Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Blood and guts

Hi all

I have been looking to make some blood spatter bases for my zombie games (and others) for a while now.  Other bloggers have done it before and I'm envious at the neat little way it tallies zombie kills and adds another layer to the gaming experience.  I made some a couple of years ago out of mdf and some filler, but I really like the clear bases that others have used. So while I was on Warbases the other day looking for unit bases for my Ancients armies, I happened to pick up 40 clear acrylic bases really cheaply.

Now I'm not going to insult you guys on how I put "base plus Tamiya Clear Red" together in a tutorial but I will show you how I made the "Guts" part of the title.  "Borrowed" mostly from a very talented lady who calls herself the Crafting Muse.  I poured hotglue onto baking paper to make blobs, then rather than painting them red I gave them a more realistic purple, blue, red with black clots colouring.

I then mounted them on the clear bases (I did six in total)

When covered by the Tamiya Clear Red it looks really good!

and on the board they look like......

let me know what you think?


Friday, 25 August 2017

ATZ - an English Adventure - Anna and Chris (Intro)

“Chris? Chris? CHRIS?” her voice got progressively less timid as Anna tiptoed toward the closed bedroom door. He had been in there for several hours now, almost as soon as they’d crashed through the front door of their tiny 1st floor flat, Anna’s fiancĂ©e had scurried into their only bedroom clutching the thick folder containing his medical notes from the hospital, slamming the door behind him and leaving Anna in a state of disbelief. At first she had wanted to give him space, thinking that he needed to process what had happened over the last 24 hours – shit, she sure as hell did! But after a couple of hours of listening to him muttering to himself behind the flimsy wooden barrier she had started to worry. Just after midnight, exhausted, she had tried the door handle only to find that the lock had been engaged. Worried, she’d called out to him only for him to tear the door open and scream in her face to leave him alone. Totally out of character for the normally placid and gentle giant, what scared her the most was that he didn’t even sound that angry just lots of volume coupled with his enormous size and this was enough to intimidate her like he’d never managed to do in the past. Hell, even worse than that was the insanely strange smile that she had just caught sight of after his tirade, that peculiar upturn of the lip – part sneer/part taunting laugh that showed his contempt for the woman he’d pledged to marry not 4 months earlier…

Anna "Putters" Parker

She could hear his deep breathing through the thin veneer of the cheap door and stopped, her fist two inches from knocking on the glossy wood, loathe to wake him and face another rant from him. Caught in two minds she stood in uncharacteristic indecision, paralysed by the change in her soul mate and yet needing to get him moving. The “zombies” as Gobbo had called them were gathering in greater numbers – drawn she presumed, to the fire that was consuming an articulated lorry down by the industrial estate. That same lorry that had forced her to abandon the ambo and make their way on foot to the flat. 

Just before they had parted ways Gobbo had told her to get some stuff together and get out of town. The urban centres were going to get too dangerous, too many folks meant too many zombies! He was right, they needed to go and now, already they had delayed far too much while Chris had locked himself away. With next to no supplies in the flat (they ate out a lot!) they needed to gather some bits together and head back to the ambulance before bugging out to one of the smaller outlying places in the countryside or preferably finding a way to cross the reinvigorated river Wantsum and get onto the mainland. Hand poised to knock, she tried him once more – softly, non threatening as if trying to coax a timid fawn to take a treat.

“Chris, we need to go honey.” She paused, listening intently for any signs that he acknowledged her presence.  “We have to get out of here babe, there’s too many of those things out there, it’s getting dangerous to stay.” Shuffling footsteps accompanied by a low moaning came from the bedroom gave her the courage to continue. “We’ve got no food and Gobbo said…..”

Shuffling footsteps became stomping as the door was torn open, to be replaced by her partner’s huge bulk. His face twisted in scowl that looked so out of place on him, so unusual and disturbing enough to cause Anna to take a step back, her hand still raised as if to knock. “I DON’T CARE WHAT THAT FAT PRICK GOBBO SAID!” Chris screamed at his cowering fiancĂ©, stepping completely out of the room and bearing down on the medic. Anna stepped back, nearly stumbling over the Tesco ‘bag for life’ filled with what little useful stuff they had, her arms pinwheeled trying to prevent her from falling to the hallway floor. Surprisingly quick for such a big man, Chris’s arm reached out at Anna and she flinched even as she fell only to feel his hand at the small of her back, steadying her on her feet. As swiftly as he moved so did his face resume his normal countenance, the odd smirking rage replaced by a look of concern as he gathered his startled love into his arms. “Careful sweetie, you nearly came a cropper there!” Carefully he let her go, leaving her standing bewildered in the cramped hallway of the flat. Anna watched as he went into the kitchen and pulled out a huge kitchen knife, using it to point at the bag with their meagre supplies “do you want to grab some bits in that? I’ll just make us some sandwiches for the road – I’m absolutely starving!” He added with a lascivious wink, before turning his back on her to begin rummaging through various cupboards.

Chris Parlour
Anna, in a daze from the latest change in her partner’s behaviour went into the small bedroom. Slowly moving around the bedroom she put a change of clothes in the bag, forgetting in her bewilderment to change out of her uniform (which was beginning to smell quite ripe!). Reaching back into the wardrobe she took out her prized hockey stick, feeling its familiar heft and smiling softly at the fond memories that she associated with it. As she was about to close the door she saw the corner of a page poking out from under a pile of Chris’s clothes. Reaching down, she pulled out the thick medical file she had seen back at the isolation ward.  Nervous beads of sweat peppered her brow as she looked at the official document, noticing for the first time the small warning label attached to the cover.

Image result for biohazard sign

With a shaking hand she started to open the file to glimpse the first page, nearly screaming as Chris’s voice drifted from by the front door.

“You ready babe? We need to bug out. Remember what Gobbo said” his voice twisting ever so slightly back into a sneer when he mentioned the older EMT.

Hurriedly, Anna stuffed the file into the bottom of the bag and put her underwear over it. Grabbing the hockey stick, she dashed out the room and toward the front door, with a determined stride. She would get some supplies, get them out of town and the she would find out what the hell was going on with Chris!

Hi all

We move onto the next part of my ATZ - an English Adventure, joining Anna "Putters" Parker and her fiance Chris Parlour.  The 'loving' couple are getting ready to flee their flat in Margate on the edge of an Industrial estate.  They are desperately low on supplies and need to stock up the Ambo that Putters 'borrowed' before bugging out.  The snag is that due to an overturned lorry that rather unhelpfully caught fire, they had to abandon the Ambo on the other side of the burning wreck. Another snag is that the Ambo, having been in use for an entire shift (and a half) prior to the outbreak is a little low on fuel, not drastically (they hold quite a bit) but Anna is not sure when they will get the chance to fill up again.  One last snag - Chris! he's been acting really unpredictably and something is most definitely wrong with the big guy....

So Anna's flat is in section 9 and the Ambo is in section 2.  The idea of the scenario is for the couple to gather at least 6 supply items which must contain at least two food and one fuel.  I will be using the encounter cards for this game as always, modified by my special charts for this campaign.  This is one tough encounter!

As to the couple's stats, Anna now becomes a star in her own right, albeit staying at Rep 3 as per her starting profile.  She is also now armed with a hockey stick (counting as a baseball bat in the game).

Chris needs some special rules but I'm not going to give the game away just yet, suffice to say certain circumstances or events will trigger the special rules in the game and we'll just see how that pans out. As to his stats he starts as a Rep 3 grunt  and they break down as shown below. He's a big lad and uses his strength well hence his melee is 3, due to his recent mood changes his people skills are suffering and the "Rage" ability just seem to fit his developing persona!

Rep 3.    Drive 2.  Melee 3.  Shoot 3.  Fit 2.  People 1.  Savvy 3

Ability. Rage (adds +1d6 in melee and +1d6 charge into melee)

There is a PEF rep 2 in section 1, PEF rep 6 also in section 1 and a PEF rep 4 in section 3.

There are 15 zombies on the board to start...

The next episode will be the first few turns but just to keep you interested here are some shots of how the board is looking.

"Chris? Chris? CHRIS?  

that bloody voice again, it's ripping through his head like a chainsaw! Why, when he has the bastard of all bastardy headaches would she insist on talking to him? His head is pounding, he can literally feel his pulse banging away in time with each syllable she utters...   

Another low groan escapes his lips as a wave of agony ripples from his head down to his toes, causing his back to spasm and his jaw to ache. He shuffles aimlessly around the cramped space of the tiny bedroom, moaning softly as awful (delicious) images of violence (fun) and death (freedom) parade through his brain in a loop.  Only when he wipes the trickle of liquid from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand does he realise that he has bitten his tongue and is now dribbling blood. He had no idea that he had injured himself, pain is now a constant companion and too great to focus on minor hurts.  Using his sleeve he wipes it off just before his entire being is engulfed by intense pain that drives him to his knees. 

Chris, we need to go honey.” 

Will she never shut up? It’s driving him insane, like a sharp blade slicing through the top of his head or a metal skewer driving into his eye. 

We have to get out of here babe, there are too many of those things out there, it’s getting dangerous to stay.” 
Now it’s a lump hammer pounding away at the top of his skull, crushing, mangling, smashing bones, splashing blood all over… more gory images storm his conscious mind, bringing with it a new sensation – pleasure? Yes pleasure, dear God what the bloody hell is going on. A strange smile begins to form on his face as he explores this bizarre duality.  

“We’ve got no food and Gobbo said….” 

Fucking Gobbo, that interfering arsehole! He feels a surge of anger, that threatens to explode into a rage. Boiling to his feet, he stomps to the door ripping it open. Towering over her, he feels strong, powerful, invincible (excited). 


She stumbles back, falling away from his display of power, a look of dismay etched on her face.  The excitement causes a cascade of serotonin from his over stimulated hypothalamus into his bloodstream releasing more and more hormone, flooding his senses and symbiotically sending his immuno-responses into hyperdrive.  All of this happens in nano-seconds, his psyche splitting and re-splitting until something resembling his older self surfaces, concern for his falling fiance overcoming this 'other'.  He surges forward with a speed he doesn't know he possesses, reaching out and steadying her. 

“Careful sweetie, you nearly came a cropper there!” 

The pain recedes and he feels 'normal' - whatever that means. The feelings of intense anger, rage (excitement?) dissipate to be replaced by yet another primal urge.  He heads toward the small kitchen, down the hall.  Hunger is now consuming him, his body desperate to replace nutrients, top up chemicals and stock up on energy.  He pauses when he walks in to the neat room, staring at the array of sharp implements and other equipment that stock a modern kitchen.  Drawing a huge carving knife from the self-sharpening block that it sits in he points through the open door to his bewildered partner and one of the stupid 'bag for life' she insists on buying. 

“do you want to grab some bits in that? I’ll just make us some sandwiches for the road – I’m absolutely starving!” 

Promptly he turns his back as she goes into the bedroom, peering into cupboards and the fridge he feels a stab of anger as he realises she's right, they're all out of food! For fuck's sake!  He's famished, hunger rips through his stomach making it growl.  The pain is coming back and he emits a low moan as this time it emanates from his abdomen, running upward into his head.  He needs to get moving, he needs to find food, specifically he needs meat.  He wants to feel his teeth tearing into a thick steak, rare so the juices run down his chin!  Impatient now, he strides out of the kitchen intent on storming out of the flat. 

“You ready babe? We need to bug out. Remember what Gobbo said”   

The last words cause his lip to curl into a sneer and he emits a low bestial growl, subconsciously hefting the carving knife in his right hand, his left holding the door handle ready to go.

hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I see dead people

Hi all

A very quick post today.  I was looking through the various websites for nice additions to my terrain boards, when I came across these ahem "lovely" pieces.
Corpses and Body Parts

Yes, this is the corpses and body parts item, in resin by TT Combat.  Perfect, I bought 2!!

With a touch of paint they become...

Stick 'em on the board and they look like...

I think they add yet another layer to the boards, slowly but surely it's coming together.

hope you enjoy

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Important Announcement

I'm really, really excited to announce that the Nerd Herd has now got it's own blog!!!!!

Yes, it's been a long time coming but we decided we needed to put a group blog together especially in light of the new direction the Herd is moving in.  "Naps" aka Chris will explain it in his intro over on the new page and the reasons for doing what we're doing, suffice to say I'm extremely excited about this project!

"Veni, Vidi, Nerdi!" - we came, we saw, we nerded!

Here's the link



Friday, 18 August 2017

ATZ - an English Adventure - Family

Hi all

I've finally managed to get all of the previous episodes of my ATZ campaign in a single page and I will be updating it with each new episode as it comes.  Having just re-read them all back to back, it's actually shaping up very nicely and is fairly cinematic.  So before we go onto the next one I guess it's time to deal with the aftermath of the last.

Now if you don't remember what happened last time then now's the opportunity to check out the new page and refresh yourself with the story so far.... of you go.... done it?

Good, to continue so finally Day One has drawn to a close and Andy has found his family. Together they have bugged out of their home, persued by a veritable horde of the infected citizenry or "D-Subs" as they are being referred to by the authorities.  Roaring off in their "borrowed" Ambulance, the family's departure is watched by a mysterious observer.  Earlier that day we saw Anna and Chris, aided by Gobbo escape from the Hospital (see the ATZ page for the links) with Chris acting a bit weirdly and hiding his medical notes from Anna. Prior to that we saw journalist April Nillson taking footage of the early police response to the brutality of the apocalypse and thinking about where she left her camera man!

Loads of plot points to follow up! so where to start?  I think what we need to do is meet the Wosa family and then we can go from there....

The Wosa family from L to R - Astrid, Andy "Gobbo", Lisa "The Vampire", Stephen

Obviously I have introduced you all to Andy "Gobbo" Wosa before, the ex-civil servant turned EMT/student paramedic.  A lover of all things horror and sci-fi, Gobbo has inadvertently been preparing for the "Zompoc" for 25 years. A student of martial arts as well as emergency medicine, he's got some serious skills to offer a party.  Following on from Day One, Gobbo has fulfilled all the requirements to increase a statistic in ATZ which he tests for and duly increases his "Shoot" skill to 4 - note I'm using Bryan's adapted ATZ skills card and subsequently split the almighty "Rep" characteristic.  He has also fulfilled the requirements to put his citizen status behind him (seen the feast, killed at least 3 zombies and injured an armed human)  and is now a survivor, meaning he no longer has to test for "citizen brown pants" every time a zed comes along.  His dance card now looks like this.

apologies for the photo, my screenshot function is disabled!!
Who's the lucky gal then that has married an overweight geek with a zombie addiction....well that would be Lisa "The Vampire" Wosa.  No she's not called the vampire because she sucks the life from Andy (just pre-empting the comments...).  Lisa is a phlebotomist, a specialist in taking people's blood and a damn good one! need blood drawn from a 32 stone diabetic with a shut down vasculature - call "The Vampire", urgently require a blood test for a habitual IV drug user with only one half decent broken vein - call upon Mrs Wosa! She's the one they call when all others have tried and failed - oh and she's gorgeous and totally like most of the sultry vampires in those Hollywood classics....

Lisa is most definitely not a sci-fi geek (so she says!), but she does enjoy watching TWD with her hubby of 20 years as well as catching the new super hero films when they are released.  This has NOT prepared her for the awful onslaught of the day's events, however she has hunkered down with the kids ever since the explosion ripped through the Nightingale's property earlier that morning.  She had been desperately trying to get through to Gobbo's mobile phone when she saw her neighbour's attacking each other, like Gobbo she made the connection and started making "bug out" plans.

Looking at her card she is a Civilian still as she hasn't ventured outside (her and the kids have rolled to see if they "see the feast" when the zombies chowed down on Nudger's gang and they did witness said event).  Although the very cornerstone of Gobbo's life as an adult she is not the star of the show and must remain a "grunt" as Ed so nicely puts it in the ATZ rules.....pssst don't tell the missus!

She is Rep 3 having taking some self defence classes with Gobbo following his mugging, but never took it further than that - this means her melee suffers and is a poor 2.  That said she's an excellent shot (this is true!) having taken part in many archery lessons while on various trips - shoot becomes 3!  She hates driving and makes Andy do it all and this is reflected in her Drive skill of 1.  She is a fitness fanatic and goes to the gym regularly - fitness 3. She is also great with people, getting them to relax is key to her excellent success rate with the needle - people skill 3.  Lastly she has trouble using the remote control let alone any modern tech so - savvy skill 2.  As for her ability, yup you guessed it - attractive! (she's gorgeous after all....)

Next up is Gobbo's eldest child - Stephen.

Stephen is in his early twenties and has grown to be a very physically powerful man indeed.  Taller, stronger and quicker than his very proud father, Stephen is extremely capable in a fight.  He has studied martial arts since he was a child, firstly alongside Gobbo at Karate and then branching out into kickboxing and even western martial arts such as fencing.  This competence is only inhibited by his passive nature, Stephen is kind and caring - characteristics that are great in peace times but.... added to this is his poor eyesight, due to some issues his sight isn't great and this is reflected in his dance card below.

Yes he's a civvie and a grunt... I made him Rep 3 mostly because although he's got the physical tools to be a great fighter, he's a big softie and that's gonna make him hesitate - Melee skill had to be 3 though.  Drive skill and shoot are low due to his eyesight - 2 and 1 respectively.  Fitness 3 - all those sports! His people skill suffers as he's not a fan of the human race - 2.  As he knows his way around a keyboard and is the resident electrical expert he gets a good savvy skill - 3.  As for the attribute he gets "Brawler", now I know I said he's not a fighter, but this is due to his kind nature not his skill and there isn't a better alternative in the rulebook, if it makes you feel better call it - "Martial Artist" instead.

Onto the final member of the family, Gobbo's youngest and the apple of his eye - Astrid.

Astrid is a feisty, sassy, D&D playing, intelligent (read - know it all!!) twenty year old.  Always quick with a one liner or put down (depending on the situation) and quick of temper she is ready to defend her family to the hilt!  Like her brother she started Karate when she was a child but her natural laziness has led her down a different path and this is also reflected in her scores. That said like her mother she has a decent aim especially when she has practiced with her boyfriend's crossbow, a tidbit she has kept from her mother who would go spare if she heard about it!

yup Rep 3 civvy grunt - of course! She has a drive of 2 having only just got a car.  Her melee is only 2 due to the lack of recent karate lessons, with her shoot 3 - reflecting her recent practice.  Like her daddy she's not a natural athlete and gets a rubbish - 1 fitness.  She is however very pleasant company and a sharp cookie too and benefits from a solid 3 to her people and savvy skills, the latter bolstered by her Logical ability.

So that's them then, finally you may remember that I did a post about a post apoc family I called "The Simpsons".  Well I wrote a couple of rules (well 5) that reflected the family dynamic within the zompoc, not all of which I could bring over to the Wosa family as the "kids" in this family are actually adults. So I've taken the three that reflect them better...

Rule one - The family that slays together stays together!

The family never need to test at the end of an encounter for keeping it together, they automatically pass.

Rule two - protect the Cubs!

The adults (parents) will never runaway while the children are still on the table, they will always stay and fight!

Rule five (now known as rule three) - a parents grief

If one (or more!) of the children die then each remaining adult must test immediately by rolling a d6. On 1-3 the parent becomes filled with rage and will 'kill' any zed on the table before ending the encounter, they will gain the rage attribute from here on out. On a 4-6 they will become overcome with grief and will become inactive until they roll a 1-3 in following activations and then they become enraged as above. Note when inactive they can do nothing at all including defend themselves!

Having introduced the Wosa family I'm going to leave them to nurse their (Gobbo's) wounds and spend some time adapting to the new Isle of Thanet.  Instead I'm going to tease out one of the sub plots and start to work on them, hopefully I'll be able to draw it all back together again at some point.

Hope you enjoy