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 drunks.....one 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!!!


  1. Great start! I love the early apocalypse setting, it has so much potential. Nice looking board and great looking figs. I completely understand breaking up the stats, not a bad idea. I have found the people skill hard to utilize (so as to improve it). I'm interested to see how this works out.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I'm not sure at the moment how quickly they will advance (if at all). I read a thread by Zabadak (I think) about how in reality people would not advance that quickly at all and I tend to agree. I think improving from from 3 -4 should take a little time, 4 -5 much longer and 5 -6 maybe never. I intend to log every time a character successfully uses a skill and allow an increase in a stat chance every time they successfully use it above a 'Yet to be decided' threshold. When I flesh out the system a little more in my head.

  2. Great start!
    Looking forward to see more of your zombie apocalypse.

  3. thank you. tonight my daughters xmas presents come out of hiding in my games room so I will have a bit more space and I can spend a little more time in there finishing the first adventure.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with your decision not to base so much on the Rep stat. Breaking the attributes down as you've done is quite sensible in my opinion. I also agree that character development should take a long time. You're off to a flying start. I'm looking forward to part 2.
    Oh, and yes, preparing and writing batreps is time consuming. I know only too well!

  5. Very nice start dude! Cool backstory, very Zombieland.
    Looking forward to the next episode.
    Nice buildings, where did you get them?

    1. thank you. buildings are all stoelzels structures. i went through a period of making a few. Some are better than others :)

  6. Replies
    1. glad you were able to get it to work, Clint. Hopefully you will find something of interest on here:)

  7. I'm pleased to have found your blog, I'm looking forward to follwoing the progress of your 'heroes'.
    I started with the same stats as yours but added 'Fitness' too rather than relying once more on 'Rep'; I use it for fast moveing, surviving wounds and a couple of other things too.
    I've also thought through character advancement (a lot) and I'm veering towards no character advancement.

    1. I think advancement is quite a tricky concept in some ways. I think that if the zombie apocalypse started tomorrow I would be a 2 for shooting but with a bit of practice could become a 3 and maybe even a 4 given a lot of time. Beyond that it depends on a natural ability I just don't have. I played a rpg in my youth where I think you rolled stats, then rolled for their potential maximum. Advancement could be measured against the best they could ever be giving characters room to develop in some areas and not others. Maybe that would be a more realistic way to do it, with stars being stars if they had an atribute that had a potential of 5 or more.