Wednesday 7 May 2014

ATZ (B Team-5): 3 Men and a Little Lady


[B Team-4 is this way <==]

It's been almost 3 months sine I played a game of All Things Zombie, so I reckon it's high time for another!

When we last saw the B-Team, they were running down a street in panic after 2 of their members were attacked by a child zombie.  Are they infected?  Nobody seems to be sure, so maybe finding some medical assistance quickly would be a good idea.  The trouble is that the way to the nearest emergency centre is on the far size of an area of town with a reputation for gang violence.  The B-Team aren't exactly hard men and they also have a woman and a small child in tow, so how will this work?  Read on to find out...

The Scenario

This is a straightforward search for assistance.  The party must find someone to help them (either a doctor or little Lucy's father, or both).  Failing all else, they must exit the far end of the table.  Not a very clear set of goals, but life isn't always fair!

At the moment, the B-Team and allies consist of:
  • Ernie: REP 3, golf club.  Sometime leader.
  • Bob: REP 3, hammer.  Dumbass.  He'll be fine as long as a leader tells him what to do.
  • Sid: REP 3, crossing sign on pole (improvised 2-handed weapon), bottle of antibiotic pills.
  • Michelle: REP 3, bow, expensive handbag.  Slow
  • Lucy: REP 2, big-ass pistol (it's her daddy's gun and she won't give it to anyone else!), 2 large knives (she found them; they're hers).  If Lucy fires the pistol without bracing it first then she is automatically stunned.

The Game

As can be seen from the picture above, random placement led to Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) along the main road, whilst some groups of zombies were generated in the parking lots and back alleys.  This was just the luck of the dice and not any cunning plan of mine as gamesmaster!

The party advanced slowly, wondering why everything was so quiet and deserted.  Almost immediately, the REP-5 PEF from the burger bar was resolved as a lone survivor.  Kitty may have been little, but she was a very feisty and determined girl.  She and the B-Team exchanged pleasantries:
Ernie started: "Er, hello.  Are you lost?"
"No, I'm not.  Are you?" replied Kitty.
"Well, we're looking for someone.  Have you seen a tall, kind man in any shops?" (this was the only description they had managed to get of Lucy's dad).
"Sorry, no.  Look, I've got to go now, or else I'll be late for tea"
"Er, wait a moment.  It's dangerous out here; wouldn't you be safer staying with us, just until we can get you home?"
"What, with a bunch of losers like you?  No, thanks!"  With that, Kitty skipped down the road and off the table.  [This was something of a relief to me, as I had visions of the B-Team becoming a magnet for every little girl who is out alone in the zombie apocalypseWhy are there so many of them and so few gangers or police?!]
As she passed the party, Kitty looked over her shoulder and called out.  "I wouldn't go that way if I were you.  You'll be sorry!" [the REP-4 PEF in the school bus was also resolved, but as a heightened sense of danger/encounter level].

The B-Team ambled on, pondering the words of the departing girl and wondering what she knew that they didn't.  They would have done better to pay attention to their surroundings, as they suddenly became aware of a couple of zombies who were almost upon them [The B-Team missed several activations in a row.  It was just as well that there were only 2 zombies!].

Now came one of those fateful moments on which a game can change completely.  The players had basically 3 choices:
  1. Run for it (i.e. down the street)!
  2. Attack the zombies before they moved again.  At least the party would have had the initiative.
  3. Retreat into the book store and barricade the door.
So, which option would you take?

A very appropriate "Friends to the End" random event card was drawn; the B-Team acted as one without any dissent.  Not fancying their chances in melee and wary of other groups of zombies and the last PEF in the open, they chose to enter the store.  Fortunately for them, the door wasn't locked (50% chance!)

Sadly, the inside of my book store model isn't detailed.  At least it has flooring!
Unfortunately for the B-Team, the building wasn't empty.  A single, ragged zombie stood in the middle of the building, looking directly at them.

The men froze; everything happened too quickly for them.  Firstly, the zombie shambled towards little Lucy.  She saw it coming and fired her pistol, but missed and stumbled backwards in surprise at the noise and recoil [Lucy's special rule: she is automatically stunned if she fires the pistol without resting it on something solid first].  Before anyone else could react, the zombie was on top of the fallen girl and had bitten deep into her shoulder!

Michelle was the only one to react.  "Get off her, you monster!" she yelled, as she lunged at the zombie.  She tripped and fell, but the zombie's attention was now on her instead of Lucy.  It stooped over the prostrate woman and tore a gaping hole in her throat.

This was too much for Sid.  With a whimper, he fled up the stairs to the next floor of the building, leaving Bob and Ernie shocked and motionless [failed "brown pants" rolls]!

Sid didn't find safety on the upper floor, though.  He had just reached the top of the stairs when he realised that the store manager, warehouseman and a shopper were all present.  Sadly for him, they had clearly succumbed to the zombie plague and were moving towards him.  If nothing else, the firing of Lucy's gun must have alerted them.  Sid screamed and turned to run back down the stairs.

He stumbled and tripped down the stairs, finally landing on top of the single zombie that was busy trying to eat Michelle's corpse.  Fortunately for Sid, the zombie's neck was broken when it cushioned his fall.

A moment later, the 3 men found themselves fighting for their lives, as the 3 zombies from the upper floor and the 2 zeds from outside in the street all converged upon them at once.

Desperation must have given them strength, as within moments the B-Team had knocked most of their attackers to the floor.  The zombies were slow to rise [i.e. they failed some critical activation rolls!] and the men went on a frenzy of hitting the fallen undead again and again, with hammer, golf club and crossing pole.

Within moments, there was nothing left of the attackers; the only things still moving were the B-Team themselves.  Sid retched violently when he saw what was left of Michelle, while Ernie approached Lucy with trepidation.  "Hey, guys!" he called "she's still breathing.  She's alive!"
"Oh, man!" exclaimed Bob.  "What do we do now?  I'm not a doctor; I don't know any first aid".
Ernie continued "I dunno.  Maybe we could wash her wound, or something like that?  There's a McDooms just up the road; there must be some water in the toilets there."
Bob and Sid both stared at him.  He realised that they were looking at him oddly and then he blushed.  "The restrooms will have sinks, guys!  They'll have taps with clean water.  What the heck did you think I meant?"

The B-Team paused briefly to redistribute the weapons from the fallen woman and girl, then they cautiously exited the book store.  A trio of zombies were shuffling up the street, but they had their backs to the men and didn't notice them.  With Bob cradling the unconscious Lucy, the team made their way carefully across the street and into the fast food joint.

My McDooms building doesn't have a detailed interior either...
Inside the burger bar, a solitary zombie was sitting at a table, barely noticing the entrance of the people.
"I've got this" exclaimed Ernie, as he pushed past his friends and strode up to the zed.  He swung his golf club hard onto its head and the creature slid beneath the table, crushed.

"Argh" grunted Bob as Ernie pushed past him to attack the zombie.  He didn't let Lucy fall, but in struggling to keep his balance, Bob's foot became trapped between the restaurant's door and its frame.  "Shit, that hurts!" he mumbled as he struggled to avoid shouting out loud.

The B-Team found some water (in the kitchen) and tried to wash Lucy's wound with it.  Sid also found a first-aid kit on the wall; he squeezed out most of a tube of Germoline and rubbed it over the girl's shoulder, hands and face.  It didn't seem to do much good, but "It can't hurt, can it?" was his attitude.

There wasn't much else they could do inside McDooms, so the men left the building after looking carefully out of the window for hostiles.  The 3 zombies were still ambling slowly up the road, but they were heading away from the restaurant and didn't see the B-Team.

The B-Team stood and watched the undead for a few moments, just to make sure that the creatures were indeed unaware of their presence.  Ernie spoke: "Isn't that, er, you know?  Her from the telly?  Ah, the presenter from 'Cake Challenge'?  Always wears a big string of pearls?"
"You mean Mrs. Danvers?" replied Bob.  "It could be...I'm not sure.  I guess she's past caring about her appearance now!"
Sid had been somewhat withdrawn since the action in the book store.  He chimed in, rather harshly "Well, if you want the pearls then why don't you go and take them?  She won't mind - all you have to do is crush her skull, you know!"
Ernie looked at the older man, but since he couldn't think of an appropriate response, he just shrugged.

After a short pause, Ernie exclaimed "Right, we've got to get out of here!"  He stuck the pistol into his belt and took the wounded girl from Bob, then ran along the road and down a side street.  Bob hobbled after him as fast as he could with his sprained ankle.  Sid was left behind a bit; he was examining the bow that he had taken from Michelle's dead body, trying to figure out how to use it.

Within moments, 3 fresh zombies (ex-hobos and gangers, by the look of them) had appeared on the flank of the party.  Sid wasted some time trying to shoot arrows at them, but he missed.  "Dang, this isn't as easy as it looks!" he muttered, as he jogged down the road after the rest of the party.

Suddenly, he realised that Ernie and Bob had disappeared and left him behind.  Sid ran to catch up, loosing one last missile from his bow.  Surprisingly, the arrow hit one of the zombies; the creature paused to look at the shaft sticking out of its chest.

The other 2 zeds ignored this distraction and closed in on the man in the dayglo uniform.  Sid gave a little shriek as he felt them clutching at his coat, but with a short sprint and a kick he was clear.

He even managed to catch up with the hobbling Bob, before both of them followed Ernie off the table and away to safety - at least, for now.


This was a failed mission by any standards: the B-Team didn't recruit any more help and didn't find a doctor (or even someone with first-aid training).  Not only that but they lost one team member and had another one bitten by a zombie.  Not good!

The ATZ:FFO rules say that REP can go down after a failed mission.  Each character rolled a dice: Bob and Ernie are OK, but Sid decreases to REP 2.  I guess his nerves are shattered; he can't take much more of this!

Then we come to the part that I was dreading: what happens to Lucy?  We rolled a dice to see if her zombie bite is infected and it came up as a natural '6'.  Lucy's bite wasn't contaminated and she won't turn into a zombie - at least, not on this occasion!  Of course, she's still injured and won't be fully effective (!) for a while.

I think I've finally decided that the wounds taken by the men from a child zombie in Game 4 are not infected.  It just seems too harsh to do anything else (and it was a strange situation); the B-Team have enough troubles without this as well!

So, what next?  These guys are stumbling from one crisis to another, just about surviving.  Should they continue looking for Lucy's dad, or for a doctor?  Or should they hole up somewhere and try to recuperate?  The 4th member of their group, Sam, is still in a hospital somewhere after being shot by the police (Game 2), so maybe they should try to find him?  I'm not sure...


  1. Sometimes the dice just goes against you. Still a good read and nice battle report mate!


    1. I think the players sometimes forget how even a single zombie can be a real threat, if you roll low and it rolls high...

  2. I really like the B team, it's like an expisodes from a carry on film.
    They need help for Lucy and a mate in hospital - so oft to the hospital I'd say!

    1. Well, I'd like to think it wasn't *quite* slapstick :-) , but I know what you mean. Off to hospital, eh?

  3. That could have gone a lot worse. I thought the team did well to come out of the book store at all. I really did think it was game over in there. Another very good batrep, Hugh.

    1. I think that any of the 3 decisions (run, fight, hide) could have worked. They just got very unlucky being surprised by a particularly feisty zombie in the shop; it just went downhill from there...

  4. Another great batrep,
    I think the hospital is a solid choice for them, either way they need a bit of luck and some new friends! I can't see them doing too well alone for much longer

    1. Thanks, Dave. I agree that they need some luck; at the moment every game that they survive seems like a surprise!

  5. Great batrep.
    I like the B-team for they are not so powerful and they have to be careful or they will get killed quickly.

    1. They're certainly not very powerful! Being REP-3 means that they miss 50% of activations - the same number as the zombies. And moving 8" instead of 6" plus the 1 automatic success in melee isn't much of an edge over the zeds.

  6. Everyone has got to love the B team. Bumbling Heroes they may be, But I doubt in all seriousness I would do any better. It really is the human face of the Zombie Apocalypse. They may need a bit of luck but they do deserve a break and be able to reach the Hospital. After all It Can't Hurt can it!

    1. Well, I agree with "bumbling", but I'm not so sure about "heroes" :-) . Unless you count still being alive, against the odds, as heroic?

  7. The B team is very much average joe in a zombie apocalypse. Nobody can tell if they will make it or not. I hope they do.

    1. The B-Team was created as something of an antidote to all the gun-toting, skilled survivalists! I also hope they survive, but I fear for them in every game :-( .

  8. We all like to think we'd be Clint, Arnie, Indy or Lando when the chips are down. But let's face it, many of us have seen better days, spend 40 hours a week behind a desk and travel everywhere by car.
    We have a lot in common with the B team.

    The nice ting about this episode is that it portrays the 3 survivors as bumbling nice guys, with a lot of luck on their side. They've walked through some tough challenges without much of a plan, but got out the other side intact.

    With luck, there's no limit to what they could do.

    1. You're quite right: we cannot all be movie heroes. I'd like to think that I was a bit better than the B-Team personally (at least a bit smarter, if maybe in much the same physical shape), but let's hope I never have to find out for real!

  9. Another fantastic report, Hugh. I agree with others, it's nice to see some ordinary people trying to survive. And poor, poor Sid... :D

    1. Thanks, Mathyoo. While the others seem to be coping (just about) with the world collapsing slowly around them, Sid is cracking up.

  10. An interesting turn of events for the B Tea. I wonder if this will be a slippery slope as the group gets weaker or will they find some help in the next game? Great report mate.

    1. Well it's not the worst mission result they've ever had (that would be 1 dead, 1 in hospital, 1 in prison!), but it certainly wasn't good. Can they recover from this setback? I don't know - we'll just have to wait and see...

  11. Great batrep. Love the inept B-team, real regular guys in unreal circumstances. Tense yet funny.

    1. Thanks, Bob. My goal with the B-Team is definitely to see how far a group of "ordinary" guys can go. Any humour in their story is a bonus :-) .

  12. The B-team is a great read! I love the down to earth/normal feel to the characters. This was another good read, keep them coming!

    1. Thanks, N667! It's been too long a gap between games; I really need to play some more...

  13. Cool Batrep, Long live Lucy!

    1. Thanks. I'd like to see Lucy survive too :-) .