Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 23 - First Base part 1

After driving and hiding for a day and a half after their last encounter, Team Vampifan were desperate to find a place to hole up, preferably somewhere they could settle down permanently. Angie and Big Sil scouted ahead on their motorbikes. They found somewhere in an industrial park amongst the suburbs of Mayhem City that just might suit their needs. They reported back to Vampifan, who was driving his pick-up truck. Gap and new recruit, Rhiannon, were passengers in the black pick-up truck. All five agreed to check out the area and they arrived just as the sun was rising. It was Day 23 of the outbreak and this would be a Take Back scenario (see p.43 of the ATZ rulebook, Better Dead Than Zed, hereafter abbreviated to BDTZ). Their mission was to clear the table of zombies and hostile humans to build a base of operations. Easy, peasy, huh?
The game was played on a 3' by 3' board with each of the 9 sectors measuring 12" by 12". Since my last batrep, posted about five months ago, I have been busy making lots of new scenery items and I have tried to include as many of them as I could in this batrep. Knowing that more and more of my scenarios would take place in suburban or rural areas, I knew I wanted more grassland, so I made a few new ground tiles from the WWG TLX Hinterlands Forest set and WWG TLX Hinterlands Cliffs set, both of which feature some great grass tiles. This allowed me to field a small wood to the left of the board and two small areas of grassland to the right of the board. The trees and hedges are from Games Workshop.
The Ebbles Extra Large Folding Structure Unit (hereafter to be abbreviated XLFSU) is a new model of mine. It is the blue-grey single storey building in the centre of the board. The Medium Folding Unit Structure appeared in my last batrep. The large stack of 18 container units were a kitbash model from WWG. They, along with the single container unit sitting on top of them, are also new models. The rubbish skip is also new, as are most of the items stored inside the big warehouse, which you'll see later. Many of the corpses you see strewn about the board are converted Horrorclix figures. They're all new.
Because Project Lazarus had only been launched one day ago I decided to reduce the chance of Ragers and Smart Zombies appearing in this encounter. As per the rules on p.37 of the ATZ supplement I, Zombie (hereafter abbreviated to IZ) Ragers would appear if the Activation Dice totalled 7. Because this encounter took place in a suburban area, the lower number would indicate how many Ragers would be generated. However, no Ragers would be encountered indoors. Smart Zombies would be generated on the roll of 1 on 1d6 whenever one or more zombies would appear. However, I'd only roll once per group not per zombie and they would be limited to one Smartie per group. This House Rule is merely a temporary measure and will be discarded as the campaign progresses further, possibly as soon as next time.

Team Vampifan entered the board in Sector 8, driving up the main street. Just to recap, Vampifan was a Rep:5 Star with the Nerves of Steel and Slow Attributes. He was armed with an Assault Rifle, BA Pistol and Knife. Angie was a Rep:5 Grunt with the Runt Attribute. She was armed with an Assault Rifle and a Knife. Big Sil was also a Rep:5 Grunt and he had the Knife Fighter Attribute. He too, was armed with an Assault Rifle and Knife. Gap was a Rep:4 Grunt with no Attribute and was armed with an Assault Rifle, a BA Pistol and a Knife. Rhiannon Marlow was a Rep:4 Grunt with the Athlete Attribute. She was armed with an Uzi Sub-Machine Gun. All except Rhiannon wore Body Armour.
It was time to place the three PEF counters and rather than use dice as I normally do, I used these nicely designed PEF counters made by my friend Colin Nash who runs the Down Among The Zed Men blog-site. Many thanks, Colin! The die in the base of each counter represents what number that PEF is, not its Rep score. I diced to determine the placement and Rep of each counter.
PEF:1 was Rep:2 and was placed in Sector 6 at the far side of the skip.
PEF:3 was Rep:5 and was placed in Sector 3 behind the skip.
PEF:2 was Rep:3 and was placed in Sector 2 behind the crimson car. However, this meant it was in Line of Sight of Team Vampifan and thus, it had to be resolved immediately, before play could begin. I rolled 1d6 on the PEF Resolution Table and scored a 5, meaning Hostile NPCs. I rolled to see if they were human or zombies and they turned out to be undead. Next, I rolled to see how many they were and scored a result of one more than Team Vampifan. In other words, six of them. I rolled 1d6 to see if one of them was a Smartie but none were.
I rolled for both sides on the Encounter Awareness Test table and it ended up with Team Vampifan winning by 1 die. Because they were currently inactive they had to take an In Sight Test using 2d6. The team all passed 2d6 and so held fire because the zombies were more than 6" away.

DAY 23 - First Base part 1
Before rolling for Activation, I had to roll for lack of sleep for Team Vampifan (see p.35 of IZ). Fortunately, no one suffered  any adverse affects.
TURN 1.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 1, PEFs = 5.
This meant that the PEFs would move first, starting with PEF:3 because it had the highest Rep. I rolled on the PEF Movement Table for it, and it passed 2d6. It moved one sector towards Team Vampifan and ended up in sight and in cover by the corner of the XLFSU. I rolled 1d6 to determine what it was but rolled a 6, meaning a false alarm. PEF:1 passed 0d6 on the PEF Movement Table and remained where it was.
Vampifan, Angie and Big Sil turned off the main street and came to a stop so far down a side street between the warehouse and the XLFSU. The problem with vehicles is that they are noisy and hence they attract the attention of zombies. I had to place a 6-shot marker where each vehicle started and ended this turn. This meant that I'd be rolling 36d6 for zombie reinforcements! Hmm, I should have thought that one through a bit better! No wonder Team Vampifan always entered the board on foot in previous scenarios.
The placement of Team Vampifan gave them Line of Sight on PEF:1, so I had to roll to see who or what it was. I rolled a 4 on the PEF Resolution Table, which resulted in a second false alarm. Much relief!
The mini-horde of six zeds from PEF:2 moved past the crimson car to the sound of the three running engines. Now came the moment I was dreading - rolling for zombie reinforcements. As this encounter took place in a suburban area, reinforcements would arrive on the d6 score of 5 or 6. By average, that meant 12 should turn up and that is exactly what happened. I'd have preferred less but it could just as easily have been worse. I rolled 1d6 to see if a Smartie was amongst them but failed to roll a 1.
Another House Rule that I use is that I roll a Games Workshop scatter die to determine the direction that a new zombie will appear from. The photo above shows that seven of them appeared on or close to the main street.
Another four zombies appeared in the bottom right corner of the board...
...and the twelfth one arrived from the back of the warehouse.
TURN 2.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 6.
This turned out to be an excellent turn for our heroes. First, Angie dismounted her bike and walked to the back door of the XLFSU. From there she fired once with her Assault Rifle at the zombie chav and killed him. The Easy to Hit rule (see p.34 of BDTZ) where a shooter can substitute his or her Rep for the Impact of a firearm makes killing zombies so much easier. I still maintain it should be called the Easy To Kill rule as it doesn't make it any easier to hit a zombie.
Next, Big Sil dismounted his bike and crossed the road to Angie's parked bike. Please note that from here on you're going to have to ignore the riders on the two bike figures. Unfortunately, the riders aren't detachable. Big Sil also fired a single shot from his Assault Rifle and he killed the zombie at the far side of the shed.
Vampifan, Gap and Rhiannon got out of the pick-up truck at the side next to one set of roll-up doors at the side of the XLFSU. Vampifan only needed one shot from his Assault Rifle to kill one of the two zombies at the front of the mini-horde. Gap emulated his friend's shooting and killed the other zombie leading the mini-horde. Finally, Rhiannon autofired her Uzi SMG at two of the zombies crossing the main street. She hit and killed two, one male and one female. (Memo to self - don't photograph figures with the bottom of their base pointing towards the camera. It obscures the figure too much!)
With seven shots fired this turn I rolled 7d6 for zombie reinforcements. Just two appeared and neither one of them was a Smartie. The first, an elderly man in a tracksuit, appeared on the warehouse loading bay.
The second one, a former SWAT trooper, emerged from behind the overturned beige van.
TURN 3.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 4.
All 14 of the zombies on the board moved 6" closer to Team Vampifan but none got in melee range.
The small boy who now led the mini-horde ended up just 3" away from Rhiannon. They could spell trouble for the Goth Girl next turn.
Big Sil moved alongside Angie and the biker duo shot and killed two female zombies emerging from behind the hedge. A single shot from each was enough to kill them.
Rhiannon fired a three round burst at the mini-horde but only succeeded in hitting and killing the small boy zombie. Vampifan selected autofire for his M16 Assault Rifle and in an impressive display of marksmanship shot and killed the remaining three zombies from the mini-horde. Gap fired once at a zombie security guard crossing the road and killed him, thanks to the Easy To Hit rule.
This time I had to roll 9d6 for zombie reinforcements. Three appeared and this time one of them was a Smart Zombie. He appeared next to the skip. I rolled 1d6 on the Smart Zombie Weapons Table (see p. 41 of IZ) and scored a 2, meaning he'd be armed with an Impact 1 Improvised Weapon. I decided it would be a 4 by 4 length of wood.
The other two reinforcements arrived at opposite ends of the main street, making it seven zeds crossing the road.
TURN 4.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 2.
Angie fired once at the Smart Zombie and hit him easily. However, she rolled a 6 to wound him and so he was just knocked down. Big Sil shot and killed the zombie in the green tracksuit with a single shot.
Rhiannon fired three shots at the zombie cop and the male beside him. She hit them both once but only managed to kill one of them. The zombie cop was just knocked down. Vampifan scored an Obviously Dead result on the zombie SWAT Trooper with a single 5.56mm round. Gap tried to hit the zombie Goth Guy by the green pick-up truck with a single shot but totally missed him.
To the amazement of Angie and Big Sil, the zombie that Angie had knocked down got back to his feet and advanced 3" towards them.
"Whoa, he's a bit nimble," Big Sil exclaimed.
The zombie from the rear of the warehouse shuffled alongside the Smartie as he zeroed in on the two humans.
The zombie cop shot by Rhiannon also got back to his feet, but that was all he managed to do this turn. The remaining four zombies closed the gap with the trio of humans by the black pick-up truck.
I rolled 7d6 for zombie reinforcements and fortunately, just one appeared, by the shed next to Angie and Big Sil. She was not a Smartie.
TURN 5.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 4.
Uh, oh! That was not the result I was looking for! The three zombies close to Angie and Big Sil moved to within 4" of them and temporarily halted whilst the bikers took a Being Charged Test. Angie passed 2d6 and could fire at the zombies but Big Sil only passed 1d6 and could not fire. He could melee normally, however. Not surprisingly, Angie chose to fire a three-round burst at the charging zombies. She only hit one, the Smart Zombie, but her shot knocked him down again. This time, because she was being charged, she could not use the Easy To Hit rule. So, the other two zombies closed the distance and melee ensued.
Despite losing 1d6 for having the Runt Attribute, Angie gained 1d6 in combat for having a higher Impact weapon (her rifle butt) than the zombie. She rolled 5d6 to the zombie's 1d6 and scored 2 successes, whilst the zombie scored none. The female zombie was Obviously Dead. Big Sil rolled 6d6 (he hadn't drawn his knife, otherwise he'd have rolled 7d6) and he too won by a 2-0 margin, killing his attacker with a blow to the head.
Because of the way Rhiannon, Vampifan and Gap were positioned, only Rhiannon could be targetted by the zombies' charge. She took the Being Charged test but could not make use of Vampifan's Leadership because he was behind her. She only passed 1d6 and so had to accept the charge without being able to fire before the zombies reached her. Although four zombies charged her, I could only get three of them in base to base contact with her. So it was three against one. Not good odds when you are only Rep:4. She split her 4 attack dice 1, 2 and 1, with the 2 against the centre zombie wearing the green trousers. The first fight against the zombie to her left ended in a draw, with neither side scoring any successes. In the fight where Rhiannon rolled 2d6, she scored a 1-0 victory and so killed her opponent. Could she survive the third attack? Alas, no. She lost 1-0 and fell to the ground, Out Of the Fight, as the zombie bit two fingers off her right hand. The result went pretty much as I expected it would.
All that was left to do this turn was to roll 3d6 for zombie reinforcements. Thankfully, none turned up.
TURN 6.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 6.
Typical! That's the result I wanted last turn! Big Sil fired once at the prone Smart Zombie and spattered his brains all over the road. He had no idea that he'd killed a Smart Zombie or that such a thing existed. He just assumed it was an ordinary zombie.
Vampifan never said a word but inside he was thoroughly pissed off at the zombies. He selected autofire again and fired a three round burst at the four zombies in front of him. He hit and killed two but his third shot flew too high. Gap fired once at the zombie Goth Guy and blew a big hole in his head. He sidled past Vampifan to drag Rhiannon to the front of the pick-up truck, mumbling, "Oh, God! Rhiannon, don't die!"
That just left the zombie cop and he seemed momentarily bemused as he stood amidst the dead bodies all around him.
I rolled 5d6 for zombie reinforcements and was very relieved to see just one appear. The small girl zombie who arrived on the board at the back of the container unit stack was not a Smartie.
TURN 7.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 2.
The zombie cop focussed his attention on Vampifan and charged. However, he had to temporarily halt, whilst Vampifan took a Being Charged Test.
Being a Star, Vampifan opted to pass 2d6, which allowed him to fire at the zombie. He fired once and killed the undead assailant before he could reach him. Gap began to administer first aid to Rhiannon, even though he wasn't a trained medic.
The small girl zombie was able to move to just one inch away from Angie, but her approach was not silent and the redheaded Swede was alerted to her approach.
Angie spun round and fired once, killing the child at almost point blank range. I rolled 2d6 for zombie reinforcements but scored no successes. For the first time in this encounter, the board was clear of zombies.
TURN 8.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 1.
Even though all the zombies had been cleared from the board I still rolled for Activation, after all, I could roll a 7 for a Rager encounter or double 1 or double 6 for a special encounter. Vampifan ordered his team to wait and see how Rhiannon responded to her treatment before they entered the XLFSU. I rolled 2d6 against Rhiannon's Rep on the Recovery During The Encounter Table (see p.22 of BDTZ). Sadly, Rhiannon only passed 1d6 and so remained Out Of the Fight for the rest of this encounter. In the heat of the battle, I totally forgot that the heroes had Medical Supplies in the pick-up truck as part of their Resources. It was only after the scenario was over that I remembered. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?
With that determined, Team Vampifan made a two-pronged entry to the XLFSU. Time to get out my ATZ Risks and Rewards deck of cards. After giving them a good shuffle I turned over the top card to reveal no humans or zombies present but a Food Resource. I reasoned that it would come from the food and drinks dispensers situated in the top right hand corner of the building. I rolled to see who found the Resource and it was Gap. For the first time this game there were no zombie reinforcements to roll for. What joy!
TURN 9.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 5.
Uh, oh, that looks like a 7 to me! That meant that two Ragers would appear! This ought to be interesting! I rolled 1d6 on the Rager Placement Table (see p.37 of IZ) and scored a 2, placing them in the centre of the right table edge or Sector 6, if you like. The lead Rager was placed 8" on the board. Any others would appear 1d6" behind him. I rolled a 3 for the placement of the second Rager. Fortunately for Team Vampifan, Ragers are only Rep:4 and so were unable to activate this turn. Even so, they were still a major threat.



  1. What a great batrep, really enjoyed it, the new scenery is great, the figures were great and I'll be back to find out what happened to poor Rhiannon.

  2. DOH! To be continued?! Just when it was getting good! Thanks for great story telling, game mechanics and fabulous scenery. Your table and minis are spectacular, as usual. Can't wait for the next installment.

  3. What a great batrep! Hehe, 36D6 for zombie reinforcements...these are the things I love (unless they are happening to me).

    Finally some Ragers...and such a cruel cliffhanger. Can't wait to see Part 2.

    Whiteface / Oliver

  4. Bikers won't let their ride in the open, gangers can steal these fast and cool vehicles.
    Nice AAR. Hope she won't turn infected...

  5. Now that's what I call a Batrep!!!! First class Mr Vampifan

  6. @Fran. I like the new scenery, too. You'll certainly be seeing a lot more batreps with grass tiles in them.

    @Darrell. To be continued? Yep, I'm afraid so. There was so much that happened in this scenario and I took nearly 70 photos of the action, all of which will be shown. I simply had to split this batrep into two parts.

    @Oliver. I'd forgotten about placing a six-shot marker where a vehicle starts and ends its turn so it was quite a surprise for me. All I can say is, thank God it wasn't in an urban setting!

    @Ulu. Fair comment about leaving the bikes in the open. You can tell I'm not a biker, can't you? As for Rhiannon turning infected I'm keeping quiet but the odds are 50/50 on her surviving.

    @Ray. Thanks, mate. This was one of the most enjoyable games of ATZ that I've played.

  7. Stunning scenario, stunning Battle Rep and stuning figures! :D

    How many times take you to play the game while doing all the photo and notes?

  8. @Zerloon. Thanks for the kind words. To answer your question, I played this scenario over a three day period, playing on average four hours per day. What was really time consuming was taking the photos and writing my notes for the batrep. If I was to play it without making notes or taking photos I could have finished it within two to three hours or a single session.

  9. It's great to see Vampifan in action again!

    I do turn my laying figures (so you don't see the ugly base instead of the mini) too ;)

  10. Oh no, Trouble is heading Rhiannon's way. Can Vampi and gang come to her rescue? Will Vampi and gang meet a grisly end? Or is this a nightmare that one of the gang is having during a fitful night of sleep?

    Stay tuned to the Same Vampi Channel and the Same Vampi time to see the excitement in Part 2 of this three part series.

  11. @Brutpaul. I won't make the same mistake again in lying figures down. I definitely need my wrists slapping for that error. Oh, and yes, it is great to see Vampifan in action again. He's been away far too long.

    @Monty. Ah, bless!

    @Doug. So many questions and I'm not answering. (Ain't I a rotter?) I guess you'll just have to tune in to part two as the rip-roaring, bottom-clenching adventures of Vampifan and co. continues!

  12. Wow that is an awesome set up you have there.

  13. @Irqan and Biff. Thanks, guys, I appreciate your comments.

  14. Bryan this is by far the coolest damn thing I have ever seen. No GW games day setup, nothing from wizards, no one but no one has ever made something this cool. I am just blown away. I want to do this kind of stuff so bad it makes me want to cry. You are indeed the master.

  15. Well done Vamp. Great batrep as usual. Hope you didn't lose Rhiannon -not after all the bad luck you've had so far with potential recruits.

  16. Well that made me wake up this morning! The new scenery is great mate. Really adds that much more to the game, and not only the scenery but I like the bodies that you made just to lie around!

    Well written and good place to have a cliffhanger!!

  17. Fantastic Bryan. The new items are superb, the grass tiles, the XLFSU (particularly love the way in which you have 'capped-off' the interior uprights.) and Colin's PEF counters - great job Colin. The 'casualties' are inspired, gonna have to steal that idea myself.

    It is great to see the master on a roll again again, thank you sir. Loving the cliff-hanger, cCan't wait until next time.

  18. @Roger. I'm blushing at your kind words. Thank you so very much. It's probably unlikely, but if ever you visit England, I'd be more than happy to game with you. Comments like yours just inspire me so much.

    @Brian. I'd like to say more about Rhiannon but I'm afraid you're just going to have to wait for part 2 to discover her fate.

    @Johnny. Nice to hear that I've brightened your morning. I'll do a review soon of the corpses I've bought and converted. There's enough material for at least two posts. I think that corpses strewn about the cityscape adds to the ambience of the game.

    @Adam. So you like what I've been doing? Seriously though, thanks for the compliments. Please feel free to steal any ideas you like. I have decided that Part 2 will wrap up this scenario. It'll be posted on Sunday.

  19. Wow - all that and a cliff-hanger ending that reminds me of a Dr Who episode. Nice one!!!

  20. @Graham. Now that's an interesting analogy! Cool! I like it.

  21. Great bat rep, Vamp. It reads like something out of World War Z!

  22. Thanks, WarRaptor. I love World War Z. It's one of my favourite zombie books, so I take that as a great compliment.

  23. Graham- I was thinking the cliffhanger ending was more reminicent of the old 1960's Batman TV series with Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne, hence my post above with the questions and the whole Same Vampi Channel Same Vampi Time bit.

    Now all Bryan needs to do is throw in some cheesy lines like, Holy Strawberries Vampi were in a Jam and some Biff Bam Pow Zings etc... and then we will have the Batman TV series feel going for sure. LOL

  24. LOL, indeed! Doug, my friend, how can I break this to you gently? Not going to happen! EVER!!!!!

  25. Darn, I could so see Gap as the Boy Blunder, err Boy Wonder, spouting off the cheesy lines, LOL

    Though you do have to admit the To Be Continued bit at the end of the Batman TV series is great for cliffhangers like this, and you can even throw in a question or two like is it all a nightmare that one of the gang is having, just to throw people off what the truth might be. Cant wait for part 2.

  26. Really great report, best one yet I think. The PEF markers are great, might have to copy that idea. The FUSS structures are a great design, Mel did a great job designing those. One terrain question: where did you get the street lights?

  27. @Doug. Regarding Gap, you were right first time about the Boy Blunder, LOL! I'm surprised he hasn't ended up as zombie chow before now!

    I'll certainly think about throwing in a few questions after the To Be Continued announcement. I have thought about doing a scenario that is just a dream/nightmare of Vampifan... but this isn't it! I'm still typing in the events of part 2, but all of the photos are in place. I'm fully confident that I'll be able to post part 2 on Sunday.

    @Werewolf8. Nice to hear from you again. I've got all four of Mel's FSU models and I've made one of each type apart from the small FSU, of which I have made two. I think they're great and I'm sure I'll be making more of them in different colour schemes. The street light you mentioned came from a Heroclix scenery set. There were two available featuring 4 pieces of indoor and 4 pieces of oudoor furniture. I reckon they are out of production now but maybe you might find tham on eBay. I only got one of each set and I wish I'd bought more.

  28. I found it: Heroclix Outdoor Adventure Kit. I found a single lamp post on ebay for about $7.50 with shipping. Oh well. 8)

  29. Well done on tracking down a set on EBay. $7.50 for a single lamp-post? Ouch! That's steep. WWG make a couple of lamp-posts, which I will make at some time. They're on my "to do" list... along with a load of other stuff!

  30. I got mad surf ninja skilz! I like the WWG ones too, they will do the job. 8)

  31. @Werewolf8. I was going to look up what set they're in, but you beat me to it. Yay for your mad surfing ninja skills! Of course the beauty of the WWG ones is that you can make as many as you want, whenever you want. Definitely a win-win situation!

  32. Omg how did it take me so long to read this !
    great batrep vampifan, tis was fun reading !
    really liked the scattered corpses and all the new scenery, aswell as your cliffhanger, good storytelling and presentation, thanks for the post.

  33. Hi, the Extrordinarii and thanks for your kind comments. Be sure to call back tomorrow when I'll be posting part 2.

  34. Is it up now? How about now? Is it now?

    COME ON MAN!!! Do not leave us hanging here!!



  35. I've finished typing it, my impatient friend, but I haven't proofread it yet. It's late now, I'm tired, so, I'm off to bed. In the words of the great Bugs Bunny, "Ain't I rotter?!"

    Sigh! I know. Tomorrow is far too long to wait, but wait you must!

  36. Now you see this kind of inspirational, fantastic batrep is why I dubbed you Vampifan the Great!

    Off to read part2 now and expecting more VtG goodness - wholesome, yummy zedsplatting - all a grwoing boy needs!

  37. Thanks Vampifan for this juicy batrep! I really enjoy your narrating style, and that you explain what the dice do and why. I always get a few eye openers and/or reminders about the ATZ rules when I read your batreps. I'll continue reading the exciting part two tonight.


  38. Nearly missed your comments, Colin and Peekaboo.

    @Colin. Your very kind comments have been a real inspiration to me. I know it has been a long wait for my first batrep of 2011 but here it is in all its gory glory and I'm so glad you like it.

    @Peekaboo. It's always been my philosophy when writing batreps to educate as well as entertain. Seeing and reading examples of gameplay as I write them will hopefully give you a better grasp of the rules.