more.  For each point of sound generated, I will roll 1 die, looking for a success, representing the survivors hearing things happening and become alert.  Once the gang 'finds' Dawn's group, there will be a surprise roll (similar to a zombie surprise roll) with the gang rolling a number of dice equal to their highest rep.  The higher total gets the drop on the other, I will use the difference as a judge for how much advantage either side gets.
2.  Other actions, such as gunfire or moving through the pond will also generate noise, as above.  Gunfire will count double for rolling for surprise for Dawn's group.  (Gunfire mean living and probably dangerous...)
3.  Doubles for initiative will not count towards Beckie's infection.  Instead, each doubles rolled add to the chance the bikers enter the table.  Doubles less than the number on the marker means the bikers enter.  In addition, they can be signaled to enter, or after the first gunfire, and will arrive d6 turns later.
4.  Once the gang finds the survivors, I will switch to playing Dawn & friends.  The gang will act aggressively, but I will still roll the NPC actions table, but move as aggressively as I can, when directed.

The gang is divided into three groups:
Group 1:
Big John, Rep 5, AR, BAP, Knife, Hard as Nails
Tyson, Rep 3, BAP
Earl, Rep 3, BAP
Donny, Rep 4, AR, pistol, knife

Group 2:
Sally, Rep 5, BAP, Machete
Mike, Rep 4, AR, pistol
Lola, Rep 4, BAP, Machete
Dan, Rep3, BAP

Group 3 (Bikers):
Scott, Rep 4, shotgun, pistol, knife
Jesse, Rep  3, shotgun, pistol
Dwayne, Rep 3, BAP
Eugene, Rep 3, MP

Groups one and two enter on either side of the main road and start off attacking nearby zombies as they move to check the first buildings.
John quietly kills one zombie
Sally finishes off a zed as well.
John pulled his knife free of the skull of the dead farmer as it slumped next to the tractor.  Shaking it clean, he motioned the rest of the boys towards the garage nearby.  He whispered to the "I'll get the doors.  Let's see if those bastards are here."
John opens the doors
The first building is bust, and John and his group moves on.  They decide to try skirt the edge opposite the rest of the table, hopefully keeping the zombies away from the gang.
The first group moves on
Meanwhile, Sally lead group two to the nearby garage.  Opening the door, she finds it empty as well.  With the nearby PEF, the group moves up to reveal it.  I'd rather not find a bunch of zombies in the ruins when others move up.
The garage is clear
Group two spreads out as zombies approach
It's getting tough to keep the zombies away enough to avoid shooting.  I don't want gunfire to occur too soon, or the ambush could turn out badly.  (okay, well actually that would be fine, I want Dawn and company to have a better chance, but I am trying to play this straight.)

The zombies go first and move up, catching Sally, but falling short of the rest of her team.
Sally is attacked
She cuts them down and charges the remaining zombie near the team.  When she charges, she triggers the PEF.
Sally attacks the zed and triggers the PEF
The zed is gone and the ruins empty
Sally heard a loud splash and then thrashing in the pond nearby.  In the deep dark, she could just make out the dark pool of water, as a second splash broke the quiet.  “Damn things are going let them know we’re coming!” she whispered harshly.
“Those thing stumble around all the time.  Nobody will think twice about it.”  Gary replied.
Zombies keep moving forward
Two zombies enter the pond of water, splashing as they wade across.  I add this as a unit of noise for each.  The survivors pass 2d again, giving them a total of 4 dice for surprise.  Hopefully they are awake and alert!

Traci heard the splashing, she remembered a pond nearby, but the zombies had been avoiding it.  The earlier sounds of doors opening had her jittery, and she woke up Dawn.  “I think something is going on out there.”  Traci said as Dawn came awake, even as Jack let out a soft snore.
“It’s probably just zombies crashing into things.  They do wander around you know.”  Dawn said as she listened to the zombies exit the pond.  “Still, there could be something out there.”
Traci stood with Dawn for a bit, listening to the deep night again.  After a couple of minutes she shook her head and said “Go back to sleep.  I’m just imagining things.”
“Are you sure?  It’s getting close to sunrise, I can stay up with you if you’d like.”  Dawn offered.
“Nah, I got this.  I need to just stay calm.”  Traci batted her eyes at Dawn.  “Besides I can think of much better ways to pass the time if we’re both awake.”  She added a giggle.
With a sigh and a shake of her head Dawn went back to her sleeping bag.  “I think Jack would appreciate your ideas more than me.”  She commented, laying back down.
Traci smiled and laughed.  “You never know 'til you try!”  She walked back to the garage door, her sub-machine gun at the ready.  Still giggling Traci resumed her watch.
Zombies wander aimlessly
John leads his team around the building, and the zombies attracted to the noise earlier wander around the tractor.  They move ahead, towards the second large garage.
Zombies move into the ruins
Sally and team take down the zombies
Sally and her team start to move wide around where the zombies are going to be after coming out of the pond.  As I look at that move, I realize the zombies are going to be able to see someone, and then when the zeds charge, gunfire is almost guaranteed.  I decide they will just attack the zombies and fight through the ruins.  It will be a faster route to the center of the board and a possible location anyway.

Sally and her group move towards the central ruins and John moves up to inspect the last large garage.
John and his team find the survivors
John crept quietly towards the open garage door.  As he got closer, he could see the front end of a car parked just inside.  “That wasn’t here before.  We got you!”  he thought.  Pausing he signaled his team, pointing at Tyson to signal the bikers.
As the rest of the team moved to the front of the car, Tyson flashed his flashlight towards the north a half dozen times.  He saw lights in the distance, and the deep rumble of the choppers as they fired up and started to approach.  Putting away his flashlight, he drew his pistol, ready for action.

Okay, this is it.  The survivors are in the last large garage.  The bikers have been signaled, they will arrive in 3 turns.  As the gang approaches, I do a quick layout, and then roll for surprise.  Team Dawn is rolling 5 dice, having gotten 5 out of 6 successes previously, and John is rolling 5 dice.  A nice even match, whoever rolls highest will be at an advantage, and how much of an advantage will depend on the difference.

Rolling, Dawn gets 2 successes and John gets all 5!  Ouch, this is pretty much a complete ambush.  Traci is in a bad location, towards the back of the garage, but is active at least, for the inevitable In Sight check.  I say Dawn has on her body armor, so hopefully she can act after getting shot.  Beckie, even though infected, I place close to the car.  Her shotgun should help even things out if we can make it past the first round of shooting.

I do momentarily consider waiting a turn or two for the other group to get closer, or the bikers to arrive.  I figure the surprise is going to be devastating, so I might as well use it.  I roll an in sight, and Traci gets one success to John's four.  The rest of team doesn't even get to roll.  The shooting goes well for the gang...
John takes down Traci
Donny takes out Jack but misses Dawn and Beckie
...but not too well.  Dawn and Beckie are still alive and able to act.  Two on four (or eight or twelve!) are not good odds, but we'll see if they can fight their way out.

On a side note, it has been a crazy month.  I've had a couple of weekends that I had to work, and my shifts have been 12 hours.  Long days and then some family obligations.  I held off publishing this until I had most of the second part done, so it won't be too long to see the conclusion.  Funny how life hits you sometimes.

To be continued...