It’s Z+14, or as Flack still thinks of it, 5th January 2013. His court martial for stabbing an apparent civilian is being scheduled, but meanwhile he is "on bail", or whatever the military equivalent is. Actually, the civilian was a zombie, and Flack didn’t do the stabbing, but let’s not quibble over details… Feeling the need for some air to clear his head, followed by a few beers to cloud it again in the approved manner, Flack walks into town at a brisk pace.
I followed the rules as written, except for choosing the terrain – I can never be bothered to dice for it. At the bottom left you see some dice; the red d6 is Flack’s activation, the black d6 is the opposing forces’ activation, and the large d20 is the turn counter. PEFs appeared in sections 4, 5, and 6 of the board, with Reps 5, 6 and 6 respectively, shown by the black d6s next to them. I’m after a quick game today, so Flack doesn’t take any Grunts with him – that minimises the number of other figures I need, and thanks to his Initiative, means Flack will always activate. Can’t get faster than that.
I couldn’t see from the encounter setup (I’m using Robbery on p. 71, as recommended for the second encounter) who the Enemies were, so I assumed they were gangers and rolled on the How Many table directly, as I couldn’t see Citizens or National Guard trying to rob him this early in the outbreak.Rolling a 4, +1 for it being an Urban area, gave me Player Group plus one, or two Gangers. Using my new lazy approach of grab some figures at random and assigning Rep based on what they look like (see House Rules below), I get a Rep 3 ganger with machine pistol and a Rep 5 with an assault rifle. Bit early in the game for the heavy stuff to be out, but these are gangers, after all.
There are 1d6+1 = 6 zeds on the table (p. 45); I place them with a few die rolls and the rules on p. 46. As usual on a small board, the zeds appear in clumps, and I can already see one of those PEFs is in trouble.
While Flack is window shopping on his way to the pub, two figures step out of a car onto the deserted street. Flack notices this, but doesn’t really pay attention until they stop a few yards away and draw weapons.
We begin with a Pep challenge. Both Flack and the boss ganger have Pep 4, so both roll 4d6. The ganger rolls 5, 5, 5, 6 and scores no successes (i.e., rolls of 1-3). Flack rolls 1, 1, 3, 4 and gets 3 successes. As per the scenario special rules (p. 71), Flack can no surrender 1/2d6 Items and the robbers will leave, but what kind of message does that send? He exercises his other option and goes to In Sight (pp 17-18) counting as inactive – that might seem like a disadvantage, but actually it is in Flack’s favour to be inactive, as you’ll see.
The gangers approach Flack, and the leader yells: "I want your wallet and your cellphone, now!" He brandishes an assault rifle to emphasise his point.
Flack considers this for a second or so, unsettling the ganger further, then says "No." For emphasis, he points at himself and says, "Badged," indicating to those in the know that he is not to be messed with. Sadly, the gangers are not in the know, and things start to go downhill.
The gangers are active, and so roll one less die than their Rep, looking for successes. The wannabe gets 3, 6 for one success; the boss gets 1, 1, 2, 5 for three successes; and Flack rolls 1, 2, 3, 5, 5 for three successes. The number of successes is shown by the red die next to the figure. Looking at the table on p. 18, I decide Flack will charge into melee, but the boss ganger will clearly open fire; those two events will be simultaneous. The wannabe ganger will then act, and again the table says he will open fire.
I resolve the boss ganger’s fire first. I decide the assault rifle is in burst mode, so he will fire three times; but as Flack is charging into melee, I decide he should count as fast moving. The ganger rolls 3d6 and adds his Rep to each; rolls of 116 give results of 6, 6, and 11. 7 or less is always a miss, 10 or more is always a hit, so Flack is hit once. ARs have an impact of 3, so the boss ganger rolls 1d6 and gets a 6; Flack is knocked down and immediately takes a recover from knocked down test. I use the Army & National Guard reaction tables (QRS, at the back of the book) for Flack, as he is a serving soldier. He rolls 1, 6 vs Rep 5 and passes 1d6; Out Of the Fight.
Well, I’m not having that; out with the Star Power dice (p. 5). Flack rolls 12356 and scores three successes, reducing the wound by three levels to Carry On. Unfortunately, he will finish the turn prone, and that Star Power die that rolled a 6 is out of action for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, as per p. 46, I roll 1d6 per shot fired and get 455; in an urban area, each result of 4-6 means one zombie appears, so this has generated another three, which I place as normal; all of them reinforce the mob approaching Flack from the rear, and as ever in ATZ, things are already spiralling out of control and it’s not even the end of Turn 1 yet.
Simultaneously with all this, Flack is charging into melee. Both he and the ganger roll 2d6 vs Rep; Flack passes 2d6, as does the ganger, so the ganger gets off one more shot and then Flack is in contact; he rolls a 9 and hits again, scoring an Obviously Dead result. I’m definitely not having that; Star Power rolls 1124 and Flack again reduces this three levels, to Carry On. Fortunately, no more zeds appear. Flack’s now into melee and rolls 4d6; 5d6 for his Rep, less one for being unarmed.1223 yields four successes, while the ganger’s 23336 also gives him four successes; the two are evenly matched.
Mr Wannabe Ganger now acts, and fires at Flack with his MP. He rolls 261, adds his Rep (3) to get results of 5, 9 and 4, and hits Flack with the second shot only. He rolls a 2 vs Impact (1) and so takes Flack Out Of the Fight (p. 27). Star Power rolls of 2244 save Flack again, reducing that result to Carry On. The gunfire generates two more zeds, who reinforce the main pack, now 9 zombies strong and dangerously close. Wannabe now takes the Charge Into Melee test, and astonishingly scores better than Flack, moving into melee. The Wannabe rolls 6d6, 3d6 for his Rep, an extra die because Flack is evenly matched with the Bossman, and two more dice because Flack is prone following the end of his own charge. 333456 gives the Wannabe three successes, while Flack rolls 4d6 (Rep 5, less one for being unarmed) and gets 1256 for two successes. The Wannabe rolls 1d6 vs 1, that being the number of successes more than Flack he has (p. 31), and gets a 5; Flack is knocked down and takes a recover from knock down test immediately; he passes 2d6 and is Stunned, which would make him miss a turn – this would be a bad idea so I roll Star Power again, getting 5666; blast, no successes, still stunned and lost three Star Power dice. This is starting to look like Flack should Cheat Death (p. 5), but let’s give it another turn yet.
Flack charges the gangers, and catches them off guard; they both fire at him, but all the rounds miss as he is moving so fast. However, he is still outnumbered 2:1 by better-armed foes, and one of them gets in a lucky blow with his machine pistol, stunning Flack and knocking him prone.
Activation: Flack 1, gangers 6. Flack activates, and uses his activation to stand up again and recover from Stun. Of the two PEFs able to move, one moves 12" away, and the other gets as close as it can without becoming visible (House Rule). I can’t see from the rules whether the melee should continue or not, but decide that since Flack clearly can’t attack while stunned the gangers don’t counterattack, and since the gangers didn’t activate, they can’t initiate a melee attack. That’ll do for now.
Activation: Flack 1, gangers 4. In the dogpile, Flack attacks the boss. 1145 gives two successes, the boss rolls 24556 for one success. Flack rolls 1d6 and gets a 1; that’s less than or equal to the number of successes more than his foe he scored, so the foe is Obviously Dead. Oh dear, Captain, that court-martial is not going to go well, is it? "While out on bail the suspect killed another civilian…"
In for a penny; Flack rolls 1356 against the Wannabe,who rolls 125; they are evenly matched.
The PEFs amble about in their usual random manner, and those zeds who can see the melee march towards it, while those in the building rattle around inside, trying to move directly towards the gunshots and bouncing off walls.
There’s a disturbing cracking noise in the melee, and the boss ganger goes limp. His minion fights desperately for his life against the enraged Flack. Meanwhile, a horde of zombies approaches them from behind Flack…
Activation: Flack 3, zeds 5. Flack decides to break off melee (p. 33); getting hit from behind by a bunch of zeds while locked in a brawl with a ganger would be bad. Both humans roll 1d6 and add their Rep; Flack gets a score of 11, the Wannabe gets a 7, so Flack successfully breaks off and can Fast Move away, which takes him off the board. I could hang around, but frankly, unarmed against a dozen zeds and a ganger? Not going to end well.
Flack decides that whether or not the approaching zombies are on the ganger’s side, they are definitely not on his. He’ll worry about his reputation in the Mess later; for now, it’s time to go.
Flack’s objective in this scenario was to avoid being robbed or injured (p. 71), which he has done – success. Again, since Flack has Plot Immunity in this encounter it seems unfair to roll for advancement (plus I’d have to redo another three encounters). Captain Flack remains as Rep 5, Pep 4, Sav 3, Born Leader, Initiative.
I buy my figures in packs of five, and to my eyes each pack has one obvious leader (Rep 5), one obvious loser (Rep 3), and three average guys (Rep 4). Leaders favour Pep over Sav, others favour Sav over Pep. They’ve got whatever the figure has. Seemples.
PEFs won’t break cover to close with a player character if he has line of sight to them.
While writing this up, I saw I got confused between the Robbery encounter on p. 68, which is what I should have been playing, and the one on p. 71, which is what I actually played. Oops.
Meanwhile, if two guys pointing automatic weapons at you demand your wallet, you might want to consider giving it to them.
Credits: Maps by Wydraz; figures by eM4. Statistics: The map area is 21" x 32"; the game used 3 human figures and 11 zombies.