Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My ATZ Campaign - Day 50 - Who's Laughing Now? Part 2

Last time, I left you with a dramatic cliff-hanging ending as Mr. Punch just beat Hannah to the draw and fired his Pistol at her and Billy. Yikes!

TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Clowns = 3, Zombies = 1, PEF = 6
If you were hoping Punch would miss, sorry! He hit Hannah and Billy and scored two Knock Down results. Hannah passed 2d6 on the Recover From Knock Down Test and was just Stunned. However, Billy only passed 1d6 and was placed Out Of the Fight (OOF). This forced the other members of Team Vampifan to take the Leader Lost Test. All passed 2d6. They could Carry On with Big Sil taking over the leadership mantle until Hannah recovered.
 As per the "Walk the Walk" rules (see p.46 of BDTZ) both sides had to make an Activation Roll to see who, out of those left standing, reacted first. It is unclear if this happens on this turn or on the next. I went with it happening this turn to keep the momentum going. I rolled a 3 for Team Vampifan and a 4 for the Killer Klowns. Those darned clowns had won by one again! Judy fired her Pistol at Gap and Jamie. She hit Gap but missed Jamie. Judy scored a Knock Down result on Gap. Gap only passed 1d6 on the Recover From Knock Down Test but because he was wearing Body Armour he was Stunned instead of going OOF. This caused Big Sil, Angie and Jamie to take the Man Down Test. Big Sil and Angie passed 2d6 and would Carry On. Jamie passed 1d6 but because she had friends within 4" who were Carrying On she would also Carry On.
Big Sil fired a three round burst at Punch. He hit once and blew the back of Punch's head off in a spray of blood and brain matter.
Angie fired a three round burst at Judy. She also hit once but could only manage an OOF result.
However, Jamie stepped up to Judy and repeatedly stomped on her head until the only female member of the Killer Klowns was dead. Young Jamie had a lot of pent-up aggression to get rid off and by the time she'd finished, tears were streaming down her face
Now it was the clowns' turn to activate. The two who were hunkered down at the back of the Quonset Hut would remain there until they were rallied. That just left Sunny, the Rep:5 Star and leader of the Killer Klowns. Last turn he got Stunned by Hannah. Furious at the loss of so many of his friends he regained his feet. The look on his face could only be described as evil. Someone would suffer for this carnage!
 The 12 zombies on the board moved closer to the Quonset Hut, scene of much gunfire this turn.
I rolled 10d6 for zombie reinforcements and four turned up. Two of them arrived in the picnic park at the back of the Quonset Hut...
 ... and the other two arrived in the same place as Team Vampifan had when they entered the board at the start of the game.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Clowns = 5, Zombies = 6, PEF = 1
Sunny could see Angie with her back to him through the front door of the Quonset Hut.
"Your pretty red head will make a fine trophy!" he thought as he charged at her. Being a Star he automatically passed 2d6 on the Wanting to Charge Test. Angie took the Being Charged Test, but alas, only passed 1d6. She could melee, but would suffer a -2d6 penalty for being attacked in the rear. In addition, she suffered a further -1d6 penalty for having the Runt Attribute. This meant she'd be rolling 2d6 (5d6 for her Rep minus 3d6), whilst Sunny would be rolling 6d6 (5d6 for his Rep and an extra 1d6 for having the Knife Fighter Attribute if he fought with a knife). This did not look good for poor Angie. She scored 0 successes in the first round of melee combat, whilst Sunny scored 3 successes. Sunny grabbed hold of Angie's hair with his left hand, whilst his right hand swung his large knife through Angie's neck with well-practiced ease. As Angie's body fell to the floor with blood fountaining from her neck stump, Sunny held her head aloft and screamed, "laugh that one off, you bitch!"
"Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!" Big Sil cried out in horror and despair. He passed 2d6 on the Man Down Test and was able to Carry On. Jamie also passed 2d6. Tears filled her eyes but she too, would Carry On.
"You utter bastard!" Big Sil swore as he raised his 5.56mm M16 Assault Rifle at Sunny. He fired three times and two of the bullets slammed into the evil clown's body, sending him crashing to the ground, severely wounded and Out Of the Fight.
Hannah and Gap recovered from being Stunned and stood back up. Jamie dropped to her knees to stem the flow of blood oozing from the left side of Billy's chest. "Don't die, Billy," she sobbed.
PEF:1 passed 1d6 on the PEF Movement Table and moved diagonally forward into sector 6, which placed it at the back of the Quonset Hut. Gap had a line of sight to it through one of the rear windows, so I rolled 1d6 to resolve what the PEF was. I rolled a 5 for result D - false alarm. It was just a trick of the light that momentarily fooled Gap.
I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements but this time none turned up.
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Clowns = 2, Zombies = 1
Big Sil stepped outside and bent down beside Sunny to slit his throat from ear to ear. He then dragged the Killer Klown's body a few yards to the middle of the road, where he left it for the approaching zombies to devour.
"Gap!" he called out, "bring Angie's body with you. We're not leaving her here. She'll get a proper burial back home."
Gap did as he was told. He slung his empty Assault Rifle over his shoulder and carried Angie outside, pausing only to retrieve her head from the ground where Sunny had dropped it.
Back inside the Quonset Hut, Hannah took in the scene of carnage in an instant. "Jamie, leave Billy alone and get back home as fast as you can," she commanded. "I'll deal with Billy."
"Okay, mum," Jamie sniffled. She took off at a very rapid pace and reached the edge of the board with a single Fast Move.
Hannah lifted Billy up and clung on to him with one arm as she stepped outside. In her other hand was her .44 Magnum revolver. She pointed it at the two zombies shuffling towards her and fired twice. One shot missed but the other blew the brains out of the back of the head of the chav zombie wearing the navy blue tracksuit.
The two clowns hunkered down at the back of the Quonset Hut couldn't move so it was time for the zombies to activate. Four of them reached the fresh corpse of Sunny and began to feed on him. Their feasting would last for three turns.
"I hope you rot in Hell for all eternity," Big Sil growled.
The two zombies at the side of the Quonset Hut reached the OOF Killer Klowns lying in their path. They each chose a clown to feed upon. Their feasts would last for 1 and 4 turns as indicated by my red dice.
The two zombies in the picnic park almost made contact with the two hunkered down clowns but just failed to reach them.
The second chav zombie charged at Hannah. She passed 2d6 on the Being Charged test and was able to shoot at him before he reached her. She fired twice and hit once, scoring an OOF result which was upgraded to an Obviously Dead result because her target was a zombie. Zombies can never go OOF. They are either Knocked Down or killed.
I rolled 4d6 for zombie reinforcements and two showed up near the entrance to the skateboard park.
TURN 5.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Clowns = 6, Zombies = 2
The two hunkered down clowns couldn't activate. They were effectively out of the game now. Team Vampifan was able to leave the board, thus ending this scenario. Their mission was a complete failure.

AFTERMATH. Once back home I rolled to see if Billy would recover from his wound. Hannah used one of the team's medi-packs to help aid his recovery. It worked, as it allowed Billy to roll 3d6 on the Recovery After The Encounter Test (see p.23 of BDTZ) and he passed 2d6, meaning he made a full recovery at his normal Rep.
Next, I rolled 1d6 five times to see if any of the team lost a level from their Rep for failing the mission (see p.61 of BDTZ). On a roll of 1 on the d6 a character would decrease their Rep score by one. Only one person rolled a one and that was Gap. He is now Rep:4. Now, I'm not a big fan of the Phobias and Quirks rules in the I, Zombie supplement but I felt that in this instance Gap's Rep loss warranted him picking up a phobia. I know you're meant to dice for a character's phobia but when I saw that one of the phobias was Clowns, I just knew that Gap had to have it. (see p.8 of IZ). So now Gap has a morbid fear of clowns. Being knocked down and stunned by Judy must have triggered this phobia.
Angie Johansson was buried alongside Rhiannon Marlow (the young Goth Girl who, for a brief time, was a member of Team Vampifan).
There was no doubt that this was a bad day for Team Vampifan, and yet despite the death of Angie it could have gone a lot worse. Hannah, Billy and Gap could all have suffered worse injuries or death if Punch and Judy had rolled better (or worse depending on your point of view) to wound them. Thankfully, they were only armed with Pistols, making death a far less likely option when rolling to wound. Imagine the devastation they could have caused if either of them picked up the Squad Automatic Weapon that was the Resource hiding in the Quonset Hut! Did you notice that no one picked up the S.A.W? An oversight, although not as big an oversight for failing to notice that Sunny was only stunned.
There is a reason why I wanted Jamie and Billy to fail to spot that Sunny was just stunned and it has everything to do with telling the story. The kids are not combat veterans and so why should they think that Sunny was still a threat when he was lying flat on his back on the ground? In future they'll act differently but only because they learnt a harsh lesson. That's what life is all about. We learn from our mistakes. I did not want to lose Angie but the dice were stacked against her once Sunny initiated melee combat.
Inevitably, there were repercussions for Team Vampifan. Big Sil has lost his confident swagger and has turned to alcohol to drown his sorrows. He'll need close watching in future. Gap, as has been mentioned, has developed a phobia of clowns. Hannah will develop into a stronger leader and will, by default, become Vampifan's second in command. She will also take to wearing Body Armour when she goes out on a mission. Jamie will mature. She wants to study medicine and become a nurse. Seeing Billy lying bleeding and being unable to help him has brought this change of attitude in her. She will never leave home without medical supplies in her bag. Plus, she wants to upgrade her Pistol to a BA Pistol. Billy remains unchanged. He has no memory of being shot. He's still a little boy who isn't as grown up as he thinks he is. Vampifan is wracked by guilt for not being with his team. Would it have made a difference if he'd been there? Who knows?
Despite the outcome, this was one of the most enjoyable games of ATZ I have ever played. It was so dramatic, intense and action packed. I only have one slight regret about the game and that is I never got to use the skateboard park. It just ended up being background scenery. Ah well, I suppose there's always another time. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did playing it.


  1. Best. Batrep. Ever.

    I mourn for Angie and hope Big Sil can soon crawl out of the bottle and work through his grief.

    Bryan, I hope you realize that the adventures of Team Vampifan are better than most of the zombie fiction being published today. You've turned them into characters I really care about, and your narrative skills just get better and better.

  2. Excellent stuff, grim but fair and true, it only takes one mistake and shit happens, well played out and well worded. Damn good work.

  3. Whoa, this was really dramatic! Poor Angie!

  4. Oh dear....This is a sad day.... Team Vampifan needs some good fortune in the future if they are to hold together.

    Forgetting the SAW, well in the heat of battle things like that will happen.

    Whether killer clowns or zombies, you ALWAYS double tap!!!I hope they have learned this now.

    And another thing..... Kids.... While they are the future, they have just been responsible for the death of Angie.

    Brilliant battle report mate! Well done indeed!!

  5. @Ambassador. Wow, what can I say? I'm humbled by your response. Many thanks, kind sir. Your comments mean a lot to me.

    @Fran. QUOTE: "grim but fair and true." Absolutely spot on! Yes, shit happens if you cock up.

    @Brutpaul. I was sorry to see Angie go as I know she had a lot of fans.

    @Johnny. Lessons will be learned from this encounter but how sad that it took the death of Angie to learn them.

  6. Epic batrep! Great scenery, great story and fantastic miniatures!

    These clowns were evil and with so much gunshots I am surprised that Team Vampi didn't suffer more casualties. This is the kind of game where you are afraid to do your next die roll.

    Shame about Sunny, the world lost a great entertainer. :o)

    Whiteface / Oliver

  7. poor Angie i cant beleave she is gone. Great betrap i was on the eadge of my seat all the time, im looking forward to the next one

  8. Man - those clowns are just plain nasty!

  9. @Oliver. As I mentioned in my aftermath notes that could have gone a whole lot worse for Team Vampifan. A lot of the dice rolls in that game were fraught!

    As for Sunny, well he might possibly be back. No, not as a zombie (although that is certainly a possibility) but as himself. Remember he is a Star and thus subject to the Cheating Death rule. What do you guys think? Should I bring Sunny back or leave him as zombie food?

    @Shintokamikaze. R.I.P. Angie. She will be missed.

    @Shelldrake. The clowns did far more damage than the zombies in this encounter. Yes, clowns are evil and nasty!

  10. That was a great report thanks for posting. And maybe its a bit of a downer, but those missions that go wrong once in a while keep things interesting.

    As for Sunny, I say yes, give him a chance to show up again. Being the antagonist to your group would be fun.

  11. Sunny the Smart Zombie...

    He is a Star, but Stars are not immune to zombies. But who cares, he's scary and talented enough to have deserved a comeback. Here we are again!

    I have some clown minis too, but I had intended to use one for a conversion...if Mr. Whiteface would ever lose his sanity. Maybe the killer clowns are hiring now...

  12. @Adam. Okey, dokey, so that's the first vote for Sunny's return. And yes, I agree, mission failures do make life interesting. It quickly gets boring if you win all the time.

    @Oliver. I'd have to roll to see if Sunny survived the zombie infection if I did decide to bring him back. Yes, the idea of Sunny as a smart zombie has a lot of appeal.

    The Killer Klowns are definitely hiring, Oliver. Fresh blood is urgently required - pun intended!

  13. great stuff man loved it so much drama. and yes bring sunny back, either as a revenge seeking psycho or as a smart zombie both would be cool.

  14. @Mikestarfighter. I guess you can't keep a good bad guy down, can you? I can see how the votes for Sunny's return are going and somehow, I'm not surprised.

  15. Great batrep! The loss of Angie makes the game more dramatic and real. I say either bring back Sunny, or have a friend (the rest of the Killer Klown) or a relative of Sunny's declare a vendetta on Team Vampifan - "The Revenge of the Killer Klowns: This Time It's Personal". How cinematic would that be? :)

  16. @Luckyjoe. Very cinematic, I'd say! I'm certain we have not seen the last of the Killer Klowns. They WILL be back again some time and when they're least expected.

  17. Oh



  18. You've done a great job here, really dramatic and entertaining Batrep....
    I'm happy Hannah survived but sorry about Angie, looks like it isn't a good thing to be a girl in team Vampifan!! :P
    About Sunny... He MUST be back to seek revenge!! ;)
    Well done!

  19. Wow ! I'm gobsmacked, what a great batrep, one of your best, if not the best. It wasn't as a bad a result as it could have been, but it was bad enough. Big-Sil on the bottle too, he's going to be a liability isn't he ?

    My vote goes for keeping Sunny alive, he'll make a good archenemy for team Vampifan, always in the background, plotting his revenge, hehe.

    Great photos, as always, showing a lot of detail, missed last time.

    it does read more like a story than a wargame report too.

  20. @Colin. I. Am. So. Sorry!

    @Gnotta. Thank you. I think Hannah will prove to be a good second in command.

    As for Sunny, the message is coming over loud and strong - he will be back!

    @Joe. Yes, it was a bad result for Team Vampifan and it's true it could have gone worse but, oh boy, that was a lot of FUN to play! Big Sil is going to need a lot of watching. He's borderline psychotic at the moment and now that he's hit the bottle he could easily flip into full psycho mode.

    And yet another vote to bring back Sunny. Yes, he will be plotting his revenge on Team Vampifan but his sights will be set firmly on Big Sil.

    I quite fancy changing the way I write up my batreps to a full narrative style with no more rules references. Maybe not next time but soon. I think I've covered most situations in the rules in my previous batreps to warrant a change of style.

  21. Team Vampi forgot rule #1 when in any combat, Always have someone watching your 6. If they would have remembered to do this Angie might have survived, then again as you know that isn't always be a guarantee, it all depends on your dice rolls.

    Hopefully Vampi can find some replacements to fill in the gap that Angie's loss created, if you ask me Vampi will need at least three new recruits to even be close to equaling what her worth was.

  22. maybe they should build their own skate park INSIDE! only way to be safe in these troubled times. good report as usual vamp. very fun read.

  23. I know double post but didn't see the comments for Sunny.

    I say yeah bring him back but as a Smartie, and not your ordinary Samrtie either but genius Smartie, some how he has retained all his previous intelligence, add this to the fact that he is undead will make him a real terrifying foe. As a Smartie he can easily mingle in with regular zeds or use his "brains" to manipulate the living to do his whims, and with his makeup possibly even pass as living (barring close inspection, of course).

    I know for my Mackinac Island Campaign I have a Smart Smartie (granted e still has limited dexterity, and a limited vocabulary, but he is smarter then a regular Smartie) that the survivors living on the Island have allowed to "live" since he does various odd jobs for the community in return for his continued survival, he also has proven to be a valuable ally when he went on a salvage mission, he was able to mingle in with the undead and then draw them away from the party with diversionary noises, and then move on when surrounded without being attacked, so they could load everything on the ship without worries of being overrun by the undead (granted there are always those few stragglers that don't follow the diversion)

  24. @Werewolf8. An indoor skateboard arena? Now there's an idea worth considering.

    @Doug. If you closely analyse that batrep you'll find quite a few things that Team Vampifan did wrong. But that's what made the game so enjoyable. As I said, they will learn from their mistakes. Of course, you're right about the dice rolls as well. If they go against you, as they certainly did with Angie vs. Sunny, then there's not much you can do about it.

    I now know that Sunny will be returning. Everyone wants him to come back! But I'm uncertain about whether to bring him back as a human or as a Smart Zombie. If a Smart Zombie, then I'd agree with your idea of making him a Smart Smartie with even greater intelligence. The whole idea of Team Vampifan having an arch-nemesis as evil as Sunny appeals to me greatly.

  25. Great batrep Bryan! Really enjoyed reading it, not least because of the demise of Angie. No, no, I didn't hate her or anything, Team Vampifan has just been so amazingly lucky (as well-armed as they are, most encounters just end in a turn or two with all enemies dead or OOF) that's it's been almost boring at times - no one likes their protagonists invincible, least of all in a zombie story. Angie's death gave the whole thing that cool "nobody's safe" vibe. She died for the drama. Very good job, and would love to see Sunny back.

  26. Very nice as usual. All those clowns are creepy. I could definatley understand Gaps new phobia of them. Great report and I agree probably the best so far.

  27. @Mikko. I hear what you're saying and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    @Simon. Many thanks. A lot of people find clowns creepy so having a phobia of them is understandable.

  28. Stunning stuff, you really should put on a demo game at Salute2012. Spread the infection so to say...

  29. The idea of Sunny coming back chills me. That must mean he's a keeper. Clowns are scary enough, but evil or killer clowns, super creepy. Now, extra smart ZOMBIE killer klown -- that's just neo-maxi-zoomed extra-free KREEPIE!

    I may have nightmares just thinking about it. And I thought Pennywise was bad!

    Oh, and about the indoor skatepark idea -- the first level of the original Tony Hawk game was inside a warehouse and it rocked. It (and the great punk/rap soundtrack) were what got me hooked on that whole series.

  30. Awesome Vampifan, what a great read, very entertaining, I vote for a Sunny comeback !!

  31. @6milphil. I would love to visit Salute, either as a gamer or just a visitor. The problem is, because i live so far away from London up in the North East of England the travel costs meke such a journey far too expensive to consider.

    @Ambassador. Not one vote to let Sunny rest in pieces! He'll be back! More evil than ever and with a fresh posse of Killer Klowns. Be afraid!

    I have plans to make a much larger warehouse than the one I have now. Putting a skateboard park in it is a great idea. Making it a new base for Sunny and co. would be just so evil!

    @The Extraordinarii. Thanks for your comments and vote. Have no fear, Sunny will definitely return.

  32. Outstanding! A great read, great suspension, good fun!

  33. Friggin' outstanding batrep! It was like watching a movie or reading a good zombie-post-apoc novel. Your terrain and figures are absolutely awesome, as always. (Sometime in the future I WILL start detailing out the inside of most of my buildings; I have to after seeing how good yours look). Glad to hear Sunny may be back as a smart-zombie-nemesis, although that makes me fear for your remaining survivors.

    I think writing up the batreps without so many (or any) rules references would be fine. You've given us a great library of material to pour over already! Thanks Vampifan!

  34. @Mike. Many thanks for the kind words. Doing interior detail for buildings is rewarding but, oh man, it is time-consuming! Only do it if you have the time and the desire, because as I discovered when building my police station, it can become too much of a chore.

    I'm sure that my future batreps will become less rules intensive and more of a narrative. I'm looking forward to doing things differently.

  35. Wow, that was super intense!

    I've just finished reading the four last batreps. What a grand finale this batrep was! The story was well narrated, with just enough explaining of the rules to keep me informed of how/why things are happening the way they do, but without stealing the focus from the actual story. Personally, I like the current style of how the stories are told.

    I'd love to see Sunny cheat death and come back for revenge, more sinister than ever! "Sunny's rising..." Can't wait for that movie. ;)


  36. @apeekaboo. if you thought it was intense reading about it just imagine how intense it was playing it! You have no idea what's going to happen once you roll the dice.

    Have no fear abour Sunny - he will be back... with a much stronger posse!

  37. EPIC doesn't even come close! We've lived and breathed these characters for so long. A sad day indeed.