Sunday, 13 November 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 59 - Meeting the Media Part 1

This was Team Vampifan's first foray away from home since the death of Angie just over a week ago. Hannah decided to stay behind to look after her son, Billy, who was still recovering from being shot on his last outing. As the rules stand at present, Billy could return to action as soon as he made his recovery roll, which he did. However, I'm using a bit of common sense here, and it will take him time to fully recover from a bullet wound to the stomach. This left just four members able to go out on the mission. Here they are with their stats -
Vampifan; Rep:6 Star with Nerves of Steel and Slow attributes; armed with Assault Rifle, BA Pistol, Combat Knife and Body Armour.
Big Sil; Rep:5 Grunt with Knife Fighter attribute; armed with Assault Rifle, Combat Knife and Body Armour.
Gap; Rep:4 Grunt with Phobia of Clowns; armed with Assault Rifle, Knife and Body Armour.
Jamie Vaughn; Rep:4 Grunt with Brawler attribute; armed with BA Pistol and Medical Supplies.

The game was played on a 3' by 3' board divided into nine 1' square sectors with sector 1 being in the top left hand corner of the photo above where the small wood is and sector 9 being in the bottom right hand corner where the general store is.
The only new item on the board that I haven't featured before is the stretch limo that has crashed into the wood. I bought it at a local toy shop in a sale for about £3 or £4 instead of £10.
Team Vampifan began the game in sector 7 next to the front entrance to the deli store. I rolled to see if any of them had suffered from a lack of sleep prior to setting out but all made their checks without any problems.
I then rolled for the placement and Reps of the three starting PEFs. PEF:1 was Rep:5 and was placed in sector 6 at the front of the alley between the two houses.
Pef:2 was Rep:2 and was placed in sector 1 in the small wood.
PEF:3 was Rep:1 and was placed in sector 5 at the back of the limousine.
HOUSE RULES. There was recently a discussion on the Board of the Living Dead forum about whether external doors should be locked or unlocked. The default rule in Better Dead Than Zed is that all doors are unlocked. The argument is that is this realistic? Well, no, but it does speed up gameplay. Anyway, I have decided to adapt Joe's (aka Zabadak) rule that all doors are unlocked on the roll of 1-5 on 1d6. Only if I roll a 6 will a door be locked. Locked doors can be smashed open but doing so creates noise, equivalent to one gunshot for the purpose of attracting zombies and possibly alerting any occupants inside the building. I have also made the decision that I want no Ragers or Smart Zombies during the first six months of my campaign (i.e. up to day 183).

Day 59 - Meeting the Media Part 1
This would be a standard Discovery scenario set in the suburbs of Mayhem City during the hours of daylight. Note that any reference to the Better Dead Than Zed rulebook will be abbreviated to BDTZ and any reference to the I, Zombie supplement will be abbreviated to IZ.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, PEFs = 3
Vampifan was going to enter the deli store but he found the door to be locked. Inside, the shop looked deserted so he moved along to the dry cleaning store, with the rest of the team following faithfully behind him.
PEF:1 passed 2d6 on the PEF Movement Table and moved alongside PEF:3 in sector 5.
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, PEFs = 5
PEF:1 again passed 2d6 on the PEF Movement Table and moved into sector 7 at the corner of the dry cleaning store. However, when I rolled on the PEF Resolution Table, it turned out to be a false alarm. Much relief!
This time the door was unlocked and Team Vampifan entered the dry cleaning store. I turned over the top card of my Risks and Rewards deck to reveal no humans, no zombies and no resources.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 5, PEFs = 6
With the PEFs unable to activate, Team Vampifan left the dry cleaners and headed across the road. This brought them in sight of PEF:3, so I rolled to see what it was and got a result of NPC Interaction. I determined that the NPCs were a news team made up of a Rep:4 cameraman and a Rep:3 reporter.
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, News Team = 4, PEF = 5
The PEF was unable to activate so the news team moved towards Team Vampifan.
Team Vampifan approached the news team and introductions were made. The cameraman was called Simon McQuarrie and his young colleague was called Jenny Tyrell. I rolled on the NPC Interaction Table (see p.117 of IZ) with both sides rolling d6 equal to their leader's Rep. This meant 6d6 for Vampifan and 4d6 for McQuarrie. No other modifiers applied to the rolls. After a couple of rounds of rolling Vampifan won 2-0. This gave him a +2 bonus when he rolled 1d6 on the NPC Positive Reaction Table (see p.117 of IZ). I rolled a 4 for Vampifan, which with the +2 bonus, gave him a score of 6. This meant that the news team would hang out with Team Vampifan for the rest of this scenario. I'd rather they joined them on a permanent basis but for that to have happened I'd have had to roll a 6 on the 1d6.
TURN 5.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, PEF = 1
The six humans moved further across the street towards the general store.
 PEF:2 passed 1d6 on the PEF Movement Table and moved into sector 5, taking cover behind the stretch limo. This brought it in sight of Team Vampifan, so I rolled to see what it was on the PEF Resolution Table.
I got a result of Hostile NPCs, or more specifically, zombies. There were six of them but at the moment they were too far away from Team Vampifan to be considered a threat, so no one fired at them.
TURN 6.   Activation - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 3
Team Vampifan reached the front door of the general store, which was unlocked.
The zombies shuffled along the road towards the clearly visible group of humans.
TURN 7.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 5
With the zombies unable to activate this turn, Vampifan led his followers inside the general store. The Risks and Rewards card once again, revealed no humans or zombies inside but there was a Food resource, which Jamie found amongst the mostly empty, looted shelves.
TURN 8.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 4
The six zombies ambled slowly down the road, getting ever closer to the general store.
Vampifan led the way up the stairs at the back of the store.
TURN 9.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 1
As Vampifan entered the living room upstairs, he was confronted by a very tall man with a handlebar moustache and dressed in the uniform of a National Guard Officer. He was a Rep:5 Star, armed with an Assault Rifle and he possessed the Brawler and Nerves of Steel attributes. I rolled on the Meet and Greet Table, rolling 11d6 for Vampifan (6d6 for his Rep and 5d6 for outnumbering the officer by five) and 5d6 for the officer (his Rep). Not surprisingly, Vampifan won by more than two and so the officer would join Team Vampifan permanently. As the Risks and Rewards card revealed, there was a Medical Supplies Resource to be found and Big Sil snaffled it.
The six zombies were now less than six inches away from the general store entrance.
TURN 10.   Actibation - Vampifan = (4) 2, Zombies = (4) 5
After tying for Activation I rolled again and this time the zombies rolled too high to activate. So, Team Vampifan spent this turn getting acquainted with the National Guard officer. He identified himself as Lieutenant Ulysses Catweazle, the only survivor out of his platoon.
Note that Lieutenant Catweazle has appeared in two games of ATZ prior to this encounter, although they were not part of my official campaign when I played them way back in 2009. You can read about his exploits here - and here -
Now that Lieutenant Catweazle has joined Team Vampifan, his two previous scenarios are now canon and they will form part of my ongoing campaign.
TURN 11.   Activation - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 1
Vampifan lead his rapidly expanding team back downstairs, as he continued to chat to Lieutenant Catweazle.
Two of the six zombies entered the general store, with the other four close on their heels.



  1. fantastic as usual, after the last batrep i am feeling the tension. The locked door house rule makes sence, the streach limo looks great, and the dead guy in the little red car was a nice touch, cant wait till wendsday mate

  2. Thanks, Shintokamikaze. I can tell you that the tension was very high throughout this scenario.

  3. I loved the dead guy in the smart car!!! Very nice touch there! How did you make him?

    The zombies from the limo...AM I the only one that thought of the zombies being a former boyband? Hehe....

    The LT will be a great addition to the team, he was pretty good in what he did before AND he has survived so far. That gives him some credit as well being the last of his platoon.

  4. Thanks, Johnny. You can read about how I made the corpse in the red smart car here - He's the fourth figure from the left. I mention in that review that because he'll be lying face down most of the time you won't get to see his guts spilling out of his belly. Well, now you can!

    The idea of the zombies from the limo being a former boyband made me smile but I never thought of that before you mentioned it.

    Lt. Catweazle is an excellent addition to the team. I have high hopes for him.

  5. Thats the guy! Cheers! I thought he was new hehe...

  6. Nice AAR. Where are the News Team from ?

    (and I'm happy to see a "Ulysse" in your campaign since my avatar died each time I play ATZ [3 try now])

  7. @Johnny. You probably didn't recognise him because you can see the front of the figure now. By a happy coincidence he fit in the smart car perfectly, so instead of being a prone corpse he became a seated corpse. It's little touches like this that can bring a game to life.

    @Ulu. The news team were made for a Frothers UK competition and were on sale for a very short period of time. I don't know if anyone is producing these figures under a different name nowadays. If not, that would be a shame.

    My Ulysses has now survived three scenarios and I hope he survives a lot more! Bad luck with your own alter ego. Perhaps, fourth time lucky?

  8. Scenario building up nicely; typicaly though, you introduce a rule and it immediately goes agaimst you ! Terrain looks great with some really good touches (corpses, crashed vehicles etc.)

    @Siwoc "Boy Band" -*titter

    Roll on the next instalment !

  9. Just yesterday I was saying "I sure hope Vampifan posts another batrep soon." And today, viola!

    Hmmm ... I sure hope $1 million falls out of the sky near me.

    Mmmm. Nothing, huh? Oh well, it was worth a shot.

  10. @Joe. It was ironic that the first door Team Vampifan tried to open was locked. Ho-hum! These things happen. I must admit that I enjoy setting scenery up and adding little touches here and there, like the corpse in the smart car , to brimg the board to life.

    All being well, I should post part 2 on Wednesday.

    @Ambassador - The power of positive thinking in action... or maybe not! Or... maybe that million dollars did fall out of the sky near you, but you were looking in the wrong direction! D'oh!

  11. Indeed great batrep so far. I love the guy in the car as well. Looking forward to part 2

  12. Enjoyed this more than the clown game... hmmmm clowns.

    I didn't think Boy Band with the limo, but I did think "I always thought people in limos were mindless zombies" :-P

  13. Thanks, Brummie. The corpse in the car has proved to be quite an attraction.

  14. Another great batrep. I was showing my son Stephen this. He's really impressed with your terrain.

  15. @Shelldrake. I have to agree with your comment about people in stretch limos.

    @Luckyjoe. Say hi and a big thank you to your son for me. I'm really glad that he likes my terrain. Now, when are you going to start him off on playing ATZ?

  16. Great batrep, looking forward to its conclusion. The terrain and little bits here and there are great as usual (Dead guy in car, etc). What did you use for the shelves and walls of the 7-11? Are those WorldWorks products?

    Every time I see your buildings I really want to start "decorating" the inside of mine. I know it'll be a pain, but man, it really brings your games to life!

  17. Another excellent report Vamp. Perhaps seeing that the good l.t, professional soldier that he is, is willing to join with Team Vamp under Vampifans inspired leadership, the two journlists might just have something of a rethink?

  18. Ah, another batrep! I love the picture with all those zeds in front of the limo, but you should have used the bathrobe zombie (studio miniatures) and a lot of zombie chicks with negotiable affection... :o)

    It's a nice touch to see Catweazle again. I really like recurring character's (and don't they all come back in a zombie apocalypse?).

    Whiteface / Oliver

  19. @Confused Dad. The shelf units are indeed WWG products. Some are from the general store kitbash set and others are from the pet store found in the Mayhem Mega Mall set. Let me tell you, making interior detail, like furniture, is a pain. It's time consuming and can become a chore. But, and it is a big but, it is well worth the extra effort, especially if you're going to take the action indoors.

    @Dangerous Brian. I'm hoping Team Vampifan will meet up with the media team again because next time they'll get a bonus modifier for recruiting them due to the fact that their first meeting went so well. If I ever get a media team encounter again in the future I will use this pair again.

    @Oliver. Looks like I missed an opportunity to introduce my zombie strippers, huh?

    Once I saw the stats on the Risks and Rewards card for a Rep:5 Military NPC I knew straight away who I wanted to use. And yes, I agree, it is nice to bring back recurring characters. Personally, I'm looking forward to another meeting with Team Hale, who helped wipe out the Wild Hogs biker gang.

    @Irqan. Great!

  20. As always, great Battle Report.

    The corpse in the car is brilliant, and the scenery is great.

    I really like the 1-5 chance of door being unlocked, it add more tension.

    Looking for the part 2! :D

  21. @Zerloon. Many thanks for the compliments. Not knowing if a door will be locked or not certainly does add to the tension.

  22. Another great report thanks for posting. I love seeing the characters from old missions show back up. That's great for storylines. He's a good addition to the crew.

  23. @Adam. I totally agree with you. It was nice to be able to bring Catweazle back and I think he'll be the perfect replacement for Angie. I have high hopes of how well he'll fare in the future.

  24. Which Meet & Greet table do you prefer, the one in ATZ or the one in IZ? Some of the outcomes with the Meet & Greet in IZ doesn't always seem to fit the situation. For example let's say you meet the National Guard Officer and you roll up "character plots revenge with 1d6 friends outside" and you have 6 zombies outside - it doesn't seem to make sense. Seems like you used the ATZ Meet and Greet Table when you met the national guard officer. What are your thoughts between the two meet & greet tables?

  25. @Kurt. Of the two, I prefer the onr in BDTZ. It is much easier to use and gives you a far greater chance of recruiting an NPC. The table in IZ is probably more realistic but can throw up some odd results like in the example you quoted. To be honest, I don't think the table in IZ is meant to be used during the first year of the outbreak, just like a lot of the rules in IZ. I have a sneaky suspicion that if I used the Meet and Greet table from BDTZ instead of the table in IZ, the news crew would have joined Team Vampifan permanently.

  26. I do like the M&G table in IZ. I have a feeling it was designed more for the Chillin Encounters where the the interaction with NPCs start out peacefully and than can errupt into a gunfight or remain peaceful such as a recruiting the NPC to just moving on. It seems to be a nice way to further the narrative. Otherwise I just use the M&G table from ATZ just because it makes for sense when encountering an NPC in the middle of a battle. I do like the Action and Movement Table with the different NPC motivations - it gives the NPC a little AI. There are some nice rules in IZ.

  27. Fair comment, Kurt. Don't get me wrong. There is much that I like about IZ. The introduction of PEFs was an inspired move in my opinion. I think that the decision about which Meet and Greet table to use ought to depend upon the circumstances of the encounter. Both tables have their merits and drawbacks.

  28. Very cool thus far mate, I have always loved the 'corpses effect' but now your also conjuring up effective playing areas in small spaces, really like the size of your layout and the details, great stuff mate.

  29. Many thanks, The Extraordinarii. Comments like yours are always welcome.

  30. The limo was a bargain, great find and it's awesome to see the store in action!

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