Gouda Killem, GM and NS are now in week 3 of the outbreak, and as Stars have automatically been promoted from Citizens; they chose to become Survivors.
Incidentally, the map is from SPI’s Sniper! – scanned, enlarged until one hex is an inch across, printed and laminated. As you can see, the first sign of an impending zombie outbreak is that all the buildings turn from rectangles into rhomboids. Figures are a mixture of Mongoose Battlefield Evolution (representing zombies), some beads from the local bead shop (representing PEFs) and eM4′s prepainted SF range (representing everything else).
The group are playing the Escape! scenario for Z+21. To succeed, they must cross the board diagonally from top left to bottom right, pick up an NPC Grunt, then cross the board diagonally from bottom left to top right.
I decided they only deserved one Grunt between them, as a group of 3-5 Stars should be able to get by on its own. After some time poring over the available Grunts, and overruling the suggestion from NS that they pick the one with the most loot, kill him, and steal all his stuff (not 100% sure he’s a Survivor, that one) they accepted TM’s choice of Grunt #2 from the Survivors 1-3 table on p. 75. This worthy they dubbed "Hardcore Hank the Hacker" or "Triple-H" for short.
Things are off to a bad start as they begin with 18 zeds on the board, and two of the PEFs are Rep 6. There was some discussion of abandoning the game and walking straight back off the board, but they decided to press on.
The group broke into what must have been a garage, since they found a moped, a glasscutter, and a very large can of deodorant. Unfortunately they made a noise breaking in (failed Savvy test) and all the zeds moved to the noise. The Defining Moment and one PEF resolution increased the area Encounter Rating to 6. Gouda Killem and GM decided to hunker down and wait for the zeds to pass; Gouda wanted to race across the street and enter the building with the PEF in it, but that would have left Greedy GM alone in the garage for who knows how long.
NS, meanwhile, had thrown his mountain bike over the neighbours’ wall and followed it. Realising that a failed Fast Move roll would leave him alone in the street with a dozen zombies, he hid as best he could in the garden.
Risking a peek out of the window, TM noticed that one of the zombies was in fact a normal human in makeup. Regrettably they never talked to him.
Crossing the street, they discovered a group of soldiers who demanded they turn over their weapons and go home. By succeeding handily at a Pep challenge, GM persuaded them to rescue the human hiding among the zeds, and the party then ran out the back while the squaddies were distracted.
Abandoning the earlier idea of looting all the buildings – there were just too many zeds around – the group used their stolen mountain bike and moped to charge down the main street towards the opposite corner of the board.
GM played true to zombie movie stereotypes by twisting her ankle at a critical moment, but avoided the bad effects by riding pillion on Gouda’s moped.
In the shot above we see the first wave of all the zeds attracted by the moped’s engine noise catching up to the party, while the conga line that has formed up from zeds bouncing off walls, fences and board edges marches to the sound of the moped.
By now, I’ve run out of Mongoose soldiers to act as zeds, and NS has replaced them all with the pawns from the Zombies! boardgame.
The human hiding among the zeds has taken advantage of the distraction to leave the board, and the soldiers decided to move into one of the buildings and hole up.
The white die at top centre is Fenton the dog, who appeared early on and has been chasing them with his entourage of zeds ever since. I think he appears often enough to get his own mini, I’ll see what I can find.
Picking up Hardcore Hank, the group started back, but were cornered by zeds and had to dive into a building. The zeds near the big red die (ER tracker) have lost sight of their quarry, while the ones on the other side of the building turned back into the board and are now moving into an inconvenient place.
Hank and Gouda, on the moped, were swarmed by zeds thanks to a poor Fast Move roll. They were moving too fast for me to catch them, but as you can see from the Knocked Down zeds they managed to cut their way out and escape into another building. Gouda had to leave his moped behind, but found another mountain bike in that house, as did Hank.
Meanwhile, NS and GM had thrown the cellphone GM recovered in the previous scenario into the road, where its ringing drew the zeds away once they’d lost sight of the fugitives, helping them to escape. A tied activation roll saw Hank vanish, but he was picked up later.
GM failed the encounter, as she didn’t kill any zeds; but NS and Gouda both succeeded, and Gouda increased his Rep. Hank decided to stay with his buddy Gouda.
They’re still intent on robbing a military base, as NS has decided the weapon of choice for the Zombie Apocalypse is a flamethrower.
Partly so I don’t lose track, and partly so you can share my amusement at their choice of looted Items…
- Gouda Killem: Rep 5 Survivor Star, Pep 3, Sav 2, Runt, Born Leader. Food 2, Fuel 1, bike, pistol, crowbar, one-handed axe, nailgun, map, compass, lighter, commlink, propane lantern, backpack.
- GM: Rep 5 Survivor Star, Pep 3, Sav 2, Greedy, Medic-2. Food 3, Luxury Goods 3, Medical Supplies 3, shovel, one-handed axe, mirror, commlink, pink explorer backpack with compass, jack-in-the-box, glass cutter (for getting through windows without making noise).
- NS: Rep 4 Survivor Star, Pep 2, Sav 3, Rage, Brawler. Food 1, Fuel 1, kendo Body Armour, shotgun with bayonet and flashlight, katana, night vision goggles, grappling hook and rope, binoculars, commlink, mountain bike, large backpack, blowtorch, large can of deodorant (improvised flamethrower).
- Hank: Rep 5 Survivor, Pep 4, Sav 3, Brawler. Food 3, Luxuries 1, Body Armour, BAMP, bicycle.
I was surprised they got away alive, especially after being mobbed by zeds twice, but Brawler, Rage, Survivor and a two-handed melee weapon are a powerful combination.
So were they.