Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Vampifan's Views 13 My Monthly Musings part 2

Vampirella and the evil Lilith by Joe Jusko
As we approach the end of another month it's time for my second monthly musing. On the figure painting front, I finished the 20 assorted figures I mentioned last time and I have another 20 on the go - 18 Wargames Foundry 28mm scale Street Violence Misfits and Outcasts and two extremely rare Cold War Miniatures' 28mm scale corpses that were sculpted for their The Dead Will Walk range but never got put into production. The idea was to make corpse figures of their five survivors. The two I have are of the priest and the redneck in baseball cap, holding a metal club. How I got hold of them is down to two people. My very good friend Roger, aka Rogzombie, wrote to CWM on my behalf. He knew about these ultra rare figures and knowing how much I'd like them, plus as a thank you for the good work I do with my blog, put in a request to Richard of CWM that he let me have a set if there were any still available. I am truly indebted to both Roger and Richard for their kind gesture. I was deeply moved when the parcel arrived containing the two minis. I've mentioned the kindness of bloggers before and here's another example of that.
Another piece of good news, well at least on a personal note, is that I have bought no miniature figures this month. This has given me a great opportunity to make a dent in my mountain of unpainted metal and plastic figures. As long as I paint more figures than I buy I will eventually get on top of it. It'll never happen but I can dream!
I may not have spent anything on miniature figures this past month but the same most certainly does not apply to card models. I've ordered and downloaded quite a few from the Interweb. From WWG I bought three of their new TLX sets - Mayhem Services (I mainly wanted the ground tiles from it - they are excellent!), Shellendrak Manor West Wing and Shellendrak Props. I don't like the West Wing set as much as the original set, although the main staircase is better designed. I already have most of the props and I just bought the new set because I'm such a completist. My loyalty to WWG will never die but it has been severely tested this month as I have discovered some cracking good sets from other sources.
First up is a company called Fat Dragon Games, who mainly produce fantasy models. They have two contemporary sets - Capital City and McDoom's Restaurant. Capital City is a collection of five assorted buildings along with various outdoor props. McDoom's is a single storey fast food restaurant. What I like about both sets is that they come with assorted layers for their textures that you can choose from. This gives you a lot of freedom to texture the building how you want it to look - brand new, or grubby and dirty. The major negative point of both sets is that they lack interior detail and furniture. This isn't a major obstacle for an experienced modeller like me but it may put some folks off.
Next, I discovered a company called Finger and Toe Models (because card modelling need not cost an arm and a leg - groan!). They produce a lot of fantasy and sci-fi models with just a smattering of contemporary models. Four of the five contemporary models I bought - factory, small warehouse, multi-level warehouse and Slum City do come with interior detail but no furnishing. The fifth set that I bought was the Quonset Hut, which I'm currently making and mine will have interior detailing and furnishing. These models, like WWG's, do not come with layered textures. Even so, they are nicely textured and will add variety to my Mayhem City layout.
Finally, quite by accident, I stumbled across another card building website - Dave's Games run by Dave Graffam. His catalogue of models is filled almost exclusively with fantasy buildings, which don't interest me. However, he also makes numerous ruined buildings, which are ideal for most genres and time periods. Even better was the fact that a bundle set of all 17 ruined buildings was on sale for roughly £25.00. That's one heck of a bargain. More so, when you see that most models come with multiple texture layers, giving you oodles of choice in how the buildings will look. You could make millions of these and have no two look alike, such are the number of combinations possible. I was absolutely delighted with this particular purchase. These buildings do come with interior detail and in some cases, with furniture and props.
I was thinking, how likely is it that ruined buildings will appear in a zombie apocalypse and I think they will be inevitable in any large population centre. Gas explosions and fires will be the cause of many. If the military react with extreme firepower against the zombie hordes that will create a lot more carnage. I've already included a few ruined buildings in some of my batreps. You can be sure that more will follow. Now, I just need the time to get all of this new stuff built.
For those of you who told me to get my WWG Mayhem Police Station completed, have no fear, I am working on it. In this past month I got three more rooms furnished, leaving me with just eight more before its finished. To prevent burnout, I've taken a short break to make my Quonset Hut. This is what I'll continue to do - make a few rooms then switch to another simple project. The work in progress photo that I took with my new Black Hawk helicopter model ought to give you some idea of how big the police station will be. It certainly has the largest footprint of any building I have made so far for Mayhem City.
I managed to catch three films at the cinema this month, all on the same day. What a great day out that was! I've already reviewed the excellent remake of Fright Night. The other two films I saw were The Inbetweeners Movie, which was very rude and very funny and Columbiana, a highly enjoyable and fast paced action movie with Zoe Saldano being most impressive as a hitwoman seeking revenge for the death of her parents.
On the reading front, I completed The First Days by Rhiannon Frater. It was excellent and you can expect a review very soon. I am currently reading Rise Again by Ben Tripp, yet another zombie novel that was recommended to me by one of my followers. Thanks, Colin, I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
Well, I have wittered on for far longer than I intended so I'll sign off now. Thanks for reading. Oh, note the new background picture for my blog - Vampirella, of course!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

WWG Fast Food Vans

When I reviewed the Microtactix Horseman's Deli and Dry cleaning store I mentioned that I'd make a couple of card vehicles next. Well, here they are - a pair of WWG 28mm scale fast food vans that come from their TLX Mayhem Under Construction set.
Here's a general view of them and you can immediately see that whilst both vans are identical in design, it's only the livery that has changed on them. This particular vehicle is very easy to make, being little more than a box on wheels. The simplicity of its construction was why I chose to make them, as it has been such a long time since I last made any WWG card vehicles and I wanted something easy to build.
Rather off-puttingly, one is called Filthy Fred's Snack Mobile, whilst the other belongs to the Whacky Snax franchise. You can also see that they sell a variety of fast food items, namely hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, fries and pop. I was disappointed to see that bacon sandwiches weren't on the menu! These Americans have no taste!
This side view of them shows the serving hatch and menu. Both vans share the same menu and their prices are identical. I love the fact that the menus are readable. The menu in full from top to bottom reads - hamburger, hot dog, ice cream, pop, fries, soup, pizza (by the slice) and tacos.
I was pleased to see that the two vans have different licence plates. The one for Whacky Snax reads W7 RSP, whilst Filthy Fred's reads W5 OXR.
 Looking at the clown face on the Whacky Snax van made me think that this would be an ideal mode of transport for a group of my killer clowns. Ever since reading about the Bozos gang of killer clowns in the original Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game I've been fascinated by evil clowns. There is something downright creepy about clowns. I have a very large collection of circus figures, with probably half of them being clowns. I must review them sometime. Prior to collecting zombies once I learnt about ATZ, I spent a year collecting as many circus figures as I could. This was at the time that the Horrorclix Freakshow expansion set was on sale, and they really kick-started my collection.
The back views of the vans show off their witty slogans. For Whacky Snax we have " Food that's good enough to eat!" and for Filthy Fred's the slogan reads, "Cram it in your face hole!"
These are great additions to the rapidly expanding range of WWG vehicles. Fast food vans of all descriptions are a common site in any town or city, but more especially in places that have a captive audience, like a sporting arena. Mine will be appearing in my ATZ campaign and one of them will definitely appear in my next scenario (coming up soon, you'll be pleased to hear). If you find one early on your campaign they could be a good source for food supplies. Later on and they've either been stripped clean or their food has gone bad.
They were fun to make and just what I needed to get my card building mojo back into gear. I'm working on my Mayhem police station at present but I have so many projects that I want to complete. Whilst my miniature figure buying has thankfully come to a stand still (none bought at all this month) the same cannot be said about my purchasing of card models. I'll tell you more about that in my next editorial.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Reaper Zombie Strippers

It constantly amazes how figure sculptors keep on bringing out zombie figures that you wouldn't expect to see. These three figures from the Reaper 28mm scale set 50213 Zombie Strippers surely fall into that category. Without any further ado, let's have a look at them.
I haven't named these figures but I think I ought to. For now, however, I'll identify them by their hair colour. At the far left of my two photos above is the Miss Brunette. She is, in my opinion, the prettiest of the three and the one who could most pass for being human. The mottled dead flesh and wound to her left side is a dead giveaway (pun intended) that she is a zombie. I'm rather pleased with how her stockings have come out. I painted them in zombie flesh, the same as the rest of her flesh but gave her legs a couple of coats of Citadel Gryphonne Sepia ink wash. Note the wad of dollar bills tucked into the stocking top of her right leg. 
In the centre of the group is Miss Blonde and from the absence of black roots in her hair, she seems to be a natural blonde. She has silver nipple tassels, which to me, denotes that she is a regular stripper. Miss Brunette had bronze nipple tassels, making her a rookie stripper. Hey, there's logic in my madness here!  She has ripped a guy's arm off whilst the dead hand still clutches a bunch of dollar bills. Class act, Miss Blonde! More dollar notes have been tucked into the left side of her panties. Her wounds are far more extensive and noticable, particularly on her legs. She has also been bitten in the side of her face.
Finally, is Miss Redhead, the veteran stripper and star of the show, as denoted by her gold nipple tassels. Only the best stripper in the show gets to wear the coveted gold nipple tassels! I love the way how the top of her right boot has curled down to give her legs a lopsided look. Like Miss Blonde, she has stuffed her cash gifts down the side of her panties. From the front, she could almost pass for human, especially in a darkened strip club. But from behind, you can see that a large portion of her back has been chewed away, revealing she is clearly no longer human.
All of the girls come with nipple tassels, of which I'm in two minds about. On the one hand I'd love to see bare boobies and nipples. Hey, I'm a boob man, what can I say? I'm sure if Kevin White had sculpted them for Hasslefree he would not have added the nipple tassels. On the other hand I accept that when it comes to nudity, Americans are more uptight about it than us Brits, and that naked breasts may well affect sales. Whether Reaper would sell more or less is open to debate! Also, I know from empirical research that some strippers do use nipple tassels in their acts, so their appearance can be justified in that sense. I did think about filing the tassels off one girl to give her bare breasts but then decided not to alter her. If I want more raunchy strippers I could always buy a second set to convert.
I have a very high opinion of these figures, even though I am aware that they won't be to everyone's taste. Mind you, considering the subject matter, these have been tastefully sculpted. The sculpting of all three really is of the highest quality. They were a total joy for me to paint and they give me another reason to build my Mayhem City Stripclub/Brothel. They retail for $9.99 from the Reaper website. For a second opinion on these fine figures check out Lord Siwoc/Johnny's review here
Whilst on the subject of zombie strippers I suppose it would be remiss of me not to mention two films closely related to the subject - Zombie Strippers and Zombies, Zombies, Zombies, aka Strippers vs Zombies. Be warned, both are utter pants! However, I can recommend Zombie Strippers for its humour (Robert Englund, who plays the owner of the stripclub gets all the best lines and is hilarious throughout) and it has fairly decent and gory special effects. The strippers are just okay, apart from the star of the show, Jenna Jameson, whom I found to be a complete turn off. Big plastic boobies - urgh!!! Jenna, put them away! Please!
As for Zombies, Zombies, Zombies, I can find very little to recommend it, other than a rather amusing performance from the black pimp (Anthony Headen). The story, the acting, the girls, the special effects, the dialogue were just too amateurish for my liking. I know its meant to be a tongue in cheek movie but so was Zombie Strippers and that made a much better job of things, even if it wasn't exactly fault free. Buy either film at your peril or if you're easily pleased. I'd rate Zombie Strippers 5 out of 10 and Zombies, Zombies, Zombies 2 out of 10, simply because I have seen worse and the pimp made me smile a few times.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fright Night 3D

Here we are half way through September and this is my first film review of 2011. This has not been a good year at the cinema for horror films but, thankfully, that changes with the release of Fright Night 3D  - a remake of the 1985 film, Fright Night. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of remakes or reimaginings but I'll make an exception for this film as it beats the original in every department.
THE PLOT. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a teenager who lives at home with his mum (Toni Collette) on a suburban estate on the outskirts of Las Vegas. His mum introduces him to their newly arrived next-door neighbour, Jerry (Colin Farrell), an attractive hunk and construction worker. One of Charley's school friends, Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse),  asks him to help discover why so many of their friends and neighbours have gone missing. Ed suspects it is because Jerry is a vampire. Charley dismisses his theory as pure fantasy but next day when Ed fails to turn up at school he sneaks into Jerry's house and discovers that Ed was right all along - Jerry IS a vampire. Jerry is holding a female victim hostage and Charley tries to rescue her. I won't say how that turns out but it provides one of the biggest scares of the movie!
Charley tries to keep his new found knowledge from his mum and girlfiend, Amy (Imogen Poots), but when Jerry comes a calling that night he begs his mum not to invite him in. I liked the fact that his mum actually believes him rather than dismissing him as being delusional. Jerry takes this very badly and blows up their house. The three humans escape in mum's car but naturally, Jerry pursues them. They survive again but mum is left hospitalised. This forces Charley to seek outside help from a TV magician called Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Peter, who is overly fond of alcohol dismisses Charley, but later in a moment of lucidity realises the teenager is indeed facing a real life vampire, and so offers his help. Jerry and his minion, Ed, attack Charley, Amy and Peter in Peter's luxury apartment. Jerry ends up capturing and biting Amy. He takes her back to his lair, where the climactic battle between good and evil takes place with Charley and Peter determined to wipe out Jerry and his minions once and for all... or die trying!
THE FILM. The film was directed by Craig Gillespie and was based on the Tom Holland film of the same name made in 1985. The screenplay for the remake was written by Marti Noxon, a name that will be familiar to any fans of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as she was one of the show's regular writers. Not surprisingly, she has a good feel for this genre and the script was well written and witty.
THE VERDICT. This is the first vampire movie I have reviewed since Twilight: Eclipse over a year ago. There was much that I liked about this film. Charley is a likable teen, as is his girlfriend, Amy, who's very good-looking. Colin Farrell plays Jerry extremely well. He oozes sex appeal and menace in equal quantities. I liked it when Charley commented on what a ridiculous name Jerry is for a vampire, but if he wants to blend in with society, why not be called Jerry? David Tennant was well cast as Peter Vincent, the very reluctant vampire slayer. We learn that his parents were killed by vampires but he is trying to blot out the memory of their deaths by drowning himself in his work but more especially, alcohol. My only real quibble with the film was the use of the 3D effects. They were sparsely used and to be honest, didn't add much to my viewing pleasure. Even so, I was thoroughly entertained by this offering with its thrills and laughs that took me back to the good old days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, both of which I adored. I can highly recommend Fright Night 3D and I'd rate it 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hasslefree Scooby Gang

Here is a set of figures that I've been dying to review for ages now - Hasslefree Miniatures' version of Scooby Doo and the Scooby Gang - Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy. I've held off reviewing them until I got a decent figure of Scooby. Fortunately, Kevin White, HF's resident sculptor, sculpted an excellent version of Scooby earlier this year. I've only just got round to buying him but he got painted in double quick time.
At the far left of my two photos above is HFN005 Barney, whom we all know as Fred Jones, the handsome leader of the Scooby Gang. For copyright reasons, none of this range are called by the names we normally associate with them. It's no big deal as they are instantly recognisable. Kev has sculpted Fred musing over a problem as he strokes his jaw.Fred's interests include martial arts, wrestling, weight lifting and an obsession with traps. He is hopeless at foreign languages. He likes flirting with attractive women but seems oblivious to Daphne's attraction to him.
Next up is the hot totty of the group, HFN003 Felicity, aka Daphne Blake. Daphne hails from a wealthy family and is noted for her fashion sense and uncanny ability to fall into danger, hence her nickname, "Danger Prone Daphne." Whenever the group has to split up, Daphne always accompanies Fred, sometimes with Velma and sometimes without. Kev's sculpt just oozes sex appeal.
In the centre of my photos is the brains of the group, HFN002 Louise, or rather, Velma Dinkley. Velma has a great love for science and obscure subjects that help solve whatever mystery she's working on. She is extremely near-sighted and frequently loses her glasses at the worst possible moment. Velma is supposed to be a "plain Jane" but am I the only one to think that when Linda Cardellini portrayed her in the two live action movies, she was hotter than Daphne? Kev has sculpted Velma holding a large reference book, a typical pose for her.
The fourth and final human of the group is HFN004 Wolsey, whose real name in the TV series and films is Norville Rogers, whom we all know as "Shaggy." Shaggy is the owner of Scooby Doo and is renowned for his cowardice and love of eating. Once again, Kevin's sculpt, showing Shaggy in a typical slacker pose, scratching his head, whilst looking bemused is perfect.
Finally, we come to the hero of the show, Scooby Doo himself. HF have named him HFL405 Hamlet, after another Great Dane (groan!). When I first saw the figure of Scooby/Hamlet I thought it was too big. But looking at pictures of Scooby and other Great Dane dogs, he's not at all. They really are a tall breed of dogs. Scooby is as big a coward as Shaggy, despite his impressive size. he loves all the food that shaggy likes, but is especially fond of "Scooby Snacks," a biscuit-like dog treat. 
These are a great range of figures and are exceptionally well sculpted by Kevin. You could use them as generic students using the names provided by Hasslefree, but who'd want to? They what they are - Scooby Doo and friends. The four humans cost £3.50 each and Hamlet/Scooby costs £4.00.
For those wondering how they'd fare in a zombie apocalypse I present this stunning piece of artwork I found on the Internet. Velma has stepped up to the mark as a zombie killer. Scooby has "manned up" and now rips zombies to pieces. But alas, it's R.I.P. Shaggy, Fred and Daphne.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Forces of Valor UH-60L Black Hawk Helicopter

I mentioned in my last editorial that I had ordered a Forces of Valor 1/48th scale U.S. UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from Well, it arrived soon afterwards and I'm mightily impressed with it. Now this is  not a blog-site for modern military hardware but I bought this model for a very specific need and that is to use it in my ATZ campaign. So because of that connection, I figure it warrants a review here.
Here we see it on its clear plastic flight stand in all of its glory. This is a die-cast metal model with hard plastic fittings. The four main rotor blades and tail rotor were separate plastic components. As were the stub wings (called the External Stores Support System)  and the ordnance you can fit on them. The model comes with optional external fuel pods, which I haven't used. You also have the option of omitting the E.S.S.S. altogether for an unarmed version. That's something I'll probably do when I get my second model.
This photo shows it from above and behind. Note that the passenger door slides open and shut. I've shown it open here to give you a look at the seats inside. The interior detail is just as impressive as the exterior detail. In the previous photo you can clearly see one of the two machine gunners operating a 7.62mm M240H machine gun from just behind the cockpit.
This photo above shows the right side of the helicopter with the passenger door fully closed. The markings on the helicopter are for the Baghdad 2003 campaign. I like the way it tilts forward on its stand. The stand is detachable, by the way.
This is a view of the Black Hawk that very few enemies would want to see. Eight Hellfire missiles and eight Hydra rockets pointing at you is something to give you good cause to raise the white flag. 
This photo shows the left side of the Sikorsky Black Hawk. The rotor blades and tail rotor move, as does the two front wheels but oddly, the back wheel does not move. According to Wikipedia, each UH60L Black Hawk costs $5.9 million dollars. My model that I have here cost me £42.99.
Here I show the rear of the helicopter. As I mentioned in my intro, I bought my model from good old Amazon because they offered the cheapest version of this model that I could find on the Internet. There are much cheaper versions if you fancy a plastic kit model. I thought about that option but rejected it because of the time it would have taken me to make and paint it. Plus, a die-cast model is far more durable and because I want this model for gaming purposes rather than a display model, paying the extra for the die-cast model seemed like a sensible decision. I'll admit it is pricey but I could afford it and I really wanted one. I'm very glad I did buy it and now I can't wait to use it in action.
I'd normally end my review here but I figured I'd give you a bonus picture of the Black Hawk in action. It has just landed on my only WWG building with a helipad - my unfinished police station. This is the first time I have ever shown a work in progress card model, so I hope you appreciate it. So many of you made requests to see the police station that I had to show you it. I need to fit a ladder up to the helipad, along with a radar dish and a couple of searchlights to complete the exterior. Inside, I need to make a lot more furniture. You'll be pleased to know that I am currently working on it and this time I will finish it! The figures shown above are from my range of Black Scorpion 28mm scale U.S. Army soldiers to show how well the Black Hawk lines up against them. I think that the Black Hawk is a perfect fit for my 28mm scale figures.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 43 - SWAT Gets Spooked part 2

Last time we left Team Vampifan just as they were about to enter the Horseman's Deli. What delights await them inside?
TURN 6.   Activation - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 4
Billy moved adjacent to the knocked down zombie girl and administered the coup de grace. Hannah was the first to enter the deli and found it to be empty. Jamie, Gap and Vampifan followed her inside. I've made a slight boob with the positioning of my Risks and Rewards card in that I've hidden the Resource notice. I assure you, it did say Nothing.
The zombie who had been feasting on the second ganger had finished her meal and moved next to the first ganger to see what juicy morsels she could take from him.
The nude zombie crossing the road moved closer to Billy, who seemed unaware of her. There were no zombie reinforcements rolls to be made this turn.
 TURN 7.   Activation - Vampifan = (2) 4, Zombies = (2) 6
A tie off in the Activation roll meant a re-roll and the zombies unable to activate. The nude zombie crossing the road attracted the attention of Gap. He ignored Vampifan's cruel jibe that she was the first nude female he'd seen in the flesh and put her down with a single bullet to the head.

Vampifan and Hannah climbed up the step-ladders to the store-room on the roof. Although it was unoccupied it did contain another Food Resource, which was found by Hannah. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements. None turned up.
 TURN 8.   Activation - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 4
Vampifan and Hannah climbed back downstairs to rejoin their colleagues.
The two female zombies continued to feed on the Poor Little Rich Kid.
 TURN 9.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 2
Team Vampifan walked along to the entrance of the large Folding Unit Structure (FUS).
The two female zombies finally finished devouring the ganger. Yum, yum!
TURN 10.   Activation - Vampifan = (5) 6, Zombies = (5) 5
Another roll of doubles for Activation and again, Team Vampifan came out best. They entered the large FUS and found it occupied by two Military types. I decided to make them SWAT Troopers because they react as Military not Police... plus they were closer to hand! Both were Rep:5 and they were armed with a BA Pistol (Trooper Barker) and an Assault Rifle (Sergeant Richardson). Barker is a Foundry figure and Richardson is a Heroclix figure. In addition, there was a Grenade Resource. Note that the second Risks and Rewards card is used solely to determine the Rep and weaponry of the second SWAT guy.
It was time to roll on the Meet and Greet table (see p.45 of BDTZ). Vampifan initially rolled 9d6 (6d6 for his Rep plus 3d6 for outnumbering the opposition by 3). Sergeant Richardson just rolled 5d6 for his Rep. After four roll offs Vampifan won 1-0. This meant that the SWAT team would join Team Vampifan, but only for the remainder of this scenario. Then they would leave peacefully. Billy found the grenade, which he promptly handed over to Vampifan for safe keeping.
 TURN 11.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 3
The two female zombies moved to the junction of the road.

 Team Vampifan emerged from the large FUS, with the two SWAT Troopers bringing up the rear.
 TURN 12.   Activation - Vampifan (6) 5, Zombies = (6) 1
Woot! Double sixes for activation! That meant rolling on the Random Events Table (see p.52 of BDTZ). I rolled an 8 on 2d6 for a result of "a random character opens fire at the nearest building at "shadows"." The spooked person turned out to be Trooper Barker, who fired his BA Pistol twice at something he thought he saw but wasn't there. Sergeant Richardson exchanged a few harsh words with him. He was not well pleased at his colleague's lack of professionalism. Barker's face turned red with embarrassment.
I rerolled the Activation dice and this time Team Vampifan went first. They moved into the medium FUS. Inside were two zombies but no Resources.
 The zombies lost the Surprise roll and were gunned down and killed by Vampifan and Gap.
The two female zombies moved further across the road junction, attracted by the sound of gunfire. Note the bullet marker, indicating Trooper Barker's speculative shots. I rolled 4d6 for zombie reinforcements and scored two successes. Both arrived close to the overturned green camper van.
 TURN 13.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 3
The four zombies moved closer to the two SWAT Troopers, who were standing guard outside of the medium FUS.
This triggered an In Sight Test for the SWAT duo. They both passed 2d6 and could fire at any zombies within 6". They fired one shot each at the two female zombies and killed them both.
Vampifan led his friends back outside and walked down the street towards the small FUS. The SWAT troopers followed but held their fire against the remaining two zombies. At this distance they were no threat.
I rolled 2d6 for zombie reinforcements and scored one success. He appeared at the back of the medium FUS.
TURN 14.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies =6 
Vampifan   was the first to enter the small Folding Unit Structure, which was the last unexplored building on the board. Inside were one zombie and a set of Keys Resource. Vampifan and the zombie rolled to see which of them won Surprise. Vampifan rolled a 5, giving him a total of 11, a result that the zombie couldn't come close to no matter what he rolled. The best the zombie could achieve would have been a 7.
So, Vampifan blew the back of the zombie's head off with a single 5.56mm shot. By now only Vampifan and Gap were eligible to find the Resource. Gap got lucky and he pocketed the keys to the yellow hatchback parked just outside. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements but none decided to show.
TURN 15.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Zombies = 3
Team Vampifan exited the small building and proceeded off the board. Before leaving, Gap handed over the car keys to Sergeant Richardson and told him he could take the car. Both groups bade farewell to one another and departed. With no humans left on the board the remaining three zombies just shuffled about aimlessly.
So, game over and all that remained to do was roll for Rep increases or decreases. Vampifan actually performed the worst out of the group despite killing more zombies (and humans) than anyone else. By not finding a Resource this mission was classed as a failure for him. If I rolled a 1 on 1d6 he'd drop down to Rep:5. Ironically, I rolled a 6 for him, so if he had found a Resource he'd have advanced to Rep:7! I think it is probably best he didn't as that would have made him uber-powerful! Still, I was pleased he remained at Rep:6.
Gap found the Keys but he failed his Rep Increase roll and remained Rep:5
Hannah found a Food Resource and she succeeded in her roll to increase her Rep. She is now Rep:5
Jamie also found a Food Resource and  she too, succeeded in her roll. She is now Rep:4.
Billy found a Grenade Resource but he failed to increase his Rep. He remained at Rep:3.
This was a curious game to play. At no point in the scenario did I feel that Team Vampifan were in any real danger. The PEFs were dealt with very easily. The zombie numbers were thankfully light, no doubt due to there being not much gunfire. Plus, being in the suburbs is much safer than being in the city centre. To me, this was a walk in the park for Team Vampifan. Please don't think I'm complaining because I'm not. It's great when the Dice Gods are this kind. Games never pan out how I think they might and it is for this reason that I love ATZ so much. You just never know what's going to happen because of the randomness of the dice rolls you have to make. Despite Vampifan's failure to find a Resource, this was a very successful mission for the team and having both Hannah and Jamie increase their Reps was a nice bonus. If all goes well, I plan on playing two more scenarios in October and another in November.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 43 - SWAT Gets Spooked part 1

Just over a week had passed since Team Vampifan's encounter with the Wild Hogs' biker gang and the Team Hale survivors. Vampifan led a team of four companions out on a new Discovery mission, with Food Resources topping their list of priorities. These are the stats of those who took part in this mission -
Vampifan; Rep:6 Star, Nerves of Steel and Slow, armed with an Assault Rifle, BA Pistol, Knife and Body Armour.
Gap; Rep:5 Grunt, No Attribute and armed with an Assault Rifle, Knife and Body Armour.
Hannah Vaughn; Rep:4 Grunt, Stone Cold, armed with a BA Pistol and Knife.
Jamie Vaughn; Rep:3 Grunt, Brawler armed with a Pistol.
Billy Vaughn; Rep:3 Grunt, Wuss armed with a Catapult.
Big Sil and Angie stayed behind to guard their base and took no part in this mission. 
HOUSE RULE I am still using Oliver/Whiteface's house rule on when Ragers, Smarties and Psykers may appear. Very basically, at the start of each scenario you roll 1d6. On a roll of 6 Ragers appear as per the rules of the I, Zombie supplement. Otherwise, play on as normal. Smarties and Psykers can only appear after the arrival of Ragers. The full rules  can be found on Oliver's blog site here I rolled a 4 on the d6 so no Ragers would appear in this scenario.
 The game was played on a 3' by 3' board divided into nine equally sized sectors, with sector 1 being at the top left of the photo with the single clump of trees in it. Sector 9 was at the bottom right of the board and contained my newly made deli and dry cleaner's building.
Team Vampifan started the game in sector 7, just next to the bus shelter. They were headed to the deli and dry cleaner's and to be fair, I could have placed them outside it quite legitimately. However, I decided to dice which of the three sectors (7, 8 or 9) they'd start in and it turned out to be sector 7.
 I rolled for the placement of the three PEFs, along with their Reps.
PEF:1 was Rep:1 and was placed in sector 6, behind the large Folding Structure Unit (FSU).
 PEF:2 was Rep:3 and was placed in the centre of Sector 4, in the open and in sight of Team Vampifan.
PEF:3 was Rep:2 and was placed in sector 2 to the side of the red van.
As PEF: 2 was in sight of Team Vampifan it had to be resolved before play could begin properly. However, before that I had to determine if any of Team Vampifan were affected by Lack of Sleep. Fortunately, none of them were. They'd all slept well prior to setting out on this mission. So, I rolled on the PEF Resolution Table to see what this PEF was. I got a result of Encounter. I rolled 2d6 on the Random Road Encounter table found on p.56 of the Better Dead Than Zed rulebook and scored a 7, indicating hostile Gangers. There were four of them, three were Rep:4 and armed with BA Pistols. The other one was just Rep:3 and he carried a Pistol. If you don't recognise the figures they are my Poor Little Rich Kids sculpted by me and based on a design by Monolith figures. Monolith make them in 40mm scale.
Vampifan won the Encounter Awareness test by one and his team could take an Insight Test, using 2d6. Vampifan and Gap passed 2d6 and could fire normally at the threat. The Vaughn family only passed 1d6 and if they fired they'd have to snapfire. It wasn't necessary, as Vampifan fired a three round burst at the gangers. He hit two and put them Out Of the Fight (OOF). A good start! The other two Gangers took the Leader Lost test and passed 0d6. Oops! They had to retire but seeing as they'd lost half their gang and were heavily outgunned I decided that their best bet was to leg it off the board whilst they could.

Day 43 - SWAT Gets Spooked part 1
This Discovery mission took place in the suburbs of Mayhem City during the hours of daylight. Note that any reference to the basic rulebook will use the abbreviation BDTZ, whilst references to the I, Zombie supplement will use the abbreviation IZ.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 5, PEFs = 2
Vampifan decided to leave the two wounded gangers where they were. They no longer posed a threat. He led his team at a cautious walk across the road toward the dry cleaning store. He planned on searching all five buildings in turn as he moved northwards up the main street, starting with the dry cleaner's and ending with the small FSU.
I rolled 2d6 on the PEF Movement Table for the remaining two PEFs. PEF:3 passed 0d6 and remained in place. However, PEF:1 passed 1d6 and moved into sector 5, in cover behind the overturned green camper van, but in sight of Team Vampifan.
The dice rolls indicated this was a Hostile encounter, consisting of six zombies. Seeing as zombies can never claim cover bonuses, I placed them in the open. Vampifan easily won the Encounter Awareness Test and he and his team were allowed to take the In Sight test using 3d6 instead of the normal 2d6. All five of them passed 2d6, which turned out to be unfortunate as they had to hold their fire if the zombies were more than 6" away. They were about 8" to 9" away.
All that was left to do this turn was to roll 3d6 for zombie reinforcements for the three shots Vampifan had fired at the gangers prior to the turn starting. I scored one success and a female zombie moved onto the board close by the two wounded gangers, obviously attracted by the smell of their blood spilling out of them.
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 3, PEF = 6
The female zombie who had arrived at the end of last turn moved next to one of the OOF gangers and greedily began to feast on his warm flesh. This would keep her occupied for five turns.
The other six zombies advanced on Team Vampifan but with a movement rate of 6" they obviously could not reach them this turn.
This time Team Vampifan were allowed to fire when they activated and they gave the zombies hell! Vampifan opened the score with a three round burst that hit two zeds and killed them easily. With the Easy to Hit rule if Vampifan hits a zombie he is guaranteed a kill because by rolling 1d6 against his Rep of 6 he can never fail. Gap did equally well, hitting twice out of his three shots and scoring two more kills. Hannah fired her .44 Magnum twice. She hit once and blew the head off zombie number five. Finally Jamie fired her Pistol once. She rolled a 6 to hit followed by a 1 to wound - the perfect kill! All six zombies were wiped out.
The last PEF failed to activate this turn so I rolled 9d6 for zombie reinforcements. I scored  three successes. One, a little girl, emerged from the front door of the large FSU, another female zombie appeared close to the OOF gangers and the third, a nude female, arrived via the wood in sector 7. Note in the photo above that I have forgotten to remove Vampifan's three-shot bullet counter from next to the bus shelter. Ooops! It should have gone at the end of Turn 1.
 TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 1, PEF = 4
PEF:3 still couldn't activate. Team Vampifan moved closer to the entrance of the Magic Clean! Dry Cleaning store.
The second female zombie who had turned up close to the second OOF ganger made a beeline for him and began to rip the flesh from his prone body. Her feasting would last for two turns. The other two zombies shuffled ever closer to Team Vampifan but were still too far away to be a threat. There were no zombie reinforcements to roll for this turn.
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 5, PEF = 6
The PEF and the zombies could not activate this turn so Team Vampifan entered the dry cleaning store. I shuffled my deck of Risks and Rewards cards and turned over the top card to reveal one zombie and a Food Resource.
Vampifan beat the zombie on the Surprise roll off and placed a single bullet in the forehead of the female teenager zombie. I rolled to see who the lucky person was who found the Food resource and it was young Jamie. I rolled 1d6 for zombie reinforcements but none turned up.
TURN 5.   Activation - Vampifan = 6, Zombies = 1, PEF = 2
Team Vampifan moved back outside with Billy and Jamie taking point duty. Billy waited until he was just 2" away from the little girl zombie before firing his catapult at her. He managed to score a hit but only knocked her down. As a consequence the last PEF became visible. I rolled to see what it was but it turned out to be a false alarm.
The nude zombie from the woods moved onto the main road. The other two zombies continued to feast on the gangers. There were no zombie reinforcements to roll for because Billy's catapult was a silent weapon.