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

Monday, 26 October 2015

"Stand To" (Games and Trains)

Trains, with the venue in the background.
I attended yet another wargame show, "Stand To", setting a record for me of two in one year and three overall in about five year, prior to which wargaming had been placed on a back-burner for at least another five years.
I had convinced my ever-patient wife to drive myself, my son and grandson to the event and after an early Sunday morning start we arrived at the venue by a bit of a magical mystery route (I was "navigating") we eventually arrived.
View from near the efront of the building and  the cafe
The venue was the large "Locomotion" the National Railway Museum Shildon, a large 'shed' of a hall containing trains and games,
Strangely,  whilst the presence of the trains was obvious, the presence of any organisers wasn't!
That's not to say the event wasn't organised, there were very helpful people on car park duty  and as entrance was free, no one stopped you at the door. The organisers "Wear Valley Gamers" seemingly had little to do whilst the show was underway and most likely their work was mostly before the show opened to Joe-public and the clear-up afterwards. Whether due to a lack of manpower or whatever I did think that there should have been some form of display put on by WWG, even if it was just a static display.
Main Street Bonita (sp?)
There were three games present at the show, nearest the entrance was a western game put on by a sole chap from Consett (apologies for forgetting your name)
I'd seen this set-up at the Border Reiver show and was still impressed by it. A simple enough set up, but with lots of eye candy to gratify my card-terrain needs.
The buildings were mostly made from the models from "Finger and Toe" (I think there was at least one scratch-build) and I think the rules used were "Dead Man's Hand".
View of main street

Whilst the lighting in the hall was amongst the best I've encountered at a wargame show, I still had to 'photoshop' my photographs to lighten their dull appearance. It may have been just my lack of skill at photography that was at fault of course or that my auto-flash camera function wasn't playing nice, but I'd bet on the former.
The western genre of game  has always appealed to me from my early days with the original 3-step "Western gunfight rules" and I would have liked to taken part in this participation game, but with limited time and a two year old toddler in tow, it wasn't going to be.
Pleasing enough game.
The second game I headed towards was a game put on by Redcar Iron Beards War gaming club.
 It was some form of fantasy  game and whilst I don't wish to be disrespectful of the genre, this GW style fantasy gaming doesn't really appeal to me.
The people running the game were very friendly and chatty although I did tell them I felt let down that not one of them had a beard despite their club's name, which they took in good spirit (especially the lady)!
General view of the huge table
The third  and last game on my tour of the games on offer was a vast 28mm Renaissance  game put on by "The Independent Wargmames Group" who have been putting on games at shows from way back when. You can see Robbie's take on "Stand To" (and far better piccies of his figures) HERE
The Blurry Cavalry of one side...
Pleasing enough the game was being played throughout the time I was there with Robbie having little time to participate as he seemed to be constantly chatting to all and sundry who came to take a peek. 
...versus the Blurry cavalry of the other side.

My photographs do very little justice to quality of brush-work on the figures, (from a wide range of manufacturers), but this period has to be one of the most colourful  to wargame in and was a clash between the Venetians  and Turks in one of the Venetian colonies.

"Where's the loot?" I hear you ask. Well, despite free entry and the numerous traders (can recall at least a dozen or more), I left with no more than two packs of square MDF bases (for a print'n'play boardgame)  and a packet of four Collie dogs form the very friendly Colonel Bill's establishment of fine repute and I reckon you live without seeing more unpainted lead,

The trains were a nice diversion from the traders and games (my highlight being a restored "Wagon Lit s" second-class carriage of the Orient Express type).
The venue was great, the footfall from both wargamers and public was at best moderate and the show could do with a lot more of both. The traders were as ever very friendly, including those staffing the museum shop (with a very large range of train models, buildings accessories etc. and once more all could have probably done with a more punters spending cash.
Finally, the cafe was of typical museum expense and quality (probably a bit understaffed too).

"Where's the loot?" I hear you ask. Well, despite free entry and the numerous traders (can recall at least a dozen or more), I left with no more than two packs of square MDF bases (for a print'n'play boardgame)  and a packet of four Collie dogs form the very friendly Colonel Bill's establishment of fine repute and I reckon you live without seeing more unpainted lead,

It was a great day out and I chatted to many old friends, unfortunately though I didn't have the time to say cheerio, for after two hours  or so and my pocket money all spent, the wife and toddler were bored and I was informed we were departing  - something about slides and swings outside.
 I'm hoping that this small, friendly, show (now entering it's third year ?) does continue and grows in support next year.

That's it for this week, next week I'll be posting about my trial in tribulations of my new building project that started about  two and a half years ago!

Progress on my other project has been a bit quite of late but you can read what I've been up to HERE

Monday, 19 October 2015

Escape to the Country (3)

Jerome and Washinton in the foreground 
Last week we left Jerome and what was left of his gang heading up the centre street towards the RV. Jerome and Washington (aka  Bjorn) continued on towards their objective of the RV leaving Chuckles and Bubba being (they'd become separated and couldn't keep up with the others due to their low fitness)

Bubba the obvious target of a stray zombie.

 No new zombies were generated but a lone one homed in on Bubba and Chuckles, leaving Bubba no option but to open fire on the zed as it tried to close in on Bubba.
Even though Bubba managed to riddle the zed with bullets (three hits!) he only managed to knock the zombie down; Chuckles however came to the rescue and stomped down on the prone zombie, killing it once and for all.

Another one bites the dust (white counters are noise)
One zombie v two of the gang - seems fair

Meantime Jerome and Bjorn (aka Washington), continued jogging towards the RV despite the attention they were now getting from the solitary zombies ahead of them. However three more zombies were generated, two to Jerome's right and another ahead of him, which when added to the others slowly encroaching upon him and Washington, made things a little more hairy.

Bubba and Chuckles sauntering up the street
  Things did start to look up a for the lead pair as the SP5 was depleted, leaving only two to generate future zombies. Jerome split from Washington to head straight for the RV, leaving Washington cover him whilst he did so.
The zombies close in
The next turn saw Jerome and Washington dithering (no activation), and consequently becoming slightly concerned as the zombies continued their advance towards making them a happy meal.
Further down the street, Bubba and Chuckles also stopped to gaze around at the growing zombie menace.
The penultimate spawn point (#4) and closest remaining one to the gang was also depleted, so at least the gang had something going in their favour,
"There's only three'''"
Jerome nearly at the RV, whilst Washington 'holds the fort'
 Luckily the gang's indolence didn't last long; Jerome sprang into action and headed straight for the RV; Washington shot at the two closest zombies to himself, luckily killing them both  outright.

Chuckles and Bubba
Down the street Chuckles and Bubba also decide to make a run for it (finally), with Chuckles taking the lead.
(Black counter on the RV represents Jerome's position)

Jerome tested the door lock to the RV (half a chance it was unlocked) and finding it locked smashed the window to gain entry.
Washington, drops a single zombie and manages to knock another down, meantime Bubba and Chuckles continue their marathon race towards the rest of the gang.

The zombies were seemingly stunned by all this new noise and stood watching their fellow undead dropping around them.

Elsewhere the stream of zombies from the last remaining spawn point were also brought to a standstill.

Washington's view of the carnage
As Jerome started the engine up (100% chance because of his attribute) Washington slowly walked across the car-park towards the RV shooting at anything that looked remotely dangerous, swiftly joined by Chuckles and Bubba spraying bullets from his smg.
All was at last looking good for the gang!

Bubba's shooting, looking pretty effective.
Washington nails another zombie
In the car-park Washington roaming zombie whilst Bubba managed to knock another down, Jerome reverses the RV, narrowly missing a zombie hidden from by the wrecked vehicle.
Gunfire attracts more zombies but they're too far away to bother the gang.

The gang's chance of escape is made a little easier with an event lowered the ER.
My interpretation of the card was that the ER drops by one as my ER is linked directly to zombie generation.
 Washington heads to the passenger door, opened by Jerome whilst Bubba and Chuckles head towards the RV. With just a couple of  zombies in their immediate area there is little immediate threat, but elsewhere the zombies are streaming towards the noise of the RV.

The Zombies heading for the noise....

...and forming a zombie conga line...

...some less successfully as others !
RV beginning to pull out the car-park
With Bubba and Chuckles making it safely into the RV the game was all but over. The remaining few turns of the game saw the zombies having little impact upon the gang's intentions as they closed in on the noise their RV was making.
The RV's movement of course, would have the zombies going one way then the other as the RV sped passed them.
With Jerome at the wheel the RV would attempt to avoid colliding with zombies on the road as it gained speed (I allow an increase of 6" in speed each turn) 

On the final home stretch.
Escape to the country!
 There wasn't many things that cold rally go awry with the escape once all the gang were on board, an event, inaction  or an unintentional collision with any zombies on the road would possibly have some effect.
Zombies in the RV's wake
 When the player did become inactive a zombie on the road ahead couldn't be avoided, even if the gang could get initiative. When the gang did regain initiative Washington leaned out the passenger window shooting him dead and simultaneously running out of ammo!

With that final zombie casualty and the gang easily clearing the table, effecting their escape, the game was called.

Two dozen or so zombies had been killed whilst two dozen more were left wondering where their next meal was coming from.

That's it for this week, it was a very enjoyable scenario took several hours to play out over two session but took even longer to write-up!

I've updated my other blog this week showing a couple of minor conversions I've done and it can be found HERE

Monday, 12 October 2015

Escape to the Country (2)

The gang's starting position
Last week I left you with no more than a teaser for this scenario but the wait is now over.
There were two exits from the building they were currently in, #1 son playing the role of Jerome elected to use the back door, wary of the two zeds out front near, spawn position one.
The usual dice were thrown for the starting number and positions of zombies (very few as it turned out); three PEFs  (Potential Enemy Forces) were also randomly placed (the PEF's have an Initiative of 4 - I don't use REP).
Two scary zombies, just up the alley!

Two PEFs in the car park

Until I have something more suitable made/painted for PEF's I'm using draughts, they're not numbered  or have any other identifying marks on them, as all my PEFs have the same Initiative value it's irrelevant. They're moved according to their proximity to the gang player figures.

Closest PEF
Two PEF's were placed in the car park in the cover of two of the burnt out wrecks, whilst the third was much closer to the gang, near the crossroads in the centre of the board.
In the blurry overhead view below (due to early morning mists and not the crappy cameraman), the gang's starting point, their initial objective( The RV) and their escape route are all shown, together with the starting positions of the three PEFs (shown as red diamonds).  The six numbered circles are where zombies are generated from (spawn points)
The table set-up seen through the early morning mists.
 The gang couldn't actually exit the table until at least one spawn point was depleted; each turn a die is rolled and with a roll of 5 or 6 one spawn point is depleted, but for this scenario, no matter which was indicated (usually randomly) it would be spawn point one - the gang's exit point..  
 So turn one saw Jerome trying to scale the fence at the back of the house (unsuccessfully despite having two others helping him) whilst Washington stood guard at the gate. Their initial  plan was to go along the back alleys towards, quickly abandoned for a a more direct route down the alley towards Spawn Point 1 (SP '1') and
down the main street.
As the zombies bumbled about without purpose the three PEFs all headed towards the gang at top speed! No new zombies entered the area.

Two zeds from SP5 join one of the starting zeds
Having been beaten by the fence, the gang stood for the next two turns deciding on their new strategy (they failed to activate during turns two and three).
During the two turn it took for the gang to come to a decision, the zombies had been joined by four more of their brethren, two at SP '5', and one at each of the SPs '2' and '6'.
The PEFs also took a breather before once more heading towards the gang.

The closest PEF to the gang (it's not really on the roof)
"It's a good plan I tell you"
 It only took until turn 4 before a SP was depleted (SP '1' - mandatory for this scenario). The gang, having finally decided upon a course of action headed for the gate, with Washington covering their rear, whilst Bubba held point.
As the zombies had the initiative for this turn and had to act first, there was no zombie movement, the PEF on the other hand continued their movement towards the party, even if a little slower.

First Event

"We're all friends now right ?"
 Turn 6 elicited another event "Quick reload" which was allocated to Patience as she was the only character out of ammo.
Second Event
Jerome ordered the assault on the two erstwhile "friendly" zombies resulting in Jerome himself knocking one of them down and Washington killing one. Leroy and Patience stood watching; Bubba drew his knife to enter the fray and Knuckles brought up the rear. The sole remaining zombie in alley had no recourse but to stand up whilst elsewhere another zombie was generated at SP '5'.
The PEFs moved inexorably towards the gang.
6 v 1 - seems fair

Another zed appearing from the mist

Closest PEF - the gang is in the alley to the left

The other two PEFs closing in

You wait turn after turn for an event then three come along together ! It turns out that one of the party is a Celebrity ! A d6 die roll would randomly determine who it was, if a ganger he would be notorious, if a civilian he/she would be a famous celebrity!
The dice gods determined that it was indeed "Washington" who was recognised as the intrepid TV wilderness survivalist and all-round nice guy "Bjorn Grillene". (Thank my son for the instant background as to why he was famous and blame me for the name)
The last zombie in the alley was becoming tiresome; Jerome was locked himself in combat with it, Washington (Bjorn) charged in to help, but was also unable to affect the melee. Finally Bubba rushed in to try out his luck with his newly brandished knife, managing to knock it down for Chuckles to close in a crush the life out of it.
Jax, who is really only a wannabe gangster , refuses to kill in melee (Humanist attribute) and was consequently moved out into the main street as a lookout, closely followed by Patience, no doubt  admiring her newly loaded pistol.
All seemed to be hunky-dory  for the gang as the two zombies in the alley had been dispatched, SP6 was depleted with the zombie activation and even though a couple of zombies had a fleeting glimpse of Jax in the street, they soon lost sight of him as they tried to close.
"I'm telling you I saw one"
PEF hiding in street, heading for Jax
The gang could have done without the PEF activation though.
Of the two PEFs furthest away; one closed at a reasonably safe rate ending up hiding behind a burnt out wreck and  the next didn't move at all.
However after moving at a rapid rate, the nearest PEF was almost on top of Jax in the Street and had to be resolved.
 Throwing possibly the worst possible dice Jax was now facing seven (7!) zeds spewing forth from the building they had been in at the start of this venture.
Had someone left he back door open ? Was there a cellar that hadn't been checked?
"Oh ffs!". Jax spots the vanguard of the zombies

Zombie Photo-opportunity before lunch
"Oh, that's why they ran off"
The events of the next turn could easily have been taken from a "Carry-on" film. There was no event (thankfully?) but the gang all stood rigid as they gawped at the zombies emerging from the house, well all but Jax and Patience that is!
 As Jax was within the 6" necessary for the zombies to frenzy towards him (what passes for a zombie charge in my games) he took to his heels and ran towards SP '1' and off the board. The zombies, continued their frenzy, towards Patience who, realising her predicament,  decided she had more pressing business elsewhere and followed Jax's example, by running out of the area. This left Jerome with four now in his gang who all stood watching their comrades depart as fast as their legs could carry them. Still, he did have Washington (Bjorn) !

Much better odds

One of the two remaining PEFs closed slowly in on the gang, usig the back yards, just across the streets  as cover, the other merely ducked down the street ahead and out of sight.
The zombies gained the initiative the next turn and charged in for their quick morning brunch.
Jerome decided to quickly check the gang hadn't been followed and headed down the alley, away from the threat.
Chuckles and Bubba managed to fend off their respective zombie opponents whilst Bjorn (Washington) thinned the numbers out with his shotgun.
After the two rounds of fighting (first the zombies' then the  gang's), the zombie threat had been reduced to three zeds.and Chuckles had been knocked down!
The encroaching threat of the closest PEF erupted into the rubbish heap and turned out to be nothing more than a case of nerves.
Obviously rats!
  In a fine display of shooting, Washington (Bjorn) moved into the fray and saw off the last three zombies, Chuckles picked himself up and Jerome rejoined the gang.
"This way "
All the gunfire only managed to generated a single zombie, well away from the action at, spawn point '3'. A few zombies were momentarily attracted by the noise, but lost interest as soon as it died down.
As the single remaining PEF remained inactive, for this turn and the next, (along with the obviously sulking lot of zombies) the gang started to make a run for it...
Bubbles and Chuckles were immediately split from Jerome and Washington who raced on ahead of them, whilst they decided sauntering was far more cool and gangsta. 

Spot the zombie !
It must have been later than the gang though as the next turn say the sun overhead indicating it was midday and raising the encounter level  to "4". This of course had no immediate effect on the gang's course of action as they all headed off 'at full lick, down the street; all that is except for the two unfit laggards strolling behind "gangsta-style" (It also didn't help that both have poor Fitness abilities and because of their distance from Jerome couldn't use his leadership die to aid their movement!).
There was little immediate threat from the zombies but the final PEF increased the threat levl - Now the Encounter Rating was '5'. In my game this would mean anywhere from 1 to 4 zombies could be generated every turn ! - Things just got very 'interesting'.

That's where I'm leaving it for this week, same time, same place next week if you wish to see how it ends!

My other Blog has also been undated and can be found HERE