Thursday, 28 May 2015

A small Pictish village

Introduction

I paint a lot of figures, mostly 28mm, for gaming.  However, men alone aren't enough for a wargame; we need terrain as well.  Every so often, I realise that I can't play a scenario that I would like because I don't have the right setting.  So it was with SAGA, when I realised that at least 1 of the standard scenarios in the basic rulebook requires buildings.

Many people use MDF kits of timber-framed Dark Age buildings for their games of SAGA.  Theses are widely available from various manufacturers.  However, my Dark Age warbands are based in Scotland and although timber or wattle-and-daub structures would certainly have existed in parts, the more remote corners of the land might well have had differently-constructed buildings instead.

The Raw Materials

I discovered that Scheltrum Miniatures produced resin models of stone dwellings that would be very appropriate for far-flung communities of Picts or similar Celtic groups.  Low (wind-proof!), stone buildings with turf roofs are especially likely in areas with limited access to wood, such as the Hebridean Isles or some parts of the north of Scotland.  Having decided that I wanted these, I bought a few small dwellings.  That was at Claymore 2012, so almost 3 years ago (ouch!).

I realised afterwards that I also wanted some walls from Scheltrum to go with them, to place the buildings in a more interesting context.  The walls were purchased separately, probably at another show a year or 2 later (I cannot remember for sure).  And so it remained for a long while...

Planning the Village

Finally, earlier this month, I decided to act and build my village.  After all the procrastination, it didn't take much effort at all when I finally got down to it!

Firstly, I found some large pieces of scrap paper and drew out rough plans of how the building and wall pieces would be placed.  This achieved several things: it showed me what size of bases would be required and it ensured that I made best use of the pieces available.

Next, I cut out bases from 3mm MDF and transferred the plans roughly onto these.  I left a margin of about 1" around the edges of each base and beveled the cut edges (my jigsaw can make cuts at up to about 45 degrees off vertical, which is very useful for this type of job).

The obvious next step was to glue on the buildings and the walls.  This revealed a problem, though: the wall pieces didn't join cleanly to each other and certainly didn't join to the buildings.  There were huge, unsightly gaps everywhere!

Mind the Gap!

OK, not to worry.  I rolled blobs of Milliput into rough balls and then pushed these into all the gaps, trying to match the existing layers of stones in the walls.

The joints between the baseboards and the resin pieces still looked a bit abrupt, so I used some filler to blend these together a bit.  I also added a few lumps and bumps to the enclosures, to try to avoid them looking as smooth as billiards tables!

Painting

After adding a few patches of sand and grit (again, to break up any large, blank patches), I undercoated the models with my usual Halford's grey car primer.

Note that as an afterthought I added some "gates" to the 2 larger enclosures.  These were simply pieces of Renedra's wattle fence, cut to fit.

Finishing

To start the painting, I gave all the stonework a black wash, followed by a heavy drybrush of "lichen grey".

The dirt was undercoated with chocolate brown, then highlighted with a couple of lighter shades of tan.

To finish, 2 separate types of flock and static grass were applied, with special attention given to the bottom of the walls and other nooks and crevices.  The few details  (gates, doorways, the guy ropes over the roof of the largest house) were painted separately and then the models were sealed with varnish.  Done!

Conclusion

These pieces were surprisingly quick to build, mainly due to the relatively small number of colours and details on them.  They'll be very useful for outlying communities in games of SAGA, I think.  And it's such a relief to have completed this project - finally!


Sunday, 24 May 2015

New Talent: A's first Elves

Introduction

My 12-year old son (I'll call him "A.") has expressed an interest in my model-making and gaming for some time now.  He was interested enough to find out that I had several sprues of Mantic elves lying about; these were things that I had picked up at occasional shows or in "lucky dip" bargain boxes.  Once A. had determined that I had no particular use for them, he asked if he might build and paint them.  I wasn't going to refuse and put him off the hobby, so I said that he could.  Some while later, here are the first results:

Elf bases for Hordes of the Things

1 base of Elf Shooters.
A. decided that he'd like the elves to be based in elements suitable for playing Hordes of the Things.  I helped him to choose the composition of these bases and showed him how to cut out the parts, glue them together, paint the figures and finish the bases.

I also suggested the colour schemes and painting techniques that would be suitable for a raw beginner.  However, I'd like to stress that I did no more that a small demonstration on maybe 1 figure and rescue a few of the bigger mistakes; the rest is entirely his own work.

A Hero base, with bodyguard, standard and pet!

3 Spear bases
I helped most with the decals, I think.  We searched for drawings of "firebird" or "phoenix" on the Internet and then I printed these out on decal paper.  I think we ended up with 4 distinct designs.  A. had a bit of trouble applying the decals despite my repeated demonstrations; I probably had to rescue about 1/2 of them.

Conclusion

All the elves together.  About 50% of the force necessary for a HotT army
These models are certainly not up to my own standard of painting.  Then again, I've been doing this for 40 years or more, so it shouldn't be any surprise.  While I know that the painting isn't as neat as it could have been with more practice, I am deeply impressed at what A. has achieved on his very first attempt at such models.

He's now wanting to build Tau for Warhammer 40K and more elves to round out this force.  Whilst I've got plenty more elf infantry sprues, I'd like to get him a wizard or 2, some cavalry and perhaps a few eagles; that sounds about right to me.  Hmm, I could be onto something here...

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

We don't need another hero...

More Heroes!

In my last post, I showed you my barbarian heroine, based for Hordes of the Things.  Well, I found that I'm quite partial to painting heroes & heroines, so here is another such HotT base:

Once again, these are Hasslefree figures.  They're called Rennie and Tilda by the manufacturer, but I can't help feeling that I've seen their likenesses somewhere else...

The composition is somewhat pedestrian and I feel quite annoyed that I couldn't come up with something a bit more exciting.  Having the 2 people and the menhir (made from a lump of milliput) placed at the points of a triangle on a flat base is...dull.  At least, that's what I think.

As always with my HotT bases, I've stuck a label to the back.  This indicates the affiliation of the model (the double-headed axe is for my barbarian army) as well as the classification (Hero, obviously).

 The hardest parts of these figures to paint were probably the hair colours (something with which I've never had much confidence) and - surprisingly - the wings on the helmet.  Both of these parts are very prominent on the models and therefore will get more attention, or so I suppose.  It certainly made me more anxious about getting the colours right!

The 2 stacked helmets on the ground are spare heads from a box of Gripping Beast Saxon Thegns (I didn't have any Romans!)  Being plastic, it's not impossible to carve out the face and leave just the helmet, though I couldn't face doing many more of these.

Now I find myself listening to Tina Turner - that song just won't leave my head...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

There was a young lady from Riga...

"There was a young lady of Riga,
 Who rode with a smile on a tiger.
    They returned from the ride
    With the lady inside
 And the smile on the face of the tiger."

[Limerick, traditional (?)]

So, another model has rolled off the production line.  In this case, it's a Hasslefree model called "Barbarian Libby".  She's destined to be used as one of the heroes for my slowly-forming Barbarian army for Hordes of the Things.  It's not difficult to find barbarian heroes from Hasslefree; sometimes it seems as if half of their catalogue fall into this category!

Sadly, my HotT barbarian army is not yet close to completion.  For years it has been low down on my list of priorities, though every now and again I do finish another base or two.  You can see mention of it in a few earlier posts, here (January 2014), here (November 2013) and here (also November 2013).

I'm not that happy with my painting on this model.  It's good enough for gaming, but the sculpting is so good that I felt the figure deserved only the best painting.  While my output is, I think, pretty decent, it's nowhere near the display quality that I'd have liked.  Ah well, we do what we can.

The tiger comes with its own round scenic base, so there wasn't much need for landscaping in order to produce a suitably heroic pose.  All I had to do was cut a circular hole in the square HotT base, glue in the model and then fill the gap.  I think that worked well; it's not possible to see the join.

Will they return from the ride with the lady inside the tiger?  I doubt it!  I think that this barbarian queen has her beast totally under control.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

SAGA: Ragnar vs the Monks

Introduction

Nearly 2 weeks ago, I mentioned in a post (here) that we had played some games and that I'd report on them in due course.  Well, you've already had the ATZ short story, so now it's time for the SAGA battle!

Clash of Warlords


"My lord, Abbot Killian is here to see you", the servant announced.  Macbheatha had barely registered this before the churchman and several of his attendants strode into the hall.  "Lord Macbheatha!" exclaimed the holy man.  "It won't do at all!  You must show the heathen that he cannot prevail!"
The Scots warlord sighed.  "Err, is your anger directed against some particular pagan, or do you simply disapprove of all such on principle?" he replied.
"Why, it's that Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok!" returned the churchman.  "He has erected a false idol near the bridge over the Clutha burn.  When our holy brothers started to destroy it, they were beaten most severely!  Ragnar must be punished.  You must challenge him and show the pagans that they cannot do such things!"
Wearily, Macbheatha reached for his sword and shield.

We played a 6 point game, using the "Clash of Warlords" scenario.  In this, each warlord can take 12 hits before falling; victory is determined solely on the number of such wounds suffered.  The gaining of territory or the destruction of other models counts for nothing in the end (though obviously it may confer a short term tactical advantage!)

I played the Scots and took a regular warlord, a mixture of hearthguard and warriors on foot, a few mounted hearthguard and a dozen angry monks.

My younger son (A.) played the Vikings.  He chose to take the special character Ragnar Lothbrok, small numbers of berserkers and hearthguard, a fair number of warriors and some levy archers.  Hmm, I thought: one of Ragnar's special abilities is that he can ignore the first 2 hits in each melee rather than a regular warlord's 1 hit.  This would make him a very tough customer in a game where such wounds determined the winner.

Early Moves

For the first couple of turns, forces on both sides moved forwards whilst the 2 warlords beat up on each other.  The Viking's attacks were ferocious, but the Scots lord's defence was sufficient to deflect them all.

The general fighting was opened by the Scots hearthguard.  Seeing that some Viking berserkers were in the lead and getting perilously close to Macbheatha, the thanes double-timed over the bridge and charged at the semi-naked axemen.

Some cunning use of SAGA abilities including the powerful A Barrier of Spears and some lucky dice rolling enabled the thanes to wipe out all of the scary berserkers for no loss whatsoever.  As the Scots' commander, this was excellent news and a brilliant start to the game!

...or so I thought.  A large group of Viking warriors charged down off the hill, shouting "Valhalla!" and banging their shields.  It seems that the berserkers are not the only models in the Viking army who can make violently aggressive attacks - and the Scots had burnt through all of their SAGA abilities for the turn already.  Bother!

By the time the fighting subsided, just 2 of the thanes were left standing, surrounded by piles of dead and injured from both sides.

To finish the job, a small unit of Viking hearthguards then charged the tired pair of thanes.  Predictably, the Scots fell, though they did manage to take one enemy with them.

The remaining hearthguard of both sides now tried to intervene and break the deadlock between the 2 tiring warlords.  Almost predictably, all they achieved was mutual near-annihilation as the Scots were reduced to 1 horseman and the Vikings to a single bodyguard.  However, more Scots were pouring across the bridge and even the monks were getting close to the central duel.

At this moment, Nick (my brother-in-law, who was visiting from New Zealand and watching the game) told A. that his Viking levy archers were completely useless.  Just to prove him wrong, my son used them to shoot down the first rank of Scots warriors to cross the bridge.

In the ever-escalating tit-for-tat, the depleted Scots warriors crossed the bridge and killed the last Viking hearthguard.  In turn, the last unit of Viking bondi attacked and drove off those Scots.  However, another group of Scots warriors was just on the bridge, so could they do any better?

The fresh Scots warriors charged off the bridge, but took 1 casualty from the Vikings.  However, they scored a respectable 5 hits on the Norsemen in return.  That should do it, right: 5 hits, each needing a 5+ to save?

5 hits, each needing a 5+ to save.  What could go wrong?
Amazingly, all the Vikings made their saves and the Scots attack was repulsed.  Oh, fudge!  At least only 1 Scottish warrior had been lost.

Right, so let's send the Scots warriors back in for another attack.  This time, 3 Vikings fell for no loss.  Hurrah - at last we might be able to send men to help Macbheatha in his seemingly endless and pointless fight with Ragnar!

But it wasn't to be.  Ragnar finally managed to pierce Macbheatha's defences and wound the Scots lord.  That would be hard enough to claw back with a matching injury to Ragnar, but then the Viking archers shot another volley.  The last significant group of Scots warriors was slaughtered!

As if sensing victory, Ragnar now drove Macbheatha back, wounding him twice more in quick succession.  This was beginning to look like the end for the Scots; despite all the effort they had put in!

The few remaining warriors on both sides skirmished with each other, killing a few more fighters.  However, neither side achieved any decisive superiority.  Finally, the last remaining Viking shieldmaiden attacked the monks to try to prevent them from attacking Ragnar.  She fell to their anger, but not before she had created a martyr from one of them.

The distraction caused by this little skirmish allowed Macbheatha finally to score a hit on Ragnar.  Still, going into the last turn of the game, the odds didn't look good that the tired Scot would be able to achieve anything more against this legendary, rock-hard Viking.

Right, time to go for broke!  I put SAGA dice on every ability I could that might generate attack dice (not that many for the Scots battleboard!) and sent the monks in as well.  The 2 warlords disappeared under a pile of kicking, biting and swearing holy men.  No doubt there was the odd dagger used as well.  Injuries were received by both Macbheatha and Ragnar, but who would come off worse?

So here's the final tally: 5 wounds to Ragnar, but only 4 wounds to Macbheatha.  The Scots squeak a narrow victory at the last moment!

Macbheatha picked himself up from the dirt with the help of Abbot Killian and dusted down his tunic.  It was bloody and torn from the long fight; he'd need to get another one to replace it.  Drat; he'd really liked that tunic.

 He stared for a moment at the receding back of the Viking lord as Ragnar ran away, then shouted "Let that be a lesson to you.  And DON'T COME BACK!"


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Carronade 2015 - A Grand Day Out

Introduction

Yesterday was the date for Carronade 2015, the annual wargames show that is put on by the Falkirk District Wargames Club.  I had never been to Carronade before, believing despite all the evidence that it was a very small, local show which wouldn't really have been worth the travel time.  How wrong I was!

Travel

My younger son (A.) had expressed a desire to go with me to Falkirk and I had told him the previous night that he'd need to be up in plenty of time.  As it was, I had to rouse him from his bed, though we still had plenty of time to catch the train from Helensburgh.

We changed from the local train at Glasgow Queen Street station and were fortunate enough to walk straight on to the inter-city just as it was about to leave.  The itinerary I had printed off suggested that we wouldn't make this connection and would have to wait 15 minutes for the next train, so that was a bonus for us!

From Glasgow Queen Street to Falkirk High was only a short journey of 20 minutes or so.  It took us slightly longer than this to walk from the station in Falkirk to the show venue in the local high school.  During our walk, A. talked nonstop about Warhammer 40K.  He and some friends have started playing small games at lunchtime in school once a week and he has visions of collecting and building at least 3 or 4 armies, if I understood correctly!

The Games

We arrived at Carronade marginally before the show's official start time, but the entrance was already open and so we didn't have to queue.  It was immediately obvious from the site map that this was quite a big affair - I think there were 5 halls in use.  At least, we visited 5 rooms during the day; if there were more then we missed something!

Malifaux

Malifaux: my crazy doctor, creepy assistants and undead creations (bottom and left) vs. A.'s weird spiritualist, grey-suited bodyguards and pink, ethereal spirit hosts (top and right).  All these models were very nicely painted indeed.
 The very first thing that we stumbled across (and were invited to participate in) was a game of Malifaux.  Sadly, I forgot who was demonstrating this game; my apologies to our very helpful hosts!

So, I took a mad doctor and his entourage, whilst A. commanded a very refined-looking type of juju man and the possessing demons that he had summoned.  All very odd, but although A.'s leader reached the magic hat that was the objective first, I wiped out all of his supports before he could escape with this treasure.  Then my extremely powerful doctor took on the spiritualist one-to-one and slaughtered him.

This was the first time that I'd played Malifaux.  My general impression is that there is a great deal of (very creepy) imagination in the figures and the setting.  If you like that kind of thing then this will be heaven!  However, the rules didn't particularly impress.  Whilst the mechanism for using cards rather than dice (and being able to "cheat" by playing a card from your hand to override a drawn one) was well enough, the combat system and the special rules for each character seemed immensely complex.  Each character card was dense with very small text, so perhaps not really suitable for casual, pick-up games.

Warpack

We were treated to a demo game of Warpack, a fantasy mass battle game by Prince of Darkness Games.  The main twist to this seems to be that each unit and each character is assigned a card every turn that details their melee, magic, missile and/or defence value.  No dice are involved; the values on the unit's card are used for the entire turn.

In our game, my Orcs were thoroughly shot to pieces by A.'s superior Wood Elf archery.  My depleted hobgoblin cavalry did manage to wipe out a cavalry unit with a flank attack and to run down an elven hero, but it wasn't nearly enough.

I'm not at all convinced by the diceless approach to games.  What we were left with was a completely predictable combat resolution; once a unit's combat card had been revealed then all enemies knew whether it was worth attacking them that turn or whether they should direct their efforts elsewhere.  That was married to a very traditional command/move sequence, where every unit could be moved at will up to its maximum distance each turn.  Maybe I just didn't "get it", but I don't think I'll be playing this again.

Lunch

As at a number of other wargames shows, the hot food on offer was basically chips.  Yes, it was possible to put other yellow/brown food in the same dish (pie, burger, baked beans...), but there wasn't much outside of this genre.  To add insult to injury, it was quite expensive.  I keep hoping for better from school kitchens, but I'm continually disappointed.  Why, oh why can't I remember to take my own packed lunch to these events?!

Escape from the Robot Planet

 In the afternoon, we started to make some purchases on our rounds of the show.  We visited the Crooked Dice stall, where I talked with Graeme at some length.  More on my purchases later...

Just as we were about to move on, A. looked at a side table with some tiles and a deck of cards and said "Is that a demo game?"  It was and so we were offered a 3-player run through the work-in-progress "Escape from the Robot Planet".

In this game, each player had to run from tile to tile, seeking for the exit that would allow them to escape.  Cards could be played as either assists to the player's character or as hindrances to someone else, so there was a bit of tactical thought needed when choosing which effect from the card to use.  I took great delight in playing a card to swap my hand with Graeme's, just after he had used a card to search through the deck for something he wanted!

Eventually, both A. and Graeme found the exit tile, whilst I was stranded at the other end of the board about as far away as possible.  My card play to prevent Graeme from winning unwittingly left the way open for victory by A. instead, so my boy was pleased.

Overall impression: this was quite a fun little side game.  Obviously it's still under development and the balance of card types might not be quite right.  There seemed to be much backstabbing between the players, whilst the robots were all but bystanders; they didn't play much part in the game.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim.  Swordhead (?) in the centre has just ripped off Gypsy Danger's left arm
We had been eyeing up a very popular Kaiju game all day, but it was only at 2:30pm that we managed to participate.  Even then, there was only 1 slot, so A. took control of the Jaeger "Gypsy Danger" and I sat behind to advise.

Initially, 2 of the 3 monsters were submerged; they surfaced together to sandwich Gypsy Danger and one of them immediately tore an arm off the mech.  However, the Russian and Japanese mechs came to our assistance and ganged up on Swordhead, eventually overpowering the beast.  That left the damaged Gypsy Danger facing Leatherback (?) one-on-one.  Both combatants took damage, but once we figured out that we had a chainsword and elbow rockets, we hammered the creature again and again.  By the time the kaiju died, Gypsy Danger was fairly beaten up and had lost power in a leg as well as having massive dents in the torso.  So, another win for our side!

Shopping

No show report would be complete without the loot picture.  Note that this is just my stuff; A. got some half-price Tau pathfinders for Warhammer 40K and some even more heavily reduced Magic cards.

So, what did I buy?  A scenario book for 1809 Austrians vs French, more varnish, a second hand Dreadball team, some 28mm highland cattle, X-men dice, a bunch of 40mm Greek Peltasts (I intend to use them as giants to face my 28mm Argonauts) and a Crooked Dice transit van.  This last will end up as the Mystery Machine, if all goes well.

Put together on the table like this, it doesn't look like much stuff.  It cost enough, though!

Conclusion

Will I go to Carronade again?  You bet I will!  It's simpler for me to get to than any of the other Scottish shows and it's easily big & varied enough to satisfy my needs for a day out.  My only regret is that we didn't have as much time as I might have liked to look at all the other games which were being displayed!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

ATZ Short Stories: Something's after my chickens!

Introduction

In my last post (here), I mentioned that I had played games of both SAGA and All Thing Zombie recently.  The ATZ game was quite a small one, but here it is anyway...

The Scenario

Bridge Farm is an isolated house surrounded by fields, woods and a small river.  The people who live there have heard about the zombie plague, but have written it off as something that only happens in big cities.  Nothing to do with us country folk, then - until today, when strange people, acting in peculiar ways, have invaded the farm.  Only the farmer's wife, Marjorie Armitage, and her teenage son, Billy, are at home, when the chickens in the yard start to make a terrible noise.

Mrs. Armitage reached for her husband's shotgun and loaded it carefully.  "You stay here, Billy", she said to her son.  Even though he was nearly as tall as her, she couldn't think of Billy as being anything other than a little boy.  "I'm just going to find out what's spooked the chooks".
"Mum, I'm coming with you!" the lad replied.  "I'm not staying here on my own"  He reached for his hand-me-down hunting rifle and looked defiant.  Mrs Armitage stared at her son for a moment and then made up her mind to let him come too.  In truth, she felt a bit scared and would be glad of the company.  "OK, but stay behind me and do exactly what I tell you to do" she said.  She turned, lifted the latch and stepped through the farmhouse door into the daylight...

Victory Conditions

The humans must clear the table of zombies without any of the people being killed.  It doesn't matter so much if the chickens are hurt, though.

Forces

The Humans

  • Marjorie Armitage, REP 4 citizen, shotgun
  • Billy Armitage, REP 3 citizen, fast, agile, rifle
  • 2 small flocks of chickens

The Zombies

  • 2d6 - 4 zombies (i.e. d6 - 2 for each human in the farmhouse).

Special Rules

1. The river is fast-flowing, deep and dangerous.  Any model which enters it must test against REP:
  • Pass 2d6: may wade or swim 1d6" in any direction desired.
  • Pass 1d6: swept downstream by 1d6".
  • Pass 0d6: swept downstream by 1d6" and (if human) -1 REP for the rest of the game.  Should a person's REP be reduced to 0 in this manner then they drown.  Note that chickens float and zombies are dead already & cannot drown, so while such models can be swept away by the current, they won't suffer the -1 to REP.
2. Chickens are a nominal REP 1 for determining when they activate, taking the "brown pants" test when charged and for determining their combat dice in melee.  They act as follows:
  • If activated, chickens will move 3" in a random direction (avoiding contact with zombies or the river where possible).
  • When charged, chickens take the "brown pants" test.  If they roll a '1' for this test (i.e. a "pass" against their REP) then they are foolish enough to stand and receive the charge and will fight in the subsequent melee.  However if they fail the test then they will run 6" directly away from the attacker.  Either way, they make noise (1 die worth) to represent their alarm!
    Note that it is technically possible for a chicken to kill a zombie, though this is very improbable.  I would rationalise this as the distracted zombie tripping and being impaled on a stray piece of baling wire (or something like that), rather than the chicken making a fatal physical assault on the undead creature!

Our Game

Marjorie and Billy strode straight out of the front door of the farmhouse and down the path.  This was a brazen move and it started to look unwise as 2 putrid corpses lurched over the hill in front of them.  Another pair of zombies approached from the other side, but they were further away and could be ignored for a moment.
At this point, the humans had to take their one-off "Zed or no zed?" tests for the first sight of a zombie.  They were very lucky: both mother and son passed 2d6 and weren't particularly bothered by the sight or smell of the living dead!

Sadly for the family, the zombies were in hunting mode now!  They activated again immediately and charged at the nearest targets.  Unsurprisingly, the chickens ran this way and that to escape the clutches of the monsters, but this merely unveiled the humans and the zombies attacked them instead.  Billy, despite having his hands full with the rifle, managed to knock his attacker to the ground.  Marjorie had more trouble though; she ended up evenly matched with her assailant.

Seeing his opponent writhing on the ground, Billy raised his rifle and fired a single shot into it.  The noise from the shot seemed very loud as it echoed around the farmyard, but no more zombies appeared.
Billy then realised that his mother was struggling against the other zombie (2 rounds of evenly matched in a row!), so he ran over to help her.  This intervention seemed to be the break that his mother needed; she finally pushed the zombie from her and Billy shot it too before it could regain its feet.
Meanwhile, the chickens wandered about in the background, scratching the dirt and looking for worms.

The family wasn't out of the woods yet (in a manner of speaking!), as the other 2 zombies were now approaching.  Billy tried to shoot one of them, but his hand was trembling too much from fear or excitement and he missed.

In a flurry of excitement, we then rolled not 1, but 2 random events in a row!  Firstly, Mrs Armitage went pale and swayed  from side to side.  "Mum!  Are you all right?" called Billy.  She shook her head to clear it.  "Don't fuss", she replied.  "I just had a funny turn, but I'm fine now.  Watch out for that one on the left!  I think there's a needle attached to the drip stand he's carrying".  [Marjorie survived the random "Harry, are you OK?" test and the "hospital" zombie was determined to be carrying an offensive weapon].

The zombies charged, but Mrs Armitage proved that she was feeling better by snap-firing her shotgun at the attackers.  The blast caught both of the undead, tore chunks from their bodies and threw them to the ground.

Another random event!  This one didn't have much effect on game play, as the Pile of Corpses was located out of sight, on the other side of a hill.  Still, I guess that Mr Armitage and the elder son won't be coming home tonight.  Not as living humans, at least...

Once again, the fallen zombies struggled to rise [failed activation!], so the mother and son strolled over to the undead and executed them with gunfire.  With that, the game ended; all of the zombies had been eliminated and Bridge Farm was saved!

Conclusion

That was a short, sweet game!  I was a bit disappointed that the river played no part and that the chickens only a very small part in events.  Still, you cannot force the story to unfold in any particular way!
Almost all the dice rolls were in the humans' favour; it was quite creepy at times:
  • Both players passed 2d6 on the Zed or no zed? test.
  • Both players passed every single Brown pants test that they had to take.
  • Mrs Armitage passed her Harry, are you all right? test after coming into contact with a zombie.
  • Neither player lost a round of combat against a zombie.
  • Activation rolls were generally favourable for the humans.  The zombies failed to activate on multiple occasions, especially after they had been knocked down in melee.  This allowed the humans to destroy them quite easily.
  • None of the dice for noise (either chickens squawking or gunshots) resulted in further zombies being spawned.
If almost any one of these rolls had gone differently then the outcome could have been very different.  But then, you sometimes just get lucky!