Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Inactivty

Photocopies for my next building.
Another week of inactivity effectively, whilst I reflected on the last game I played and whilst I may not have much to show for it, I  have had a chance to reflect on my version of the ATZ rules I use and hone them into something that is consistent and without contradictions.
The one thing that I did come to a conclusion about was that I really didn't enjoy playing solo! It took me four sessions over three weeks to conclude and not just because of all the note-taking and photographs  - though I guess that  particular part doesn't help.
Sid inspecting the ventilation stack
something I was tinkering with quite a while ago was roof-top furniture and after seeing the caps from various bottled juices etc. I came up with this idea for ventilation outlets.
It was also a chance to try out my newly acquired hot glue gun (birthday present).
A piece of tubing or dowel cut to length and a dab of hot glue into the bottle cap and in my eyes I had a ventilation thingy.
I do know that the paint-job needs looking at, but as a concept I thought it was OK and worth pursuing .
"What the heck?"

One thing that is worth noting is that all caps are not created equal as can be seen on the photograph to the right (a bit gunged up with my overenthusiastic use of my new glue-gun). The caps come in different shapes and sizes, which is not a bad thing, but I do prefer the look of the one above to the one shown on the right, so much so that the second type hasn't had more than an undercoat added to it. I used the same sized tube for each but the larger one could really have done with a slightly longer one I think.




My next project has been a long time in the planning, and can now be started as the final printing has now been done. I've used World Work Games' Downtown Office 'flats' with some additional photo-shopping and. Hopefully it'll be started this weekend after a trip to Poundlandworld to purchase copious amounts of UHU, blowing all this week's pocket money as I reckon on using at least three tubes of the stuff.

That's it then for this week, short and maybe not so sweet, but I do have some more minor surgery to look forward to!

(For those few that are following my other project on Gladiators the latest update can be found here)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Back to Normal

Do you know this man? Phone Crimestoppers NOW!
Towards the end of June I was host for a week or so to a fellow blogger, whom a few of you may recognise from the photo.
He was here mainly for some work experience at a week-long archaeological dig in County Durham, but no doubt he'll be telling you something about that on his own blog sometime in the near future (but don't hold your breath as the rumour is that he may have a job.
You can find his blog here



Fish and chips in Berwick
I was duly restricted in my blogging activities (but just a tad) due to his occupying the bedroom wherein my desk-top pc resides and that I use to write my blog, edit photographs and update my post-game rule amendments and so on. He was of course most enjoyable company and a welcome chance to talk about wargaming and most anything else we could think of. We also had a great day out into Northumberland; visiting Berwick upon Tweed and walking around the town's Vauban-style walls as well as attempting to find some WWII bunkers (pillboxes) on the coast near Dunstanburgh.

10 feet away from this one and 'Hawkeye' (pictured) couldn't spot it!
After a lunch and a walk around in Berwick we set off to find finding the bunkers that were shown on maps indicated in a small booklet he had received. This turned out to be harder than  it should have been considering there were many maps indicating their relative positions. However we may have just as well been following a blank map with 'Xs' randomly placed on it as the maps bore little resemblance to where we eventually found the bunkers.


In the little village of Embleton there were three such bunkers, the one above carefully camouflaged by the ravages of time, too half an hour to find, despite us parked less than fifty yards away from it.
The second was again overgrown but nevertheless accessible .
Having now got our 'eye' in so to speak we proceeded to wander in circles looking for the third bunker in the village.




The third bunker proved to be quite elusive, as it wasn't actually in the village at all but was on the outskirts of the village facing the sea and an obvious landing spot.
This was on farm land and we didn't try our luck proceeding further.
The view the above bunker commanded.
#1 son readying a grenade to throw into the bunker

We then  proceeded down to the coast to the last bunker I visited, which even Blind Pugh could spot.
This was on the edge of a hillside to the right of the bay above.





The valiant 'defender'

The intrepid defender of said bunker decided that retreat was the better part of valour and duly retreated towards Dubstanburgh castle to explore several more bunkers en-route solo.
My son and I also retreated, to the very friendly Golf club-house to indulge ourselves in some well deserved beverages.





During my house-guest's sojourn, surprisingly enough we actually did little in the way of playing games, though we did indulge in a brief affair with SAGA (my #1 son's latest 'flavour-of-the-month' fad) which was very enjoyable and I could easily be swayed in to assembling a small army of Anglo-Saxons or Vikings (all contributions welcome). we also played several games of Space Hulk (of the the original Ed.1variety) and despite many many a cock-up with the rules we did have a good laugh. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed Space Hulk!

 I have been quite busy (for a change) on the hobby front, but that's it for this week,
(My other blog's post this week is on Arenas and can be found here.)

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Safe House - Part 3

Situation outside the 'HQ', with Jax making his bid for freedom
Last week the two main protagonists of this scenario, Jerome (the gang leader) and Washington (a civilian) were confronting four zombies in the top floor of the 'Safe house', having dropped through the roof hatch. Washington dispatched one of the zombies, whilst Jerome merely knocked his opponent to the floor. In the continuation of the melee Washington once more kills his opponent whilst Jerome keeps up his record of just knocking them down. This left one zombie standing up and one, once more lying on the floor.
At the same time as the above fracas was happening, of the three other gang members, Jax continued to make his way to the safe house, Leroy made his way to the second floor of their 'HQ' whilst Patience stayed hidden.
Add caption
 It had been some time since the last event card, so it came as no surprise that the next turn started with one.
I decided that as I already had a zombie on the floor in the SAfe House that this would be the 'wounded zombie' of the event.
The dice gods  however weren't finished for this turn yet, with both the civilians and gangers throwing a '1' for activation, meaning the zombies had free rein to attack, which they did !
The zombie that had been knocked to the floor, normally would have stood up, but as it was now a 'crawler' it attacked Jerome, whilst the 'fit', upright zombie attacked Washington. Keeping with his current run of form, Jerome managed to once more only effect a 'knock-down', thus having no effect on the already prostrate zombie attempting to gnaw at his ankles; Washington on the other hand continued to be impressive with his shogun-bat and quickly dealt with the zombie facing him.
Three rounds of melee and the gang of two still hadn't dealt with the four zombies facing them !
Jax in the street


 The next turn (turn 17 for those attempting to keep count) once more saw the civilians and gangers taking a break to gawp about nonchalantly  - once more I'd thrown a '1' for the initiatives of both ! This left Jax seemingly reluctant to cross the street, Leroy hesitating on the middle floor of the 'HQ' and Patience still hiding.
Washington meantime looked on as Jerome fought off the ankle biter, finally nailing the him,









Leroy standing on the camouflaged roof hatch
I decided that Jerome and Washington would continue on their way through the Safe House, descending to the middle floor, the other gang members carrying on with what they were doing.
The occupancy of middle floor of the safe house was diced for revealing that there would be humans; they were gangers and were two in number. Dicing to find their allegiance (50% chance) revealed them to be former member of Jerome's gang. A quick meet and greet later and both decided to throw their hand in with Jerome. Whilst their skills were the typical mixed bag for gangers, they were no worse or better than the rest of the gang  and they were fairly well armed, which is always a plus!
Jax finally got to the safe house and Leroy made it to the roof, but Patience would still not come out of her hiding place.




With their two new colleagues Chuckles and Bubba in tow, Jerome and Washington made their way to the ground floor of the safe house, to complete their sweep and once more they encountered humans.
Chuckles and Bubba
The humans were again gangers, but their luck didn't hold this time as they were a rival gang. They were 6 in number, had a small arsenal of weapons encompassing just about every ganger weapon and could probably give as good as they got in a stand-up shooting match. I elected to go for a meet and greet (of course), taking into consideration that the gunfire would attract the small horde of zombies on the table and the larger horde just off-table. It was a bit more of a risk than I'd anticipated as the Rival gang's leader was the equal of Jerome in the Leadership skill (read people skill in ATZ/FFO term) and he would have an advantage being from a rival gang. The dice were thrown and the result ? Well, from my point of view it was a sigh of relief; the gangers with 4 leadership dice plus a bonus of one die for being a rival gang got three successes. Jerome with no bonus dice was throwing four  dice and he too managed an  impressive 3 successes; all of which meant they decided to engage in pleasantries.
With the safe house 'cleared' the game scenario was complete, but there were a few loose ends still to be tied up. Jax couldn't get in the safe house even with Jerome imploring the 'rival' gang to help ( a Leadership challenge). Jax would have to make his way to the other house.
Ransacked already - bugger!
Leroy would be making his way across the roof, down the three floors of the house next to the HQ and straight to the house beside the safe house.
Jerome and Washington I'd decided would make their way to meet the  newly arriving gang member and began their journey up through the safe house and back to the house next door.
After arriving at the top floor of the Safe house I determined that as there had been zombies there I would search it next turn (I'd also decided that any floor that had had humans present would have already been thoroughly searched)
The dice gods being what they are decided that even this was too much and threw me an event denying me even this small boon.
The room had already been ransacked !




Leroy makes it outside.
 Once more making their way up to and across the roof Jerome and the gang would encounter the civilians present, at the same time as Jax was making his way upstairs to join them. Leroy finally made it outside ! Patience had had a quick look around then once more ducked-back into her hiding place)
Eventually confronting the two civilians once more but now with greater numbers, I'd decided that there was a 50% chance of Jerome chancing another "meet and greet". The up-shot being he passed that roll and succeeded in recruiting the two civilians into his gang.

Bunny and Claude
Leroy quickly made it across to the gang, which left Patience as the only member still to account for.
Eventually she would make it across to the gang, barring any untoward events.
I quickly rattled off the 23 turns (yep 23 !) managing only a single event (a secret door) which was ignored and eventually Patience joined the gang.


With that the scenario was ended and the next one was already formulating in my mind.

The latest  post for my Gladiator project blog can be found here.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Safe House - Part 2

The photograph shows the various key features  for this game. The yellow arrows indicate the intended route to house 'B' for the two starting figures and the three other figures trapped in house 'A'. The latter will have to make their way to the top of the building, across the roof, down into the adjacent building and finally out the back door before following the path of Jerome and Washington. The Red marker  shows the position of a large group of zombies, other zombies are only generated by noise in this scenario.
Other details can be found in last week 's blog.
To the Safe House !
Turn one turns up the first event, a dangerous animal !
I determine this to be a rabid dog and randomly determine where it is on the table.
Luckily it is in an area well away from the action, near the read skip just behind the construction site, well out of site of the zombies and Jerome's gang.


Jerome and Washington start making their way to the 'Safe House', but the other civilians and the zombies are both inactive (they threw 1's for their activation)













Turn 2 springs a second event this time resulting in Jerome  having 2" deducted from his movement for the rest of the scenario (a 50% chance as only the two characters were moving).
Washington takes the lead














The other gang members currently hiding remain hiding whilst Jerome hobbles after Washington who moves ahead to check the safe house door. I determine to keep Washington within the 4" command range of Jerome so he won't get too far ahead.





Turn 3 and yet another event  !
(I decide to change the event die next turn).
The event turns out to be a Power Surge and when randomly chosen, it turn out to be the building just behind the construction site, furthest away from Jerome the cripple and not within 12" of the zombies, so at least it didn't have any immediate effect.
Locked !




 Washington gets to the door of the Safe House and surprise, surprise it's locked (he needed a double '1' on 2d6) Jerome continues to shuffle along to the bottom of the steps.
None of the other three hiding back in the HQ decide to do anything other than to continue to hide.
Switching the event die for another there was an event-free turn which saw Washington catching up with Jerome as they moved on to the adjacent house.The continued to hone their hiding skills and stayed put whilst the zombies did zombie things, most likely moaning about doing nothing.


"Go check this one"
Washington reached the door, whilst Jerome waited at the bottom of the steps in another event-free turn and the door was tried, needing a '1' to be unlocked and amazingly I managed to throw a '1' - onwards ever onwards !
Jerome was ready to throw caution to the wind and have Washington enter the next turn when yet another event forestalled the action !
Even as Washington entered Jerome hobbled to the top of the steps giving an allegedly inspirational speech, (probably in hushed tones).Washington seemingly ignored it as he entered the building, leaving Jerome on the top step outside.

I would be treating this type of building as three possible encounter areas, one for each of the three floors. All have the possibility of there being zombies, civilians or gangers present and even the slight chance of there being nothing at all.
The 2d6 were throw and coming up snake-eyes resulted in the ground floor being declared devoid of the living (and the un-living).
Needless to say the "hiders" were getting very proficient at hiding whilst the zombies were equally boring.


"Come back, there's more"
Washington waited for Jerome to catch up whilst Jax in the HQ building decided to have a peek out to see if the coast was clear (he went into "duck-back" mode) and the zombies did their zombie thing, With no event and little else to show for this turn, it was on to the next turn.

As it had been a long time since the last event (2 turns) the
8 turns, two different dice and the 5th event !
dice decided that it was time for another...
And so it was that Jerome and Washington became inseparable buddies(at least for the rest of this scenario) and as their initiative die indicated they wouldn't be doing anything else this turn (the gangers threw a '1') we can only imaging whether or not they were looking into each others eyes, holding hands (*shudder) or just giving fist-bumps and manly hugs!
Jax however, operating on a civilian initiative die roll (not currently being under Jerome's influence) once more passed the necessary dice roll to be on his way; following Jerome's route up to the roof, across the roof and down the stairs to next door, he should be joining them in the safe house in a dozen turns easy! The other two were obviously  not inspired by Jax's enthusiasm for the journey into the unknown  and remained hidden.
The zombies carried on doing nothing and probably moaning about there being bored and having nothing to do,

The next turn wasn't much better, but at least there was no event, Jerome and Washington continued to fail their initiative roll and stood in some sort of bromance trance whilst Jax made his way to the middle floor of the HQ whilst Patience, also in the HQ, decide to have a look at what was happening (now at Duck-back)
Back with Jerome and Washington on the next turn the two bf's moved up to the second floor to be faced with three zombies. 
Jax emerging from the hidden roof-hatch
The zombie surprise rolls were both in their favour, the zombies managing a respectable 7 (three zombies plus a die roll of a '4') whilst Washington with his initiative of '5' threw a '4' giving him a nine; Jerome cam a close second having an initiative of '4'and also throwing a '4'.
The gang of two decided against shooting (and attracting the zombies outside) and readied  their long-arms to use as clubs in the inevitable zombie charge.
The zombies 'charged', two attacking Washington and one attacking Jerome . Three zombie dice against the seven dice of Washington and the 6 dice of Jerome were a bit of a mismatch and the three zombies were quickly dispatched, Second floor cleared !

Jax continued his way to the roof whilst Patience remained in her duck-back state.
The next turn thankfully, had no event as Jerome and Washington made their to the top floor, encountering two civilians there. Before throwing for the civilians characteristics, armament etc, I decided that diplomacy was in order on the gangers part and they would avoid confrontation (and possible gunfire) with an attempt at a meet and greet.
Bunny and Claude, it turns out were both armed with pistols and one was quite a reasonable shot (a '4'), both both lacked any real leadership skill (they were both '2's). Even so the Leadership skills of Jerome couldn't make any headway into convincing these two to join in their foray into the unknowns of the safe-house next door and they all exchanged pleasantries instead.
On the Safe-house roof (just short of the hidden hatch)
Patience, having decided nothing was happening returned to hiding (just to be sure no doubt) whilst Jax made his was across the roof-tops to the hatch on the next building.
Over the next couple of turns Patience once more went into look around mode (duck back) and whilst Jax made his was to the ground floor of the building he was in, Jerome and Washington made it across the roof-top to the safe-house hatch. 

Jax making it outside !


It was now six turns since the last event and I was getting a bit twitchy as Jax finally made it to the outside.
 Leroy who had been intent on becoming a world-class 'hider', decided to enter the now popular "Duck-back" mode whilst Patience decided that if Leroy wasn't hiding, then she would.
As they dropped through the hatch, Jerome and Washington couldn't see the four zombies that were present (the zombies had failed their initiative anyway). However the chance of a welcome break from the tedium stirred the zombies into action. This time, whilst Washington still came out tops with a 'surprise' total of 4, the zombies came a close second with '9' whilst Jerome could only manage a '6'. Washington charged into the fray, killing his target whilst Jerome hobbled towards his, only managing to knock it down !



And that's where I'll leave it for his week, and not only because I'll have something to blog about next week! Suffice to say that in game turns at this stage I'm less than half-way through the write-up!
 Even so, next week should see the conclusion to this scenario.

I've also posted my latest blog on my Gladiator Project here (all the posts were written pre-April this year) and I've only got one other prepared! I'll be posting about how and what stage I'm currently at with this project very soon.

Monday, 29 June 2015

The Safe House-Setup

Washington and Jerome about to meet up
This scenario is a follow-on from the "Alamo" scenario I played and the idea was also generated by an event card in that scenario.
At the end of the last scenario I had the leader of the  gangers (Jerome) escaping the gang's HQ and being joined by a civilian (called Washington), who in turn was fleeing a horde of zombies.
 The terraced buildings, I'd already determined to each have a roof hatch.
Once Jerome and Washington were together  they would head for the Safe house to plan their next step.
For this scenario, zombies would only be generated by noise, there would be no spawned zombies as the spawn points were already depleted and it was a continuation from the previous scenario.
In the building that Jerome had just left there were three more members of his gang, all hiding on the ground floor (they had had nowhere to run). These latter three would all require to recover from their fear (recover from the effect of running away), which at best would allow them to be in a state of Duck-Back" (ATZ rules). From "Duck Back" they could recover back to normality, stay ducked back or once more hide (effectively run away).
Just off-table below the house marked 'A' were a zombie horde of about 35 whilst the immediate threat of zombies were by the indicated red marker. 
The table area was the same as in the last scenario save for the fact it had been rotated 90 degrees, had two terrain boards removed (the two northern ones) and a further two added (these can just be seen to the right in the photo below.
Jerome, Washington and the three others had to make it from the house marked 'A' to the Safe House  marked 'B'.
Door on the safe house would be open only a roll of double '1' else they will be locked tight.
The horde by the South Barricade (indicated by the red marker)
Other doors could be open on a die roll of  '1'.
Rood hatches would be open in any event.
As I was playing the scenario solo I made up their plan and the various other rules I would use.
Their plan would be simple, go to the Safe house and check the door, if it was locked check next door and go around the back if neither were already open (putting as much space between themselves  and the zombies by the red marker before making any noise (smashing down a backdoor or breaking windows)
Fast movement in the open within 24" of zombies would attract them (whether or not they had a LOS) as would fast movement within 6" if inside a building, so normal movement would be the order of the day for all the gang.
 Jerome is only slightly above average in his stats whilst Washington is well above average for  Civilians (save for Washington); the others are pretty much run-of-the-mill. Here's the entire crew's stats:
                  Initiative    Leadership   Shooting   Melee   Driving   Fitness
 Jerome:         4                  4                   3              4           3             3     Rifle & BA pistol, Knife
Washington:   4                  4                   5               5          4             5      Shotgun, BA Pistol, Knife
Hiding in the house:
Jax                 4                  5                   2               3          5             2      BA Pistol, Knife
Leroy              3                  3                   2               2          5             5      BA Pistol, Knife
Patience         3                  3                   3               5          3             4      Knife, BA Pistol (no ammo)

Other than Jerome who is a ganger, all the others are civilians.
The three still in the starting building and currently unable to act will all take the same route to the safe house, namely up to the roof of house 'A', across the roof to the adjacent house and then downstairs into the back yard and finally across the street to the safe house, to join the others, without moving fast this would take about 12 turns ! 
The horde waiting just off table
Only noise and events could hinder the group, providing they all moved at normal pace. Events occur in my games (no matter what the environment or Encounter rating of the area) on a separate, die roll each turn, of a '6'.
For surviving the 'Alamo' scenario I gave each of the above an attribute, though they were unlikely to affect this particular scenario.
I didn't envisage much, if any Zombie action as only Events would really affect the scenario, but as they say "Best laid plans..." etc.
Encounters in houses would be with either Civilians, Gangers or Zombies. The zombies would have to be dealt with and the Civilians and Gangers  'negotiated' with I pre-decided that any gangers encountered would have a 50% chance of formerly having been  in the gang.

And that is it for this week, as I have limited computer access atm but the first part of the scenario will be related in next week's post.

In other news my fourth post in my new Gladiator Project's blog can be found here.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Buses

I had intended to post about my latest scenario, but alas the task has proven too daunting a one due to factors outside my control. Instead I've reverted to yet another 'easy' option of showing two buses that I purchased earlier in the year, both  from Poundlandworld and both, strangely enough, bought on the same day but at different branches.
Although the photographs may not show it off in a good light (courtesy of that useless photographer again), it is the better of the two vehicles.
It is a very good match scale-wise to Sid, as can been seen (just about), it's left-hand drive and has a good amount of detail on the inside.
Although I haven't tried to take it apart I'd imagine it would be fairly easy and would enable some perspex windows to be glued to the inside. None of the sides (even the windscreen) are particularly curved so I don't think it would be that difficult.

The second bus is nothing more than a shell with 'sticker windows'' and little else in the way of detail.
It may look pretty good in the photographs but in reality is a bit naff.
Nevertheless it is another vehicle and very suitable for a background role.
I have thought of removing the various window stickers and then carving the 'windows' out to leave a plastic shell that could be 'done up' as a wreck, but like anything to do with my growing selection of vehicles, that idea will be shelved  for the present.
Here's a final shot of the two buses beside each other for comparison.

I've also posted the third post relating my new Gladiator project, which you can find here  and I'd like to say a big thank you for your patience as I slowly return to blogging and commenting on other blogs.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Downtown Office

Front Elevation
This is a new building to my growing metropolis, rapidly put together sometime between January and March this year and hasn't had an airing since.
It's constructed from the usual 5mm foam-board, but has one or two of my own additions made to the original.
It stands about 10" (250mm) tall to the roof parapet (excluding the small roof building), The width of the building is about 14" (350mm) and its greatest depth is about 9" (225mm).
Twilight Streets version.
 The building is based on the Twilight Streets 'heroic' set, so no re-scaling of the model had to be done to accommodate the the 28mm figures, that are currently in vogue and that I use.

I restricted the height of the building to four stories, but increased the overall footprint of the building by about 50%.

My version of this building is not rectangular, but is 'L' shaped - just for variety and the fact that I really don't like rectangular buildings !

The two sides are fairly boring, but I did add some features to the rear of the building.

Boring long side of building
Vaguely more interesting rear view.
The rear of the building showing the double service doors (my own addition) and the distinctive 'L' shape.

The roof structure is not included with the model, but is an addition I made.

The shorter of the two side wall s to the building can be seen in the photograph below; a full two windows shorter than the 'long' side wall shown above.

Equally boring 'short' side

 Whilst I may not have been active, hobby-wise, in the last two months I am slowly returning to something akin to normality and started another scenario in my ongoing zombie games. I still have to finish it off  some three weeks after starting it !









On a personal note: I'll be trying to pull my  confidence together sufficiently too over the next few days and once more comment upon some of your excellent blogs, which I have been trying earnestly to follow, but alas I doubt I'll be joining any forum discussions for some time to come.

My thought processes for my new project also continues on my other blog, (here), which again was written in the earlier part of this year. Progress on this project has also been excruciatingly slow too.