Last month, we played a game of All Things Zombie in which I introduced a new team: the congregation. Nominally, this group of basic civilians is led by Reverend Green, though it has to be said that he's been showing some signs of instability.
Well, members of the congregation have decided to sally out once more, this time to look for help. There's a police station not too far away; perhaps the officers from it can protect and reassure the community?
Taking the field this time are a mix of familiar characters and some new faces:
- Reverend Green. REP 4, Brawler, crossbow with just a single bolt.
- Ricky, REP 4, Greedy, cricket bat.
- Laura, REP 4, pistol and machete.
- Max, REP 4, Brawler, two-handed axe
- Matt, REP 4, Dim, gardening spade.
- Barbara, REP 5, Runt, katana and wooden stake (maybe she's confusing zombies with vampires?).
The gang have to reach the police station, ask for help and then return the way they came. Sounds easy, but there are some things I haven't told them:
- Most of the police are out on missions of their own (or maybe have abandoned their posts or are dead, who knows?). There are just 2 officers left to man the building; they won't be able to offer more than advice.
- Initially there are no zombies on the table. A wave of them will be spawned on their 4th activation; they will be placed initially on random table edges.
- A second wave of zombies will be spawned half way through the game (as near as I can tell). This area of town is going to be overrun!
So, how did it go? Who lived and who died? Read on to find out...
Predictably, the party split up (lambs to the slaughter, thinks I...):
- Rev. Green decided to try to break into the gun shop, despite being told that the place was armoured like a fortress. Max appointed himself as the reverend's bodyguard, so he went along with this plan. Mind you, I'm not entirely certain that this was to keep the minister out of trouble; perhaps Max wanted to be on hand in case the crazy clergyman needed to be...stopped?
- The rest of the party (Barbara, Laura, Ricky and Matt) proceeded towards the police station.
Barbara outran the others and, rather than wait for them to catch up, ran into the building on her own. The resulting Meet and Greet went poorly: I guess that the cops didn't think much of a crazy woman bursting in wielding a rather nasty-looking sword and shouting some unintelligible gibberish. They were just about to arrest her...
...when the rest of Barbara's group of citizens ran into the police station, closely followed by a pair of zombies. More zeds were crossing the square; too many to fight!
The Cross and the Axe
What of the others? Max and Rev. Green had finally given up trying to enter the gun shop (for now!) and were trying to catch up with Barbara's crew. This wasn't completely successful; Max found his way cut off by a single zombie. Although he knocked it down several times, it always got back up before he could move away.
As Rev. Green caught up, Max was still involved in this single fight, oblivious to everything else around him...
A rare double-event came up. In the ensuing calm, Max ran away from his zombie opponent and Rev. Green realised that his cross had a certain weight and solidity to it; if he swung it right then it might do some real damage. Both of these characters gave up trying to reach the police station and retired to the far side of the gun shop.
The herd of zombies, having lost sight of these two characters at the corner of the building, scattered and began shambling in random directions. Oddly, most of them chanced to be heading straight towards the police station.
Max was once again ahead of Rev. Green and was trying to find another route to rejoin the rest of the party when he was set upon by 3 of these wandering zombies. Perhaps it the more open space gave him room to swing his axe, or maybe he'd just had enough of being pushed around - either way he was far more deadly in this outnumbered fight than he had been before. All three zombies were cut to pieces in fairly short order.
The Police House
Back at the cop shop, there was an almighty skirmish as two zombies followed the civilians in through the front door. The police gave up trying to arrest Barbara and instead fought for their lives. Clouseau was knocked to the floor by his opponent; he was fortunate that his body armour absorbed the damage. Then the player characters waded in to assist and with their help, the zombies were quickly dispatched.
A temporary truce was called between the police and the civilians, especially when they saw that zombies were gathering outside the building.
So, here is the situation:
- The cops were busy trying to barricade the front door of the precinct house against a large group of zombies.
- The civilians left the police station and, after a brief conference, scattered to try to break into and take a vehicle...
...or, in Rev. Green's case, the gun shop. He was determined to gain entry to the building.
- At this point, the second wave of zombies arrived.
Split up and Look for Clues...
Inevitably, the arrival of so many new zombies caught the scattered players out somewhat. Barbara was ambushed by two of the undead, but used her katana to good effect and quickly dispatched both assailants. She then left the table discreetly and safely.
Rev. Green and Max were also surprised. A steady stream of zombies attacked them, but these were spread out and the two characters were able to deal with them one at a time.
The others were not so lucky. Matt, Laura and Ricky were set upon by a large group of the undead. Laura's shots missed, then the zombies were upon them and a desperate melee ensued. Ricky fell to the teeth and tearing hands at the first contact.
The Beginning of the End
Hearing the shots and the sound of fighting, the two police officers abandoned their front door barricade and ran out of the station's side exit. They weren't the only ones to be attracted to the melee, though; zombies were closing in quickly.
Matt stepped over Ricky's body to try to hold the line, but he was torn down just as quickly as his colleague. Only Laura seemed to be winning her fights...
Whilst zombies were munching on the bodies of her colleagues, she took the opportunity to escape. There was no point in trying to assist the two police officers - Clouseau was already dead and Callaghan was surrounded and barely keeping on his feet - so she ran for it!
For the cops, the end was swift...
Back at the gun shop, Max finally cracked.
Even as Rev. Green finished off the last zombie in the vicinity, Max ran for it, unable to face the horror any more. He didn't go far, though.
Laura rejoined Rev. Green and Max just in time to help clear one last shambler out of their path. The road ahead was empty now; all they had to do was leave the board in order to escape safely and there were no zombies or other hindrances anywhere near them...
Of course, things are never that simple! An unexpected random event caused a single zombie to be placed close to the remaining 3 characters.
Still, this wasn't a problem. All the players had to do was leave the table and they'd be safe. A single move would do it. Just leave the table...
Of course, the players decided to attack! Unfortunately, both Rev Green and Max failed their "brown pants" rolls and so Laura was the only one who actually engaged the zombie. Even more unfortunately, she lost the melee very decisively and was knocked out of the fight, badly wounded. Disastrously, the zombie won the next activation roll and promptly tore her belly open, killing her instantly.
At this point, Max ran away.
Rev. Green, convinced of his own invincibility, tried to stop the zombie from eating parts of Laura's body. His melee skills were no better than hers, though; he also fell to the lone zombie. There was no-one to save him and so he (probably) bled to death whilst the zombie feasted on the corpse of his parishioner.
Out of 6 characters (8 if you include the two cops), only Max and Barbara escaped. What can I say? It seems that each time I put players in a game where the only sensible decision is to flee, they stay and fight. Sometimes I simply despair of humanity 🙂!
Sometimes the smart move is to move away quickly.ReplyDelete
I shall miss the Reverend and his group, nice characters, perhaps too nice.
Yes, indeed. I really hoped that the Reverend and his group would survive longer than this. Early-day citizens without much in the way of weapons or skills need to be *very* cautious, though...Delete
Awesome looking set-up and game report Hugh - and I LOVE the "Epic Fail" markers! :-)ReplyDelete
I take it the players hadn't "owned" the characters very long? The little lead (or plastic) lives are cheap until they've had some 'game time' invested in their survival ;-)
Question time, is that the Mayhem cop shop, and what make is the mat?
My son planted the "Epic Fail" markers, after sifting through my box of assorted tokens. I think it was a little harsh on the cops; they were just unlucky and hadn't really made any silly mistakes. But the debacle at the end thoroughly deserved such a rating, I think!Delete
Yes, it's the "Mayhem" police station from WorldWorks Games.
The mat is a 4'x4' "Urban District" from UrbanMatz: https://www.urbanmatz.com/p/196/urban-district-4x4
Many thanks for the info - and I FINALLY got round to ordering a set of your events cards from ArtsCow last night :-)Delete
I'll look forward to hearing how you get on with them :-) .Delete
Wonderful batrep, Hugh. You have every right to despair at the behaviour of your players. Oh dear! They reaped what they sowed.ReplyDelete
Seeing the WWG terrain once again, brought back many happy memories of my own ATZ games.
Thanks, Bryan. I never intended to stop playing ATZ - it's just that other things got in the way :-( . Now there's a real possibility that it might become a regular feature at the new club - if the players haven't all given up in disgust, of course!Delete
Thanks again for the game Hugh. It was very much a learning experience and a fair few lessons have been learnt from the game. I had a great time playing Mad Max and look forward to playing him again in the future, he can really lay down the hurt with that axe, though he probably isn't going to following any Clergy around any time soon.ReplyDelete
You're more than welcome, Joe! Yes, the lesson is clearly "run away and live" :-) .Delete
Great stuff, love the epic fail counters and your players certainly lived up to that!ReplyDelete
Well, some of the players just got unlucky - but there was a distinct air of "let's loot the place". I blame video games...Delete
Cor blimey! What a great episode.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Irqan. So, you liked it, then :-) ?Delete
Brutal, but totally predictable given the players actions, I'm surprised that anyone survived at all.ReplyDelete
Great aar - very entertaining and good looking set-up too.
It was set up as an ambush, so I do need to take some responsibility myself. However, not one of the players seems to have questioned whether they actually *needed* to try to break into cars, buildings or whatever.Delete
I realised there was no dog hurt on that game. It makes me feel better.ReplyDelete
No cats were hurt either - but maybe you're not fond of cats :-) ?Delete
On my word, that was a brutal encounter! Fabulous report.ReplyDelete
Well, zombies do fall into the "horror" category, don't they :-) ? Thanks, Michael.Delete
Lol just like in the movies were seemingly silly mistakes are made. I guess it just the heat of the moment type thinking :)ReplyDelete
I do prefer games like this to have a number of different players - anything from 3 to 6 is usually good, in my experience. That way, you get a variety of opinions and rarely any consensus about plans :-) .Delete
Excellent report, though I am saddened with the loss of the Pugilistic Reverand.ReplyDelete
Technically, the Reverend was only "out of the fight"; there is a faint, GM-determined chance that he might make a miraculous escape. After all, there was only one zombie nearby and it was fully occupied with a different victim...
That's a very nice mat, and I do like the printed building and vehicles, it makes for a very atmospheric board. Shame the game didn't end better but that's the way the cookie crumblesReplyDelete
The mat is really more suitable for sci-fi/industrial settings, rather than modern, public-space urban. Still, it does look a lot better than many of the alternatives, doesn't it :-) ?Delete
I still think that the players could have saved *most* (though perhaps not *all*?) of the characters by making more cautious choices.
Great report, Hugh. Just goes to show that a decent mat and good looking buikdings do make a very pleasing environment to game in/on.ReplyDelete
I have bern eyeing up the UrbanMatz 3' x 3' urban mat for a potential purchase, as my Mars Attacks one is a liitle small.
Thanks, CC. I didn't see this comment until just now; I wonder if blogger is having a little e-mail hiccup :-( ?Delete
As I was reading the batrep I was so sure Laura was going to make it. Sigh. The zombies always win ... in the end. :)ReplyDelete
I was hoping that Laura would make it too. Her death was just so...unnecessary and pointless :-( .Delete