Friday, 7 December 2018

The Supply Run

- or -   "How ATZ:FFO writes its own script!"

Anyone who's been following the exploits of Brad and his group through the zombie apocalypse might remember that they'd set up camp around a fairly secluded gas station / diner.

It was at this point that I started tracking time and events using the ATZ:FFO campaign rules, and these include a check for "Involuntary Encounters", the result of which was that the camp had been burgled during the night in week two and the thieves had made off with a load of rations!
The burglary unsettled Brad - someone had found their location, and the open nature of the camp (and proximity of the woods) made it difficult to defend, so he persuaded the rest of the group that they needed to move (AGAIN!)
A higher priority though, was that the stolen rations also needed to be replaced.
The Kirkman family who'd just joined the group know the area, and suggested driving up to Lorenzo and trying their luck at the "FOOD-O-RAMA" store there. The vehicles were loaded up, and the convoy headed north.
Pulling into a parking lot at the edge of town, Brad instructed Travis, Nate, Amy and Christine to stay with the transport and keep watch - if zeds turned up in any numbers, they were to lead them away with the convoy before doubling back to the parking lot.
Brad, Hannah, Zac, Dave and Hillary went into town on foot and arrived in sight of the store without encountering any problems.
(Downtown Lanzio - set up using my old PDF boards and buildings cos the mdf "make over" is still just a work in progress)
The group approaches the front of the store - the only visible PEF (directly to their front in the middle of the road) resolved as "Something's Out There", raising the encounter rating from 5 to 6 - which means the two remaining PEF's (both out of sight IN THE STORE!!) will definitely resolve as "contacts"!
The only visible zombies are just beyond the corner of the store -
- since the group's approach route is to the left of the board, the initial zombie placement rules (using a clock face, any zombies that would be "off table" move around the face clockwise until they reach a table edge, so all results between 7 and 10 appear at 11) resulted in quite a horde forming.
The horde started shambling into view just as the group reached the front entrance to the store.
Zac peered through the broken doors, only to spot a couple of survivors holding off a good handful (7) of zeds.
With yet more of the walking dead approaching from down the road,
and a lone straggler directly opposite the store. Things are not as quiet in Lorenzo as Brad had hoped!
He swung his machete and split the head of the leading zombie as he shouted a warning to the folks in the store to get the hell out while they can!
Zac and Dave stopped the three walkers by the pick up truck blocking their escape - Dave dispatched his opponent, while Zac only managed to fend off the two he was facing
before breaking off and joining everyone else setting off down the road and out pacing the following undead.

So, a failed supply run, and unfortunately no one in the group noticed the couple they'd just rescued from the store slipping off down a side alley as they made their way back towards the parking lot -

To be continued.................

Friday, 23 November 2018

November Nappies

I hope y'all had a Happy Thanksgiving Day, and don't get caught up in any Black Friday crushes!

Now, you may recall I introduced my little (pun intended) 2mm project early in October and I've now managed to get enough painted to start play testing!
These are Corps size formations with each infantry block representing a battalion, cavalry blocks are "regiments" of approximately 4 squadrons, while one gun and crew represents a battery - and there's limbered and unlimbered versions for each.
You'd be forgiven for thinking the armies are French and British with their Portugese allies (and they COULD double for them if I fancy some "Historical" gaming), but they're actually Ferach elves, Albion orcs and Al-Garvey goblins - so no button counting or measuring the width of the epaulettes because it's FANTASY!!

Just for anyone unfamiliar with 2mm, here's a size comparison with a 28mm mini!
This Napoleonique venture is the start of a 'slow burn' project in the lands of Valon, the setting for Alternative Armies "Flintloque" historo-fantasy collection of games.
The rules I'll be using are all from Two Hour Wargames, army size games in 2mm -
division / brigade size battles in 2mm / 28mm -
and 28mm Skirmish action -

Col. Oswald Pebblekettle checks with the sentries for any sign of Captain Sharke and his men, who are away at the quartermasters being issued with new uniforms!

Obviously, part of my recent "retail therapy" has seen the start of a Flintloque collection for the above project, but I also added to the ECW lead pile and among the job lot I picked up are these guys......
which I already have, and don't really want to 'double up' so if anyone wants them (free and gratis) just let me know via comments. (Thye're the "angry villagers" from Warlord Games btw)

That's all for now, still not back into the groove yet, but definitely getting there!!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Post Zomtober Post


November already, and while Bonfire Night looms large, I completely missed out on the second half of the Zomtober painting challenge.
As previously stated, "Hobby time" was under pressure last month, but when a drive shaft and wheel bearing on the van gave up the ghost, I'm afraid that was the end of my planned free time.
Every cloud has a silver lining though, and while the breakdown repairs were being done I also got the work needed for the MOT out of the way and the test done, which was due this month - so I've gained a little free time for the coming weeks which kinda makes up for some of what I lost!

The min's for the challenge have been sitting on the paint table, so I tackled them today - nothing special, just some male and female survivors from Mantic's "The Walking Dead".
I hope I've not upset any purists of the comics or TV show, but I've gone for a basic and generic paint job on these characters. They may be stars of TWD, but they'll probably be strting as grunts in my ATZ campaign!

The Guys - Rick & Carl facing off against The Governor.

The Gals - Andrea, Amy, Carol &Sophia.

Not much else to offer for this post, other than to mention that as a wargamer deprived of playing, modelling or painting, I took solace from a little 'Retail Therapy'......but more on that in a later post.

Many thanks for dropping by and not giving up on this humble scribe, and now the gig dates are settling back to 'normal', I hope to be getting back to some serious gaming and blogging - well, not "serious" serious..... you know what I mean!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 week two.........

......... and after the long days and late nights this week, I feel like a zombie!
Still, apart from domestic duties I've had a day at home today and managed to add another zed to the horde thanks to the Zomtober Painting Challenge.

It's only a single mini, but if it weren't for the challenge, I know I would have done absolutely nothing hobby related today, so a huge "Thank You" goes out to everyone involved - you guys are awesome!

To see the inspirational posts from this years participants, just click on the links below

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 Week One

Hi all, here's my humble offering for the first week of  the Zomtober painting challenge. Taken from the D&D Castle Ravenloft boardgame, the mini is "Gravestorm" the drogolich.
There is actually a Zombie Dragon in the Ravenloft box, but it's a bit on the small size for my taste, so I've painted the dracolich to represent a zombie dragon for use in Dragon Rampant and D&D games.
Posed with his "handler" for scale

Not had chance to set up a linky-list yet, but the following link will teleport you over to the pulpcitizen blog, where you'll find the links to others taking up the Zomtober challenge....

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Zomtober is here!

"Tempus Fugits", and it's certainly fugited this year! October already, and I haven't managed to get my act together in preparation for the great Zomtober event. I've got some survivors that need painting, but other than an undead dragon that's awaiting pigment application, I've currently got no unfinished zombies in da house!

October is also insanely busy gigs-wise (actually our busiest month this year - why are we so popular for Halloween parties??!!), so this years challenge is going to be a real, erm, challenge!
More of the Zomtober activities to follow in their own dedicated posts, along with links to this years participants blogs.

Unfortunately, I've still not had the opportunity to fit in any of the games that are queuing up to be played (and written up), and I just know I'll be "binge playing" as soon as I get the chance - I've also been giving some thought about what to do when my "gaming table" is in use as a modelling bench, and have my own take on "Travel Battle" in the pipeline, using Irregular Miniatures 2mm minis and terrain.

Now, as promised, some thoughts on "All Things Zombie - Evolution".
The title is really fitting, because Ed has really made some BIG changes to our beloved ATZ game! I'm not one of the 'old hands' since I cut my teeth on Final Fade Out, but the veterans out there who started playing with Better Dead Than Zed and earlier will find massive changes to "THE" zombie apocalypse game.

I'm not sure how to tackle this - posting details of the rules would probably breech various copyright laws, so I'll do my best with generalisations. Ed is posting examples of play on the THW blog, which you'll find over in my list on the right hand side bar >>>>>>>

First off, let me say that the game is extremely streamlined with most of the changes aimed at speeding up play - for example, the introduction of "battle boards" which dispense with measuring distances for movement and firing. Also new rules for actions like "Searching Buildings" are very much simplified - two battleboards are supplied with the rules, but you can optionally treat each 1ft square of your old table as a 'battleboard'.
For us folks who prefer to play over a 3ft x 3ft table and don't like the 'abstract' nature of the battle boards (all movement and firing is restricted to just the battle board area - the rest of the table is 'ignored'), there's a free download supplement titled "ATZ Tabletop Convention Play" ( I think "Conventional" play would be more explanatory), and here we find all the familiar mechanics along with some additional 'new' content.
Of course, there just had to be changes to the old "In Sight" test....... is this the most tweaked rule in the history of the game?

Other significant changes include a new method of increasing/decreasing Rep in campaigns, a new class known as "Sheeple" who are neither Gangers or Survivors, new (simplified) age groups, and (I really like this one) gone are the 'standard' 3 PEF's per encounter..... the number is now randomised and weighted so there's the probability of fewer in rural areas, more in suburbs and most in urban environments!
Players who like to 'Talk the Talk' will either love or hate the new "Interaction" rules,  and my own star character Brad will need to have a read of the new "Companionship" rules considering his relationship with Hannah!
What I don't want him looking at are the new "Fame and Fortune" rules - Stars decide on their campaign 'goal' then track their progress via monthly Rep increase/decreases before "Retiring" at the end of a ten year campaign..........

To end, I'll  draw your attention to "The Town", a six area introductory campaign module provided at the end of the main rules.
Oh, and did I mention the "Ragers" or "Smart Zombies"? (or the magic using "Casters", hairy "Lycaons", blood thirsty "Vampires" or Resident Evil 'Alice' - esque "Razors"?) If you're finding survival against zombies and gangers too bland, you have these additional optional classes fully described and given their rules stats to spice up your games!

So, will I be 'Evolving' from Final Fade out?
No. But just as players have ported over their preferred mechanics from older versions into ATZ:FFO, I'll definitely be taking some of the better rules out of this new 'tool box' to use in my existing campaign.
I can also see an opportunity to use a lot of the 'streamlined play' content to allow for quick scenarios and 'side quests' to be played out while I'm away from home gigging!

Sorry for this being yet another late and "wordy" post - normal service WILL be resumed as soon as possible!!

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Well it's been a while, but at last here's a LONG overdue post on the blog!
Family commitments, work, a leaky gutter on the front of the house and mechanical problems with the van have left me with virtually no hobby time to speak of, but thankfully there's still been a trickle of post-worthy progress and finding myself with the opportunity, I'm making the effort - just to restore my mojo.
I'm not going to do anything daft like saying "Things should start returning to normal" (whatever 'normal' is), because the last time a did that, they didn't!!!

Anyhow, I've hardly lifted a paintbrush over the last month, but was determined to keep things at least ticking over, doing a little bit whenever I got the chance - usually while having a Java Lava before setting off somewhere else in the van.
The result of this plan are presented here.....
The drummers are "Musicians" for my Test Of Honour warbands. I decided to mount the pair with the portable drum together on a base, and will treat them as a single mini in the game. Conversely, I trimmed down the large base provided with the Dixon's mini and mounted the drummer on his own base - the drum can now double as a terrain piece.
A "Bannerman" and another Sergeant for the Takeda round off my total, but there's a Mura clan standard bearer still on the bench as 'work in progress'.

Something I would definitely have mentioned earlier was the Warlord Games "£1.00 sprue sale", where I splashed out and ordered a couple of Modern Military and a Female Survivors sprues for the All Things Zombie campaign (Mentioning ATZ, the sharp eyed among you will have noticed that my "Currently Reading" info box displays the latest version of my favourite zombie game, and I have been giving it a thorough read since its release - expect a review / game report soon.), and a Terminator endo sprue for Bladerunner droids, plus Terminator Resistance fighters - also destined for Bladerunner (and any other Sci-Fi games).
Not only is the number of mini's for a fiver great bang-for-the-bucks, but I received another 10% Off all in store purchases voucher....... all I need now is the time to pay them a visit!

I also picked up issue one of the Games Workshop part work whilst on my travels - three pots of paint and a brush for £1.99 is not the sort of price associated with GW, so how could I resist?
 The Space Mu-Reens have gone in the bits box for now, but let me know if you happen to need them to finish off a squad or something.

Now, after the painting and collecting, we move on to the interesting part of this post - gaming.
Being away from home and not being able to play was getting me down, and bless her, my wife noticed. Both of us are big fans of The Walking Dead tv series, and she'd been playing a new game on her mobile phone........
I'm far from keen on this kind of game, but she convinced me that "owt was better than nowt", so I downloaded it and started playing.
It's OK as a "gaming fix", but here's the revelation..... for the first time (apart from some 'social' D&D sessions with friends) - we were gaming together and not only that, it opened up the opportunity for me to talk her into actually trying a game of ATZ !!

So, it is with great pleasure that I present a brief AAR introducing Jackie.

Jackie and Cory were out on a foraging run in the downtown area of Lubbock - it's normally quiet around here, but the "Differently Dead" seem a lot more active today!
Even though they've gone in quietly, there's a whole bunch of zeds closing in from all sides. Jackie has ditched the original plan of checking out the diner across the road and decided they should duck into the general store on the corner.
The first PEF has emerged onto the street, but the school bus blocks the line of site
The pair enter the store and thankfully find it clear of zombies, they also see it's already been picked over - but whoever was here previously had left behind a loaded rifle!
Gratuitous overview of the zombies closing in on the store and all three PEF's on the move.
While Jackie started searching for anything else useful, Cory barricaded the front door by pushing shelving and shop furniture up against it...... and here, dear reader, I became engrossed in running the game and its narrative for SWMBO and made a complete hash of what few photo's I did remember to take!

Somehow, while barricading the door, Cory sprained his ankle very badly (Random Event after rolling "doubles" for initiative),
his cry of pain and stream of foul language distracted Jackie, who was sure she'd just spotted someone else out on the street over by the diner entrance (one of the PEF's moving into cover).
The walking cadavers were gathering outside the front of the store, and looking at the state of Cory's ankle, it was no time to risk checking upstairs.
The pair made their way over to the side door and checked for an escape route - a pair of zombies were shuffling along the alley but the crash of broken glass as the store front window gave way under the weight of the swarming undead spurred them on! A blast from Jackie's shotgun took down one of the zeds and cleared a path to safety.

As ever, ATZ:FFO took the game in a completely unexpected direction with the number of zombies generated, and I was worried that my Better Arf wouldn't get as much enjoyment as I'd hoped from such a restricted encounter ("First Impressions" and all that) - however, to my amazement and delight, she loved it !

Many thanks to regular visitors to the blog for your patience, and a big "Hiya" to newcomers Mike and Jonathan. Fingers crossed it won't be another month before the next post!