Friday 29 July 2016

Vampifan's Views 82 - Monthly Musings 56

Another month is almost over and that means it's time for another one of my Monthly Musings posts. As always I start off with a picture of my beloved Vampirella. Once again, this delightful portrait has been painted by the extremely talented Joe Jusko, my favourite Vampirella artist. It is rare to see Vampi wearing a cloak.

I haven't done much in the way of gaming this month, although I did manage to play a game of Zombicide, which I recorded as a three part batrep on my blog. That was fun but it didn't work out as I was hoping it would and I lost two of my four Survivors. Not a good result at all.

On the modelling front I have had a very busy month. I have made a new 4Ground 28mm scale MDF Wild West building - a Hardware Store. Most 4Ground buildings come without furnishings but I have been adding lots of interior detail to this particular model. After a very long absence (too long, to be honest) I have got back to making card buildings and card furnishings. I made a couple of World Works Games Wild West outdoor toilets and loads of furniture items for my Wild West buildings, including the aforementioned Hardware Store. In addition, I have also made every single figure I own for Shadows of Brimstone. There were a LOT of figures to make as I have been buying quite a few expansion sets for the game since the start of the New Year. All have been based and had their bases textured and all have been primed. I have finished painting a few of them and have a lot more on my painting desk. I am really into this game and I'm focussing all of my attention on it. You can expect to see a lot of posts about Shadows of Brimstone on both of my blogs over the coming months.

This seems like a good time to show you all of the sets I have bought for Shadows of Brimstone. At Christmas 2015 I bought the two starter sets for the game. First up was City of the Ancients, which features the other world of the frozen over Targa Plateau, a dead world that has slipped into an Ice Age. This game can be played in the ruins of a frozen city on Targa or in the mines near the cursed town of Brimstone.
The second starter set I bought for myself was Swamps of Death, which features as its other world, the Swamps of Jargano. This hot and humid swampland is populated with dangerous plants and creatures. The double-sided map tiles feature the Jargano swamps on one side and an abandoned mine on the other. Undead fans should note that this is the set that contains the zombie figures.
The first big expansion set I bought was the excellent Frontier Town. Of all the sets for the game this one is by far, my favourite. After each adventure in the mines or on another world, the Heroes can visit a town to sell their loot, restock on supplies or heal any injuries. What this expansion does is offer far more choices for what happens in town and on the way there as well as providing options for the size of the town and the type of town. All of which is great, but when you add in the options for having separate adventures in town, you soon come to realise that this is a "must have" expansion set. The board for the town encounters is a work of art and quite stunning.
My most recent acquisition for Shadows of Brimstone was this expansion set, Caverns of Cynder. This provides an extra other world setting, the burning Caverns of Cynder, home to many dark and ancient evils such as the fiendish Lava Men. This set is severely lacking in figures, just three 28mm scale Lava Men are included, but it more than makes up for that with its game tiles, counters, rules and scenarios. The double-sided game tiles feature another abandoned mine on one side and the Caverns of Cynder on the other side. Note that all three mines featured in the sets are different and you can mix and match them if you wanted to create your own scenario adventures.

Next up were a pair of giant monsters I bought. These are mightily impressive beasts, standing roughly 75mm tall and fitting on 60mm diameter bases. The Dark Stone Hydra does not come from an other world but is a mutated rattlesnake found in the area surrounding Brimstone and created by the twisting powers of Dark Stone, which releases Void energy to any who come in contact with it for too long a period. The Dark Stone Hydra is fast and deadly. It regenerates damage done to it every Turn although it does lose power the more heads it loses.
The Guardian of Targa is a gigantic and terrifying construct, found in the deserted frozen cities on the Targa Plateau. Its Hardened Shell has withstood the ages and can easily withstand simple gunfire. Though mainly a melee fighter with its four crushing arms, the Guardian also has a burning laser it can fire from its single lifeless eye at the start of each Turn. Though difficult to destroy, the Guardian can have its Control Systems damaged as it takes Wounds, reducing its effectiveness as more and more of its systems shut down and its arms go dead.

Finally, I also bought four more sets of figures and whilst they are all a lot smaller than the Hydra and the Guardian, they are still very nasty threats to the Heroes.

The Custodians of Targa comes with two types of enemy - a pair of Targa Pylons and a trio of Custodians of Targa. Stats and cards for the Pylons can be found in the City of the Ancients set but the Pylons themselves are represented by card counters. This set includes actual 3D models of them, which are far cooler. The Custodians are repair robots who can heal themselves and the Pylons of any damage taken. The Custodians and the Pylons are armed with defensive lasers.

The Masters of the Void set contains 3 large Void Hounds and 3 Void Sorcerers. Void Hounds lay in wait within the Void, choosing the right time to strike. Attacking as a pack, they phase in and out of reality as they move, giving them a variable Defence value. Void Sorcerers are predominantly ranged enemies, preferring to strike from a distance by firing Void Bolts as they chant their foul spells. Their powerful Magik both protects them and allows them to rain down destruction on their foes.
 The Scafford Gang is a motley crew of Mutant Outlaws, each plagued with mutations of various sizes and shapes. They are led by Colonel Benjamin Scafford, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War and a hardened soldier. His strong leadership and ruthless cunning have earned him the unending loyalty of his gang and made him one of the most successful Outlaws of all time. This set contains 7 figures - Colonel Scafford and 6 Mutant Outlaws sculpted in 2 poses.
The Serpentmen of Jargano are an indigenous race from that world. Fiercely tribal, the Serpentmen have built a civilisation on brutal warfare and massive stone temples to their Serpent Gods. They stalk the swamps, hunting their prey and protecting their territory from outsiders and other tribes that would conquer their lands. Though highly intelligent, they are cold-blooded killers, calculating and ruthless. This set contains 1 Serpentman Shaman and 6 Warriors sculpted in 2 poses.

There are other sets available for the game and new sets are being made all of the time. I won't be purchasing them all but I will try to buy those that catch my eye. Even though I have painted a few figures for this game, I'm not quite ready to showcase them just yet. So, next month will mainly be taken up with reviews of the figures from the Zombicide: Black Plague boxed set. Oh, and there will probably be another Zombicide batrep. Quite a few of you wanted to know what happened to Elsa and Gary after their fateful encounter with the Crowz. All will be revealed.

Monday 25 July 2016

7TV2e Cameraman and TV

A slight change of pace here. I wanted to show you a couple of 7TV2e figures that go together very well - the TV set and the TV cameraman.
The television set comes with the boxed starter set for 7TV2e by Crooked Dice Games. Its purpose is to represent a Maguffin, an objective of some considerable value that may be found during the course of a game. Full rules for using the Maguffin can be found on page 18 of the Producer's Guide. The Maguffin counts as a normal objective token apart from the following -
  1. The player whose side gains it can add one random gadget from the unused cards to their gadget pool.
  2. The Maguffin is worth 1d6 Victory Points at the end of the game.
For those who like narrative play a list of items that the Maguffin could be are listed by genre in this section of the Producer's Guide. Of course, the TV set also makes a nice furniture item to add to a building's interior.
The TV Cameraman is a Neutral Extra usable in any genre and with a Rating of just 1. Among his abilities, he cannot be the subject of any strikes for any reason and he cannot gain any statuses and counts as passing any Spirit tests. In addition, his owner may select one friendly model within 6" of the cameraman and activate him for free providing he has not already activated this turn. He's a useful character to have although he is very slow with a Move of 2". The figure comes in three parts - separate arms and body, whilst the camera is a two-piece casting - camera and stand. The figure is supplied with a 40mm diameter base, which I discarded and replaced with a 25mm by 50mm rounded corners cavalry base made of MDF. This is a much better base, in my opinion. For the figures. I simply copied the colour schemes of the camera and cameraman from the Crooked Dice games website. For an interesting alternative colour scheme do check out this version by Colgar 6 -
He went for more muted, natural colours, which I really like. The cameraman is a great figure and I hope that Crooked Dice games produce more TV crew members to use. There is a quite a list they could choose from.
The TV Cameraman with his Camera costs £5.00 from the CDG webstore (you can find the link for him  here)and you can get the TV set Maguffin for £10.00 if you order the 7TV2e plastic counters set. It is not available separately.

Friday 22 July 2016

Zombicide Scenario BS01 - Death From Above Part 3

ROSS. Moving closer to the double threat of three small flocks of Crowz and two Runners, Ross fired his 9mm Pistol, hitting with four of his six shots. The Crowz died first, quickly followed by one of the Runners.
DAKOTA. She was all alone in the apartment building, free to explore without any interference from the undead or her colleagues. When she moved into the lounge she noticed something of interest on the round table. It was a small gold-plated box. She picked it up and stuffed it into one of the pockets of her orange jump suit. She planned on checking it out properly later.
(She had found the second of the four objective tokens, but it was not the first aid kit.)  
She felt well pleased with herself as she sauntered back through the kitchen to the lobby.
ELSA. Being a skilled cat burglar, Elsa had no problem in unlocking the door to the small building at the end of the main street. It appeared to be a small pizza parlour and the door opened into the kitchen area. Inside were four Walkers - three males and a female. She fired four short bursts from her 9mm Uzi Sub-Machine Gun at the slow moving Zombies, missing more often than not but still managing to kill all four.
(Remember that Elsa's Break-in skill counts as a free action when she unlocks doors, so she was able to use her four Actions to make Ranged Fire attacks, missing twice and hitting once with each of her three round bursts.)
GARY. Feeling left out and lagging behind the others, Gary trotted down Main Street to team up with Ross. He immediately saw the threat to his new friend and swiftly raised his Rifle and calmly shot the Runner in the centre of his forehead.
"Cheers, mate," Ross said gratefully acknowledging his fine marksmanship.
"No problem," Gary replied, only too glad to have been of assistance.
ZOMBIES. Three flocks of Crowz flew into Elsa's Zone, instantly surrounding her. One Runner sprinted towards Gary and Ross. Dakota was safe for the moment but lots of Zombies were moving onto Main Street, especially from the second apartment building east of her. Three Crowz emerged from each of Spawn Points 1 and 2. From Spawn Point 3, an Abomination arrived (uh oh!) and from Spawn Point 4, three more Walkers arrived.
DAKOTA. She stepped outside of the apartment to confront three Walkers. Her shooting with her Pump-Action Shotgun was erratic. She had to shoot each Walker twice before they lay dead on the street. Even so, the threat had been eradicated.
ELSA. "Not again!" Elsa spat out derisively as she opened fire on the troublesome Crowz with both guns, which she fired one-handed. Ma's Shotgun proved to be devastating and obliterated two flocks of Crowz. A short burst from her Uzi Sub-Machine Gun put paid to the last of the Crowz closing in on her. She turned back to face the pizza parlour and strode through the now empty kitchen into the service area.
"Now what do we have here?" she thought out loud.
GARY. The former miniature figures sculptor grinned maniacally as he fired up his newly found Chainsaw. The spinning blades sliced off both arms of the Runner before Gary beheaded him. He switched to his Rifle and tried to whittle down the group of Walkers and Runners who were dangerously close to Ross and himself. Three shots resulted in one miss and two hits, which killed a pair of Walkers. It was now up to Ross to deal with the rest of the Zombies.
ROSS. The overweight warehouse manager did his best but he knew instinctively that he should have done a lot better. Out of eight shots from his 9mm Pistol only four proved to be lethal. Three Walkers and one Runner died in his barrage. The Runners proved especially difficult to hit as their speed made them particularly elusive.
ZOMBIES. "Oh, fuuu...!" was all Ross could scream before two Runners were on him in a flash. One clamped his teeth on his neck and tore his throat out. The other bit a large chunk of flesh out of his gun arm that now flailed uselessly. They bore him to the ground gorging themselves on his flesh and blood. He died messily and painfully as his screams filled the air.
Gary fared slightly better but was not unscathed. Another Runner bit him in the left shoulder, but thankfully, it was not a deep wound. Still, it hurt a lot and it took him by surprise. As he struggled to ward off his attacker he lost his Crowbar.
(This was bad. But incredibly, things got a lot worse for the Survivors when I drew the card for Spawn Point 1 - all Walkers get an extra turn! Oh shit! Through no fault of her own, Dakota would die and there wasn't a thing I could do to prevent it! It was just pure bad luck and a terrible time to draw that particular card.)  
Dakota was caught totally unaware when a pair of Walkers ran at her. Yes, ran!
"They shouldn't be that fast!" were her last thoughts as they bowled her over onto the ground. Her head hit the hard tarmac and she was stunned for just a second. It was a second too long. As their arms held her down the pair of Walkers bit her repeatedly, filling their mouths with her warm succulent flesh.
Dakota was still screaming when five more Walkers moved in to join in on the feasting, whilst a large flock of Crowz viewed the scene with greedy eyes. Four Walkers entered the neighbourhood from Spawn Point 2 and were joined by one more from Spawn Point 3. Three flocks of Crowz emerged from Spawn Point 4.
GARY. Something snapped in Gary's mind and a red mist descended over him. Ross was dead. Dakota was dead. Elsa was out of view and could be dead. And it was all the fault of those god-damned fucking zombies! It was payback time. He fired up the Chainsaw again and set about on a killing spree. The first to die were the Runner who had bitten him and the two Runners who were more interested in feeding off Ross's still warm corpse than in defending themselves. A female Walker had no chance of stopping him moving further down the main street. As her headlesss body dropped to the ground her head spun away and rolled to a halt beside a pair of overturned rubbish bins. Three more Walkers barred his way to the pizza parlour, where he had last seen Elsa enter. The two males suffered the same fate as the female Walker - death by decapitation. He was confident of killing the remaining Walker when his Chainsaw sputtered and the blades stopped spinning.
"Bummer! This is it," he muttered fatalistically. "It's the end!"
ELSA. Searching behind the counter of the pizza parlour, Elsa discovered a fully stocked first aid kit in a shoulder bag.
"Very useful," she mused as she took possession of it.  
(Elsa had found the third objective and this time it was the Green Token, which was the first aid kit. This gave her enough experience points to advance to the Orange level. Being a cat burglar, she chose the Slippery skill to help her sneak past zombies.)  
She hurried back outside and saw Gary fumbling with his Chainsaw. A smartly dressed female Walker was almost on top of him. She had to act fast. She snap-fired Ma's Shotgun. It was a risky shot. If she missed she would surely hit Gary and at that range and at that height the blast would certainly kill him. But the risk paid off. The Walker took the blast from both barrels in the back of her head. Blood and brain matter sprayed Gary in the face but for now, he still lived.
ZOMBIES. Gary's day went from bad to worse as he suddenly found himself surrounded by nine flocks of Crowz. Behind them a horde of zombies advanced along Main Street.
(With Elsa now at the Orange level, the Zombies spawned in even greater numbers than before.)
Three Runners emerged from Spawn Point 1. Two Walkers arrived at Spawn Point 2 and one Fatty entered at Spawn Point 3. Three more Walkers arrived from Spawn Point 4.
TURN 11 
GARY. To stand and fight would have been suicide and Gary was not ready to die just yet. He ducked inside the large apartment and ran through the lobby into a messy-looking lounge. A small shiny object attracted his attention and he quickly pocketed it. He'd examine it later, if he survived, and see what it was.
(Gary used his Slippery Skill to evade the horde of Crowz and so was able to enter the apartment without any hindrance. He found the fourth of the four Objectives. As soon as he took it he advanced to Orange level. He chose the Lucky skill. He'd enjoyed good luck so far and with a bit more he might just survive the rest of the day.)
He walked back into the lobby, unsure of whether he'd live or die in the next few seconds. But come what may, someone had to survive this deadly encounter. He knew what had to be done.
"Elsa!" he shouted. "Get the hell out of here. Just go! Run and save yourself! I'll follow you!"
ELSA. Momentarily torn by indecision, Elsa quickly came to realise that Gary's advice was the only sensible choice she could make. The Zombie horde was growing considerably. There was no way she could kill them all. Gary was trapped inside and was surely beyond all help.
"God, damn you,Gary," she muttered through clenched teeth. "It wasn't supposed to end like this." She took one last glance over her shoulder at the apartment entrance, now blocked from sight by a massive flock of Crowz, before running away to what she hoped was safety.
ZOMBIES. Nine groups of Crowz swarmed into the lobby of the apartment building, and practically filled the space as they prepared to feast on the one remaining human. Seven Walkers had gathered just outside the building and elsewhere even more Zombies were approaching. Four more flocks of Crowz arrived from each of spawn Points 1 and 2, whilst four Walkers arrived from Spawn Point 3 and three Runners emerged from Spawn Point 4.
GARY. "To hell with this," Gary said determinedly, "I'm outta here! Maybe I can outrun these bastards."
He kept his head down and covered it as best he could with his arms as he snuck outside. Incredibly, the Crowz simply ignored him and the seven Walkers who saw him emerge into the daylight seemed surprised to see him. Their mournful moaning was their only reaction. Gary sprinted as fast as he could and raced out of the neighbourhood to catch up with Elsa.
(Once again, Gary's Slippery skill proved to be a life saver. He was able to sneak past the hordes of Crowz and Walkers unmolested and so reached the exit with ease.)

CONCLUSION. This was the first time I'd used these particular Survivors in a game of Zombicide and the first time I'd used the Murder of Crowz expansion set. Although it was a relatively short game (just 12 Turns) I connected with the characters and quickly grew to like them, especially Elsa, who was my personal favourite. I wanted them all to survive. In almost every zombie apocalypse game I play I want the humans to survive. So, I felt really bad at losing Dakota and Ross. The death of Ross was inevitable after his very average shooting in Turn 9. If only he could have killed one more Runner, he would have survived as I'd have had the two remaining Runners splitting their attacks between Gary and Ross so that each of them took one wound. As it was, with three Runners attacking Gary or Ross one of them had to die. It was my choice and I chose Ross because I felt Gary had a better chance of surviving the encounter. 
The death of Dakota was tragic and nothing more than a bad turn of the cards. These things happen and you just have to accept it. It was a shame because up till then, she was doing the best out of the four humans.
Elsa and Gary survived thanks to having great starting skills. Elsa's Break-in skill proved very useful, allowing her to unlock doors automatically and silently and counting it as a free action. Gary began the game with the Slippery skill and that saved his life in the last two Turns of the game.
Crowz are an absolute menace! Okay, so they never killed anyone in this game, but that was only because Gary's Slippery skill and Elsa's superb shooting prevented any human deaths. Things could have gone very differently against another group of Survivors. I'm just imagining how lethal they'll be in Zombicide: Black Plague if I combine them with the Wolfz, who can also move three Zones per Turn!
Playing this scenario rekindled my love for Zombicide and just goes to show what an exciting game it is. I have lots more Zombicide batreps planned for the future, which will include batreps for the base game, the four contemporary expansion sets and for Zombicide: Black Plague

Monday 18 July 2016

Zombicide Scenario BS01 - Death From Above Part 2

DAKOTA. The ex-convict moved into the reception area of the building she was exploring and carefully searched the room. She got lucky and found a fully loaded 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun hidden behind the reception desk. She replaced her Sawed-Off Shotgun with the Pump-Action and stepped outside to see Gary and Ross about to be attacked by a Zombie Walker and a small flock of Crowz.
ELSA. The cat burglar blasted a pair of Walkers with her specially crafted Ma's Shotgun combi-weapon. Using her lock-picking skills she expertly unlocked the door to the large building. Inside, the building was split into seven rooms, indicating it was an apartment. A single male Walker faced her in the lobby. Moving clockwise away from her were a bedroom containing a female Walker, a utility room containing one Fatty, a bathroom with two small groups of Crowz residing there, a second bedroom with another male Walker, a large lounge containing two more sets of Crowz and an empty kitchen. She raised her 9mm Uzi Sub-Machine Gun and fired a short burst into the head of the male Walker facing her. He died messily but quietly.
GARY. The miniature figures sculptor defended himself against the Crowz with his Crowbar. Frantically, he swung the make-shift weapon three times before the Crowz were eliminated.
ROSS. Although he now worked as a warehouse manager, Ross used to be a U.S. Army veteran and was skilled in both melee and ranged combat. He used his Machete to behead the Walker who was threatening to take a bite out of him. His first swing struck the Walker in the shoulder but his second swing caught the Walker in the side of the neck and decapitated him. He fired his 9mm Pistol at the female Walker who was closing in on him and his two colleagues. One of his two shots went wide but the second hit the emaciated woman in the centre of her chest and incredibly, had no discernible affect on her.
"Head shots!" he reminded himself belatedly.
ZOMBIES. The female Walker whom Ross had failed to kill surged forward to attack Dakota or Gary. She seemed undecided who to bite first.
Elsewhere, the other Zombies advanced and poor Elsa suddenly found herself surrounded by six flocks of Crowz. It looked bad for her! Spawn Points 1 and 4 thankfully remained empty but two more flocks of Crowz emerged from each of Spawn Points 2 and 3 in the south-side of the city.
ELSA. "Please, God, let me survive this," Elsa prayed. She knew she only had one chance of surviving. She had to spin and spray the Crowz with automatic fire from her Uzi. She screamed long, hard and loud as she held the trigger down and spun through 360 degrees. Miraculously, she managed to shoot every single one of the Crowz out of the sky. She had survived and she breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief.  
"Thank you, God!" she offered with genuine sincerity as she raised her eyes towards Heaven.
(After Elsa had killed the first flock of Crowz she advanced to Yellow Level and gained the +1 Action skill. This allowed her to fire four times this Turn instead of three and with her SMG firing three times per action, she was able to kill all six sets of Crowz.)
GARY. Once more he swung his crowbar and this time it connected with the side of the female Walker's head, killing her instantly.
"Nice!" he gloated. He raised his Rifle and fired twice. His first shot took out a male Walker and his second shot despatched a small flock of Crowz.
(These three kills were sufficient to advance Gary to the Yellow level. He also gained the +1 Action Skill.)
ROSS. "You did good there, Missy," he acknowledged as he moved down the main street to stand alongside Elsa.
"Thanks," she replied with a bright friendly smile.
"I'll deal with these two," Ross announced. This time he remembered to aim for the head and both of his shots were accurate and deadly. Two male Walkers dropped down dead before they could reach him or Elsa.
DAKOTA. "You rock, girl!" she said with a grin as she strode along the main street to catch up with her friend, Elsa. Then she noticed something that changed her mood.
"Ooh, fat guy!" the busty blonde said as he aimed her 12 Gauge Shotgun at a Fatty approaching the T-junction she stood in. The shot caught the corpulent Zombie full in the face and left him a bloody ruin on the ground.
(Killing the Fatty gave her enough experience points to advance to Yellow level. She also gained the +1 Action Skill.)
She spun and fired again, this time pointing her Shotgun to the entrance of the large apartment. A female Walker who was about to exit the building went down with half of her head missing as the deadly Shotgun blast ended her undead existence.
ZOMBIES. One flock of Crowz from the south-side flew at Gary. Another two flocks flew at Dakota, Elsa and Ross, and were quickly joined by a single Zombie Runner. Two Walkers emerged from Spawn Point 1. Three Walkers spawned from both Spawn Points 2 and 3. From Spawn Point 4, four Walkers arrived. Their numbers were increasing.
GARY. The Crowz preparing to attack him were far too close to hit with his Rifle, so Gary swung his Crowbar at them. Any survival instinct the Crowz may have possessed before becoming undead had deserted them. They made no attempt to dodge the blows and were mercilessly mown down one by one. Greatly relieved, Gary turned round and headed back north to the parked police car. He searched it once more and succeeded in finding a Chainsaw.
"Groovy, baby," he drawled doing his Bruce Campbell as Ash from The Evil Dead impression. He stuck his Crowbar in the side of his belt and replaced it with the Chainsaw as he returned to the T-junction.
ROSS. Given the danger he was in, Ross remained calm. He wielded his Machete with expert precision and massacred the two flocks of Crowz and the male Runner. He turned to the two women behind him with a grin spread across his face. They both nodded in appreciation.
(These kills helped Ross advance to the Yellow level and as usual, he gained the +1 Action Skill. Now all four Survivors had attained Yellow level.)
DAKOTA. "I'll check out this apartment," she told Elsa. "You go ahead and check out those two buildings further down the street."
"Are you sure you'll be okay on your own in there?" Elsa asked in a concerned voice.
"Don't worry. I'll be fine," Dakota replied confidently as she cranked her Pump-Action Shotgun. Four times the sound "Kerchink!" was followed by a loud boom as she turned the male Walker and male Fatty standing in the lobby of the apartment into mincemeat. She gingerly stepped over their corpses and moved slowly into the empty kitchen.
ELSA. With a clear run ahead of her, Elsa jogged down the main street to the next building on her right. She paused by the front door to retrieve her lock-picks from her back pocket. In no time at all, she had unlocked the wooden door. Pushing it open and seeing that the room beyond it was empty she moved even further down the street. Unbeknownst to her, this new apartment was far from empty. Inside were three groups of Crowz, five Runners and two Walkers.
(Note that I forgot that using her Break-in skill to open doors it counts as a free action. She could have moved across the street to unlock the door to the end building north of her as well. Ah, well!)
ZOMBIES. There was a lot of movement from the Zombie horde as they all advanced towards Main Street but no contact was made with any of the four humans. From Spawn Point 1 in the north, two Walkers arrived. From the south at Spawn Point 2, two Runners arrived and two more Walkers arrived at Spawn Point 3. Finally, from the northerly Spawn Point 4 came two more Runners. So far, the Survivors had coped well and were making good progress. But as they were soon to discover, fate can play cruel tricks on you. Not all of them would survive this encounter!

 To be concluded.

Friday 15 July 2016

Zombicide Scenario BS01 - Death From Above Part 1

It is no secret that my favourite boardgame of all time is Zombicide. I fell in love with it from the moment I opened the starter set box and read the rulebook. I have all of the supplements for it, including the spin-off game Zombicide: Black Plague, which incredibly, improves on the original, and I have just about all of the figures made for it. I was tempted to run a Zombicide: Black Plague batrep here, but there is still so much fun and so much new stuff for the original game that I haven't covered, so I'm sticking with that for the moment. Over the next three weeks I'll show you what happened in a scenario of my own creation that I called "Death From Above." The reason I chose this title will become immediately obvious. Not only will the Survivors have to deal with a growing horde of Zombies but I'm also adding the Murder of Crowz expansion set into the mix. Hence, "Death From Above."
Please note that I posted this batrep on The Gamers Cupboard blog more than two days ago, where it received just one comment (thanks, Andy!). Pitiful! I'm hoping it'll reach a wider and more appreciative audience here. After all, this is the blog for all things Undead.
In this scenario, I'm using four Survivors from Zombicide Season 2. They are Dakota, an escaped convict, Elsa, a cat burglar, Gary, a miniature figures sculptor and Ross, an ex-Army veteran and warehouse manager. Despite their widely differing backgrounds they had grouped together when the zombie apocalypse brought them in contact with one another. Dakota started with the Taunt skill (not very useful); Elsa with the Break-in Skill (which proved very useful); Gary began with the Slippery Skill (incredibly useful!) and Ross started with the +1Die: Ranged Skill (another useful Skill). Their starting weapons were a Fire-Axe for Dakota, a Pan for Elsa, a Crowbar for Gary and a Pistol for Ross.
The photo above shows the board set up for the start of the game. The upper four tiles are from left to right, 1B, 2B, 2C and 4B. The four lower tiles from left to right are 3B, 5F, 2C and 4B. There are four Spawn Points (not numbered in this photo but they are in the other photos) - two at the top (north end) of the board and two at the bottom (south end) of the board.
Take all four Objective Tokens. One of them will be a Green Objective Token (placed face down) and it represents a First Aid Kit, which can be used to heal one wound on any Survivor in the same Zone as the person who has this Token. Healing counts as a separate Action. All Objective Tokens are worth 5 experience points to whoever finds them.
Once all four Objective Tokens have been found, the Survivors may exit the board at the Exit Point on Tiles 4B and 5B.
Death from above. This scenario includes the figures from the Murder of Crowz expansion set as part of the Zombie Horde. Rules for Crowz are they can move 3 Zones per Turn. They ignore doors and walls when moving. They only have one action per Turn - Move or Attack. They only have 1 wound and when killed, they are worth 1 experience point. On the Target Priority Chart, Crowz appear just after Survivors, meaning they will always be the first type of Zombies to be shot.
Out of gas! The Pimpmobile and Police Car may not be driven. However, they can be searched as normal. The Pimpmobile will contain either the Evil Twins Pistols or Ma's Shotgun.
Hah, you missed me! I decided to use the Target Priority rules from Zombicide: Black Plague when shooting into a Zone that contains one or more Survivors. This means the Survivor is only hit if the shot misses its intended target. I think this is a much fairer rule and it will be a house rule in all of my future games of Zombicide.
The four Survivors started in the North West corner of Tile 1B. For the most part I'll alternate who acts first in a Turn. Moving clockwise from Dakota, the Survivors are arranged alphabetically - Dakota, Elsa, Gary and Ross. Notes relating to the rules will be written in blue.
DAKOTA, ELSA, GARY & ROSS. With only three Actions per Turn, they each moved 2 Zones east and then 1 Zone south to stand alongside the police car.
"We need to find some decent weapons," Gary moaned.
"There should be some in this car," Ross pointed out.
"The keys are missing and the gas tank is reading empty," Elsa noted as she peered through the window of the driver's door.
"Hey, guys! The trunk's unlocked. Let's see what they've got." Dakota said in a cheerful voice.
ZOMBIES. Spawn Point 1 wielded one Walker. One Walker climbed out of the manhole on Tile 1B, close to Spawn Point 1.
Two Walkers emerged from Spawn Point 2 and another one arrived from Spawn Point 3, south of where the four Survivors were.
ELSA. She searched the police car and found an SMG. She moved 1 Zone south to stand beside the door into the big building. She deftly unlocked the door with her set of lock-picks. (She used her Break-in Skill for which no dice roll is required and it makes no noise. This counts as a Free Action for her). Inside Zombies spawned in every room except one. There were four Walkers and four groups of Crowz.
"What the fuck!" she screamed as she saw a flock of zombie crows filling the room.
She sprayed the room with bullets from her newly acquired 9mm Uzi. Most of her shots missed but she managed to reduce the number of Crowz facing her by half.
GARY. He searched police car and found a Hunting Rifle. He moved 1 Zone south to join Elsa.
"What's the problem?" he asked.
"That's the problem!" Elsa replied pointing at the Crowz.
"Holy shit!" Gary exclaimed. He raised his Rifle and blasted the remaining Crowz out of the air.
ROSS. He also searched the police car and he found a Machete. Noticing the Zombie Walker slowly shuffling towards him he fired his 9mm Pistol twice (remember he gets a +1 die bonus for his starting Skill, giving him 2 dice to hit per shot instead of just 1 die) and blew the back of the Zombie's head off. With a satisfied grunt, he moved 1 Zone south.
DAKOTA. Searching the police car, she found a Sawed-Off Shotgun.
"Cool!" she murmured. She moved 1 Zone south to catch up with her three colleagues.
ZOMBIES. The two groups of Crowz moved 2 Zones to exit the building, threatening the four Survivors. The remaining Walkers slowly moved towards the quartet. From Spawn Point 1 came one Walker, nothing from Spawn Point 2, two more groups of Crowz from Spawn Point 3 and two more Walkers from Spawn Point 3.
GARY. He made the decision to let the others deal with the Crowz. He was more interested in dealing with the two Walkers approaching from the south. His first shot killed the male Walker instantly. He missed his second shot at the female Walker but calmly corrected his aim and shot her between the eyes with his third shot.
ROSS. "Hell! That's not something you see every day," he remarked as he opened fire with his Pistol at the Crowz. His shooting was deadly accurate and he killed both groups. He shifted his aim to the two Walkers just inside the entrance to the building. This time his shooting was not so accurate. He missed with his first two shots but scored killing hits with his next two.
DAKOTA. She moved 1 Zone west to enter the building. Then she moved 1 Zone south into the big room that contained one of the four Objectives. She took it but it was not the Green Objective.
ELSA. She moved 1 Zone east to stand behind the bright orange Pimpmobile. Popping the trunk she found a specially crafted Sawed-Off Shot gun with an under-slung blade. It bore the inscription "Ma's Shotgun" on a small golden plate on its stock.
"Ooh, shiny!" she purred as she took it and lovingly caressed it. It appealed to her greedy streak and love of all things valuable. She moved back west 1 Zone to rejoin Gary and Ross.
ZOMBIES. The two groups of Crowz sped 3 Zones to reach the Zone with the Pimpmobile in. A female Walker emerged from the toilets to confront Dakota. The remaining Walkers advanced slowly but were no immediate threat to anyone. One Walker arrived from Spawn Point 1. Two groups of two Crowz flew into Spawn Points 2 and 4. But Spawn Point 3 remained empty for this Turn.
ROSS. "Those damned crows are getting to be a right nuisance," he muttered as he blasted away with his 9mm Pistol. He missed twice and hit twice. The threat from above had been neutralised. He spun round through ninety degrees to face the two Walkers next to the police car who were lumbering towards him. His first shot went wide but his second shot hit one of the Zombies in the mouth and exited the back of his head in a spray of blood, brain matter and skull fragments.
DAKOTA. "Think you can sneak up on me, huh, bitch!" she sneered as she swung her Fire Axe in an overhead arc that clove the female Walker's skull in two.
"Now, let's see what else I can find in here."
Her search wielded some empty glass bottles. She pocketed one of them. (Note that if a Survivor has a Glass Bottle and a Gasoline card, he can combine them to make a Molotov Cocktail - one of the only weapons in the game that kill an Abomination.) She moved 1 Zone north into the toilet block that the female Walker had emerged from.
ELSA. "Don't worry, Ross," she said to the portly warehouse manager. "I'll deal with that Zedhead,"
A short burst from her Uzi Sub-Machine Gun shredded the Walker's head.
"Thanks," Ross nodded at her in approval.
She moved back to the Pimpmobile and pointed her Uzi at the female Walker a few yards away. The Sub-Machine Gun bucked in her hand and she stared in amazement as every one of her shots missed such an easy target.
"Oh, shit!" she whined through gritted teeth.
GARY. The miniature figure sculptor never imagined that a zombie apocalypse would happen for real. He had designed and sculpted one inch tall figures for a zombie apocalypse boardgame. That was for a game that should not have come true. But it had. The fantasy was now the reality. He was scared witless but also determined to survive. The Zombie Crowz were something he could not imagine existing but there they were, just in front of him and flying his way. He aimed his rifle at them and carefully pulled the trigger. He missed. He tried again and missed again.
"No way, man," he muttered. "This isn't happening."
He fired a third time and breathed a sigh of relief as a small group of Crowz fell to the ground in a spray of blood and feathers.
ZOMBIES. The group of Crowz that Gary had just missed flew directly at him. A Walker exited the big building to confront Ross. The female Walker who Elsa had shot at and missed increased her pace and reached out her bony arms to grab the leather clad cat burglar. More Crowz and Walkers moved onto the main street, attracted to the noise made by the three humans at the T-junction. Single Walkers crawled out of the sewers in Tiles 2B and 3B. From Spawn Point 2 came one more Walker. From Spawn Points 3 and 4 came two new threats - one Fatty and one Runner respectively.

To be continued.