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

Monday, 27 May 2013

When Jimmy met Millie

The street between the two crossroads is where all the action takes place
I make no apologies that this post will be fairly verbose as I try to explain some thoughts on how I wish my campaign to “feel”, though I've kept most comments to notes at the end, should you just wish to read through the "action". 
Rather than following the story of one character or group I’ve decided to give the bigger picture of the city.
When Jimmy meets Millie
As a first outing for my rule changes and amendments I wanted to take a little more time over the game and it turned out to be much more time consuming than I’d thought it would. This was not only due to me wrestling with the tangle of rules from ATZ and FFO and my own but also I hadn’t anticipated how many notes I’d need to take to explain everything I wanted to and how many photographs I’d have to take to show the action.  I know how much readers like the photographs, so I won’t be scrimping on those.
The City of Perdition has sixteen urban and suburban districts surrounded by the eight rural districts that make up Harbinger County. USA
This action takes place in one of the urban parts of the city, it’s mid afternoon. There are no PEF’s (potential enemy forces) not are there any “players” in the true sense, that is to say the population’s actions are entirely decide by the dice and some obvious choices.
A lot happened that didn’t affect the actual “action”, civilians and vehicles moved on and off the table throughout the game, not all of which have been shown, but can be deduced from some of the wider shots.

Turn 1
Initiative (1d6): The civilians threw a 3 and the Zombie (Old Jimmy) threw a 5, which in my game I ADD to their Initiative rating to give final scores of Civ: 6 and Z’s 9. [i]
(The raw dice rolls for initiative will also determine events in future games.)
 Had the Civilians won the initiative then I would have deemed them to have just moved to their starting position and then it would have been the Z’s turn in any event)

General view of the action area
After initiative the zombie attacks its victim (and with it came the first frantic search through the rules for a solution to the first “problem” - see note[ii] )
In melee the zombie and Millie each get 3 dice per their melee ability.
In my games humans don’t get the single automatic success against a zombie as I wish to make zombies a little more fearsome than they are in FFO and not just a hindrance.
Anne Nhon pulling up and getting out her car.
The results of the melee were: Millie 1 success, Old Jimmy the Zombie 2 successes, the impact die after the melee indicated Millie was out of the Fight (OOF).
This action concluded the Zombie initiative for turn 1.
The civilians in the area now have their activation.[iii]
The only other person of note in the area is the occupant of the silver car, which when diced for turned out to be a single woman.
She sees the Zombie and I suffer the same dilemma as above over what she does, (see note 2).  All dice results indicate she should charge into melee but she’s in a car currently travelling at speed[iv]
She therefore slows to a stop and gets out to confront the Zombie !
General view at the end of turn one

Turn 2
Initiative results: Civilians 9 and Zombie 6, the civilians move first.
The situation just before the civilians move.
I’ve adopted a convention of moving all vehicles first before pedestrians.
All the civilians on the table were moved.
Only the civilian driver from the silver car (now named Anne Nhon) had a decision to make, having passed the Zed or no Zed test, she immediately failed the Brown Pants roll and stood for the time being.
Situation after the civilians have moved
Five citizens entered into range of seeing what would become the Zombie Feast

After moving all vehicles and civilians on the table I again diced to see if any new vehicles or civilians entered (a 5,6 on a d6 indicating that a vehicle would, whilst a die roll of 1,2, 3 indicated a single civilian, a 4,5 indicated two and a 6 indicated 3. – further dice were thrown to indicate which side of the street they would be on etc.).
Old Jimmy the zombie’s action was mandatory in that he had to start his feast.[v] – on poor Millie.
The zombie’s action of feasting also meant that all within range had to take the “test of seeing the feast”. [vi] In the game I replaced poor Millie with a large red counter. Seeing the feast, results in two civilians running away (indicated 
by a red counter), one civilian ducking back (yellow counted), and two civilians stunned (blue counter)
The erstwhile have-ago heroine Anne Nhon in the silver car also erred on the side of caution and ducked down back inside her car (yellow counter).
It can be seen from the photograph that “Jimmy the Zed” has his back to these newcomers to the party and so no Zed or no Zed tests were taken.
I justified this by thinking that from their point of view, he could equally have been a mugger or trying to give help to an injury on the prone victim (mouth-to-mouth anyone?).
The driver of the red car is more than 6” away from the feast and it’s debateable whether or not he could see it due to the silver car blocking the view.
 To get this far into my game had taken about two hours and I was quite done in, having moved figures and vehicles about and taken 2 pages of scrawl which only just passed as notes. The write up has taken about twice as long.
The scenario has actually been completed and part two will follow next week.

[i] I use five characteristics for figures, more or less in line with what I’d came up with about a year ago, I feel any more would be too cumbersome.
Initiative (a general catch-all for everything the other characteristics don’t cover)
Leadership (for interaction with others and in groups to determine whose Initiative to use)
Shooting (for all (non-exotic) firearms.
Melee (for all brawling and hand-to hand combat)
Driving (For driving all vehicles)

Zombies always have Initiative 4 and Melee 3 .

For this encounter and for ease, all Civilians have a characteristic of 3 for everything, the Emergency response units were determined to generally have 4’s.
Civilian vehicles moved at a more or less constant rate of 12” whilst on the table.
[ii] First the victim (whom I’ve called Millie) has to take a Zed or no Zed Test, with three possible results:
ATZ: Carry on; take being charged test; zombie charges with an advantage,
FFO: Take charge into into melee test;  Zombie charges and you can take a shot; zombie charges.
The ATZ being charged table again has three results:
Have a shot, melee normally; melee normally; retire (ie runaway)
The FFO Charge table has four possible results all basically ending with a melee
The ATZ result of “carry on” doesn’t make sense when the zombie is charging you – (Carry on being charged?) whilst the FFO results all end with a melee with no chance of running away.
I opted for the ATZ result and allowed poor Millie to take the being charged roll, but alas she opted to stay and fight !
However in FFO she would also have to take the “Citizens Brown Pants – Part two” rule which gives two possibilites: got to the charge table or runaways and got to the breaking off melee table (there are two distinct sections of rules in FFO for this which is highly confusing as one refers to characters and the other to Grunts, but both could easily be rerering to a Player’s figures)

[iii] Both cars and civilians reaching a junction throw a die to determine their route, civilians move 6” per move (Zombies move at a rate of 4” normally but 6” if within 6” of humans”.  I felt a movement rate of 8”/6” was too much given the size of table generally being used. On a four foot wide table a human moving 8” with fast move can clear the edge of the table in 3 turns from anywhere on the table and with smaller boards even faster.

[iv] It’s a speed of 2 (12”). Each “speed” a vehicle does equates to a 6” mandatory movement” in my driving rules. Vehicles can go up one speed per turn or down two. They also have a “bonus” die of 1d6” which drivers can use all, some, or none in their turn. – This enables a bit more precise movement.

[v]  Normally, in ATZ, the zombie feast lasts a number of turns equal to the throw of 1d6 but I really don’t like the predictive nature of this. Instead I determined that a die is thrown each turn after the the feast has started to see if the feast is concluded, a 5 or 6 on a d6 indicating that it has. This obviously means that you can’t predict or know when it will conclude.

[vi] Both ATZ and FFO have similar results although ATZ take two tables to get there.
ATZ does have a chance to “Carry on”, whilst FFO doesn’t’ and FFO doesn’t have the “Hunker down” reaction.
I prefer the “cleaner” FFO version (but see note iv above.)
I also consider the feasting of zombies on a fresh corpse to be a mistaken view of a zombie’s frenzied biting of its victim, to try and make sure the victim is infected.

 That's all for this week then except to welcome my latest follower Phil C, I hope there's something here to interest you.

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Welcome to Perdition

As the title says, "Welcome to Perdition" and smallish city in Harbinger County.
This set-up will be the one I'll be using for my first test-game, which I'll report on next week.

Although the photograph shows six of my smaller  terrain boards (two foot by two foot), the playing area will be slightly smaller as I'm discounting both the top and bottom six inches or so of the short ends.
The outbreak hasn't yet started in any big way for this scenario, think of it as Apocalypse day minus1.
I wanted a fairly urban setup with six easily defined areas for the single zombie in the scenario - He by the way can be seen on the roof of the building in the bottom left of the photo. I'd placed him there solely for convenience and forgot to remove him for the photos.
He'll be playing the part of  "Old Jimmy"  a well known "down and out"  in this area  of town.

The table wasn't completely set-up randomly, I used dice to determine all manner of things.
A d6 was thrown to determine how many civilian types were present on each road segment, then again to determine which side of the road they were on and lastly to determine which way they were walking etc.
Similarly I threw a d6 again for each segment of road, twice for vehicles, once for each side of the road.
A d6 determined if there was to be no traffic (1, 2 or3), a single car (4, or 5) or two vehicles (needing a 6 !)
I haven't got a lot of vehicles and I didn't particularly wish to have regurgitate them as they left the board at one end and entered in the opposite end.
The photographs roughly follow an anti-clockwise view of the table, with the well-known (at least here they're well known) of the McDoom's Franchise (soon to come under new management), the Horseman' diner chain and Nippers newsstand empire.
For this particular game I'll not be defining any of the civilians, they'll all have the same stats to begin with.
I, doubt I'll be naming any of them either until after the game though "Sid the Sweeper" is present on the table somewhere, but no clues as  to exactly where !
Yet another view of the same set-up
As mentioned above, the road in the right of the photograph will play no part in this particular engagement.
The vehicles that can be seen not on roads are merely there to fill up the space and aren't necessarily part of the game. This photo also shows my quick attempt at some greener, using a couple of left over foamboard boxes from my supermarket build and some loose plastic foliage.
"Old Jimmy" lurking behind the vending machine between the bank and McDoom's  burger joint.
And the final photo showing his first potential victim, Old Jimmy's base can just be made out.

 Next week I'll hopefully be showing the results of my first game (or games?), it'll be a pretty simple affair but it will give me the opportunity to show some of the many rules I've changed, amended or altered.

Finally let me take the opportunity to welcome my latest followers "Doomonyou" and "Phil C", hope you find something here to interest you and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 13 May 2013


I'm sure I've heard or seen the term "Cityscape" used in some other context but be assured that this  merely refers to me showing the other buildings that weren't shown last week.

Here's a general view of the table layout in much the same form as last week's blog but I've taken off two of the wider road boards and they've been replaced with the narrower roads I made originally.

Here's another view of the same layout; the more astute amongst you will see that my convenience store has lost its roof.
I blame this on moving stuff I made sometime last year from one room to another
There's not much really to say about the set-up but from my perspective there seems to be a lot of open space that need fences, walls and other such obstacles.
I've put out nearly all my scratch-built building materials in one corner, just to fill the space, but I do have plans to make a proper construction site.

Here's another view showing the layout and you can see that the cottages in the bottom corner are crying out for fencing around them to afford them some privacy.

Close up view from the "other end" of the table.  

I had forgotten to place another building that I've yet to show, the original one that kicked this all off - A Sarrissa "Cityblock Residential", but it's still in the stages of being finished off.
I've decide that I'll be playing most of my games using only three-quarters or a half of the table as this will allow me be able to have a moving terrain - as the characters advance up the table, then I'll be able to take terrain boards off one end and replace them at the other end. I only have a limited number of terrain boards and using fewer of them at a time will enable me to have greater variations in the terrain.

Following on from last week's wide roads I re-arranged the above board, replacing my curved one with another to come up with this arrangement.
As can be seen there is a central boulevard which could have traffic going in opposite directions each side of the central reservation, though the central reservation does need some flower beds, trees or similar to break up its grey monotony.
Another view of the "boulevard" set-up,
The tenements were made with this size road in mind as it gives a lot more space around the back using the narrower roads rather than the wider ones. You can also see that I've only used three-quarters of the table, having removed the wide road terrain board leaving a two foot space at the top of the picture.The boards will be pushed up a foot when playing, leaving a foot at each end for  rules, dice, tea mugs and all the other crap that normally clutters the playing area and which I hate.

And that's it for another week. Next week I'll hopefully be showing the layout for my first game and revealing  the setting for my campaign (the city name, characters etc.).

Finally let me welcome my three latest followers, "Danisnotatree", "Mac" and "Gimzod" I hope you all find something here to interest you.

As always all your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Tenements (2)

As a pre-empt to my campaign I've been tidying up ,my playing board/work area and playing with a couple of trial layouts to show the models I've built all in one place.
This first shot shows the four "tenements" that I featured in last week's blog, just to prove that I did actually have them. The more astute viewers will notice that the one in the foreground has it's roof on back to front... Oh well.
 The first building has a set of double dooors and arched windows and with the photo below, best reflect the true colour of all four buildings.
This second building has a single door flanked by two columns with the window lintels squared off.
The third building again with a single door flanked by columns with angled window lintels.
 Finally the only building to have its doors painted, the lintels this time being triangular (obviously).
 Although I've called these tenements since starting the build my mind isn't completely made up as to their future purpose. Originally there were to be four apartments in each (two up and two down), but since finishing  the structural exterior I had other thoughts on their use. So far I've decided one at least will be four apartments and I'm considering another to be a single house, allbeit a bit grand. (I'm sure someone commented on the lack of a "nice" area). Another building I've thought could be used as offices and the fourth as offices downstairs and an apartment above (a Doctor's or a Dentist's practice perhaps ?)
I haven't shown any shots of the backs of these as they are truly indistinguishable .
To finish off this week's blog here's a couple of shots of my trial set-up using the tenements.

 I changed the layout slightly for the next few shots, the most noticeable change being the position of the car-park.
 You should also be able to notice the small road to the left of the photo above that's not present in the other photos above.
 You can play "Where's Sid ?" on all the city-shots, he's there somewhere but I can't spot him either.
 The last shot shows a fairly good overall view of the table, it's eight foot by 4 four foot (2440mm x 1220mm) with just enough space around to be able to walk and sit.
As for last weeks "mystery", it should now be solved and yes the tenements are big buildings. (sorry C6).
Next week I'll be having another re-arrangement of terrain boards and using the buildings I've got that haven't used in these shots.

I don't think I've any new followers to welcome this time around, but in case I've missed you somewhere along the way "Welcome".

Finally as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.