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....


  1. Very nice conclusion to episode 1 dude!
    You gotta have some characters killed, like Laverne, otherwise there would be no peril involved and what would be the point in that.

    1. I've read it before on many other batreps but I really didn't expect her to die. Zombies are.....unpredictable :)

  2. Very enjoyable aar, you had a lot going on in your game, which you handled well I thought - I occassionally lose my way in a turn too and have to back-track to correct things I missed..

    1. i'm still learning the rules as I go along. I think I made a few mistakes but feel as long as I enjoyed it, what's the harm. Having played the game I will re read the rules to see if i was obviously doing something I shouldn't have been.

  3. Great start. I enjoyed reading your report, it sounds like it was fun! I like your board setup, it should be easy to mix up, and looks good too!

    It's amazing how the dice give you great results, and then, bam! they go cold. It really makes it hard sometimes to watch a plan fall apart... Make for a good story and a fun game tho.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. I was a bit worried that having gone public with the start of a long campaign, it all falls flat when the main character dies in the opening adventure. Would have been a bit embarrassing.....

  5. A very good report: nicely illustrated and described. Yes, you've got to be careful of zombies in melee - it's *never* certain that you'll win :-( !

    1. I think the balance between making noise with gunfire and the risk of melee will be a fine thing to balance.

  6. As others have said, you've got off to a good start to your campaign despite the loss of Laverne. These things happen. Just be thankful it wasn't Sam who died.

    1. Laverne was only ever a side character, but better to learn these things on ones that you don't have better survival hopes for. Next episode introduces more of the 'cast' for the main game. Now just have to set the board up - had a bit of a tidy up in my room and it's at the 'worse before it gets better stage!" I had a couple of nice shots in the last game that I couldn't use due to the chaos in the background :)