Archive for the ‘28 Months Later’ Category

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – US Navy SEALs.

With my other half out of the country and my boy studying hard for exams next month, I had a little extra time this weekend just gone; and how better to use it than killing zombies?

7th July, 2013. The boys are back in town, looking for supplies but expecting to find zeds. Flack is bringing along Hardcase, Wannabe and Pugh; Wannabe needs to start earning his keep, and the other two are reliable enough. That leaves the other Pugh and Dibble guarding the land rover off-map.


This is a Take Back scenario in daylight, in an urban area (ER 5). Take Back is risky as I have to clear the board to win, but I figure if the group is staying in town for a month, an early priority would be to secure a base of operations. As it’s a new area, I check for available supplies using the rules on p. 57; this area has 16 Body Armour, 59 Food, 29 Fuel, 53 Luxury Items, 18 Medical Supplies, and 41 Weapons.

The team move 8″ onto the board and I place zombies and PEFs (dice on their own in the middle of sections, see picture below). In an urban area, there are 1d6+1 zeds per human, so 4d6+4 against the group today; we roll well, and there are only 14 of them, 4 at 4 o’clock, 2 at 6 o’clock, 2 at 8 o’clock, 2 at 10 o’clock, 4 at 12 o’clock.

You’ll see I’m using my shiny new City Deck and Risks & Rewards Deck for this game, and pawns from the Zombies!!! boardgame. Flack is Red, the Rep 4 Pugh is blue, Hardcase is green and Wannabe is yellow.



Activation: Flack 4, Zeds 2.

Firstly, Flack can see the PEF in section 4, so I resolve it. I roll 5, 3 and given the ER of the area is 5, we’ve found something and I go to the contact tables to find out what. It turns out to be three more zeds.

Flack & Co. fast move into the Bar None. (They don’t need the extra movement, but it does make them harder to hit if anyone shoots, so I do it habitually now.) Well, what else are you gonna do in the Zombie Apocalypse?  You certainly need a drink by this stage.

I don’t bother drawing a card from the Risks & Rewards deck because initial placement put two zeds inside. We take the Charge into Melee test; Flack passes 2d6, Pugh 2d6, Hardcase 2d6, and Wannabe 0d6. Wannabe panics and opens fire with his machine pistol, missing with all three shots (not hard if you’re a fast-moving Rep 2) and generating two more zeds.

“If you fire that thing again,” Pugh says, “I’m going to make you eat it.”

“Can I kill him, boss?” Hardcase wants to know.

But there’s no time for that. The rest of them are attacking the zeds in melee, giving them +1 success, and the zeds are at -1d6 because of the excellent rolls from the team. Flack kills his outright, and the other fights Hardcase to a standstill until Pugh takes it Out Of the Fight which is the same as dead for a zed.

While this is going on, the two PEFs both pass 2d6 and move up two zones. The zeds move one zone, which brings three of them into contact, barging into the Bar None behind our Heroes. Oops, I should have seen that coming. More melee, and the team is at -2d6 on the Charge Into Melee test because they’re hit from behind. As we’re rolling 2d6 + 1d6 (Survivors) – 2d6 (hit from behind), all open fire. I really do have to take that MP off Wannabe, it’s physically impossible for him to hit with his Rep, all he can do is draw more zeds. The rest of them fare a little better; Flack kills one, Pugh knocks one down, and Hardcase embarrasses himself by missing everything. Four more zeds rock up, drawn by the gunfire.

The rest of the zeds march to the sound of the guns, creating a target-rich environment.



Activation: Flack 5, zeds 4. This means only the zeds who can see humans will move; that’s basically the ones in front of the Bar None.

On the basis that there are more zeds in front of the bar than behind it, Flack leads the crew out the back door, fast-moving, and behind the Cornerstone Coffee House. This will leave them facing five zeds, but the alternatives are (a) facing 17 zeds, or (b) barricading themselves inside the Bar None and watching hopelessly as every zed on the table moves up and batters at the doors. No thanks.

More melee? Well, if you insist… Everyone except Wannabe passes 2d6, so opens fire, but Wannabe only gets one shot. Of course he misses, although I still roll in the vain hope that he runs out of ammo, but luckily no more zeds appear. That’s a small mercy, as the remaining 16 zeds now know where we are. Flack knocks two down, Pugh kills two, Hardcase kills one. Good enough. All that gunfire draws six more zeds; we have to stop doing that, but unfortunately you don’t always get a choice.



Activation: Flack 3, zeds 2. Time to get the hell out of Dodge. The crew zip into the side entrace for Downtown Parking at a fast-move, Wannabe trailing as he passes 0d6. What’s inside? I draw a card from the R&R deck and discover it’s a brace of Casters. I’m not using those – they’re from High Rise to Hell, which I don’t have yet – and not knowing how many there are in the deck, I decide to treat them as no encounter and drive on. We’re not stopping to loot with that many zeds on our tail, so that ends the team’s activation.

The zeds move to wherever they think we might be, and the PEFs close up as far as they can without breaking cover.

At this point I check the time and discover I’m just under an hour in, halfway through the target time for the encounter. Even allowing for my being rusty, it looks like the full 16 cards is going to be too many for a typical game for me. Let’s see how things go.



Activation: Flack 2, zeds 1. The team fast-move across the street (fortunately the zed in the road is facing the other way) and into Gilligan’s Tavern, where they find – three vampires?!? More High Rise to Hell stuff, and this time I decide to redraw and get four zeds.

Naturally, Wannabe panics and fires, drawing two more zeds. Flack kicks one zombie OOF, Hardcase kills another, the third knocks down Pugh who rolls boxcars on his Recover From Knock Down test and is Obviously Dead. Oh no! Continuing the roll of extreme luck, Wannabe kills the final zed.

The team takes a Man Down test as they react to the loss of Pugh. Flack, as a star, can choose his result and passes 2d6. The rest get the benefit of Flack’s leader die; Hardcase rolls 2, 3, 3 and passes 2d6; he carries on. Wannabe rolls 5, 4, 3 and Runs Away, so he is removed from the table.



Activation: Flack 3, zeds 4. Only the zed in Gilligan’s activates, as none of the others can see a human. It’s already in melee, and Flack kills again, clubbing it viciously with his rifle until Hardcase pulls him off.

“He’s gone, Captain. He’s gone.”

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Flack composes himself. Scanning the area, he can see, or knows of, over 20 zombies, and there’s only him and Hardcase left. Time to go.

“Right,” Flack says, with the merest hint of a catch in his voice. “Follow me,” and the pair of them fast-move off the board.


Wannabe rolls 3, 3 vs Rep 2 for After The Battle recovery; he never makes it back to camp. The team never find out what happened to him, but given his flaky Rep it’s not likely to be anything good.

Hardcase and Flack roll to see if they lose Rep as a result of failure, but neither does. They have both lost men before, and no doubt will lose them again.

The rest of the crew reflect on whether to stay with Flack once he breaks the news about Wannabe and Pugh; not his best day in command ever. Flack himself is rolling 5d6 for Rep, an additional 1d6 as he is a Born Leader, but -1d6 as he lost a man this trip. He scores 4 successes (rolls of 1-3).

Dibble is not rolling to leave the group any more. Hardcase rolls 5d6, -2d6 because he has been with Flack for over 6 months now, for a total of 3d6; he rolls no successes and is no longer rolling to leave the group. Pugh rolls similarly and gets 2 successes; again Flack has at least twice as many successes, so Pugh becomes a permanent member.


That was a big, ugly failure. I used 26 zombies and 4 humans, and the game lasted about 90 minutes. The tactical lesson is not to shoot at zeds if you can possibly avoid it, but you can’t always, especially if you have a low Rep team member.

The two card decks work very well; the risks and rewards deck in particular saves a lot of time, and now I want to use it for Savage Worlds as well (it was the vampires and casters wot dun it, officer).

Based on the movement ratings, the recommended board layout is equivalent to a board around 40″ x 48″, and based on my progress in this game would take me 3-4 hours to clear, which is more than I have available in a typical session; I shall switch to one card per built-up board section, which is a good match for what I get when using terrain, and see how that goes – I can always add more cards later. (As an aside, I personally think a ground scale of one inch to six feet is about right for ATZ, in which case to scale my local coffee shop is about 4” by 6”, my usual office is around 8” by 10” and a typical house is probably 4” by 4”, so the city deck is about right, actually; a couple of buildings per board section in a built-up area.)

Considering they are little plastic men and lists of numbers on an index card, I was surprisingly touched when they pulled together more tightly than ever after losing Pugh.

It’s all about the story.


  • Capt. Flack: Rep 5*, Pep 4, Sav 3, Born Leader, Initiative. Body armour, assault rifle, binoculars.
  • Pugh: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Dibble: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Hardcase: Rep 5, Pep 3, Sav 4. Body armour, assault rifle, SMG, goggles, backpack.
  • Group: Land Rover, 3 Food, 0 Fuel.
  • Area: 16 Body Armour, 59 Food, 29 Fuel, 53 Luxury Items, 18 Medical Supplies, 41 Weapons.

Flack, Z+69: Staycation

Posted: 23 September 2013 in 28 Months Later

1st March 2013: Z+69…


I’ve been ignoring the official campaign turn rules on p. 52 for a while, but let’s be good this month. Working through them step by step:

  1. Check if area has been Fished Out. For some resources, yes, but there is still some food and fuel to find.
  2. Declare what area we’re in or move to a new one. We’re staying put in a rural area, ER1.
  3. Declare whether or not at home. Let’s try staying Home, it’ll give Pugh a chance to heal.
  4. Each group member consumes one Food. I already did that at the end of the last session, a bit out of sequence.
  5. Check for Involuntary Encounter. Roll 2d6 vs ER; if this comes up doubles and is less than or equal to ER, NPCs take a crack at us. I roll 22, which is a double, but not low enough for an encounter to occur. Note that the involuntary encounters happen before the voluntary ones; while Flack & Co are in a rural area, for simplicity I’ll assume involuntary encounters occur on the 1st of each month, and voluntary ones on the 15th.

Steps 6-9 only occur if there is an encounter, and step 10 is having more encounters if you like (depending on the type of area, you can have up to 5 in a month, 4 voluntary and one involuntary).

If you have the food for it, which Flack currently does, and are holed up in a rural area, you can potentially go a long time without having to fight. This was my plan for Mike, but it didn’t work out.


Actually, come to think of it, there is an advantage in staying home longer… on the Keeping It Together table, grunts get -1d6 for every three full months they have been with the Star. So, while we have the food for it, let’s chill out and go fishing. I should’ve thought of this earlier, I might still have the others then. The troopers and gangers joined Flack in January, so they lose 1d6 in March (already accounted for) and 1d6 in June.

  • Z+100: 1st April 2013 – roll 1, 4 so no involuntary encounter. -6 food, taking us to 15.
  • Z+131: 1st May 2013 – roll 2, 1 (no encounter). -6 food = 9.
  • Z+162: 1st June 2013 – roll 4, 4 (no encounter. -6 food = 3. And that’s as far as we can take it, we need food now.

However, Flack’s followers are now at -2d6 when rolling to Keep It Together, making it much less like they will wander off. The dice have been unkind to Flack in a way, in that his attributes are contradictory – Born Leader is good at keeping a group of grunts together, but Initiative works best when you are alone.

Z+192: 1ST JULY 2013

Now I’ve done it once, we’ll scamper through it again to set up the next encounter, in which the team moves back into town to stock up. The urban encounter sequence will be involuntary on the 1st, then voluntary ones on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th.

I check for involuntary encounters again (6, 6 so nothing happens), and then roll for lack of sleep before the encounter proper. 2d6, +1 as there are more than 2 in the group, score of 9 – everyone is fully rested so enters the encounter at full Rep. I keep forgetting to check for this.


Except for eating another 18 food units – actually they should only have eaten 6 in February, not 7, I bet that ratbag McGrew took an extra one with him – there is no change to the group’s stats.

  • Capt. Flack: Rep 5*, Pep 4, Sav 3, Born Leader, Initiative. Body armour, assault rifle, binoculars.
  • Pugh: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Pugh: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Dibble: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol. Not rolling to leave group.
  • Hardcase: Rep 5, Pep 3, Sav 4. Body armour, assault rifle, SMG, goggles, backpack.
  • Wannabe: Rep 2, Pep 0, Sav 1. Machine Pistol, walkie-talkie. Not rolling to leave group.
  • Group: Land Rover, 3 Food, 0 Fuel (burned up moving to the city at the start of July).
  • Area: 0 Body Armour, 3 Food, 6 Fuel, 8 Luxury Items, 0 Medical Supplies, 17 Weapons.


7th July, Z+199, and the boys are back in town looking for food and hoping to refuel the Land Rover, after which they can return to the countryside and go fishing. They’re nearly a quarter of the way to 28 Months Later (Z+850) already, although admittedly this way feels sort of like cheating.

Flack, Z+60: Splitters!

Posted: 16 September 2013 in 28 Months Later

20th February 2013: Z+60…

Flack gathers his men around the Land Rover and spreads a map on the bonnet.

"No contact for days," he says, gruffly. "Need place to hole up, decide what to do. Here," he stabs a stubby digit at a few lakeside buildings on a stretch of country road. "MI5 safe house. Questions?"

There are none. Flack’s sweeping gaze takes in the pinched, unshaven faces and the thousand-yard stares. Something needs to be done about his guys, but now’s not the time to think about that; they need to get inside a secure building, get outside some hot food, and sleep themselves out. Then they can think about what to do next.

"Pugh – not you, other one – Grubb, Hardcase; with me. Rest of you, stay with vehicle; noise draws zeds." What Flack is carefully not saying is that he doesn’t trust Hardcase out of his sight, and he wants to leave enough dependable troopers behind to keep McGrew under control.


One of the changes for ATZ: FFO is the introduction of Items, so I decide that the Star and Extras should have what their figures have, with any surplus items converted to food; I make an exception for primary weapons as those have been established in earlier reports. One of Flack’s items will be the team Land Rover, counting as an SUV, and with a full tank of fuel.

  • Capt. Flack: Rep 5*, Pep 4, Sav 3, Born Leader, Initiative. Body armour, assault rifle, binoculars, Land Rover, 6 Food.
  • Pugh: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol, 5 Food.
  • Pugh: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol, 5 Food.
  • Barney McGrew: Rep 3, Pep 1, Sav 2. Body armour, assault rifle, 2 grenades, goggles, 1 Food.
  • Cuthbert: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, SAW, pistol, 5 Food.
  • Dibble: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol, 5 Food.
  • Grubb: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol, medkit, 3 Food, 1 Medical Supplies.
  • Hardcase: Rep 5, Pep 3, Sav 4. SMG, goggles, backpack, 7 food.
  • Wannabe: Rep 2, Pep 0, Sav 1. Machine Pistol, walkie-talkie, 2 food.

I’ll move the food and medical supplies into a pool at the end of the session, as I want to roll for Keeping It Together first; any figures that leave will do so with what they carry.

Meanwhile, as the group have just moved into a new rural area, I roll for available items as per p. 57, and discover the region has one set of Body Armour, 7 Food, 6 Fuel, 8 Luxury Items, 0 Medical Supplies, and 18 Weapons. Hmm, we won’t be staying here very long.


This is a daytime Take Back encounter in a rural environment, initial ER 1. I’ve made a map using the free version of Hexographer and ran the game in Hex Map Pro on an iPad. The map dimensions weren’t quite as I expected, so I’ve turned it sideways – sections 123 are across the right hand side of your screen. As usual, the white square is a turn counter, the red and green ones activation dice.

Flack and his miniscule expeditionary force move onto the board in a standard V formation. A little metagaming here; I’ve noticed that, especially on smaller boards, the rotate-clockwise-until-they-fit rule tends to bunch up a disproportionate number of zeds to the star’s left, so I’ve deployed more firepower on the left flank. To minimise the chance of being spotted by anyone in the buildings, the team moves up through the woods rather than along the road.

PEFs appear in sections 2, 2 and 6. I roll 2d6 for each, and take the higher score as its Rep; that gives me Reps 4, 3, and 5 respectively. Since there are buildings in section 2, those PEFs are inside them. PEF5 is in an empty section, so it stands in the middle of it like a lemon.

There are 1/2 d6 zombies per person; I roll 1355 and count that as 1233 for a total of 9 zombies, which I place as per the rules.



Activation: Flack 5, zeds 3.

Everyone activates, humans first. This is fortunate as I made a tactical error in deployment; Grubb is within 1" of the edge of the woods, so the zombies can see him. (Oh, I’m using one inch to the hex, by the way.) Let’s get PEF5 out of the way first; the group moves up through cover until Flack and PEF5 can see each other but without any zeds gaining line of sight. They stop facing in different directions. You pick that habit up the very first time zeds hit you from behind and get into melee. I roll 2d6 vs ER (1, Rural area) and get 1, 5; the ER increases by one. Since I have a good crew, I welcome this, because it means a better chance of loot. PEF5 is removed.

PEF4 rolls 46 vs Rep on the PEF movement table, passing 1d6, so moves 12" away from Flack into what I have decided is a lake of some sort; along the way it hits the table edge and randomly turns left onto the beach. PEF3 rolls 46, and passes 0d6, so it stays put.

Now the zeds, and I realise I’ve been sloppy; even though it can’t see anyone, by following the movement rules one of the zeds will get into melee with Grubb and Hardcase. Oh well, they can probably take it; the risk is they might shoot. Time for the Charge Into Melee test, 2d6 vs Rep for Grubb (25, pass 2d6) and Hardcase (55, pass 2d6) – the zed always passes 1d6. As the humans passed more, they fire up to their Target Rating (3), then the zed charges home. To quote Monty Python, "the phrase up to clearly includes the number zero", and I don’t want to draw more zeds with gunfire, so straight to melee. (Notice that figures with lower Rep are more likely to panic and fire one shot as the zed charges home.) Grubb rolls Rep d6 and scores 11566, plus one success for fighting a zed, three successes. The zed does likewise and gets 456, no successes. Grubb beat that by three so rolls 1d6; he scores a 2, less than or equal to the number by which he beat the zed’s successes but not a 1, so the zed is Out Of the Fight, which for a zed escalates to KIA. And before Hardcase can get a look in.

Further, as the zeds either close on the last place they saw someone, or just carry on going wherever they were facing, another one gets line of sight on Pugh. I really should pay more attention.

This was a very long game – 45 turns – with a lot of missed activations and random events, so I’ll put a lot of it on fast forward…


The group fail to activate four turns in a row, rolling a 6 each time. Fortunately the zeds only activate once, and then only one of them, which charges Pugh only to be knocked flat for its pains.

On turn 5 a random event introduces a ringing cellphone (what, this long after the phone company servers crash? Must be some other kind of communicator), and since this is a Take Back scenario I need to answer it or the zeds will keep coming and I will never succeed at the mission.

On turn 6, Flack, Hardcase and Grubb burst out of the woods and slaughter the closest group of zeds in melee to gain access to the cellphone. Answering this counts as resolving a PEF, but this is the “Someone’s out there” result; ER goes up to 3, and no new humans are introduced. This is an error which nearly got Pugh killed, as you will shortly see…

On turn 7, Fenton the dog appears right next to Flack, hotly pursued by a zed. The meet and greet results in Fenton barking pleasantries before moving on, but Flack gets line of sight on PEF4, which turns out to be a false alarm.


On turn 8, Flack, Hardcase and Grubb sort out the next nearest group of zeds by gunfire, but generate as many as they kill or knock prone. Pugh, meanwhile, is knocking his zombie prone each turn, and each turn it gets back up again.


On turn 9 the zeds go first, and my careless manoeuvring leaves 5 of them able to charge home; fortunately 3 are shot dead and one knocked prone by point-blank gunfire. Pugh carries on knocking his zed down only to see it rise again.

Turn 10 is a lull in the fighting with a double 6 for activation. On turn 11, I realise I’ve been forgetting PEF3 in the excitement; never mind, it can have a go this turn. It uses this to run away into the lake. All the zeds in melee stand up and fight, and another one manages to get close enough to melee Flack from the rear; however, even rolling at -2d6 for that, the Charge Into Melee table still allows him to fire, and three rounds of 5.56mm full metal jacket take it out, without generating any more zombies. Hardcase clubs the one in front of him to death, while the one wrestling on the ground with Fenton kills that worthy animal. Grubb then shoots it in the head at point-blank range. Pugh and his zombie are evenly matched this turn.

Turn 12 brings another dog, which we will call Benton, pursued by a zombie. Turn 13 sees an argument break out between Flack and Hardcase, which is resolved in Flack’s favour on turn 14.

"Back for Pugh," Flack orders.

"Are you crazy?" yells Hardcase. "There are zeds all through those woods, we go back in there now we’re dead, just like him."

Flack points his L-85 at Hardcase. Hardcase points his SMG at Flack. Grubb points his L-85 at Hardcase, and says simply: "Think about it, man."

After a tense moment, all guns are lowered, and Flack nods his head into the woods, gesturing for "double time". Hardcase shrugs, and follows – for now.

The group fast-move back towards Pugh to give him a hand. As if the dice approve of my little vignette, Flack and Grubb pass 2d6 and Hardcase passes 1d6, lagging behind. Pugh’s zed passes 3d6, Pugh passes 1d6 and the zed rolls a 2 for damage; Pugh is Out Of the Fight. Flack viciously clubs the zombie to the ground, then Grubb finishes it off.

Turn 15, and it’s time to finish off the ones in the woods, and check the Harry Are You OK table for Pugh, who it transpires will not become a zombie this encounter.

Turns 16-22 see Flack and Hardcase charge the remaining woods zombies and finish them after a protracted melee, which is interrupted by another argument between them, Pugh twisting his ankle, and Grubb disappearing. I have never seen so many random events in a game.

On turn 23, Grubb passes 1d6 on the rules for returning, and pops up 9" away from Pugh at his 10 o’clock. Time to stop messing about and check out the buildings.


On turns 24-25, Flack and Hardcase pick up Pugh and move him towards the nearest building at a walk, joined partway there by Grubb. On Flack’s orders, Hardcase trades his SMG for Pugh’s assault rifle.

The team move up to the building and ready themselves to enter, gently laying Pugh down nearby, where they can hopefully pick him up if they need to run.

"Left side door breach, stack up!" Flack calls softly, and even Hardcase knows what to do. Flack raises an eyebrow at him.


"No," grins the ganger, "Ex-Box. Call of Duty 4."

The zed comes closer, and Flack can see it will feast on Pugh next turn if he doesn’t do something about it. He gestures to Grubb to take it out, and Grubb knocks it prone with a short burst. However, the noise calls another zombie from somewhere, appearing at Grubb’s 10 o’clock.

Turn 26, and Flack and Hardcase find the door is closed (house rule, roll 1d6: 1 = open, 2-3 = closed, 4-5 = locked, 6 = barricaded), open it and step inside. Grubb picks up Pugh (recovering wounded) and follows, with Hardcase closing the door behind them. There’s a zed inside, which Flack knocks prone, and then eliminates on turn 27 while Hardcase is barricading the door. The team then use turn 28 to loot the building, finding two food units.

Turns 29 and 30 pass with no movement on either side.


The zeds close up to where they last saw people, namely the building’s back door, and one starts breaking down the barricade; PEF3 fails to move; Benton, counting as a neutral NPC, also fails to move. Flack & Co. pick up Pugh and leave, stacking up outside a second building. Hardcase sneaks off around the first building, intending to "pop the weasel" on at least one of the two zeds outside…


…and succeeds on turn 32. Hardcase moves 2" to get directly behind one zed and uses the "pop the weasel" rule to auto-kill it, firing one round. He fires his two remaining rounds at the next zed, 4" away, hits it and knocks it prone. He then takes the charge into melee test to run up and beat it to death; both he and the zed pass 1d6, but the zed can’t shoot, so he charges home without incident. The zed rolls 125 for two successes, while Hardcase rolls 112356 for his Rep and a further 24 as the zed is prone, for a total of 6 successes – 4 more than the zed, and with a roll of 3 it’s goodnight, zombie. Alas, the gunfire draws another one, but I’m still pleased with how that worked out; notice that in ATZ you can do a lot of fighting in one turn if you set things up right.

Meanwhile, Flack and Grubb discover the door to the building is locked, and I decide they should boot it in as a Rep challenge, at which Flack succeeds handily. There are no zeds inside, so there is a Defining Moment, effectively another PEF; 2d6 vs ER (3) gives 1, 6 – pass 1d6, something is definitely out there, and the ER increases to 4.

Turns 33-40 see Hardcase fast-move back to the rest of the group, a couple of missed activations, Benton fleeing the table and the remaining PEF and zed closing on the team’s building while they loot it, finding an assault rifle and a food unit. Grubb discovers he has brought the wrong reloads, and the team saunters over to the last building, where everyone misses an activation catching their breath.

On turn 41 the group opens the door and enters the final building. Inside they find one zed, and immediately club it down. Grubb and Flack spend turns 42 and 43 arguing while they and Hardcase loot the building, finding two food and a flak jacket, and on turn 44 the group fails to activate, while the PEF and lone zed wander aimlessly.


Activation: Flack 3, zeds 6. Flack wins the argument, and sends Hardcase to kill the zed in the next building, while he himself moves out to get line of sight on the last PEF. Resolving the PEF increases the local ER to 5, but there’s nothing there. Hardcase drops the zed with a short burst, thinking he could get to like having an Impact 3 weapon. No more zeds are drawn by gunfire, so I call the game – victory is ours.



I first check After The Battle Recovery, using a unit of medical supplies on Pugh to get an extra die on the test. He rolls 3d6: 2, 6, 6 vs Rep 5 and passes 1d6. Pugh returns to the group. Next I check to see if anyone increases his Rep; no-one does.

Keeping It Together: Flack rolls 6d6 (Rep 5, Born leader) looking for successes. 124466, so two successes. Oh dear, Captain, your little band could be shrinking…

  • Both Pughs and Hardcase roll the same number of successes as Flack, so since the last encounter was a success, they stay, but will check again next time.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, Barney McGrew decides to take his share of the group’s equipment and leave; Cuthbert and Grubb go with him. (This happens as they scored more successes than Flack.)
  • Dibble and Wannabe got half as many successes as Flack, so stay, and do not have to roll again next encounter. Notice that the better the Extra’s Rep, the more likely he is to strike out on his own; until your Star gets a substantial Rep, therefore, the average Rep of his followers tends to decrease as the good ones leave.

"Grim," says Flack that evening, as the group sits around a fire sipping their brews. "Radio silence. HQ gone, government gone, army gone, Regiment gone. Zombies, gangers everywhere – no offence, Hardcase. Anyone wants to go home, go; no hard feelings, chain of command gone. Welcome to stay, though." Flack is not the most inspirational speaker known to man.

"If it’s all the same to you, Captain, I’ll make my way home," says Grubb. "I need to look out for my family now, whatever’s left of it. It’s been an honour, sir." He and Flack exchange salutes.

"Sod this for a game of soldiers," McGrew grumbles. "I don’t have to take any crap from you now, Flack, nor any orders neither. I’m off."

Cuthbert says, "I’ll come with you, Grubb. I need to find out if my aunt is OK."

McGrew laughs harshly. "She’s zed food, mate, don’t kid yourself."

"You don’t know that," Cuthbert mutters.

"If you say so," McGrew says. "Come morning, I take my share of the compo rats and leave. You lot can play soldier all you like."

The group had 44 food units at that point, and 9 people; that’s about 5 each, so with two people leaving, team food stocks are reduced to 34. At the start of March the remaining group members will eat another 7, reducing them to 27 food units, about enough for 3-4 months.


  • Capt. Flack: Rep 5*, Pep 4, Sav 3, Born Leader, Initiative. Body armour, assault rifle, binoculars.
  • Pugh: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Pugh: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol.
  • Dibble: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Body armour, assault rifle, pistol. Not rolling to leave group.
  • Hardcase: Rep 5, Pep 3, Sav 4. Body armour, assault rifle, SMG, goggles, backpack.
  • Wannabe: Rep 2, Pep 0, Sav 1. Machine Pistol, walkie-talkie. Not rolling to leave group.
  • Group: Land Rover, 27 Food, 5 Fuel.
  • Area: 0 Body Armour, 3 Food, 6 Fuel, 8 Luxury Items, 0 Medical Supplies, 17 Weapons.


I suppose I could make McGrew, Grubb and Cuthbert a PEF or two now – McGrew looks like he’s turning into a ganger – but I’m feeling lazy and decide to let them wander off into the sunset. Maybe later.

One could make a very large and involved game of ATZ by following all the various subgroups, doing encounters from the viewpoint of each one, but I suspect that’s too much work this side of retirement.

Flack stands impassively at attention before the big oak desk. The senior officer behind it says, "Captain Flack, owing to the present… situation, your court-martial has been postponed indefinitely."

"I have a job for you." The officer rises, and walks over to a map of the town and surrounding area, hastily pinned on his wall, and covered in esoteric military graffiti. "There’s a valuable asset trapped here, outside Phase Line Bravo;" he taps the map for emphasis. "A Doctor Margaret Grant. I want you to get her, and bring her back here. She may hold the key to what’s going on out there."

"Sir." Flack acknowledges. "Equipment? Rules of Engagement?"

"Take what you need, Captain, and do whatever you have to do to bring her in. Clear?"

"Sir." Flack salutes and leaves. His face remains impassive, and he is monosyllabic as ever; but if the boss is sending him into downtown Hereford fully tooled up with a de facto shoot to kill order, things must be worse than the TV news is letting on.


The same board as last time, and the Escape! scenario from p. 68, although for no very good reason I use a different diagonal to cross the board. Again I’m after a quick game, so Flack is alone and on foot. PEFs rock up in sections 3, 4 and 6, with Reps 5, 6, 6 respectively. Flack marches 8" onto the board from the corner of section 7, and the fun begins. Four zeds this time, and a bit more spread out than usual. An urban area in daytime, giving it ER 5.


Turn 1

Activation: Flack 3, zeds 5. Flack decides not to mess around this time, and fires one round at each of the zeds in front of him. After skimming p. 16, I decide there is no need for an In Sight test, as the zeds are already clearly in view. He rolls 1d6 for each shot and adds his Rep, to get scores of 6, 9; the 6 misses, and the 9 hits. He rolls 1d6 vs Impact (3) for the hit and gets a 3; the zed is Out Of the Fight, which for a zed means goodnight, Vienna. However, I roll 3, 6 for shots attracting zeds, and a new one pops up, which I assume has just come into sight around the corner. Let’s call that a draw, shall we?

Belatedly, I notice Flack has Line Of Sight on the PEF in section 3, and resolve it; oh goody, it’s two more zeds, right outside the asset’s house – that’d be why she hasn’t reported in. Unless she’s one of them?

Flack decides not to move; let the zeds come to him.

Turn 2

Activation: Flack 6, zeds 3. Everybody activates – while Flack is Rep 5, he has Initiative, and counts as Rep 6 for activation while he is alone. Flack decides to draw the zeds around a corner, intending to fast move past them to the target at a later point. Clearly shooting them isn’t going to help, they pop up as fast as he can slot them. Obligingly, they follow as he intended.

Turn 3

Activation: Double five – since this is the area’s ER or less, we get a random event (p. 59). I roll 3d6 and get a 7; a random building has caught fire, attracing 2d6 extra zombies. That turns out to be 10 zombies. And yet again, an apparently simple outing for the Star goes right to hell early in the game! In this, ATZ is entirely faithful to the genre.

Turn 4

Activation: Flack 3, zeds 5. Flack holds his ground, hoping to lure the zeds in close and then fast-move past them. Just because you can activate doesn’t mean you have to, and while shooting a couple of zeds might help, it’s likely to draw more.

Turn 5

Activation: Flack 6, zeds 2. Wait for it, Flack, wait for it… This would be a very risky strategy with a low-Rep Star, but with an effective Rep of 6 I think I can pull it off. The zeds close in, while one PEF moves away.


Turn 6

Activation: Flack 2, zeds 6. Flack declares he is fast-moving and fires a burst at the zed blocking his most direct route, scoring 8, 13, 10 and landing two shots – one of these rolls 1 for damage, Obviously Dead, dropping the zed in its tracks. Two more zeds appear, but not in unreasonable positions. Flack now fast-moves; he rolls 3, 5 vs Rep 5 and doubles his movement, hurdling the zed’s body and charging through the gap he has just made. If he doesn’t win the initiative next turn things will get very iffy, but with effective Rep 6 for activation he should be OK.

The zeds, meanwhile, fail to activate; the PEF in section 4 passes 2d6 for movement and barges out of its building right up behind Flack, who is facing the other way. The last remaining PEF is in Flack’s Line Of Sight anyway, so since it passed 2d6 it will move right up to him on the other side. This looks like a good time to resolve them, so I do, by rolling 2d6 for each vs ER 5. The one behind Flack passes 2d6, and a check on the Contact tables (p. 61-62) tells me it is two more zeds; fortunately, zeds cannot activate on the turn they are placed. The one in front is a lone Survivor, Rep 4, with an SMG, so I immediately take a Meet & Greet test, both sides rolling Rep d6 and looking for successes. Flack gets 3, the Survivor 1, so Flack can choose whether to Talk the Talk (engage peacefully) or Walk the Walk (go to In Sight test and start shooting). There’s no advantage to shooting the survivor, so Flack Talks the Talk.

A lone survivor bursts around the corner as two more zeds emerge from a building right behind Flack. "Zombies!" cries Flack, pointing behind himself.


Turn 7

Activation: Flack 5, zeds 3. Flack goes first and fast-moves towards his objective, again passing 2d6 and getting a 16" move. The zeds and the survivor move simultaneously; the survivor rolls 2d6 vs Rep on the NPC Movement table (p. 65) and gets 4, 3; he passes 2d6, but since he is neutral to Flack and they have already interacted, he counts as passing 1d6. While there is a building available, which he should enter, it is on fire, so I decide he moves away from Flack instead. Given that there are about to be zeds all over him like white on rice, he fast-moves, directly away from Flack and the zeds, passing 2d6 and moving 16", which takes him off the board.


I decide that the zombies will follow whichever human is closer to them, and move them accordingly.

Turn 8

Activation: Flack 1, zeds 3. Flack enters the building in the corner of section 3; I was going to skip the Defining Moment as I knew the asset, a human, was already inside; but I decided to do it anyway, as the genre is full of such surprises. We start (p. 47) by rolling 6d6 for zombies; 112346 = two more zeds inside, and then each side needs a Surprise Total. This is 1d6 + Rep for Flack, in this case 10, and 1d6 + number of zombies for the zeds, in this case 7. As a Star, Flack gets the choose his reaction, and burst-firing the L-85 seems like a good choice; he scores 10, 10, 8 and hits each zed once. In both cases he rolls 4 for damage, and as this is more than the weapon’s Impact, the foes are knocked down. Being zombies, this means they are knocked prone but not stunned. Flack seizes this moment to advance into melee and rolls 7d6 against the first zed; 2445566 is not his best roll ever, but including the extra success for attacking a zed, he has two successes. The zed rolls 335 and also has two successes; they are evenly matched.

Outside, the other zombies are closing in. I decide that the fast-moving survivor is now at least 24" away, so all remaining zeds will make for Flack.


Turn 9

Activation: Flack 6, zeds 4. Since they can’t actually see a live human at the moment, their Rep is not boosted to 4, so the zeds don’t activate. Flack melees the two zeds inside, and since they must activate to move and thus stand up, they are both still prone. He gets 3 successes better than the first, knocking it down again by rolling a 4 for damage, and 6 better than the second; he can’t fail to roll less than or equal to a 6 on 1d6, so the second zed is toast.

Turn 10

Activation: Flack 1, zeds 3. Flack goes first and attacks the zed at his feet, which will stand up again this turn but not until after Flack has put the boot in. Sadly, he only manages to knock it down again.

As the zeds move towards where they last saw Flack, namely the still-open doorway, three gain line of sight and charge into melee from Flack’s rear. Oops. The -2d6 modifier for being charged from behind mean Flack passes 0d6, while the zeds auto-pass 1d6. The three zeds attack, Flack can’t fire and counts as Unarmed this turn. I’ll spare you the numerous die rolls, but Flack knocks down the first zed, is knocked down by the second, and knocked down again by the third.

Things are looking very bad indeed for Flack, and his Star powers can’t save him, but we know he is still alive at Z+50, and we also know there is an NPC ready to join his gang just off-map in section 9. So, his Plot Immunity manifests itself in the form of Dr Margaret Grant, Rep 4 Survivor with an assault rifle, who shoots the zeds standing over him and one of the ones on the floor.

I love the way the stories flow in this game.

While Flack is rolling around on the floor with two zeds, and another two stand over him ready to pounce, the Good Doctor steps out of the room where she has been hiding and plugs three of them.

"Let me guess," she says acidly. "You’re here to rescue me. I thought I’d be worth more to them than one incompetent squaddie."

Flack is still wrestling with a zed and too preoccupied to answer.

Turn 11

Activation: Flack 2, zeds 4. Flack is no longer alone, so his Initiative and effective Rep 6 evaporate, leaving him with Rep 5. He uses his movement to stand up, then wades into the remaining zed while it’s still down, finally despatching it (roll of 1123445 vs 245, followed by roll of 4 = OOF which slays the zed). The surviving zeds can’t see anyone so fail to activate.


"Bayonet," says Flack in some amazement as Dr Grant fixes it on her M16.

"Yes," she says, "So I’m told. Now then, I can see from the upstairs window there are a ton of zombies out there, and I’ve observed that gunfire draws them like flies. So, barricade that door – quietly – and we’ll wait for them to lose interest, then make a break for it. No shooting, understand? Hence the bayonet. Do you have one, or has the Army stopped issuing them?"

Flack thinks to himself: I think I’m in love.

Turns 12-18

Now, I can’t find any specific rules for this in ATZ, but the implication of the zombie activation rules on p. 48 is that if zeds can’t see or hear you, they move off randomly.

  • Turn 12: With a double 6 for activation, nothing happens.
  • Turns 13, 14: The horde fails to activate.
  • Turn 15: The horde moves up to the door, which is where it last saw people; then stops in confusion.
  • Turn 16: The horde activates and splits, moving off in several directions.
  • Turn 17: The horde fragments continue to move away.
  • Turn 18: Flack and Grant dismantle their barricade, quietly; the shuffling zombies move as far away as they can get before they bounce off the board edge again.


Turn 19

Activation: Flack 3, zeds 1. Flack and Grant fast-move out of the building and make for the opposite diagonal of the board. The good doctor only passes 1d6 to fast move though, so starts to lag behind. Flack moves cannily just out of the field of vision of the zeds (yes, I know you can’t tell in the picture, but I’ve just finished moving them so I remember). The zeds in section 1 shake out into a conga line as they hit the board edge, but as they turn, they gain Line Of Sight on Flack and Grant. The ones in section 4 remain blissfully ignorant.


Turn 20

Activation: Flack 1, zeds 6. For some reason the zeds fail to move, and Flack makes the best of it, fast-moving but holding his speed down to stay close to Dr Grant, as she picks up the pace to the full 16".

Flack and Grant are too busy running to exchange pleasantries, but the sight of the zombies halting in place, swaying from side to side and moaning softly, is disconcerting.


Turn 21

Activation double 2, random event. 3d6 = 16; a black chopper flies overhead, and all zombies forfeit their next activation watching it. How fortunate for our heroes!

Turn 22

Activation: Double 6, nobody moves.

Turn 23

Activation: Flack 2, zeds 3 – but fortunately they miss a turn due to the black chopper. Flack and Grant fast-move off the board to victory.



Back in the office, this time with the newly rescued asset, Flack gets his next mission.

"Dr Grant here tells us there is vital material at a secret research base here." He taps the map again. "Get a squad together, Flack; you’re going to recover it for us…"

This episode takes Flack up to the point where we first saw him on 28 Months Later, so I’ll now skip ahead to Z+60, just after the latest adventure on his timeline.

I think I’ll add Dr Grant to the pre-loaded PEFs pile. She’s going to be fun.

Credits: Maps – Wydraz. Figures and pawns – eM4. Statistics: The map is 21" x 32"; the scenario used three human figures and 22 zombies.

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.


Turn 1

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.


Turn 2

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.

Turn 3

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…


Turn 4

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.

House Rules

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.

Captain Flack (for it is he) is out jogging near the Regiment’s base in Hereford. These last few years have seen more being taxied around in choppers than walking, and Flack is old school, so he’s out pounding the road before 0700. Although he doesn’t know it yet, he is about to come face to face with the Zombie Apocalypse. It starts small, but then zombie apocalypses often do…

The weather’s too hot for me to sleep, but it’s too early to go into work, so I decide to make good use of the time by playing ATZ. However, who knows when the family will surface, so no figures today – out comes the iPad. The map is the village from Cry Havoc, which looks built-up enough to be a suburb, and I quickly move Flack onto the board from one corner and set up three PEFs; two Rep 5 ones in board section 1, and a Rep 2 in section 2. As luck would have it there is only one zombie present (p. 45, 1d6 per human, roll of 1), 12" away at Flack’s 12 o’clock, which puts it in Building 4. Let’s call one hex an inch for today.

Flack slows to a walk as he comes up on a cluster of houses and shops, intending to get some cow juice from the newsagent.


I decide that the shop is Building 1, since there are PEFs moving around in it this early, and move Flack directly towards it. Since he has Rep 5 and Initiative, and is on his own, he counts as Rep 6 for activation and therefore always activates – this will be a big change from Miss-a-Turn Mike’s Rep 2.

Turn 1

Activation: Flack 4, zeds 2. Everyone moves, Flack first.

Unaware of what’s about to happen, Flack strolls jauntily up the village street. PEF5a, rolling as if it had Rep 4 because it’s inside a building, rolls 2d6 vs Rep 4, gets 35, passes 1d6 and tries to move 12" away from Flack through cover; that takes it into the corner of the board, whereupon it turns left and sets off along the board edge. The conga line is forming up early today.

PEF5b passes 2d6 and moves as close to Flack as it can get without breaking cover. Astonishingly, PEF2 does the same. Meanwhile, the zed was placed facing Flack’s initial position, and with no other parts of its programming being triggered, moves directly forwards, which by blind luck on the turning die rolls when it hits walls, brings it adjacent to Flack, but on the other side of a wall.


Turn 2

Activation: Flack 3, zeds 6. Oblivious to the nearby zed, Flack marches up towards the shop. This brings him past the corner where PEF2 and PEF5b are lurking, so I resolve them by rolling on the Contact Days 1-10 table (p. 61). I roll 1d6-1 for each (-1 because it is daytime), and get 3 and 4 – two sets of citizens. Rolling on the How Many table I get a 3 and a 5; PEF2 is a pair of citizens, and PEF5b is a trio. Using the special rules on page 68 and a couple of dice rolls I see that PEF5b is Neutral and PEF2 is Friendly. I expand the tokens into citizens 4, 7, 7 8 on table 1 and citizen 8 on table 2, but can’t be bothered to give them names, it’s too early in the morning.

Time to meet and greet. Flack rolls Rep d6 and gets 11556 for two successes; PEF2’s leader, Citizen 4-1, rolls 4d6 and gets 1566 for one success; PEF5b’s leader, Citizen 8-2, rolls 3d6 and gets 125 for two successes. That translates to PEF5b exchanging pleasantries with Flack, since they scored the same; but since he beat PEF2’s score, doesn’t want to start a fight, and they have lower Rep, they ask to join his group.

"Good morning, Captain Flack! Off to the shops for your usual? Mind if we walk with you?" Flack gestures assent, being a man of few words, and off they go in company.

Note that as Week One is a modified Search encounter, and Flack has now recruited two grunts, he has met the victory conditions.

Turn 3

Activation: Flack 6, zeds 4. The zeds move, but since Flack is no longer alone, he no longer gets the benefit from his Initiative and fails to activate.

The former PEF5b has a Rep of 3, so fails to activate and carries on gassing at the corner. PEF2 as was is now attached to Flack so fails to activate. PEF5a passes 2d6 on the PEF Movement table and closes under cover. Finally, although Flack can’t see the zed, it can see him, and is within charge range, so charges into melee. As per p. 48, it moves up to 3" from Flack and the Charge Into Melee test is taken. The zed counts as passing 1d6, and Flack rolls 2d6 vs Rep 5: 56, passing 1d6. Flack has no gun, so cannot shoot, and the charger moves into melee, although no reaction tests are taken. Note that Flack was charged from the rear, so turns to melee but couldn’t shoot even if he had a gun (p. 32).


The zed rolls Rep d6 and gets 4566 for no successes. Flack rolls 4d6; Rep 5, -1 for being unarmed, but will get an extra success as he is fighting a zombie. He scores 2246, giving him three successes; he rolls 1d6 vs those 3 successes for damage, and gets a 6, knocking the opponent down. All that means for a zed is that it misses a turn getting up.

Turn 4

Activation: Flack 2, zeds 3. The zed staggers to its feet. The former PEF5b passes 1d6 on the NPC movement table and enters the nearest building, no doubt to call the police. PEDF5a passes 2d6 and sneaks a couple of hexes closer, as close as it can get without Flack’s new buddies seeing it.

Flack resolves the melee, rolling 6d6 since the zed is now prone, albeit staggering to its feet, scoring 225666 and getting three successes. I can’t see anything that says the zed can’t fight back, so it rolls 1134 and also gets three successes; evenly matched. Citizen 7a-1 may only have Rep 2, but he does have a knife and is fighting a prone zed which is already engaged; first he takes the Citizen Brown Pants test to see if he can act, and to my surprise succeeds, so he and the zed take the Charge Into Melee test (Adding to Melee, p. 32); he passes 0d6 and the zed passes 1d6, meaning that if the zed had a gun it could shoot him, but melee is still joined. The Citizen piles in and rolls 5d6; two for his Rep, one for fighting an engaged target, two for that target being prone. He rolls 11336, five successes (+1 as target is a zombie), to the zed’s 1556 and one success. He rolls a 4 for Melee Result, taking the zed Out Of the Fight, and destroying it.


Flack sizes up the situation, and gently takes the knife from the citizen’s shaking hand.

"When police ask," he says, "I stabbed him. Understood?" The citizen blinks, and snaps out of it enough to nod.

"Excellent," says Flack. "Go home. Clean up."

Turn 5

Activation: Flack 6, zeds 4. Nobody moves.

Turn 6

Activation: Flack 1, zeds 5.

Flack turns to enter the shop, and as he steps around the corner gets line of sight on PEF5a, which resolves as a single neutral citizen. Seeing Flack stalking forwards, breathing heavily and carrying a bloody knife, the citizen remembers a more urgent appointment and moves 12" away.

Flack steps inside, and conversation stops.

"Morning," he says, holding up the dripping knife. "Call police please, got some explaining to do."

Aftermath and Reflections

Since Flack has plot immunity until he catches up with established history, it seems fair he shouldn’t get any advances either. It seems unlikely the Regiment would let him keep his two civvie recruits, though, so they wander off.

This went a lot faster than I’m used to from gaming Mike’s adventures, especially when Flack was on his own. It’s interesting though that the killing blow on the zed was put in by a Rep 2 civilian. Flack will never live that down, but it reinforces my growing conviction that this game is not about the Star’s Rep, it’s about the player’s tactics.

"Right men! Action stations! No no! Not the hose!" – Captain Flack, Trumpton

To refresh your memory and mine, here are Captain Flack and the Camberwick Green SAS – which should strictly be the Trumpton SAS. Those of you unfamiliar with this seminal UK children’s TV show, click here for enlightenment.

Meanwhile, I’ll start by reworking the team in line with ATZ: FFO, since they were originally created using ATZ: BDTZ. To do the conversion, I diced for Flack’s second attribute (since Nerves of Steel is no longer available), dropped attributes for everyone else as experience has taught me I don’t have the patience for everyone to have them, and allocated Pep and Sav scores. All of them are in body armour, and equipped with assault rifles and flash-bangs, except Cuthbert who has a SAW.

  • Capt. Flack*: Rep 5, Pep 4, Sav 3. Born Leader (chosen), Initiative (diced).
  • Pugh: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Pugh’s skills are created as if he were Rep 4, because he started that way and levelled up to Rep 5 in play.
  • Pugh: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. The  two Pughs are twins. I just thought you might like to know that.
  • Barney McGrew: Rep 3, Pep 1, Sav 2. McGrew’s low Rep reflects his time-serving, lazy attitude – he’s the unit’s "Get-Out Artist". You’ll notice in the video clip in the link that he is the only one who doesn’t acknowledge the roll call. He also can’t be bothered to shave.
  • Cuthbert: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3. Cuthbert has an aunt, and is the one in the hoist in the video clip, which made him the obvious choice for the pintle mount gunner.
  • Dibble: Rep 4, Pep 2, Sav 3.
  • Grubb: Rep 5, Pep 2, Sav 3. Again, Grubb improved his Rep in play.

What has already been established? To date, these hardened veterans have appeared in three encounters; filling in the gaps around those gives me a timeline to bring the unit up to date; I’m not going to bother with resources or involuntary encounters until after Z+50, let’s just say they got lucky.

  • Z+7: Week One: Zed! 28 December 2012. (At this point we have to consider the 28 Months Later setting a parallel universe.)
  • Z+14: Week Two: Robbery! 04 January 2013.
  • Z+21: Week Three: Escape! 11 January 2013. The first three encounters will ease me back into the game, and also let me see how differently Rep 5 plays from Rep 2.
  • Z+31: In the team’s earliest appearance, they encounter the Cops (Drew, Sylvia, Vince, Kate and Trenchcoat Larry), capture the first three and kill the other two. 21 January 2013. This is close enough to 30 days that I’ll say this is the fourth encounter in that period.
  • Z+38: The team investigate a secret underground laboratory in search of The Cure. Pugh and Grubb increase their Rep to 5. The team rescue a couple of Gangers who tag along for the ride; a Rep 2 Wannabe with a machine pistol, and a Rep 5 Hardcase with an SMG. 28 January 2013. This is a rural area so that’s their encounter for the month.
  • Z+50: They are in a small village (counts as suburbs) holding the Cops prisoner, but move on when the Cops escape. 09 February 2013. That is their first encounter of the month, and ends with them driving off to a new area, so I can start tracking resources from scratch at that point.

Learning from experience with Reed, while I will start Flack off right at the start of the outbreak and catch up, figures have Plot Immunity until they get to the last encounter where we have seen them alive. It’s been bugging me for some time now that Reed dies in flashback while explaining to a new recruit at month 28 or so how he put his group together… still, if I can have one parallel universe, why not two?

Previously, I asked for votes on which team should take over the mantle of 28 Months Later now that Mike has been eaten by zombies. Nine votes were cast. In the time-hallowed reverse order…

Don and Bex have one vote.

The Cops (Drew, Vince and Sylvia) and Toby are tied at two votes each.

But the clear winner, with six votes, are the Camberwick Green SAS (Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb) and their esteemed leader Captain Flack. This will be a serious change of pace, as this group are armoured, heavily armed, and have high Rep; Mike had none of those advantages. I expect that encounters with this crew will be shorter and more successful.

Let’s see how well they do, shall we?

Who’s Up Next?

Posted: 28 June 2013 in 28 Months Later

I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed All Things Zombie, but with Mike’s demise the narrative needs to switch track. There are several contenders; so, gentle readers, your thoughts please – where should the spotlight fall next? Your options are a completely new Star, some minor character from a previous post, or any of the following:

Team Last Seen In Game Date Star
The Cops Drew, 01 March 2013 Z+69 Drew
The SAS Drew, February 2013 Z+41 Capt Flack
Stoner Reed – 19 January 2013 Z+28 Stoner
Don & Bex Black Hawk Down Z+43 Don

They’re all running under All Things Zombie except Don and Bex, who are using a hybrid of ATZ and Savage Worlds.

Answers on a comment or via the THW mailing list please! You have until Friday 5th July 2013 (Z+196) to vote, and I’ll go with whoever gets the most votes. Can they beat Mike Blackman’s record of surviving until Z+124?

2013 is not going so well as 2012 did for gaming, as you can see it’s been about five real-world months since I played any ATZ. But now Mike’s back, and to get back into the saddle I’m running a daytime Take Back scenario in a rural area. The plan this time is to take out all the Zeds and PEFs first, which will hopefully increase the encounter level to the point where there are some goodies in the buildings.

Hex Map Pro is back, this time a 36″ x 36″ map made in native HMP rather than an imported map, with buildings represented by the biggest tokens I could make. I’m not sure how well that will work, but let’s find out, shall we?


Mike consumes one unit of Food for the new month, and should consume another as he is moving to a new area, but at Rep 2 it hardly matters. He’s out of food again, though.

The Map: Grey hexes are road, bright green are trees, blue are a pond, brown are contour lines; orange hexes mark out the 9 board segments. The white octagon is the turn counter, red and green squares are activation dice. Mike strolls a full move (8″) onto the board, then I resolve the opposition.

Zeds and PEFs: As this is a rural encounter, I roll 1/2 d6 per human (just Mike), and get 3 zombies; as per pages 55-56 of the rulebook, these are placed 12″ from Mike at his 2, 4 and 8 o’clock. I generate three Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) as per p. 60, and get one in section 5 (Rep 6) and two in section 6 (Rep 4 and Rep 6); the one in section 5 is in the middle of the road, so will be resolved immediately, while the others are both placed inside the farmhouse.

To resolve the PEF Mike can see, I roll 2d6 vs ER (which starts at 1 in a rural area): 4, 4 so pass 0d6 – nothing out there but a case of nerves. I remove that PEF.

There’s no point rolling for sleep deprivation as Mike’s Rep can’t get any lower. The board looks like this now:



Activation: Mike 2, Zeds and PEFs 6. PEF6 goes first and moves as close to Mike as it can without breaking cover.

Mike fast-moves towards the barn, hoping to get his back to it before his turn ends; he rolls 1, 6 and passes 1d6, increasing his move this turn to 12″. Might as well make the most of it before you sprain your ankle again, Mike. Reaching the barn, he turns, and there is one zed within 12″; Mike could unload his shotgun at it, but the best he could get is a score of 8 (6 on the die, plus 2 for Rep), which would miss because he fast-moved this turn. “Gotta conserve ammo,” Mike mutters to himself.


Activation: Mike 4, zeds 4 – a tie; nobody moves. Because this is not the original ER of the area or less, there is no random event.


Activation: Mike 4, zeds 5. Only PEF6 activates, and it makes use of Mike not having Line Of Sight on the farmhouse to move across into the barn. (I realise at this point that I need to understand where the doors and windows are, and decide there is a window in the middle of each wall, and doors in the middle of the north and south walls of each building, plus the east side of the barn has big double doors opening away from the pond.)

I didn’t have to roll for what PEF6 does, as I know it will always pass 2d6, and thus always close on Mike.


Activation: Mike 4, zeds 1. The two zeds that can see Mike move 6″ towards him; PEF6 can’t get any closer; PEF4 rolls 1, 3 and passes 2d6, so it will close up as well; after rereading the rules on p. 48 I decide it won’t charge this turn, but will definitely do so next turn. The third zed ambles off towards the road.



Activation: Mike 2, zeds 5. PEF6 would go first, but it would try to close on Mike, and it’s already in the next hex. The closest zed is too close for comfort, and if Mike had more Rep, I’d have him open up with the shotgun; but he needs to roll a 6 to hit, so he wades into melee.

First I check the Charge Into Melee table on p. 30. The zed automatically passes 1d6, but Mike must roll 4d6 vs Rep – 2d6 normally, +1d6 for being a Survivor, +1d6 for his Rage attribute. He rolls 1246, and passes 2d6; as this is more than his opponent, the target may not fire (no help, it couldn’t anyway), Mike moves into melee with no reaction tests taken and – this is the part that makes it worth charging rather than being charged – the target counts as Unarmed in the first round.

We now move to the Melee Combat rules on p.31. The zed rolls 2d6; its Rep of 3d6, -1d6 for being Unarmed. Mike rolls 3d6; 2 for his Rep, 0 for using an improvised weapon, 1 for Rage. The zed rolls 1,4 and gets one success; Mike rolls 344 and gets one success, but adds one success because he is fighting a zombie. He beat the zed by 1d6, so rolls 1d6 against his margin of success (1) and gets a 6; the zed is knocked down, but as it is a zombie does not take the Recover From Knocked Down test (p. 50), instead it is prone and will get up on its next activation. I consider shooting at it – you can shoot at any point during the turn in ATZ – but now that it’s prone, I’d need to roll a 7 on 1d6 to hit it, so I’d be wasting ammo.

Mike does turn on the spot, though, so that he has LOS to the second closest zed; it’s a really bad idea to let them get behind you. I wasn’t sure whether this should trigger an In Sight test or not, so let it slide; the zed can’t shoot, and Mike is a Star so has discretion over what he does.



Activation: Mike 4, zeds 2. Oops. Mike doesn’t activate, but the zeds do. Let’s leave the melee until last.

PEF4 rolls 4,4, passes 2d6, and moves up to join its buddy in the barn. The two zeds not in melee close in, but because I foresaw this and moved Mike accordingly, neither is close enough to join the melee.

The zed stands up, and now both sides are rolling 3d6. The zed rolls 444 and gets no successes, Mike rolls 244 and gets 2 successes; he rolls a 2 for damage, and since this is equal to or less than the number by which he beat the zed in melee, the zed is Out Of the Fight; since it’s a zed, it’s incapacitated. Just as well, there’s another one incoming. Mike turns to face it.

TURNS 7-11

Turn 7 Activation: Mike 4, zeds 4. Miss a turn. (This doesn’t make a difference in this encounter, but sometimes things are on a timer.)

Turn 8 Activation: Mike 4, zeds 5.

Turn 9 Activation: Mike 4, zeds 6.

Turn 10 Activation: Mike 6, zeds 6.

Turn 11 Activation: Mike 6, zeds 5.


Activation: Mike 3, zeds 4. Although zeds have a Rep of 3, they count as 4 for activation when they can see a human.

PEF4 rolls 66, passes 0d6, and thus stays where it is. Both zeds close up, and one is close enough to charge into melee, so it’s back to the Charge Into Melee table. Mike rolls 1666, passing 1d6; the zed doesn’t have to roll as they always pass 1d6. This means Mike gets one shot off before melee begins; he rolls 1d6+2, gets a 4, and misses. I roll 1d6 immediately vs ER to see if another zed appears, but on a 4, nothing happens.

The second zed rolls 125 and gets 2 successes; Mike rolls 246 plus a success for fighting a zombie, and also gets 2. Evenly matched, so they stay in melee. This could be a problem as the second zed will be able to join in next activation.

I notice Mike has LOS to the window, where PEF6 is watching, so I decide to resolve it now, as the outcome may be dramatically appropriate. 1, 6 vs ER1 = pass 1d6; this removes the PEF but increases the ER by one, to ER2. Oh well, no cavalry today, then.


Activation: Mike 4, zeds 1. Here it comes. PEF4 rolls 16, passes 1d6, and is frozen in place by the spectacle outside. We go back to the Charge Into Melee table for the second zed, but Mike can’t shoot as he is already wrestling with a zombie. Mike rolls 1336 and passes 3d6, the new zed passes 1d6, and because Mike beats it he is not Unarmed against it this turn.


I’m a bit rusty so reread the multi-figure melee rules on p. 32 and discover you basically fight them one at a time until you get knocked down, but being a Star you can choose when to go. I decide Mike should go first in the hope of whittling down the opposition before they attack. He rolls 122 and adds a success for a total of 4 successes; the zed rolls 336 and gets 2. Mike rolls 1d6 for damage, scores a 1, and kills it outright. Way to go Mike, I thought you were zombie chow there for a second. On to the next zed.

Against the remaining zed, Mike rolls 2336 and gets 4 successes, while the zed manages 125 = 2 successes. Mike rolls a 2 for damage and offs the last zed.

TURNS 14-16

Turn 14 Activation: Mike 3, zeds 6. Nobody moves.

Turn 15 Activation: Mike 5, zeds 3. PEF4 passes 2d6 but is already as close as it can get without breaking cover.

Turn 16 Activation: Mike 3, zeds 1.


Activation: Mike 1, zeds 2. Mike fast-moves into the barn; he passes 2d6 by rolling 22 vs Rep 2, but he only needs a normal move to enter – I’m only doing this to make him a harder target if he meets anything nasty with guns.

This brings him face to face with PEF4, so I resolve it. 2d6 vs Rep 2; I roll 2, 2 and there is really something there this time. I roll 1d6-1 (the -1 is because it’s daytime) on the Contact Days 30+ table and get a 2 – Survivors. I roll 1d6-2 on the How Many table (-2 because it’s a rural area) and get a 3, modified to a 1; a lone survivor, which I randomly generate from the tables on p. 75:

Toby: MY Rep 4 Survivor, Pep 3 Sav 2, BAP, Rage, Food 1 Lux 1. (#5 on the 1-3 table).

Mike and Toby each roll Rep d6 as they Talk the Talk. Toby rolls 2556 and gets one success, Mike rolls 12 and gets 2 successes. He can see by how many dice Toby rolled that fighting is a bad idea, and he has nothing to barter with, so they exchange pleasantries and agree to go their separate ways.

In hindsight, this was a tactical error – I should have used Star Power to persuade Toby to join me, as the extra gun with a higher Rep would have been useful.

I can’t see any reason not to search the building – I vaguely remember you can’t do that with an unallied person in the building, but I can’t find the rule; maybe it was in an earlier version. So, next activation I’ll search.

TURNS 18-20

Turn 18 Activation: Mike 6, zeds 1. Toby rolls 14 vs Rep for NPC movement, passes 1d6, and stays in the building.

Turn 19 Activation: Mike 5, zeds 2. Toby rolls 16 and again stays put.

Turn 20 Activation: Mike 2, zeds 4. Toby rolls 24 and stays put. Mike rolls 2d6 vs current ER (2) and gets 35; nothing. Toby probably looted the place already.


Activation: Mike 2, zeds 5. Mike fast-moves over to the farmhouse (5,6 so only moves 8″) and barges inside. I turn to p. 47 to check for zeds, rolling 6d6; 122356 so there are three zeds inside; the shotgun won’t help at Rep 2, so it’s charge into melee time. Mike rolls 2246, beating the zeds so they count as Unarmed. It’s getting late so I move straight to a multi-figure melee.

This was probably a second tactical error, and as you’ll see later, a serious one. If Mike had kicked open the door and backed away, the zeds would have come out after him, and possibly been easier to deal with. If not, I could have led them to Toby and let him sort them out. I was trying to finish the game before going to bed – unnecessary as I could just have flipped the lid on the iPad; Mike might not have been affected by sleep deprivation, but I was!


Mike rolls 123 (4 successes) vs zed 1’s 26 (1 success), rolls 1 for damage and kills it outright. Moving on to zed 2, he rolls 135 for 3 successes, vs the zed’s 26 for 1 success, rolls 5 for damage and knocks it down. Zed 3 is up next, and rolls 16 = 1 success vs Mike’s 125 = 3 successes; Mike rolls a 6 and knocks that one down too.

TURNS 22-23

Turn 22 Activation: Mike 3, zeds 3. No action.

Turn 23 Activation: Mike 6, zeds 5. No action. Obviously they are wrestling, but nothing significant happens as a result. I realise I’ve been forgetting to roll for Toby, so go to roll a couple of turns to catch up, only to discover that since he is neutral and inside a building, he will stay there for the rest of the encounter. Suits me.


Activation: Mike 5, zeds 2. The melee is back on, and everyone is rolling 3d6 now; you’ve seen how it works. Mike’s 111 gives him 4 successes, the first zed gets 366, Mike rolls 2 for damage and it’s toast. Against the second one he rolls 555 for one success, it rolls 234 for two successes, followed by a 1 for damage – and Mike is Obviously Dead.

Normally this would be cause to break out the Star Power dice, but neither they, nor Larger Than Life, nor Cheating Death work against zombies.

Say goodnight, Mike.