Friday, 17 August 2012

3rd Squad (15mm Stargrunt)

 Here is the latest addition to my FSE 15mm Sci fi Force. These troops again wearing Kepi Blanc and equipped with the same weapons. The vehicle is a variant of the other APCs. As you can see it is armed with a missile system turret as opposed to a more traditional gun style turret. How this will play out in the rules I will wait and see. I suspect the missiles will be more use as an anti "tank" role but time will tell. I just about have a grip on the infantry rules so adding vehicles has got to be the next step. As you will know, this is my third squad of 15mm FSE troops with hover vehicles. Which means that one more squad, a command squad, with command vehicle I will then start on the opposition force. I have already decided the other "Army" will be Krav Ak, The first GZG alien race. Other races, like the "crusties" also exist, but for me Krav Ak are the force of choice.

At the club on Sunday Peter was kind enough to give me a pressie! On his travels across the country he managed to pick up "Little Nellie" or I should say a die cast model of the famous James Bond Auto gyro, "little Nellie". It is about 25mm scale and is a very welcome addition to my 7Tv props. In my head I already have a plan for it bringing the plan to fruition is always the tricky bit. I must say I am very grateful for this gift it really is just my sort of thing.

I did have some good news on the job front last night. I have now been told that my job is "Safe" til December. Additionally I have a 90% chance of retaining it after Christmas as well so that has taken the pressure off, at least until December.

I have several things on the go, but nothing else at a stage I can share today. I shall post again on Sunday and with luck I shall have something at least one of the started items finished. At least that's the plan. T

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Building the zombie bridge.

 As the game featured such an easy piece of terrain I thought I would show how it was made. The first thing to be aware of is what resources you can make use of. For me it was knowing that I could use some of the club hills and half of a table tennis table as the game table. The table tennis table was great, large enough for all to get round and the right colour to look like water. So basically use what you already have.
The actual bridge took 90 minutes to make including drying time. It only used tools that we all should have lying around and not really much skill at all. Honestly nothing that the average person could not do with out having to buy anything. I think that is important to make clear.
OK so here is how it was done:
  • . It is worth getting a "Stanley Knife" that you are comfortable with. The one in the picture gets used by me a lot and I got it while doing some work in a warehouse, mostly because it was different from all the other knives the other blokes had. Needless to say when using knives take care and make sure you don't bleed on what you are making.
  • The three wooden blocks  were scrounged from my builder neighbour. As long as the blocks are all the same in at least one dimension they will work. If you can get then roughly the same size so much the better.
  • Measure and cut the hardboard to what you think will be the right road width. As long as it looks right to you and you can get the right scale car to fit across it the bridge will work. I guessed 7 inches wide as that was a good width for me to use the hardboard I had. It would have worked as narrow as 3 inches for a single carriage way or as wide as 20 inches if you wanted a really lot of car lanes. As I wanted to block the road with a model truck I settled on 7 inches being that the truck was 8 1/2 inches long.
  • Having decided that I wanted a low bridge I went for the lowest dimension on the wooden blocks. There were a number of reasons for this it would make the bridge more stable and require less hill sections at each end.
  • Everything was then painted dark grey. I had some sand coloured emulsion and some black poster paint (Ready mixed) being both water based they would mix easily. I painted what I thought the centre of the lanes a lighter grey.
  • Once dry I used white and yellow colouring pencils to mark on the road markings. These markings consisted of a white dashed line down the middle and two yellow lines down each side, close together so the emulated the British no parking markings.
  • Once dry I used duct tape on the reverse to secure the two bridge sections together. I used nothing to attache the block bridge supports as being low to the water they were not likely to move about too much. They raised the bridge about 40mm from the river so were very stable. If I had used them in a different manner I would have needed to anchor them to either the board or the road surface.
So there you have it a quick simple effective modern road bridge. In an idea world I would have had some edging to stop the cars from falling of the edge. I was concerned that some player or other would have made negative comments about "health and safety" but they did not, t was just accepted.

That's it for today, more on Friday. Til then take care and all the best Clint.

Monday, 13 August 2012

AAR Zombie Bridge Game.

Battle Board set up.
Objective to escape off the board edge.
Sunday was a club day and I had said I would run a 7ombie game. So that's what I did and here's what happened. The top picture is of the board setup with the players entering on the left and needing to exit on the right. This was to be a crowded game with 8 players and me as the ref. Each player had but a single character, selected randomly. In theory this was the follow on from the Car park game but as some players had not played that mission and other players did not want the character they had last time there was no continuity. I did not see that as a problem so we Just went for it. I took no written notes on the day (I never do, perhaps I should in future) but I would imagine it would disrupt play so maybe I won't.
The situation was that the players were all individuals attempting to get out of the city by crossing this bridge. The problem was that the bridge was blocked so they had to abandon their transport and move passed all the other abandoned cars climb over the wrecked lorry and escape on foot of the board.
I did make a couple of rules changes. Initiative was decided by pulling names out of a hat, the zombies having two names in the hat as on a previous game with just one name players quickly realised that if the zombies had already moved they could pre-plan their turn for the next move to always stay clear. The Zombies were either "Zombies" or "Tuft Zombie" (which got shortened to "Tuffy's") due to me putting a tuft of model grass on their base. One of the colour blind players commented that the tuft of grass was clearly visible because of it's three dimensions and therefor worked better than a red blood spot.

1st Turn
Another rule I changed was that the SMG's could fire single shot IF the firer made an intelligence check before firing AND Stated that it was their intent not to fire a burst.
For the zombies I changed the abilities of the single Rage Zombie. Any other zombie within 3 inches of him could make an additional move action. The single Tank zombie also had the ability to hurl cars. This was limited to 8 inches and required him to spend one action next to the vehicle to pick it up and a separate action to throw the car. 
Finally to reward the winner of the car park game. That player was given a token which allowed them to take an extra turn just once in the game at any point they chose. This is really powerful if used correctly.
The first turns saw the players move forward and support each other taking out a couple of zombies as they went. The Biker let rip with his SMG into the melee not caring who he hit or missed. As luck would have it he only hit the zombies!Melees were short and brutal and the zeds were mostly dropped to the deck but not "killed". The heavy, the cop and the crook all moved up the board while the biker, the little girl and the sleazy man loitered about 6 inches behind. I brought on a couple more zombies at the players start line (spawn point no 1) to encourage the players to move along. No players in the game decided to search cars, if they had they would have found a scavenger card assuming they passed an Int test. But no one voiced the possibility of doing so, I therefore did not mention the possibility.
As the players moved across the bridge I spawned a couple more zeds. The crook played one of his scavenger cards, a butane bottle and quickly moved forward. Two more players arrived and joined the game, I started them 1 inch from the spawn point (serves them right for turning up late)> Everyone new the crook had done something, but not exactly what. Being prudent they moved away. They mostly double moved (ran) towards their objective, the Tescos lorry and escape! Which allowed the Crook to play his "Dodgy explosive prop" event card on the vehicle they were now clustered around. The 5 inch blast radius managed to inflict one wound on the heavy, stun the cop, and destroyed the brains of 3 zombies... so not all bad then. I think this marked the end of the co-operative play.

The heavy started to use his "Blocker" skill to stop any survivor within 1 inch of him from moving. A tactic he took great joy in using as many times as he could for the rest of the game. Which stopped the Little girl from moving at all for about 3 turns in  all, each time she moved he would try to end his move close enough to her to stop her moving the following turn, Sometime about now the two new arrivals got involved. One was a little boy who ran as fast as he could along the bridge. The other player a woman with a shot gun decided to kill the clustered zombies (all in Blast radius), She rolled a ONE, Whoops, so missed completely and them decided to move. She ended her move close to the Butane bottle... remember the butane bottle the crook left... which was on a count down and exploded right on cue. Scratch one survivor! The cop played his event card, which allowed him to move three other survivors through some vents and tunnels 12 inches away. He moved them back down the road into as much trouble as he could. The second Zombie spawn point was from inside the cars half way or more along the bridge. I could only spawn one zombie a activation, so two a turn (tuffty and non tuffty). This allowed me to keep the zombies in the game and part of the threat throughout. They could not move on the turn they spawned though so players could always have a chance to react to them.
The crook (the player who one the previous game and there fore had the extra turn token. managed to play two turns in a row and run half the length of the bridge and climb onto the truck. Climbing on top of the truck requires an Agility check as did jumping off the other side. The Little girl also played her event card, which was then cancelled by someonelses! The biker also scrambled onto the truck. The cop climbed up top without much difficulty getting down in one piece used up all his remaining "luck" tokens and left him facing 5 zombies before he could leave the board.
The final few turns (and my finally number of allotted spawning zombies was down to 2. The rage zombie was collecting straggles and amassing a herd as they moved across the bridge. Including the Tank or it would not be able to keep up other wise. In retrospect I should have spawned it from a car, oh well live and learn. However the herd did start to look good with 7 zombies but with just one purpose. The cop managed to dodge round the zombies and slip away of board and was declared the winner. The Crook and the sleazy man took a few shots at one another, but no damage was caused, either by the use of bad dice or good luck tokens.
The biker followed later in the same turn. The heavy was blocking (he will claim Protecting) the little girls movement so she tried to shoot him. The pistol shot missed. So in desperation she tried to melee the heavy. In my head I could picture him just looking down and uttering. "I don't mind fighting girls, because when they hit you it doesn't amount to much!" At this stage the survivors were either off the table and for this game "Safe!" or on top of the truck just about to jump down and escape.

 In the last few moments of the game the Tank managed to pick up a car and throw it on top of the lorry. The little girl dived out of the way, the heavy dived out of the way. The crook did not. Scratch survivor umber 2. It is not often in a game that you can with reason, chuck a car at a player. I think it's a game he'll remember, causing 2 explosions and have a car fall on his head. his was the break the zombies needed as their initiative marker was pulled out of the cup. (Last the previous turn and first this turn) resulting is what appeared to be a double move. Some of the zombies managed to clamber up the overturned lorry (needing a 1-2 on  D6 A surprising number made it) . They were scattered and could not mob one character so most attacks were useless. One Zombie did get a lucky bite and claw and brought the little girl down. Scratch survivor three. That turn saw all the survivors exit the board and make it away to safety. At least for now. The little boy was the last to leave, but did make it away in the end.....Just.

Conclusion. Well done Relfie for getting away first. It is important for me to remember that whatever I plan game wise the players will interperet it in a way that suits themselves. Yes I did make a couple of mistakes. As Zombies in 7ombie TV do not have any blocker skills a survivor can just move past them this makes it hard to contain players with a rotting flesh wall and that is something I might address in further episodes. The upgraded tank and Rager worked very well, something to ponder on there would be the possibility of it becoming too powerful. The rules are very simple, at times too simple and I might have to give ALL THINGS ZOMBIE another trial.All in all though a fun game and I shall plan another episode in the future.