Monday, October 18, 2010

I Fought the Law...

I played the second scenario of my Day One campaign.  Again I played a modified Raid scenario - there will be no gangers and all Day One rules are in effect.  The goal was for PDoid to get to the house on the back left, find his friend Doc and return with him to the car.  The area is urban, with retail stores along the main road and residential behind.  There was a car barricade on the residential street - maybe the residents were trying to defend themselves.  This forced PDoid to approach Doc's place on foot.

PDoid is a Rep 4 Civilian armed with a shotgun and cricket bat.  His attributes are Athlete and Fencer.  This second attribute is one I invented myself.  It seems PDoid was a fencer in college.  I said the Fencer attribute allows an extra d6 in melee (like Brawler) but only if the model is armed with a sword or sword-like weapon (ie - machete).  'Sword-like' means the weapon is balanced like a sword (heavier towards the handle) so baseball bats, crowbars, etc. will not apply.  (Does anyone know if there is a similar attribute in any of the other THW games?)

PDoid passed 2d6 for getting to Doc's street.  He stepped out of the car and surveyed the scene.  It seemed relatively quiet.  No one was around.  He checked his shotgun, racked a shell and grabbed his cricket bat out of the back seat.  'Should be a piece of cake,' he thought...


By the way, hats off to Whiteface for the idea on the roads.  I think these turned out pretty good.  I need to get something better than Lincoln Logs for my suburban houses though...

Turn 1 - Activation:  Player - 3, Zeds - 4
Since I got a 7 right off, I rolled for approaching zeds.  It is an urban environment but since it is Day One I only count it as suburban for zombie generation.  I rolled 1d6 and got 2.  I used a scatter die to determine their placement and put two zombies on the table as indicated, each 12" from PDoid.  One is behind the retail stores to PDoid's left...

The other is ahead of PDoid and slightly to the right, among the parked cars...

The zeds activated first and both moved 6" towards their prey.  PDoid, figuring the quicker he gets this done the better off he'll be, decides to Fast Move.  Since he has the Athlete attribute I rolled 3d6 and passed 2d6, so PDoid gets to move 16".  He runs straight forward between the zeds, easily leaving them behind.  'So far so good,' he thought...

Turn 2 - Activation:  P - 5, Z - 6
Since I rolled an 11 I generated a police officer.  This could be trouble considering PDoid is so well armed.  I rolled on the police list and got a Rep 5 Police Detective armed with a BA pistol.  I wasn't sure how to deploy him so I decided he would get out of one of the parked cars.  Apparently he was sitting in the car keeping an eye on things.  I rolled randomly and determined he would get out of the car parked to the right side of the road in front of PDoid.  As he gets out of the car he sees my shotgun and draws his own gun, shouting, 'Halt!  Drop your weapons!'  PDoid is stunned into inaction.  This is not what he expected at all.  The zombies also seem confused by this new arrival and do nothing this turn...

Turn 3 - Activation:  P - 6, Detective - 3, Z - 1
I considered random events to be based on the player and zombie activation rolls so I rolled again for more zombies and got 3.  Again I used the scatter die to place them randomly 12" from PDoid.  One popped up behind the detective, one in a house to PDoid's left and another to the right of Detective Dobesh.  Activating first, Det. Dobesh advanced on PDoid and again instructed him to drop his weapons.  The zombies, attracted by this activity, all moved towards the detective and PDoid.  They were in charge range for next turn...  PDoid unfortunately just stood there with his teeth in his mouth, absolutely frozen with indecision...

Zombies close while Detective Dobesh shouts and PDoid waffles...

The Detective better pay attention...
Turn 4 - Activation:  P - 1, D - 4, Z - 6
Based again on PDoid's and the zombies' activation rolls I generated one more zed.  This one came from between two of the houses.  At this point I wasn't sure how to play this at all.  Would Dobesh fire on PDoid?  I considered rolling some kind of 'aggression test' for Dobesh but I didn't know just how to do that.  I considered using the Meet and Greet table in some way but again, I wasn't sure it fit the situation.  I really didn't WANT the police to shoot at PDoid but in the end I let common sense rule the day.  I figured a real cop in this situation - facing an armed man who is not complying with demands to drop his weapon - would fire. Dobesh fired twice, hitting PDoid once.  The shot knocked PDoid to the ground and rolling on the Recover From Knock Down chart he only passed 1d6.  PDoid went Out of the Fight!  Damn!  Unfortunately the nearest zeds were within range and descending on the helpless PDoid they began to feast.  Damn, damn, damn!  The feast would last for 6 turns but it was game over for PDoid...

I made Dobesh take the See the Feast test just for the fun of it and he only passed 1d6.  Horrified he ducked back, heading into the woods to his left.  'What have I done?!  What have I done?!' he cried as he realized the mistake he'd made.  His next activation he would have to recover from Stun while the zeds closed in to finish the feast that once was PDoid.  Detective Dobesh's shots didn't generate any more zeds...

At this point I considered playing on.  I figured Doc might have heard the commotion and come out of his house and that maybe Detective Dobesh would get some sense.  Maybe they could join forces and clear the zombies.  But in the end I decided to call it quits here and start Day One over again.  Seeing as my whole family was wiped out I didn't see much point in carrying on.

ATZ is an awesome game and even though I got my butt kicked in this first campaign I thoroughly enjoyed the games.  I'll be playing more soon and adding more models and characters.  I've decided to get some ganger types and some police officers so look for those soon.  Until then, peace.


  1. Ouch! I would have taken exactly the same title for one of my previous batreps by the way, but with a bit of luck the law didn't win against Mrs. Whiteface.

    I see you used a better colours for your road markings. At first I didn't realize that these are do-it-yourself roads. Without magnifying the pictures they look like a commercial product. Did you really use a stencil? Good job.

    I think it's the right decision to restart your campaign. Surviving Day One is a tough job. You will even have more fun in your next games, especially when you're past Day One. Improvising rules like an "aggression test" just comes naturally. I had to solve so many situations now that weren't in the rules or would have felt strange if I had exactly followed the rules word by word.

    Thanks for this batrep
    Whiteface / Oliver

  2. Thanks Whiteface! These are roads I made using your ideas and yes, I used a stencil. I started with black foam rubber material from Hobby Lobby, then cut them to length. After a quick, light spray with gray primer I painted on the lines using a stencil that I cut out from cardstock. Since the paint bled around the stencil a little, I went back over the edges using a straight edge and black marker. It looks fine on the table but you can see the marker lines in the enlarged photos.

    I'm looking forward to starting again. This time I will take the whole family to collect Doc, head to Lowe's to get supplies for boarding up the house, stop for fuel and groceries and then home. We'll see how it goes...

    I did think later that I may have made a mistake on this batrep. Does anyone know if I should have taken an In Sight test when the cop got out of the car? I was going under the unconscious assumption that placing the cop was like placing a zombie and I don't get an In Sight test. How have others run this?

  3. Hey nice one Doid, good batrep, bad luck with everyone dying.... thats gotta suck, hey have you ever thought about making a campaign with some of us in it? like a small gang of us followers, make character profiles on the participants which would guide the decisions they would make ingame, just a thought, would be fun to follow.

  4. I have never taken an In Sight test when cops or terrified civilians appeared on the board, just like zombies.
    Don't split up the family. Yes, I guess that's a good decision. ;o)

    My road markings bled around the stencil too, but that's something I can live with. The roads outside don't look any better.
    Roads add so much to a terrain. I was pleasantly surprised about their effect when I put them on the table. They make the difference between just a few plastic buildings on a green mat or a miniature town that feels right.

  5. @Extraordinarii: It does suck when everyone dies but that's life in ATZ! I restarted the campaign last night with this scenario using my entire family. It was a more successful start, with some interesting twists, though not without cost... I'll post that batrep soon. I like your idea about an online game of sorts using followers of this blog. Could be interesting. Followers would have to create their own characters though since I don't really know any of you.

    @Whiteface: Yeah, I figured that's how it should be with In Sight tests so that's how I played it. Although when I replayed this scenario I changed it up a bit. You'll have to wait and see why...

    I like the look of these roads too and they were VERY easy to make. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I couldn't just leave the bleed over and had to straighten up my lines with the marker. They do make a table look more like a 'place', if you know what I mean. I've been working slowly on some World Works Games terrain. You can see some of it in this batrep. Eventually I want to have a complete table of WWG stuff...eventually... I really need to get some suburban houses. I have some ideas for building my own but haven't started yet. Either I need to get started building them or buy some Plasticville stuff.

  6. Good report even though like people have already said everyone died.Keep up the good work.

  7. And so another brave hero fails on Day One! Don't be too disheartened, Pdoid. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes. Splitting up is never a good idea, even less so if you're starting out with Rep:3 characters. So keeping the family together next time out is a good tactic.
    I thought you played the detective fair but how different do you think things would have turned out if Pdoid had just dropped his shotgun? Whether active or not, a character can always speak. All your hero had to do was say, "don't shoot! I surrender!" Whether he intended to or not it would have gained him some time. Still, we can all be wise after the event. Nice batrep and best of luck for next time!

  8. Thanks Vampifan. I guess I'm still getting used to this activation business. Maybe I'm stuck thinking that I can't do ANYTHING unless active. From what I hear you saying, activation has only to do with whether I can move, shoot or melee. Everything else is still available - speaking, putting your hands over your head, etc. What do others think? How do you play this?

  9. The Whitefaces are talking a lot when they are inactive. This is why they don't get anything useful done. They're standing around muttering things like "What the...?!?", "Do you think they've seen us?" and "We're all gonna die!".

    As I see it inactivity is a lot of things: too much discussion, trying to light up a cigarette (smoking is going to get you killed), being entangled in a seat belt, watching something in terror / fascination and of course a lot of indecisiveness. The are not doing nothing, they're just doing nothing helpful.

    With more experience in z-world they will change into grim, silent survivors. Like the King said: "A little less coversation a little more action!"

    I think, as long as PDoid doesn't raise his gun the cop may repeat his order to drop the weapon. PDoid was inactive, so I imagine him standing around, being unsure what to do next, his firearm pointing at the ground. A dangerous situation for the cop because of the gun, but not yet out of control.

  10. I'm behind on my reading! Don't worry about dieing, we do it all the time and it's never stopped us :)
    The Zeds gotta eat sometime..

  11. @LTL Dad: HA! 'The Zeds Gotta Eat Sometime...' would have been a great title for this batrep! Might become something of a mantra for me...