Saturday, June 11, 2016

All Things Zombie Returns!

I pulled together a couple friends Friday night for some All Things Zombie. The players were both new to the game so I played as the referee and ran the scenario. I created a Search Mission where the players had to secure a safe place to stay for the night. I loaded up a farmer and his wife as one PEF, a rogue cop as another, and a mom and her two kids as a third. Not all of these would automatically be generated by PEF resolution, but were possibilities on a d6 chart I made. The rest of the entries on the chart were zombies.

This was a one off scenario in a rural area with the farmhouse as the main feature. Since I was refereeing, I said the farmer and his wife (Mr. and Mrs. Brown) would be in the house if they did not generate as a PEF. Too bad, considering what happened...

Both of our heroes, Shawn and Ed, are stars with Rep 5. Shawn has a sawed-off shotgun and a cricket bat. Ed has a katana and a pistol. I did not use attributes as I was keeping things simple for my friends who were unfamiliar with the game.

I took a few pics throughout the game, but did not really log each turn in full. I think I've captured the flow of it though.

My idea was that the heroes would have to gain entry to the house and convince the Browns, one way or the other, to let them stay, all while dodging zombies and trying to stay alive. Of course, as is often the case in ATZ, it did not turn out that way at all...
The Farmstead. The main road runs east to west - right to left in this photo.
A look down the lane.
The house is a Stoelzel's Structures farmhouse.
The shed is scratch-built.
The rest of the terrain is random bits I've collected over the years.
My collection of zombies and humans.
Not a huge hoard, but plenty for most of my games.
Our heroes, Shawn and Ed, started on the east end of the highway.
They opted to cut though the hedge and run along the tree line on the east board edge.
Wise choice, considering all the zeds generated at the start of the game were randomly placed in the road.
This probably should have been a sign of how the luck was going to go for this game.
Shawn and Ed make their way towards the propane tank and the back of the shed.
Suddenly the farmhouse erupts into flame!
(We rolled doubles for activation and drew an event card.)
Tough break for our heroes, considering they were planning to stay there for the night.
Even tougher break for the Browns, who are about to lose their home.
You can see the PEFs hovering around the house as it goes up in smoke.
Then the alarm on the car in front of the house started to shriek.
(We had another doubles and an event card.)
Things went down the crapper pretty quickly.
A couple turns later zombies are closing in.
Our heroes have crossed the field, killing a few zeds on the way.
The PEF in front of the house resolves as a mom and her two preteen children.
Marie and the kids choose to join our heroes, but the relief of having a bigger group is short lived.
The zombies around the shrieking car pounce on Marie and the kids!
Before Shawn or Ed can do anything, the girl is ripped to shreds while Marie screams curses and the boy fights for his life.
Shawn leaps forward to help the boy but is bashed and stunned by a lucky zed.
Ed wades in and barely keeps the zeds from feasting on the girl.
Marie fires her pistol wildly, hitting nothing.
With the burning house and the car alarm, it's chaos!
Meanwhile, from the field, the zeds are quietly closing in on the noise. 
The survivors manage to finish off the zeds in melee and move to cover near the car.
Ed is able to hot wire the car to shut the alarm off as the rest of the gang blasts away.
A flurry of bullets and shotgun blasts takes down a number of zeds, but they keep coming.
It's a bloodbath in the yard as the flames fully engulf the house.
The heat is terrific, but our heroes fight on.
A view of the propane tank and fuel yard from the woods to the east.
Everyone remembers the house is on fire and this is a fuel yard, right?
Finally, the last zed is felled.
The survivors move to investigate the shed.
Maybe they could stay here for the night?
But what about the heat from the house? Isn't this a fuel shed?!
The survivors choose the better part of valor.
After a few more turns, they open the shed to find enough fuel for the van.
Surprisingly, the keys to the van are in the ignition.
Taking what they can, the heroes pile into the van and head off down the road, churning gravel. Behind them, as they turn onto the highway, a fireball erupts into the sky. The sound of the explosion rolls like thunder through the night.

"I guess there was propane in that tank after all," says Ed calmly.

"Yup," says Shawn, equally passive.

Marie lays on the back seat holding her son, the two of them weeping quietly.

So, not the most successful mission. Although, to have a fully fueled vehicle is nothing to dismiss lightly. Still, I sure hope the Browns weren't home after all!

We had a great time! My friends are hooked and want to play again. I'm hopeful that we might even get a regular game night going.

Until next time, carry on!


  1. I guess that one of the Browns left the cooker on, or something like that...

    Games of ATZ never turn out the way you expect, do they? I'm, pleased to hear that your friends adapted and enjoyed the game; I'd be delighted to hear more about the exploits of Shawn and Ed.

    1. Thanks! They rolled with it all pretty well. Of course, they had no expectations so whatever happened was cool with them.

      There will definitely be more of Shawn and Ed in the future.

  2. Outsatnding! I love how THW games are so unpredictable.


    Scott Chisholm

    1. Thank you! I love these games for that reason. True solo-play unpredictability.

  3. Great batrep. This is what I love about ATZ - it is always so unpredictable and so much fun.

    1. That is the truth. I haven't played in a long time. It is a great game! I'm glad I dusted it off.

  4. A great read, a usual outing in ATZ.
    Glad to hear you a have a few more recruits.

    1. Thanks! We were talking today about doing it again soon. Might even start a campaign. I think they have the bug! : )

  5. That was a fun read for an ATZ batrep. Great unexpected turns. I'd love to read a further campaign.

    1. Thanks! I will post the next time we play.

  6. Great aar, I had a feeling, like you undoubtedly did from the beginning that this wasn't going to end well.

    1. Yeah, ATZ is almost always like that. : )

  7. It's what I love about the game, the tense unpredictability. Almost always someone in the party dies...

    1. Absolutely. I love how THW's games create that cinematic tension.