Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My ATZ Campaign - Day 62 - AWOL

Big Sil looked at his watch for the umpteenth time in the past hour. 
"Right, that's me done,"  he grumbled. "Time to get out of here."
He had reached the end of his night watch shift and he was in a foul mood. The sun had rose about an hour ago but the day was cloudy, dull and cool. He was patrolling the back of the small warehouse that he and his fellow survivors were using as a temporary headquarters. Conditions weren't perfect, which just added to his depression and quick temper. Although they weren't the real reason for his surliness. Since the death of his lover, Angelique Johansson, two weeks ago he'd turned to the bottle. Last night, during his watch, he'd finally ran out of alcohol. This did not sit well with him.
The sound of approaching footsteps caused him to fumble for his M16 Assault Rifle, which was slung over his right shoulder. He tugged at the strap but it had got caught by the epaulette of his leather biker jacket. He was about to swear in frustration when the stranger appeared around the corner of the warehouse. He let out an audible sigh of relief when he recognised the person as Hannah Vaughn, his replacement for watch duty.
"Morning, Sil" the young mother of two said in a voice that was far too cheery to the biker's ears. "Anything to report?"
"Nah, same old shit," Big Sil replied, hurriedly letting go of his rifle strap and fumbling in the front right pocket of his jeans. "Another boring night."
He pulled out his bike keys and turned his back on Hannah. Her brows furrowed when she saw him walk towards his motorbike, which was parked close by.
"What are you doing?" she asked as he mounted the powerful bike.
"What's it look like I'm doing?" he countered in a surly voice. "I'm going to get something to drink!"
"The hell you are!" Hannah said indignantly. "You just get back inside!"
"Fuck you!" Big Sil snarled as he started the engine. "You're not my mother!"
"Whu, whu, what?" was all Hannah could say as Big Sil roared off.

So began my latest scenario. Hannah immediately woke up Vampifan and Lieutenant Catweazle and told them what had happened. Vampifan was furious at his old friend's desertion. He and Hannah set off after Big Sil in Hannah's white hatchback car, leaving Catweazle in charge of their base. This was a scenario I'd devised, although it is loosely based on the Raid scenario from the Better Dead Than Zed rulebook. All Vampifan and Hannah had to do was find Big Sil and bring him back home. If they rolled anything but a 1 on 1d6 when they entered the house that his bike was parked next to, he'd be inside. If they did roll a 1 they'd have to search each house in turn. There was a 50/50 chance he'd be in the house they searched. These are much better odds than in the Raid scenario because I wanted them to find him quickly.
Here are the stats of the three participants -
Vampifan - Rep:6 Star with Nerves of Steel and Slow attributes. He is armed with an Assault Rifle, BA Pistol, Combat Knife and Body Armour.
Big Sil - Rep:5 Grunt with Knife Fighter attribute and armed with Assault Rifle, Combat Knife and Body Armour.
Hannah Vaughn - Rep:5 Grunt with Stone Cold attribute and armed with BA Pistol and Combat Knife.

 The game took place in the suburbs of Mayhem City during the early morning of Day 62.
I played the game on a 4' by 3' board. divided into nine 16" by 12" sectors, with sector 1 being in the top left corner with the smaller of the two woods...
 ...and sector 9 being in the bottom right corner where the big bronze and grey ruined building is.
I rolled for the Reps and placement of the three starting PEFs. PEF:1 was Rep:3 and began in sector 4 at the front left corner of the old house.
PEF:2 was Rep:2 and was placed in sector 5 in the woods.
PEF:3 was also Rep:3 and was placed in sector 2 behind the blue camper van. Note the police van. It does prove significant.

Day 62 - AWOL
I rolled for lack of sleep for each character. Vampifan and Hannah were fine and suffered no penalty. When I rolled for Big Sil, he'd only had 3 hours sleep and he passed just one dice on the Lack of Sleep Table. This resulted in him suffering a -2 penalty to his Rep for the duration of this scenario. This dropped him to Rep:3. Nasty!
Note that at the start of the scenario Big Sil is not a part of Team Vampifan and is thus classed as a separate entity for the purposes of Activation.
Vampifan and Hannah began the game in sector 8, parked next to the lamp post. They had spotted Big Sil's motorbike parked at the side of a semi-detached house. Please note, ignore the fact that there is a figure mounted on Big Sil's bike. Unfortunately he is not detachable, so pretend he isn't there.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Big Sil = 4, PEFs = 6
The PEFs and Big Sil had rolled too high to activate. Vampifan and Hannah walked across the street to Big Sil's bike. Remember, Big Sil is not on his bike. What you see is just a figment of your imagination!
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Big Sil = 3, PEFs = 5
Once again. the PEFs had rolled too high to activate. Hannah let Vampifan pass her, as she'd spotted that Big Sil had left his keys in the bike's ignition. She removed them and slipped them into one of the front pockets of her jeans. She smiled wryly, thinking that if he did get past Vampifan and her, he'd be mightily pissed off to find his keys missing.
Vampifan entered the side door of the house, which had been left half open. His colleague was sat at the kitchen table, upon which stood an assortment of five bottles of alcohol - cider, sherry, whisky, white wine and red wine. He held a bottle of vodka to his lips and Vampifan noted it was half full. Had Big Sil drunk half a bottle of vodka in the time he was gone? He wasn't sure if he wanted to know the answer. He also noted that Big Sil's assault rifle was propped up against the staircase behind him. Vampifan's assault rifle was held tightly in a two handed grip at his waist but pointed directly at the biker.
"Have you come to join me?" Big Sil growled in a voice dripping with venom. His eyes glared with contempt at Vampifan.
"This has gone quite far enough!" Vampifan retorted, trying desperately hard to keep his own anger in check but failing. "Put that bottle down!"
"Hah!" Big Sil sneered as he raised the bottle in an overhead salute. "To our glorious, frigging leader!"
Vampifan squeezed the trigger of his Heckler and Koch G3 Assault Rifle. The 7.62mm bullet shattered the vodka bottle and covered Big Sil in alcohol and shards of glass.
"You get your shit together, Sil," he said softly, "or you can just ship out!"
"Fuck you!" Big Sil screamed as he shot forward out of his chair. He took a wild haymaker punch at Vampifan but the swing was so badly telegraphed that Vampifan easily dodged it.
The veteran leader gave his colleague no time to recover. He swiftly smashed the butt of his rifle into Big Sil's forehead, instantly knocking him out.
"Jesus, what a mess!" Hannah exclaimed as she stood in the doorway, surveying the scene in front of her.
Vampifan let out a long sigh before replying, "it is that. Come on, let's get him back home."
Outside, a single female zombie had heard Vampifan's gunshot. She shuffled forward, right next to Hannah's car.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 4, PEFs = 3
The female zombie moved slowly across the main road.
I rolled on the PEF Movement Table for PEF:1 and PEF:3. PEF:1 passed 2d6 and moved one sector towards the largest group of players, ending its move in sight and in cover, if available. I placed it behind Hannah's car. I've only just noticed that this was a mistake as that position is in sector 8. Ooops! As it happens, it makes no difference to the story. PEF:3 only passed 1d6, which allowed it to move one sector to the closest PEF. As PEF:1 and PEF:2 were only one sector away from it I diced to see which one it moved to. It turned out to be PEF:1, so I moved it to the corner of the house that Team Vampifan were in.
Vampifan slung Big Sil over his left shoulder.
"Grab his rifle, please, Hannah," he said as he stepped outside. He immediately saw the female zombie approaching him. Passing 2d6 on the In Sight Test, he fired once from the hip with his Assault Rifle, splattering the zombie's brains across the tarmac.
This also brought him in sight of the two PEFs. I first rolled for PEF:1 and got a D result - a false alarm. See, I told you it didn't matter that it was out of position! However, for PEF:3 I rolled a C result - Hostile NPCs. Here I cheated a bit, but purely for the purpose of telling this story. I did not roll to see who they were as I knew I wanted an encounter with a group of SWAT Troopers. I did roll to see how many of them there were and got a result of three. All were Rep:5. The leader, Sergeant Wayne Connors, was armed with an Assault Rifle (slung over his shoulder) and a BA Pistol (held in a two-handed grip). His colleagues, one male (Johnny Vincenzo) and one female (Gemma Kelly), were each armed with a Sub-Machine Gun and a BA Pistol. All three wore Body armour.
It was time to roll on the Encounter Awareness Test table. Vampifan should have rolled 6d6 for his Rep but suffered a -1d6 penalty for being active. This meant that both sides would roll 5d6. Unfortunately for Vampifan he lost by one, meaning that the SWAT team would take the In Sight test against him. All three passed 2d6. They could all open fire on Vampifan but only Sergeant Connors did. He fired twice and hit once, scoring a Knock Down. Vampifan passed 2d6 on the Recover From Knock Down test and was only Stunned. Even so, he was flat out on his back and unable to return fire or move.
Hannah had seen Vampifan go down but decided to remain hidden. She grabbed hold of Big Sil's Assault Rifle and stealthily moved upstairs, hoping the SWAT Troopers were unaware of her presence.
Three shots had been fired this turn, so I rolled 3d6 for zombie reinforcements. One appeared at the back of the house next door to where Hannah was hiding.
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, SWAT = 5, Zombies = 4, PEF = 1
The SWAT Team moved with a much practiced efficiency, quickly surrounding Vampifan and Big Sil. They disarmed both men, then handcuffed them. Vampifan was too groggy to resist.
"Tagged and bagged, Sarge," said Trooper Gemma Kelly as she secured Vampifan's handcuffs.
"Jeez, this one stinks of booze," Trooper Johnny Vincenzo remarked as he handcuffed Big Sil.
"Hmm, not just looters," commented Sergeant Connors, "but drunken looters."
Unseen by them all at the back of the house, the lone zombie moved closer to them, drawn by the sound of their voices.
Vampifan cautiously got back to his feet and asked, "what are you going to do to us?"
"Oh, you're under arrest, slimeball," Sergeant Connors replied harshly. "We're taking you in and we've got a nice little cell for you and your pal at Precinct 13."
Hannah remained hidden on the upper floor landing, but she had heard every word spoken outside. She knew what she had to do.
I rolled for PEF:2 on the PEF Movement Table but it passed 0d6 and so remained in place in Sector 3.
TURN 5.   Activation - Hannah = 5, SWAT = 4, Zombies = (3) 1, PEF = (3) 6
Hannah bided her time and kept quiet. Vampifan hoped she report back to the others after he'd left and that was exactly what she planned on doing. 
"Let's get out of here," Sergeant Connors ordered. "Kelly, keep an eye on Fatso here. Fatso, you follow me. Vincenzo, grab hold of Sleeping Beauty, will ya?" 
"Yes, sir," the two troopers replied simultaneously.
"Fatso?" Vampifan proclaimed, feeling aggrieved. "I'm not fat. I'm just generously proportioned."
"Zip it, Fatso!" Connors shot back.
Vampifan said no more.
As they turned into the side street, the male zombie caught a fleeting glimpse of them. He instinctively followed. Yet again, PEF:2 failed to activate.
TURN 6.   Activation - Hannah = 2, SWAT = (4) 5, Zombies = (4) 3, PEF = 6
PEF:2 failed to activate. Vampifan and Big Sil were considered part of the SWAT Team for the purposes of activation. They marched up the side street towards the police van. See, I told you it was significant!
The lone zombie followed them but was losing ground.
Hannah moved back downstairs to the kitchen.
TURN 7.   Activation - Hannah = 4, SWAT = 2, Zombies = 1, PEF = 5
PEF:2 just wasn't going to move at all in this game.
Hannah emerged from the house, very relieved to see no one in sight.
The SWAT Team had reached the police van. "Load 'em up and let's get back to base," Sergeant Connors said. He had spotted the zombie male following them. Although he passed 2d6 on the In Sight Test, the zombie was more than 6" away and thus he was not allowed to fire upon it. He mustn't have deemed it to be too big a threat.
Even though the zombie closed the gap on him, he was still more than 6" away. There was no way he could reach his goal before the SWAT Team left.

This seemed like an appropriate point to end the game. The mission of this scenario was to find Big Sil and return him home. Given what happened, it had to be classed as a failure. I rolled to see if Vampifan or Hannah lost a level from their Rep scores but neither did.
So, Vampifan and Big Sil were carted off to the Precinct 13 police station, where a very small force of cops were still holding out. Hannah made a clean getaway and relayed this information to the rest of Team Vampifan. Lieutenant Catweazle ordered an immediate rescue mission. The next scenario will be the biggest I've ever played and it's going to be epic!


  1. Very nice, very nice, this batrep served as a nice appetiser..... now for the main meal.

    1. You're dead right, TE, this was just the appetiser for the main meal. The next scenario will be massive!

  2. I can imagine storming police station to save the Sleeping beauty and the generously proportioned one, can't wait!

    I love how you twisted the story, used the loss of Angie, great story and great report!

    1. Thanks, Mathyoo. I've heard authors say that their story takes on a life of its own. I'm feeling the same way about my ATZ campaign. I do have an over-riding arc for how and where I want my campaign to go. So far, it's on track, despite Team Vampifan suffering a few setbacks.

  3. Whaaaa... No! There has to be more!! Can't wait for the next one :)
    Great batrep as usual and very nice story telling.

    1. Thanks, Stefan, and to be honest with you, I can't wait for the next one either!

  4. Nooooooo......Captured. Can't wait for the next installment.

    1. Yes, captured, Simon. Well, I needed a good excuse to get at least some of Team Vampifan into the Precinct 13 police station. This isn't the most ideal solution, but it works from a story-telling point of view.

  5. Great Bat-rep and a great set-up for a great finale.

    Have I also spotted a new ruin there ?

    1. Thanks, Joe. Oh, you are eagle-eyed aren't you? Although actually, there are two new ruins on show. The two small card ruins next to the bomb crater were made earlier this year. A review of them is on the cards.

  6. What a fantastic report, thanks for sharing it!
    It is a great reminder to why I started gathering zombies and survivors in the first place, and I need to get focused on achieving game playing status.

    1. Getting started takes time, Adam. Get your figures and scenry sorted out first. Play a few practice games to get the feel of the rules then you can think about posting batreps. Don't worry, we're a patient lot!

  7. Very cool, nice way to get the police station build involved. This means war!

    1. The police station will be taking centre stage next time, that's for sure! Oh, and yes, it will be war!

  8. Great report, Bryan. One of your best. Great pics, and very well recounted. Shooting the vodka bottle and then a butt-stroke to the head for Big Sil, Vampifan doesn't mess around. :) I love the way the scenario will segue right into the next one. I can't wait for the big break-out. "Epic" from you means something!

    1. Thanks, Joe. Vampifan takes shit from no one! The next game will be played on a 6' by 4' board, the biggest ever so far. Plus, there will be lots of zombies in it and I do mean LOTS!

  9. Another good and exciting rep. I love the way you have woven your new build into the plot. Looking forward to the EPIC next episode. A quick question. What happened when the doubles were rolled? I thought more PEFs or something occured. Could be me tho.

    1. Thanks, Irqan. The answer to your query about rolling doubles is easy. The rule that says a new PEF appears if you roll doubles is optional, not compulsory. I choose to ignore it for the moment, but I may introduce it in the future. All of the rules in the I, Zombie supplement are optional. You just pick and chose which ones you like.

    2. Doh. I even do that myself. Take one demerit Lrqan.

    3. You're excused, my friend. It was an easy mistake to make.

  10. i'm really looking forward the next report. And to hear how you manage that many models at once.

    Also, that's going to be gory with all these automatic rifles shooting in Suburban area. Zombie fest!

    1. Welcome aboard, Cedric. I'm expecting lots of zombies to turn up at the next gig. yes, it will be a zombiefest!

    2. i've been following your blog for quite sometime now. That's what *forced* me to buy the ruleset. :)

    3. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of them as I have, Cedric.

    4. I follow Vampifan in that wish. I've had a great time.

  11. Really like how this is turning out. (Not saying I like them being in jail)
    But nice to see the police trying to do their job. Sort of..

    I wonder how the tension between Vampifan and Big Sil will work out? This trouble here....I fear it is only the beginning of it all between them.....

    1. Johnny, you need tension in your group of heroes. If everyone got along all the time, it'd be pretty boring. Just look at all the tension amongst the survivors in The Walking Dead comics and/or TV series. How will things work out between Vampifan and Big Sil? I honestly have no idea. Surviving the next scenario will be enough for me, at the moment.

  12. Dunn Dunn DUN! What a cliffhanger. I hope you won't be keeping us waiting too long Vamp.

    1. All being well, the next scenario should take place in June. Just be patient, my friend. I wish it could be sooner but that's the best I can do.

  13. Amazing story, cant wait to see that awesome po-po station in use next game.

    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to using my police station in its first game.

  14. Woot, this had been a long wait, but a worth one!!

    And now you, the cruellest of men, make us wait again to see one of the big, epic, BADASS battle ever... or at least this are the premise!! :D

    I hope not all the swat are Rep 5! :P

    1. Many thanks, Zerloon. The bad news is that all of the SWAT are Rep:5. The good news is that there are only three of them - the three from this scenario. The police station is very undermanned, just as it was in the film "Assault on Precinct 13."

  15. Great! This story is getting more exciting! Vampifan is a true friend.

    1. I like your comment, Tito, especially your remark about Vampifan being a true friend.

  16. Very nice!!!! Can't wait for the next one!!! I just hope my battle reports have half as good as yours!!!!

    1. Given that you have some excellent layouts, DR, I have no doubt that they will. By the way, I love your graveyard set up and I've just commented on it on your blog.

  17. Great batrep again, Bryan. With all those ruins there must have been some serious battles in Mayhem City.

    Can't wait to see your next batrep. Now go and prepare your horde for the assault on precingt 13..all of them ;o)

    Whiteface / Oliver

    1. Mayhem City suffered many serious loses, both in terms of people and property during the first month of the zombie apocalypse.

      As for my zombie horde, it's growing all the time.

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