Sunday, 8 May 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 23 - First Base part 2

Day 23 - First Base part 2
TURN 9.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Ragers = 5.
At the start of Turn 9, two Ragers arrived on the board but were unable to activate this turn.
Vampifan stepped back outside and immediately saw the new threat. Thinking that these were just normal zombies, he fired once with his M16 Assault Rifle at the lead Rager. He hit and scored an Out Of the Fight (OOF) result.
"Sil, Angie!" he called out in warning. "Zombies out the back! Take 'em out!"
Big Sil and his girlfriend, Angie Johannson, emerged from the back of the extra-large Folding Structure Unit (XLFSU) with their M16 Assault Rifles at the ready. Big Sil fired once at the second Rager and missed.
"Useless!" Angie chided him good-naturedly. "This is how you do it!"
Her shot was much more accurate. She also scored an OOF result. The Ragers fell to the ground but it was obvious they weren't dead. Meanwhile, Gap moved outside to where the wounded Rhiannon Marlow lay. He picked her up and carried her back inside, laying her down on a pale-grey sofa. She had been bitten by a zombie and had blacked out.
I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements and scored one success. The male zombie shambled into view at the rear of the warehouse next to the loading bay. I rolled 1d6 to see if he was a Smart Zombie but he wasn't. Oh, and apologies for the poor quality of the photo - I should have focussed on the figure, not the building.
TURN 10.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 3.
The lone zombie shuffled slowly across the warehouse loading bay, attracted by the sound of gunfire.
Vampifan shot the zombie crossing the warehouse loading bay between the eyes, killing him instantly with a single 5.56mm bullet. Angie and Big Sil walked over to where the Ragers lay and dispatched them both with a single shot each. (See the rules for Auto-Kill on p.39 of IZ.)
"What the hell are those things?" Angie enquired as she took a good long look at the creatures.
"I dunno," Big Sil answered with a shrug of his shoulders. "But they sure were tougher than any zombie I've seen so far. What do you think, Boss-man?"
Vampifan adjusted his glasses before replying. "I have no idea. A hardier breed of zombie, or something new entirely. Note how they look more human than most zeds. They don't look like walking corpses, do they? Now go and check out that shed. I'll cover you."
I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements but none had heard the gunfire. Cool!
TURN 11.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = (3) 1, Zombies = (3) 4.
I immediately rerolled the Activation dice and scored a 4 and a 1, but seeing as there were no zombies on the board I ignored their Activation die and moved on to Team Vampifan. Vampifan climbed up onto the hood of his pick-up truck to provide cover for his colleagues. Big Sil kicked open the doors to the shed and winced as the smell of rotting flesh wafted out. I turned over the next card from my Risks and Rewards deck. Inside, were a one-legged zombie and one Resource - a set of Keys.
I rolled 1d6 for Angie, Big Sil and the Zombie to determine the Surprise scores (see p.44 of BDTZ). Angie and Big Sil added their Rep score to the die roll, whilst the zombie just added +1 (the number of zombies encountered determines their bonus). As Angie rolled highest of all, she was able to fire at the zombie. One shot was all she needed to kill the undead creature. I rolled to see which one of the pair found the keys. It was Big Sil. So far, he and Gap had found a Resource. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements and was pleased not to score a success.
TURN 12.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 2.
Although Team Vampifan could not move or fight this turn, there was nothing to stop them talking and Big Sil made a significant discovery.
"Hey, Vampi!" he called out excitedly. "These aren't car keys I found. They're for those container units over there."
"Hot damn!" Vampifan exclaimed as he glanced over at the large stack, clearly visible from his vantage point. "We'll check 'em out later but first I want to see what's in that warehouse. Gap, get your arse in gear! We're on the move."
"I'm coming," Gap responded. "Ri's still out cold, so I'll leave her here."
TURN 13.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 4.
The team reached one of the two back doors to the warehouse, although Gap had to make a Fast Move to catch up with his colleagues.
TURN 14.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 2.
Team Vampifan entered the warehouse and discovered three Survivors and a Luxury Item Resource, as can be seen from the Risks and Rewards card shown in the photo above. I rolled to see who between Vampifan and Angie found the Luxury Item. This time, Vampifan was successful. I determined that the Luxury Item was a jar of instant coffee. The first of the three Survivors was Rep:4 and was armed with a Semi-Automatic Rifle.
To find out the Rep and weaponry of extra members of a party, you have to turn over a card for each additional member. Everything on the card, apart from the person's Rep and Weapon, is ignored. This meant that the other two Survivors were both Rep:3 and one was armed with an SMG and the other with a Pistol. I thought long and hard about what figures to use and in the end settled on a RAFM female Survivor and a pair of kids (aka The Monster Squad) from the Horrorclix Freakshow expansion set. I decided that they would be one family - a mother and her two children. I changed the mother's weapon to a BA Pistol and I decided to replace the SMG with a Catapult as that is what the figures were holding.
These are my stats for a Catapult: Range = 10"; Targets = 1; Impact = 1; and the weapon is silent.
The new Survivors were led by Hanna Vaughan. Her daughter was called Jamie, whilst her young son was called Billy. Billy was the one with the Catapult. Jamie had her Pistol in her backpack.
It was time to roll on the Meet and Greet table (see p.45 of BDTZ). Vampifan rolled 6d6 (5 for his Rep and +1 for outnumbering Hanna by one). Hanna just rolled 4d6 for her Rep. On the first roll off, Vampifan scored 4 successes, whilst Hanna scored 2. Discarding the failures, Vampifan then rolled 4d6 and scored 2 successes. Hanna rolled 2d6 and scored 0 successes. As a result, the Vaughan family would join forces with Team Vampifan on a permanent basis. Introductions were made.
Finally, I chose the Attributes that I wanted the Vaughan family to have. I know that I should have diced for them as they are only Grunts but I wanted them to have Attributes that I felt were most appropriate for them. It's all part of the story-telling process, okay? I figured Hanna had to be tough to survive the first three weeks of the Outbreak with two children in tow, so I gave her the Stone Cold Attribute (she'd roll 3d6 for all Reaction Tests). Jamie was obviously some kind of martial artist so she naturally got the Brawler Attribute (this gave her a +1d6 bonus in melee combat). As the youngest member of the family, I felt that the Wuss Attribute would be most appropriate for Billy (he'd only roll 1d6 when taking the Charge, Being Charged and Rally Tests).
TURN 15.   Activation - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 1.
Oh, dear! Another 7, another Rager. This one appeared in the centre of the bottom table edge, or Sector 8. I placed it 8" on the board. It was eligible to move this turn, but it had no LOS (Line of Sight) to any legitimate targets and no loud noises had been made in the previous turn, so it remained in place, waiting for something to happen.
Team Vampifan and the Vaughan family couldn't move, so they briefly got to know each other. Hanna revealed that the white compact car parked by the front entrance of the warehouse was hers and that they had been staying in this warehouse for just over a week.
TURN 16.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = (2) 5, Ragers = (2) 1.
Having initially rolled double 2 for Activation, I rerolled both dice and this time scored a 5 and a 1, in Vampifan's favour. Vampifan announced that they were going to check out some of the containers units as they'd found the keys to open them. Hanna and her kids agreed to follow them.
As soon as they stepped outside they spotted the Rager, but once again, they mistook it for a normal zombie. Vampifan fired a single shot from his Assault Rifle at the creature but rolled a 1 and totally missed. Big Sil fared better. His single Rifle shot hit the Rager in the chest but only knocked him down.
The Rager surprised everyone by standing straight back up and rushing 6" towards them, whilst screaming in rage. This was unprecedented! I rolled 2d6 for zombie reinforcements but none arrived this turn.
TURN 17.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, Ragers = 3.
The Rager raced down street, moving a distance of 12", screaming all the way.
"Fuck me!" Vampifan swore as he hurriedly raised his Assault Rifle to his shoulder, whilst flipping its fire selection switch from single shot to autofire. "Is this thing on steroids?"
The Rager was only 2" away from him when he fired. Two of his three shots hit. His first shot scored another Knock Down result but his second shot was, thankfully, an Obviously Dead result. The Rager threat had been dealt with.
So, shooting over, Vampifan led his friends along the street until they reached the corner of the warehouse. Every one of them had a much closer look at the Rager corpse than they would have if it had been a normal zombie.
I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements and this time one appeared. He emerged from behind the crashed beige van across the street. He was not a Smart Zombie.
TURN 18.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 3.
It would appear that too many of Team Vampifan were spending too long scrutinising the Rager corpse, so they came to a temporary halt. The lone zombie slowly ambled across the street, its milky white eyes seemingly focussed on Vampifan. It finished its movement just 3" away from the human leader.
TURN 19.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 1.
"I'll get him!" Billy called out excitedly. To his credit, he did! The stone pellet from his catapult struck the zombie in the forehead and thanks to the Easy To Hit rule, killed him. I really love that rule! Better still, the shot was silent, so no chance of any roving zombies turning up next turn. The group crossed the side street and reached the XLFSU.
TURN 20.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 4.
Vampifan and Big Sil were the first to reach the stack of container units. Only the three on the ground level facing the main street could be searched. The seven units above them were too high to reach and the nine at the back had their entrances covered by the nine at the front. Just like the trailer of a Big Rig, each unit would count as a single room for the purposes of searching.
TURN 21.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 6.
Big Sil unlocked the doors. He stepped inside the pitch black interior, which was now illuminated by the rising sun. Vampifan accompanied him. The Risks and Rewards revealed that this was a total bust, with no humans, no zombies and no resources. Bummer!
TURN 22.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 2.
By now the rest of Team Vampifan had reached the stack and they gathered around the second one in line as Big Sil fitted the appropriate key in the lock.
This time, Angie accompanied Big Sil inside. The Risks and Rewards card showed that whilst the container was unoccupied, it did contain a Resource - a Machete. Big Sil had already found a Resource, so Angie picked it up from the floor.
TURN 23.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = (5) 2, Zombies = (5) 4.
Once again, I had to reroll the Activation Dice to determine who went first... even though there was only one team on the board. Vampifan, Angie and Big Sil stepped inside and were confronted by three zombie children. The Risks and Rewards card also revealed that there was a Fuel Resource inside. It was hidden away at the back of the container unit so Team Vampifan would have to get past the three zombies to reach it. I rolled to see if any of the zombies was a Smart Zombie and one was. I rolled 1d6 on the Smart Zombies Weapon Table (see p.41 of IZ) and I rolled a 2, indicating he was armed with an Impact 1 Improvised Weapon. A hockey stick fit the bill perfectly for him. He would fight against Vampifan.
Next, I had to roll for surprise. I rolled 1d6 for the zombies and added a +3 bonus to the roll, which was 5, giving a result of 8. The +3 bonus came from how many zombies there were. The heroes also rolled 1d6, but they got to add their Rep score to the rolls. The final results were Vampifan with 8, Big Sil with 7, and Angie with 6. Seeing as none of their scores beat the zombie score, none of them could fire and they'd have to melee as normal.
Vampifan went first against the Smart Zombie and scored 3 successes out of 5. The Smartie scored 1 success out of 2, which initiated a secound round of combat. This time Vampifan scored 1 success out of 3 but the Smartie failed to score a success. Vampifan used his rifle butt to stove in the skull of the young zombie.
Big Sil went next and he drew his Combat Knife. He rolled 7d6 to the zombie's 1d6 and he slaughtered the young girl by scoring 4 successes to her 0. He sliced the sharpened blade across the girl's neck and decapitated her.
Angie's combat went very similar to Vampifan's, taking two turns to resolve. Initially, she scored 3 successes, but the young zombie male scored 1 success. In round two, Angie scored 2 successes, whilst the zombie failed to score any. She used her newly acquired Machete to split the zombie's skull in two down the middle.
I rolled to see who out of the trio found the Resource and Big Sil beat the other two to it.
TURN 24.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 6.
"Okay, we're done here," Vampifan declared. "Let's go and check up on Rhiannon and then get the vehicles under cover."
Seeing as there was nowhere else left to explore and no more opponents to defeat, this ended the encounter. It was a victory for Team Vampifan. However, there were still some very important dice rolls to be made.
The team moved back inside the XLFSU and whilst the two kids checked out the empty crates, the adults gathered around the unconscious Rhiannon. I had to roll 2d6 for Rhiannon on the Recovery After the Encounter Table (see p.23 of BDTZ). Alas, she only passed 1d6, which meant that she regained consciousness but at one Rep level lower.She was now just Rep:3. This was an awful result as she still had to take the "Harry, Are You Okay?" Test to see if she became infected by the zombie bite she'd received earlier. I had to roll 1d6 for her and add her Rep score to the result. On a result of 9 or higher, she'd be fine (see p.35 of BDTZ). She could make it, but only if I rolled a 6. I rolled a 2. So even if she hadn't dropped a level, her fate was sealed.
"I don't want to die," she sobbed, "but I don't want to come back as one of those... things!"
"No, Rhiannon!" Gap cried, his voice full of emotion. Tears streamed down his face as he saw Vampifan draw his Desert Eagle pistol from its holster. "There's got to be another way! Surely?"
Despite having met her just over a day ago, Gap had developed a crush on the young Goth Girl. Vampifan caught his eye and briefly shook his head. He knew what needed doing and as leader of the group he felt it has his responsibility to maintain the safety of his group.
"I'm so sorry, Rhiannon," Vampifan said remorsefully, as he placed the barrel of the huge gun against her forehead. "You didn't deserve this."
The sound of the gunshot seemed unnaturally loud in the confines of the building. Rhiannon would not be returning as a zombie.
The above photo shows the new line-up of Team Vampifan. From left to right are Vampifan, Big Sil, Angie, Gap, Hanna, Jamie and Billy. Note that I have added a Hasslefree M16 Assault Rifle to Gap so he no longer looks unarmed.
All that was left to do was to determine if anyone's Rep increased. Vampifan, Big Sil, Angie and Gap were all eligible for Rep improvement rolls (see p.61 of BDTZ). Gap needed to roll a 5+ on 1d6 to go up to Rep:5, whilst the others needed to roll a 6. May be the dice gods decided I needed some cheering up after losing Rhiannon but both Vampifan and Gap scored high enough to improve their Rep by 1. Vampifan had rose to the heady heights of Rep:6 and Gap was now even with Big Sil and Angie at Rep:5. I could have no complaints.

My final thoughts on this scenario are as follows. After going almost six months since my last game of ATZ, I was so desperately looking forward to this game. The way the game turned out made for an incredibly exciting and emotionally rewarding experience. The loss of Rhiannon was more than balanced by the recruitment of the Vaughan family and by Vampifan reaching Rep:6. I can tell you now, the next scenario in my campaign will take place soon - in June for sure, but possibly earlier.
Smart Zombies are not that big a threat. If armed with a firearm they only have a very slim chance of hitting. The extra die they get in melee doesn't make much of a difference but could if the Smartie was not alone in attacking. Ragers, on the other hand are downright scary! Team Vampifan did well against the three they met but with some different Activation rolls, things could have gone very differently. My advice in dealing with them is to fire as many rounds as you can into them before they get into melee range. Melee with Ragers is to be avoided at all costs! I tried to play this game straight in having the heroes not identifying the new threat for what it was and just treating Ragers as normal zombies. They'll know differently next time but only because they have learnt from experience. 
To all of you who have read this batrep, my heartfelt thanks. Hopefully, it won't be too long before Team Vampifan rides again.


  1. Thanks for another great batrep. Nice dramatic end!

  2. Awesome Bryan. Great Batrep, super storytelling and it is wonderful to see all your new toys on the table. The attention to detail is fantastic. Love those new containers too. Where did you pick up the fire hydrant? Eagerly looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Great game - the buildings and street furniture look fantastic!
    Looking forward to more

  4. @Brutpaul. Thanks and congrats on being the first to comment. I deliberately posted this early as so many folk were clamouring for part 2.

    @Adam. Again, thanks. The fire hydrant came from Mega Miniatures and is part of the their Modern Scenery range. You can buy two fire hydrants for $1.89.

  5. Wooohoooo!!!! I love this! Good battlereport and love the pictures. You have a smashing set up. I would like to know how you made the bodies lying around. Looks great.

    And my favorite character has to be Big Sil, there is just something about his attitude.

  6. @Donogh. I like making scenery. As I often say, it's the little things (like the fire hydrant) that bring a board to life.

    @Johnny. I posted this especially early after the impassioned plea you sent me last night so I'm thrilled you liked it.

    A lot of the corpses lying around are recently converted Horrorclix figures. Others are bought from various companies. I plan on doing a couple of articles on corpses very soon. One will cover what's commercially available (too few to be honest) and another on my conversions.

    Ah, Big Sil. You do know he's based on a real life friend of mine? As is Gap. Both were members of my gaming group in bygone years. Big Sil was always larger than life and it was a sad day when he moved from the North East to settle down to family life. Sadly we lost touch and I have no idea where he is now or what he's doing. Such was the fate of many of my gaming colleagues.

  7. Great batrep Vampifan, I like the new characters, looking forward to seeing what they can do, and you guys did well against the new threats, but I feel that there true potenial has not been revealed....

  8. Beautiful BR, this is a very inspiring reading!

  9. @The Extraordinarii. I know exactly what you mean. After all, Team Vampifan haven't seen a Smart Zombie firing at them yet or witnessed a Rager in melee combat.

    @Zerloon. Inspiring is a word that I like to hear. Many thanks!

  10. Great Batrep as always. Sad to see Rhiannon bought the farm, but at least you have three new recruits to replace her.

    Ragers are nasty beasts, I am glad you didn't run into more and have to melee them.

    As always looking forward to you're next post.

    BTW: I am stealing your stats for the Catapult (Slingshot for us Americans), and Updating the Vampifan Roster Sheet I have been using to keep track of the team it include the new members, and sadly mark Rhiannon off as deceased.

  11. @Doug. I was sorry to see Rhiannon go. She only lasted two encounters, which isn't a good record, but the team did gain three new recruits. I think Hanna and Jamie will do well but I worry about Billy. He is a liability being Rep:3 with the Wuss Attribute. But he does have a silent ranged weapon, which is a bonus. If I play safe and leave him at home in future encounters he won't get the chance of improving. But if he is part of the team, he might not survive. I'm going to have to think about what is best to do.

    I am so glad I didn't have to melee with Ragers as well. They are thoroughly nasty.

    Feel free to use my stats for the catapult/slingshot with my blessing. Hey, you're keeping records on Team Vampifan! How cool is that?

  12. Great BatRep. I'm a Team Vampifan fan!

  13. Thanks for another great report Vampi

  14. @Kobayachimaru. Go, Team Vampifan, go! It's always nice to add another fan. Thanks!

    @Brian. And thanks to you for reading and commenting. It is appreciated.

  15. Good stuff man. And Smart Zombies seem to be mis-named as they apparently can easily get locked up in containers. Maybe something like
    "Special ZEDs". You know..smarter than the brain dead ones...but still way behind the cool kids in class. 8)

  16. Yeah I am keeping a record of Team Vampifan just in case I want to introduce them into my campaign, which I need to get off my butt and start, just need to work out the space I need for it.

    Though I am not sure I would want to have them Hostile, especially Big Sil and Angie, I think they would kick my teams arse.

    Again as always keep up the good work.

  17. Whoa, the second part came earlier than I expected.
    Congratulations on surviving your first (well, THE first) rager encounter. These things are scary and I am sure the body count will rise when these critters get into melee.

    Poor Rhiannon, but such is life in the world of z-apocalypse. One moment everything is under control and suddenly the zeds manage to bite someone.

    Good scenery and storytelling! "I like" +1

    Whiteface / Oliver

  18. Love your blogging work! Keep up the good work you make really good posts!

  19. @Werew0olf8. Smart zombies may be brighter than normal zombies but I can't see one ever winning "Mastermind!"

    @Doug. Crossover adventures are something I'm keen to do. LTL Dad (aka Willy) and I have often discussed this. A team-up between the LTL Clan and Team Vampifan would be awesome. I wouldn't want either side to be hostile to one another. With Team Vampifan now having a Rep:6 Star and three Rep:5 Grunts on board, they are indeed a fearsome fighting force, although not yet in the same league as the LTL clan. The idea of our heroes existing in the same world and possibly meeting up is something that intrigues me a lot.

    @Oliver. I had to post part 2 early or I suspect I'd have been lynched by Lord Siwoc! LOL! As for Rhiannon, twice I forget to make use of the team's Med Supplies on her but in hindsight that was probably a good thing because once I rolled a 2 on the "Harry, Are You Okay?" Test, she'd only have survived if she was Rep:7.

    @Glovey. Welcome on board and thanks for the kind words.

  20. Thanks Vampifan, a great batrep and inspiration. It has animated me to finish my ATZ project and start blogging for the first time. Keep up the GREAT work.

  21. @Doug & Vampifan: I haven't mentioned Mayhem City in my last batrep for nothing. As far as I am concerned every fellow zed-blogger shuffles through the same z-apoc.
    I wouldn't like to encounter LTL Mom though, her motto "No bozos!" scares me. After all Whiteface is just a name for a bozo with a pointy hat. :o)
    I am pretty sure that I haven't used my "Vampifan" miniature yet. Can't see this mini being used for just a random survivor.

  22. @Irqan. That's great news! Once you get it up and running I'll be sure to give you a link on my site.

    @Oliver. I did notice your reference to Mayhem City in one of your batreps and that cheered me up no end. Most people seem to set their campaign in America, which makes it easier for tie-in encounters. It would be a lot more difficult to rationalise if your campaign was set elsewhere in the world.

  23. Another great batrep VtG!! I was surprised though when the team left Rhiannon alone and unconscious - that's the kind of thing they do in films that have you screaming at the screen "How can you be so dumb?!"

    Not that it mattered in the end though!

    More batreps! reading this two-parter tonight has me reconsidering my own hiatus ...

  24. Thanks, Colin. If this had been the movies, Rhiannon would have groaned or made some sort of noise just as the third Rager appeared on the board. By the time the rest of the team reached her the Rager would have ripped her limbs off!

    More batreps will definitely be forthcoming and soon. Regarding your hiatus, take as long as you feel you need to stay away. Real life and family should always take priority. If or hopefully, when you come back we'll still be here and won't think any worse of you. Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best.

  25. Amazing. Simply amazing. More please!

  26. @Darrell. More please? Most definitely!

  27. im near the end of your bateps,they were a great help to me in understanding the rules,thanks and keep up the good work