Wednesday, 30 June 2010

My ATZ Campaign - Day 6 - Looters

Day 6 of my ATZ campaign saw things taking a turn for the worst in Mayhem City as riots broke out, people started to leave the urban areas and power cuts began, causing further chaos. The police and the military were placed on alert status. As for our heroes, Vampifan, Big Sill and Gap, they had to contend with the police inquiry into the deaths of Gap's parents. No charges were brought against Vampifan and Big Sil. Afterwards there were funeral arrangements to make. The bodies of Gap's parents were hastily cremated on Day 5. By then, too many dead bodies had reanimated in hospitals and morgues for the authorities to ignore.
This scenario is an original one that I designed but it takes inspiration from the Exodus scenario on p.44 of the ATZ:Haven supplement. I wanted Vampifan and his friends to be confronted by a gang of looters. The Exodus scenario had a good set of rules for using looters. I decided that they would be a mandatory encounter in this scenario and that I'd roll on the Obstacle Table on p.45 of ATZ:Haven for two more initial encounters prior to the game starting. This meant that Looters could appear twice or, Heaven forbid, three times at the start of the game!
They didn't. They only appeared the once and the photo above shows them lining up for the start of the scenario. The rules on p.46 of ATZ:Haven tell you to generate 3+1d6 Looters. I rolled a 4 to give me a total of 7 Looters. Next, I had to roll on the Looters table on the same page to ascertain their Reps and weaponry. From left to right they are a Rep:2 unarmed Small Punk; three Rep:2 Punks armed with improvised two handed weapons; a Rep:3 Looter armed with a Pistol (you can't see it because it's tucked into the back of his pants... and no, he's not really carrying a Molotov cocktail!); a Rep:3 Looter armed with a BA Pistol and a Rep:4 Ring Leader armed with a Semi-Automatic Rifle. The leader could potentially pose a real threat to our heroes! Incidentally, these were classed as Civilians not Gangers as some might think, given their criminal intentions.
The first of the two random obstacles that I rolled for was a Moving Vehicle. This was a sedan car driven by a Rep:4 male Civilian with a Rep:3 female Civilian as his passenger. Both were unarmed and their objective was to exit the opposite side of the board. It was a task that ought to be easily achievable, although I kept their speed to 9" per turn instead of 18" as it was driving in a heavily built-up urban area.
My second random obstacle was Lost Children and as soon as I saw them I just knew they'd be trouble! I had to roll for how many would appear and their Reps on p.47 of ATZ:Haven and I ended up with a Rep:3 Little Girl and a Rep:2 Smaller Girl. The Little Girl moved 2" less than normal, i.e. 6" per turn and the Smaller Girl moved at 3" less than normal, meaning just 5". That's slower than a zombie, who normally moves 6" per turn. I rolled 1d6 to see if they were sisters. They were, so they'd stick together and move at the slower speed. They have a very nasty special rule. If they see any zombies within 12" of them they will scream, counting as 3 shots for attracting more zombies. The Little Girl would continue screaming each turn until Rallied and the Smaller Girl would continue screaming until she couldn't see any more zombies that were still active. Their objective was to exit the board at the opposite side. Who wants to bet on them making it?

The objective of this scenario was simple - Team Vampifan must defeat the Looters. This scenario took place during the evening of Day 6 in an urban area of Mayhem City where Vampifan lived. If I rolled double 1 or double 6 on the activation dice I'd roll for a new encounter on the Obstacle Table on p.45 of ATZ:Haven. Zombies would be attracted by gunfire and loud noises as usual and would appear on a d6 roll of 4, 5 or 6. Note that any page numbers that appear below refer to the ATZ:BDTZ rulebook unless otherwise stated. Just to recap the stats of our three heroes, Vampifan was a Rep:4 Civilian armed with a BA Pistol and a combat Knife. He had the Nerves of Steel and Slow attributes. Big Sil was also a Rep:4 Civilian. He was armed with a Machine Pistol and a combat knife. He had the Knifeman attribute. Gap was a Rep:3 Civilian armed with a Pistol. He had no attribute.
TURN 1.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=5, Looters=3.
Vampifan, Big Sil and Gap were on the lower patio, watching the sunset. Because their Reps were lower than 5 none of them could activate this turn. The Looters advanced down the side street to the back door of Vampifan's house. The sedan car and the two girls made their first move and advanced down the main street. Rather than class them as separate groups for activating I just moved them at the end of each turn.
TURN 2.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=3, Looters=2.
Hearing a commotion at the back of his house, Vampifan led his two colleagues to investigate. They all drew their firearms when thay saw the Looters. Vampifan wanted to shoot at them but before he could, the Looters had to take an In Sight test (see p.12 and p.13). I'm going to explain this in some detail as this is one of the things that newbies find so difficult about THW's games - the concept of moving/reacting when it's not your side's turn. In Sight tests are always taken by a side that is inactive. You roll 2d6 and apply the result to everyone in the group. I rolled a 6 and a 2. This ensured that all the Looters passed 1d6, as they had Reps of 4, 3 and 2. If, for example I'd have rolled a 4 and a 3, the Rep:4 leader would have passed 2d6, the Rep:3 Looters would have passed 1d6 (on the 3) and the Rep:2 Punks would have passed 0d6 as the 4 and 3 were higher than their Reps. Got that? Good! A result of passed 1d6 on the Civilian Reaction table meant that all could not fire - a great result for Team Vampifan! If any of had passed 2d6 they could have snapfired at Vampifan before he had a chance to shoot.
There was no question about who Vampifan was going to shoot - the Ring Leader with the Semi-Automatic Rifle. Rolling a 5 on 1d6 and adding his Rep of 4 to it gave him a result of 9 on the Target table - a hit (see p.18). For damage, Vampifan rolled a 6 on 1d6, which was higher than his BA Pistol's impact of 2 (see the Ranged Combat Damage Table on p.18). This meant the target was Knocked Down and had to immediately take the Recover From Knock Down Test (see p.13 and p.14). The Ring Leader only managed to pass 1d6, which if he had been wearing Body Armour, would have just Stunned him. As he wasn't wearing Body Armour he was Out of the Fight. This had a knock on affect, causing the rest of the Looters to take the Leader Lost test (see p.13 and p.14). I rolled a 4 and a 1, meaning they all passed 1d6 and that they would Halt and chose a new leader when next active.
Big Sil was next to shoot. He fired a three round burst at the two Punks with baseball bats and the Looter with the BA Pistol. It was asking too much to score three hits and only one of his bullets found a target. He rolled for damage against one of the baseball bat wielding Punks and scored a 4. This resulted in a Knock Down, just like Vampifan had caused. However, when the Punk took the Recover From Knock Down he passed 0d6, which meant he was Obviously Dead. Nice one, Big Sil! Gap fired one shot from his Pistol at the Looter with the BA Pistol and missed him completely.
Now it was the Looter's turn. They could not move because of the Halt result of the Leader Lost test. The looter with the BA Pistol took up the new leadership reins. The Punk holding the crowbar attempted to prise open the back door using the Challenge rules (see p.52) and he scored a stunning success by rolling snake eyes (double 1). I didn't think they'd gain access so easily but you can never tell what's going to happen once you roll the dice. The two Looters armed with firearms did not shoot back as they had no chance at all of hitting their targets. With Team Vampifan being safe behind cover they'd need a 10+ to hit them. As they were only Rep:3 the best result they could achieve would be a 9 if they rolled a 6. Plus, firing needlessly would only attract more zombies.
Speaking of which, I rolled 5d6 for the 5 shots Team Vampifan had fired this turn and scored 1,2,5. 6 and 6, meaning that three zombies were generated this turn. I moved the sedan car and the two girls further onto the board then rolled a scatter die to see where the zombies would arrive.
TURN 3.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=6, Looters=3, Zombies=1
Yet again, Team Vampifan could not activate. The Looters could, and they all moved into the kitchen of Vampifan's apartment. Not one of them bothered to check if the Ring Leader really was dead. They just assumed he was. What price loyalty, huh?
This is where I placed the three zombies at the end of last turn. They moved towards the Looters that they saw entering the apartment. The sedan car and the two girls made further progress. As there was no shooting or loud noises this turn there was no need to roll for further zombie reinforcements.
TURN 4.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=2, Looters=4, Zombies=5
Vampifan led his two friends back inside to meet the intruders. Neither the Looters nor the zombies could activate this turn. The two girls continued to make slow progress but the sedan car had almost reached the opposite side of the board.
The photo above shows the zombies and Looters temporarily halted.
TURN 5.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=2, Looters=6 (3), Zombies=6 (1)
An activation roll of double 6 meant that I got to roll for a new encounter on the Obstacle Table. Rolling 2d6 I scored a 5, indicating a lone zombie appeared. I randomly determined which board he'd appear on and got the car park board. He followed in the footsteps of the two girls and you can see him in the photo above.
With an activation score of 3, the Looters were the first to move this turn and they congregated in the lounge, eyeing up possible goodies to make off with.
Vampifan, followed by Gap and Big Sil, dropped down a floor to the guest bedroom.
The three zombies discovered an unexpected treat - an unconscious human! Feeding time! I rolled 1d6 to see how long their feast would last (see p.31)  and rolled a 4. The two girls had reached the front of Vampifan's apartment by now and the sedan car was a mere 3" from the edge of the board. The lone zombie closed the gap on the girls.
TURN 6.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=5, Looters=1, Zombies=3
It's yet another turn when Team Vampifan fail to activate. Ho-hum! The three zombies at the back of the apartment continued to feast on the Looters' Ring Leader. The solo zombie moved closer to the little girls, who were totally oblivious to his presence as they concentrated on the road ahead of them. The Looters moved up the stairs to the master bedroom. The sedan car exited the board. The two girls moved along the side of the apartment, unaware of what lay around the corner.
TURN 7.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=3, Looters=5, Zombies=2
This time it's the Looters who can't activate. Oh dear, how sad! Normally, when a group of heroes enter a building and find it occupied by humans they can choose to roll on the Meet and Greet table (see p.45) or ignore it and Walk the Walk instead (see p.46). This did not apply in this case as the Looters were clearly intent on mischief. Once Vampifan walked into the room he fired once at the Looter with the BA Pistol with his own BA Pistol and rolled a 4, which was added to his Rep to give a score of 8 - a hit. I followed this up with a roll of 1 on the Damage table, indicating he had automatically killed the miscreant.
Big Sil let rip with his Machine Pistol and his three round burst gave him d6 scores of 6, 6 and 4. The two sixes ensured that two of his shots hit two of his three targets. He rolled a 2 and a 5 on the damage table, which meant both Looters were Knocked Down and had to take the Recover From Knock Down Test. The Rep:3 Looter armed with the Pistol passed 1d6 and was Out of the Fight. However, the Rep:2 Looter with the crowbar passed 0d6 and was Obviously Dead.
Gap moved to the corner of the bathroom and fired a single shot from his Pistol at the Punk at the top of the stairs. He rolled a 5 to hit, which when added to his Rep of 3 gave him a hit. The 3 that he rolled on the damage table meant that the baseball bat armed Punk was Knocked Down. He too, passed 0d6 on the Recover From Knock Down Test, which gave Gap his first kill of the campaign. That was an impressive turn for Team Vampifan!
The three feasting zombies continued to gorge themselves on the Ring Leader. The solo zombie had reached the car park by now. As the two girls reached the corner of Vampifan's apartment they saw a sight that they could not have imagined in their worst nightmares - three zombies devouring a human being! Both began to scream. Their screaming would count as 6 shots for the purpose of generating zombies at the end of this turn. They had to take the See The Feast test (see p.33) and sadly, they passed 0d6. They had to Retire and then take the Sanity test. For them, the nearest cover within 12" was across the street, and so they ran there. They took the Sanity test and both passed 1d6, meaning that they would Hunker Down. Their screaming would continue until someone Rallied them or they suffered a wound that put them Out of the Fight or worse.
Now I had to roll 11d6 for zombie reinforcements - 5 for the shots fired by Team Vampifan and 6 for the girls' screams. I ended up with 5 new zombies, which wasn't too bad in the circumstances. I rolled on my scatter die to see where they'd appear. Two arrived at the front of Vampifan's house. In the photo above you can clearly see one of them at the corner of the house opposite Vampifan's place. The other is in the shadows by the red car.
The placement of the other three could not have been worse for the poor little girls. Two ended up practically on top of them and another was just across the street from them. It looks pretty grim for them, doesn't it?
TURN 8.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=1, Looters=2, Zombies=4
The three zombies that were eating the Ring Leader of the Looters finished their feast this turn. The two zombies that were only an inch away from the girls charged them. This meant that the girls had to take a Being Charged test (see p.13 and p.14). I rolled a 2 and a 4 for them, meaning both girls passed 1d6. Because they were Hunkered Down and unaware of the new threat, they counted as being charged to the rear. They could still melee but would suffer a -2 penalty to their Reps. This was bad! The Little Girl would now fight as a Rep:1 Civilian but the Smaller Girl was now classed as Rep:0, meaning she had no dice to roll in the combat. She had to pray that the zombie would fluff his attack. Sadly, he didn't! He scored an Out of the Fight result on her, which was the same fate as her sister suffered. Once again, it was feeding time for the zombies. The female zombie would take 6 turns to devour the Little Girl, whilst the male zombie would finish off the Smaller Girl off in 3 turns. The other zombies on the board moved towards the feasting.
The unarmed Rep:2 Punk decided that this was not a safe place to be and turned tail, scurrying back downstairs to the lounge. Vampifan was the first to catch up with the intruder. He decided not to shoot him as the Punk was clearly unarmed. Instead, he drew his combat knife and told the Punk to defend himself. He charged the Punk and because he was a Star he chose to pass 2d6 on the Wanting to Charge test. The Punk passed 1d6 on the Being Charged test and was able to melee normally. Vampifan rolled 5d6 in the contest (4 for his Rep and 1 for having a higher impact weapon than his opponent). The Punk only rolled 2d6 for his Rep so it was no surprise that he lost, with Vampifan scoring 2 successes more than him, a result that left the Punk Obviously Dead. As there was no shooting this turn and both girls were Out of the Fight and unable to scream, there were no zombie reinforcements to roll for.
TURN 9.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=6, Zombies=5
A rare turn in which no one could activate. Hey, it happens!
TURN 10.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=3, Zombies=4
Another female zombie joined in the feasting of the little girls. The three zombies at the back door of Vampifan's house must have heard something from inside as they all entered the kitchen. The other three zombies moved closer to the two feasts.
With the smell of rotting flesh assailing his nostrils, Vampifan moved into the kitchen, followed closely by Big Sil. "Silent kills, big buddy," he ordered. " I see more zeds outside."
Again, Vampifan passed 2d6 automatically on the Wanting To Charge test. Big Sil had to roll but he also passed 2d6. Vampifan concentrated on one zombie and rolled 5d6 against its 1d6 to win the contest easily. His heavy bladed combat knife neatly decapitated the male zombie. Big Sil was confident of taking out both remaining zombies and he split his 6d6 attack dice into two 3d6 attacks. It almost worked. He scored two successes more than the first zombie and killed it with ease but against the second he scored a draw when both combatants earned one success each. The fight would continue for at least another turn.
TURN 11.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=2 (6), Zombies=2 (2)
The double 2 meant I had to roll the activation dice again. As a result, Team Vampifan could not activate this turn. The zombie attacking Big Sil lost the fight this time as Big Sil was able to use all 6d6 against him in the melee. Its head was separated from its body. The zombie feasting on the Smaller Girl finished his feast and joined in on the devouring of her older sister. He was joined by the first of the other trio of zeds.
TURN 12.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=1, Zombies=4
As the feasting of the Little Girl continued, the remaining two zombies got a lot nearer to the gorefest. By the time they'd finished there wouldn't be enough of her left to reanimate! Vampifan cautiously stepped outside to retrieve the Semi-Automatic Rifle lying next to the bloody mess that was once the Ring Leader of the Looters. Then he slipped back inside his home.
TURN 13.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan=3, Zombies=6.
After quietly closing the back door (thanks to the Looters it couldn't be locked) Vampifan moved inside to chat with his friends about what to do next. Staying in the city was becoming more and more dangerous. Perhaps it was time to leave.

This ended the scenario. Team Vampifan was victorious. There was one Looter in the master bedroom who was still Out of the Fight. Vampifan and Big Sil threw him out onto the streets after disarming him. As he staggered off into the night a horde of zombies caught him and ripped him apart. Gap got to replace his Pistol with a BA Pistol that once belonged to the Looters' second-in-command.
Vampifan met all the requirements for a Rep increase - killed at least one zombie, did not receive an Out of the Fight result, did not Hunker Down and he found a resource (the Semi-Automatic Rifle). I needed to roll higher than his Rep for him to advance to Rep:5. Alas, I only rolled a 3. Sorry, Vampifan, no increase this scenario. Big Sil was unable to roll because he never found a resource and Gap couldn't roll because he never killed a zombie. However, both Vampifan and Big Sil met the requirements for changing class (see p.5) and so became Survivors instead of Civilians. 
Sadly that's it for now. I'm hoping to play some more of my campaign in August if all goes well. Keep watching and don't worry, the time will soon pass.


  1. Why don't you use the "Pitiful Shot" rule for REP 3 shooters (see Chain Reaction 3 rulebook)? Noobs kills.... sometimes... rarely.
    And I thought being inside would provide cover, even if both opponents were in the same room (it's not totally crazy with all the stuff lying in my room, I've a fortified position). But I'll read it again (certainly a house rules found on the web). Nice report, you gave me the will to paint some minis for ATZ game (huh, actually, I've only done a fox from MegaMiniatures but....)

  2. Hmm, good point, Ulu. To tell the truth, in the heat of battle, I forgot all about the "pitiful shot" rule. It's on p.19 of the ATZ:BDTZ rulebook for those who don't know what we're talking about. My bad!

    As for being behind cover indoors I'd take that on a case by case situation. If a person is hiding behind a desk, say, then they are clearly in cover. If, however, they are standing in the open in the middle of the room then obviously they are not in cover. Does standing behind someone in front of you count as being in cover?

    Hey, I'm glad to hear you want to paint some minis for a game of ATZ. Go for it, Ulu!

  3. You know, normally I don't read battle reports. (Instead preferring to skim the text and admire the pretty pictures.) But I'm really digging these tales of Vampifan's exploits. I'm looking forward to the next installment! (August? Boo! Hiss! :P)

  4. Thanks, Christopher. Heck, I wish I could do more gaming than the limited amount that I do, but we're in July now so August isn't too far away. Patience, young padawan, patience!

  5. Thanks for the great rep Bryan!
    I finally got a chance to sit down and enjoy all your new posts this morning. Those poor little girls. I have half a mind to send you my LTL Mom and Dad figs and let you run them through for some Divine retribution!

  6. Hi Willy, glad you made it at last. When I pimped this on the Post Apoc forum, almost everyone commented on the fate of the "two poor little girls." What made it even more tragic was the fact that Vampifan and his pals couldn't do a thing to stop it. I guess we both know that ATZ can be very brutal!

  7. Coming in late, as I wasn't much online during my holidays. This is a great batrep again!
    So Team Vampifan is going to leave the city? They don't have to: I've heard the military has created safe zones. There is food, protection and everything is going to be ok pretty soon ;o)

    One question: does the sedan with the two girls attract new zombies (noise)?

    On a side note, I have been working on the same looter miniatures just this weekend. Not painting, but filing, gluing, drilling etc. And SWATs with baton and shield...for the Safe Zone.

    Whiteface / Oliver

  8. Sorry to keep you waiting so long for a reply, Oliver. Ha, ha, yeah, I've heard of the military "safe zones" as well!

    That's a very good question about the sedan generating noise! On balance, I think it should. I'll bear that in mind for the future.

    Okay, so you're not painting but, hey, preparation work is just as important. I hope you find the time to get them painted.