IntroductionIn Game-2 of my B-team All Things Zombie campaign, 3 friends tried to run a police blockade. This turned out to be a complete disaster, as Bob was arrested, Sam ended up in hospital and Bert was shot and killed. That game also puzzled my participating group of young players at the club: they thought that they were playing "zombies" and yet only 1 such creature appeared.
For this game (Game-3), I decided that there wouldn't be any such confusion...
The 4th member of the B-team (Ernie) wasn't involved in the previous debacle as he'd taken the bus home instead of walking. He's heard about the disaster (maybe Bob used his 1 phone call to tell him about being locked up?) and has decided to walk down to the local police station to try to find out what really happened. Ernie is accompanied in this by a neighbour, Sid, for moral support.
|Ernie and Sid|
- Ernie: REP 3, dumbass, golf club
- Sid: REP 3, dim, crossing pole
Ernie and Sid aren't the only people in the vicinity, though. There's also a young woman (Michelle) who is furious at having received a parking ticket in the post. She intends to storm into the police station and let the desk officer know just what she thinks of this!
- Michelle: REP 3, slow, high-heeled shoes
Finally, Lucy is a plucky youngster who has heard that nasty things are happening on the streets. With more boldness than sense, she's filched her daddy's pistol and gone out to try to stop the bad people all on her own.
- Lucy: REP 2, B.A. Pistol . If Lucy fires her huge pistol without bracing it on a wall or other solid object first, or if she fires whilst moving, then she is automatically stunned. It's her daddy's gun so she will not give it to anyone else!
Unknown to the players, there are only a few cops in the police station as most officers are out dealing with the current civil emergency. Bob is indeed locked up in one of the station's cells.
No PEFs (possible enemy forces) are used in this game. Instead, clusters of zombies will appear at random locations along the edges of the table. The first group of 3d6 zeds enters 2 activations after the players have all had at least 1 move, with further groups of 2d6 zombies arriving 2 and 4 activations after that. That's 7d6, which if I remember correctly is the number suggested for a suburban encounter with 7 characters (Ernie, Sid, Michelle, Lucy, 2 cops and Bob).
Finally, the encounter rating is '3', so random events will occur on doubles of '3' or less. I'm using 2 random event decks: my own and Spendlove's. If an event occurs then I'll draw a card for the effect rather than rolling on the table in the ATZ rulebook. Events will be drawn alternately from each deck in turn, just to make things unpredictable.
The First Wave
Lucy and Michelle were both in intense danger now, as each had a pack of zombies within 1 move of them. Arguably, Michelle had more chance of escaping since she was REP 3, but it didn't look good for Lucy at REP 2. Everything would hang on the next roll of the activation dice!
The dice were rolled: a low double: a random event! Amazingly, the end wall of the lock-up garages collapsed outwards.
|A wall collapse devastates one zombie pack. I don't have any model rubble, so we had to improvise with concrete blocks!|
This was met with a stony look from both policemen [Sid took a People challenge against the cops and failed miserably]. Realising that things weren't going his way, Sid changed tack. "At least, could you tell us whether he's being held here? Please."
A series of screams were heard from close by the front door. Both policemen immediately became more alert.
The Second Wave
At close range, the shotgun blast did destroy one of the zombies. Sadly, most of the force was taken by the uniformed cop as he stood up, cutting him to ribbons. The zombies started to scrabble around for all the meaty chunks [the only good news about this sorry incident was that the feast would keep the zeds occupied for 6 turns].
As Sid passed the back door, he heard scrabbling sounds coming from the other side. "Ernie, wait for me!" he called. "There's something bad out there, I'm sure I can hear it". He was right: a few zombies were trying to break in. These were all individuals who had been attracted by gunfire, including one that was wearing body armour [courtesy of another event card].
Michelle tried to use the phones on the front desk to call for help, but all the lines seemed to be dead.
Lucy toddled along as fast as she could, just trying to put distance between her and the front door.
In the cell block, Ernie discovered 2 prisoners. Nicky was a small-time crook [replacement for the second player to lose a cop], who immediately called out for rescue. Bob, Ernie's friend, was in the second cell.
All Hell Breaks Loose?
While the B-team were engaged in mutual congratulations, Lucy wandered round the changing room, looking into all the lockers. She was delighted to find a teddy bear in one of them and hugged the toy close to her chest. Perhaps it had been a mascot, or a present intended for some policeman's child at the end of his shift? Either way, it was hers now.
Michelle was the only one in the room who seemed concerned by the threat of zombies. She started to drag loose items into a barricade behind the door to the lobby. Unknown to her, Lestrade was on the other side and attempting to enter; he grunted in surprise when the door wouldn't budge. Michelle screamed out "They're trying to get through the door! A little help here, please!" She applied all her strength to the barricade [rolled 3 successes out of 3 in a REP test, while Lestrade failed 4 out of 4] and the door held firmly shut.
Last Man Standing?
ConclusionIncredibly, the B-team (and indeed the other civilians) accomplished their main mission: survival. Bob was freed from jail, though I imagine the authorities now have more urgent things to do than look for him. Lestrade is shaping up to be the hero that he turned out to be later on in my other ATZ campaign [see Quarantine!]. Indeed, the only humans to fail miserably were the 2 uniformed officers.
The players lobbied hard for REP advancement rolls after this game had finished. While I haven't decided for sure, I'm inclined to deny this. None of them killed any zombies as required by the rule book. I don't want to make it too easy for them, after all!
The 2 decks of event cards certainly added a lot of character to the game. There were times when we were just stunned at the outrageous fortune of some of the players, as unusual things conspired to aid them. There were one or two "not relevant" events during the game and I haven't bothered to document all of these, but no really bad things occurred. It could so easily have gone the other way!
[Update => forward to Game-4]