Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All Things Zombie Solo Batrep, another one.

Hi, everyone. I actually used the cityboard today and some of my Survivors. Interestingly enough, not a single one of my new 200+ Zombie Horde made it onto the table. How you ask? PEFs I say. I decided to use the PEF rules from "I, Zombie" and as you will see, most of the PEFs were a false alarm. Was I rolling weird or did I just screw up? Read on and maybe you can tell me. I don't know. :) I put some questions for the experts in red.

I decided to use a simple rescue scenario. Luckyjoe is at home on Day One of the Outbreak. Most of his family is there with him, but his daughter Mary went to work that morning at the Curl Up and Dye Hair Salon. She's now trapped in the store. Luckyjoe and his son Stephen set out to bring her home.

Luckyjoe - Rep 5 (I used the suggestion to start with Civilian Rep 5 Star). X-bow, BAP, and Combat Knife. Attributes: Slow (I picked this one cuz I'm no spring chicken and am no longer skinny) and Stone Cold.

Stephen - Rep 3. Automatic Rifle, BAP, Combat Knife. Knifeman.

Mary - Rep 3. Pistol, Fire Axe. Athlete.

Narrative: Narrative sections will be italicized. You can skip these over if you don't want some crappy prose.
Joe and Stephen arrive at the small downtown area by car but are forced to proceed on foot because of jersey barriers blocking off downtown to vehicle traffic. They now must proceed just a few blocks down Main Street to the "Curl Up and Dye Salon" where Mary awaits them. It's bright mid-morning on a sunny, warm winter day. The downtown area is deathly quiet, there's some patches of  smoke drifting between buildings and many abandoned vehicles litter the streets, some of them Emergency Services vehicles. Then they start seeing bodies, some shot, others torn up as if by wild animals, some both. "What the hell?" Joe mutters. "Stay close and keep up your sitch, Stephen". Stephen just nods, knowing that by "sitch" his Dad is referring to situational awareness, the process of constantly checking all around you as you move, and carefully listening, looking, even smelling for danger. 

I decided to only use PEF rules to get my encounters.
Should I also have used the rules from BDTZ for generating Zombies?
Pic above is the numbered grid for PEF placement.

Anyway, I rolled for PEFs and their placement. Ended up with 1 Rep 4 PEF in section 6 and 2 PEFs in section 2, a Rep 1 and a Rep 5. I'm using the white dice number up to represent the PEFs. The number on top is their Rep so I don't forget.
Rep 4 PEF in section 6
A Rep 5 and Rep 1 PEF in section 2.

Humans entered the board from Section 7. 

Turn one.
Activation: Humans 1, Zombies 4. 

Zombies:  Activate 1st because they had a higher d6 roll.

The Rep 4 PEF in section 6 was able to activate because his Rep, (4) was equal to or greater than the 4 Zees had for activation. He passed 2 dice on the PEF Movement table which allowed him to "move one section towards the largest group of players". I moved him from section 6 to section 5, which brought him into sight of the players. I then resolved the PEF on the PEF Resolution table. There were 0 PEFs resolved previously and I rolled a 6. That was a "false alarm". PEF was removed from the table. 

Two PEFs in section 2. The Rep 1 PEF can't activate because the activation roll was a 4, therefore his Rep of 1 is too low for him to activate. Move on to next PEF in section.
Did I do that right? You have have to have a Rep higher than your activation roll in order to activate?
I then rolled on the PEF movement table for the Rep 5 PEF. I was pretty confident I would soon be putting some Zombies on the board. Rolled double 6s. Rep 5 PEF passed 0 dice - "PEF Doesn't Move". LOL

Humans: I did a normal 8" move forward. With "SLOW" as an attribute I didn't want us getting split up by a failed Fast Move. There were no PEFs in sight. 
Turn over. Roll for Activation.

Joe and Stephen slowly move up the street toward the salon, cautiously checking alleys and cars they approach. Joe is torn-up wishing he could run up the street but with the apparent recent shitstorm here, it's smarter to use caution. Periodically, Joe hears Stephen gulping to keep from puking, some of those corpses are pretty badly mauled. "Poor kid," Joe thinks, "this is some serious shit for a first mission."

Turn 2
Humans 2, Zombies 5. No doubles so no new PEFs generated.
PEFs in Section 2. Rep 1 again can't activate because Rep is lower than act. roll. Rep 5 PEF passed 2 dice and moved down into section 5. In LOS, so triggers PEF Resolution. 1 PEF previously resolved, rolled a 4 and got a Hostile NPC. Here's where I find one mistake I made, I went to the Involuntary Encounter resolution instead of the Encounter Awareness Test on page 115. By going down the wrong resolution path I ended up with "small feeder animal". Crap, could have been fighting Zeds.

Humans advance another 8 inches. 

A sudden sound brings both mens' weapons to bear on a small doe running noisily down an alley. "Damn" says Stephen, "I almost shit myself". "Yeah", his father says, "and you almost fired but you've still got the safety on. Take it easy, you gotta stay calm."

Turn 3
Activation: Humans 4, Zombies 3. No doubles.
Humans: Advance another 8 inches and enter section 5, no LOS to PEF in section 2.
Zombies: Rep 1 PEF in section 2 can't activate.

A big semi tanker truck is jack-knifed across Main Cross Street, with an empty Police interceptor next to it. "Looks like blood smeared on the rear windows of that Police car, Dad." "Yeah, keep going son." 

Turn 4
Activation: Humans 5, Zombies 5. Doubles mean a new PEF is generated. A new Rep 5 PEF is placed in section six.

Here's where I had a question. I couldn't find anywhere who goes first when doubles are rolled for activation. It's a tie, so I re-rolled Activation. Is that right?
Anyway, rerolled Activation to see who goes first.
Activation: Humans 4, Zombies 2. 
Humans: Advance another 8 inches. The red and white building in the distance on the right is the target.

Zombies: Rep 1 PEF in section 2 still can't activate. Rep 5 PEF in section 6 passes 2 dice moves into section 5 behind the Survivors. This could get ugly. A charge from the rear? Nah. PEF Resolution was "False Alarm". No Zombies on the board yet. :(
PEF went poof!
"We're getting close now, Son. Keep yer guard up". "Yup" says Stephen, clutching his AK tighter.
Turn 5
Activation: Humans 2, Zombies 1. No doubles but at least the Rep 1 PEF in section 2 should be able to do something, right?
Humans: Advance 8". You can see Joe just past the hood of the ambulance. PEF patiently waits. Still no LOS.
Zombies: Rep 1 PEF again fails activation.

"There's a dead lady leaning against that building, Dad!" "Yeah" said Joe, thinking about the news reports on the Chinese Rabies epidemic sweeping the planet. Let's hope she is he thinks to himself.

Turn 6
Activation: Humans 4, Zombies 1.
Humans: Moved 4" to door of Salon, but entered PEF's LOS. Got an Involuntary Encounter, outside Haven, went to Destination Encounter Table, got an "X", = no encounter. So far the group has been very lucky, but my poor newly painted Zombies ain't gettin no play. :)
Here's a shot of the awesome interior, below. Notice the 28mm hairdressing chair, mirrors, sink for washing and dying hair, cabinet, stool, clock, counter and computer register. Who else on the web has a fully equipped 28mm beauty shop? Nobodyz, that's who. :) Oh course, who really wants one?
We then collected Mary and headed for home.

Mary was waiting hidden behind the counter where she could use the mirrors to watch the windows and doors, without herself being seen. The boss had kept a pistol on a shelf under the register, and there was a small fire axe there also. She had grabbed both after hearing all of the shots and screams outside. A couple of times someone had tried to enter the shop, but the locked doors had turned them away. "I hope Dad gets here soon", she thought for the hundredth time. Suddenly there were shadows on the windows. "Mary" she heard Dad calling softly, "We're here, open up quick." Mary scrambled to the door, flinging it open. Her dad and big brother Stephen rushed in, both of them sweeping her into a hug. "Thank God you're safe", they all said at once, with tears turning to quiet laughter. "Listen", said Dad, there'll be time for this later, right now it's pack your shit, it's time to git". Carefully checking around the door, Stephen led the way out.
Turn 7
Activation: Humans 2, Zombies 2. Doubles! New Rep 3 PEF placed in section 4. That's what I'm talking about! :)
Re-rolled Activation: Humans 1, Zombies 1. Doubles Again! A Rep 1 PEF placed in section 4, also.

Humans: Moved 8" entering section 5 again, and generating LOS checks for both PEFs in section 2.
Rolled the Rep 3 PEF first - False Alarm. Rep 1 next - False Alarm. LOL!
"Did you hear something over there near that firetruck?" Mary asked. "Ah, you're just jumping at shadows" Stephen teased his little sister. "Stow it" Dad said. "Save that stuff for when we get home."

Turn 8
Activation: Humans 4, Zombies 2. No doubles so no new PEFS.
I went ahead and rolled Activation even though there were no PEFs left. I figured I might roll doubles and generate a new PEF. Was that the right way to do it? 
Humans: Move 8"
Mary: "Is that blood all over the windows of that Police car?" "Don't worry about that. Stay on task", grumbled her father.

Turn 9
Activation: Humans 1, Zombies 1. Yay! Doubles. A Rep 1 PEF placed in section 6.

Re-rolled Activation: Humans 2, Zombies 6.
Zombies: No LOS and Rep 1 PEF can't activate.
Humans: Move 8".
"Not far now" said Stephen. "Shut up and keep movin" Joe said quietly. "This is when missions get most dangerous. Stay focused and keep quiet, both of you. You're doin' good but we ain't safe yet." 

Turn 10
Activation: Humans 1, Zombies 3
Zombies: No LOS and Rep 1 PEF can't activate again.
Humans: Guess what? Move 8". (No, really)
"Man, almost there" Joe thought to himself, sweeping the area with his eyes for any sign of danger. "Lord, just let me get my kids home safe", he prayed.

Turn 11
Activation: Humans 1, Zombies 1. Snake-eyes! Another PEF generated, Rep 1 in section 5. Has a positive LOS from behind party. Could be trouble! NAH! "False Alarm" OMG! Again. LMAO.
Re-rolled Activation: Humans 3, Zombies 4.

Zombies: No LOS and Rep 1 PEF can't activate again. (sound familiar?)
Humans: Move 8".

"Did you hear that?" Mary said. "I swear something's following us." Stephen just rolled his eyes. His Dad, he noticed, did a quick 360 just in case Mary was right. "Don't see anything" Dad said.

Almost safe. Just have to make it off the board. That's why the table edge is cunningly evident in this shot. Can our heroes make it safety, or will LuckyJoe's infamous luck allow him to once more snatch defeat right out of the very mouth of victory? :) Stay tuned for next week's thrilling conclusion.

Just kidding. :)

Turn 12
Activation: Humans 5, Zombies 1. 
Humans: Haul ass off the board for the win. No shots fired, didn't even see a Zombie. Is that the most bloodless game of ATZ ever? :) From a mission standpoint it was a total success. Might have been a lot different if I hadn't screwed the pooch way back in Turn 2. Still a lot of fun.

Home, Sweet Home
They made it home safe. This is a little O scale Model RR house I'll be working on soon. It's similar to our real home.

Thanks for looking. I hope the non-violent nature of this report didn't make it too boring. I hope some of you will be able to straighten me out, too, on those questions. 


The Angry Lurker said...

Vampifan should be along soon and answer your questions as I've yet to play these rules but it was an enjoyable read.....

Adam said...

Nice little report, though some Zeds would have been nice.
I cannot answer your questions either as I also have not yet played.

Anne said...

The photography is stellar. Your very good at shooting macro and the photo's are so crisp and clean it doesn't look like you had any shutter wobble at all. The narrative is great, the paintwork is great (love those cars) and the board is gorgeous.

Vampifan said...

Nice batrep, Joe. To answer your last question first - is that the most bloodless game of ATZ ever? Yes, undoubtedly so! But you did nothing wrong. If the dice are kind to you (yours certainly were) you can go through a scenario getting nothing but false alarms and meeting no one.

Now to answer your specific questions.
1. Should you have used the rules from BDTZ for generating zombies/ No, the rules in I, Zombie replace them with PEFs.

2. Do you have to have a Rep higher than the die roll to activate? Yes. Higher or equal, though.

3. Who goes first if you roll doubles for activation? No one. You re-roll until you don't roll doubles.

4. Should you roll for activation if there are no more PEFs left on the board? Yes, because as you say, you could roll double 1 or double 6, indicating an encounter. This is true as well if their are no opposition figures left on the board.

Note the rules for optional PEF generation. Whenever you roll doubles a new PEF is placed on the board in the area corresponding to the number rolled. If however, there are players in that sector then the PEF is not placed. If it is, generate its Rep as normal. Do note that this is an "optional" rule and is one that I have never used.

I think you did very well in this scenario, Joe, but by god, the dice were unbelievably kind to you. I like your model home and I absolutely LOVE the furniture in your hairdressers. Me want!

Luckyjoe said...

Hi, folks. Thanks very much for kind comments. I wasn't sure if I should keep the narrative sections. Do you think I should keep em?

@Fran: Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

@Adam: Thanks. I know. Some Zombies on the board would have been nice. They were sitting there in their little chompin at the bit, and everything else for that matter. :)

@Anne: Thanks very much! The photos were kind of funny, too. The first ones I took as I went along, during the day, with plenty of sunlight coming into the room. Then later, at night as I was writing the report, I realized I was missing shots of the party moving across the board. So I took more pictures in the room without the sunlight. Those are the ones that came out best. I think that will be my new preferred way to take pictures. No light box, at night, no flash.

@Vampifan: Thanks so much for the help. I always appreciate your guidance on playing this game. At one point during play I actually had my laptop up with your "My ATZ Campaign - Introduction" page up so I could refer to it as I went along. :) It sounds like I was doing okay with the rules, then, just lucky as hell. It was going so well I was sure I was doing something wrong, one of those "It's quiet, Yeah, too quiet" moments. :) Thanks for noticing the Hairdresser furniture. Did you see the clock? It's mounted on a little circular magnet I use for basing my 15mm minis. The magnet has a peel-off adhesive and I just stuck the clock onto that surface. I was having a hard time cutting the clock faces out, couldn't get them in a nice clean circle. Then I remember I have a 1/2" round circular punch. That fixed that. The beauty chair was made from an Ainsty Casting Office chair. I added some bent wire on the bottom for a foot rest, another straight piece of wire to support the hairdryer headpiece and used a basin from a 1/4 plastic dollhouse furniture set to make the headpiece.

Ray Rousell said...

Some really great photos!!

Jay said...

The fruit of your labors is astounding, Joe! Give us more!

Lord Siwoc said...

This is brilliant! Just goes to show that you do not need to have massive ammounts of firepower in order to survive. A bit of luck though..That will always be needed.

I am soon to start my campaign, I will however be doing it with out I ZOMBIE, due to the fact that I just have BETTER DEAD THAN ZED. And will be using that.

The pictures are great, a nice feel to a really great board.

Zerloon said...

Ok, now I know what Sin will drow me to hell. ENVY!! XD

Beautiful setting, is a shame that no Zed pop his rotten head...

To me, you have done just one major mistake.

To "win" an encounter you should

• Have killed at least one zombie.
• Did not receive a result of out of the fight.
• Did not hunker down.
• The character found a resource.

You have not searched in the buildings, just walked outdoor... If you had done some search I'm sure some Zed were in order, as resource or maybe ostile ganger...

Campaign-wise you should roll for all member of the party, and with a 1 you lose 1 point of Rep.

So you understand how important is searching in building for resource, with all the risk.

Hope this is helpful!! :D

Henry's Tat said...

The best city table I have ever seen!

Mecha Ace said...

Some great looking scenery there, shame you never got to use all those zeds you've painted.

Sure they'll get used in the future though.

Brummie said...

Nice to see the City in use. a Great report bloodless though it was. But the dice gods where kind. We shall what happens next time.

Top Stuff Joe I look forward to you doing more

Lead Legion said...

I agree. Photo's were great. I'd most definately chalk this scenario up as a win, but isn't there a chance of losing Rep since you found no goodies and killed no zombies? Or is day One an exception.

Any chance of a closer look at those casualty figures? They looked really nice.

lrqan said...

Been waiting for this and I was not disappointed. Super photos and the setting is just ace. As for your questions the 'Big V' answered them all. However, I have found that by choosing those rules to use or drop can design your scenario to make it harder or easier. So I have no issues using the BDTZ palcement rules as well s the PEF. As Ed Tex says in the rules, It's a game, have fun. Ido and it sounds if you didi also. Keep gaming.

Spacejacker said...

Don't worry Joe, my last game of 5150 went the same way:

While I think the rules are interesting, it's results like this that let them down IMO.

Luckyjoe said...

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words.

@Lord Siwoc: Good luck with your BDTZ game. I hope it goes well and you have tons of fun.

@Zerloon: Thanks very much. I didn't really consider those points, but they are an important part of the game. I even have a pack of Reward cards I haven't used yet. Next time for sure. For this one the mission was to rescue Mary and I was able to achieve that, though.

PapaSpanky said...

Absolutely keep the narrations. Its all about the story, and it can help explain if you "fudge" things a bit. (like if despite the dice you really wanted zeds to show, you could have the nervous son accidentally discharge his weapon, causing zeds on the board.)
I like using the PEFs, only when they activate and move I like to move them actual rolled distance instead of from section to section. It can give the feeling that something is really coming for you.
Ok but now I needs to know where you got the fullsize ambulances?

brutpaul said...

Like all said, nice work!

Mathyoo said...

Geez, how much I love your board!
And I agree, you should keep the narrations, they add to the atmosphere, so to say. And "this" Joe "guy" seems like a hell of a man, hehe.

And I wouldn't worry too much about not searching buildings. Sure it looks kinda bad with no zombies around, but if you think about it, it is first day and it didn't spread enough. I bet there was a 200 zeds strong horde in a section just next to your board! And about the buildings, who would scavenge other people's homes on an almost-ordinary day as the first day of the outbreak?

Love the mirrors too, very nice touch. Which reminds me, I want a beauty salon, lol.

The Extraordinarii said...

Great work Joe, set up looks good, good photos, and a peaceful game.... how unusual, great effort Joe I look forward to more.

Luckyjoe said...

@PapaSpanky: Thanks very much! LOL. I glad you noticed the screensaver. I've had that on there since my X-Com project. Thanks for the input regarding the narrative. That's a good point about how it can be used to explain why I might do something differently. I like the idea on rolling the PEF movement, especially moving section to section is a pretty big move for a zombie. The ambulance I got off E-bay. I just found a bunch more. Do a search for "diecast ambulance", that's wehere you'll find the affordable ones for 5 or 6 bucks. I did a search first for 1/43 ambulance and got a bunch of old model, expensive ones.

@BrutPaul: Thanks! And when can we expect another one of your own excellent batreps?

@Mathyoo: Thanks for very much! I'm glad you liked the narrative. That's a good point about Day One. You still might not encounter many Zeds. And I think you're right, too, about staying out of other people's homes on day one. The mirrors were very easy, they're just little mirrors from a craft store. I put a piece of double-side sticky tap on their backs and put them on the wall. Thanks for noticing them. I do think they add a lot to the Salon.

Zabadak said...

Great write-up, very atmospheric. I love the street level shots too, put the viewer right in the game.
Does sound like it was a bit of a "walk in the park" though, butif you enjoyed it who cares ?

Luckyjoe said...

@Zabadak: Thanks. It was fun, and you make a good point. A walk in the park is what we really strive for. To paraphrase Patton "Let the other guy die for his country". :)

Zombie Ad said...

Fanbtastic Batrep Joe, yes, you were lucky. I hguess the only thing to bear in mind is... that luck might not last forever, so don't get complacent! :) Massively inspiring for developing my table some more, thank you.

Luckyjoe said...

@Zombie Ad: Thanks very much. I was pretty lucky. :) I'm glad you liked it.

Kurt said...

Joe, I think you did well for your a first outing. Don't worry about not finding any zeds - they come and get you soon enough. In some of my encounters I've tweaked so that I may have not encounter zeds but other humans. I think it makes good variety and for a good story.

It sounds like you were rolling result "D" on the PEF resolution table. One thing I chaged on that table was result "A" - to me that result didn't make any sense - to start another encounter within an encounter?? Change result A to anything you want. I made a subtable for result A where I may encounter a rendom event, media crew, on of the advanced zeds, some loot, etc.

Luckyjoe said...

@Kurt: Thanks very much. That's good to know. It went so easy I was afraid I was doing something wrong. That's a good idea about making a subtable for "A" results. I even happen to have an EM4 news crew primered up and sitting on the painting table.