Welcome To Lazarus

Instead of a "BANG", humanity is passing away with the shuffling of dead feet, and hungry moans. Desperate men and women fight against the rising tide for the newly risen dead.Sometimes, though, the undead are not he most dangerous things out there. Civilization has failed the test; the only thing left is survival.

Lazarus is just one of many places where humanity holds on by a thread, and life and death come as easily as a roll of the dice.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15mm Survivors from The Scene

This week I have the first of 2 offering from a company called The Scene.  The first group of minis are some survivors.  They are listed as 15mm; they are very large, though.  They tower above most 15mm mini I have.  They are closer to true HO or 18mm, than 15mm.  With that said, they are, in my opinion, some of best sculpted 15mms out there.  Huge amounts of detail packed into a small figure.  They paint up very well:

Here is a comparison with some of the larger Rebel Mini zombies:

If scale and size differences don't matter to you, then any Rebel zombies will work on the table top.  If they do matter to you, then you will have to weed out some of the smaller zombies.  Still, there are enough in all three of the Rebel Mini packs that you will find more than you need to fill the table with zombies that fit these survivors.

Next week, I'll have a group of Government Agents and Gunmen from The Scene.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quarantine - ATZ Campaign Day 6

I decided for Day 6, I'd play the "Quarantine" scenario from the ATZ: Haven book.  I played it straight by the rules, so some of the humans were bumped up to Rep 4, including our old friend Officer Baccus.  Can he redeem himself on this night?

After the very violent, and widely televised, attack on the Wilson campaign rally, city officials decided that something had to be done.  A quarantine order was signed, as it was obvious that some disease or pathogen was causing people to become murderous animals.  The words "terrorist attack" was even bandied about by the talking heads, in am attempt to make sense of it all.  Starting at midnight, every available law enforcement officer would be used to create a cordon around the area where the attacks were taking place.  In two man teams, they would let no one in or out, until 8 AM.  In the morning daylight, people would be checked for symptoms and aid would be rendered to those who needed it.

Officer Paine was not happy.  He had been partnered up with Baccus, who had become some what of a pariah over the last few days.  He had lost two partners; rumor was that he had left them high and dry in a deadly situation.  To top it off, many thought he was losing it.  At the precinct, he spoke of the dead coming back to life and zombies.  If it weren't for the fact that every man was needed, his superiors would have relived him by now.  As it was, Paine just prayed that Baccus didn't flake out on him and get him killed during the night.

Special Rules
(Per scenario description in ATZ-Haven book)
  • Anytime Doubles are rolled for activation there is an encounter; roll on Quarantine Encounter table.
  • Whenever the Police and a Civilian come face to face (6 inches and in sight) roll Rep d6 and consult the “Halt Quarantined” table.
  • All forces start with weapons holstered. It takes on activation to draw your weapon and you may only snap fire on the same activation it is drawn.  The shotgun takes one activation to unlock and access so it may not be fired on the same activation
  • All forces are subject to Zed or No Zed rule on page 33 of ATZ rule book.(exception: Baccuss and SWAT team in Lazarus world have already taken test and passed)
  • Zombies cannot be generated by gunfire or similar noises, but those that enter may still be attracted by it.
The board shows a section of the quarantine line.  There are two police cruisers (Patrols 1 and 13) blocking intersections leading out of the quarantine area.  Officer Baccus and Paine are on foot patrol, between the 2 cruisers.  Building 1-10 are in the quarantine area.

Turn 1 (Police 4, Civilians No Move)
Police Move: Officers Baccus and Paine begin their patrol.
Turn 2 (Double 6s)
(Encounter) An adult male comes out of building 4 and approaches foot patrol.  He says his girlfriend is sick and needs an ambulance.  He called for one but it hasn't arrived, he begs for help.  Officer Baccus says he will call for one and tells the man to go back inside to wait.
Turn 3 (Police 4, Civilians 2)
Police Move: The foot patrol waits for the man to go back inside
Civilian Move: The man retreats nervously back into the building.

Turn 4 (Civilians 2, Police No Move)
Civilian Move: The man returns and approaches the foot patrol again.  Before the officers can say anything, the man draws a pistol and fires (+1 Civilian success Halt Quarantined (HQ) roll).  The bullet barley misses Baccus's head.  Both officers duck back into cover and begin to draw their side arms (seems logical they would start drawing once fired on, even if not activated this turn).  The officers down the street strain to see what is going, but do nothing.
Turn 5 (Civilians 4, Police 2)
Civilian Move: The crazed man advances on the foot patrol, firing two more shots.  The bullets clang into the dumpster the officers are using for cover. 
Police Move: Both officers have their side arms drawn by now and fire at the man.  Three bullets strike the man.  He drops to the ground seriously wounded and "Out Of the Fight".  One officer from each patrol car comes to investigate.  The officers call for an ambulance.  Dispatch informs them that a police van will arrive shortly (3 turns), because there are no ambulances available.
Turn 6 (Police 4, Civilians No Move)
Police Move: The police administer first aid, and keep the man alive (pass 2, Modified Recovery test).

Turn 7 (Police 2, Civilians 1)
Police Move: The police continue life saving steps on the man.
Civilian Move: The man regains conciseness long enough to mumble about his sick girl friend.

Turn 8 (Double 4s)
(Encounter) Someone screams "FIRE!".  The officers look up to see black smoke pouring out of building 2.  The officers call it in and fire truck will arrive in 5 turns. 
Police Move:  The police van arrives.  They load the injured man into it and it pulls away, to take him to the hospital.
Civilian Move: A lone civilian runs from the building and heads towards the open part of town.  The police tell her to not cross the quarantine line.  Seeing the 4 policemen standing there, she turns around and runs into the night (+3 police success, HQ roll).

Turn 9 (Civilians 4, Police 1)
Civilian Move:  Another civilian exits the building, this time from the rear exit.  The lone officer by the Patrol 1 tells her to halt.  Suddenly the woman bolts across the quarantine line (+2 Civilian success, HQ roll).  She crosses the line and moves down the street.
Police Move: The police officer chases after the woman.  He easily catches up to her, telling her to halt again.  Once again she ignores his instructions and charges down the street (+1 Civilian success, HQ Roll).  The police officer's partner comes around the corner, just in time to see the woman running into the darkness (the fig made it off the board on its last HQ win).  All police officers who haven’t moved return to their posts.

Turn  10 (Police 1, Civilians No Move)
Police Move:  Patrol 1 sees 2 people exit the back of the burning building.  They mill about, confused.  The police watch them closely, but they do nothing.

Turn 11 (Double 1s)
(Encounter) Patrol 13 sees a group of 7 people moving up the street towards them under  the dim street lamps. 
Police Move: Patrol 13 gets ready to turn the advancing group back.  Patrol 1 tells the two people by the burning building to halt and to not cross the quarantine line.   Both civilians comply (+1 Police success HQ roll) and move across the street to an all night gas station and watch the building burn.
Civilian Move:  The civvies continue to watch their building burn.

Turn 12 (Zombies 4, Police 3, Civilians No Move)
Zombie Move:  The group of people in front of Patrol 13 continues to move towards it.  The police officers tell the crowd to halt.  Suddenly, the group charges the police officers (+3 Zombie successes, HQ roll).  As they come near, the police officers see that they are bloodied, and grotesquely disfigured.  The police officers are completely overwhelmed by the rushing horde; unable to even draw their weapons (Zombie Surprise total 13 to 7). The first officer goes down screaming as he is torn to pieces by the first zombie to reach him. The second officer manages to kill one of his attackers, before being dragged down, as well.  The attackers begin feasting on the bodies for 4 turns.
Police Move: Baccus and Paine hear the screams down the block.  Under a distant street light, they can see their companions being eaten alive.  Baccus nervously mutters, "It's them" and draws his weapon as he calls for help on his radio (A SWAT Team will arrive in 3 turns).  Paine, realizing that Baccus isn’t crazy and steeled by his demeanor draws his sidearm as well.  A fire engine arrives and begins to battle the fire in the burning building.
Civilian Move: Still complying with instructions, the civilian from the building stand aside and let the fireman do their work.

Turn 13 (Double 6s, Zombies 1)
(Encounter) Baccus and Paine hear a barking dog in the distance.  They look across the small park in front of them and see a dog running towards them.  Following not far behind is a group of bloodied figures.  Baccus nods his head in their direction, "more of them, get ready".
(Encounter; part of the "Fire" encounter from turn 8) Down the street, there is a “POP”.  Sparks and chunks of asphalt fly as a bullet ricochets off the pavement.  Someone yells "SNIPER!" as Patrol 1 draws their weapons scanning the area for the shooter.  The firemen and civilians duck for cover.  One of the officers retrieves the shotgun from the cruiser.
Zombie Move: The zombies follow the barking dog.

Turn 14 (Civilians 4, Police 2, Zombies 1)
Civilian Move: The civilians decide that they need to leave the area and head for the quarantine line.  Patrol 1 orders them to stop, emphasizing things with their drawn weapons.  The civilians turn on their heels and head the opposite direction (+3 Police success, HQ roll) , while the firemen resume battling the fire.
Police Move: Baccus and Paine stand their ground watching both groups of zombies.  Patrol 1 continues to man its road block, as well.
Zombie Move:  The barking dog easily out paces the shambling zombies.  It makes no difference, though, as the zombies have spotted the humans to their front.  They advance towards them, through a small park, as the zombies at the corner continue to feast.

Turn 15 (Police 3, Zombies No Move)
Police Move: A SWAT van turns the corner and heads towards the downed officers of Patrol 13.  As it screeches to a halt, heavily armed SWAT members rush from the van.  Without hesitation, they begin to pour fire into the zombies feasting on human flesh.  They easily dispatch the pre-occupied zombies.  Baccus and Paine fire at the advancing zombies as they pass through the small park.  Baccus drops 2 of them, while Paine misses.

Turn 16 (Police 4, Zombies 1)
Police Move: Baccus and Paine fire again.  Baccus drops another zombie while one of Paine’s bullets passes through the chest of another.  The SWAT team advances to the sound of the gunfire and takes out the last 2 zombies.

Despite their best efforts there were too many incidents like down fall of Patrol 13.  Large gaps developed in the quarantined line, and there were not enough officers to plug them.  More and more people started to exit the quarantine zone, many of them sporting wounds from rampaging attackers.  Faster and faster things spiraled out of control.

Game Note:  I will be honest, I wasn't sure how this one was going to go.  By the scenario rules in the ATZ - Haven book the game lasts 16 turns. minimum.  Since nothing happens unless doubles come up on activation rolls every turn, you could potentially have a game 16 turns long where nothing happens.  Needless to say, with 4 encounters taking place, that wasn't a problem this time around. The game turned out quite enjoyable, as I didn't have any idea what was going to happen next.

Also, Officer Baccus finally redeemed himself.  I was beginning to worry that I might have to just relegate him to zombie fodder, if he didn't shape up.  I think he gets to keep his 4 Rep, and will see more acion in the days to come.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A question of scale..."Why 15mm?"

Mathyoo's question on the previous thread of "Why 15mm" was a very valid one.  I wrestled with it when I decided to start my ATZ project.  I'd be interested to hear why others went with the scale they did.

To recap my reasons, they were:
1) Economy of cost: 15mm is way cheaper than the other scales.
2) Economy of scale: I can put a lot more "stuff" on the table. Plus, I would need a 10x10 table, minimum, to host what do on a 3x3. It takes up a lot less storage space, too.
3) Economy of time: It takes a lot less time to get 15mm stuff ready for the table; especially when I have a one off thing I need, quickly.

I think hearing how multiple others went about deciding on what scale to go with would be of benefit for any aspiring gamers, too.   So, if you'd like to chime in, feel free to do so...it's several days before the next scheduled post, so fire away!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Suburban Test House

Soon, my Lazarus campaign will move into the suburbs of the city.  I have nothing built, as far as terrain goes, for that setting.  I have about 5-6 different style paper house I can build, to give my neighborhoods some variety.  So, that's not a problem.  The issue I have is capturing the real feel of a US suburb.I could just plop my houses down on a green table top, but that would just look weird.  Drive ways are the answer.  How do I model them in an  easy and durable manner that, though?  I searched the web and found what I think is a great solution; roofing shingles!

I took a shingle, left over from my house being re-roofed.  I traced out the shape I wanted and cut it out.  Use a cheap utility knife, as these things will ruin an Xacto blade in a heart beat.  I then used wood glue to affix the paper and foam board house to the BACK SIDE of the shingle.  I painted the area around the edge brown and glued static grass to it.  I dry-brushed the areas that would be concrete grey and then painted in expansion joints.  I used green scratch pads for hedges and even made a little flower bed.  Here's the results
Here's an action shot with minis and vehicles for scale:
Going forward, here is what changes I am making to the process:
  1. The driveways need to be longer, so two vehicles can be parked tail to nose in them.
  2. Add back patios to the bases
  3. I am going to lightly over-spray the base with grey primer, so I won't have to dry brush.  That'll lighten the color up, as well.
  4. Paint the edges brown BEFORE gluing the houses on.
  5. Find, or build AC units, satellite dishes, etc to add detail
  6. I am going to use shingles for my suburban roads, as well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

15mm Heavy Metal

My 15mm military forces got a littl extra fire power this week.  I finished a couple of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs)  They are done up in colors for the mid-east.  They can, and will, just as easily fit into the middle of a US city.  I don't really like basing my vehicles.  The way these things went together, though, I really didn't have a choice, unless I wanted the tracks popping off every time they hit the table.

The M2 Bradley (foreground) is from a company that I can't recall and the LAV-25 is from QRF Models.  The photos below show them with some Peter Pig US Marines.  Honestly, they are little on the small side.  Still they are nice models and look good on the table.

This armor will make good back up, for my Irish Serb HMMVs.  I replaced the resin .50Cal on the HMMV on the right with a metal one from Peter Pig.  It looks much better.  The Irish Serb HMMVs are the best on the market, IMO, and well worth the price.

The turrets on both vehicles are removable,  so I took an extra one and modeled it as manned.  I used the kneeling Peter Pig Marine .50 Cal gunner; hacked off at the waist, and card for the hatch doors.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Los Surenos - 28mm Survivors

"Hey, esse, end of the world, or not, this barrio is our home.  Mi madre, mi padre, all my brothers and sisters; the pinche dead got them.  These vatos are the only ones I have left; mi familia.  You understand homes?"

Los Surenos are another gang living in the remnants of Southern California.  They rule the barrios keeping all outsiders away; dead or alive.

Los Surenos







This is another set of Gangstars from Obelisk Miniatures; sold at Black Cat Bases. These are from the same line as the minis in my "Las Chicas" gang. Excellent minis, and I highly recommend them to the 28mm gamer/painter/collector.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"On The Workbench" - 11/11

I decided that as an ongoing feature, I am going to post a rundown of what I have on the work bench, and what I have completed from the previous month's list.  Some of the items will not be Zombie gaming related.  They do affect what I get done in regards to material for this blog, though.  So, I figure they are pertinent to the conversation.  Many of them will be dual use for Welcome To Lazarus and other projects.  I'll denote them with an asterisk.

The workbench in the Hobby Cave.  It's actually much better lit than the pic suggests.
If anything, this running dialog will keep me on track and help me prioritize what I need to get done.  Your input is more than welcome, and you never know.  Maybe if there is enough hue and cry, an item will get bumped to the top of the list, just to placate the masses.

On the Workbench for November 2011:
(This is all stuff that is partially finished; in no particular order)
15mm Armor - USMC LAV-25 and a US Army M2 Bradley *
30 28mm Zombies - Mantic Zombie Regiment Box
20 28mm Zombies - Wargames Factory Plastic Zombies
6 28mm Survivors - Obelisck Nighthawk gang *
2 "Clicky" Zombies - Ongoing conversions
6 28mm Vampires - Pontoonier Wierd West vampires for Two Hour Wargames.  Unfinish commision work that needs to be done ASAP, as I've really let Ed down on this.  I have a feeling that I am just going to finish the project gratis
12 28mm Survivors - Atcheson Designs ATZ figs.  I will be doing an indepth review and size comparison on them *
28mm Post Apoc gang - More survivors to battle in the rubble.
28mm Post Apoc Ruins Project - Ruins made from Gamecraft's Foamcore 6 story building.  This one is half done.
10mm Ruins Project - Foamcore ruins for a BTech style game using Mechwarrior figs; another half finished project.
28mm River Barge - Post Apoc watercraft
28mm Vehichles - 6-8 vehicles for my survivors *
15mm Suburbia - Paper/foamcore houses for suburban Lazarus. *
10 15mm Survivors - Figs from a company called "The Scene".  I have 5 Survivors and 5 Government types in the works. *
50 20mm WWII Russians - Minis for a semi defunct NUTS! East Front project I planned
2 T-34/85s - Same As Above
Various Fantasy/Sci Fi minis - I have a box of old minis I use to try out techniques and hone my skills.  I have quite a few half painted figs that I'd like to finish

October's Finished Projects/Minis
6 28mm Survivors - Look for them next Friday!*
2 28mm Aztec Vampire Maidens - Part of my sidetracked Weird West commision for THW
1 Steampowered Armored Suit - "Clicky" rebase and paint for Post Apoc gaming
90 15mm Rebel Minis (Zeds and Survivors) - Commision job for Scale Creep; looking forward to seeing what Mark does with them.  It'll be a hoot.
5 28mm Ruins - Part of my Post Apoc Ruins project

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