Monday, March 1, 2010

ATZ Batrep - Small Town Noob Adventures

We had a nice little meet up today for some open gaming.  It was a long day for me because I had Nick as well as two of his friends to contend with, and we started early.  Went by Grandma & Grandpa's farm early AM and made a big fire, then fished and played airsoft.  Then off to the meet up for some ATZ.
As usual it didn't take long for the game to get over capacity.  I never follow my own advice about not letting the games get too big and once again we had about nine players and all I did is reffed.  It is a huge testament to the ATZ game system that I can even pull this off, with some new players, and the games are still enjoyable, if a bit slower.  I did not get the level of detail I normally do on pictures because I was overloaded but did the best I could.  I am missing a bunch of the beginning pics but they are not too important because it was low action at first.  I also got a chance to use some of the O scale buildings I picked up in force today.
For the line up today I decided to take everyone back to day one of the Z epidemic.  Everyone started as Rep 3 with no weapons.  Little Dorothy started out as a scenario prop but after Lance got whacked early on, he took on the role of Dorothy.  His second try was a great turn around and he picked up the game very fast.
Nick didn't get his pic in the line up but he was the same camo survivor guy he started his gang with.  You'll spot the sneaky weasel well enough.
The group was driving through the country side when they decided to stop in Podunk Texas for some munchies and a pit stop.  Lance and Sam went into the station, Riley was pumping gas, and everyone else just stretched their legs or stayed in the car.  Lance, with his eagle eye, immediately noticed that something was very wrong with the station attendant.  Recognizing the attendant as some sort of monster, Lance and Sam immediately attack it and take him down.  Sam stayed to loot the store while Lance ran outside to warn the others.  Upon hearing the news, everyone starts to panic and split up in different directions.  Sean abandons little Dorothy and leaves her in the car.  Riley leaves the gas pumping and heads off.  Gabriel and Ian stick together and start off towards the hotel to see if they can find something out.  Nick heads off in another direction.  Lance has the presence of mind to shut down the pump and go get Dorothy from the car..  but she has vanished!  Where in the heck could she have gone.  Sam is pretty upset because she is his daughter.  Gee wiz, here we go again...  The only good news is that the Zeds are slow to take notice of all the action.
Nick works his way around the corner and finds a highway patrol car parked in front of the station.  He knows where to look for good stuff, and he is rewarded with a shotgun in the trunk of the cruiser!  What a lucky break.
AJ runs past the motel checking the doors but everything is locked up so he keeps going.  At the same time, Gabriel and Ian are in one of the motel rooms and Gabriel finds a pistol!
After gallantly checking for Dorothy, Lance heads across the street to look for her there, but he is caught by some Zeds and he goes down in melee.  The Zeds have noticed all the potential lunches running around town by now and they are in full pursuit everywhere.
This little town is crawling with Zeds from one end to the other.
Lances corpse is performing one last good deed.. a distraction for a large mob of Zeds that stop to feast.  This buys a little time for all the others to go do their thing.
Gabriel and Ian are still sticking together and are looting the cars for improvised weapons.  They now have a pistol and an impressive inventory of tire irons etc..  Sean is running around looking for trouble.  Here is a shot of him performing a text book "pop the weasel" from behind on two unsuspecting Zeds.  One of the Zeds was an ex policeman and Sean grabs his BAP!  Nick has returned to join the group and he is hidden between to hotel and the store.
Shotgun envy is just too much for Gabriel and Ian.  The devious duo decide to whack Nick and take his shotgun.  Gabriel comes up from behind poor unsuspecting Nick and fires twice with his pistol and stuns him with one shot.  That's just enough to allow Ian to run up and finish him off while he is down.  Gabriel is darned lucky he didn't miss both shots or the retribution from Nick's shotgun would've been ugly.  And then everyone wonders why the Zeds seem to always win??
Sean is still playing with Zeds out in the street.  For the second time he is jumped from two sides and once again he miraculously survives to fight another round.
Sean calmly retires and fires another couple of rounds taking down more Zeds.  Gabriel and Ian are in the store looting.
Back on the other side of town we now get a big surprise.  It seems that little Dorothy (now controlled by Lance) had wandered off and she found a SMG and then made her way into a big rig.  She managed to get this thing in gear and with a couple of shaking turns she has it turned back around and she's headed down main street!  Dorothy is a young girl between 8 and 10 so we make her pass a challenge every single activation to maintain control of the truck and she cannot do any fancy driving.  She had a couple of very close calls but managed to keep passing her challenges and drivers control tests.
 Seriously crazy things can and do happen in ATZ!
And heeeer'es Debbie!  (Debbie arrived late so I had to quickly figure a way to get her in the game)  Debbie is the town drunk here in Podunk and all this shooting and commotion has managed to wake her up.  She comes barreling out of her house screeching something about punks and blasting away with her BAP.  Sean is the first thing she saw, but luckily for him she missed both shots.  She's still soused I'd say.
Back to Dorothy, she is swerving back and forth down main street but somehow she still manages to keep the truck moving with only minor collisions.  The good news is she is taking out some Zeds in the process.  She sure is a cute little sucker.
Out on the main drag, Sean and Debbie look like they're defending the Alamo.
The Zeds are swarming in, particularly around Sean.
Cute little Dorothy finally loses control of the truck and it comes skidding to a halt against a building.  The motor quits..
Sean and Debbie's problems keep escalating..
AJ gets in a hurry and decides to fly out the second story window of the warehouse on his skateboard.  He makes a perfect landing and cruises across the street to the Fire Station.
Dorothy has ditched the big rig.  She jumped in the car where the group started and she is headed for a hook up with her Mom who's coming up between the buildings.  I hope she doesn't actually run her over.  (She's still making control tests)  There's lots o Zeds here too.
And behind her also.
Dorothy does a job on the Zeds out front and she skids to a stop to let her Mom in the car.  AJ's inside the Fire Station and he's found the keys to the Fire Truck!
So let's see how everyone else is doing.  Debbie has gone down to a couple of Zeds.  Sean is already being feasted on so he's not going to be much help.  Riley has decided it is time to go and he's trying to hot wire the cruiser.  Gabriel and Ian have been out looting all this time and they are currently in the red & white house across the street.  Oh, and the alarm has gone off on that Yellow truck and is starting to bring Zeds.
Sam (mom) is fighting off Zeds and waiting for her chance to get into Dorothy's car and AJ has the fire truck in motion now but he has to stop because Dorothy is still sitting in the middle of the street.  At least he was nice enough not to plow into her.
Bad news for Riley.  The feasts didn't last long and now he's locked in the cruiser and trying to hot wire it with Zeds approaching fast.  Just like in the movies!
A split second of indecision and the Zeds are all over Sam.  And there are a lot more on the way and a lot more being generated by the engines of the car and truck.  They will need to get going soon.
Sam goes down!  I'd say it is time to go.
The last survivors on the other side of town have their hands full too.  Riley is frantically trying to hot wire the cruiser.  Gabriel and Ian in the house are finding themselves getting surrounded by Zeds.  They managed to accidentally start a fire in the house bringing even more Zeds.  The truck alarm is still blaring away and attracting more unwanted attention also.
Let the feast begin!  Poor Sam is providing a much needed distraction for Dorothy and AJ.
Riley better get that cruiser started soon.  The Zeds are starting to damage the doors!
Dorothy and AJ are on the move again and after making a few Zeds into speed bumps they are on the road out of town.
One door has about had it.  Riley hurry!
Gabriel and Ian have had the good sense to lay low and wait for their moment.  Most of the house is surrounded by Zeds now, and it is burning, but by biding their time the garage side has thinned out so they get ready to make their break for freedom.  On their next activation they make it out and are free.
See what I mean?  They definitely wouldn't be going out the back door.
As the Zeds were tearing the doors off the cruiser, Riley finally manages to hot wire it and he wastes no time peeling some serious rubber.  He really ran this very close.
So if you ever stop for gas and munchies on day one of the Zombie infestation, please keep a copy of this batrep in your glove compartment and refer to it as a guide.  Just do pretty much the opposite of everything you see and you should be ok.  I can never help chuckling about how the players always seem to split up right away.  In real life I doubt they would do this, but with this bunch you never know I guess.
As usual, we had better than 50% casualties, although one of them was due to a sneaky back biter attack by Gabriel and Ian.  I must say they play to survive, and that's pretty much what it takes in ATZ.  Nice guys usually don't last long.  AJ played a good game and managed to stay out of his usual trouble and he scored a nice shiny fire truck.  Riley managed to stay alive his first game and come away with a cruiser, not bad, but darned lucky the way he finished.  Sean's incredible luck finally gave out.  He fought several hand to hand battles, severely outnumbered and attacked from behind, and he managed to kill a lot of Zeds and last a long time despite this.  But, nobody can maintain that luck forever, not even Sean of the Zeds.  Debbie and Sam didn't do anything incredibly stupid, they simply had some bad luck at the die.  Lance got caught early due mainly to being new, but he quickly grasped the situation and had a good game afterwards as little Dorothy.
This game actually took a long time to play.  I think we spent about 4 hours in total and I have never had a game of ATZ even come close to this.  We spent way too much time talking and fooling around, and there was a lot of players, some of them new, and several were kids.  All these factors really slowed the game down but it was still quite enjoyable.  ATZ is the only game I have found so far that can survive this kind of abuse and still come off successful.  I really recommend keeping games at 6 players, or less if the players are inexperienced until you really know it well.  I'm very comfortable with ATZ but 10 players is just too much for a fast paced game.  Happy gaming!


  1. I will read this Batrep tomorrow as I am almost out of time now, but I have to ask about the scale of the vehicles you are using. Are they 1:43 ?

    Whiteface / Oliver

  2. Now that you have played the Day 1 scenario twice, this last time with plenty of GM experience, how would you compare the two games from a GM viewpoint? (please answer here and in the Yahoo group, JP)

  3. I have to commend you, Willy, for being able to cope with so many players at once. The most I ever gamed with, way back in my skirmish wargaming days, was eight. I'd often run 54mm scale Wild West games on a table tennis table at my old wargaming club, which proved very popular with other gamers. Once I started gaming at home I set a limit of six players, which included myself. That was the most that could fit around my dining room table. Most times I'd be gaming with three or four others, which was a nice managable number. You must have plenty of room to accommodate ten players.

    The thing that stands out most from this batrep is the lack of co-operation and co-ordination with the group. No wonder they suffered 50% casualties. Still, the main thing is you guys had fun. Plus if you've added some converts to the wonderful world of ATZ, that can only be a good thing.

  4. I held my breath for Riley in his police cruiser and I was sure that he wouldn't survive this.

    "Out on the main drag, Sean and Debbie look like they're defending the Alamo." - This made me burst out with the office. I hope they took a lot of Zeds with them.

    Thank you, I really enjoyed reading this great batrep!

    Whiteface / Oliver

  5. Hi guys!
    Oliver, The vehicles are all 1/43, I score them at ToysRUs when on sale, and even when not they are not too pricey.
    JP, I will post a more detailed day 1 exp on the forum. We've done it more than twice, some were not posted. In a nutshell, I actually enjoy the day 1 games a lot. It is difficult, and it rewards cooperation. I like to campaign the game from day 1 until the players all grow up. Then I like to either start over, or start to move ATZ into the 5150 world and make it more post apoc.
    Vamp, 10 players is the absolute limit but I'm with you here, I think I will start limiting the number to about 6 in the future. On the plus side we have tons of room, which is a real blessing. I could set up a 20 or 30 foot table if I really wanted to!
    Oliver, Riley made that hot wire after about 4 tries, I thought he was going to be a gonner too. He was just plain lucky!

  6. I really need to get my act in gear and finish some ATZ terrain! Cars and buildings are my limiting factors at the moment (and painted Zeds of course).

    Awesome report as normal!