Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day One: Location 2 - Stuffmart

I'm finally getting around to posting another AAR on my Day One Campaign.  Just to recap: there are 3 characters in my group:
     PDoid - Rep 4 Civilian; shotgun, cricket bat; fencer and athlete attributes
     Doc - Rep 3 Civilian; shotgun, axe; no attributes
     Monkeyboy - Rep 3 Civilian; pistol, hockey stick; athlete attribute
The group is in a vehicle with PDoid driving.
In the last AAR we lost Sweetpea (PDoid's wife and MB's mom...) but collected Doc from his house.  The next stop for the day was a local Big Box Hardware store (Lowe's in RL, Stuffmart is my made up generic name) to get supplies for barricading the house before heading home.  I rolled for getting to the location and encountered no problems (passed 2d6)...  The rest of the report will be told in a narrative style, this time from the point of view of Monkeyboy.

After the cop got out of the car we drove in silence to Lowe's. My gut was aching and my mind was numb. I couldn't believe this was all for real.  I'd played a lot of video games in my life but this was nothing like it. No redoes...and people who died stayed dead...mostly...

The streets on the way were eerily quiet, like everyone had just vanished.  We pulled into the Lowe's parking lot and except for some cars and an ambulance by the entrance there was no one around.  I thought I saw some movement in front of the store but I couldn't see well from the back seat.

As Dad rolled slowly up the drive I saw a couple of those things emerge from the woods to our right. 'They're here too,' I said in warning to Dad and Doc.  'We're safe as long as we stay in the car,' Doc said.  Dad just glanced at Doc and I knew he was thinking that to get what we needed we had to get out of the car. I double checked my pistol to be sure there was a round in the chamber...
As we reached the first row of parking spaces Dad said, 'Oh, crap...' to which Doc added, 'just be cool...we haven't done anything far as he knows.'  I followed their gaze to our left and saw a police Hummer pulling into the other drive. 'You shot a cop in front of your house,' I thought to myself, remembering Doc's last encounter with the Police. My stomach did another a flip-flop...
'There's a couple more in the driveway,' Dad said, looking in the review mirror.  I glanced over my shoulder and saw them staggering after us.  I had never seen them when we drove passed that spot just a moment ago.  Where do they come from?!
As Dad eased his way through the parking lot, we began to see more and more of the things. They must have been in the parked cars because it was like they appeared from no where.  I noticed them converging on our car and on the police Hummer.  The cop was easing into the lot as well, heading to the door - same place we were headed for.  'This could be real trouble,' I thought.
The movement I'd seen by the front door must have been a couple of 'them'.  One was in a lab coat.  Maybe a doc from the hospital? It made sense with the ambulance sitting on the curb...  All the zombie games and books I'd ever played or read always said it was medical staff who were infected first.  'I guess they were right,' I thought, 'fiction does become reality.'
As we approached the door, the parking lot was getting fairly crowded with dead shuffling around. 'What'ya think?' Doc asked. 'I'm not sure,' Dad said, 'maybe we should just keep driving.'  The cop was still heading towards the door with several of those things trailing his vehicle...and closing.
If we got out of the car we knew there'd be a firefight to fend off the dead.  Who knows how the cop would react to three people jumping out of a car with guns blazing.  Most likely we'd end up in a shootout and none of us needed that. 'Let's just go home,' I said.
As we rolled by the front of the store we could see shapes shambling around inside. The dead were in the store. 'Yeah, maybe we should just keep going,' Dad said.
Suddenly there was a God-Almighty 'THUMP!' and Dad and Doc both cursed in unison. The car veered left and I felt the bounce as we drove over something sizable. I remembered that sound and feeling from when Dad had once accidentally hit a dog while taking me to hockey practice, except this was bigger...much bigger...
The dead were on top of us! Surging from behind the ambulance and piling out of the store they threw themselves at our car in a vain effort to get at us. Their howls and moans were terrifying! I saw a quick flash of a twisted face at my window and then a smear of blood on the glass as the creature went under the wheels.  I put my hands over my ears and shut my eyes as the car began to bump and shake with each impact...
'Just go! Get the f*** out of here!' Doc shouted. The only reply Dad gave was to accelerate...
I could feel the car fishtail as the rear wheels spun as if on ice. I didn't want to think about what was making us lose traction but it didn't take much imagination to know what was happening...
'What is that moron doing?!' Dad shouted and I opened my eyes to see the cop pulling right in front of us.  He too was swarmed with the living dead.  I could see bloody smears along the side of his Hummer and I even caught a flash of his face grimacing as he fought the wheel, trying to control his vehicle.
The dead were all around us now, coming from all directions.  Even the ones we'd passed earlier were starting to close on us from behind. Dad tried to keep the car moving on the slick pavement but it felt like we were only inching forward...
Doc kept up a steady litany of 'F***! F***! F***!' but Dad was too busy trying to control the car and not smash into the cop to say anything.  I just braced my hands on the back of the seat in front of me, held on and prayed...
I felt the car grab pavement and shoot forward. A couple of dead faces flashed by as we bumped and veered our way through the crowd. We slipped by the front of the Hummer, missing it by inches. There was a horrible screeching, grinding sound and as I looked over my shoulder I saw the Hummer roll over onto it's right side, smashing zombies as it went.  It collided with the corner of the building in a spray of brickwork, broken glass, automotive fluid and blood.
I could see the cop hanging from his seat belt in the driver's seat. He wasn't moving and his head was covered in blood. I'm pretty sure he was dead but even if he wasn't there was no time for us to stop to help.
Dad kept the hammer down as one more of those things came at us from the left. He didn't react at all when he hit it...not even a was like it was no different than a bug splattering the windshield while driving the highway.
We didn't get what we came for but at least we got out alive. As we've talked and thought about it we've decided that noise must attract these things.  The sound of the car and the Hummer drew them like moths to the flame. When we go out again we'll need to be especially quiet. I hate the thought of going on foot but we're going to have to go out eventually.  We've only got enough food for a couple weeks...

The city is in chaos.  The TV keeps showing images of horror. It really is the End of the World.  We did the best we could to board up the house and cover the windows to keep light from showing. Dad filled the bathtubs with water and he's sitting at the table cleaning his guns. Doc is glued to the TV.

As I sit and write this I still can't get over how those things threw themselves at our vehicle. How do you fight something that isn't afraid to die? They seem to have one thought only: to kill the living at any cost. And every kill adds to their numbers...

We're in this for the long haul. After only one day it is obvious that nothing will ever again be the same. This is really going to mess up my high school years! There is an upside though: no homework!


  1. Very nice PDoid! a great description and it seems discretion is the better part of valour.

    There's some great scenery in your shots, and Stuffmart's looking great. Where did you get the police Hummer from? and the lamp-posts? they are a nice touch.

  2. Great narrative and really smart looking table!


  3. Excellent batrep and some very evocative photos, which really added to your narrative. I love these narrative reports of yours. 'Tis something I'd like to do some day! With so many zombies congregating around the store entrance it would have been suicide to stop and get out. As Colin rightly said, discretion is the better part of valour.

  4. Thanks for the feed back. Discretion is the better part of valor to be sure! About half way through the game I was certain we were not getting out of the car. The scenario changed from 'getting supplies' to 'getting out alive' in a heart beat! Zeds were popping up all over the place! Even with there only being a one in six chance of generating zeds from noise, when you're rolling 24 dice in a turn (12 for each car!)you're bound to get swamped! I'm just glad we lived to fight another day...

    @cmnash: The Hummer was a Christmas gift from my wife. I don't know where she got it but I've been meaning to ask. The lamp posts were from some old Christmas decorations we were getting rid of.

  5. Good batrep, excellent read, that took a lot of good work.

  6. Whoa, sir, this is fantastic! Epic terrain as I may have mentioned before and great batrep style again. Really looking forward to your next batrep.

    Did your son participate or watch the game?

    @cmnash: take a look at I think it's the 1:40 Kinsmart Hummer H2.

    Whiteface / Oliver

  7. @Whiteface: thanks for the comments on my terrain! Epic?! Wow! Thanks!

    My son neither watched nor participated. He didn't want to play. I had it set up for a month or more but he never wanted to play so I played it by myself. He's almost 14 and going through a 'phase'. I'll be glad when he's through with it!

    Again, thanks all for the encouragement! I'm looking forward to getting more games in soon. I also have some terrain and figure projects in mind. I'll post when there's progress.

  8. About the Hummer: Whiteface is right. It says Kinsmart on the bottom and it is a bit large so 1/40 scale is probably correct...

  9. Hey, you've created the whole front of a big box store including parking lot just because you needed it for a simple Day One scenario. This is epic!
    I didn't even have my small Lionel K-Line super market when I played Day One.

    If I remember correctly your Day One is supposed to last for four locations and I hope we'll see your next batreps pretty soon.
    Anyway, the real fun begins after Day One!

    You should announce this batrep to the THW-yahoo-group.

  10. I really enjoyed this, great set-up and superb looking table.

  11. The better part of valor in this case includes skipping the last two locations. I decided we had enough supplies and gasoline and that we didn't need to make the last two stops. In other words, I chickened out! Day One is hard! Lol! My heroes decided to call it a day after seeing all the zeds at Stuffmart. I have some other scenarios in mind but need to build a model of my house to run them...

  12. Fantastic and much appreciated.

  13. Dang I'm late! This is simply too freaking awesome man. Your table is incredible and for photos and gaming may be the best out there. Obviously Bryan is the building King, but for layouts, you and Whiteface really have it going. The parking lot is the ticket. I was driving the other day and thinking about this, that we always have too little in the way of parking lots on the table, but in real life half the world is a parking lot.
    While I'm thinking about it, I need to link this page up to my blog. Keep up the fantastic stuff.

  14. @LTL Dad: thanks! That's high praise and especially appreciated since you are one of the bloggers who inspired me to get into ATZ!

  15. Yeah, that was an awesome read Really enjoyed that, great story telling and as everyone has said your set up A1, keep up the great work, look forward to more.

  16. also what are the little red marble things for ? (if you dont mind me asking)

  17. @Extraordinarii: the red marbles mark zombie kills. Since I only have 24 painted zeds I have to recycle my figures and can't just leave them tipped over on the table. I mark kills because I like the effect after a battle of seeing where all the hot action took place. Morbid, I suppose, but there it is all the same...

  18. From my own experience I know that sometimes you even run out of red marbles. In one game I had to use green and yellow as well...and there weren't any aliens around.

  19. i love eh stuffmart, i may have to make on for my zombies games