Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sentinel repaint

On a 'lead adventurers forum' thread regarding superhero scenario ideas, one was floated that involved a Sentinel, a mutant hunting giant robot.  My initial thought was - what a good idea! The second was - I have one of those!! :)
After hunting it down and gluing on its hands (they are removable on the model), I undercoated it and attempted to paint it. I have to admit that I was slightly nervous about it as it is a large model and way outside my comfort zone when it comes to painting. It was slightly unwieldy to move about during the painting process and needed a few touch ups at the end.  However, I am reasonably pleased with the way it turned out.
Here it is with some other heroes in for scale.

 And just to entertain myself, here are the Avengers to fight it :)
Ironman and Thor launch themselves as the Hulk leads the way.
 Hawkeye provides some support from the rooftop, while Black widow maybe needs a bigger gun!
 It is a big model!

 Hawkeye's view of the proceedings.

Topdown view

So all I need to do now is start to paint the other 138 superheroes I got to repaint at Christmas!
comments always appreciated.

A good new year to everyone :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

a long way home - episode 1 pt 2

At the end of part 1 we left the three police officers having met and 'killed' (?) their first zombies and saved their first civilians from the area.  This was no case of rowdy drunken behaviour!!
Although a few zombie had fallen, the noise of the guns had attracted the attention of another zombie who was approaching undetected from the rear!

PC Sam Ford  moved forward to the corner of the shops.  Two Zombies could be seen shambling towards him.  He braced himself against the kick of the shotgun as he blasted them and was gratified as the closed crumbled to the floor.  The other, partially hidden by a car, staggered but still came on

Sgt. Harry Mcguiness moved up beside him and fired at the remaining zombie but, he too, was defeated by the partial cover of the vehicle.  Their shots echoed loudly in the alley way. 
"Well, if there are more of these creatures about," thought Harry, "they certainly know where we are now!"
Officer Riche saw another figure moving uncertainly towards her.  She had no desire to fight this one at close quarters so took careful aim and fired off two rounds.
"Oh,god!" She thought as she squeezed the trigger, "I've left the keys in the ignition.  I hope none of those civvies decide to pinch the car!"   Almost without conscious thought, her eyes drifted to the left, trying to see behind towards her ride.  The bullets both went wide.
10 dice rolled for noise - no zombies!  That was good
Again, the shambling figures came on.  Officer Riche stood transfixed as her opponent drew closer.
"Pull yourself together!" she silently berated herself.  "It's coming!"
Harry Mcguiness again fired off two rounds, probably quicker than he should have.  He had seen many thing in his years on the force, but something about this situation had him on edge.  Both shots slammed into the car's bodywork.  Seeing this, Sam braced himself again against the kick of his shotgun.  The zombie fell dead to the floor.
I had moved Officer Riche out of command radius and could activate on her own rep so she stood and watched the zombie move towards her.

The last two PEFs resolved themselves.  The first as a group of three civilians and the second as a false alarm.  Obviously just noises that were just driving the others to run faster.
"Sam, you need to stop using the shotgun." Harry ordered. "The noise will just bring all the rest down on our heads!"
"But it's the only gun that seems to take them down!"
"It's to noisy! Use your hand gun.  That's an order!"
I got a set of Colgar-6's cards for xmas. I really love them but I chose to ignore the ones I felt didn't fit in with day 1.  I thought the argument was a funny card!
the 12 noise dice generated only 1 additional zombie.  I use a scatter die to work out its direction and this time it came up 'hit!".  I re-rolled it with the same result so I looked for the closest place that the zombie could theoretically emerge from.  I decided that this was the shop doorway behind the police figures.
You can see the zombies approaching from behind and the single zombie approaching Officer Riche.
Sensing something behind him, Sam whirled round, bringing his pistol up to firing position.  He fired at and dropped the nearest zombie.  Sgt. Mcguiness, hearing the noise turned and fired on the second. It, too, dropped to the floor.  The final zombie charged Officer Riche but she snapped out of her brooding.  Laverne fired two shots into its chest, dropping it but not killing it.  It slowly flailed it's arms, trying to rise again.
The Civilians, seeing their chance ran passed the downed creature.  The Officer approached the struggling creature and efficiently shot it through the head.  Again the dice were on my side - 13 dice for noise (1 extra for the ongoing argument over the use of a shotgun!) and no zombies....
However, a zombie had been fighting its way though the hedge in the garden and had just managed to free itself in time to surprise the Civilians. As the Police were unaware of this I ruled that they would carry on with their primary objective of checking out the burger van.
Thinking the second group of Civilians safe, the Police push on towards the burger van, intent on getting to the bottom of the mystery. 
"There's the van, Sarge," Said Sam. "We should check out if there are any others there."
Harry nodded grimly. "Lets keep it tight, people." 

The Zombie rounded the corner, taking the fleeing Civilians completely by surprise.  It tore into the first one, knocking it to the floor, then sinking its teeth into soft flesh.
It easily kills the first civilian and starts to feed.  Both of the other two fail their 'see the feast' test and run to hide.
The other two howled in terror, it's pitch rising as the zombie sank to it's knees and began to feast on the lifeless body in front of it.  The male civilian ducked back around the corner and dropped to his knees, fear sapping any strength he had to run.  The female ran for one of the shops in a desperate attempt to get away.
She his in the shop and hunkered down, waiting to get rescued. She later fails both dice for sanity test.  It's all been too much for her.
Carefully they approached the burger van, stopping only to reload. 

Sam covered the front hatch as the other two worked their way around to the side door.

Guns at the ready, they went in - empty!  
"Easy, people." Ordered Harry.  "No one home."
Using the risks and rewards deck I turn top card - no zombies in rural.  I am counting day 1 as rural for generating zombies working on idea that there would be fewer of them.
"The pub next?"  Suggested Sam.  "We should check out the buildings to see if there are more civilians trapped."
"Roger that." Agreed Laverne. "I'll go in first."  She paused and let out a loud sneeze!  
"Jesus, Laverne!" whispered Harry loudly.
"Sorry. Must be these bushes playing up on my allergies!"
Another random event card! coughing or sneezing.
They threw open the door and leaped in, quickly scanning the room for threats.  There were none.
"Upwards." Said Harry, indicating the stair with his thumb
The others nodded silently.
No zombies generated by risks and rewards card.
They walked in single file up the stairs, wincing at each creak and groan.  The landing was empty and they quickly moved into the first of the rooms.  Alerted by the noises of of the stairs, the two zombies in this room were already in motion.
Risk and rewards deck - 2 zombies!!
"Watch out!" screams Officer Riche, as the figure moves into contact.  She just has time to shot as they charge but her haste to do so causes her to miss.  The zombie lashes out and contacts with her chin and she slumps dazed to the floor.
In fear for his colleague, Harry smashes his nightstick down heavily on the head of his opponent, grunting in gratification as it falls to the floor not to rise again.
They both leap to the aid of  their stricken friend, but too slowly.  In horror, they see the victorious figure drop down and sink its teeth into her unprotected neck, tearing bloody flesh and start chewing.
Sgt. Harry Mcguiness let out a horrified wail. "Nooo!!!"
Harry only passed 1 die on his see the feast, although he passed the man down test easily.  He will have to reroll next time he sees a zombie feasting.  Sam passed both tests with 2 dice.

Unable to bear the sight before him, he falls backwards through the still open door, vomiting onto the floor as he does so.
"Sod this!" exclaims Sam.  He quickly switches back to his shotgun. His lip snarled in revulsion, he blasts the feeding creature, the blast blowing it away from his friend.
Sam quickly walks over to Laverne.  He doesn't need to check for a pulse, the damage to her throat evidence enough of the efficiency of her killer. "Time to go!" decided the Englishman.
He went back into the hall to check on Harry.  "Look Sarge, " he started, "this is no rounding up of drunks.  Laverne's gone and we need help getting her body back.  Lets lock this door and go back to the patrol car.  We will come back for her when we have help."
Wiping the vomit flecks from around his mouth, Harry agreed.  "What sort of madness is this, Sam? Did you see what he did to poor Laverne?  How am I going to tell her husband?"
"Lets figure that out later.  For now, lets just try and survive ourselves!"
Using the shotgun now became an issue as 6 dice generated 2 new zombies!
one trying to get in the back door,
.....and one at the front.  No easy escape.
The zombies were keener to move than the police meaning that they were both in the bar by the time the Officers came down stairs.
Coming down, the bar room wasn't as empty as it had been before.  
"Company, Sam." Whispered Harry in warning.  He fired two shot to the chest.  Still shaken from all that he had witnessed upstairs, his shot went wide.
Sam had no such problem, his shotgun being much more efficient.  With e deafening boom, the pellets threw the zombie backwards.  However, much of the blast was taken by a chair and the zombie lived on enough to try and stand.
The noise generated yet another zombie!
Realising that it was easier to kill while it was still struggling to rise, Sam leaped forward and swung the butt of his gun, connecting satisfyingly with the side of it's head.  It flopped heavily, not moving. Another two shot rang out as Harry took steady aim and blew off the top of his opponents head.
The zombie by the garden, having finished feeding on the first civilian, now moved to the last place it had seen another one. He easily killed him and began to eat again.

As they left the building, another monster lurched into view by the burger van. 
"This one's mine, Sam." Claimed the senior Officer. "My gun makes way less noise than yours does!"
He aimed again for the head.  Upstairs had removed any unease he had with dealing harshly with whatever monsters they were facing.  The rounds found their mark and the figure fell to the floor.
"Fancy a bit of a jog?" Asked the older man.  "I want away from here as soon as I can,"
"Fine with me!"

Although Harry kills the zombie, yet another one is generated!
A noise behind catches Sam's attention.  He turns and sees a zombie shambling along after they.  He lifts his weapon and fires.  It flops to the ground.
Another figure moves towards them, this time charging Harry.  The Officer sets himself and brings down the nightstick in a vicious arc. Another zombie falls.
"All clear this way, Sam.  Come on!"
For the first time in a while, the noise generated no extra zombie.  The board was clear.
With that they reached their patrol car where they awaited extra help before returning to retrieve Office Laverne Riche's body.  With no more zombies present I ended the game there.

That was quite a long adventure for my first story and I didn't even finish all that I thought I would.  I hoped that they would search all the building but with an Officer down I figured that they might call for help as help would be readily available on day 1.
I have read many places how things go from good to crap in the space of a couple of dice throws and there were times where I saw this. At the start of the game they were generating loads of noise but no zombies, then when they were in the pub they were making much less noise but I was rolling 6's regularly.  After the officer fell my confidence in their ability to deal with threats was reduced!!

Hopefully you enjoyed reading the report as much as I enjoyed playing it.  I am already thinking about the next installment.  I think as far as the hero (Sam) goes, he had an ok baptism of fire, as although he was the star, he wasn't the senior officer.  So although losing Officer Riche was not good, checking the van out fulfilled their main goal, and Sam has passed his 'see the feast ' test.

well on to the next thing....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The way it begins- a long way home. Episode1, part 1.

"When I was growing up I thought that the world would end in a ball of irradiated flame"  The faded blue of his uniform and the dry throated laugh gave testament to many months of hard travel. He shook his head sadly and fell silent for a few seconds before continuing.  "The end of the world, when it came, was not purifying incandescent fire but from contaminated burgers, lots of contaminated burgers from a cheap chain of burger vans, in revenge for a Hollywood movie."  He got up from the crackling fire and looked back through the cabin's window at his sleeping travelling companions.  Reassured, he sat down again and stared into the glowing heart of the burning logs. 
   "You can't be serious?" asked the cabins owner, a sensibly dressed woman, the hard wearing hunting fatigues keeping out the evening chill. "Burgers?  I thought It was some terrorist attack, some air-borne virus or something."
Again the dry,self mocking laugh. "State sanctioned terrorism delivered by the hand of 'Bob's Burger vans'.  Apparently there was a film that really upset North Korea, so much so that they got their revenge.  On the quiet they had been buying up mobile burger vans and re-branding them.  Bob's Burger vans - cheap and cheerful, vans in every major city.  They had a plan in place in case they ever had a cause, then Hollywood provided the insult to a man whose ego would not allow it to go unpunished"
He took a slow drink of water.  "A killer virus, released in every major American city on the same day.  Worked like a dream, but a dream that worked too well and soon became Mankind's worst nightmare, even for North Korea."
He stood, arching to stretch stiff back muscles."Anyway, I'm going to turn in.  Another long day tomorrow.  Hopefully this dry weather holds up for a little while longer.  Thanks for letting us stay for the night."  With that he turned and entered the cabin leaving her to her thoughts and the faintly glowing stars.

A long way home, part one

 The cast:
Centre -PC Sam Ford  Leadership 4, Shoot 3, Melee 4, People 4, Drive 3.
                                    Attributes Born leader, Brawler.
                                    Shotgun, BAP, Nightstick
Right - Sgt Harry Mcguiness  Leadership 4, Shoot 4, Melee 3, People 4, Drive 4
                                   Attributes Brawler
                                   BAP, Nightstick
Left - Officer Laverne Riche  Leadership 3, Shoot 3, Melee 4, People 4, Drive 3
                                    Attributes Athlete
                                     BAP, Nightstick
Obviously, this is a slightly different set of stats to the ones in the rules.  I have read many discussions on one stat describing all abilities and how this is a bit limiting so have broken them down into several (self explanatory!) ones.  Leadership is the generic, default stat.
Below is the day 1 table set up. Police enter at bottom and can be seen having just exited the patrol car. To the left were two shops, a parking space and then an arcade/amusement hall.  To the right is the garden and garage of the "Winch" Public house, which is the building above it,  Next to this is a public garden.
 At the start of the game PEF's were rolled and placed in 3 areas. One was by the Pub (rep3), another in the garden (rep 2). Bob's burger van can be seen near the garden.
 The final PEF is between the shops and the arcade (rep 4)
The car radio crackled into life. "all cars, all cars.  We have a code 390 outside the the Winch Public house at the burger van.  Multiple offenders.  Be advised that reports of violence to bystanders are coming in"
"That's our quiet shift over then." sighed Sgt Harry Mcguiness as he lifted the receiver of the radio to respond.  " Car 54 to control -on our way. Out!"
He sighed again "Drunks!  What are people like? Drunk at 11 in the morning on a weekday!  Hit it Laverve.  Lets go sort them before it gets out of hand."
The car quickly arrived on scene. 
"Get the big gun, Sam." ordered Harry.  "It always quietens the most wild way or the other!"
As they left the safety of the car the three officers looked for signs of the disturbance.

 As this was day1 I used urban rules for zombie generation and initial set up.  There were 6.  2 by the Pub garage (you can just see the second one under the tree)
 2 behind the shops
 1 on the far edge of the board
 1 behind the Pub.
A figure came staggering towards them from out of the garden.
"Hold it right there, Sir!" ordered Officer Riche.  "Sir!" She insisted again as the figure seemed to ignore her words.  He only emitted a low groaning sound. 
Sensing the warm bodies near by, the 'drunk' staggered towards them.  Only Sgt Mcguiness recognized the degree of threat offered by the figure and by then it was too late to get a clear shot.

"Somethings not right here!" Thought Harry Mcguiness, his years of working the streets giving him a 'sixth sense' that some of the younger officers hadn't quite developed yet. "Take him down, Laverne!"
Officer Riche saw the figure stumbling towards her, his feet moving faster as he closed in.  She was reluctant to shoot.  after all, he was only drunk!  Laverne hesitated, but then flicked open her nightstick.  She raised it just in time as the figure reached out to grasp her, teeth bared.  
Primal fear over road her training as she maybe hit the drunk harder across the head than she should have done.  There was a sickening 'crack' and the man hit the floor hard.   The stunned Officer stared at the still figure.
"Don't over think it, Laverne." Offered  PC Sam Ford.  "Him or you!  You made the right choice."  He looked at the body.  "American drunks are a bit different to the ones in Birmingham."  He though for a second. "maybe not Aston...Lots of students in Aston...."
Harry looked at them both.  "Lets be on our toes, Officers.  He wasn't drunk.  I don't know what he was, but he wasn't drunk."
 The zombie charges Laverne and she easily beat it in hand to hand.  First blood to the good guys. As it was their first sight of a zombie only the sergeant managed to pass both dice but he didn't have a clear shot and so it charged the nearest officer.
Again the zombie activated before the Police and a second zombie managed to charge into melee, this time with Sgt Mcguiness.
"Watch out, Sarge" called Sam in warning as another figure lurched into view.  "He's coming at you!"
Harry flicked open his nightstick as his colleague had done, still reluctant to shoot an unarmed man.
Again, teeth bared, arms desperately reaching out  to embrace warm flesh, the figure came on quickly.  Harry brought down the baton heavily and the figure fell to the floor.
"What the Hell is going on here?" he muttered under his breath.  "Ok Kids, lets take this slow and steady.  No rushing or taking risks.  I don't know what's going on here but I want us all to go home tonight."
The others silently nodded in agreement and started to walk forward.

Next move the PEf resolved itself as a group of civilians ( I had ruled that PEF's could only be civilians or zombies at this early part of the campaign).  They were running hard trying to escape the clutches of the two zombies that were intent on catching them.

The three Officers tensed as 5 civilians ran screaming into sight from between the row of buildings.  
"Well, at least they aren't drunk!" Said Sam.  He raised his voice. "This way people. Pass the car and keep moving.  Other Officers will be turning up shortly.  You will be safe that direction."

To the Police Officer's horror, they saw more of the strange, shambling figures lurching along after the screaming pedestrians.  
"Heads up, people.  More coming!"

Almost without hearing the directions given by the Officer, the civilians ran passed the Police, incoherently screaming in a chorus of nonsensical information.

"Ok" stated Harry Mcguiness flatly to the others.  "No more playing nice.  Let's take them down."
The two American officers brought up their pistols to shoulder level and fired.  Four shots rang out but no one fell.
"That was a bit of an anti climax!" Said Sam encouragingly to his Colleagues.  "maybe you want to try again?"

Ok, That's the end of part 1 of this episode.  Writing up seems to take much longer than you would expect!! (although I suspect many of you already know that!)  Sorry for the quality of the photos.  I need to cut down the glare on the boards.  Hopefully the quality of everything will improve as I go along.

A big thanks to those who have chosen to follow this blog as it does add an extra bit of enthusiasm for what is ,essentially, a solo project>  Merry Christmas to you all and I will post the remaining part of the batrep as soon as I get chance to finish it!!!