“We gotta go down there and fix a transformer that’s popped. Can you guys keep the rioters away while we work?”, the utility worker asked the 4 police officers. The officers looked at him. His use of the “rioters” could mean only one thing, he had not seen what they had seen over the last several days.
“You just do your job, we’ll do ours. If we tell you to move, though, you do it as though it had come from the mouth of God, got it?”, one of the policemen snapped.
“Yeah, whatever,” the man replied turning to his partner chuckling, “A bit dramatic ain’t he?”
Officer Baakus grabbed his arm and spun him around. Growling he said, “Listen, you wanna stay alive, you do what we tell you; else you are on your own.” There was a look in Baakus’s eyes and tone in his voice that told the man to stay quite. Officer Baakus pointed at the nearby man-hole cover and spat, “Now get down that hole and do what you gotta do…quick.”
The utility workers gave Officer Baakus a surly look as they began preparing to make their repairs, as the police set up barricades in the street.
LPD cars 1 (Baakus and Toner) and 13 (Zentti and Jones) have been dispatched to provide traffic control and security for Lazarus P&L crew, whose job it is to get a downed transformer back on line. They've setup around a manhole in front of a convenience store in the middle of downtown Lazarus.
When Doubles are rolled on initiative rolls, special events will take place, per the rules on page 27 of the ATZ: Haven book. The game ends when the utility workers fix the transformer and make it to safety, or are killed.
Human Move: Workers get the man-hole cover off.
Human Move: The utility workers enter the man-hole.
Turn 3 (Doubles)
Special Event: The police hear a barking dog, which seems to be coming closer.
Turn 4 (Humans 3, Zombies No Move)
Human Move: The utility workers start looking for the problem with the burned out transformer.
Turn 5 (Zombies 1, Humans No Move)
Zombie Move: The dog turns the corner and moves towards the police officers (10in move). Six zombies come around the corner, following the dog. Baakus recognizes them for what they are and draws his weapon, yelling at Toner to do the same. They snap fire (pass 2D6 In Sight); of the four rounds fired, one round strikes home, dropping a zombie in its tracks.
Zombie Placement: Drawn by gun fire a zombie comes out the front door of the convenience store.
Human Move: Zenetti has LOS on the zombie, but doesn't fire (pass1 In Sight). Toner sees the movement and turns, snapping 2 rounds off. Both rounds strike the Zed, vaporizing its head. Baakus fires two more rounds at the Zeds chasing the dog, and drops a second zombie.
Turn 7 (Doubles)
Zombie Placement: A single zombie is comes out of one of the tenements, drawn by the gunfire.
Special Event: Three zombies enter the map from the SW, and move 12 in to join up with the zombies by the corner.
Turn 8 (Doubles)
Special Event: A car enters the map in the SE corner, moving to the west. It contains a male driver (Rep4) and female passenger (Rep 3). They are trying to escape the city.
Turn 9 (Doubles)
Zombie Placement: Two zombies come up the road, attracted by the sound of the car's engine.
Special Event: Another group of 7 zombies comes from the direction the other zombies did.
Turn 10 (Humans 1, Zombie No Move)
Human Move: As the utility workers fix the downed transformer, Baakus and Toner fire on the advancing zombie again. They manage to drop 3 more zombies with their four shots. Further down the street, the driverof the car sees a group of people ahead. He slows (moving to ½ speed, via reaction check).
( Game Note: I kind of improvised with the rules on this part of turn 12. It always bothered me in ATZ that a car would stop, if the wrong die came up on initiative, and could be acted against in place. I decided to use a simultaneous move system, where the zombies and car would move an inch, any interaction was resolved, then the next inch was moved and so on, until all the zombie movement was expended. The occupants of the car could do nothing, except react to what was happening via the reaction chart. That's how we get the scene above as the car plows through the crowd of zombies, even though the humans didn't move this turn)
Human Move: Baakus fires at the undead standing over his partner, and gets one hit. One of the zeds drops. Jones drops the second zombie from down the street. Zenetti moves towards the downed officer, yelling at the two utility workers as they exited the manhole to run.
Turn 12 (Humans 3, Zombies 1)
Zombie Placement: A total of 6 Zombies are drawn to the area, from all the noise. The only ones that are of any danger to any humans are three that enter the map near the wrecked car.
Human Move: Baakus turns and fires at a zombie advancing from his left, dropping it easily. He then rounds the car to help Zenetti get Toner into the back seat of the patrol car. Jones moves to Patrol 13, and then realizes that Zenetti has the car keys. The utility workers get into their work van. Back at the overturned car, the driver comes to and struggles to get out of the wreckage.
Zombie Movement: The zombies by the car surround it; pouncing on the trapped man. He feebly attempts to defend himself, and is quickly overwhelmed. His screams echo against the building walls as they begin feasting for 3 turns. The dog chasing zombies advance on Baakus and Zenetti. While 3 of them are unable to reach the humans, one is able charge Zenetti. They become locked in melee as Zenetti fights the zombie off.
Turn 13 (Humans 3, Zombies 1)
Zombie Placement: None
Human Move: Baakus casually aims his pistol at the head of the zombie attacking Zenetti and pulls the trigger. The zombie drops lifelessly to the asphalt. Baakus gets in the car and locks the doors, as Zenetti sprints back to the other one. He and Jones get in and likewise lock the doors. The utility workers try to start their truck, but it won’t start.
Zombie Move: The zombies at the car continue to feast. Two zombies start pounding on Zenetti’s car, while three attack Patrol 1, to no avail.
Turn 14 (Zombies 3, Human No Move)
Zombie Placement: Only one zombie is drawn to the area.
Zombie Move: Two more zombies join the attack on Patrol 1. None of the attacks on the cars are successful.
Turn 15 (Humans 3, Zombies 1)
Zombie Placement: None
Human Move: The utility workers manage to start their truck and drive off, making it to safety. Neither patrol car manages to start.
Zombie Move: The passenger side window of Patrol 1 begins to break
Turn 16 (Humans 4, Zeds 2)
Zombie Placement: Three more zombies are drawn to the area
Human Move: Both cars mange to start to move to saftey. Baakus manages to successfully execute a spectacular J turn in reverse (pass 2, Driver and Loss of Control), running over 2 more zombies in the process.
All three vehicles make it to safety. Despite its best efforts, the utility department is unable to keep the grid up. Bit by bit, block by block the power starts going out across the city. By night fall, much of the city proper is without power. As the power went out authorities last more and more control. At an ever increasing pace, they were unable to maintain order as chaos began to engulf the city.
Baakus preformed admirably this game. I think he has more than redeemed himself, and may rate STAR status here pretty soon. Although, he keeps managing to loose parents to zombie bites. Well, it'll give a revolving door of side characters once I get inot the campaign proper.
The point in the middle of the game where 3 doubles were rolled on initiative was the weirdest thing. It was actually a series of 4 doubles on initiative. As God is my witness, here's how it happened. First double is rolled; no big deal. Second double is rolled, with the exact same numbers; I must not have shaken the dice, discard and re-roll. Third doubles is rolled, with different numbers; WOW, these dice are strange, I'll take this result, though. I changed dice, shook them really well, threw them. DOUBLES; I doubt I could ever duplicate it, again!
Even though the utility workers (whose vans look suspiciously like UPS trucks) managed to get the power back on, day 8 will dawn with things sliding more out of control in Lazarus. Let me sit down and figure out what's on the agenda for its good, and maybe not so good citizens. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this installment.