Sunday 24 December 2023

Last Days Seasons campaign: December

As we’re (hopefully!) moving very soon (or maybe have already moved by the time this gets published?) I played my December game of Last Days at the start of the month so that I could then pack everything up. As it’s the last game of the originally planned year long campaign, I decided to play the final special Season scenario, Whiteout. To make it extra festive, we also had thematically appropriate zombies:

I set up an abandoned refuge deep in the woods, with a number of crumbling perimeter walls.

To make the board look snowy, I threw down a fleece that was previously doing double duty as a draft excluder. While it makes the table look more festive, it also means that all of the pics this month look very dark!

Most of the group are bedridden, so Dionne, Kev & Cece find themselves trudging through knee deep snow to investigate an abandoned refuge in the hope of securing some supplies.

“It’s snowing, nobody trusts each other, we’re all very tired”, says Kev suddenly.
“That’s not the quote, he doesn’t say anything about snow does he?” replies Dionne, shooting Kev a questioning look.
Cece looks at them both blankly - “what are you two talking about?”
“The Thing! You’ve never seen The Thing? Kurt Russell?” asks Kev. Cece pulls a face as if to suggest that this is a ridiculous question, of course not.
“Ugh, another thing I miss about civilisation, before the biters we’d have been able to go home and fix this” says Dionne, seemingly in shock. “Wait, quiet, there’s something up ahead” she says, peering though the blizzard…

As the group enter the area heading for the abandoned refuge, Santa zombie and his elves start to trudge towards them.

Kev Dionne and Cece begin their advance on the abandoned refuge, aiming to enter through a hole in the tumbledown surrounding wall. Kev was particularly perturbed by the weather, as his skill set largely revolves around running in and rapidly grabbing things, which he was unable to do due to the deep snow! Until I re-read the Free Runner skill, and realised that Kev can actually parkour over the top of the snow like he’s Legolas toting a magnum and a cricket bat - go, Kevolas, tell us what your elf eyes see!

He barrels off towards the closest supply token, while Cece and Dionne struggle through the snow behind him. Unfortunately, due to the blinding snow and high winds, they’re not able to clearly see the monies heading towards them, and so there isn’t any shooting. Kev is close enough, but has been told that he is only to fire his magnum as an absolute last resort, for fear of causing an avalanche (whether of snow or the walking dead, we’ll likely find out eventually).

Kev swings the backpack onto his back before moving across to the right to try and lure the nearby zombies away from the opening so that Cece and Dionne would have a clear path into the compound.

Dionne loosed a crossbow bolt at Santa zombie, but was horrified to see that the zombie’s flesh was frozen, and so the bolt failed to pierce and bounced off! Seeing this, Cece raised her sniper rifle, but Dionne waved her back, whispering “not yet, let me just try again” wanting to reassure Cece, but her nerves showed in her rapidly darting eyes.

More and more zombies seemed to jerk into activity now that the survivors had started to break the tree line, and stumbled forward in even greater numbers.

Kev skirted the wall, and trudged into the compound proper, scooping up a fuel canister as he did so (I decided for this scenario to say that survivors could pick up a fuel or food token in addition to a supply token, and that fuel and food tokens would count as Heavy 1 - otherwise it would have been a short and boring scenario if the survivors just popped in, grabbed the 3 nearest tokens, and then immediately left!)

Cece advanced toward the lone elf zombie, knife in hand, while Dionne loaded a fresh bolt in her crossbow and followed behind:

(Look at how much my trees are still shedding!)

Dionne loosed another bolt, and was again surprised to be unable to take out a zombie (don’t worry, it’s not that her injuries and the weather are affecting her abilities, I just rolled a 1 both times…)

Kev suddenly realised that he’d ranged too far ahead when the zombies that he was previously luring away turn around and close in on Dionne and Cece, rejoining the lone elf zombie that has managed to get within arms reach of Cece.

Dionne reloads and sidesteps to block Cece from being attacked by a second zombie, while Kev starts to head back to try and give them a hand. Unfortunately, he’s so laden down with supplies that he isn’t able to quite make it, ending up tantalisingly close to the action.

At that moment I realise that in hindsight it would have been a better idea to send Kev off to grab some further away loot tokens, leaving the easier ones for the girls to grab on their much slower advance up the field. Ah well, maybe next year is the year we start using tactics I guess…

Just as the zombie shed moved to intercept was about to lunge at her, Dionne whipped up her crossbow and shot it at almost point blank range, scoring the first kill of the game! Cece was similarly successful, plunging her shiv through the eye socket of other zombie elf.

Seeing that Cece and Dionne now only had a single zombie to contend with, Kev shucked the backpack off of his back and onto the ground for them to later collect, and turned back to try and gather some more supplies. He decided against the ones to his right, as although he’d be able to reach them easily, there were four zombies bearing down on them, so instead he decided to take cover on the other side of the shack and see what he could find there.

Cece looked at the backpack in the snow ahead of her for a second, but figured it would keep a while longer and instead moved to help Dionne take out the zombie in the Santa outfit that she was fighting, and although both were able to land some blows on it, neither were able to land a fatal one.

With Kev now out of sight, the zombies in the compound started to shamble towards the combat between Dionne Cece and Santa zombie:

Kev nipped around the corner, grabbed an unattended cardboard box, then headed back towards the rest of the group to hand it off. 

Seeing him heading towards her, Dionne wasted no time in decapitating Santa zombie with her samurai sword, then moves forward to receive the supplies from Kev. As she does so, Cece moves up alongside her, and grabs the previously discarded backpack. Kev tosses Dionne the box and fuel canister he’d been carrying, before turning round to make another dash through the snow on the left hand side of the shack.

Dionne snaps off a shot at the zombie that’s getting dangerously close to them, but overencumbered as she is it’s unfortunately not a lethal one.

Both Dionne and Cece back away from the encroaching zombies, Dionne pausing to slot another bolt into her crossbow as she does so. Kev, however, heads off towards the abandoned lookout tower, scooping up a crate of canned goods as he does so. 

Dionne shoots again, but still can’t make a kill (the zombie in question’s reindeer outfit starting to look more like a porcupine at this point), and so decides that discretion is the better part of valour and eschews reloading in favour of putting more distance between herself and the oncoming zombies. However, laden down with supplies as she is, it’s only a matter of time before they are able to catch up to her. Seeing this, Cece lets off a deafeningly loud shot with her sniper rifle, atomising the head of the closest zombie, even as it sent flocks of birds flying from the trees, and every dead head in the area turned to face the source of the noise…

Kev, meanwhile, had managed to make his way to a clearing in the woods where he spotted a discarded briefcase sticking out of the snow.

“Things are looking up!” He said to himself, until he heard the unmistakeable crack of a gunshot ringing out, and saw zombies starting to crash through the trees ahead of him.

With four zombies bearing down on her, Dionne suddenly remembered that she had the Quick Reload skill, and so was able to easily reload her crossbow while back-pedalling, which would have come in pretty hand in the last couple of turns!

Cece, figuring that the cat was out of the bag at this point and it was a fight for survival fired off another shot, and while she wasn’t able to land a killing blow did cause the zombie to stumble, meaning that it would be unlikely to catch up to Dionne quite so easily. 

Dionne fared similarly, although her crossbow lacked the stopping power of a military sniper rifle, and so was significantly less effective.

While Dionne and Cece continue to reload while walking backwards through snow, Kev has managed to make his way to the edge of the table, and will be home free next turn.

Dionne misses her next shot entirely, while Cece once more manages to land a staggering hit on a zombie heading towards Dionne. 

Things continue mostly like this - Kev makes his way off the board with a supply token and a crate of food, having tried (and failed) to garner a single zombie kill along the way. Meanwhile as Cece turns to make her escape, she is ambushed by a new zombie that had been attracted by the sound of gunfire:

but after a few turns of struggling manages to kill her and make her escape.

Dionne, however, continues retreating and firing, but has no luck whatsoever in taking out any of her pursuers, and they eventually catch up to her, and start to surround her:

At first she tries to take them out with her samurai sword, but finds equally little success with that method of despatching them to try and this their numbers as she did with her crossbow…

This continues turn in, turn out, with Dionne breaking away to take an ineffectual shot with her crossbow, being caught and mobbed by her pursuers, breaking free, then repeating the cycle until she is able to get off the board.


Dionne is the only one to gain a level, and at this point reading her sheet I remember that she has the Sniper skill, so probably would have made a couple more headshots in that game had I remembered earlier. Ah well, on the other hand I rolled so many 1s that a +1 probably wasn’t going to do enough to make a real difference… and then I remembered that she has the master skill Never Misses, so could have re-rolled every single miss! Ah well again, it’s all about self belief, she just needs to remember that she’s the deadliest thing on two legs! With her advance, she gains another point of Damage Capacity - evidently lugging all of those heavy supplies was a good workout!

Between them, the survivors managed to make off with three supply tokens, one food and one fuel, and found a smattering of food fuel and scavenge, but also a set of cold weather clothes. These were given to Devon as soon as they got back to the refuge, as they knew that being so selfless if there was ever a situation where someone had to be left out in the cold he’d choose himself so that someone else in the group could be warm, and this would then keep him toasty warm. 

Speaking of leaders, it’s lucky everyone in the group gets along (and shares the same keyword, or is neutral) otherwise we’d have had a lot of infighting and leadership challenges with how often people in the group have been suffering from sickness!

When it came to assigning jobs, once again it was the case that the majority of the group were sick and needed to get bed rest - unusually though, every single member of the group felt better this month,  waning that no one at all was bedridden for the first time in a few months! That’s the power of turning the heating on I guess… Dionne and Cece set about rustling up enough food for everybody (which they managed, with one additional meal going to waste) while Kev patrolled the perimeter to protect everyone from zombies.

Managing conditions, everyone had enough to eat, and thanks to the stockpile of fuel built up in the preceding months (as well as building a wood-burning stove) the farmhouse is toasty warm. I was tempted to be a bit ‘gamey’ and only spend 3 fuel on heating the farmhouse, leaving one room cold as Devon’s cold weather clothing would mean that he could sit there and suffer no ill effects to save me 1 fuel, but that felt a little bit too detached from the narrative for my tastes. In a shocking turn of events, nobody recovering from sickness relapsed, and everyone is out of bed - it’s a Christmas miracle! 

And with that, my full year Last Days Seasons campaign is done! I had fun playing it every month, even though the common cold seemed to be a bigger threat than the zombies most of the time. I’ll probably play some more games next year, but I’m not going to commit to a monthly schedule again given everything we’ve got going on. I could do with finishing building the group’s shelter and playing a game there at the very least though…

As well as playing a game, the Tally has also taken a few hits this month.

Firstly, this year my wife and I decided to do custom advent calendars for each other (something we used to do before the children came along, but hasn’t really happened the last couple of years). As well as an assortment of small chocolates and dice, I’ve also been getting a sprue in instalments that was apparently included in the order with one of my Christmas presents. Being a big nerd, I recognised the font on the sprue and knew what company it was from straightaway… having looked up the finished sprue, it will be 4 additional miniatures by the end of the month.

I also spotted a Warhammer box poking out of a crate on a market stall that was packing up while on my way to pick up my youngest from Squirrels, and after a couple of weeks of missing them managed to catch them and bought the following on my lunch break:

And then went back again at the end of the day and also bought these:

Looks like there’s a 500 point Empire army in my future doesn’t it? All in, that’s 64 miniatures and one resin terrain piece hitting the Tally.

As we’re moving house, grandma took the kids for the night the other weekend, but also bought me sweets and a magazine because everyone else was getting one:

Adding 4 French miniatures to the Tally for future Silver Bayonet shenanigans, and leaving the Tally at:

33 vs 222 = -189

And leaving it unlikely that I’ll get back into the positives or hit my ‘average one painted miniature a week’ target by the end of the year, seeing as how my painting stuff is all packed away and any free time that I have being spent putting things in boxes…