On the weekend of Salute 2011 I was fortunate enough to be joined by Matt from Too Much Unpainted Lead and long-term gaming buddy Jim. After the joys of Salute and Incursion on Saturday, we played two zombie miniatures games on Sunday.
Here's what happened in the second of the two games we played. We used the All Things Zombie – Better Dead Than Zed ruleset by Two Hour Wargames. A particular event in the game we played prior to this lead me to post this one first, call it creative licence – but after what transpired, the story had to be told in this order.
Outbreak City: Nightfall
|Outbreak City - Sundown|
|Oytbreak City - All Things Zombie 4'' by 4'' set-up|
“This can’t be happening.” said a middle aged woman in a blood-smeared suit.
“It just did.” Replied a muscular man in a police officer’s uniform, his dark skin glowing in the radiance of a blaze across the block.
“Officer Foree - what do we do now?” asked the woman.
Ken stared unblinking into the hellish night.
“Get some rest, and have something to eat.” He replied. A tall woman in a splattered singlet put her hand on Ken’s shoulder.
“There is nothing to eat Ken. Ray found a refill for the water cooler in a storeroom but other than a few cans of soda and a pack of pop-tarts, this place is empty.”
He turned to face her. “We need to get out of here Lara.”
“We need to rest, and they need something to eat.” she replied, gesturing to the shell-shocked faces around the room.
“I’ll go.” said an athletic looking man leaning on a gunk-smeared cricket bat. Ray had proven himself when those things first tried to get in to the office block.
“Me too.” chirped Suzi, a petite Chinese girl with a sub-machine gun.
A tough looking guy with a hunting jacket and shotgun joined the conversation. “Jed.” he said, tapping his chest to himself with a sealed pack solid-shot. “You ain’t goin’ alone. Me and my brother Emmet’ll provide some support. Besides, I’m, starving.”
“I’m in.” said Roger, one of the Hazmat troopers. He gestured to a woman in similar get-up. “Bunny?”
Her face was grim determination, she yanked the charging handle on her assault rifle.
“I need chocolate.”
They pulled up a couple of blocks from Jiffy Jack’s, the small corner store where they were headed, there had to be something to eat in there. It was quiet, suspiciously so, and they cut the engine and advanced down main street towards a roadblock.
|The survivors advanced towards the roadblock|
Roger waved them on. “Let’s go, the store’s not far.”
“Why don’t we just go in here?” asked Emmet. Pointing to a pizza joint across the street.
“Why don’t we just go in here?” asked Emmet. Pointing to a pizza joint across the street.
“You’re kidding right?” replied Ray. “The power’s out. What exactly do you think will still be fresh?” He pointed to the pizza boxes and garbage strewn across the road. “Can’t you smell that?”
A series of low moans accompanied the fetid stench. “That’s not the garbage. MOVE!” yelled Bunny as the streets filled with ranks of walking corpses.
|The streets filled with ranks of walking corpses|
Ray and Suzi darted off up the road, as Roger and Bunny their retreat. Jed and Emmett followed more cautiously. Suzi made a run for it and Ray blasted one of the creatures blocking their path. They both paused, only briefly, but for too long.
|Ray blasted one of the creatures|
From across the road and out of the side streets the leaders of the decaying mob rushed on. They both responded with jumpy trigger fingers. They dispatched their assailants and Ray spared a glance back towards the others. Roger shot him a disapproving look - it was clear they’d made too much noise.
|"We'll cover the side street."|
“We’ll cover the side street.” said Roger as he and Bunny fired on the creatures in the alleyway. Both shamblers dropped immediately.
“Still think we should just go in...” slurred Emmett, as he pointed back at the pizza place, then stopped. A shambling tide lurched out of the shadows, there had to be at least twenty of them.
|A shambling tide lurched out of the shadows|
Jed shoved his brother “Dammit Em’, move!”
Suzi and Ray reached the corner of the block followed closely by Roger and Bunny. As Ray turned the corner a bloody figure startled him and he brought his shotgun to bear just in time.
|He brought his shotgun to bear just in time|
“Damn they’re fast!” cried Emmett. Firing into the oncoming horde.
“Come on!” yelled Jed, hot-footing it into the alleyway, away from the oncoming rush. “Quick!” he shouted back at his brother.
At the end of the alleyway he fired both barrels into one of the walkers as it rounded the corner and turned back to Jed. Jed was firing away with a semi-automatic rifle, dropping dead-heads with every shot, but they were so close, moving so fast, surrounding him.
|Blood-drenched hands and teeth grabbed, clawed and bit|
“Em!” It was too late. Blood-drenched hands and teeth grabbed, clawed and bit at his brother. The scream pierced the night and stripped Jed’s core.
|It was too late|
Suzi pushed one of the shamblers off of her and opened up with her sub-machine gun, the 9mm rounds made mincemeat of its face and dropped it to the tarmac. Ray batted one away, hitting it squarely on the side of the head to the accompaniment of a resonant splat. Suzi followed Roger and Ray as they sprinted across the street towards the supermarket. Bunny followed closely behind provided covering fire at the rear.
|"Where's Jed and Emmett?"|
|Jed sprinted down the alleyway|
Jed sprinted down the alleyway, into the darkness, tears streamed down his face. He rounded the block and scooted into the front doors of an office building, hiding himself away in the shadows. As he caught his breath he noticed that he wasn’t the only one in the building’s main lobby. A bloated corpse in caretaker’s overalls lunged at him from the dark, he was almost on top of Jed when he fired, filling the lobby with a pink mist as the ex-handyman keeled over like a rag doll.
Ray stopped at the front doors to Jiffy Jack’s, peering through the glass as he shadowed his eyes with his hand in order to get a better look.
|Ray peered through the glass to get a better look|
Roger kicked in the door to the supermarket and they all swept into the store as fast as they could, Bunny and Roger brought arms to bear on a couple of dead-heads that rushed at them, they didn’t last long. It was good to have shooters on the team thought Ray. Suzi grabbed a belt off a clothes rack and looped it through the push-bars on the entrance doors, knotting it as tight as she could behind them. The store was mostly trashed, looters, but in a back room they found a couple of cans of fuel. They would come in handy when they needed to head out of town.
Back in the office a quick search of the lobby found it almost empty, a courier bag spilled paperwork across the light marble floor and in the shadows stood a vending machine, powered down but full to the brim. Jed wiped his eyes. Despite everything he hadn’t forgotten why they came here. He yanked the courier bag off the reception desk and emptied its contents on the floor. He threw it a reception chair solidly into the face of the vending machine, the glass gave in immediately and he packed the bag with sodas, chips and candy. When he couldn’t fit any more in he piled the rest into the various compartments of his shooting jacket and the pockets of his pants. He sprinted out of the doors and raced across the street towards the supermarket at full speed, just in time, as one of those things was hot on his heels.
|One of the things was hot on Jed's heels|
He ran towards the corner store but spotted Ray, Suzi, Roger and Bunny disappearing off into an alleyway on the far side of the joint. They must have headed out the back way. He followed them, fast.
|Headed out the back way|
“Wait up!” yelled Jed. “They got Emmett!”
|"Wait up!" yelled Jed. "They got Emmett!"|
The response was a hail of gunfire, it zipped past him, snapped around his head like firecrackers and he ducked to a crouch for fear of his life. Out of the corner of his eye he saw shapes stumbling towards him, he turned to view a widening crowd of rage-filled hate and death swarming across the boulevard, there were dozens of them.
|The walking dead - there were dozens of them|
“Run!” shouted Suzi as she joined the duck-shoot and let loose on full auto.
Jed sprinted faster than he knew his legs could carry him, right past the others. One of the things reached out at Ray but he hit it hard, snapping its neck and stopping it dead.
|Jed ran right past the others|
They turned and ran off into the night as fast as they could. Jed eventually slowed and the others caught up with him. His eyes were red-raw.
“You ok?” asked Bunny. She thought the words moot even as they left her lips.
“Let’s take this back to the others.” He replied. Gesturing to the bag slung across his shoulder. “I don’t want this ending up a wasted trip.”
We had some terrible luck rolling for zombies at the start of the game, we scored just shy of the maximum number of zombies right off the bat, oops. Fortunately for most, the combat rolls fell in favour of the survivors and there were only a few times when reaction rolls meant things didn’t go exactly as planned. The survivors did get some food, even if we did rule that it was only the contents of the vending machine and the fuel would come in handy in the next scenario, the one we actually played before this. Stay tuned 'til next time.
Outbreak City: 12:45 am