Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My ATZ Campaign - Day 21 - Blackout part 1

Team Vampifan had kept a low profile since their last encounter with a zombie horde. In the following week, Mayhem City descended into the depths of Hell. The urban areas were totally abandoned to the zombies. Some local areas were secured but at the cost of individual freedom. Areas in between became totally lawless and gangs of individuals staked their claim to their own little part of the world. A company of US Army soldiers patrolling close to where Team Vampifan had temporarily holed up forced them back on the road. Night had fallen and they still hadn't found anywhere safe to spend the hours of darkness. As they drove around the suburbs of Mayhem City, the whole area was suddenly plunged into darkness as another blackout occured. Such incidents were happening more and more often. Big Sil mentioned that a power station was close by, so they parked their pick-up truck and bikes and proceeded towards the building on foot.
This scenario was played on a 3' by 3' board, divided into 9 one foot square sections, with section 1 at the top left corner and moving down from left to right  to section 9 in the bottom right corner. I noticed in my past batreps that my roads were far too devoid of traffic. There should be a lot more crashed and abandoned vehicles about as the zombie outbreak gripped Mayhem City, so I rectified that slip-up in this scenario
The power station in the centre of the board is a scratchbuilt building using the walls from Games Workshop's Necromunda game. The small grey building behind it is an Ebbles medium sized Folding Unit Structure or a prefabricated building as we call them in the UK. I've only just recently made it. Reviews of both will follow soon.
The large ruined building, which I haven't shown before, came from Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 Imperial City set and is based on the Sanctum Imperialis model.
Team Vampifan began the game in sector 8, just across the road from the power station. Just to remind you, all were armed with Assault Rifles and all wore concealed Body Armour. Vampifan, Big Sil and Angie were Rep:5, whilst Gap was still only Rep:4.
I rolled for the Rep and placement of the three PEFs.
PEF:1 was Rep:2 and began play in the small park in sector 3.
PEF:3 was Rep:3 and appeared amidst the ruins of the big building in sector 6.
PEF:2 was Rep:1 and appeared in sector 5, which placed it inside the power station. Note the corpses, something else I felt was missing from previous batreps. They have no affect on play but they add to the ambience of the setting.

DAY 21 - Blackout part 1
There was only one special rule for this scenario. Because it took place at night during a blackout, visibility or Line of Sight, was reduced to 12". Unbeknownst to Team Vampifan, this was the night that the US Government launched Project Lazarus. However, the results of that fiasco would have no bearing on this encounter.
I rolled for lack of sleep for each member of Team Vampifan. Vampifan and Big Sil had slept for 8 hours during the past 24 hours and were fine. Angie had only slept for 4 hours and Gap for 6 hours. Both had to take the test. Angie passed 2d6 and Gap passed 1d6, meaning both were fine.
TURN 1.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 5, PEFs = 4
To get all the way across the road, Team Vampifan had to make Fast Moves. They all made it okay, even Vampifan who has the Slow Attribute. I've just noticed that I forgot to add my Fast Move counters behind the figures. Oh well, too late now! The heroes noticed a male corpse lying just outside the power station. Both of his legs were missing. From the trail of blood he had left behind, it looked like he had crawled from out of the power station. He also appeared to be only recently dead.
TURN 2.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 6, PEFs = 4
The dice rolls meant that no one could activate this turn. However, it did give Team Vampifan the chance to have a closer look at the legless corpse and they confirmed that he was a fresh kill.
TURN 3.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 4, PEFs = 6
Team Vampifan entered the darkened power station and immediately noticed more corpses strewn about the place. They also came in sight of PEF:2, which had to be resolved before I could draw a card from my Risks and Rewards deck. The PEF was determined to be Hostile NPCs, or more specifically, zombies. I rolled to see how many of them there should be and got a result of one more than the players, i.e. five. The leaders of both sides had to roll against their Reps on the Encounter Awareness Test table. Vampifan suffered a -1d6 penalty for being active and the zombie suffered a -1d6 penalty for being a zombie. Both sides passed 2d6, which meant that the inactive side should take an In Sight test with 2d6. However, the inactive side were the zombies, who never take any reaction tests, so they charged instead.
I rolled to see who out of Team Vampifan would be facing two zombies and it turned out to be Vampifan himself. Both sides had to roll for surprise as per the Meeting Zombies rule (see p.44 of BDTZ). The zombies rolled first and scored a 4 on 1d6, to which 5 was added for their numbers to give a total of 9. Vampifan rolled a 5, which added to his Rep score gave a total of 10. He could open fire on his assailants. With results of 8, 7 and 6 respectively, Big Sil, Angie and Gap failed to beat the zombie score and thus had to engage them in melee combat.
Vampifan fired a three round burst at the two zombies he was facing. He hit and killed them both, despite not being able to use the Easy To Hit rule because the zombies charged him. With an Impact rating of 3, Assault Rifles have 50%  chance of killing zombies and I rolled low for Vampifan both times.
Big Sil easily won his fight, scoring three successes to the zombie's zero. Scratch one zombie!
Angie took a lot longer to kill her zombie assailant. In the first round of combat she scored three successes and the zombie scored one. Next round, she scored two successes and the zombie scored none. Her opponent was Obviously Dead.
Gap got lucky. He only managed one success, but his opponent scored no successes and ended up Obviously Dead.
With the PEF successfully dealt with, I turned over the top card of my Risks and Rewards deck. It revealed no humans or zombies, but one resource - a set of keys. They belonged to the blue van parked outside the front door. I rolled to see who found them and it was Angie who got lucky.
All that remained to do was to roll 3d6 for zombie reinforcements. One turned up by the crashed car at the front of the big ruined building.
TURN 4.   ACTIVATION - Vampifan = 1, PEFs = 2, Zombies = 4
The zombie child shuffled closer to the power station front entrance.
Next to activate were the PEFs. I rolled for PEF:3 first as it had the higher Rep. I rolled 2d6 on the PEF Movement table and scored two successes. This meant that it moved one section towards the largest group of players, which placed it inside the power station.Rolling on the PEF Resolution table, I rolled result B: NPC Interaction. Rolling to see who they were and how many they were I determined that they were four Survivors and I decided to make them a SWAT team who had not gone rogue. They were on a mission to see why the power station had gone down in this part of Mayhem City. All of them were Rep:5 and all wore Body Armour. Three of them, including the team leader, were armed with Assault Rifles and BA Pistols. The fourth member toted a Shotgun and BA Pistol. (The figures I used for the SWAT team are from West Wind's Road Kill range.) 
Now that I knew who they were I had to roll on the NPC Interaction Table (see p. 117 of IZ). Both sides rolled 5d6 for the Rep of their leaders. No modifiers applied. Vampifan scored two successes and the SWAT leader scored three successes. This meant that the SWAT leader would roll again, using the NPC Negative Reaction Table (see p.118 of IZ). He rolled 1d6 and had a +1 modifier for beating Vampifan by one in the previous roll off. He scored a total of 6, meaning he became angry with Vampifan, and decided that a fistfight was the only way to resolve their differences.
Both characters rolled on the Draw Down Table (see p.119 of IZ) with no modifiers applying to either side. Rolling against their Rep scores, Vampifan managed just one success, whilst the SWAT leader scored four successes. With his superior fighting skills, he "cold cocked" Vampifan and knocked him Out Of the Fight. If ever the two met again in the future, the SWAT leader would regard Vampifan as a "hated enemy," which would have an adverse affect on further NPC Interaction tests.
With Vampifan being OOF, his colleagues had to take the Leader Lost test. All three passed 2d6 and Big Sil stepped up to take the leadership reins. That encounter most certainly did not pan out as I thought it might!
It was now time to roll for PEF:1 on the PEF Movement Table. It scored one success, which moved it one sector to the nearest group of players. This meant placing it just behind the SWAT team by the right hand rear door. As I rolled on the PEF Resolution Table, I was hoping for a result of 4, 5 or 6, indicating a false alarm. However, I rolled a 3, indicating Hostile NPCs. This time they turned out to be human, Gangers to be precise. There were six of them, lead by a Rep:5 Hard Case armed with an Assault Rifle. His colleagues were four Rep:4 Bangers, two of whom were armed with Shotguns, one who carried an SMG and one who held a BA Pistol. The sixth Ganger was a Rep:3 Punk armed with an SMG. (The leader was an eM4 Biker wearing a WW2 German helmet. The Banger armed with the BA Pistol was a figure I had sculpted myself and the remaining four were from West Wind's Redneck Militia pack.) They were not happy at seeing Team Vampifan, hoping the place would be deserted, but even less happy at seeing cops. This was about to get very messy!
I was faced with a situation not covered in the rules - a three way face-off between hostile humans. I decided to treat it as a two way encounter but rolled an extra dice for the third party on the Encounter Awareness Table. The three leaders rolled against their Reps (all Rep:5) with the Gangers suffering a -1d6 penalty for being active. Big Sil and the Ganger leader scored three successes but the SWAT leader scored four successes. The SWAT team were allowed to take an In Sight test using 2d6. However, they only passed 1d6, so all of their shooting would count as snapfiring. This made a big difference to the outcome!
The SWAT leader fired a three round burst at the Ganger leader and missed with every shot!
The first of the other two Assault Rifle armed troopers fired a three round burst at two Rep:4 Gangers. He hit and killed one of them who was armed with a Shotgun but missed with his other two shots.
The second Assault Rifle armed SWAT Trooper also fired a three round burst at two Gangers. His first shot hit the Rep:3 Punk and knocked him Out Of the Fight. His other two shots missed.
The SWAT Trooper armed with the Shotgun had better luck in that he hit two Rep:4 Gangers (one with the BA Pistol and one with an SMG). However, he only knocked them down. They both passed 2d6 on the Recover From Knockdown test and were only stunned.
That left the Ganger leader and one of the Shotgun armed Gangers standing. They had to take the Received Fire Test and both passed 2d6, which allowed them to snapfire. Not surprisingly, they chose to shoot at the SWAT Troopers. The Gang leader fired a three round burst at the SWAT leader. He hit him once and knocked him Out Of the Fight.
The Ganger with the Shotgun let rip and hit the two cops armed with Assault Rifles. One was killed outright and the other just knocked down. He only passed 1d6 on the Recover From Knockdown Test, which would have put him OOF but because he wore Body Armour, he was only stunned.
This triggered a Leader Lost test to be taken by the surviving SWAT Trooper. He passed 2d6 and by default, became the new leader.
This action packed turn was far from over. It was now time for Team Vampifan to activate and it would be an understatement to say they were well pissed off! They moved a couple of steps to get a closer look at who was left standing. Big Sil sought vengeance on Vampifan's behalf and fired a single shot from his Assault Rifle in the back of the last standing SWAT Trooper.
"Payback!" he snarled as the trooper crashed to the ground, seriously wounded and Out Of the Fight.
Angie fired a three round burst at the Gang Leader, hitting him once and putting him Out Of the Fight as well.
Gap also fired a three round burst, aiming for the last opponent standing - the Ganger with a Shotgun. He hit once but then ran out of ammo. Fortunately, his shot placed the Ganger Out Of the Fight. 
After the gunsmoke had cleared, Big Sil, Angie and Gap were the only folk left standing. A total of 31 shots had been fired in this one turn - a record for me! Note that I deliberately omitted my bullet counters from the photos above as there simply wasn't enough space left to include them.
All that remained to do this turn was to roll 31d6 for zombie reinforcements. Thank God this was only in a suburban area and not an urban location! I scored 11 successes, which was about par for the course. Six zombies appeared to the back and right side of the power station.
Another three (all zombie children) appeared across the road to the left of the building.
And finally, two more appeared at either side of the taxi left abandoned opposite the front of the power station, within sight of the little girl zombie.



  1. Whoa, what a tense situation!
    Hope Vampi gets back on his feet!

  2. Who could have predicted Vampifan getting the crap beaten out of him by a SWAT Sergeant?

  3. Just incredible! Why is Team Vampifan still alive?! I can't believe that you weren't running away from that shootout.

    Will you use the regular rules to decide if this is a successful mission or will you have to repair the power generator?

    Oh, and I love the blue interior painting. Looks like a special dimmed lighting at night.

    My enemy's enemy enemy as well.
    Whiteface / Oliver

  4. Awesome! Mayhem city is living up to it's name! Looking forward to part 2...

  5. @Oliver. There's a simple reason why Team Vampifan didn't run away from that gunfight - when they did get round to activating they could indeed have ran but at that point they were only facing three humans, all of whom had activated and more importantly, if Team Vampifan opened fire, their shots would NOT count as snapfiring. The snapfiring rule meant that far more of the SWAT teams' and Gangers' shots missed than normal. I was confident my three heroes could wipe out the opposition... and they did.

    Repairing the power station was not part of the scenario. This was just another simple(!) Discover scenario. Besides which, no one in Team Vampifan has the knowledge to make the necessary repairs. They entered the power station to find out why it had shut down and the answer to that was obvious - the staff had been attacked and beaten by the zombies making up PEF:2.

    I agree, the interior paintwork is unusual but it works very well for this scenario.

    @PDoid. Mayhem City is definitely well named. I'll post part 2 at the weekend, so you won't have long to wait.

  6. Vampifan should know better than to smart off to a Swat dude! At least your only OOF, and no Zeds involved.
    Great batrep, can't wait for the exciting conclusion!

  7. I'll resist the urge to say "the SWAT guy started it!" but you're right, it certainly could have been a lot worse! I'd rather go OOF against a human than against a zombie or a rager.

  8. So, we're all just burning to know exactly what it was your alter-ego said to get himself cold-cocked? Any ideas?

  9. I think the SWAT team must have thought Team Vampifan were responsible for the blackout and the deaths of the power station staff. When Vampifan argued otherwise, things must have got out of hand and fisticuffs ensued.

  10. Another great report. I like the new terrain, especially the powerplant, and the ruin looks very good as well.

  11. Thanks, Luckyjoe. The power plant was a fun project to do. I plan on running a review of it soon to show you just what went into its construction.

  12. That was a good tense situation, enjoyed the read, too bad you got clocked by the Sarge... but it figures about right, a Swat sarge would be no push over I imagine.

  13. @The Extraordinarii. On paper the fight between Vampifan and the SWAT Sergeant was evenly matched as they both had the same Rep. In reality, the result went exactly as it should have.

    Regarding the corpses I wish more firms made them. They are a feature that is here to stay.

  14. Hi, Vampifan. If you need more corpses, they are very easy to make from HeroClix minis. There is a nice article on it on the Combat Zone Chronicles site, if you're interested.

  15. Thanks for that tip, Luckyjoe. I'll certainly check it out. I have loads of swaps of Heroclix and Horrorclix figures just lying around doing nothing.

  16. Lucky, could you post a link? Im having some trouble finding the right article.

  17. Found it:

  18. That's the one, DB. I'm going to see what I can do with some of my swaps of Horrorclix zombies.

  19. Awesome set up and I can't wait for the powerplant construction post!

  20. Hey Vampi - as usual superb figures and excellent terrain! looking forward to seeing part 2!

    And great idea about the corpses, I've 'appropriated' it for my terrain! Thankyou for more great inspiration for your humble followers

  21. Brendan and Colin, thanks for the kind comments. I've no objection to anyone "appropriating" my ideas. I'm just glad you feel inspired by my work.