Tuesday 29 September 2015

Day 8 - Search

"we need supplies lil lady. uh huh yeah."

Nash "Elvis" Hambleton crossed Ling Mei's small living room to grab the last bottle of water resting on the counter.  The faded lounge singer looked gaunt, tired and more like the great man than ever before.  With his spangly jumpsuit and steel guitar he cut the very image of Elvis, right down to the huge .45 that he had brought back from his army days.

Ling Mei scowled at her landlord, wishing he would cut the irreverent act.  She knew he was right though, the small band of friends were running low on supplies and needed to start gathering some in before things got worse out there.  However she also knew how bad it was getting out there and her recent experiences, particularly with the kid at JJ's school had brought home a certain reality about the world outside her cosy building.  The others hadn't encountered the zeds yet so were  skeptical about them and Ling Mei felt that they were humouring her. Still...

"right! we're going out.  But we need to go out there hard, lets get armed first and remember things have changed out there."

With that she gathered her swords and bow, pulling the sarge's flak jacket over her head.  The others, blinking at the sudden change in Ling Mei's demeanor grabbed the various weapons they had brought with them since the beginning and followed her out of the door.  No-one grabbed the assault rifle that had once been a high school kid's...

Jogging along the High Street, the group kept close by each other, eyes scanning the shadows for signs of trouble.  Around them they could hear low moans coming from buildings and yards.  The occasional scream would ring out, causing them all to spin in that direction, gripping weapons tightly. Nobody was skeptical anymore.  Ling Mei, slightly ahead, moved with an unnatural grace, lightly touching the ground and almost gliding she made her way toward the train station.  In comparison the others felt clumsy and winced at each scuffed footstep and crunch of broken glass underfoot.  Drawing her swords Ling Mei indicated to the others to spread out as the came up to the double doors.  With a spring she flung open the doors and the group piled into the relative gloom of the station.  The concourse was an absolute wreck with newspapers and other detritus scattered across the floor.  More sinister still was the half dozen bodies lying among the discarded tickets and food wrappers, pools of blood congealing around them.  Standing over one of the broken forms was a figure swaying as if in a breeze, that was not present.  As the doors shut behind them, the figure turned to face them, blood dribbling from it's jaws, vacant stare with pupil-less eyes.  With a hiss the zombie shambled toward them.

Ling Mei stepped forward readying her blades as the others took stock of what they saw in front of them.  Debbie gulped visibly as she cocked the pair of impressive sigsauer P226s she had drawn.  Nash, crossing himself with his free hand  and pointing his .45 at the creature began singing softly under his breath "a little less conversation, a little more action please..."  Juliana sobbed silently as she stared at the face of her high school sweetheart as he staggered toward them.  With a gasp she ran to the ticket booth and hid behind it, all the while tears ran down her cheeks.

Ling Mei cursed under her breath as she recognised Gary and knew the pain it was causing her friend.  With a flourish she drove both blades into the chest of JJ's old flame and pulled them upwards in a cross-hand motion, severing the vertebrae at the base of Gary's skull.  Gesturing to Debbie and Nash, she pointed at the ticket office, motioning at them to look for anything useful.  With that she strode over to JJ and hugged her hard.  "I'm so sorry."

Debbie jumped over the counter and made her way into the office followed by Nash.  With a growl a zombie that had been feeding on the ticket attendant reached out for Nash, who shrank back in horror at the zed.  Loud cracks split the air as Debbie unloaded her sauers at the undead monster flinging it away from the lounge singer.  Reaching out a hand she pulled him to his feet before riffling through the office, finding a set of keys in the process.  With nothing else to find the pair made their way out meeting the others in the concourse again, "nothing in the managers office" said Ling Mei as they made their way out of the station.

Adjusting their eyes to the glare of the midday sun the group blinked owlishly around them.  In the distance at the top of the High Street, what could only be zombies moved aimlessly about.  Ling Mei turned to the group to begin to plan out their next move when she said. "Where's JJ?".......

more boards

the next board to be made was a little different from the urban boards as i wanted to make a clear objective for my Bolt Action games.  I love the idea of Royal Commandos raiding the northern French coast, disabling important communication equipment and radar stations. To this end I had bought the Sarissa set that come with a radar station, spotlight and various bits and pieces.  I just needed somewhere for it to be set up....

originally i was going to have this board as a cross roads and have a four way intersecting tunnel under the hill.  However i decided to simplify it a little more and have a single road running through and dead ends that ran up to steel doors driven into the sides of the hill.  I wanted the tunnel to be fully playable on the table, so the hill was going to be in two layers and the road running through, doors halfway down the road allow access for troops to enter the catacombs and secret labs under the mountain.
a ramp was added to the outside to allow troop movement and to allow heavy equipment to be moved to the crest of the hill and the station that will be positioned (when painted) on top.
barricades and barbed wire are placed around each entrance and foliage and rock piles to add a little bit of cover and voila! so not quite an urban board but it will be placed on the edges just to add something different to my games.  plus i have painted up loads of corridors for troops to infiltrate with rooms to fight in and game around, indeed recently myself and a friend had a split table with Chris's Brits trying to destroy a secret lab on the floor plans while a full scale assault was distracting my German garrison on the boards!

so there we have it with the radar station on top with the spotlight and electrical poles from sarissa 

Friday 25 September 2015

Day one aftermath

so ends day one! 
Ling Mei had a crash course on apocalypse survival, the horror, tense confrontations with madmen and a terrified populace.  Thankfully she got through it in one piece, although she did have to use her star power to avoid being perforated by the sarge! Taking a through and through in the arm instead of in the chest!  Even though she skewered him for her trouble I like to think that she would not be cold enough not to shed a tear at the taking of a young life (double negatives! not sure i got that right...lol).  She performed well and hit the survivor milestones - killing zeds, tackling an armed person and seeing the feast so she gets elevated to survivor status.  Unfortunately she missed all of her friends as the scenario conditions meant I was early for Debbie and late for Juliana! So no travelling companions but a good run for her.  However not enough unfortunately for a rep increase so she stays rep 4. Her gang also get nothing as they didn't participate although it does mean there is no keeping it together for them before the next encounter.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Day one part 3

Ling Mei coasted up East Ave, her eyes scanning the footpaths looking for signs that the zombies had reached this part of town.  Traffic had been a nightmare and she hadn't arrived at JJ's school until after the last bell.  Fear for her friend compelled her to at least check out the buildings and see if JJ had stayed behind.

A flash of movement in the road, dragged her eyes back front and she gassed the big car past a raggedly figure staggering in the gutter - zed or homeless person? She had flashed by too quickly to tell.   Turning the corner of the junction toward the school gates, Ling Mei saw a group of teachers outside the school running toward her chased by a pair of zeds.  With some difficulty she managed to squeeze the big car around the group and onto the property.

She leapt from the car, leaving the engine running so she could make a quick getaway, little realising in her worry for JJ that the big diesel motor was calling to the undead.  Bounding up the stairs into the building proper she headed toward the gym calling her friends name softly.  Loosening her swords in their scabbards she burst through the doors and into the big room beyond.... 

"What do we have here? A looter perhaps? Or maybe we have a little pretty present for the ol sarge?" A young voice rang out from the shadows by the coach's office.  The words twisted into a leer that seemed to somehow age the young man who strolled out of the room, nonchalantly aiming an assault rifle that had been tucked under his arm in Ling Mei's direction.  "Perhaps I should arrest you, strip you down."  The man was dressed in the uniform of an ROTC Sargent, complete with body armour and of course the deadly looking rifle.  As he came closer into the light, Ling Mei could see the madness stamped on his teenaged face, the desperation, as if he had already seen too much of this apocalypse.  She knew there would be no reasoning with him and his "arrest" of her would be the start of an ordeal she had no intention of experiencing.

With a quick movement she drew her swords and leapt forward hoping to close the gap before the surprised young man could pull the trigger " please be a replica" she thought to herself as the huge barrel of the gun loomed.  A sixth sense caused Ling Mei to drop her shoulder just in time as a gout of flame leapt from the assault rifle followed by a lancing pain through her upper arm, where her chest had been moments before.  "In and out" she thought, not taking the time to glance at the wound.   Gritting her teeth she flung herself across the remaining distance her right hand sword leading.  The sarge managed to block the blade with the stock of the rifle and the following left blade with the barrel.  With a surprising skill the youth managed to parry a flurry of blows from Ling Mei's weapons but eventually her swordplay became too intricate, the pattern flowed from form to form as she fell into her rhythm and inevitably a breach in his defences was made.  As the steel sliced through his femoral artery, the sarge crashed to floor in a spray of red gore.

Tears formed in her eyes as she reflected on the waste of such a young life, but she hurriedly blinked them away as she swiftly searched the other rooms for JJ. No sign of anyone left in the school, she returned to the gym and collected up the sarge's gear including the crossbow strapped to his back.  With a last look at the poor youth's body she headed to the exit.  

Outside the car's noisy diesel had drawn quite a crowd and Ling Mei cursed herself for leaving the engine running.  With a swift motion she drew her bow and let fly, the arrow flashing across the short distance with a low hiss before sprouting from the nearest zombie's eye, dropping it to the floor.  With a burst of speed she dived into the Chevy and peeled away in a spray of dirt and burnt rubber, crushing another zed under the wheels.  Without looking back she put her foot down and sped off for home.

It was late in the day when she pulled into her street.  A few people were running up the paths trying to get back to their homes before dark, but apart from that it was pretty quiet.  Parking up she gathered the gear she had taken from the boy at JJ's school and went inside with a heavy heart and a sense of foreboding.  As she approached her front door, she noticed that it was slightly ajar, gripping a sword in her hand she burst through the door into her flat and found herself looking down the huge barrel of a .45.... "Hi there little lady, busy day?"

Saturday 19 September 2015

Day one part 2

Ling Mei grabbed her keys from the kitchen counter and headed out.  Across from her building sat the black Chevvy Suburban she had treated herself to after winning her Olympic silver in the last games. Jumping into the beast she checked under the seat for the Glock taped to the bottom, satisfied it was still there she started off to the Gas 'n Save so she could top off the tanks and grab some food.
Pulling away she manoeuvred around some cars that looked abandoned by their owners they were so badly parked.  Tutting under her breath at the terrible driving of others she headed toward the junction.  Across the way she could see a small group of citizens streaming toward the junction from the other side.  As she arrived two "people" sprang up from behind the hedges bordering her building.  Something was not right with the way that they moved, like a puppet on tangled strings.  An old man accompanied by a teenager ambled in her direction and emitted a low moan. Looking carefully at the odd pair she saw blood dripping from their jaws and running down the front of their clothing.  Zombies! The word described the shuffling creatures perfectly. Ling Mei moaned softly to herself as she knew what she had to do. Hitting the gas of her Chevvy, the big car leapt forward crunching into the zeds and smashing them into the pavement.  The sound of the gunning engine caused two more of the creatures to look up from their bloody meals....

Up ahead the citizens stopped at the junction in fear at the zeds in front of them, seemingly rooted to the spot they could do nothing as the undead monsters ran at them with outstretched hands.  Ling Mei looked out the window as she saw some of the citizens go down with zombie jaws taking big chunks of meat from their bodies.  The sight of this horrible feasting caused her to veer of the road momentarily and the crunch of gravel under the tyres brought her to her senses in time before she crashed into the side of the store.  The other humans fought desperately with the remaining z, trying to keep its snapping teeth from their throats.

Ling Mei knew that their was nothing she could do in time and rushed to the pumps with a burst of speed.  The big Diesel engine of her SUV like a siren call, caused three zombies to shuffle out of the shadows.  Throwing open her door she dashed to the pump and started to refuel.  It was not long after she heard the click of the fuel flow stopping, the pump had run out of diesel! Cursing she looked up in time to see a pair of zeds bearing down on her, she had just enough time to draw her swords before the were upon her.  Parrying the first z's clawed hand with her dominant sword she thrust her offhand blade through it's forehead, dropping it to the floor.  Stepping out from its dying grasp she swept her foot out and tripped the second creature to the floor before shearing its head from its neck in a single downward blow.

Diving into the car she sped off in time to see three more zombies fall out of the store.  Maybe she would get some food after picking up JJ!

Friday 18 September 2015

ATZ day one

Day one then! Ling Mei needs some locations to go to to stitch together an encounter. So I have decided that she starts of at her dojo where she hears the public announcement regarding the disorder and a call by heads of state for citizens to return to their homes! Ling Mei decides to head home and check on her bff, the short and fiery Debbie and look in her landlord, after that she will get some supplies and then head out to the school where her bud Juliana is temping at before she leaves for uni. Finally she'll head back home to hunker down. Four locations, one encounter - bring on the zeds!

I'm gonna write this as a story rather than the turn by turns batreps as I have done with the WFB reps I've written.  This suits my style much better as I can't seem to get the accuracy and fluency of the batreps I have read (vampifan and the like).

It begins....
Ling Mei stretched lazily, easing her corded leg muscles after such a strenuous swords routine.  Master Wu had left moments before with a troubled brow upon hearing the state of emergency broadcast over the ancient speakers in the corner of the dojo.  His parting words to Ling Mei, hung in the air like a dark cloud - "be safe my student, it has began."

Ling Mei pondered the words as she began her cool down exercises, letting her body work it's way through the routine as her mind bent to the task.  She trusted her master like no other and if he was worried then she should be too.  Looking around the dojo for what could be the last time her gaze fell upon Master Wu's long bow in pride of place at the front of the room, "handy" she thought.  Strapping her twin swords to her hips, she swept up the bow and her gym bag and trotted out into the mid morning sun.

Jogging past the train station and looking down the long High Street, she could see her house in the distance.  A small group of people, two young women and a man ran directly toward her. All looked petrified and seemed intent on running her into the ground.  Using her uncanny speed and grace she ghosted around the citizens and headed for home.
At which point three more men burst from the entrance to her building in blind panic.  The men pushed and shoved and tripped over themselves to get clear of the doorway and barrelled into Ling Mei. Without thought she stepped into the grasp of the first man and used his momentum to flip him over her hip, crashing him into the floor with a dull thud.  Her left foot trailed behind her and planted solidly into the ground as she kicked with her right into the second man's groin with unerring accuracy, dropping him to the floor in an instant.  The third man, whose eyes were watering in sympathy for his colleague swung his fists in a flurry of blows and Ling Mei could only parry them for a second or two until she could regain her balance and the two opponents were well matched until Ling Mei could land a round house kick that toppled him to the ground.  

With the men unconscious or otherwise incapacitated Ling Mei opened the door to her building and started calling out for Debbie and Nash but it appeared no one was home.  "Damn it" she thought. Going into her small kitchen she saw the note on the counter from Debbie explaining that she had popped out to check on her mum and promising to return later that day....

More terrain

next board to be built was the middle class district, single town houses in neat gardens.

Obviously the monstrous cat is a concern for any adventurer....

After putting the cobble roads down so they match up to the previous board and putting in the footpaths I laid the lawns using an old GW battlemat from a previous table in the old grotto!  Add some lichen bushes, hot glue some trees and some white picket gates and job's a good'un sarissa town houses to be added separately.

All Things Zombie!

I played my first real game of All Things Zombie - final fade out (ATZFFO) today. I had a little go at it with my family a couple of days ago just to get a feel of the rules and got the melee rules wrong.  Re-reading the rules I think I have them a bit more coherently in my head now.

So it was time to play the Day One scenario. Of course before that I have to meet the star of my apocalypse!  I have a few survivor minis so decided to roll up the random attribute and think about which mini it fitted best. I rolled up and got "agile" no worries I have a great model in mind, I added "fast" and Ling Mei - the ex gymnast, Kung fu student was born.  I love this mini from Hasslefree, she comes with twin swords so that's what she's kitted out with, counting as a two handed weapon when used together (my own rule!) and I added a samurai bow (compound bow) although I haven't got a model one yet until I can either craft one or dig one out my bits box... With some power bars, mineral water, first aid kit from her gym and cash; she comes with one food, one meds and one luxury.  She has left her SUV at home (the parking is prohibitive at the gym) which is half filled and has a Big Ass Pistol (BAP) at home as well.  I wanted her to start as rep 4, I know I can make her rep 5 but I didn't want to super power her too early.

She also needs a Scooby gang so I rolled up some random grunts and picked survivor minis to match.  First of all was rep 4 Debbie (don't call me Debs!) Wills, an ambidextrous, twin BAP wielding Selene wannabe with the runt attribute, she is Ling Mei's bff and flatmate. Next is her buddy, rep 3 Juliana Jones a fun loving teen, packing a shotgun, pistol and a whip (counts as improvised) she sees the apocalypse as a great big adventure. Finally we have rep 3 Nash "Elvis" Hambleton, a faded lounge singer and Ling Mei's landlord, he comes packing a BAP and his steel guitar (improvised weapon)

Monday 14 September 2015

Tiles in progress photos

I thought I would show the different stages of how I put together the terrain tiles I've been working on. The first one was the factory tile.
The tile is 3mm MDF strengthened by a wooden frame, I wanted the tiles to be able to be placed in any direction so there would be a road connection in the middle of each edge. The roads are cobblestone effect plastic sheets from Amera plastics - very inexpensive at £2 a sheet. The paths were made of foam sheets and with the slabs carved in with a ballpoint pen.
The fence was scratch built matchsticks and covered by a netting type fabric before being spray painted and then drybrushed and finally hot glued into place. The barb wire I scratch built using a tutorial I found online from a model railway enthusiast. It was so cheap to make - about £1 compared to 5 or 6 times that for shop bought from army painter for the amount I needed!

A small breach in the fence following an explosion nearby!

The finished tile with the medium factory and power plant from sarissa precision (now painted) I've just got to add some power lines, which I have ready just need to base them.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Terrain boards

So not so much a blog post as some pictures of the urban gaming boards I have scratch built recently. I've been heavily into Bolt Action lately so decided to build some modular boards 2'x2' that can be moved about to create different layouts. I've done 4 so far, a rail station, factory section and a middle class section. The fourth is a mountain base, complete with radar station (not shown as it is being painted at the moment!) currently working on a canal section... All the buildings are from sarissa and are cracking builds. The new section will be working class terraces from 4ground. The boards are expensive to build, mainly because of the buildings but I'm sure you'll agree look great!  I've also played my first games of All Things Zombies Final Fade Out on them and they worked really well.  I'm going to start a campaign and base it in mainland Europe as a bit of a change of pace for zombie apocalypse games so as to fit my terrain boards, it may look a bit strange with my minis but I'm gonna find some continental figs to fit me thinks!

Some of my urban terrain boards

Back again....maybe