Blackman, Z+73: There’s an Old Mill by the Stream

Posted: 31 December 2012 in 28 Months Later

The ATZ adventures both for Mike Blackman and Don Savage are now self-sustaining; I find this with most games, after a few sessions ideas for scenarios just flow naturally out of what went before, and then I feel more like I’m watching the story unfold than making it up.

4th March 2013: Z+73. Mike’s out of food again, but at least the weather’s improved.

Let’s see how Mike does with the watermill, shall we? I’m feeling lazy today, so no didactic writeup; just the narrative. There was no involuntary encounter for March, so Mike eats what’s left of the food he got last time, and goes looking for more.

This is a daytime Take Back encounter in a rural area. I’ve started experimenting with other things Hex Map Pro can do for me; the white square at the top left of the picture is a turn counter, and the green and red ones at the top right are dice – Hex Map Pro allows you to declare a token as a die or dice, so you can also use it as a dice roller.


Above is the board at the start of the encounter.


Mike moves into cover by the watermill door, uncertain whether to go in or to resolve the PEFs first. He needs a defensible position in case he fails the next 3-4 activations, which is entirely possible. I decide to modify my house rule for door state following a discussion on the THW mailing list; roll 1d6: 1 = Open, 2-3 = Closed, 4-5 = Locked, 6 = Barricaded by previous visitors. I roll a 4, and this one is locked, so I add a little token in Hex Map Pro so that I don’t forget that. (Tokens can be various different sizes.) That makes Mike’s decision for him, let’s do the zed and the PEFs first.


Mike fast moves up the board to get line of sight on as many PEFs as he can. (The bridge is normal terrain, but I decide each water hex reduces movement by 2".) This turns out to be all of them. Thanks to the low ER (1), all the PEFs resolve as false alarms. Just the zed to deal with then, plus whatever is in the house. The zed wades across the pool at 2" per hex towards where it saw Mike last. It does this for a couple of turns, during which I also get a string of doubles on activation, but not random events.


By turn 9, all that dancing about is over, and Mike circles around a tree to get a shot at the zed without coming into charge range. He manages to knock it down despite only being Rep 2, but only just. Luckily, no zeds are attracted by the gunfire. However, next turn we get a random event, and Mike twists his ankle again. The zed recovers while he is hopping around swearing (and not activating), then runs at him, but his strategy of staying out of charge range is looking pretty good.


After a lot of messing around with nobody activating, Mike activates and charges the zed, which counts as unarmed for the first round, and kills it. Being a Raging Survivor is good for this sort of thing.


Mike walks back to the watermill and tries a Savvy Challenge to pick the lock. Astonishingly, he passes 2d6 (no, really – rolled two ones!) and succeeds. The door opens, and even better, there are no zombies inside. That means a Defining Moment, which results in the ER increasing by one. Mike rolls to see what’s inside his new home, and finds… nothing. Oh well, can’t have everything.

Mike meets the criteria for a Rep increase, but rolls a 1 and stays at Rep 2. About par for the course with my dice rolling.

  • Mike Blackman:* Rep 2 MM Survivor, Pep 2, Sav 1, Poser, Rage. Shotgun, crowbar, knife, backpack.

Reflection: It looks like the main factor driving game length is the Star’s Rep.

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ll be back in a couple of days with more silliness for your amusement, and mine!

  1. Hugh Duggan says:

    That ankle seems to be giving Mike some real grief; he must have bust it up bad! Perhaps he should see a doctor 🙂 .

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