Wednesday 29 November 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: November

Another month, another game of Last Days! This month I played the scenario ‘No One Left Behind’ from the Seasons book:

Leaving Jess behind to look after the bedridden members of the group and try to harvest some more medicinal herbs from the gardens, Dionne Kev and Cece once again venture into the city looking for useful supplies. Instead, they’ve found a lost member of another group who promises them a reward if they can escort her back home. While initially cautious (as she’s clearly carrying a severed head), the gang decide that it’s the right thing to do, and anyway, it might be good to establish good relations with Ella other group who might be a possible trading partner with winter ever looming…

The board I set up looked like this:

Two parallel streets with plenty of ruined buildings, rubble and fences. The weather result i rolled was light rain, which reduced the maximum visibility for survivors (but didn’t affect any zombies, as they have other ways of finding prey). 

As the group enter the area (new friend in tow), they see that it’s especially dense with zombies, so decide to go as quietly as possible. Due to their stealthy approach, only a handful of zombies actually noticed them and started to shuffle towards them.

Kev, actually getting to utilise his full skill set, silently sprints and parkours his way up the rubble strewn street towards a cache of supplies hiding in a ruined building’s fenced off yard.

Cece follows after him more cautiously, with Dionne bringing up the rear to try and quietly pick off any zombies that get too close with her crossbow, which she does as a zombie shambles around the corner of a collapsing fence.

Side note - I finally made some proper Last Days tokens! Shout out to the Files section of the Last Days Facebook group and my wife’s laminator:

Cece decides against firing just yet, feeling that stealth might still be a better option than her hugely noisy military sniper rifle.

More zombies pile into the area, but luckily very few can lay eyes on the survivors and so largely stand like rotting scarecrows. When I built the board for this game, I made a couple of streets that I envisioned having to fight across the width of, then decided to follow the rules of the scenario and randomly determined a starting edge, leaving the group with a relatively straight shot up one of the streets, trying to jump from cover to cover to avoid being spotted by the horde the next street over - especially  important as I was playing on a 2.5 by 2.5 rather than 3 foot playing area.

Kev grabs the supplies then pressed himself flat against the wall of a ruined building, steeling himself for a dash to freedom through the closing net of zombies.

Cece and Dionne follow after him, hoping to also take cover in Kev’s safe spot. Dionne reloads her crossbow and attempts to take out another zombie, but unfortunately the combination of intervening terrain and her eye injury mean that she just narrowly misses, the bolt clattering away uselessly.

Cece again abstains from firing, knowing that if she does she’ll bring an even bigger horde down on their heads.

The exhausted survivor trails after them, struggling to keep up despite Dionne’s frantic hand signals.

As more and more zombies wander onto the board. A critical mass seems to be forming behind the garages:

They seem fairly placid for now, but all it would take would be a single gunshot or car alarm to go off for them to surge out onto the adjacent streets…

Also, Kev’s hiding place was mostly solid, except for from the POV of one particular distant zombie who looked up and started to lurch towards him:

Kev continues his advance through the ruined building, his eyes nervously scanning the groups of zombies clumped together ahead of him, looking for a gap through which he could make his escape.

Cece and Dionne scrabbled after him, Dionne starting to look a bit worried at just how many zombies were bearing down on her as she clambered over a heap of rubble.

She then unloads another crossbow bolt at an advancing zombie, but despite getting a hit fails to make a kill. She rapidly double taps the zombie, taking it out, but as she does so dislodges a brick in the rubble pile she is standing on which noisily clatters away down the street. Uh-oh…

Hearing this (and realising that shit is about to hit the fan) Cece and Kev both open fire with their firearms. Cece blows the head off of a zombie that was closing on Dionne, as Kev blasts the closest zombie to him with his magnum. Again, I remember too late that I probably should have had my stealth team swap out their incredibly noisy hand cannons for something a little more suited to stealth missions… ah well, the cat’s well and truly out of the bag now!

Presumably summoned by this row, two more zombies emerge from the garages, only a short distance away from the survivors trying to make their escape…

In a rare turn of luck though, no other zombies seem to have heard this (beyond the handful that appear on the board every turn regardless due to the rules of the scenario). Speaking of which, every zombie on the board surged towards the sound of gunshots, as both Cece and Dionne found their weapons empty. While most of them were still a safe distance away, one actually managed to get within grabbing distance of Dionne!

Kev was torn - he could see a gap through which he could possibly sprint to freedom, but he didn’t want to abandon Cece and Dionne. “Go, get the supplies out of here, we’re right behind you!” called Cece, so Kev nodded, vaulted the low wall beside him, and ran off the table.

“Right behind you” said Cece again, as much to herself as anyone else.

Dionne reloaded her crossbow and strode round the corner to the street Kev had sprinted down, readying herself for a run of her own. Cece didn’t have time to reload her sniper rifle as she scrambled through a hole in the wall into the same street, almost into the arms of a waiting zombie - if not for the crossbow bolt that seemed to suddenly sprout from it’s forehead.

Although the group had returned to their previous method of stealthy maneuvering, enough zombies now had eyes on them that everyone (new survivor included) was swiftly engaged by the hungry dead. Although Dionne was able to duck out of reach, Cece and the survivor they were escorting were not so lucky, a d had to fight for their lives. As Dionne coolly took down the zombie she’d just ducked under the arms of, Cece hacked with her knife at the three zombies surrounding her, but wasn’t able to take any of them out.

In return, one of the zombies manages to catch Cece a glancing blow, and the escorted survivor fares similarly in her fight. Even as this happens, four more zombies pour out of the comic book store to join the fray.

Spurred on by her potential impending demise, the survivor manages to break away from the zombies grasping at her and stumbles up to join Dionne in the street.

Sucking under the swinging arm of a zombie in a hospital gown, Cece put her head down and sprinted towards the end of the street, no other thought but escape in her mind. Seeing this, Dionne had a decision to make - and she couldn’t just sprint after Cece, as her way was blocked by too many zombies. “Quick, follow me!” she hissed to the survivor, before cutting across into a side street and breaking into a run to try and get around the group of zombies blocking her path to freedom.

The survivor, however, was too exhausted to manage a run, and unable to keep pace with Dionne was surrounded by zombies once more.

As did Dionne and Cece, admittedly, but to a lesser extent. Dionne keeps pace ahead of her pursuers and continues to run down the street, all hope of protecting the survivor they were escorting lost in favour of self-preservation:

while Cece scrambles through a broken window to evade her attackers, before also losing her nerve and sprinting off the table.

The survivor, unable to escape the grasping claws of five zombies  is dragged down screaming as Cece and Dionne exit the board.


Not a lot of experience gained this month, but Kev learns The skill Sprinter (after having plenty of practice!). Cece learns the skill Agriculturalist, presumably where Jess is up and about again she’s been showing Cece the basics of running the farm. 

As the survivor didn’t make it (which seems to be a recurring theme whenever this group meets a new friend, despite their best efforts), they get no reward from the other group, and Kev’s supply cache only yields one unit of Fuel and one Scavenge.

(Brief aside - it’s really tricky to lead out the survivor in this scenario! It’s a bit like in a video game where you have to lead out an AI companion, and they walk very slowly and stupidly, and you have to stop in weird places to try and lure them after you)

Everyone bedridden Rests this month, and the group gives the leader Devon the last of their medicine in the hopes of getting him back on his feet, but alas it has no effect (slightly annoying, as there was a 5 in 6 chance he’d be able to get out of bed, but I rolled a 1!). The fireman also remains bedridden, but Lynn starts feeling a bit better and is able to get out of bed. Everyone else works on gathering supplies, with Jess harvesting medicine in the garden, Dionne and Cece gathering food, and Kev working on building up their stockpile of Fuel before winter hits.

I agonised over whether Kev should Guard the group (as there are so many people bedridden) instead of gathering fuel, but went with banking on the farm’s remote location being defence enough!

Once this was all done, there was enough food that no one had to go hungry (with one excess meal even wasted, as there was no one free to preserve it on the cold cellar). Luckily Kev and Dionne didn’t catch any sickness from Cece who had been feeling a bit under the weather during their excursion, but unfortunately both Jess and Lynn then fell bedridden again. Looks like it’s going to be a tricky winter - will the groups stockpile of supplies be enough to keep them alive with most of the group unable to get out of bed?

As well as playing a game, I’ve also been receiving some parcels:

CP Models had a Halloween discount code, so I grabbed a few bits there including a sprue of fungus faces for some conversions planned for the Ronin of Shadow Deep project.

My Heresy order placed over the summer arrived, with some Doctor Who adjacent bits that I’d been missing from my collection.

I ordered a box of cowboy bits from, a website I’d never come across before but randomly stumbled over, which was handy as I was able to get some Dead Man’s Hand plastic gunfighters and Artizan sculpts (as well as a larger than my usual paint brush), all at a discounted price and with free shipping! 

Side note - I’ve had the urge for cowboys all of a sudden after years of the genre not really holding any appeal. I think it’s a combination of listening to Old Gods of Appalacia, then reading A War Transformed - originally I had visions of doing magical duelling cowboys (and wven bought a copy of the Dracula’s America rulebook!) but I think now I’m leaning towards doing vanilla cowboys using Legends of the Old West. I watched Tombstone too, which was grand - what’s not to love about Kurt Russell in a fancy moustache stomping around pistol whipping people while Val Kilmer had me googling Doc Holliday miniatures half way through the film?)

This does however mean that the Tally now stands at:

33 vs 150 = -117

So, yeah, probably not going to get back into the black before the New Year. 

Especially as it looks like we might now be moving house in three weeks, so some of these minis will have to go straight into a moving box…

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: October

Seeing as it’s Halloween, with most of the group bedridden it seemed appropriate that the 3 remaining members should get a suitably spooky scenario, so I decided to play the scenario ‘From Dusk until Dawn’ from the Seasons book. While out hunting for medicine, the group have holed up for the night in a lockup with a pair of survivors that they just met (I rolled up random equipment for a pair of generic survivors to take the total levels up to 20 to match the scenario suggested levels), which looked something like this:

(You’ll note the spooky trees, to make it extra thematic, and several fires around the place to provide a little bit of lighting).

I rolled for random weather, figuring that I’d re-roll anything that didn’t make sense (like bright sunlight when this scenario is played entirely at night), but handily rolled moderate weather, no additional effects (which was pretty handy, as maximum shooting range in this scenario is pretty much ‘your hand in front of your face’ unless a zombie is near one of the fires. Or on fire, which will become pertinent later).

To begin with, Cece and Dionne climbed up onto the lockup roof, hoping that they’d be able to see zombies as they lumbered past the fires dotted around the surrounding area (although unfortunately for Cece, one would come straight towards her, but would be equidistant from two fires and this functionally invisible to her until it tried to start biting her ankles). Kev manned the southmost barricade, while the two other survivors (dubbed Fat Tony and Greenhair by Cece) were set to watch the other side of the compound.

As I started moving the zombies in turn 1, I realised that if I hadn’t set anyone up on the rooftop, the group could have just sat safely out of sight behind the fences for 8 turns and won the scenario without activating a single zombie all game, but that wouldn’t make for a very interesting game would it?

As the horde shambles closer, the survivors largely all go locked & loaded, figuring it’s probably best to stay in the largely defensible location they’re in.

Meanwhile, my favourite zombie catches fire:

Greenhair opens the shooting, but fails to hit anything with her shotgun, as does Fat Tony with his semi-automatic - maybe having the two wet behind the ears survivors defend an entire flank might not have been the best idea?

Kev, uncomfortable at being pinned in place (as his skill set is more oriented around park outing over obstacles to bash zombies heads in at close range) remembered that he’d been carrying a Magnum around with him unused for several months, and managed to stagger a zombie heading for him, although it wasn’t enough to take it out.

Dionne however knew she had a reputation to maintain, and coolly picked off the first zombie of the night with her hunting crossbow. She knew it was going to be a long night though, as that was only one of many…

Cece however failed to do the same with her military sniper rifle, the bullet kicking up sparks and pinging off of the wreckage in front of her target.

At the end of the first turn, 17 more zombies shamble onto the board, but luckily none of the fires go out. Things aren’t looking great (as the group is definitively outnumbered!), not to mention the fact that multiple zombies are now on fire, but still heading our way…

Fat Tony snapped off a couple of shots at the crowd of zombies starting to amass on the other side of the fence, and luckily managed a headshot on one.

Cece, unable to see the zombie heading straight for her in the darkness snapped off another shot at the zombie shed previously missed, managing to score a hit this time, but still unable to make a kill, as does Lev with his nearest zombie. Everyone pauses to reload their guns while they still can, and then the shooting recommences.

Cece, despite having a weapon designed specifically for shooting people in the head and a special skill for doing just that once more only narrowly hits her target, and even then that was only managed because the target had clambered up on top of some rubble that was previously shielding her:

Kev & Dionne both took out a zombie apiece, while Fat Tony & Greenhair both did little more than make a lot of noise with their guns again.

Speaking of making noise, 2 out of the 3 survivors from the main group participating in this scenario are carrying extremely noisy weapons (Kev with his Magnum and Cece with her sniper rifle) - maybe if we’re supposed to be sneaking around the city scavenging for medicine we should bring some quieter weapons next time?

Once again luck is with us as no fires go out at the end of the turn, and 14 more zombies turn up:

Brief aside: checking the rulebook, zombies can climb a climbable surface - the wall of the lockup isn’t really that, but I figured I’d house rule that a zombie may use a pair of zombies in contact with the wall like a ladder and move over them to be able to climb up (using them as a rotting ramp, essentially).

Everyone that was locked & loaded snapped off their shots, but everyone missed, presumably spooked by just how surrounded they are.

While Fat Tony seems fairly happy where he is, surrounded by fences and stood on a truck, those at the barricades feel a little more nervous - Greenhair backs up a little, hoping to be able to bring her shotgun to bear more effectively, while Kev parkours up to the rooftop next to Cece (although I did have to rest on this slightly a moment later, when I remembered that carrying supplies slows you down, so he was actually only able to parkour onto the crate next to the wall of the lockup). I’d hoped to hold out a few turns longer before making a fighting retreat to the rooftop, but Kev figured that although he is pretty good at breaking heads up close and personal, even he wouldn’t stand much of a chance when outnumbered at least 6 to 1!

(This pic I took before realising my mistake)

Shooting was again largely ineffective, with the exception of Dionne who continued to relentlessly gun down a biter every turn, and Cece who finally managed to take out that one zombie she’d already wasted multiple bullets on. The only problem being, for every zombie they took out, there seemed to be five more to take their place, and they’d now started to reach the fences…

At the end of the turn, the fire nearest the barricade recently vacated by Greenhair goes out, meaning that all of a sudden she can see very few zombies… except for the ones on fire heading towards her, of course.

12 more zombies come into play - this game is pretty slow going, as the sheer number of zombies on the board take a while for me to move every turn! Plus at this point the box of zombies that I’d brought up to use is starting to look pretty empty:

With a surge of necrotic flesh, the tide of zombies reached the barricades and started spilling into the enclosure:

Fat Tony managed to take one out as it tumbled over the fence, but then realised that he’d probably left it too late to make a dash over to the rooftop with the other survivors, so clambered up onto the roof of the truck he was stood on to hopefully buy himself a little more time. Kev scrambled up onto the roof, and interposed himself between Cece and the zombies starting to pull themselves up onto the rooftop, with Greenhair running up to try to climb up behind him.

Kev leant out over the edge of the roof and pressed his Magnum to a zombie’s skull, blasting it’s brains out at point blank range, as behind him Cece took out another blazing zombie with her sniper rifle. Dionne calmly took down another biter with her crossbow, while Fat Tony and Greenhair managed to land a hit apiece, but weren’t able to put their targets down.

At the end of the turn, the fire nearest to Kev and Cece went out, plunging a whole swathe of the battlefield into darkness. While this happened, 14 more zombies then entered the battlefield.

As zombies continued to pour towards Fat Tony, he raised his semi-automatic and planned to sell his life as dearly as he could - only for it to issue a full click, as the gun was empty. ‘Ahh, son of a-’

Zombies have also started pulling themselves up into the roof of the lockup. Dionne sidesteps one and puts it down with a crossbow bolt, but Kev stumbles while trying to take out his zombie (I rolled a 1 for Kev and a 6 for the zed!), and narrowly avoids getting pulled down. Fat Tony isn’t so lucky, and is pulled down by the four zombies surrounding him.

2 more fires go out at the end of the turn, but this isn’t such a big issue any more now that most of the fighting is up close and personal! 18 more zombies enter play, and I have to go to the basement to get a second box of them!

I decide I’m probably going to stop putting more zombies onto the board after this turn, as there’s already more than 90 in play and any more than that seems like it’s not really going to affect the outcome…

The zombies on the board are approaching horde level now - Dionne takes one out, but everyone else struggles against their opponents, and it’s now just a case of seeing if they can hold out and survive long enough for the sun to rise so that they can make their escape!

(6 more zombies should have entered at this point, but I figured they wouldn’t ever get into combat due to there already being 90 other zombies between them and the survivors, so skip it)

At this point, 7 zombies had managed to make their way up onto the roof - Dionne was in her element:

Cece was starting to panic, and missing shots that she should easily have made, and so Dionne called over her shoulder for her to keep her cool. She took a deep breath, centred herself, and took a shot that took out a zombie bearing down on Kev.

Unfortunately, at that moment just below her Greenhair swing and missed her target, leaving herself open to the grasping claws of a pair of zombies, and she was dragged down screaming.

Hearing this, Dionne was momentarily thrown off, and fired a non-lethal shot (I rolled a pair of 1s!). Grunting her displeasure, she quickly fired a second shot which struck her target through the eye socket, killing it instantly. 

Hearing Greenhair scream, Kev fought harder against the pair of zombies flanking him, but was unable to make any headway on putting either of them down.

(11 more zombies should have entered at the end of the turn)

More and more zombies continue to pile up onto the rooftop - seeing that Dionne is surrounded by 4 zombies, Kev sidesteps the pair he’d been struggling with and rushes to her aid.  Cece tries to join him, but is unable to escape the grasping hands of her assailants. Kev smashed one of the zombies to the ground, trying to clear Dionne a path to get free. No one knows it at this point, but Dionne has gained a level of sickness from this fight, and so will be bedridden assuming they make it back to their home base. 

Cece manages to shiv her zombie, and turns just in time to see Dionne get her samurai sword stuck in the shoulder of one of the three remaining zombies around her, as the other two drag her to the ground! 

And with that, the scenario ends - the sun rises, and now able to see an escape route Kev grabs Dionne’s unconscious body under the arms and leaps off of the roof with Cece to make a break for it…

(Imagine this with a ring of about 30 more zombies around the outside)


Unfortunately both of the group’s trained first aiders are bedridden, and are unable to do anything to help Dionne. So it falls to Cece with Lynn’s medical supplies: I originally rolled an arm injury, which would have left Dionne unable to use her crossbow, but thanks to Cece’s application of bandages it turns into an eye injury - not ideal, but infinitely better than an arm injury! 

Dionne gains a level, and gains an additional point of Endurance. If she’d had that in the last scenario, two of the three wounds she took would have just bounced off of her, and she’d have walked off the roof instead of being carried!

Kev has just enough XP to level up, but decides not to this month, wanting to bank some spare XP to be able to alter his rolls!

Cece learns First Aid Training, having had some on the job experience with it!

As Dionne got taken out of action, the group was only able to make off with two supply tokens, which I decided to roll on the Winter table for both (both because winter is coming, and also because you don’t find medicine on the regular scavenge tables). They weren’t able to find any medicine, but did come back home with a selection of preserved food, fuel, and scavenge points.

As most of the group was bedridden, there wasn’t a lot of activity in the post game assigning jobs phase - everyone bedridden was assigned to rest, and Kev and Cece after making sure everyone was fed from the group’s stash of preserved meals and giving Dionne their last remaining dose of medicine set about standing guard, as with so much of the group laid up there was a real risk of the farm they’d been working so hard to make a home getting overrun by zombies. While it did take a big dent out of their supplies (which they’d been building up in preparation for the coming winter), they figured that as long as everyone got better, it shouldn’t then take too long to build their stash back up.

Unfortunately, 3 members of the group remained bedridden (Devon, Lynn and the Fireman), and Cece gained a level of sickness from playing nursemaid, but Dionne and Jess were back on their feet, which is handy as next month there will be four able-bodied fighters, and one of them being Jess is extra handy, as she can harvest medicine from the garden to hopefully help get the rest of the group back on their feet.

When the zombie attack came, I rolled a 10, so the group would have been fine without Kev and Cece patrolling, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

Final thought - I’ve played Last Days every month for the last 10 months, and I’m still using handwritten scraps of paper for tokens:

I should probably get round to printing out some proper tokens soon, right?

Sunday 29 October 2023

Zomtober 2023 Week 5

And so Zomtober 2023 comes to a close, this week with two zombies:

Here’s a slightly different angle of the chap on the right, as it’s a little tricky to see what he’s doing from head on:

And here they are from the back, where you can see that they are painted in the livery of the two provinces that the Empire troops come from in Zombieslayer, Talabecland and Reikland:

Annoyingly in the notes that I took during my reread of the novel, I noted down the colour schemes, but not the names of the provinces, assuming that I’d just remember, which obviously I couldn’t when I went to look up some painting references! Luckily I was able to reverse engineer ‘Talabecland’ from ‘mustard and burgundy’…

This pair of conversions came about from me having a root around my bits box and pulling out a couple of old starter set Empire spearmen (from a starter set that I never owned, but that’s not the focus of this). Looking at the armour on one, I wondered if I could bisect him across the waist, and then Frankenstein him with zombie bits to make two Empire zombies. Which started like this:

And ended like this:

As I started cutting, I realised that the spearman’s front and rear plate armour were not the same lengths, so rather than a straightforward straight cut, there was a certain amount of knife angling, and then rebuilding waistlines with green stuff, which is pleasingly unobtrusive on the finished model. I also sanded down a zombie head to fit the hat on at a jaunty angle, since just because your guts are hanging out not doesn’t mean you don’t want to feel pretty right?

Painting this pair brings the Tally to:

33 vs 112 = -79

I did originally have plans for a bigger finish than just ‘two zombies’, but I kept getting outbid on minotaurs on eBay, and spending most of last week in Germany didn’t leave me enough time to work on the zombie wyvern conversion that I’ve had planned since starting this project…

After two Zomtobers, my zombie regiment so far looks like this:

8 more and it’s a legal unit! Although you always need more zombies…

Sunday 22 October 2023

Zomtober 2023 Week 4

Here’s the partner to last week’s submission for Zomtober Week 4:

Just a zombified Beastman enjoying a meaty snack.

This one largely came about as a result of my wondering how well glued together these minis were, and while gently seeing if there was much give to his shield arm snapped it off at the wrist. Once that was gone, I removed his weapon and repositioned the head to look like he was earring from something that was in his hand, and a little green stuff completed the look.

His snapped off hand then got replaced with a zombie hand holding a small length of rope (I think it originally held a skin covered gong that had previously been taken for a chaos space marine conversion), which I covered up the rope texture of with green stuff to make it look like another length of viscera.

This weeks submission brings the Tally to:

31 vs 112 = -81

Also, it’s still Sunday in Germany (where I currently am), so I technically didn’t miss the posting deadline!

Sunday 15 October 2023

Zomtober 2023 Week 3

Another week, and another Beastman zombie inspired by my recent re-read of the Gotrek and Felix novel Zombieslayer:

The posing of the conversion made it very difficult to get a decent photo of, but deadline day is deadline day so this is what I have. I didn’t add any injuries to the model (unless you count the repositioning of the head to give him the broken neck zombie look), so painted him to look like the cause of death was a swift axe to the neck, probably delivered by an angry chap with a bright orange crest of hair.

Pretty much stock from behind, but buried in the middle of a unit no one will notice that!

The conversion started with me seeing just how well attached the limbs were on the salvage minis I’d bought, and one of the archers arm nocking an arrow popped clean off (snapping the arrow clean in half too, which I dutifully picked out of the carpet and stashed in my bits box). This mini however I carefully nipped the hand off to replace with something a little more undead than the sword he was originally modelled with. I was originally going to give him a generic grasping zombie hand, being happy with the existing position of the bow looking like it was absent-mindlessly dangling, but then thought it would be funnier to have a zombie archer than still had an arrow ready to go, but clearly had no idea how to use it. Which led to me removing the weapons from and carefully drilling through a zombie hand and then using the salvaged parts of the previously mentioned broken arrow to practice glueing onto the tiniest of contact points:

Those of you that follow me on Instagram will have seen that I was also working on another conversion at the same time, but as we’re going to Germany in Half Term to visit my wife’s family I’m saving him as a buffer, so no more pics of them until next week! Although while writing this post, I realised that I’d forgotten to include a WIP pic of the conversion in last week’s post, so here’s that as a bonus this week:

A little bit of green stuff and a couple of part swaps can go a long way!

Painting this week’s submission brings the tally to:

30 vs 112 = -82

While digging around looking for parts for a potential future conversion today, I came across these:

My original Mordheim zombies, that must have been painted when I was 19 at most. I’m torn between stripping them to repaint, or just trying to paint over the top to match them to my current painting style. Well, that or just quietly putting them back in the Mordheim box, as they’re very much sculpts of their time aren’t they…

Sunday 8 October 2023

Zomtober 2023 Week 2

Another week, another deadline met! This week’s submission is pretty much a proof-of-concept for this year’s theme, or ‘can I transform salvaged beastmen minis into suitable zombies in the style of the novel Zombieslayer’. And I think the answer to that is yes:

It’s a gor body with the head and hand snipped off and replaced with a beastmen skull and a zombie hand (from the standard topper in the old zombie regiment kit) respectively. The skull bit was originally from the dryad kit I believe, and was covered in vines that needed carefully snipping and filing off. A little green stuff and voila, gaps filled!

While I had the green stuff out I decided to hack a slice out of his gut and model on some tiny insides spilling out from under a flap of skin, as it feels like every good Gotrek and Felix novel has at least one enemy taking a wound to their abdomen and their intestines are described as ‘looping out’. 

Brief aside - zombies go on 20mm bases while gors usually live on 25s. I wasn’t sure the body would fit on the smaller base size, but I think with some careful positioning he should rank up alongside his fellows.

Then it was time for a fairly straightforward paint job, although I couldn’t resist adding some texture to his loincloth to add a little visual interest. My original plan was to have the skull entirely drenched in blood (as I always feel like zombies having any fully skeletal bits feels a little odd and out of place), but in all honesty I quite likes how the bone and horn came out so I ended up only mostly dousing him in blood. It looks so fresh and shiny in the pictures because it’s literally still wet in the pictures…

So, as you might have extrapolated from this and other posts, I managed to acquire a box of scrappy secondhand beastmen from eBay:

A mix of gors and ungors, in various states of disrepair. Some of them had been converted to hold marauder weapons, which I didn’t notice in the initial listing, but not the worst thing in the world as I’m only going to rip them off anyway. 

Acquiring these and painting one of them brings the Tally to:

29 vs 112 = -83

While the last two weeks have largely been a last-minute scramble to get things finished and photographed on the Sunday, I’m hoping that won’t be the case all month as I have the next two conversions already pretty much done. But then again, I’m now out of black spray. And going to Germany in a couple of weeks. Last minute scrambles it is then…

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: September

So, I just managed to squeeze in this month’s game on the very last day of the month. I decided to play the Fall special scenario ‘The Reaping’ - news that another group of survivors has succumbed to the zombie menace reaches our group, who pragmatically set out to liberate them of the supplies they no longer need!

I set up a wilderness board, that looked something like this:

I set up 14 zombies along the middle strip as per the scenario instructions, then 7 more on the opposite edge to the one my survivors started on, and then had an additional 12 zombies held ‘in reserve’ to make the total number of zombies match the total group level of the survivors. As I’ve previously done, I had the ‘reserve’ zombies come on as if survivors had made an additional noise each turn to represent the denser spread of zombies in the local area until all of the ‘reserve’ zombies are deployed, at which point I’d revert back to the usual rules.

I rolled for weather, and got moderate - no special rules. With that, the group split into two teams as per usual - team ‘guns blazing’ on the left consisting of Devon, Cece, Dionne and Lynn (although Lynn is mostly there to watch everyone else’s backs), and team sneaky on the right consisting of Kev, Jess, and the still as yet unnamed fireman.

A few of the clustered zombies start to notice the group and begin to shamble towards them, and Kev brass as bold marches straight up to the nearest one carrying supplies, ready to hopefully make short work of her with his knife. Keen to make a good first impression, the fireman easily outpaces Jess and wades in to lend Kev a hand. 

Team guns blazing on the other hand already has a steady stream of zombies heading towards them, so elects to hold their ground:

Devon opens fire first, eager to show off his new skills with a pistol in each hand - and misses about half of the shots he fires. The first hit does little more than stagger the advancing biter, but the second is a headshot that takes her out - that’s more like it! As impressive as that is though, it turns out that firing a pair of semi-automatic pistols is pretty noisy…

Cece then follows suit, taking out a zombie that has a crate tucked under one arm - looks like all that shooting practice is finally paying off! Dionne on the other hand seems to be having an off day, and despite sending a couple of bolts at an advancing zed fails to take it out! (In game terms, using all of her skills there was only a 1 in 36 chance of failing to take that zombie out, but I managed to roll a 1 and then another 1 on the reroll…)

Over on the other side of the field, the fireman swings his fire axe at a zombie, but fails to make a satisfying connection. Kev, however, has no such trouble, and buries his knife into the zombies brains, at which point her fingers relax on the case that she had been carrying:

Unfortunately for them, another previously motionless body then stands up holding the case again, so it looks like it’s a case of one down, plenty more to go…

The horde of zombies continues to amble towards the survivors, joined by a pair of naked zombies that enter the board to the left of team guns blazing, drawn by the noise of all of their gunfire in the previous turn.  Cece takes a potshot at one of them, but only manages to wing them. Devon however has more luck, managing to take out an advancing zombie wearing a police uniform.

Team guns blazing then again elects to largely stay out and reload their guns, whereas over on the right stealth has largely gone out of the window for team sneaky as everything degenerates into a swirling melee.

With an explosion of shooting, once the smoke clears there are far fewer zombies facing down the aptly names team guns blazing - although Lynn failed to take anything out with her shotgun, everyone else managed to take out at least one zombie, with Devon even bagging two! Now it’s just a case of dashing in and scooping up the supplies, right?

In close quarters combat, Jess easily smashes her opponent to the ground with her fire axe, but the fireman isn’t so successful, and even gets scratched by the zombie in return!

Unfortunately for team guns blazing, another body stands up holding onto the previously dropped supplies, so gathering them all up isn’t going to be quite as simple as previously supposed. 

Things then continued in much the same pattern for a few turns - with waves of zombies pouring towards team guns blazing, being largely shot to pieces and then replace by more zombies, occasionally interspersed with moments of comedy like Devon blasting away with his pair of pistols only to moss with all but one shot, while over on the right it was largely the same situation but with axes and knives rather than guns and crossbows. Jess and Kev were smashing apart zombies with grim abandon, only for the fireman to continuously struggle with his opponent and need his bacon pulling out of the fire, with more zombies appearing within arms reach all the time…

Once again I also managed to roll the end phase event that I’d rolled several times already this game, and the lone unclaimed supply token suddenly found itself on the move again:

So, brief analytical interlude. Team guns blazing - pros: the zombies are bringing all of the supply tokens right to us!
Cons: that’s a lot of zombies coming right to us…

Not much else to report at this point in the game - the survivors would look like they were going to get overwhelmed, before turning the tide and defying the odds (with team guns blazing also putting in a commendable showing when things got up close and personal). Deciding that it was probably time to stop attracting so many additional zombies to the board, team guns blazing holstered their weapons and set about their grim harvest, blades in hand.

Most of the survivors make short work of the opposition, but Devon’s opponent gets a lucky blow on him - thankfully due to all of his Endurance increases at previous level ups he’s so tough that he simply shrugs it off with no ill effects! He’s not so lucky the next turn though, when he finds himself outnumbered and and a zombie bites down on his shirt-clad arm. Flannel protects a little bit from the teeth, but it’s certainly going to leave a bruise!

5 more zombies appear on the opposite edge of the board to our survivors, 3 of whom are carrying supplies, but at this point it’s unlikely this will be be anywhere near the survivors by the time they’d made their escape. At this point it’s about 11pm and my best friend messages me to tell me that he’s about to enter a back to back screening of every Evil Dead Movie. If I’d remembered that was today I could have dug out my not-Ash min!

Back to the game- the fireman finally takes out the zombie that struggling with all game. Determined to make up for this poor showing, he then sprints over to team guns blazing to give them a hand extricating supplies from mangled corpses. As he did so, Cece managed to take out the last zombie that was close enough to be any danger, and then it was just a case of getting everyone off the board with supplies and then making their way home! 

Post-game, plenty of experience gained means lots of advancements:

Fireman gains a level, and hopes for a point of CQC (as with his fire axe and general lack of fighting skills, he’s just about equal to a zombie at the moment). Unfortunately he doesn’t have enough extra XP banked to turn the point of firearms skill he rolls into CQC, so it looks like he’s going to have to start trying to shoot things at some point in the future!

Cece learns the gunsmith skill - she’s less fussed about the actual skill itself, but more interested in the fact that learning that means she’ll be able to utilise the military sniper rifle that’s currently sitting in the group’s stash…

Kev learns the stalker skill, so is even better suited to just running up and starting to mirser zombies from the word go.

Dionne learns the master shooting skill never misses, making her officially the deadliest survivor on the planet.

Jess also gains an additional point of firearms skill - we just need to find her a quieter gun to try and make best use of it!

Lynn learns the master skill street surgeon - while supply seeker might have been the more optimal choice, street surgeon was the more thematically appropriate choice for the group’s medic!

Devon learnt the master shooting skill overwatch. I was tempted to take never misses on him too, given how often he… well, misses, but on the other hand a free Locked&Loaded token every turn is definitely something he can use (and also frees up a few AP every turn so he could potentially reload both of his pistols at once rather than having to cycle through them in rotation!)

Then it came time to see what we’d found in all of the supply tokens - and at this point I realised that I’d accidentally cheated on getting 8 supply tokens off the board with only 7 survivors, as it turns out survivors can only carry a single supply token unless they have the expedition backpack equipment, so Dionne shouldn’t have been able to drag 2 off the board - something to remember for next time!

Being that winter is coming and finding a kerosene heater would be really handy, I rolled four times on the winter table, once on the summer table, and three times on the standard tables - and due to some boringly average rolls, literally only found fuel and scavenge on the seasonal tables, so it looks like all of those zombified survivors had mostly been carrying planks of wood around with them! On the standard tables I managed to roll even greater amounts of scavenge, but also turned up a firebomb and a surplus SMG, which Jess quickly took ownership of (having not fired her noisy rifle in a couple of months for fear of attracting more zombies).

Allocating jobs after the game, Devon decided against trying to recruit a new member of the group this month, and instead decided to build a wood burning stove for the farm house. I know, it would be cheaper for Lynn to build it with her engineer skill, but her time is mich better spent in the garden harvesting food! As much as I’d like to let everyone rest to try and shake the niggling sickness that’s been with the group for months now, Devon knows that the weather is turning and winter is on the way, so sets the group to building up a stockpile of supplies, with what little medicine they already have distributed to the most productive members of the group in the hopes of staving off anyone becoming bedridden… so everyone else set about harvesting medicine, fuel, or food, with Cece working the cold cellar in the hopes of being able to preserve any excess meals to help the group last through the winter. Unfortunately again the dice seemed to be against me, as while nobody went hungry, there was only enough food left over to make 2 preserved meals.

Of the three survivors that were given medicine (Jess, Dionne and Cece), only Cece started feeling any better. Unfortunately, the fireman became sick from spending time out in the field in close quarters with other sick survivors (and definitely not from getting clawed by a zombie, honest), and then Devon, Lynn, Jess and the fireman all fell bedridden! Maybe they should have all rested this month rather than pushing themselves so hard…

So, next month - looks like it’s up to just Dionne, Cece and Kev to try and find some medicine! On the other hand, that’s 18 levels worth of survivor, so a force to be reckoned with. I kind of wish I’d had Devon recruit a new member rather than building a wood burning stove in the early autumn, in hindsight…