I decided to give the ATZ:Haven supplement a rest for this scenario and go back to basics with a simple Discover scenario from The ATZ:BDTZ rulebook. Although I have played this scenario many times, this would be the first time I'd played it with Vampifan and his friends. Instead of using the Discover: Who They Are table on p.41, I'd be using the new Risks and Rewards cards for the first time. I've been keen to use them ever since I bought them.
DAY 10 - ANGIE
This scenario took place in a suburban area of Mayhem City during the early hours of Day 10 just after sunrise.
The game board measured 3' by 3' and only had four buildings worth exploring - a garage, a warehouse, a general store and an office block. I did not class the burned out ruins or basketball court as being worthy of exploration. Three cars were parked at the far side of the warehouse, hidden from view from this angle and there was a van parked outside the front of the general store.
Vampifan parked his pick-up truck next to the garage just prior to the game starting. I had to roll 3d6 (1d6 per human because this was a suburban area) to see how many zombies would be placed on the board (see p.29). I scored 10. Four zombies appeared by the front door of the warehouse, two in the basketball court and one at the top end of the basketball court, behind the hoop but concealed from view by the wire fence. You'll see the other three zombies very soon.
Vampifan, Big Sil and Gap got out of the vehicle to explore the garage first, but because the shutters were down and locked in place, they would have to gain entry via the back door.
And here are the three remaining zombies, lurking at the back of the garage. In this batrep, I won't be explaining the rules in great detail as you should have a good idea of how everything works by now, especially if you've been reading previous batreps. Okay, lights, camera, action! Let's roll!
TURN 1. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 6
An excellent start as the zombies failed to activate. Team Vampifan cautiously strode down the alleyway at the side of the garage.
"I've got these two," Vampifan said confidently as he brought his semi-automatic rifle to bear on the two zeds by the burnt out car. His first shot blew the brains out of the female zombie but his second shot missed the male zombie's head by a few inches.
"Bumfudge!" Vampifan swore at his poor accuracy.
"Hold fire, Sil," Gap ordered as he raised his Big Ass Magnum Pistol and fired in one smooth motion. The bullet struck the zombie standing by the garage's back door in the left eye and blew half his head off.
"Nice shooting, Gap," Big Sil acknowledged.
With three shots being fired this turn I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements. Only one appeared thanks to this taking place in the suburbs and not an urban area as in previous encounters. Just to remind you, zombies only appear on a roll of 5 or 6 when in the suburbs.
TURN 2. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 2
So much for the good start! The male zombie who Vampifan failed to hit last turn charged at his attacker. Being a Star, Vampifan chose to pass 2d6 on the Being Charged test and he fired once just before the zombie reached him. Although his shot hit, it was just a chest wound. The zombie went down but was still a threat.
The other zombies on the board homed in on the entrance to the alleyway between the garage and the warehouse. The female zombie at the back of the pick-up truck was the new arrival. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements but none turned up.
TURN 3. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = (4) 4, Zombies (4) 5
Big Sil and Gap moved into the garage, where they discovered a single zombie dressed in a mechanic's overalls. It seemed likely that he used to work here. I've shown the Risks and Rewards card that I drew in the above photo. If Big Sil and Gap defeated the zombie they would be rewarded with a cache of food, as shown in the bottom left corner of the card. I randomly determined who the zombie would attack and he went for Gap. Gap won the Being Surprised test (see p.44) and was able to fire at the zombie before it charged. Alas, he missed and so melee ensued. This time, Gap used his pistol as a club and he stove in the zombie's skull. For a Rep:3 Grunt, Gap was off to a flying start with two zombie kills under his belt already.
Vampifan drew his combat knife as he walked over to the prone zombie. With one stab he plunged it into the zombie's skull. Now the zombie was no longer a threat.
One thing that the Risks and Rewards cards do not mention is who gets the loot? If there is more than one person searching a room, do you choose randomly or just pick a hero? Gap could claim that he should claim the loot because he defeated the zombie. Big Sil could make a counter claim and say he found the loot whilst Gap was fighting. What to do? I decided to let the dice decide and they voted in Gap's favour. Again I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements and again, none appeared.
TURN 4. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 4
Eight zombies gathered around the entrance to the side alley. Vampifan wiped the blood off his combat knife and his two friends congratulated themselves on such a fine start to the day. There were no zombie reinforcements to dice for.
TURN 5. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 2
The zombies began shuffling down the alley, their moans increasing in volume as they caught the scent of fresh blood.
Vampifan sheathed his combat knife and stepped closer to the burnt out car to get a better look at the approaching zombies. He fired two shots with his rifle. The first shot hit and killed the female zombie leading the group of undead. His second shot was a complete miss. Big Sil and Gap also moved to the burnt out car to join with Vampifan. Gap's good luck at killing zombies ran out when he fluffed his single shot, firing far too high.
Big Sil's Machine Pistol spat out a three round burst. He hit and killed two more zombies at the front of the horde. With 6d6 to roll for zombie reinforcements, the law of averages stated that two should turn up, and indeed, they did. Both appeared just outside the basketball court.
TURN 6. ACTIVATION - Vampifan (1) 2, Zombies (1) 4
A double 1 for Activation meant a random event. I rolled 2d6 on the Random Occurence table on p.52 and scored a 6. This was an anticlimax as the chosen event said "if using a vehicle and left it parked, you left the keys in the ignition." Handy if Vampifan wanted to make a quick getaway but not so good if someone decided to steal the vehicle.
The four remaining zombies from the mini-horde moved out of the alley but were too far away from Team Vampifan to get up close and personal. The two new zombie arrivals approached the alley entrance, attracted by the sounds of gunfire.
Team Vampifan repeated their firing procedure from last turn and again they killed four zombies, with Vampifan bagging two and his friends scoring one a piece. The Easy to Hit rule (see p.34) certainly helped them greatly! I rolled 6d6 for zombie reinforcements and with no dice scoring higher than a 3, none appeared. How incredible!
TURN 7. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 5
Vampifan ordered Big Sil to take out the last zombie from the mini-horde with his combat knife. With big Sil rolling 6d6 against the zombie's 1d6 it should have been an easy kill... but it wasn't. Here's how the combat went. Big Sill scored three successes out of six and the zombie scored one success. Both sides rolled again. this time Big Sil scored one success out of three and the zombie also scored a success. Now both sides were evenly matched rolling 1d6 each. Both sides scored a single success. This was one tough zombie! The fight could go either way but luckily for Big Sil he scored another success and this time the zombie failed. This is the reason my friend LTL Dad hates melee combat. Even though the dice were stacked in Big Sil's favour at the start, he very nearly came a cropper! Take heed, everyone!
Vampifan and Gap fired a shot each at the two zombies standing at the entrance to the alley. Vampifan hit and killed his target but Gap missed again. Because the zombies failed to activate this turn, the remaining zombie just glared at Gap. Rolling 2d6 for zombie reinforcements, one appeared across the road at the corner of the basketball court closest to the board's edge.
TURN 8. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 4.
The zombie by the basketnall court crossed the road to the back of Vampifan's pick-up truck. The other zombie attempted to charge Vampifan. Bad move! Vampifan chose to pass 2d6 on the Being Charged test and shot the zombie in the head before he could reach him. On his turn he took two steps and fired once at the last remaining zombie. Again, his shooting was deadly accurate and the zombie dropped to the ground with a small hole in his forehead and a massive hole in the back of his head. Vampifan continued his movement towards the warehouse entrance.Gap and Big Sil followed.
I rolled 2d6 for zombie reinforcements and was delighted to see them come up double 4. No new zombies!
TURN 9. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 1
Although there were no more zombies left on the board I still had to roll for their activation in case I rolled double 1 or 6, indicating a random event. Team Vampifan moved to the warehouse entrance.
TURN 10. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 2
Unable to activate this turn, Vampifan listened for any sounds coming from inside the warehouse. All was quiet but that didn't mean it wasn't occupied.
TURN 11. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 6
Vampifan entered the warehouse first, with Gap and Big Sil close behind him. I turned over the next card in my Risks and Rewards deck and it indicated there would be one zombie in the room (thank goodness this wasn't in an urban area, otherwise Team Vampifan would be facing 5 zombies!) and the reward was Meds (medical supplies) - very handy!
The zombie would attack Vampifan as he was the closest and most obvious target. I rolled so badly for the zombie on the Meeting Zombies test (see p.44) that whatever Vampifan rolled would beat the zombie's result. This gave him the chance to shoot the zombie first, but unfortunately, he missed with his single shot. Now he was forced to use his rifle as a club. Spurred on by his fury at missing such a simple shot, he bashed in the zombie's skull with his rifle butt.
Again, I let the dice decide who found the loot and was delighted that Vampifan was the lucky one. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements but none appeared.
TURN 12. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 4
This was such a big building that I ruled it would count as two locations for the purpose of finding loot, humans and/or zombies. Whilst Vampifan and Gap checked out the medical supplies, Big Sil moved to the foot of the stairs to check out the office (location 2).
TURN 13. ACTIVATION - Vampifan =1, Zombies = 3
As Big Sil entered the office upstairs, I turned over another card from the Risks and Rewards deck. As you can see, this one turned up with nothing. No humans, no zombies and no loot. Bummer!
TURN 14. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 5
Big Sil reported his lack of success to Vampifan and Gap, disappointment clear in his voice.
TURN 15. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 6
The trio of Survivors moved to the warehouse entrance.
TURN 16. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = (5) 1, Zombies = (5) 3
Team Vampifan crossed the road to the corner of the burned down building.
TURN 17. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 4
As the three Survivors approach the store, they speculated on the significance of the van parked outside. Was the van occupied? Did it mean that there were humans inside the store? Or had it just been abandoned like a lot of other vehicles?
TURN 18. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 2
It must have been absorbing converstion as it caused the team to stop for a while.
TURN 19. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 4
Vampifan, Big Sil and Gap arrived at the entrance to the General Store and cautiously peered inside. No one was in sight but that did not mean the building was unoccupied.
TURN 20. ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 2
As soon as Team Vampifan entered the building I turned over a new Risks and Rewards card. It showed a lone survivor armed with a Shotgun but no loot. The survivor was Rep:5 and I rolled for her and Vampifan on the Meet and Greet table (see p.45) to see if she was friendly or hostile. As Vampifan was a Star, he could have bypassed this test and gone straight to the Walk the Walk test (see p.46) to instigate a gunfight. I did not want him to do that when there was a chance of recruiting this newcomer. Both sides had to roll dice equal to their Reps and count any rolls of 1, 2 or 3 as a success and any rolls of 4, 5 or 6 as a failure, just like in Melee Combat. Vampifan gained a +2d6 bonus for having two more figures than the opposition, so he rolled 6d6 and the unknown female rolled 5d6. Vampifan scored 4 successes, whilst the female could only manage 1. They had to keep on rolling until either or both scored zero successes. Vampifan then scored 2 successes out of 4, whilst the female scored none. Vampifan had won the contest by two successes and so the female agreed to join Vampifan's team.
Introductions were made. The Survivor was called Angelina Johannson, but insisted on being called Angie. She used to part of a biker gang and got into all sorts of mischief but when a police SWAT team ambushed her gang, she was the only biker to escape the bloody gunfight. Although she was a Ganger, she now classed herself as a Survivor. Big Sil's eyes lit up when he heard she was a biker as he too used to ride in a bike gang. Was this love at first sight? It certainly looked like it!
With no resources to be found here, this seemed like a good time to end the game. Once again, the team chickened out of searching that large office block, but why risk further danger? The board was clear of zombies and whilst Vampifan and Gap headed back to the pick-up truck, Big Sil offered to ride pillion on Angie's bike, which was parked nearby, and they would follow Vampifan.
Now that Angie was a member of the team I rolled 2d6 to see what Attribute she possessed (see p.7). I rolled a 9, which was not good, as it meant she was either a Wuss (1-3) or a Runt (4-6). A further roll of 4 revealed she was a Runt, which meant she'd subtract 1d6 when in melee. Given that she would usually start with 5d6 in melee, this was more of an inconvenience than anything else.
So, onto the most important part of the scenario - dicing for Rep increases. Both Vampifan and Gap were eligible but not Big Sil, as he failed to find any resources. I rolled a 5 for Vampifan and a 4 for Gap - both had succeeded by one point. Oh, great joy! Even though Big Sil did not get the chance to increase his Rep, I know that he'd agree that he gained the most from this scenario - a soulmate called Angie. All together now - aaah!
It was only recently that I noticed the pictures that I took inside the General Store did not show very clearly what Angie looked like, so I took this group shot a few days ago to show the team together. The figure that I'm using for Angie is an EM4 28mm scale Female Biker and was sculpted by Mark Copplestone. She's from the same range as Big Sil. The logo on Angie's T-shirt is extremely rude. It says "F*ck off and die." My friend, Neil, on whom Big Sil is based, used to use the Big Sil and Angie figures as his player characters in a few RPGs I ran in the 1980's and 1990's. It was he who asked me to paint Angie the way you see her now and I was only too happy to oblige. Angie is not the kind of woman you'd want to take home to meet your parents!
Just to recap, Vampifan is now a Rep:5 Survivor armed with a Semi-Automatic Rifle and a Combat Knife. He has the Nerves of Steel and Slow Attributes. Gap is now a Rep:4 Survivor armed with a Big Ass Pistol. He has no Attribute. Big Sil remains a Rep:4 Survivor and is armed with a Machine Pistol and a Combat Knife. He has the Knifeman Attribute. Angie is a Rep:5 Survivor armed with a Shotgun. She has the Runt Attribute.
I hadn't a clue what to call this scenario, so I decided to play it and see what happened as something was sure to spark an idea in my head. It did, but I had to wait a long time for it to happen. Once Angie agreed to join the team I had my scenario title. As always I'd love your comments. I'm particularly interested in your views on who should get the credit for finding loot if you use the Risks and Rewards cards if more than one person is searching a room.
Before I leave, just a heads up to all ATZ fans, the new supplement "I, Zombie" is now on sale at the THW website. I've already ordered my copy. A review will most certainly follow soon.