Wednesday 28 November 2012

Vampifan's Views 31 - Monthly Musings 16

Vampirella by Joe Chiodo
I'd like to start by thanking everyone who commented on my first ATZ-FFO batrep. The new format seems to have been a big hit with you and is one that I will stick with for the foreseeable future. I had a lot of fun playing the Day One scenario and I'm looking forward to continuing my campaign with the rest of Team Vampifan. I'd like to share some of my views on the scenario and on the FFO rules.
I'll start with the rules and I have to say that they are a vast improvement on the two previous versions of ATZ. Everything seemed to flow more easily and I spent a lot less time referring to the rule book and the Quick Reference Sheets. A handy tip for you players - I printed out the QRS pages on to thin card and used them rather than the rulebook. Printing them on card-stock gives them durability, which is very useful for something that is going to see a lot of use.
The In Sight rules worked fine, as did the Melee Combat rules, which I particularly like. I'm glad that you no longer have to divide your attack dice if fighting against multiple opponents. Mind you, I wouldn't want to take on zombies unarmed. The shooting rules have barely changed from before and I only got to use them once. Take note of the consequences of gun play during the first few weeks of the Outbreak because gunfire can attract zombies and the police, as happened in my game. The Star Power advantage will be a great boon to many a party of heroes. Remember that this is an advantage that can be given to Grunts as well as Stars. It was a shame I forgot to use it but that was my problem for forgetting about it. It is tough being a citizen. They have the worst results on the reaction tables; they suffer a penalty when they want to Charge Into Melee and worst of all, they are subject to the Citizen Brown Pants test. The latter was one rule that I really did not like, but I understand why it has been included and so I will not ignore it or drop it. Thankfully, Vampifan no longer has to take it but Angie, Big Sil and Gap will. Let's see how that works out.
Moving on to the scenario itself, I had already played it using the BDTZ rules and to be honest, I'd read through the FFO version beforehand. So, I had a good idea of what to expect. Yeah, I know, I'm a naughty boy! Bite me! I could very easily have omitted the Gas Station encounter for Vampifan's third location but when I read it I knew that it was just the sort of challenge that I wanted to throw at Vampifan. But more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to showcase a lot more rules that would not have appeared otherwise.
Fellow blogger, Joe/Zabadak e-mailed me with some interesting criticisms of the scenario. First he asked why Rep is used for the Meet And Greet test and not People skill? I actually thought you did use People skill for this test but I double checked just to make sure and yes, Rep is used. If ever you were going to use People skill then surely this is what it was designed for. In future, I will be replacing Rep with People skill for this test. Call it a house rule if you want, but it makes a lot of sense to me.
Secondly, he asked why I didn't use my Driving or Fitness skills on the Get There tests taken in between each location depending if my character was travelling by vehicle or on foot respectively? Again, it's an excellent point and I do wish I had. I just never thought of it at the time. Isn't hindsight wonderful?
Thirdly, he bemoaned the lack of people in each of the encounters. This is something I heartily agree with. Mayhem City should have been teeming with people. After all, this was only Day one of the Outbreak. Many people would not even be aware of what was going on, or if they were aware, many would not believe it. Now I understand that Ed wanted to keep the game simple and lots of civilians on the board may have confused things. Plus, how many gamers could fill a city centre location (or wherever) with a horde of innocent bystanders? Well, I could, and again, in hindsight, I wish I had. It would have made the set up times for each location a lot longer but on the plus side, my boards would have looked a damned sight more impressive and realistic.
Finally, he thought it "laughable" that Vampifan would keep his katana in his office. Obviously, I totally disagreed with him. Anyone else think it was a "laughable" thing to do?

Armorcast sexy female vampire
Moving on, it was my 55th birtday last Saturday and it went very well for me. My mum bought me a Vampirella trading card binder and my brother bought me the Avengers boxed set of Marvel Comics DVD films, which included Iron Man, Iron Man 2, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Avengers Assembled. That'll keep me happy over the Christmas holidays when there is sod all worth watching on TV.
I bought a couple of presents for myself, something I always do. First up was an Armorcast 28mm scale sexy female vampire, which is shown to the right of here. That picture is taken directly from the Armorcast website and as you can see, she bears a remarkable similarity to a certain "sexy female vampire" whom I greatly admire. I was lucky in the fact that she arrived from America on the day of my birthday. What great timing! I think that her head is oversized but apart from that she is a very good sculpt and she looks a lot better in the flesh. What is particularly pleasing about her is that she is exactly 28mm tall from the soles of her feet to the top of her head. It makes a refreshing change to find a 28mm scale figure that is exactly that and not heroically scaled.
1/5 scale resin cast Vampirella model
My major purchase was for a 1/5th scale resin cast model of Vampirella, which I ordered from King of Hobbies, a garage sculptor of considerable talent. You can see her in the photo to the left of here shown assembled but unpainted. The sculpture is based on a painting by Boris Vallejo and comes in nine parts - head, torso, two arms, two legs, skull, boot and base. It'll need a lot of prep work before I can make it as there are a lot of mould lines to file down. I'll pin the arms, legs and head to the torso when I come to glueing her together. Then I'll paint the four components (Vampirella, boot, skull and base) separately before I stick them together. This will be a major project and I suspect I'll wait until the new year before I start work on her. I am slowly building up quite a collection of large scale Vampirella models. Just wait until you see the one I'm getting for Christmas. She is the most awesome model I have ever seen and I'll let you see here next month closer to Christmas.

In other news, I have finished making my Stoelzel's Structures 28mm scale Warehouse. I just have to decide how many crates and pallets to fit inside. I did print out a lot of them, but they are easy to make. I am currently painting 15 Acheson Creations 28mm scale Crazies and Cultists and 8 of their zombie figures.
On the reading front I have just started reading Pretty When She Kills by Rhiannon Frater. This is the sequel to Pretty When She Dies, one of the best vampire stories I have read in a long time. I have high hopes for it but if it is as good as I suspect it will be, I'm going to be very frustrated waiting for the third part of the trilogy, Pretty When She Destroys due out some time in 2013.
I only had two visits to the cinema this month. First was to see Skyfall, the latest James Bond film. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it it did live up to the hype. Second was Love Bite, a low budget British comedy/horror film that was a cross between The Inbetweeners and Ginger Snaps. Yes, it was a werewolf movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a great sting-in-the-tail ending.
Well, that's all for my wafflings for this month. If you've made it this far, many thanks.

Saturday 24 November 2012

My FFO Campaign - Week 1 - Day One parts 3 and 4

Noting that the fuel gauge on his pick-up truck was reading less than half full, Vampifan decided to stop at the nearest gas station on his way home and top up the gas tank. There was a queue of traffic waiting to get served, but it wasn't too long to wait before Vampifan reached the pumps.
I had to roll 2d6 against Vampifan's Rep on the Get There table (see p.4 of the Day One scenario) and he passed 1d6. Travelling by vehicle meant he had to compare the destination number (in this case, 3) with his Rep. If it was lower (it was) he counted as passing 2d6. This meant that he was not delayed in arriving at his destination. So far, so good.
The above photo shows another part of Central Mayhem City, with the Golden Shield gas station located in the centre of the board in sector 5. For those of you who are curious to know what the impressive looking building at the centre back is I can tell you that it is a 3D jigsaw of the Quebec City Hall. This was a present for me from my parents when they last visited Canada. It only shows the front of the building and a small part of the sides. I don't know what scale it is, but it is certainly a lot smaller than  28mm scale. However, it makes a canny backdrop and works well in a city centre environment. It's just a shame it wasn't three feet long to cover all of the back of my board.
This photo shows the main street running from the west at the bottom to the east at the top. It was when I was placing the white single-decker bus that I realised I had placed my vehicles facing the wrong way. I had totally forgotten that Americans drive on the "wrong" side of the road. Ooops!
The reverse view of the same street, this time running from east at the bottom to west at the top. The pieces of the 3D jigsaw are made of foamboard and this photo gives you a good view of the 3D nature of it. I like 3D jigsaws. Actually, I like all jigsaws.
"Yo, homey! We're taking your wheels! Hand over the keys and step away from the vehicle or I will pop a cap in your muthafucking ass!"
"You tell him, Leroy. You tell him."
As Vampifan walked round to the gas pump, two black youths, Leroy Watts and Randy Pearlman, accosted him. Leroy wore a red bandana on his head as part of his gang colours. The two teenagers were armed with a 9mm pistol apiece and they were deadly serious about their intention.
Here's where things got real interesting! By coming to this location third, Vampifan automatically activated a Robbery encounter (see p.71). I first rolled to see how many robbers would appear using the Gang column of the How Many table (see p.62) I rolled a 3, which was modified to a 4 for being in an urban area, for a result of PG+1 (PG = Player Group). The robbers consisted of two Rep:3 Gangers, (pre-generated by me) who were placed 2" away from Vampifan, in sight and in no cover. They were automatically classed as Enemies (see p.64) of Vampifan.
"You have got to be kidding me!" Vampifan replied as he drew his katana from its sheath. With a scream of "KIAI!" he charged at the two gangstas.
This encounter had to be resolved before rolling for activation. First of all, the leader of both sides had to make a People Challenge. Vampifan had a People score of 4, whilst Leroy had a score of 1. Vampifan won the Challenge by 2-0. At this point he could hand over the truck (no way!) or he could initiate combat with an In Sight test, with Vampifan counting as Inactive. To take an In Sight test, all figures involved rolls 1d6 per level of their Rep. This number is modified by circumstances (see p.17). In this case, Vampifan had no modifiers but the Gangers suffered a -1 penalty to their Reps for being Active. Whoever scores the most successes (rolls of 1, 2 or 3) goes first. Vampifan scored 2 successes, Leroy scored 1 success and Randy scored 0 successes.To ease play, a die is placed next to each figure, showing how many successes they scored. I use white dice for this purpose.
Vampifan wanted to Charge Into Melee, but first he had to take the Citizens' Brown Pants test (see p.17). He rolled a 2 on 1d6, which was less than or equal to his Rep, so he'd passed the test. For the Charge Into Melee test, Vampifan was again hindered by suffering a -1d6 penalty for being a Citizen. He only rolled 1d6 and each of the Gangers rolled 2d6. However, luck was on Vampifan's side. He won the roll off by 1-0 against Leroy and drew 1-1 against Randy. This meant he could charge Leroy and Leroy was not allowed to fire back at Vampifan. However, in the second combat, Randy was allowed to fire one shot at Vampifan before the melee began. Randy rolled a 2, which was added to his Shooting score of 3 for a result of 5. This was a clear miss (see p.26).
Randy Pearlman must have been at the back of the queue when God was handing brains out. He totally panicked and fired off a single round at Vampifan. Fortunately, the bullet went way too high, not only missing Vampifan but more importantly, any of the gas pumps. Anyone who discharged a firearm in Mayhem City had consequences to face. First of all, it inevitably attracted police attention and secondly, it could potentially attract the attention of any zombies nearby. Sure enough, from an alleyway across the street, a lone zombie shuffled into view, his dead eyes fixated on the rash youth.
The noise of gunfire is one of the ways to attract zombies (see p.46). Every time a shot is fired you should immediately roll 1d6. In an urban area a roll of 4-6 meant that one zombie was generated. The rules for Placing The Zombies (see p.46) suggests rolling 1d6, doubling the score and consulting the clock face diagram on that page to see where the zombie is placed. This only gives 6 possible locations. In my house rules I will roll 1d12 instead of 1d6 to give me twice as many possible locations. I rolled a 6 on the 1d12 and placed my zombie 12" away from Randy at the six o'clock spot just inside the alley behind the gangsta.
Vampifan parried Leroy's pistol away from him with the flat side of his katana, then he quickly jabbed the sword's pommel into the gangsta's forehead. Leroy went out like a light and was unconcious before he hit the ground. Randy, the idiotic punk who had shot at him, would not be treated so mercifully. Vampifan thrust the katana into Randy's stomach and pushed it all the way to the hilt. Randy slowly dropped to his knees, as Vampifan withdrew the blade. Trying desperately to staunch the flow of blood. Randy immediately dropped his pistol so that he could use both hands to clutch at his ruptured stomach.
Both combats went exactly the same way. Vampifan rolled 5d6 (3d6 for his Melee score plus a bonus of 2d6 for using a two-handed weapon). The Gangers had Melee scores of 3, but suffered a -1d6 penalty for being unarmed. Note that the rules for Improvised Weapons states that a two-handed ranged weapon (like a rifle) counts as an Improvised Weapon, but a one-handed ranged weapon (like a pistol) does not (see p.29). Vampifan won both combats by 2-0 and in each case, he scored a Knocked Down result. The two gangstas each passed 1d6 on the Recover From Knock Down test and thus were Out Of the Fight. They should not have picked on Vampifan!
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 5, Zombies = 1.
The zombie began to cross the road. He now had the smell of blood in his nostrils and he was hungry!
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Zombies = 2, Cops =4.
Note that if three or more groups appear in a turn, nominate one group to roll with the Zombie group (if present) for the purposes of rolling doubles. In my case, I'll almost always choose Vampifan.
Whenever shots are fired during days 1-10 of the Outbreak, the Police will turn up to investigate the shooting in 1d3 turns. In this instance, it took 2 turns for a patrol car with 2 cops (one Rep:4, the other Rep:3) to arrive on the scene.
Alerted by the garage owner that shots had been fired, a policer cruiser pulled up just outside the entrance to the gas station. Patrolman Stavros Katsirdakis and his young partner, Rookie Patrolman Mike Shelly alighted their vehicle. Taking in the scene in front of them, they both drew their pistols and pointed them at Vampifan.
"Drop your weapon!" ordered Katsirdakis in a commanding voice.
Vampifan turned towards them, still holding his katana in both hands, the blade pointed at the ground.
"Officers, I can explain," he stated calmly. "It was self-defence. They open fired on me. Check the garage's CCTV. That'll confirm I'm telling the truth."
It was now time to roll on the Meet and Greet table (see p.63). The leader of both sides rolled 1d6 per point of their Rep. However, Vampifan suffered a -1d6 penalty because he was outnumbered by two to one. Looking for successes (scores of 1-3), Vampifan scored 2 successes, as did Patrolman Katsirdakis. Checking the Police Results table (see p.64) a result of "player scored the same" meant that pleasantries were exchanged between both sides and the current ER (Encounter Rating) of this area was immediately reduced from 5 to 4. In essence, the police believed Vampifan. I figured that Katsirdakis recognised Leroy Watts as a known criminal with previous form.
The zombie moved next to the prone Randy Pearlman, who was now writhing in agony on the ground. He knelt down and grabbed Randy's head in both hands. To the utter astonishment of all the bystanders, the zombie bit a large chunk of flesh from Randy's right cheek and swallowed it. Randy's screams rose in pitch as he tried to pull free but the zombie's grip was too tight.
Whenever a zombie sees a human fall Stunned, Out Of the Fight or Obviously Dead it will move next to the victim to feast upon their flesh (see p.48). Roll 1d6 and place the die next to the victim to show how long the zombie will spend feasting. I always use red dice to show how long the feast will last. The number on the die is reduced by one each turn afterwards until it reaches zero. At this point, remove the die. The zombie will then move off in a random direction like those found on a clockface (see p.46).
"Oh, man, that is just gross!" Patrolman Katsirdakis said, backing away from the scene.
"For God's sake, get back in the car!" Rookie Shelly screamed.
They quickly turned tail, seeking the safety of their patrol car. Vampifan just stood mesmerised.
The first time a human sees a zombie feasting upon a victim within 6" of them, they must take the See The Feast test (see p.49) and roll 2d6 against their Rep. Once the test has been passed it need never be taken again. Fortunately, Vampifan passed 2d6 and the cops passed 1d6 on the test (see the Universal Reaction tests on the Quick Reference Sheets). Vampifan was Stunned and unable to act when he next activated. Katsirdakis and Shelly had to Duck Back and were Stunned for 1d3 turns. I rolled a 2 for them both.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, Zombies = 3, Police = 4
Vampifan and the two patrolmen were simply too shocked to move. This was all far too surreal for them.
The zombie turned his attention to Randy's neck and clamped his jaws upon his victim's throat. A geyser of hot blood spurted in a huge arc from the gaping wound made by the ravenous zombie.
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Zombies = 3, Cops = 3.
The zombie continued to chew upon Randy's neck and gulped down the blood that was still fountaining, as Randy's heart carried on pumping, although weaker now and not for much longer.
"This can't go on," Vampifan thought. "I have to stop him."
He took a few steps to get to the left side of the zombie and with a swift swing from his katana ended the grisly feasting by decapitating the zombie.
First, Vampifan passed the Citizen's Brown Pants test. He drew 1-1 on the Charge Into Melee test. Then he won 4-1 on the Melee Combat test and ended up with an Obviously Dead result for damage.
TURN 5.   Activation - Vampifan = 6, Police = 2.
Katsirdakis and Shelly stepped back outside and approached Vampifan at a slow pace. Respect and gratitude showed on their faces.
"Sir, if you could leave us your contact details you're free to go home," Katsirdakis said. "We'll sort this mess out."
"Thank you, sir," Vampifan replied gratefully. "You guys take care out there. This world has changed. I do believe the Apocalypse is here."
This brought an end to Vampifan's third encounter of the day. He filled up his gas tank and headed for home.

Vampifan had moved out of the urban environs of Mayhem City and was now in the suburb of Springvale. He lived in a semi-detached house and as he approached it, a feeling of relief washed over him. But the day wasn't over yet.
For the final time I rolled on the Get There table and happily, Vampifan passed 2d6. Despite many traffic jams that were blighting Mayhem City on this particular day, he got home in good time. Next, I rolled 1d6 on the Contact Days 1-10 table for a result of terrified citizens. Rolling on the How Many table I was pleased to see that there was only one. He was placed a mere 1" away from the front door of Vampifan's home.
The photo above shows a very small part of Springvale, one of many suburbs of Mayhem City. Vampifan's home can be seen in the centre right of the photo and is the only one with a civilian outside of it. It looks like most folk have heeded the warnings of the police and are staying indoors.
As with the other photos I took of the game boards prior to the action starting, here is a view of the main street running from the west at the bottom of the photo to the east at the top of the photo.
And here is the reverse view. Vampifan's pick-up truck is the only vehicle moving in this rather quiet and peaceful neighbouhood. It looks like Big Sil and Angie are at home because you can see in the bottom right of the photo that the side door of their house is open.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Civilians = 6.
Vampifan decelerated and made a 180 degree turn to bring his pick-up truck to a stop outside his house.
TURN 2. Activation - Vampifan = 3, Civilian = 1.
Vampifan got out of his pick-up truck, locked the door and walked towards the front of house. Eyeing the panicked-looking stranger with suspicion, he drew his katana, but only held it in one hand.
"Can I help you, sir?" he asked.
"Get out of my way!" the stranger shouted as he pushed Vampifan to the ground.
As mentioned before, combat with terrified citizens does not involve taking the Charge Into Melee test. Melee combat just automatically happens. This time, Vampifan rolled 4d6 (3d6 for his Melee score plus a 1d6 bonus for using a one-handed weapon), whilst the civilian rolled 2d6 (3d6 for his Melee score minus a 1d6 penalty for being unarmed). Vampifan rolled very badly and lost the combat by 1-0.Yes, he didn't score a single success despite rolling twice as many dice as the civilian. The stranger rolled on the Melee Results table and scored a Knocked Down result. Vampifan rolled on the Recover From Knock Down table and passed 2d6. He was classed as being Stunned and couldn't act for a turn.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 2, Civilians = 4.
Vampifan lay still for a moment and contemplated the events of the day. It had certainly been a day like no other in his life. The citizen who had knocked him down was long gone as he sped away
TURN 4.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, Civilians = 2.
Vampifan stood back up and approached his front door. He unlocked it with a sigh of relief and stepped inside. It was great to get back home.

In all respects, this had been a successful mission for Vampifan, so he was eligible for either a Rep increase or a Skill increase. I decided that a Rep increase would be the better option (see p.71). To qualify for a Rep increase, the character had to have had a successful encounter, killed at least one zombie, not Runaway and not gone Out Of the Fight.Vampifan qualified on all four counts. I rolled 1d6 and scored a 5. This was higher than his current Rep of 4, so he raised his Rep by one level to Rep:5. That was great news but it got even better. To become a Survivor before the 21st day of the Outbreak, a character must pass three "milestones" (see p.9). Under the Citizen No More rules Vampifan had to have killed at least three zombies, have had combat with an armed character and caused him damage (this could be either ranged combat or melee combat) and finally, have taken and successfully passed the See The Feast test. Vampifan qualified on all three counts. So, in the space of a few hours he went from a Rep:4 Civilian to a Rep:5 Survivor. On top of that, he was now armed with his BA Pistol (normally kept at home) and his katana. Plus, he came home with four Luxury Items and one lot of Medical Supplies. I could not have asked for a better start for Vampifan.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

My FFO Campaign - Week 1 - Day One parts 1 and 2

Okay, here it is, my first ATZ-FFO batrep. This sees the hero of my campaign, Scotty "Vampifan" Bryant, on the first day of the outbreak of the zombie plague. The Day One scenario can be downloaded for free at
This batrep will purposefully be rules heavy, as I explain the game mechanics of the new rules for the benefit of new players and for experienced players who'd like to know how FFO differs from the previous rules, Better Dead Than Zed. I should point out that the Day One scenario is designed with the beginner in mind and is very user friendly. Quite a few of the basic rules like In Sight tests, initial zombie placement and PEFs are not used in this scenario. Melee combat against civilians works differently to the normal game to keep things simple.
All notes relating to the rules will be written in blue text to differentiate them from the rest of the batrep. All page numbers will refer to the ATZ-FFO rulebook unless otherwise noted.
The scenario takes place in the centre of Mayhem City (an urban area) for parts 1, 2 and 3 and in the suburban area of Springvale for part 4. It all takes place during the daytime. All four encounters were played on 3' by 3' game boards made up of ground tiles from WWG's Streets of Legend set and an assortment of buildings primarily from WWG, plus a couple from Genet Models and Stoelzel's Structures.

Vampifan was on his lunchbreak when he saw a news report on the TV in the restaurant where he was dining, announcing that dead people had reanimated and were attacking the living. The police were advising everyone to stay indoors and lock themselves in until further notice. Due to his job and hobbies, Vampifan was something of an expert on the undead and his initial reaction was to dismiss the news as a hoax. Zombies did not exist in real life, only in fiction. Still, on the off chance that the news was true, he decided to head back to his office, where he was manager and graphic designer of a computer games company called Vampisoft, pick up his gear, then collect his pick-up truck and drive home, stopping on the way to fill up the gas tank. He slowly made his way back to the Vampisoft offices. Just as he was about to cross the road to the office block, two clearly panicked citizens ran towards him.
This photo shows the part of Central Mayhem City where the Vampisoft offices were located. The offices are actually my lawyers' offices but I designed a new logo to temporarily stick above the front door. it's a simple way to transform the building.
This photo shows the main street running from north (bottom of the photo) to south (top of the photo). The board is divided into nine sectors, each 1' square. Sector 1 appears at the bottom left of the photo and sector 9 is in the top left of the photo.The Vampisoft offices are located in sector 5 in the middle of the board.
And here's the reverse view of the same street running from south at the bottom to north at the top.  
Before play could begin I had to roll 1d6 on the Contact Days 1-10 table (see p.61), with a -1 modifier because it was Daytime. I rolled a 4 which was modified to 3 for a result of Citizens. Next, I rolled 1d6 on the How Many table (see p.62), this time with a +1 modifier because the encounter was in an urban area. I rolled a 2, which was modified to a 3 for a result of 2 Citizens. They were placed 1d6 inches in front of the objective and facing the player character. I rolled a 6, so they were situated 6" away from the front door of the Vampisoft offices.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Civilians = 2.
Vampifan walked to the corner of the T-junction and began to cross the main street as he warily eyed the two men in front of him. 
The two terrified civilians, charged at him, intent on knocking him out of their way rather than running past him. "How odd!" thought Vampifan.
In the Day One scenario, there is no need to take the Charge Into Melee test against terrified civilians. Melee combat against them happens automatically. Here's how it happens. Vampifan is Rep:4 but under my house rules, he has a Melee score of 3. Because he was unarmed he suffered a -1 penalty, which gave him a Melee score of 2. The two civilians were both Rep:3 and because they were also unarmed they also suffered a -1 penalty to their Melee scores. That meant all three combatants had Melee scores of 2. In FFO a character fights each opponent, attacking them in turn (see p.31 for the Melee Combat table). Both opponents rolled a number of dice equal to their Melee scores and looked for successes. A success being any roll of a 1, 2 or 3 . Against the man in the suit Vampifan won the combat by 1 success to 0. I rolled 1d6 to see what, if any damage, Vampifan inflicted (see p.31 for Melee Results). I rolled a 1, which would normally have been an Obviously Dead result. However, in the Day One scenario, any damage done to a citizen is ignored and he simply runs past your character.
"Hey, watch it, buddy!" Vampifan shouted as he shoved the man in the suit away. As he turned from watching the guy run away, the second civilian ploughed into him.
Vampifan was sent sprawling and landed on his back, as the second citizen knocked him down.
In the second combat, Vampifan scored 0 successes but the civilian scored 2. I rolled 1d6 to see what damage was inflicted on Vampifan. I rolled a 5 for a result of Knocked Down. Vampifan had to roll 2d6 against his Rep on the Recover From Knock Down test (see the Citizen Reaction Tests chart in the Quick Reference Section). He passed 2d6 and was Stunned. He could not act until he had spent one full turn of activation doing nothing. I could have avoided this if I had remembered the Star Power advantage he had, but I forgot all about it. D'oh!
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 1, Civilians = 4.
Vampifan remained stunned this turn, and lay on his back getting his wind back.
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Civilians = 4.
Any roll that totals 7 for Activation results in another roll on the Contact Days 1-10 table (see p.5 of the Day One scenario). This rule appears because the Day One scenario does not use PEFs and so allows for further encounters with citizens or zombies. This time I ended up with 3 Civilians, who were placed 4" away from the entrance to the Vampisoft offices. Vampifan had two things going for him this turn. Being Rep:4, he could could activate this turn and because the Citizens were only Rep:3, they couldn't activate. To activate, a character must roll equal to or less than their Rep scores on the Activation dice (see p.13).
Not wanting to fight a trio of terrified civilians, who had suddenly appeared in front of him, Vampifan decided to run around them.
With a sudden spurt of speed, Vampifan swerved to one side of the startled group and ran past them into the safety of the Vampisoft offices.
The distance between Vampifan and the front door of his workplace was 11", a distance that could be covered if he made a successful Fast Move test (see p.15). Normally, you would roll 2d6 and compare the results to the Reps of all those in the party taking the test. For each d6 passed, the character could add half his Movement score to his normal Movement. However, Vampifan has the Slow Attribute, so I only rolled 1d6 for him. A result of 3 meant he passed the test and could add 4" to his Move of 8" for a total of 12", enough to get him to the front door.
This ended Part 1 of the scenario. Vampifan had not met any zombies and speculation amongst his co-workers was rife as to whether the news stories were true or not. The reward for reaching his workplace first was that Vampifan was able to collect his katana, his laptop computer, one lot of medical supplies and enough cash from the safe to class as 3 Luxury Items. All in all, it was a hell of a good haul. Now he had to go and retrieve his pick-up truck from where he'd parked it not far away from the office block.

To reach his next destination without delay, Vampifan had to roll on the Getting There table (see p.4 of the Day One scenario). He passed 2d6 by rolling against his Rep and reached the location without delay. At the start of each separate encounter you have to roll 1d6 on the Contact Days 1-10 table and place any opposition 1d6" away from the objective and facing the player character. This time I ended up with 3 terrified citizens, (a boy, a man and a woman) 1" away from the pick-up truck, blocking Vampifan's way.
Here we are, still in Central Mayhem City, and Vampifan takes a short cut past the building in the centre front of the photo above to reach his pick-up truck, hidden from view by that very same building.
This is the view up the main street from the north (in the bottom of the photo) to the south (at the top of the photo). Vampifan's black pick-up truck can be seen in sector 5, in the middle of the board in between the red hatchback and the blue sedan.
This is the reverse view showing the main street from the south (at the bottom of the photo) to the north (at the top).The large office block belongs to a firm of solicitors, even though it looks remarkably similar to the Vampisoft offices.
TURN 1.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Civilians = 1.
As Vampifan began to cross the road, he immediately noticed the panicked look on the faces of the three citizens running towards him and he had a flash of deja vu. Not wanting to experience his previous mishap, he withdrew his katana and yelled, "just stay the fuck away from me!"
The terrified citizens totally ignored his warning and seemed determined to rush through him, rather than taking the sensible option and avoiding him.
This time, Vampifan rolled 5d6 for his Melee attack dice (3d6 for his Melee score, plus a 2d6 bonus for using a two-handed weapon). As before, the citizens only rolled 2d6 each, making combat a very one-sided affair. Against the teenage boy, Vampifan won 3-0. Against the man wearing the flat cap he won 2-1, and against the young woman he won 2-0. No damage was inflicted as this was not a normal melee combat.
Vampifan held his ground and the trio rapidly moved past him without any harm being done to either side.
TURN 2.   Activation - Vampifan = 4, Zombies =3.
The Activation dice came up with a total of 7, resulting in a new roll on the Contact Days 1-10 table. This time, I rolled up 2 Zombies and they were placed 2" away from Vampifan's pick-up truck and just 3" away from him. This forced Vampifan to take the Zed Or No Zed test (see p.49). He passed 2d6 with rolls of 3 and 1, so he could now take the Charge Into Melee test.
As two more citizens staggered into view, Vampifan saw their blood soaked clothing and horrendous wounds that should have lain out any normal human. The woman had lost her right foot and and her right hand and was hobbling along on the stump of her leg. The old man was also limping badly, with his left foot facing behind him as it had been twisted through 180 degrees. He also had a metal spike piecing his right thigh. Vampifan had no doubts at all in his mind just what they were - they were the walking dead - zombies! So, the news stories were right after all, he thought. He gulped and gripped his katana tighter in his hands that were now trembling.
He thought about charging and attacking them but by the time he had made his mind up they were on him. He was still amazed at the fact that they could move at all, given the extent of their injuries.
Before Vampifan could take the Charge Into Melee test he first had to pass the Citizens Brown Pants test (see p.30). This test affects all civilians and remains in play until they become either Gangers or Survivors. Vampifan had to roll 1d6 against his Rep. He rolled a 2 and so passed the test. Now he could take the Charge Into Melee test (see p.30). Unfortunately, he suffered a -1d6 penalty for being a citizen and so only rolled 1d6 for the test instead of 2d6. He rolled against his Rep and scored a 6 - a failure. The opposition should also roll but in the case of zombies, they never roll and always count as having passed 1d6. Because the zombies had passed more d6 than Vampifan I had them charging him.
Vampifan quickly regained his composure and swung his katana at the female zombie. The devastatingly sharp blade sliced through the zombie's neck with consumate ease and she crumpled to the ground as her head departed her body in a spray of blood.
Zombies roll 3d6 in melee combat and are classed as using Improvised Weapons (this gives them no bonus or penalty to hit). Vampifan rolled 5d6 because of him wielding his katana in a two-handed grip. He scored 3 successes to the zombie's 0 successes. In actual fact, Vampifan only rolled 2 successes but he gained a bonus +1 success for fighting a zombie (see p.31). Rolling 1d6 on the Melee Results table (see p.31), Vampifan rolled a 3, which was the same number of successes he'd scored but wasn't a "1", meaning his opponent was Out Of the Fight (OOF). However, all OOF results against zombies are classed as Obviously Dead (see p.49). He had just killed his first zombie.
His reverse swing against the male zombie was not so accurate as the katana sliced into the left shoulder of the walking dead man. Still, it landed with enough force to unbalance him and the zombie was knocked over.
In the second round of combat Vampifan and the zombie both scored 1 success, but the +1 bonus for Vampifan fighting a zombie meant he won the combat by 2-1. I rolled for damage and this time Vampifan only scored a Knock Down result. Any result of Knocked Down against a zombie, meant the zombie was knocked down to the ground but was not Stunned. The Recover From Knock Down test was not taken. The zombie would regain its feet when it was next active at the cost of its full movement (see p.49).
TURN 3.   Activation - Vampifan = 3, Zombies =6.
Standing next to the prone male zombie, Vampifan stabbed him in the forehead for an automatic kill. He wiped the blood from his katana as he walked across the street to his pick-up truck.
This ended Part 2 of the Day one scenario. Vampifan's next destination was a gas station to stock up on gas. Because my campaign is set in America, I'm using the American term "gas" for petrol, although I must admit it always baffles me why Americans call petrol, which is a liquid, "gas!"


Sunday 18 November 2012

ATZ-FFO Vampifan Background

The big news at Chez Vampifan is that I have started playing my ATZ-FFO campaign. As it is still ongoing, I thought I'd answer the questions found in the section, Who You Are in the Day One scenario. Note that this scenario can be downloaded for free from the THW website. I'll start off with a couple of photos of the new Team Vampifan just to show you how they have changed from the old ATZ-BDTZ campaign.
For Vampifan, I removed the water bottle from the front left of his belt and replaced it with a katana. I also added a small leather pouch in front of his holster. The katana came from my spare parts box and the pouch was sculpted on with Green Stuff modelling putty.
Angie has had a dagger in a sheath added to her lower right leg. It, and the two straps holding it place, were made out of Green Stuff.
Big Sill used to be a knife fighter in the BDTZ campaign. Not anymore. Instead he has acquired the Rage Attribute and I gave him a machete for his melee weapon. The machete, that can be seen on the front left of his belt was also made out of Green Stuff.
Gap has had his M16 Assault Rifle glued in place. It was previously stuck on with a blob of Blu-Tac. I also added a rifle strap made out of Green Stuff to hold it in place.
They were all simple conversions that help to redefine my characters.
So, let's take a closer look at Vampifan. He is single and does not have any children. He is 35 years old.
Vampifan works as the manager and graphic designer of a computer games company called Vampisoft. (I have my brother to thank for coming up with that name). Whilst his job is primarily office-based and sedentary, he does get out and about when he can and he does regular exercise. Unfortunately, much of the good he does by exercising is negated by his unhealthy diet.
Whilst Vampifan has never served in the military, he does have experience with guns. He is a member of the Springvale Gun Club, which he attends once per week. He is also a student of kendo, although his sword skills are not as well honed as his gun skills.
Home for Vampifan is a semi-detached house in Springvale, a suburb of Mayhem City, U.S.A. His next door neighbours are Niall "Big Sil" Sillito and his wife Angelina "Angie" Johannson. It is through them that he became acquainted with Robert "Gap" Thirlby, who is also a resident of Springvale. The four of them regularly meet and socialise.
Regarding resources, Vampifan keeps a well stacked larder, with enough food to count as 3 Food Items. He also owns a first aid kit and medicine, equivalent to 1 Item of Medical Supplies. If need be, Vampifan could barricade the ground floor of his home with materials from his back garden. He does not own a generator, so will be stuck if/when the power goes off.
The weapons he owns are a katana (kept in his office at Vampisoft), and a .45 Heckler and Koch USP Big Ass Pistol, which he keeps at home. He has a good supply of ammo for his pistol.
Vampifan drives a black pick-up truck. On Day One it is not fully gassed, with its tank holding 2 of its 5 fuel units. He'll need to fill her up if he plans on making any long journeys. He does have a jerry can, holding 5 Fuel Units, back home, but that is for emergency use only. I guess a zombie apocalypse would class as an emergency!
Vampifan's Luxury Items would be his laptop computer, cash, a crate of beer, a box of wine and of course, an assortment of toiletries. His collection of books, CDs, DVDs, games, miniature figures and models would also be classed as Luxury Items, but are likely to be left behind if Vampifan has to leave home in a hurry.
On Day One of the Outbreak, Vampifan is on his lunch break, dining at a local restaurant. His first task will be to return to his workplace
You can see how he gets on when I post my first FFO batrep next time.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Foundry Alice White and the Slippery Dwarfs

When Foundry Figures first brought out their range of Street Violence figures they would release them in groups of eight packs of figures. The beauty of buying each collection back then was that you'd get a few bonus figures thrown in that were only available if you bought the full collection. This is what I did and for the third collection, known as the Dark Heart of the City Collection I got three bonus figures of Slippery Dwarfs. This made perfect sense and a superb complement to the Alice White and the Slippery Dwarfs set, which comprised of Alice and four dwarfs. The bonus dwarfs brought their number up to seven, a definite nod to the Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sadly, today the bonus figures are no longer available so now you're stuck with Alice and the four dwarfs. Such a shame, in my opinion.
The photos above and directly below show Alice White and the three bonus dwarfs. Alice appears to be a cross between Snow White and Alice from the Alice in Wonderland story. She looks quite demure and innocent but don't be fooled by her looks. In truth, Alice is a criminal mastermind, the brains and leader of her gang. She is unarmed.
I decided to make all of the dwarfs brothers and gave them the surname of Knott. Their forenames are those given to them by the chaps at Foundry Figures. So, the dwarf standing next to Alice is Godfrey Knott. He is armed with a 9mm Uzi Sub-Machine Gun. On the Foundry website, the dwarfs are depicted as wearing red overalls. I decided to paint my dwarfs in light blue overalls
All of the dwarfs wear masks to hide their true identity. The next dwarf in line, Dozy Knott, is the only one not to wear a white mask. Instead, he wears a pink pig-faced mask. He is armed with a 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon - serious firepower for the gang.
At the far right of the two photos above is Beaky Knott. His mask has a huge pointed nose that reminds me of the Penguin from Batman. He is one of two dwarfs armed with the 5.56mm M-16 Assault Rifle.
These four dwarfs shown directly above and below are the ones that you can buy now. At the far left of this group is Dave Knott, who is left-handed and who totes a 5.56mm SIG SG540 Assault Rifle with a folded stock.
Standing next to him is Dee Knott, wearing a clown's mask with red nose. He is the most heavily armed of the dwarfs with a 66mm M72A2 LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon), a retractible and disposable rocket launcher that fires a HEAT warhead.
Next in line is the dread-locked Tich, the second of the dwarfs to be armed with the 5.56mm M16 Assault Rifle.
Finally, is Mick Knott, another left hander. He is armed with a Hawk MM1 Grenade Launcher, which holds 12 rounds in a revolver cylinder.
As is typical of many of the Foundry Street Violence sets, these guys are well armed with a variety of weapons. They are certainly an unusual gang and I must admit that I like them. I could well see them as being allies of my Killer Klowns, whilst operating independantly of Sunny and co.
Set SV033 Alice White and the Slippery Dwarfs can be bought for £10.00 from the Foundry webstore.