....or, "ZOMTOBER 2020 WEEK FIVE", because I promised to continue the
All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out campaign this month. (You can play catch-up with the story so far if you need to, by clicking the "Zombie Apocalypse" label on the right of the blog page)
Bobby and Madelyn caught up with Brad's group on route 194 between Aiken and Plainview, where they'd stopped at a filling station and had tried (unsuccessfully) to scavenge parts for the RV (Zac had diagnosed the problem as a cracked distributor cap – he'd bodged a fix, but they needed a reliable replacement).
The “Meet & Greet” was initially a little frosty, but the new arrivals quickly put Brad at ease by stepping out of the UPS van unarmed and explaining that it was them that had left the note with the provisions outside the warehouse in Lorenzo. Bobby also pointed out that they'd loaded up the van with supplies, including food, fuel and ammo when they made a run for it. He also pointed out that they should get moving just in case the “The Guardians” were on their tail, though he doubted they'd stray too far from 'The Stronghold' – they certainly didn't patrol this far out, but better safe than sorry.
The convoy moved on following the 194, swinging around Plainview and Edmonson. By late afternoon they were on the outskirts of Hart and decided they'd rest up there, figuring that it would be better to set up a defensive camp in the suburbs rather than parking out in the open, just in case The Guardians bore enough of a grudge to bring them this far from their comfort zone.
Brad designated Amy, Chris and Madelyn as drivers to stay with the vehicles and at this point Bobby produced two walkie talkies from the van. Handing one to Brad and the other to Amy, this would enable Brad to call the girls forward with an all clear, but more importantly, the two groups could stay in touch if things kicked off.
The road ran alongside a railway track which curved to the right and crossed the road on the edge of town. As the group crossed the track Travis joked about them looking like a scene from The Magnificent Seven but nobody laughed – the zeds were coming to greet them!
With the larger groups approaching from the flanks, Brad instantly decided to push straight ahead and punch through the weaker line to their front, saying ”Stay close and don't fire unless you really have to!” while thinking “There's anger and grief at losing Nate, and frustration at having to run from the warehouse in Lorenzo. A fight with the zombies is maybe what we need right now”.
The survivors won the initiative and Brad advanced until he could see around the corner of the building to his right – relieved when he saw there wasn't a hidden horde.
The furthest PEF's passed 1D6 and moved further from the group while the nearest passed none and remained stationary. The zeds, all now having the survivors in sight (raising their activation Rep to 4 for “zombie frenzy”), advanced, just out of reach of the group.
The survivors won the initiative for the second turn and immediately attacked the nearest of the walking dead!
I resolved the melee in Rep order -
Brad cleaved the head of the zombie facing him with his machete, “killing” it instantly. Hannah brought her hockey stick down on her opponent but only struck it a glancing blow, knocking it to the ground with such force that its head split open on the road. Zac rained a flurry of blows on the brown suited abomination in front of him, but only managed to knock it down, while Travis swung his “axe” (he'd heavily modified his guitar!) and smashed the head of his foe.
Meanwhile, Hilary only managed to fend off her zed with the butt of her rifle, and Bobby had completely fluffed his machete attack which allowed the undead corpse to grapple him before sinking its teeth into his neck – severing the jugular vein and Bobby dropped like a stone to the ground, obviously dead!
Brad's attack wasn't going to plan, and it was now the zombies turn to move.
The zombies from the left now attacked the group, while those from the right had appeared around the corner of the building and were now cutting off their retreat.
Hilary managed to knock down the zombie she was fighting, but Zac and Dave were now facing three opponents each. Zac was quickly overwhelmed and went down 'obviously dead' with horrific wounds. Dave managed to hold his ground, but things were quickly going from bad to worse.
Brad REALLY needed to win the next initiative roll.......... and did!
“RUN DAVE!” Brad yelled, as he began pushing Hannah, Travis and Hilary into the road and along the shop front. Dave didn't need telling twice, and while the zombies nearest to him began feasting on the corpses of Zac and Bobby, he broke free and chased after the rest of the group.
Brad and the rest of the group had moved normal distance so as not to leave Dave behind, which was lucky because he only passed 1D6 on his 'fast move' check – just enough to close the gap.
As the survivors ran along the front of the shop, the nearest PEF advanced into line of sight, (which resolved as another group of six zombies)
Once again, Brad needed to win the initiative......... but didn't!
The ravenous horde caught up with the rear of Brad's group before they could get off the street, forcing Hannah, Travis and Dave to turn and fight.
Hannah and her hockey stick once more got the better of her attacking zed, but again, only managing to knock it to the ground. Travis fought off his attacker but caused no damage to it and Dave drove his knife straight between the eyes of the zombie clawing at him, killing it instantly.
Brad yelled out the order “RUN! GET AROUND THE CORNER!”
no further incentive, the remainder of the group ran for their lives.
Although true to form Dave only passed 1D6 for his fast move – but
it was enough.
The survivors won the next initiative roll and completely outdistanced the zombies as they crossed the railway tracks and exited the table.
The foray into Hart had been a disaster. Not only had they failed to find a safe haven for the night, but they'd lost one of the established members of the group as well as the new guy. Brad was going to have his work cut out holding the group together that's for sure.
No time to think about that for now though, and as he paused to glance behind him, he thumbed the talk switch on the walkie talkie - “We're on our way back, get ready to move. Things didn't go to plan here,... and we lost Zac and Bobby. I'm sorry.”
erm, Happy Halloween everyone and thanks for dropping by. Sorry about my wonky cork tiles - I STILL haven't got around to replacing them, and they had been under a pile of books and were flat when I laid them out! Anyhow, I hope you have (or HAD if you're reading this after the fact) a Spooktacular weekend and get to enjoy the Blue Moon, which only occurs....... once in a Blue Moon!
As always, your comments, queries or suggestions are most welcome, and please call back. It's been a long time coming, but I enjoyed this game of ATZ:FFO so much that I'm just going to have to play another one soon!