Friday, 3 February 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: January

Last weekend I managed to play the first game of what will hopefully be a year-long Last Days Seasons campaign.

The premise of the campaign is that when the zombie apocalypse kicked off, my leader (Devon) has managed to get his friend Jess and helper monkey Umlaut (sue me, I’m a Y: the Last Man fan) out of the city, and headed to a hobby farm where Jess had been taking agriculture classes, and on the way they have picked up a motley crew of other survivors looking to wait out the end of the world - Lynn, a medic, Kevin, a random guy with a cricket bat, Cece, a teenager, and Dionne, who wandered up to them one day with a samurai sword in one hand and an assault rifle in the other, which is hard to argue against.

They’ve made their way to the farm, cleared it out of its former occupants, and hunkered down to wait for this all to blow over. But it hasn’t. After a relatively quiet week where the group are starting to realise that they’re somewhat under equipped with food and fuel to survive the winter, they hear something - rushing outside, they see a helicopter in the distance, and it’s losing height rapidly. It crashes into the tree line not too far away, so our survivors pull on their packs to go and see if there’s anyone that needs help (or any unattended cans of beans…)

I won’t write out a full turn by turn report, more of a cribs notes version with key happenings.

After setting up the table which took quite a while, as there was a lot of flipping through the rulebook refreshing myself on rules (side note - why don’t modern rulebooks have an index or page references by rules to make it easier to actually use during a game?) I realised that I hadn’t printed out any tokens needed to play the game. Being as I was already at about an hour in at this point, I went with the low tech solution:

I popped my head in to see my wife at this point to see if she wanted a cup of tea, and she asked ‘oh have you finished your game?’ to which I sheepishly replied ‘ah, no I’ve not actually started yet…’

So, having placed the supply markers across the board, my merry band split up into three groups to sweep across the terrain laying waste to all the opposed them. Or at least that was the plan…

Jess (being hardy and able to carry more than the average bear) was sweeping up the left hand side, with Dionne covering her; Devon and Umlaut up the centre towards the crashed helicopter, with Cece and her hunting rifle hanging back at a safe distance to try and plink anyone that came near them; and Kevin and Lynn on the right, back to back Charlie’s Angels style.

However, Kevin my shotgun armed survivor, despite needing a 2+ to hit at close range whenever he shot, somehow missed multiple times, which impeded the effectiveness of the plan.

Rolling on the solo play event table at the end of each turn, I managed to get the result where a zombie stands up and carries off a supply token multiple times, which made operation sweep in, grab the goods and then get the hell out of there a little trickier…

Given that he’s the fastest moving member of the group, my monkey largely bounced from group to group piling on whenever someone got caught in combat with a zombie - and even though I always activated him last in the hopes of someone else getting XP, even in a three on one fight it still seemed to be him that ended up landing the killing blow more often than not.

Disastrous dice rolling aside, things went largely to plan, with Jess snatching up two supply tokens in short order. 

Then, rolling on the events table I got a ‘weather changes’ result, resulting in a sudden thaw that made all non man-made surfaces sticking mud. Which wasn’t ideal, as the board I set up was all woodland, so every move was halved for the rest of the game.

Thus began a knock down drag out war of attrition… against mud, mostly, as what was supposed to be a smash and grab operation became a game of increments. If anyone needed to reload, they were then only able to move an inch or so across the board, and then add being slowed by being encumbered by supplies. I imagine a certain amount of falling over accompanied by Yakkity-Sax in the movie adaptation of this story.

One major learning from this first game: the surplus assault rifle is very noisy. So noisy that if you fire it twice in one turn, there is then a 100% chance of another zombie turning up. And given the way I roll, I wasn’t taking out two zombies for every one that I was bringing on, so by the end of the game we were operating on such a deficit that the number of zombies entering the board from the same edge as the survivors suggested they’ve led a horde here!

XP is XP though, so I kept on blasting for far longer than I probably should have. We’ll, until everyone’s guns ran out of ammo and reloading was ignored in favour of booking it to try and get off of the board with the spoils!

It was a close run thing at the end, with Devon and Kevin flailing at smiths zombie carrying the final supply token, eventually succeeding in wrestling it from the zombie’s cold dead hands before running, screaming off of the board.

Between my unfamiliarity with the rules and the sudden appearance of mud in the game, I didn’t finish playing until half 1, so I tidied up (so that my children had somewhere to eat breakfast in the morning!) and went to bed, saving the best bit of any campaign for the morning after, the post-game sequence!

Everyone other than Cece got enough experience to level up, which was exciting. Devon got tougher, Jess and Lynn (the two with no ranged weapons) got better at bashing in zombie brains, Kevin got weirdly more energetic, and Dionne learned the double tap skill, which should allow her to more effectively take down zombies at range (whilst also summoning more due to more bullets=more noise). 

One thing that the Seasons expansion adds is additional supply tables, to represent a focus on scavenging for useful supplies, so I rolled on the winter table for three of my five supply tokens, hoping to find some of the unique things like cold weather gear and space heaters, and two on the general table, hoping to get a better (quieter!) assault rifle for Dionne. Instead I found another surplus assault rifle, a heavy club, and then a smattering of food, fuel and supplies. Ah well, there’s always next month, maybe I’ll find a knife or two, as having to roll a 5+ to take out a zombie with my rolls is trickier than you’d think…

In a Seasons campaign, you also track hunger, thirst, sickness and warmth. Thankfully, the two survivors that had gotten sick were able to make a full recovery with just bed rest, and everyone else managed to scrape together enough food and fuel to keep everyone fed and warm (which is harder than you’d think, a drafty old farmhouse takes more fuel than it does to heat a cosy little cabin).

So, no one died, the survivors have somewhere warm to sleep and food in their bellies, month one was a success. It’s still early days though…


  1. Nice start, and quite a cinematic one. Let's see what happens next!

  2. Yup, an enjoyable start to the campaign. I “think” I have Last Days somewhere…? I need to try it out