Sunday, 25 October 2009

ATZ:BDTZ Battle Report 02

It's time for part two of my All Things Zombie: Better Dead Than Zed battle report. Part one ended with two of Lieutenant Catweazle's National Guardsmen being taken hostage by a gang of skateboarders. Part two features the rescue mission.
The photo above shows the four heroes of this scenario. From left to right they are Corporal Steven "Shuggy" McGraw, a Rep:4 soldier with the Brawler attribute and armed with an Assault Rifle, Flash Bang Grenades, and a One Handed Weapon (combat knife).
Lieutenant Ulysses Catweazle was the team leader, a Rep:5 Star with the Brawler and Nerves of Steel attributes. He was armed with an Assault Rifle, a Machine Pistol and a One Handed Weapon (combat knife).
Private Angela Ziskin became a Rep:5 veteran at the end of the last scenario. She had the Marksman attribute and was armed with a Bolt Action Rifle and a One Handed Weapon (combat knife). All three soldiers wore concealed body armour.
The fourth member of the team, shown at the far right, was Siobhan O'Hearne, a Rep:4 experienced civilian who was armed with just a Pistol. She joined the team during the first encounter. Before the scenario began, I had to roll on the Keeping it Together table to see if she stayed with the group or left. Catweazle scored twice as many successes as her, meaning that not only would she stay with the group but she didn't need to take the test after the next encounter as well.
The National Guardsmen were Foundry Figures 30mm scale Backstreet Militia figures from their Street Violence range and Siobhan was a survivor from the Cold Wars Miniatures 28mm scale range of The Dead Will Walk.

This was a Raid Encounter, which took place in the suburbs of Mayhem City during the hours of daylight on day 34 after the zombie outbreak. The following special rules had to be followed. There would be no zombies placed on the board at the start or placed in a building when it was being searched. They could only be generated by a loud noise like shooting. There would be 1d6+2 buildings on the board. I rolled a 4 to give me 6 buildings (four semi-detached houses, an armoury and a garage). The team member(s) could be held in any one of them. Whenever the team entered a building they had to roll 1d6. On a result of 1, they would find their colleague(s) there. The colleague(s) would be unarmed but could not activate until contacted by a team member. If the team member was not found before searching the last building he/she/they would be found there.

Prior to turn one, Team Catweazle parked their SUV outside one of the semi-detached houses. They moved out and walked to the side door, with their firearms at the ready.

TURN 1. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A.
The team enter the house but find it empty. No hostages, no gangers. They search it for loot and Ziskin finds a luxury item (an unopened bottle of whiskey). The others find nothing.

TURN 2. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A.
The team leave the house by the front door.

TURN 3. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A.
Walking to the house next door, the team gathered by the front door.

TURN 4. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A
The team entered the house and found it occupied by one ganger - Tony Morley, a Rep:3 punk armed with a Machine Pistol. The hostages were not located here. Rolling on the Enemy Awareness table, the Ganger was caught unaware. This result meant that the heroes got a free turn of activation before he could activate.

TURN 5. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A, Gangers:N/A
Lieutenant Catweazle drew his combat knife and had no trouble in silently killing the ganger. No alarm was raised. Shuggy, Ziskin and Siobhan searched the house for loot and Shuggy found a cache of food.

TURN 6. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A
The team moved out of the house.

TURN 7. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A.
The team crossed the road to the armoury at a normal walking speed.

TURN 8. Activation = Team Catweazle:N/A. Gangers:N/A.
The team entered the armoury and discovered that it was occupied by three gangers. They were Vikky Ross, a Rep:4 banger armed with an SMG (she's standing behind the counter), Quincy Rosenior, another Rep:4 banger armed with an SMG (he's the dude in the blue hooded top), and Billy Beeny, a Rep:4 banger armed with a BA Pistol (he's dressed in the white T-shirt in the photo above). First thing to do was roll on the Enemy Awareness table. This time I rolled a 3 and the Gangers were allowed to make normal In Sight reaction tests. Each one passed 1d6 so they could all snapfire. Vikky went first. She fired her SMG three times at Catweazle and missed with all three shots. Quincy also fired three rounds from his SMG. His target was Shuggy. He hit once and knocked Shuggy down. Billy suffered a spot of bad luck. He rolled snake eyes when he fired at Catweazle. His BA Pistol was out of ammo! Bummer!
Catweazle passed 2d6 on his Received Fire reaction test and was able to snapfire. He chose Quincy as his target and one of his three shots hit the Ganger squarely between the eyes, killing him instantly. Ziskin fired once at Vikky but missed. Now Vikky had to make a Received Fire test. She passed 1d6 and because she was in cover was able to snapfire back. Once again, she missed with all three shots. Even so, it forced Ziskin to take the Received Fire test. Although she passed 2d6, because she was outgunned, she was forced to duck back. The term "duck back"  is a bit misleading as the character ducking back can move in any direction just as long as he can find cover within 6". Ziskin was only 2" away from the ammo shelves to her left so she moved behind them. The final shooting of this turn came from Siobhan, who snapfired her Pistol at Billy. One shot hit and knocked him down. So Shuggy and Billy had to make Recover from Knock Down reaction tests. Shuggy passed 2d6 and was only stunned. He would miss the next turn's activation as he recovered. Billy only passed 1d6 and was out of the fight as he fell into unconsciousness. What an incredibly exciting and action packed turn!
The noise of all the gunfire meant I'd be rolling 17d6 for zombie reinforcements. They would appear on any result of 5-6. Not only that, but the other Gangers were alerted. For the three remaining houses I rolled 2, 1 and 0 for the number of Gangers, meaning that three Gangers would be headed towards the armoury next turn.
Zombie Reinforcements = 6.
TURN 9. Activation = Team Catweazle:5, Vikky's Gangers:4, Josy's Gangers:3, Zombies:2.
Catweazle decided to charge at Vikky. Being a Star, he chose to pass 2d6 on his Wanting to Charge reaction test. Vikky had to make a Being Charged test. She passed 1d6. This meant that although she couldn't fire at Catweazle she could melee with him normally. She stood no chance as Catweazle drew his combat knife and gutted her. She slid to the floor and died, crying for her mum! Siobhan moved to check on Shuggy and Ziskin took Billy's BA Pistol, even though it was empty. Loot was loot and it was finders keepers!

The other three Gangers were led by Josy Alsopp, a Rep:5 head case, armed with two BA Pistols. She emerged from house 3 with Slipknot, a Rep:4 banger armed with a BA Pistol. From house 4 came Whitey, another Rep:4 banger armed with a BA Pistol. Two female zombies appeared at the back of the armoury and homed in on the building.

The other four zombies appeared at the front of the armoury. They too, advanced towards the building.
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN 10. Activation = Team Catweazle:3, Gangers:1, Zombies:6.
The zombies failed to activate this turn and so remained rooted to the spot. Catweazle ordered his team to search the armoury for loot. He found an item of food, whilst Siobhan found some medical supplies. Although the other two found nothing, they did take the SMGs from Vikky and Quincy.

Josy ordered her gang to double move and all three passed 2d6 on their tests. As in the first game I gave the gangers a temporary Athlete attribute if they attempted to double move whilst using their skateboards. This gave them 3d6 to roll instead of 2d6. It was my way of them making good use of their skateboards due to the lack of official rules for skateboards.

Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN 11. Activation = Team Catweazle:4, Gangers:1, Zombies:3.
Catweazle led his team out the back door of the armoury. He immediately took an In sight reaction test and passed 2d6, allowing him to shoot as normal. He'd spotted the two female zombies but knew that Josy with her twin BA Pistols was the greatest threat... and the closest. He fired twice at her with his Assault Rifle. The first shot hit and killed her outright. This forced Slipknot and Whitey to take the Leader Lost test. Both passed 2d6 and came to a halt. They would chose a new leader when they were next active, assuming they would still be alive. Shuggy only passed 1d6 on his In Sight test and he snapfired three times at Slipknot, the closest enemy. Only one shot hit and it caused an Out of the Fight result. Ziskin passed 2d6 on her In Sight test and she opted to shoot the slim zombie female. She hit and killed it with consumate ease. Siobhan also passed 2d6 on her In Sight test, but being a civilian was forced to snapfire. As a consequence her two shots at the fat zombie female missed.

It was the zombies' turn to activate. The four at the front of the armoury reached the front door. The fat female zombie at the back decided that Catweazle looked like the tastiest treat - well, he was the tallest! Being a Star, Catweazle was allowed to choose how many dice he'd like to pass on the Being Charged reaction test. Not surprisingly, he chose to pass 2d6 and thus was able to fire before the zombie reached him. One shot was all it took to put the fat zombie down permanently.
This left the Gangers to activate and only Whitey remained standing. He only managed to pass 1d6 on his In Sight reaction test and so his two shots at Catweazle were snapfired. He missed with both of them. Again, Catweazle showed what an advantage it is to be a Star and chose to pass his Recieved Fire test with 2d6. He fired back. His single shot hit Whitey and knocked him down. Sadly for Whitey, he failed to make his Recover from Knock Down test and became obviously dead. This was another intense and exciting turn! I was having a great time!
Zombie Reinforcements = 4.

TURN 12. Activation = Team Catweazle:5, Zombies:4.
Catweazle led his team at the double along the path between the skateboard park and the basketball court. All four passed their tests with 2d6.

Of the four new zombie reinforcements, one arrived in the centre of the skateboard park, one in the basketball court and two in the narrow passage between the armoury and the basketball court (these two don't appear in any of my photos - an oversight on my part!). The four zombies at the front of the armoury entered the building and discovered two fresh corpses and one unconscious human. It was time to feast! I rolled to see how long the feast would last and scored a 4 on the 1d6. I'm not too sure if I shouldn't have rolled 1d6 for each victim or just the once for all three. Either way, it made no difference to the outcome of the game.
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN:13. Activation = Team Catweazle:2, Zombies:5.
Having only Reps of 4, the zombies again failed to activate. Catweazle and his team entered house number three, and it was here that they found their two colleagues, Corporal Perry Kroeger (Rep:4) and Private Carrie Bryce (Rep:3). They searched the house for loot and Ziskin and Kroeger both found food supplies.
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN 14. Activation = Team Catweazle:2, Zombies:4.
The four zombies in the armoury continued feasting. The zombie in the skateboard park found Whitey and began feasting on the fresh corpse. This feast would last for four turns. The two zombies on the path between the armoury and the basketball court stumbled across the corpses of Josy and Slipknot. Yummy! They too began feasting and decided to take things real slow as their Feast lasted for 6 turns. The zombie in the basketball court moved towards the house he'd just seen four humans enter.
Catweazle ordered to his team to move at the double out of the house. He, Shuggy and Ziskin passed 2d6 and thus moved 16", the others only passed 1d6 and so moved 12". Both of which were better than the normal move rate of 8".
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN 15. Activation = Team Catweazle:4, Zombies:2.
Once again, Catweazle ordered everyone to move as fast as they could. This time the four members of the team made double moves but Bryce and Ziskin only passed 1d6 and so moved at 1.5 their normal rate.
The zombie in the basketball court spotted them and headed towards the entrance/exit. The other zombies continued feasting.
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

TURN 16. Activation = Team Catweazle:4, Zombies:3.
The team reached the SUV together with a combination of normal moves and double moves. The zombie mime exited the basketball court but stood no chance of catching any of the team before they left. So it was game over, as the other zombies continued their gruesome feast.
Zombie Reinforcements = N/A.

I enjoyed playing part two just as much as part one. Combat in ATZ is very different to combat in most other games that adopt the I go, you go system. Have a good look at how the combat was handled in turns 8 and 11. ATZ uses a system of reactions that I found refreshingly different. If you never played any Two Hours Wargame before (they all use the same game mechanic) then it can be a bit hard to get your head around this radically new concept. Fortunately, the rulebook makes life very easy with lots of examples of how things work. I hope my own two battle reports have helped as well.
All that was left to do was to roll for improving Rep. Catweazle, Shuggy and Ziskin were eligible to roll. Siobhan wasn't because she failed to kill any zombies in this encounter. To my amazement and delight, Catweazle and Shuggy both rolled higher than their Reps and thus became Rep:6 and Rep:5 respectively. I had to roll for the other three (Siobhan, Kroeger and Bryce) to see if their Reps dropped a level. Sadly for Kroeger he rolled a 1 and so dropped to Rep:3.
I do hope you enjoyed reading these two battle reports as much as I enjoyed playing them and writing about them. I am hoping to run more ATZ games next year. Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Hey Buddy, another great read. Sounds like fun :)

    Question, at one point you rolled 17d6 and only got a few Zombies as a result, how did that work?

    The National Guard team seemed to have a fairly easy time of it, is that how it normally goes? Don't get me wrong I am all for players having a great game and surviveing, just seemed a little easy for them. Is that how it felt to you. I lay to run the games at my local club and your Bat Reps are helping tremendously.

    You carnt leave it untill next year!!!! How will I cope?



  2. Hi Neil. Glad you enjoyed the bat rep. You asked about me rolling 17d6 and I only got 6 zombie reinforcements. How that worked is mentioned in the report but I'll explain it again here. For each d6 you roll a zombie will appear if you roll a 5 or a 6 in a suburban setting (you need to roll a 6 if in a rural setting or a 4,5 or 6 if in an urban setting.) So the odds were that 1/3 of my rolls would result in a zombie appearing and that is exactly what happened. You see 17d6 and automatically assume you're going to get lots of zombie reinforcements. Uh-uh, not unless you roll really high.

    The National Guard did well for a number of reasons. First up, Military types are the best characters in the game. They have access to the best weapons, automatically get body armour and their reaction results are far better than anyone else's. I'd never played a game using the military before and was keen to see how they worked. If I'd chosen any other character types they would have found the encounters a lot harder. Notice in the reports how Siobhan the civilian did not fare as well as the others with her reaction results. So the soldiers had a clear advantage from the start.
    Secondly, both games took place during the hours of daylight, which is the safest time for humans to venture out. Night time encounters are a lot tougher.
    Thirdly, the game took place in a suburb, which offers a moderate challenge. Games set in a rural environment tend to be a cakewalk for the humans, whilst games set in an urban environment can turn deadly very quickly as you get swamped by zombies. For my first game I chose the middle ground - not too easy and not too difficult.
    All in all the games went pretty much to plan but I did not expect Team Kroeger to do so badly in the first encounter. They had some appaling bad luck, which resulted in two of them being captured and the third shot dead. You couldn't say that the National Guard had it all their own way. I have to say that these two games have whetted my appetite for more ATZ. I'm hoping the Lazarus Project supplement will be out by the time I run my next encounter. Patience, young padawan, patience!

  3. Ahhh that explains a lot, my comparison was the previous game where things didn't seem to go to plan. The whole number of Zombies rlled seems to be fun and reflect the area they are in, take in to consideration the time od day etc I see how it works. That great much more envolved than I thought. Although with me dice rolling the players better watch out, I roll some mean dice :)

    I'll start reading ATZ tomorrow.

  4. Sorry about my typing there, was distracted by the little one and I have a 'sticky' keyboard at home, the one at the office is much nicer 'sigh'!

  5. No worries, Neil. I'm glad to see you're finally understanding how ATZ works. Once you fully grasp the rule system it is an excellent game. Bear in mind I played quite a few games using the original ATZ rules so when the ATZ:BDTZ came out I had no problem in working everything out. If ever you have a rules query just ask me and I'll do my best to help you out. Have fun reading ATZ. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Once again, thanks for your support and comments.

  6. Read the rules, they seem prity straight forward, made me laugh at a few things, there is a sense of humour in the way they are written and designed. Also like some of the things thay have added to give that more 'movie' style to the games. I look forward to haveing a bash with them ASAP, sadly have a different game planned tomorrow night.

    I sopke to the club about having a game and in a week 6 boxes of Zombies were ordered from various members from Wargames factory, they look a bit nasty (sculpt wise) but should give us 144 Zombies to start with. I plan to add the Studio Miniatures range to my collection as finances permit.

    So I will take you up on the Rules advice, so stand by your keyboard...


  7. I'm not surprised you enjoyed reading the ATZ rulebook - they are a lot of fun. Can I ask you if you are on Facebook or a member of the Forum of Doom? I'm on both and if you want to contact me on a regular basis that should be better than posting comments here all the time. Not that I object to anyone posting comments on my blog site. Heck I wish more people would! If you are on either FB or the FoD, my user name is Bryan Scott and Vampifan respectively. I use them both to keep in regular contact with some of my other followers. This offer applies to any one else who wants to chat on a regular basis. I'm online just about everyday so you should never have long to wait for a reply.

  8. Hi Bryan, I tried to add you to FB but there are a gazillion Bryan Scott's any other info so I can track you down? My better half is all FB mad not me....

    I am on Frothers and Steve Dean as 'Carabus' if that helps or add Neil Harries from the West Midlands on FB

    Neil :)

  9. Neil, I've sent you a Facebook invite... at least I hope it's you. In you portrait are you wearing combat gear and holding a rifle? That was the only Neil Harries I could find from the West Midlands.
    I'm on Frothers as well, although I rarely visit it. I much prefer the Forum of Doom, where the conversation is more, ahem, refined and intellectual. On Frothers, my user name is yet again - Vampifan.
    There are 100s of Bryan or Brian Scott's on Facebook. I know bwcause one from America contacted me out of the blue saying he wanted to make friends with every Brian or Bryan Scott on Facebook. His name was Brian Scott. I'm Bryan Scott from Gateshead and my portrait shows me holding my pet cat Wiskee (now sadly dead). We ought to have got hooked up by this evening with any luck.

  10. Great buildings. They are beautifully rendered and the interiors are fully detailed. This also shows how furniture can be used to authenticate the feel without interfering with gaming.

    Your layout is great! How did you decide the placement of buildings?

    I'm assuming you have a lot more buildings. How did you decide which buildings to use?