Thursday, September 29, 2011

Heah Com' da Fuzz!

I got Rebel Minis pack of police officers and it comes with 22 officers in five poses.  Since the THW rules that I use work well with small groups, I divided the officers up into four groups of five and a group of two.  I couldn't really see a time when I would need much more than four or five officers since I also have the SWAT pack and I could always mix a local PD with a county sheriff's office if I needed more officers for a particular setting.  I then painted them up, each group with its own uniform.  Here you can see the five poses that come in the pack and the five uniforms I used - tan and brown, light blue/dark blue, all black, tan and green, and all tan.

These guys will be making appearances from time to time in the campaign.  And the next campaign adventure will be coming at you real soon!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ATZ Campaign Day 1: The Hunt Begins

(BTW, I renamed the previous post "ATZ Campaign Day 0" as this is the first actual day of the campaign.) 

(And also BTW, the exclamation point in this font looks like a lower case 'L'.  Or a '1'.  Or something other than an exclamation point.  At any rate, it's the font.  Not me.)

Bob is my Star.  Rep 5 Brawler armed with a shotgun.
Joe is a Rep 3 and a Medic.  He's armed with a double barrel shotgun.
Angel is a Rep 3 and Slow.  She has an over-under shotgun/rifle combo.
Ahmed is a Rep 3 and a Runt, armed with a pistol.

Turn 1:  "Dude, you nailed this one!  It was sheer genius using this abandoned fire tower to hunt from.  We can see for miles!" Ahmed gushed when they got set up on the platform and looked out over the forest. 

"Wait 'til you see this 12-point we saw last summer!  You'll freak!" Joe interjected.

"And look," Bob waved his friends to the edge of the platform, "the deer run goes right past the base of the tower."


The friends settled down to wait.  But they didn't have to wait long...

"Hey, I see something moving," Bob whispered to his friends.  "Look over there."  He pointed into the distance.

After a moment, Angel whispered back, "Yeah, I see it too."

"Look!  It's that buck!" Joe whispered excitedly and made sure his shotgun was ready for action.  "And it's coming this way!"

"Wait, what's going on?" Ahmed said out loud.  "They're starting to run.  What's the deal?"

Turn 2:  The four stared open mouthed as the deer broke into a run and charged right past the fire tower. 

"Hey, what's that?" Joe asked pointing in the direction the deer had just come from.  "Look, those guys chased the deer off.  And they're coming this way, too!"

"What do you guys think you're doing?"  Bob yelled.  There was no response as the loose line of people moved slowly towards them.  They looked like they were flushing for another hunting party.  This really ticked off Bob and Joe since that meant someone else would get their 12-pointer. 

The four watched as the flushers comtinued to come closer and closer.  "This is really weird," Angel observed.  "Something seriously doesn't feel right."

Turn 3:  "Yeah, you're right.  There's something strange about those dudes," Ahmed added.  "Look at the way they're walking.  And they're groaning.  It's like they're in a lot of pain or something."  He paused, then finished the thought, "But all of them?"

Turn 4:  Doubles - no move, no fire.

Turn 5:  "It can't be..." Bob said suddenly.  The others looked at him quizzically.  "Man, if those things are what I think they are, we're in trouble!"  Bob looked genuinely astonished.

"What are you talking about, Bob?"  Angel asked. 

"Zombies."  Bob answered, and opened fire.  The others followed suit, and knocked down a couple zeds, but didn't kill any.

2 more zombie appeared from the gunfire.

Turn 6:  Doubles - no move, no fire.

Turn 7:  Doubles - no move, no fire.

Turn 8:  Two (!) zeds started up the ladder of the fire tower.  Bob managed to shoot one off.  No new zombies appeared.

Turn 9:  Ahmed managed to kill a zed with his pistol.  Joe also got one.  No new zombies appeared.

Turn 10:  One zed reached the top of the ladder and Bob (brawler) knocked him off in melee.  Another (!) zombie started up the ladder.  Angel finally got one.  One new zombie appeared.

Turn 11:  The next zed reached the top of the ladder and Bob killed it with a "Pop Goes the Weasel" shot.  Two new zombies appeared from the gunfire.

Turn 12:  Ahmed killed one.  No new zombies appeared.

Turn 13:  Bob got one zed.  Another zombie appeared.

Turn 14:  Doubles - no move, no fire.

Turn 15:  Bob killed two more with a shotgun blast and Joe got one.  Another zed started up the ladder.  No new zeds appeared.

Turn 16:  Bob killed two zeds.  No new zeds appeared.

Turn 17:  Bob and Joe each got one.  The base of the tower was littered with dead zeds and they didn't see any more of the things moving around.  "Let's get out of here!  This is insane!"  "Where'd those things come from?"  "I hope there's no more of them!"  The friends climbed shakily down from the tower and headed back towards the cabin.  This hunting trip wasn't as much fun as they thought it would be.


Since this was my first ATZ game, I wanted something lightweight so I could concentrate on learning the flow of the game without a bunch of crazy stuff going on.  This was the perfect setting since zeds are rarest in rural settings and the ranger tower kept the crew safe enough.  The next one will be a little more challenging and will have the guys on the move.

I honestly thought this would be a cake-walk with the team in the tower and starting with only 6 zeds.  The low reps of the team ensured lots of misses.  I quickly decided that zombies at the base of the tower would qualify for the "Special Firing at a Zombie Rule" rule and would not be counted as facing the shooters.  This allowed me to roll against the shooter's Rep for Obviously Dead rather than the Impact of the weapon. 

I was also surprised at the number of climbers I rolled - something like 4 or 5.  Bob took on the task of entering melee with the ones that reached the top since he has the Brawler attribute, using his shotgun as a bludgeon and was able to "Pop the Weasel" on a number of them.  Fortunately, despite the number of shots fired (almost everyone fired every turn) not a lot of new zombies were generated and everyone's ammo held out without a problem. 

Stop laughing at my set up.  I know the trees are a little sparse for a forest setting.  I only have one box of trees and 5 of them didn't come with bases.  I didn't really want to cut the playing area down to 2' x 2' - it's only 3' x 3' as it is so I use what I have.

Where I got the stuff from:

The cars from the previous post are by Model Power HO scale made for model railroading, as are the deer.  The road was made from construction paper.  Yup, even the yellow line down the middle.  The ground clothes are felt cut to the appropriate size.  The trees are Woodland Scenics cheapo pre-made box-o-trees.  The ranger tower is scratchbuilt from balsa wood.  As if you couldn't tell.  Yeah, I really didn't feel like trying to model a ladder up the side of it.  Or all the bracing that a real one would have.  But it works for what it's worth.  Which is about 50 cents of balsa wood, superglue and spraypaint.

Monday, September 19, 2011

ATZ Campaign Day 0: Teaser


I'm not following the ATZ campaign system strictly.  Sometimes there will be more than one game in a "day".  Sometimes there might only be one in a "month".  I'm starting my hunters off with ordinary weapons that are easy to acquire (weapons that people would ordinarily own) and in an initial situation that isn't all that extraordinary.  I don't know how fast games will progress as I have a very limited budget for gaming.  I was originally going to use HO railroad buildings, but they are somewhat pricey so I'm going with scratchbuilt and paper buildings to populate my zed infested world.  As I introduce various things into the story, I'll add a link to where I found them so if you like them, you'll know where you can get them too.  I am going to use HO vehicles as civilian vehicles are really, really hard to find in 15mm and there is a wide enough variety available in HO that are decently priced.  Might add some more ground rules as we go, but for now, that will get us started.

The Teaser

"I've been waiting all year for this trip.  This is going to be excellent!"  Bob pumped his fist in the air.  "Let's hit the road!  YAHOO!"

He climbed into the Land Rover with Joe and pulled onto the street, speeding up slowly to give Ahmed and Angel in the VW time to catch up.  The friends all chatted happily as they headed out of Suburbia to Eagle Rock, their favorite hunting spot, and the little cabin that Bob's grandfather had built years before.  The trip would take a few hours and they were anxious to get there and set up camp before the opening of deer season the following day.

"I wonder if that monster buck still hangs around that abandoned ranger tower we found last year," Bob asked. 

"We aren't going to know until we get there, but I sure hope so," Joe responded.  "You wanna bet on who gets it?"

"Naw, we better wait until we get up there.  Angel and Ahmed are going to want part of that action, too." 

"You sure you packed everything we'll need?" Angel asked Ahmed.

"I think so."  Ahmed rubbed his bald head.  "We have food for a week and plenty of ammo for both the shotguns and the pistols.  I got slugs AND shot for the scatterguns.  If we get a deer, we'll have more than enough food for two weeks!  What more do we need?" 

"Ha!" Angel laughed.  "Well, we need clothes for the week.  I'm not putting up with a bunch of smelly men while I'm enjoying this hunt.  And I hope you brought the camping cook set and propane for the stove, silverware and plates.  I do intend to be civilized while we're roughing it."

Ahmed stretched back.  "Yup, no worries.  I got everything."  He settled down and dozed while Angel followed the Land Rover.  They were finally getting into the countryside.

Bob and Joe continued to discuss the prospects for a good sized deer and the time was passing quickly for them.  They both wanted the huge 12-pointer they had spotted that summer on a scouting trip to the cabin.  They had watched it for days and thought they knew its habits well enough that one of them should be able to get it this fall. 

The area was getting more wooded and hilly as they got farther from Suburbia and closer to Eagle Rock.  They were approaching one of the crossroads offering gas, lodging, food and supplies. 

"Hey, if you're ready to switch, get Bob's attention and pull in up at the gas station there," Ahmed mumbled sleepily rather than spoke.  "I could use a bite to eat and the restroom."

Angel tapped the horn a couple of times and Bob, surprisingly, duly pulled into the station.  When they stopped and got out to stretch their legs he said, "Not much farther now.  Another hour and we'll  be home sweet home for the week."

"Sounds good!  I can't wait!"

After a quick lunch and a stretch, they topped off their gas tanks, piled back into their cars and headed off on the last leg of the drive.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hands Up!

I got the Rebel Minis Hostages to do some police type games and for a couple of other ideas I had.  In the post-outbreak world, though, there are definitely some not-so-nice people.  Hostages might come in handy for a game or two so I'm putting them up here too.  Besides, I don't have anything else this week.  I've got my raw minis and paints packed to go home, and I'm packing my painted ones tonight (Tuesday).  I've got a roll of toilet paper, two rolls of Scotch tape and whatever old tv programs I can find on Hulu.

Unfortunately, they're a little dark as my desk lamp got packed for shipping today (Tuesday, in case you forgot).  But you get the idea.

Figured I'd get the post written up today and stored in memory since I'll be traveling all day on Friday and probably won't have time to do more than hit "PUBLISH POST" on Saturday.  BUT I should have an AAR for you next week!  At least I hope I will..

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Unfortunately, I don't have much new this week.  When I looked at the picture of my innocents last week, it didn't look like I had done much with their faces.  I admit I don't do a lot of shading with cloths, but I put a beige wash on their skin to highlight eyes, nose, mouth, fingers, etc.  It didn't really come through in the photos so I gave them another wash.  Much better now. 

I did get some rioters throwing rocks and bottles and waving baseball bats painted up.  I have a pretty basic selection of colors and I didn't want to get into mixing a bunch of different colors, so they tend to be in variations of the same colors over and over.  Most of them are wearing hoodies, either alone or under trenchcoats - at least that's how I interpreted the sculpts as the trenchcoat figs have something hanging out of the coat around their necks.   

The baseball bat guys could be zombie hunters also, and might appear as such in action.  I will probably just use the guys throwing rocks and bottles as looters in some of the action, or 'unarmed' civilians who don't respond well to my heroes. 

It's hard to tell from the picture, but the first guy has a John Deere hat on and the second guy has a Cubs hat.  Saw the colors and couldn't resist.

In a discussion on The Miniatures Page, one of the guys brought up the idea of using medieval crossbowmen and archers in sci fi gaming.  It suddenly clicked that I could use them as modern zed hunters as well.  I don't think the clothing was too far out there to not be used like that.  I'll have to look at them again when I get home and see if I can use them as is or do a simple conversion to make them look more modern.  I might have just acquired a couple more zombie hunters!  If I'm stuck in CA, I will have to wait a while for them as I don't think my wife will be willing to brave my mountain of lead in the basement to dig out the couple of leftovers that I have from my Crusader/Norman army. 

Next up, hostages.  I'm in the midst of packing to go home, but I hope to squeeze in enough time to get them done before I go.  I don't know if I'll get a post in next week or not, so we'll see.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Please Welcome Global Security, Inc.

Executive protection and overthrowing small countries are our specialties, but we can handle any job you have for us.  No job is too big or too small.   Our professional soldiers . . . er . . . security specialists are trained and experienced in a wide variety of arms and combat situations.  If we can't do it, those weenies at Blackwater sure as heck can't, so don't even ask them! 

Here are a couple of examples of our executive protection/corporate field security teams.  Depending on the circumstances, we offer two man and four man teams with supervisors, and by grouping teams, we can create any size force you want to meet your needs.  Even with a zed outbreak in the works there are still Very Important People in the world who deserve better protection than the little people should expect. 

Two man team with supervisor

Four man team

I don't foresee a lot of use for these guys in the outbreak, but I'm sure they'll come in handy occasionally.  I have a couple more of them - might paint them up as more of a merc force.

Then we have the survivors.  Innocents.  Lunchmeat.  Whatever you want to call unarmed civilians, we need some of them too.  You never know when you will have to rescue a damsel in distress.  Or accept a bribe to save Congressman McTwit from his former-constituents-cum-zombies.  Heck, let them have him.  What good's money in the post-outbreak world anyway?  Save the damsel instead.

Good news.  I ordered the terrain to get going on my first zombie games.  Trees.  Can you believe it?  I've been miniature gaming for 10 years and don't have any trees.  Always played at a friend's house and used his trees.  Always bought minis instead of trees.  Now I'll have my own and be able to game at my place, too.  I'll be (temporarily) moving back to PA around the same time I'll be getting the trees so, although we're still looking at 2+ weeks, a game IS in the works.