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?

1 comment:

  1. Printing schminting - if the scrap tokens have been working for almost a year now, then I say why mess with a system that already works just fine?

    Great episode! Let's hope the next one provides the team with that much needed medicine! (Poor 'Tony and 'Hair....)