This one is ATZ in a phone booth; a 16″ x 22″ battlemat, and one Star vs zombies. It started off as I wondered what would happen if a classic action adventure movie hero wandered into the world of ATZ, and then mutated as I wondered what a game on my desk would be like, and how ATZ would work in such a small space; if that works out, it will be useful for the next time my employer sends me to work away from home for a while – hotel rooms generally have desks, but not regulation 4′ x 6′ wargaming tables. So here we go. The protagonist was chosen because I thought the figure looked appropriate, and is:
Stoner: Rep 5 Survivor Star; Nerves of Steel, Stone Cold. Protected, SMG, flash-bang grenades. (I’ve given the character what the figure is carrying.) Stone Cold means he will roll 3d6 for reaction tests rather than the usual 2d6, and Nerves of Steel means that he will not duck back, regardless of reaction test outcome. I have picked these two because there is no-one to help him, which means hunkering down would be a death sentence. Strictly speaking I should start him as a Civilian, but as an action movie hero I feel he should be a Survivor.
Objective: Make it across the board lengthwise and exit alive, which I shall treat as a Discover encounter (p. 41) during Daytime.
This game lasted about 45 minutes, including setup, knockdown, and figuring out why my camera wouldn’t work. It used one human figure, and 9 zombies.
Setup: One Star means 1d6 +1 zombies, namely 4 + 1 = 5. I roll 4, 4, 5, 5, 6 on the Zombie Placement table (p. 30), which shows me that 4 of them are 12″ towards the bottom table edge, and the last one is 12″ away towards the left table edge. I rotate them clockwise until they fit on the map, which results in them all clumping up down a street to the left as shown. Red pawns are “live” zombies, green pawns are “dead” ones.
Activation: Stoner 3, zombies 4. Both activate, zombies go first and move 6″ towards Stoner. Stoner tries to fast move, rolling 2d6 vs Rep; 5, 6 vs 5 means he passes 1d6 and moves 150% normal, or 12″, winding up just outside a door.
Activation: Stoner 5, zombies 6. Stoner activates and zombies don’t. At this point Stoner could walk right off the board, but where’s the fun in that? So he enters the building to see what he can find. I don’t need to move the full 8″, and it costs him 2″ of movement to go through the door, so he just steps inside and rolls 2d6 on the What’s Inside? Table on p. 43. The dice score 8; add +2 for being in an urban area, and deduct -1 for it being daytime, gives a result of 9. That’s 1/2d6 zombies; I roll a 6, so 3 of them. I now move to p. 44 to work through this sub-encounter. The three zombies split themselves evenly between the humans, so Stoner gets all three. As this is Stoner’s first game, and he is now within 3″ of zombies for the first time, he takes a Zed or No Zed test (p. 33). He rolls 3d6 vs Rep (5): 3, 3, 3 so he passes 2d6 and recognises the threat – but, because he rolled a double, the zombie is someone he knows, so this counts as passing 1d6; the zombies charge and Stoner takes a Being Charged test (Survivor reaction test table in the QRS at the back of the book). He rolls 3d6 vs Rep (5): 2, 2, 5 so passes 2d6, he will thus fire and melee normally.
The Zombie Surprise Total is 1d6 + number of zombies (3) = 4. The Human Surprise Total is 1d6 + Rep (5) = 10. Stoner may fire or move away, and opts to fire once at each zombie. I’m not sure whether I should have taken this test before the Zed or No Zed ones, but since Stoner beat the zombies in all the tests it doesn’t matter, so I’m not going to bother about it just now.
I move to the Ranged Combat tables on the QRS (at the back of the book) and roll 1, 5, 6; adding Stoner’s Rep (5) to each makes those scores of 6, 10 and 11 respectively. I now roll 1d6 for each successful hit on the ranged combat damage table, getting a 3 and a 6; both of these exceed the SMG’s Impact (1) so two of the zombies are knocked down. As per p. 32, this means they use their next activation to get up. The third zombie now engages Stoner in melee. It rolls 1d6, and he rolls 5d6 (Rep); both are aiming for dice with scores of 3 or less. The zombie rolls 4 and fails; Stoner rolls 3, 4, 5, 5, 6 and passes 1d6. This is one more success than the zombie, so he renders it Out Of the Fight – since it is a zombie, this escalates to Obviously Dead. Scratch one zed, and Stoner has now both seen zombies and killed one.
Shots were fired, so I roll 1d6 per shot, results of 4+ indicate zombie reinforcements. I roll 1, 2, 5 and one new zombie joins us; a die roll of 5 shows it turns up 12″ towards the bottom table edge.
Activation: Stoner 3, zombies 4. Both activate, and zombies go first. The two in the building with Stoner stand up. The ones outside move 6″ directly towards the nearest human; they can’t see him, so they move towards the most shots fired within 24″, which amounts to making straight for him. Time to go, Stoner; he rolls 2d6 vs Rep (5) to fast move away; 1, 6 so passes 1d6 and moves 150% of normal, i.e. 12″. Passing through the door costs an extra 2″. As he exits the building, he sees a group of zombies, but since he is active at the moment he doesn’t take an In Sight test. It’s tempting to go for that truck, but if it won’t start, or Stoner misses an activation, the zombies will be all over him. Better to retreat in good order, and live to fight another day – if ATZ teaches you anything, it’s when to cut your losses and bug out for Zeebrugge.
Stoner didn’t find any resources, so doesn’t get to roll for improving his Rep. This was an experimental session, and not part of the main story arc (which features Reed and family, Drew, and Captain Flack’s Trumpton SAS, of whom more anon); so I may or may not use Stoner again. Now that I upload the pictures I see that they’re bigger than I intended, but c’est la vie.