1st February, 2013: Z+42. Mike is cold, hungry and footsore, but at least he got out of the city alive. He needs food and a roof over his head. He also needs someone to watch his back, but he’s not ready to admit that to himself yet.
Behold a part of one of the maps from Lock n Load Game‘s All Things Zombie – the Boardgame. Is it not a thing of beauty? I used it extensively in my off-camera experimental games, and thought that posting one blog game with it would be "fair use". The actual picture was exported from the relevant Vassal module, imported into Hex Map Pro, and expanded to 500%, which makes the cars about two hexes long – which I think is roughly correct for scale, since I work at one inch = two yards. The actual map is about four times this size, I’m just using the top left quadrant. You should see the rest of ‘em.
Anyway, Mike wanders on from the middle of section 8 as usual, and there are the obligatory three PEFs: Rep 6 in section 3, Rep 5 in section 1, Rep 6 in section 6. Blimey, they’re well ‘ard in the country, aren’t they? There are also 1d3 zombies per human, in this case one, and that’s how we like it, frankly. It’s 12" from Mike at his 2 o’clock, which puts it next to PEF6b. Mike can see that PEF, so I resolve it right away; I roll 2d6 vs Encounter Rating (1), and get 5, 6 = pass 0d6; it’s nothing to worry about, just a case of nerves.
This is a daytime rural Search encounter. Mike is looking for food.
Turn 1: Activation: Mike 1, Opposing Forces 3. Good heavens, Mike gets to move? Best be about it, then. He fast-moves towards the gas station; he rolls 2d6 vs Rep (2), gets 4, 1 and passes 1d6, so boosts his move to 12". This is often worthwhile even if you don’t go any farther, as it makes it harder for people to shoot yo – and who knows what those Possible Enemy Forces are? The zed shambles 6" after Mike, moaning. PEF5 rolls 6, 6 for its movement and stays put. PEF6 moves as close as it can without breaking cover.
Turn 2: Activation: Mike 3, OpFor 5. PEF5 closes up through the gas station, staying in cover. A bit of metagaming here; that’s what I was hoping for, as the chances of meeting something nasty are reduced if the building has a PEF in it. Once I’m inside, PEF6 will move out into the open, which means I can resolve it once I’ve cleared the gas station.
Turn 3: Activation: Mike 4, OpFor 1. PEF5 moves away, and the zed shuffles closer.
Turn 4: Activation: Double 2 – no random event as 2 is more than the local ER of 1.
Turn 5: Activation: Mike 5, OpFor 1. PEF5 moves up close and personal again, and the zed shuffles in for the kill.
Turn 6: Activation: Mike 4, OpFor 5. PEF5 moves away. As I’ve mentioned before, they do this a lot, which puzzled me until I realised that so long as it hasnl’t been resolved, the PEF represents Mike thinking about where something might be, not actual movement.
Turn 7: Activation: Double 3 – no random event.
Turn 8: Activation: Mike 1, OpFor 3. The zed is close enough to get into melee this turn, so it’s good that Mike activates first. He brings up his pump shotgun and fires three rounds at the zed. He rolls 1d6 + Rep (2) for each one, and gets 2, 3, 6 – even with his current lousy Rep, the last one hits. Mike now rolls 1d6 vs Impact (2) for damage; a 4, and since this is higher than the Impact, the zed is knocked down. Being a zed, it doesn’t roll for recovery, it automatically spends its next activation standing up. I roll 1d6 for each shot – since this is a rural area, each 6 will draw another zed. I roll 231 and no new zeds appear.
Mike hasn’t moved yet, so he decides to Charge Into Melee (p. 30); the zed automatically passes 1d6, and Mike rolls 4d6 – Rep 2d6, +1d6 for being a Survivor, +1d6 for his Rage. He rolls 2156 = pass 2d6, more than his opponent, so he charges home and the zed counts as unarmed. Mike now rolls 5d6 to hit the zombie in melee; 2d6 for his Rep, 1d6 for his Rage, and 2d6 because the zombie is prone. 32545 = 2 successes, which is bumped up to 3 because the target is a zombie. It’s not clear to me from the rules whether the zed can fight back, but I decide to let it, so it rolls 2d6 – Rep 3, -1d6 for counting as unarmed. The zed gets 23 = 2 successes. Mike rolls 1d6 for damage and gets a 3; the zed is knocked down again, which means it can’t act this turn.
Turn 9: Activation: Mike 3, OpFor 2. Mike can’t go, and the zed is standing up, so no fighting this turn. Both PEFs stay put, no doubt watching the fight through the windows.
Turn 10: Activation: Mike 3, OpFor 2. Again. The zed is back on its feet, and melee continues. The zed is now rolling 3d6 as it no longer counts as unarmed. Mike is only rolling 3d6 as it is no longer prone. Successes: Mike 4, zed 1; sadly Mike rolls a 5 and knocks it back down again. PEF5 wanders away, possibly to make some tea, as the fight looks like it will go on for some time.
Turn 11: Activation: Mike 4, OpFor 5. Mike and the zed stare at each other, unable to bring their claws or gun butt to bear.
Turn 12: Activation: Double 1 – random event 5, very interesting but can’t happen so I roll again and get 10; Mike brought the wrong ammo, and if his shotgun runs out, he can’t reload it.
Turn 13: Activation: Mike 6, OpFor 4. PEF5 wanders back, sipping its tea, while the melee continues. Mike gets two more successes than the zed, and knocks it down again.
Turn 14: Activation: Mike 6, OpFor 5; nobody moves, as both PEFs would close up but can’t do so without breaking cover.
Turn 15: Activation: Mike 2, OpFor 5; Mike is rolling 5d6 this time as the zed is prone again. He gets 4 successes, the zed one; Mike rolls 5 for damage and knocks it down more.
Turn 16: Activation: Mike 2, OpFor 3. The zed uses its turn to stand up, and Mike scores 3 successes to its one; he rolls a 2 for damage, which is less than or equal to the number of successes more than the zed he got (3-1=2), so his opponent goes Out Of the Fight, and since it’s a zed, that kills it. PEF5 wanders away again.
Turn 17: Activation: Mike 2, PEFs 4. PEF5 comes back, and Mike fast-moves over to the building and steps inside. (I rolled for to see if the door was locked; it wasn’t.) This brings him face to face with PEF5, which I now resolve – nothing there, so I remove it from play. Notice that since there was a PEF in the building, I didn’t have to roll for zeds or a Defining Moment. PEFs in buildings are your friends. Mike closes the door behind him.
Turn 18: Activation: Mike 6, PEF 4. The remaining PEF moves 12" towards Mike, as he can’t see it. (There may be windows, but he is facing the other way.)
Turn 19: Activation: Mike 6, PEF 4. Again. The PEF moves up to the other side of the closed door and lies in wait.
Turn 20: Activation: Mike 2, PEF 5. The PEF is already as close as it can get. Mike uses his activation to search the building; he rolls 2d6 vs Encounter Rating and gets 1, 4 = pass 1d6; he finds a unit of food, exactly what he needs.
Turn 21: Activation: Double 2 – no random event as the ER is still 1.
Turns 22-24: Mike didn’t activate, and the PEF is as close as it can get. I picture Mike slumped on the floor, back to the door, panting – and wondering if those scratching noises outside are anything to worry about.
Turn 25: Activation: Mike 1, PEF 6. Mike has no idea what the PEF is – or if it’s even there – but he has what he needs for today; he has succeeded in his search, killed a zed, and done this without Running Away or going Out Of the Fight. Time to call it a day, Mike. He fast-moves through the house, out of the door opposite (also unlocked, fortunately) and runs off the board.
Mike gets a chance to roll for Rep increase, but rolls a 1 and blows it. He has found some food, but still counts as being on half rations until March.
Mike Blackman:* Rep 2 MM Survivor, Pep 2, Sav 1, Poser, Rage. Shotgun, crowbar, knife, backpack, 1 food.
Thanks to his Rage and Survivor status, Mike is still dangerous, even at Rep 2. I expected the game to flow more quickly in the country, as there is less going on; but the number of activations Mike missed due to his appalling current Rep more than made up for it.