Thursday 31 August 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: August

Having had quite a busy month (being in Ohio for a fortnight for my Brother-in-Law’s wedding ate up a lot of potential gaming time!) I found myself setting up for this month’s zombie survival game the night before my birthday. 

(Brief aside - I didn’t find any fireman miniatures in Ohio, so the previously shown fire axe wielding miniature joined the group as my as yet unnamed firefighter)

Looking back over my campaign record, I noted that a lot of the time I’d been playing custom scenarios of my own invention, so figured I should probably try one of the generic scenarios from the rulebook (to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth, if nothing else) and promptly rolled Home Defence, which I’ve not yet finished the scenery for, so I re-roles until I got Bushwhack. Now, bushwhack doesn’t really work as a solo scenario (as there’s not really much point in trying to assassinate a particular zombie) so I set it up as a sort of reverse bushwhack that I dubbed ‘the rookie run’ - three survivors find themselves cut off from the rest of the group and must make their escape with their scavenged supplies as well as their lives. So, it seems Devon and Cece have taken the new guy into the city on a supply run and found themselves surrounded - can they break out? Can the rest of the group get to them to cut them a path to safety?

Setting up the table, it looked like this:

Why is there a pile of corpses in the ruins next to the cemetery? Just what have people been getting up to?

Rolling for weather, it turned out we had been caught in the middle of a summer storm, and so visibility would be notably reduced. 

The group make their way through the gate of the garage where they had briefly taken shelter and Devon and the Fireman start shooting at aimlessly milling zombies to try and clear a path. Devon manages to take out the first zombie on his second shot, but the Fireman isn’t yet used to his brand new revolver and is wildly inaccurate.

Barely five minutes into their breakout attempt the weather changes. No more storm, but the sun is starting to set - luckily behind the group so the sun isn’t in their eyes!

At the start of the next turn, my usual inability to roll low on noise checks is rewarded, as rather than more zombies Dionne and Kev appear on the board to investigate the gunshots. And are immediately jumped by a pair of zombies.

The fireman had apparently only loaded a single bullet into his revolver, and found himself needing to reload. Luckily his superior physical fitness means that even pausing to do so he can still cover just as much ground as Devon or Cece…

Dionne attempts to break free of the zombie grabbing at her in order to bring her murderous crossbow skills to bear, but it seems to be fairly handsy and so she is forced to draw her samurai sword. Is it a replica or is it real? Who knows, but we’ll find out in the CQC phase…

Devon again takes out a zombie on his second shot (thank heavens he has a semi-automatic rather than a revolver!) The Fireman, slightly embarrassed at his earlier performance, takes a little longer to line up his shot and gets his first zombie kill. Cece almost manages to line up a shot on a zombie coming up behind them, but unfortunately the sun is in her eyes and she narrowly misses.

Dionne’s samurai sword turns out to be real enough, as she takes out her opponent with little difficulty. Kev however struggles somewhat, eventually managing to get the better of his opponent, and thanks to his Headhunter skill narrowly manages to get his knife in the zombie’s eye. 

The fireman needs to reload after taking a single shot again - if we make it back to the shelter, someone is going to have to show him how to chamber more than a single bullet at a time! Saying that, maybe he learned from Cece, as she also keeps needing to reload after taking a single shot…

Drawn by the sounds of gunfire, zombies start streaming out of the woods and nearby cemetery:

The central group of survivors continues their advance to freedom, back to back (and probably with some sweet military hand signals as they do so), with Cece clambering on top of a dumpster to try and bring her hunting rifle into play to cover their escape:

As they do this, Kev and Dionne move up to link up with them - Kev lunges at a zombie on the way, hoping to quickly take it out to prevent it later sneaking up on them, and unfortunately gets some disgusting fluid in his mouth, gaining another level of sickness (which means that he’ll unfortunately be bedridden after the game).

Dionne, on the other hand, doesn’t have time for getting up close and personal, and instead starts heading for open space so that she can start peppering zombies with crossbow bolts.

Devon takes out another zombie between his group and freedom with his semi-automatic (again on the second shot - more time needed shooting tin cans on the firing range methinks to get used to shooting with only one good eye). The Fireman then attempts a shot at the one remaining zombie between them and freedom, and narrowly misses, his bullet pinging off of the back of a yellow truck nearby. Luckily, this doesn’t set off it’s alarm. ‘Be careful of car alarms when you’re shooting’ hisses Cece to him, before narrowly avoiding doing the exact same thing.

Dionne, meanwhile, shows us why she is the deadliest survivor on the block, easily taking out a zombie cheerleader with her crossbow.

Kev manages to beat his zombie in close combat, but despite being armed with a suite of weaponry and skills to excel in specifically this situation fails to put it down. In return, the zombie scrabbles ineffectually at him, tying him up for another turn. 

All of a sudden, five zombies burst out of the garages that the group had originally been taking shelter by in the centre of the table - this is going to put a bit more pressure on the group to make their escape speedily!

Luckily for the group, Jess has apparently heard all of this commotion and appears on the table directly in their path. Less fortunately, the Fireman and Cece discovered once again that they had apparently only reloaded a single bullet previously - more haste less speed needed! And then Devon’s gun clicked empty (presumably because he’d been taking two bullets to hit each zombie he’d taken out so far) - torn between whether to reload their guns or put all of their energy into making a break for it, they decided that discretion was the better part of valour and that they were just going to try to sprint straight to Jess! 

(Normally I’d have gone xp farming and tried to rack up as many zombie kills as possible, but it was getting late on the night before my birthday, so trying to get the supplies off safely won out - I’m assuming that at least one of the supply tokens was the ingredients for a birthday cake). The Fireman, having a surplus of Action Points and no space to move into with his extra reloaded his revolver before making his run - I imagine that he was reloading, complaining about how seemingly often you have to reload a revolver, before looking up to see Devon running off some distance ahead of him, at which point he goes ‘oh shi-‘ and sprints after him, not wanting to get left behind.

Cece climbs down off the dumpster, the box of supplies cradled awkwardly under one arm, and seeing that she wouldn’t make it safely far past the zombie between her and Jess grimly reloads her hunting rifle… Luckily for her, just our view Dionne has come around the corner and is sighting down her crossbow at the same zombie. Cece makes her shot and hits, but isn’t able to turn that hit into a kill. A second later, a crossbow bolt appears puncturing it’s skull, and it ripples out of sight. ‘Dionne, is that you?’ Cece timidly calls…

Or at least that’s what would have happened if I hadn’t realised at this point that in my excitement to to see if the survivors could break out I’d forgotten to move the zombies this turn, so set about rectifying this. With so many zombies immediately behind her:

Cece would have run round the single zombie rather than staying where she is and getting mobbed, so I retcon the last paragraph and move her. Re-playing events, as she sprints past the zombie a crossbow bolt sprouts from its head just as it is reaching out to grab her, and out of the corner of her eye Cece sees Dionne furiously gesturing for her to run faster. Ahead of her, Jess blasts away with her surplus assault rifle, taking down a single zombie that had been closing in on the escaping group. 

Kev, despite me only managing to roll a 1 manages to beat his opponent again, but for a second time fails to turn it into a kill. I’m assuming this is because he’s already starting to feel groggy after getting splattered with grossness earlier, and so will need a lie-down when we get back to the shelter…

The sun goes behind a cloud, which is handy, as pretty much every zombie is now between the group and the direction of the setting sun! 

Hearing Jess’ fusillade of fire, Lynn appears at her side, cradling the sawn-off shotgun that Kev had previously gifted her after receiving his arm injury that meant he was no longer able to make use of it.

Seeing that the shit was about to hit the fan with a huge horde of zombies moments away from catching up to the group:

everyone turned tail and sprinted off of the board to safety. Except Kev, who still couldn’t get away from the zombie that he had been grappling with for the last few turns, and there were now a couple more zombies bearing down on him…

Seeing that he was now all alone, Kev was spurred to greater heights of ferocity and savagely hacked apart the zombie, before dodging the clawing hands of the next zombie reaching for him, and dancing off of the board (which is probably for the best, as I’d just rolled the event that means from that point on D3 zombies appear whenever 1 would have previously, so the board was going to start getting even fuller…)


Fairly quiet for level ups this game, as most characters only rolled a 1 or 2 on their D6 for surviving the game, and most of the characters that didn’t start the game on the board didn’t really do much, truth be told.

Devon gained the gunfighter skill (one last step on the way to getting a master skill!) which will let him dial-wield pistols. Here’s to hoping we find one! Otherwise he might have to borrow Kev’s magnum, which I think he’s only actually fired once since getting it…

The Fireman, being a fresh recruit, gained enough experience to level up and chose a characteristic boost rather than a skill to start with, and gained +1 to his Firearms skill - I’m assuming Devon has sent him to shoot tin cans for the forseeable (reloading after every single shot I don’t doubt).

Having managed to get all 3 supply tokens to safety, I decided to roll once on the Sunmer table, once on Winter, and once on the standard table from the main rulebook. We found some fuel, a preserved meal, plenty of Scavenge, and a semi-automatic - hooray, dual wielding for Devon is a go!

When it came to allocating jobs, I took a bit of a risk and only had Dionne gathering food, but I figured that as the group had a substantial stash of preserved meals it was worth it to allow Jess to continue building up a stockpile of medicine (as the real enemy for the group so far has been sickness more than the zombies) and Lynn to build a second garden so that in future months multiple people can work on harvesting and hopefully canning food to prepare for the coming winter. On that front, we also need to build up our fuel stores, as well as thinking about ways to heat the farmhouse more efficiently. Thanks to the single dose of medicine that Jess managed to harvest last month, Kev was able to recover completely from his sickness, and is now feeling right as rain again.

Seeing as how I’m 8 months in and with no plans to stop, I should probably see about printing out and laminating some proper tokens rather than the scraps of paper I’m currently using…

As well as playing a game, the Tally has taken a number of hits:

In Ohio, I picked up the Battletech Essentials box (as it’s a Target exclusive), as well as picking up a Beginner box and Barnes &  Noble exclusive box of battlemechs (as seen in my previous post - we went to another B&N so I grabbed them!). And a couple of packs of D&D minis from a comic shop we found on an excursion into Colombus - some pixies, because I’ll probably need them for Silver Bayonet, and Xorn, because I figured they’d probably come in handy if my attention swings round to my Monstrous Alphabet project again.

Then the day after I played this game it was my birthday, where I was gifted miniature goodies:

The battletech box has another 8 mechs in, and that Skaven Bombardier fits on a 20mm square base with a certain amount of cursing about fiddly tubes…

So once everything is factored in, the Tally now looks like:

27 vs 86 = -59

Oof, the chances of me ending the year in the positive are looking fairly slim aren’t they? Especially when you consider I placed a little Heresy order at the start of the week during their big sale…

Monday 7 August 2023

Ronin of Ronin of Shadow Deep

Here are the first two miniatures for my Ronin of Shadow Deep project:

These were painted about a month ago, as unfortunately I listened to a podcast about the game Battletech and found myself with the urge to replay Front Mission 3, which took up the majority of my very limited evening time in the following weeks. They were also painted about 4000 miles away from where I currently am, so I haven’t been able to take less washed out pictures!

This is going to be Rei Togarashi, my Ronin (Ranger) and an as-yet unnamed archer. For the name, I chose Rei as a generic Asian sounding name, and Togarashi, because he’s a bit of a firey character:
Coming soon, a mage called lemon pepper.

But I digress. His shirt is my attempt at recreating this pattern from memory: 

It looks about half-way between that and him looking like he should be in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, which I’m not entirely unhappy about, truth be told.

As well as sporadically painting things, I’ve also been acquiring things. Games Workshop announced a new Clan Pestilens warband for whatever their skirmish game is, which got me thinking that a couple of them would make nice Plague Censer bearers, one of the only options in the Skaven army book that I don’t own any of. Not enough to make a unit though, so I had a browse on eBay and found myself the proud owner of these two lovely rats not much later:

Not long after, we found out we need to find a new place to live, so not the best time to keep buying vintage metal, so they might be on their lonesome for a little while longer. 

Also not ideal timing, as we were about to travel 4000 miles for my brother in law’s wedding. Which I took as an opportunity to save on shipping and placed a little Khurasan order:

(Shipping saving aside, it’s mostly the customs charges that I was keen to avoid)

I grabbed some Kappa to stand in for gnolls in my Ronin of Shadow Deep project, and also the mini that looks a lot like Torchwood head Yvonne Hartmann, so all I need now is a Genesis Ark and I have all the minis I need to play through the Battle for Canary Wharf booklet that Crooked Dice put out way back when.

All in, the Tally now stands at:

27 vs 64 = -37

We’re two thirds of the way through the year, and getting busier all the time, so the chances of the Tally getting back into the black by the end of the year are getting slimmer and slimmer…

Speaking of being 4000 miles away, I had a nose in Barnes and Noble and was jealous of their selection of exclusive games…

I kinda wish I’d picked up the Battletech box, but I haven’t even got a starter set yet so have no idea whether I’d have any use for them (that’s waiting until I can get to a lTarget to grab the exclusive Essentials set)