Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 2 Episode 1 Hair of the Dog

What a first day.  We'd been beaten, shoved and watched people eaten by zombies.  My dogs had become another casualty.  I had taken them in the back yard while Toni watched with the rifle.  I dug a hole for each of them, used the shovel the smash the head, and then buried them.  I cried the whole time. 
     We boarded up the doors and windows on the ground level, and I had to kill three more zombies that were attracted to the noise.  I am pretty sure that 2 of them were from the family down the street that I played basketball with sometimes.  Only pretty sure, they were fairly well chewed.  We loaded all those corpses onto the back of the truck.  We took them to the back of the subdivision where the houses were still being built and dumped them.  I didn't want them decomposing in the yard.
     Dark was coming when we backed the truck into the garage.  I shut the garage door and shook for a while, unable to stop.  I can do okay when the adrenaline is running, but there is always a price to pay later.  We closed all the curtains and only used a couple of low lights.  I didn't know if light would attract them, but tonight wasn't the time to find out.
       I was in the shower getting clean when I realized how screwed we were.  Water, electricity, the internet were all still working now, but for how long?  We would need water, food, medicine.  Gas?  Probably.  Crap.  We were going to have to go out into that mess again tomorrow.   We fell asleep watching the world falling apart on the little 7" t.v. I keep for bad weather.
     When we woke in the morning everything seemed okay at first.  I had forgotten what was going on in the fugue of sleep.  I stumbled into my closet, putting on some shorts and a tee shirt so I could take the boys out too pee.  That's when it hit me.... Yeah, Dexter would need to go out, if he could.  If the yard wasn't covered in what used to be my neighbors. 
     It wasn't.  I didn't see any as I looked through all the windows.  I put Dexter on the leash and we went outside, me holding my sword.  I didn't care how silly I looked, this was scary.  Dexter sill had to take care of business though.  I'd have to figure out a long term solution for that. 
    Coffee was brewing when I went back in.  Everything looked like a normal day, except for the Axe and Rifle by the door.  Toni and I sat down and made an inventory.  I approached it like a hurricane.  We filled everything that would hold water with water.  We put candles and lighters in every room. I drug the grill inside to the garage.  I broke out all the camping equipment we had.  Not nearly enough.
    "We have to use the frozen stuff first" I told Toni.  I tossed a couple of coolers in the bed of the truck as I talked, in case we found more.  "We are going to need more food, medicine, and water.  Ammo would be nice, but we are okay for now.  What else?" I asked my sweetheart.  She surprised me a bit.  "People.  We can't just let them die alone." Well, okay then I thought.  Big damn heroes it is.
     We loaded Dexter into the truck, and after making sure no zeds were in sight, opened the garage door.  As it was going up,  I saw a couple of slow moving forms coming down the street towards us.  I pulled out of the garage, Toni hit the remote, and we drove off.  I went slowly down the street away from the zeds.  I could see others ahead of us, but there was plenty of driving room right now.  I wanted to draw the ones near my house away from it.  I was also looking for any other signs that people might be in one of the houses.  The zombies followed us, and more and more were coming from between houses and out of homes.   I sped up, going all the way around the block almost, but leaving the subdivision instead of going back to my house.
      I felt brave enough to try the corner store near the Publix where I had been knocked down last night.  As we drove up, I could see that the Publix had burned down last night. It was still smoking when we parked.  Several zeds were stumbling around.  Toni said excitedly" Look!  That guy is pumping gas!  We can get some too."  Right.
        We started to walk over there.  The zombies around the parking lot decided we looked a lot like lunch and headed for us.  As they did, the man who'd been pumping gas hopped in his car and sped off.  He even waved.  What the hell? 
      One of the zeds comes for me, but I cut him down with my gladius.  I want to be as quiet as I can, but Dexter is barking his fool head off.  I see a couple of zeds coming out of the 7-11. It isn't yet nine in the morning and the street is crowding up with zombies. Great...
      Then it hits me.  This is funny.  It is horrible, to be sure.  It is scary.  But there is plenty of room for humor.  I have always been a trash talker when I fight.  Some of it makes me feel better. Some of it gets into the other guys head.  Not much of a worry in the current situation, but what the heck? 
       As the next zed comes for me, I realize he'd been a big guy when he was alive, probably topping 300 pounds.  Dexter goes at the zed closing in on him, growling and tearing him.  I push my foe around, in something like a dance move.  I am getting into it. 
     Toni is worried.  There are three zombies closing in, and I am playing with the one in front of me.  "What are you doing?" She asks "This is crazy!"   I answer "Wrong. This.... is.... SPARTA!' I shout and kick the zed in the chest, then bring down my sword, cutting off his head.  I neatly riposte into the next one, putting my point through his ear. 
     Dexter ignores us, rushing past the one he killed earlier to grab another by the throat and begin shaking it.  Toni asks "The world is coming apart at the seams and you are quoting movie lines?"  "Yup!" I answer helpfully.  The last of the zeds is closing, and she shoots it in the chest, knocking it down.  I reach back, pause dramatically, and say "There can be only one."  His head comes off.  Toni giggles.  It is silly, and suddenly not quite so scary.
     The street is empty for a second when it gets serious again.  We hear noise from the house we've been fighting in front of.  Toni raises the LR9 while I open the door.
      Not at all what I expected, a pair of Bikers in the middle of going through the house suddenly stop.  They turn to us, and they are obviously very dangerous men.  At the same time, we have the drop on them.  Nobody says anything.  Dexter begins a deep rumbling growl in his throat. 
    "Are you wearing armor?" The larger of the two asks me.  "Yeah...." I answer slowly.  I am always ready to take offense when someone makes fun of me in my kit.  I figure it's about to drop in the pot when he says. "Cool!  I wish we had some.  One of them zombie bastards bit me on the ankle and my boot stopped it cold.  I'd like some armor too."  He is eying me, so I point out the obvious.  "Mine is made to fit me.  You couldn't move in it, it would be too big."
     He nods thoughtfully.  "True.  True. Well, see ya round."  He has moved us from prey to predator at least.  A thought strikes me.  "Hey, I've got some extra pieces of  armor at the house.  Give us a hand grabbing some stuff, and I'll fit you out as best I can."
    Not even a second goes by.  "Deal.  We clean out the area, and you give us some armor. Let's go."
Dexter is in the kitchen near an unopened cabinet, tail going a mile a minute.  "Wonder what's in here?"  I pop open the door, and it's loaded with Dog food and his favorite, several boxes of Milk bones. "Damn Dusty, all I found with this Tuna fish.  It looks like the dog is a good idea."  "Yeah, whatever"
     We head out into the street, and dump the food into the nearby truck.  "Let's check out the strip centers and the church.  After that, we'll head back and I'll help you with as much armor as I can."  I figure that having a Motorcycle gang that feels at least a little bit friendly is a good idea.
    We open the door to the dry cleaner, and suddenly time just stops.  I picked the wrong friends to have with me now, as three of Lawrenceville's finest are in the dry cleaner's lobby.  Everyone is staring at everyone else, and the tension is solid. 
     "Can't we all just get along?" I say, cracking a smile.  The tension eases a bit, and one of the Policemen recognizes Toni.  "Don't you work at the cornerstop?"  "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've served you all before."  The police are easing down, as are the bikers when one of the start to say "Hey, don't we have an A.P...." and is cut off by another "Stow it, Davis. That was then, this is now."
    "We are just trying to get some food, and help anyone that needs it.  We are holing up at home, but Toni is worried about kids out in this."  That struck a cord with the Police.  There was nodding going on.  Dusty, one of the bikers spoke up. "Yeah, helpin' the kids.  We're all about that."  Perhaps it sounded a little false, but it was enough of a pretext to let everyone save face.  We rapidly checked the laundry and found it empty but for clothing.  Not wanting to take just to take, we moved on. 
    "The 7-11 next, I think, then across the street.  We save the church and daycare for last."  Back on the street, we move to the door of the 7-11.  We open it and almost gun down a pair of teenage girls who have been hiding in the store.  "Oh, thank God...."one is sobbing, they both run to the police.  "We've been so scared"  We calm the girls, and Toni tells them we will take them home with us, and check on where they live later. They nod, seeing the sense in that.  We quickly check the store. In a smear of blood is a set of car keys on the counter.  One of the girls grab them.  Toni stuffs her knapsack with some canned food of questionable quality. One of the cops grabs the stores' first aid kit and passes it over.  I reach up and behind the counter, and pull down a couple more cartons of smokes, passing one over to the silent biker as he looks up.  He nods and sticks it away.
     We head across the street to the liquor store.  Before we get there I decide to send one of the girls to try the keys in the car we parked next to.  "Okay mister." She say hesitantly.  The senior policeman speaks up "Davis, you go with and protect her."  "If you find a car that works, drive it to the gas station and fill it.  I saw the pumps working  a minute ago.  When we finish looking for people, we will do the same with the truck, then we will get out of here." The pair of them took off at a jog. 
      We went to the liquor store door, and I could tell it was already looted.  I opened the door and had barely a chance to yell as a pair of zeds came out.  The other girl who had not gone with her friend, the talkative biker and the junior ranking policeman all just ran. Really?  Really? 
  The Biker takes off after this group, yelling "You Idiots, get back here! Are you really going to run off alone?" (does he have to yell?  It's loud and I know the zeds are attracted to sounds) for them to stop.  I and the other policeman are left to deal with the zeds.  I push mine around a bit, trying to get a good opening for a head shot.  The policeman shoots his in the chest, and Toni puts one in his head.  I can see a couple more zombies coming out of the trash heap near the Church, attracted to the sound.  Great. Well, they are a long way off right now.  A quick look see says that anything worth taking is already gone.  We move next door to the bakery.
          We open the door, and a Man and Woman in Camo carrying shotguns are eying us.  They have been gathering supplies as well, and it is obvious that they want nothing to do with us.  "What's ours is ours!" Says the hefty woman. "Right" I answer.  They move slowly past us into the street, eying the dead zeds and us with a new respect.  "We are just lookin' after our own."  The man says.  "Got no problem with that" I shoot back.  Nods all around, and they head off down the street.  I can hear a car door shutting.  "It won't start" comes faintly to my ears, and I see the pair looking for a car move up the street. As we are moving to check the bakery, a pair of zeds round the corner and charge after one of the cops.  He drops one with gunfire, but the other charges him.  I start to run over, but he neatly sidesteps and drops it with his nightstick.
     A fast look around the bakery and we grab a huge sack of flour and another of sugar. We head for the Citgo, where the gas pumps are working.  We drop off the heavy bags of flour and sugar.  I am getting nervous about being out in the open so long and shooting so much.   I can see more zeds coming down the street in the distance.  They don't move fast, but there sure are a lot of them. 
   "Toni, Grab the truck and fill it up.  We will check the preschool and the church.""You bet sweetheart" She jogs off, pistol at the ready. We move away to the church, and as we do, I can see the policeman jumping in the car the teen has started.  They drive past us to the gas station. "Fill it as quick as you can and grab those bags.  We'll be right there.!"
    I can see that Toni has jogged right past a zombie who is pacing after her.  She didn't even notice it.  God, that woman...
    We get to the church and find the canned food drive stuff in the church office.  We grab it and head out. As we get to the door, another policeman comes around the corner.  He sees we are with his friends, and one of them has a quick conversation with him.  He nods and comes over.  We start towards the preschool.  I can see more zeds getting closer, fast.
   The doors to the preschool are open. There are blood trails and body parts everywhere.  No one alive is inside, and we just run.  Toni has started the truck and driven to the pumps.  We are moving in a group, and it seems like everyone is shooting at once. Zombies are coming in droves.  We are gunning them down, but the engines going and the shooting is drawing more and more of them.  Sure would be a good time for some napalm... 
     We pile into the back of the truck and the teen and cop into the car.  We swerve around several zeds, shooting at them, and drive off.   We give the police a ride back to their cars, and bring the bikers and teens home with us.  I know the bikers are leaving soon, but I want to honor our bargain.

I started this game by figuring the first thing in the morning, Toni, Dexter and I would head out for supplies.  We would need food, gas, and whatever else we could gather.  I start the game by using the Suburban rules (we are going down the street about 3 miles to a corner with a couple of gas station strip malls, a church, and a house on it.  I modeled it after what is actually found at the corner of Simonton Road and New Hope Road.  (minus the Publix supermarket, it would not have fit on my 3x3 table).  First thing in the morning, so daytime.  I rolled 6 zombies, and placed them.   I don't like the ATZ system for initial placement, you end up with a very rigid placement of zeds. 

I used a scatter dice and 4d6 to put them on the table.  The average roll is 14.  They are not grouped very much but they are certainly more organic looking than ATZ way.  Any input on this?
     I also used a bit of an underhanded mechanic to start the game.  I figured that gas will be a premium, but in the first few days the electricity and internet would probably still be at least partially up.  I would just drive around in my truck looking for a gas station that had the lights on.  I'd then drive up to the pumps and see if the pay at the pump was working.  I'd keep looking for that until I found one or was convinced that it was not going to happen.  So I also penalized myself.  I started the game with a civilian filling his car while the engine was running.  I figured as soon as he could activate, he would drive off, leaving us to deal with the zombies he attracted.  Any thoughts on this?

 Turn 1 z5 m6 c2.  Civilian gets in car and drives off the board.  His car attracts 2 more zeds coming out of the store across the street.

Turn 2 z 3 m4 I am charged by a single zed. I don't want to attract any more, so I wait for it to close and kill it in HTH.  I am the STAR. so I can pass at whatever D6 I want on that test.  Reading.  Good for what ails you.

Was that a car engine?  Dunno, let's check it out!

Turn 3 z6 m1 I kill one zed in hand to hand. Toni shoots twice, missing both times.  No zeds generated with the shots.

Turn 4 z 6 m 4... a lot of staring going on

Turn 5 z4 m6 Dexter and I are both charged.  We both pass the being charged test 1d6.  Dexter kills his while I lock in combat.  All those dice and I need the armor not to go down.

Turn 6 z1 m6 Dexter and I are both charged again.  I kill two zeds in melee, a bit of a vindication. Dexter continues his spree, killing another.

Turn 7 z 2 M1 zombies close in.  Toni shoots the one near us, knocking it down.  I melee it on the ground, killing it.

Turn 8 Random event.  We are not driving, so nothing happens. Z 4 m 6 The zombie way off in the distance staggers around a bit confusedly.

Turn 9, z 5 m1 we enter the house.  There are two gangers rep 4 in there.  They get a total of 6 dice, rep 4 plus 2 for us not being gangers.  We get a total of 4 dice, 3 for rep and 1 for outnumbering by 1.  Here is the turning point of this game.  They blew this dice roll.  We end up getting one more success than they do, so they join our side for the game.

Turn 10 more staring
Turn 11 more staring
Turn 12 z4 m3 The lone zed in the corner continues to wander about.  We search the house, finding two food units, one of the bikers and Dexter doing the finding.  I figure that food is the only thing Dexter can find, but he is excellent at locating that.  You just have to know the dog.
Turn 13 more staring
Turn 14 z3 m2  The zombie in the corner decides to sit down.  We move across the street to the Chinese laundry service, ready to go in next activation.

Turn 15 z 3 m 2.  The zombie stands back up.  He wonders why.  We open the door to find 3 policemen in the laundry. (Rather an odd find, but okay.)  Again, the outnumbering wins the day.  We win by 1 again.  They join us for 1 game.

Turn 16 still more staring
Turn 17 z6 m3 we all search the laundry, finding nothing of value. I suppose I could collect clothing, but see no need for it right now.
Turn 18 z5 m2  We move to the 7-11, getting ready to go in
Turn 19 you guessed it, staring
Turn 20 z 4 m1 There are two rep 3 civilians in the 7-11.  We meet and greet them so charmingly they decide to join on the spot.

Turn 21 z 1 m6 zed wanders
Turn 22 z 1 m5 still more wandering
Turn 23 z4 m1 We all search the 7-11. we find a set of keys, some first aid, some food, and a luxury item.  (figure it has to be smokes in the 7-11)
Turn 24. z3 M2 We split up, I send the civilian who found the keys and one of the cops off to try and start the cars in the area with them. The rest of the (huge) gang goes across the street. 
Turn 25 z5 m3.  The civilian tries the first car, no start happens.  We move into the right place to open the doors for next turn at the liquor store.

Turn 26 z3 m2 We open the door, 2 zeds inside waiting for us to open door.

Turn 27 z 6 m 5

Turn 28 z4 m 1  one of the cops, a ganger, and a civilian all retire after being charged.  I stand my ground, and tie in combat with my zombie.  On my activation, cops knocks down the other one and Toni pops the Weasel.  On the other side of the board, the car they tried refuses to start again.  The shooting generates a new zed, and interests the other one. The ganger also runs over and rallys the other ganger and the cop, but the civilian decides to hunker down.

Turn 29 4 m 1 we all search what must be a looted liquor store, no one finds anything.
Turn 30 z2 m1.  One zombie turns the corner.  Policeman gets in sight test right, Shooting and killing the zed.  We then open the door to the bakery. There are 2 rep 4 survivors in there, and they refuse to join us. The shooting draws 2 new zeds to table.

The other couple move up the street toward some more cars, intent on using the keys.

Turn 31 z4 m6.  The zombies get closer.  We drool.
Turn 32 z4 m1 Two Zombies charge a cop, who passes 1d6. He kills one and ties one in melee.  Our activation comes, and the other zed goes down. We search the bakery and find some food and a pistol.

The couple near the church parking lot looking for a match to the keys.

Tun 33 z3 m6  The zed closes in. 
Turn 34 z1 m4 The zed rounds the corner and goes down in a hail of bullets.  No zeds are attracted.
Turn 35 z2 m3  The survivors who did not join get off the board.  I send Toni for the truck.  She fails the Zed no zed test.  I cannot believe I let her go alone.  crap.

Turn 36 z6 m1 We open the door to the preschool and find two civilians who will not join the group. Toni runs past zed to truck.

Turn 37 z1 m4 c3 The zed chases after Toni.  The civilians leave the board.
Turn 38 z5 m2  The car couple finds a car with the keys inside.  It does not start on the first go.  We search the pre school and find 2 food units
Turn 39 z6 m1 The car starts (good and bad) and they drive over to the gas pumps.  We move on foot to the church.  Toni gets into the truck. 4 zeds show up due to noise.  Rut Roh Raggy....

Turn 40 z1 m4 Zombie goes after Toni, and she passes the being charged and kills it.
Turn 41 z1 m4 The zeds close in.
Turn 42 z5 m4
Turn 43 z3 m5  The zeds are really closing in now.
Turn 44 z4 m3  Toni is charged, and again guns down the zed on the way in.  In the Church there is a rep 4 policeman who joins for this game only. 
Turn 45 1 m 4 zeds close in
Turn 46 z3 m1 As the zeds close in, a hail of bullets mows them down.  One of the policemen runs out of bullets.  Two new zeds come in.

Turn 47 z1 m4  The zeds wander closer, but do not cause any reaction tests.  We just let them come, secure in our firepower.

Turn 48 z6 m1 Policeman near car refueling is charged, retires. Civilian stands ground and puts zed out of action in melee. Toni drives truck over to gas pump and starts filling.  3 more zeds are coming. We find 3 food in the church.
Turn 49z1 m6  The zeds are building into a wave that is coming for the gas island. It should reach there next activation.
Turn 50 z3 m1 civilian knocks down one when she is charged.  Toni does the same.
Turn 51 z5 m1 Toni kills one zed, Rep 4 policeman accounts for 2 more, rep 4 policeman knocks down another.  We draw 3 more in with noise.
Turn 52 z5 m3 We load into the vehicles.

Turn 53z1 m5 The zombies charge the cars, and are mowed down.  I am rolling 19 d6 for zombies this turn, two cars running and gunfire.  8 zombies show up.

Turn 54 z3 m1  The zombies close in, but are not close enough to charge.  We drive off...Whew.

There were only three places that were tense at all in this game.  The first meeting with the gangers went better than I had any hope for it too.  I should not have sent Toni to get the truck alone.  If the activation rolls had gone bad after gassing the vehicles, it could have been ugly.  This game was still pretty much a cakewalk.  I guess a good roll at the beginning made the difference.  I will not look a gift horse in the mouth.  We ended the game with 9 food, first aid, a luxury good, keys and a vehicle, gas, a pistol, and two rep 3 civilians.  A solid win, I think.


  1. Fantastic, lots of nice elements/touchs added. The guy filling up then driving off made me chuckle. Great narration again you keep getting better and better at it. Well done Sir!

  2. Another great batrep, Charles, and didn't your party do well? Regarding the placement of zombies, I always use a scatter die to place them. This gives me far more variety than the four directions suggested in the rulebook. Call it a house rule if you like, but it works for me.

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