Monday, December 10, 2012

FFO:ATZ - First Battle Rep

July 1st 1944 - First day of the end of World

Dear Diary, I am writing this day on a small paper that I will add to you once I am back. My fingers are frozen by the cold morning, I am hidden in a hollow tree, thinking again and again on what happened and what went wrong....

All was going well. Yesterday we were drinking and fantasying about our future glory, all the Germans we would kill or make surrender. Alcohol helped a lot in that silliness. Jean-Paul the Mayor is now trying to organize us. There will not be enough weapons for all of us, and he asked me to retrieve a pistol that hidden in the burnt out house in the wood. 

The house in the middle
 He did not say where it was, but gave indication that it was hidden in some of the junk that surround the house. I hoped I could find it fast.

Jean Courage in (lead) person
I was somehow scared and was sure I heard noise around the house in front of me. I should have paid more attention as you will read. (PEF 5)

Turn 1 : JC 1 / Z 1

I started my journey to go quickly at the house, find the gun and get back to the village.

( Random Event : Nothing. (I resolved the random events so if not applicable, nothing happen).
PEF don't move)

Turn 2 (5-1)
(PEF stay where it is.)

Turn 3 (4 - 3) , Turn 4 (3 - 5)

The sounds on my right were getting louder; I could hear low voice, some kind of low moan, until I saw the German patrol. Damn, I was heading right into a patrol.(PEF resolved as a 1+1d6/2 zombie horde)

Germans! (normal light for camera)
Germans! (early morning view)

Turn 5 (4 - 2),  Turn 6 (6 - 3), Turn 7 (5 - 3)
I quickly moved on my left, using the morning mist at my advantage and climbed the small hill. I was lucky enough and the Germans did not go after me.
I paused and waited for a while, trying to see or hear if the Germans were still looking for me. I could hear some noise but it seems they are looking for something else and ignored me. At least, they did not run after me which was enough for me.(the zombies shambled NE-SW for 3 turns at a 4 inch pace without any improvement on their location)

Turn 8 (4 - 3)I searched the junk around me and found some canned food (Food+1). I stopped and waited. Did the patrol hear me? … Seemed not. (I resolve the action from Jean with the zombies as following : Each action trigger a hearing test from the zombies as the terrain is quiet with no other sound in early morning that birds, if the zombies pass at 2d6, I assume they hear sounds and move toward the sound direction)

Jean is hidding behind junk on the hill

Turn 9 (3 - 4)
I ran for the house from the hill, but the terrain was difficult and I was not as fast as I expected. I could still hear sound from the South, damn Germans. Can't they go away?

Turn 10 (6 - 1)
I stopped, waiting, listening to the South. I hid behind a box and stopped breathing.

Turn 11 (2 - 6)
They really seemed to be gone. I could hear only the little birds and the typical cracks of the woods in the morning. I resumed my search and looked at the junk in the house.
This was the home of a woodman, he lived there for many years until his wife died and he killed himself. From what I heard, it was a terrible night, with a mighty storm. When people saw smoke, they headed toward it, fearing a fire that could devastate the woods, but thanks to the rain, only part of the house was destroyed. They found the body few meters away, a bullet in the head. Since then, the house saw manyyoung men of the village using it as a challenge for adulthood and every year, more junk was added to the “house of the dead man”.
Looking for the gun, I could only find extra food to put in my bag. Still worth the trouble.

Turn 12 (4 - 4)
I was looking at the darkest corner when it jumped on me! I recognized something was not right, because the right side of his face was terribly torn apart, one his dead eye dangling. It charged me and I could barely react and I fought to death. I pushed it back and it hit the sharp corner of a hard wooden box, dead. (melee fight, Zombie 4d6 (4455), Jean 3d6(116), Jean win by 2d6!, Impact 3, roll 1, OD… that was so short)

A ghoul? A zombie? What's the hell!

 Turn 13 (1 - 6) 
I stared at the body. What’s the hell was that? Obviously it had been a German soldier. But something is really wrong, it was not only my imagination. I smelt its decay flesh, its uniform displayed bullet holes, one of his arm was broken with a wrong angle.
No time to think, I needed to get out fast. I went up the stairs and found the pistol. It was a small police pistol. The cold feel of the steel comforted me. I took the extra ammo next to it, we never know.
(I roll the zombie if they hear, and with 2d6, they hear the sound and will head toward it, zombies are now REP 4).

Jean killed the thing!

Turn 14 (2 - 5), Turn 15 (4 - 5)
(Jean get down the ladder and do not hear the approaching zombies).
I climbed down the ladder and headed South, I really wanted to get out of the wood with these ... "things" in there. It all looked more and more weird by now, with the mist and the dawn. My mind wandering, I did not pay attention until I was face to face with the 4 Germans of the patrol.
But, now, having had a closer at that "thing" in the house , I realized these Germans were acting and walking weird too, more shambling than walking straight. Drunk? I thought not now. 2 of them had major injuries. These were walking dead too!

What? These Germans look like the other nightmarish thing

Turn 16 (5 - 3), Turn 17 (4 - 6)
Still surprised of this discovery and thinking where they come from, what they meant, why they were there..., they kept shambling toward me. Me and my damn brain! Why does it need to analyze when I should be running. One of them almost grabbed my jacket until I reacted and shot him...
Well, to be honest with myself, I missed it and hit the one just behind. it took the bullet as if it was a mosquito bite (and even that, a mosquito bite has more effects!). 
 Not waiting any longer, I ran back to the house and luckily they got tangled in tree roots.

Turn 18 (5 - 5)
In the house, the German I thought I killed raised again, surely awaken by the shot and I shot him too, missing it. It attacked me again and I could barely pushed it back, it tumbled on the floor but definitely not completely dead.

Turn 19 (4 - 2), Turn 20 (6 - 3), Turn 21 (2 - 5)
I ran, they shambled after me.  I stopped and shot one in the head and I believed it was finally dead. I kept running but then….

Benny Hill moment. Escaping the zombies
Arg! They're faster

Turn 22 (2 - 2), Turn 23 (5 - 5)
I twisted my ankle. I saw my last moment in front of my eyes. (Double! and twisted ankle at the worst moment ever, I roll once more, expecting to move, but...)
 I tried to walk again, this is too painful. With the walking dead behind me I scream because of the pain, what I believe is my end... (I changed the phone ring event, obviously not possible in 1944 with Jean trying to walk with his twisted ankle screaming from pain. It attracted no zombie 234 as this is the first day).

Hurry up

Turn 24 (4 - 5)
I moved and was getting some distance. I took on my last bit of energy to take some extra meters and hide in a hollow tree. I should get better tomorrow and head back to the city (Having the ankle twisted, doing a run test can hurt extra, I decided to take the test and assume the hero will hide from his foes and take care of his wound)

So close

That was close! Jean almost got grabbed and surrounded by 5 zombies, no close combat weapon and the pistol is very hard to use (impact 1).
Next game will see few days between this scenario and the next one which will be to find Germaine in the village.
A very fun game, I didn't expect to roll so many zombie at once. Fortunately none of the shot attracted more zombies, nor did the shout for the twisted ankle at the last turn.
I used a rule to shamble the zombies (1d6 move in 1d12 direction), mist (8 inch visibility) and wood (max 6 inch for the human).

Next scenario, I will roll for Jean (1 zombie killed, 3 items found).
I also received 100 transparent base to use as dead markers in my next game!
Markers for next time

Monday, December 3, 2012

FFO : Meet Jean Courage

With Final Fade Out, there is a great free add-on, Day One (here)

I will fill in the information for Jean Courage, trying to be as much 40's and close to what I see for that character.

Age :

Marital status 
Single, engaged


Where are the loved one?
Father disappeared, Mother in Paris, Fiancee at her parents home

What does he do for a living ?
Working in a farm with his uncle. His cousin has disappeared too

Has he served in the military?
Drafted and some firefights during the outbreak of WW2. Served in a fortress unit

Ever fired a gun? 
Yes, machine gun, pistols and rifles

Where does he live?
Rural area, in a farm, but with a large military presence (id6 = 5) so count as urban.

Farm products with perishable and non-perishable items. As they were 3 until recently living in the house, it would count as 3 non-perishable items of food and 3 perishable items of food (out within 1 month). As long as the farm is not attacked, it will produce 6 food items per month (3 perishable and 3 non-perishable). Also, in the 40's, there are cellars to keep food without electricity and I assume the farm has one. Water is coming from the well as long as it is not contaminated.
I assume also the farm will have wine for 6 month (this is France!), count as 12 luxury items, but will decrease by 1 every month due to consumption (this is still France....).
Medicine will be in limited quantity and only from plants. No penicillin.

Many improvised close combat weapons at the farm, none of the character at the beginning of the campaign. Partially because this is forbidden and he could be shot. No fancy sword or other things.
Firearms (shotgun equivalent), one hidden in the garden of the farm (unknown to Jean) that can be dig up if his uncle feels it appropriate (REP test every in-between scenario). If the uncle dies before he talks about it, the firearm will not be available.
Ammunition for the shotgun can be handmade, but any other weapon such as pistols and military grade will have to be taken on bodies or stolen.

No vehicle available.
Gaz will be an issue as there won't be any gaz station outside of military camps. There are gaz-powered cars driven by very few civilians too.
Bicycle and horses are more common.

First Things first:
Jean Courage is planning to retrieve a pistol from a cache and get back to the village where he is planning to meet the other members of the resistance and do whatever they can to attack the Germans.
This would be :
- house in the wood (Scenario 1)
- if all goes well, back to the village (Scenario 2)
- waiting for decision (Scenario 3)
and then, let's see what happens. Note that the scenario 2 and 3 may not happen at all, depending on what happens on scenario 1.

Jean Courage in terms of game mechanics:
REP : 4 (Working out in the field, fought and start fighting again)
PEP : 3 (Jean is good with people thanks to his working experiences)
SAV : 2 (Jean is an idealist and sometimes don't have common sense)

(Random) : 11  -Runt. Count a -1d6 when taking the Charge into Melee test
(Selected) : 3 - Born Leader. +1d6 when taking the Keeping it Together Test if he is the leader. I assume that the zombie apocalypse will reveal the true self of Jean and that he will give up his innocence completely.

Civilian and Survivors:
As Jean just joined the resistance, he won't be considered as a Survivor, but as a Civilian. It will take him, the full understanding that there is no coming back to the old world he knew to ramp him up to Survivor (20 days)
For encounters, as some have fought the Germans for long time already, they will be treated as Survivors. So long time resistant will be automatically survivors.

Friday, November 30, 2012

ATZ FFO, Beginning of the story, rules update

Storytelling part - Introduction to a grim world.

June 8th, 1944
 I finally decided to start a dairy. Partially for Germaine, partially for me, mainly for the future generation.
Ah~ Germaine. My dear love as I imagine
 I believe it should start with my introduction. The best I can write at least.
My name is Jean Courage. I was born in 1920, a sunny Sunday. I fought World War 2 at the beginning, being some of the latest to stop fighting in July 1940, long forgotten because of the Armistice signed by Petain. Our bunker was cleared after a last "baroud d'honneur". This was maybe a mistake, but we wanted to show the German they didn't defeat us. It cost Platoon Lebron, all of them disappeared and we never knew what happened to them. I still recall the face of our Lieutenant when he came back from the Platoon Lebron, asking us a gunpoint to close the anti-blast door and to never open it again. That and the scream we could hear in that very dark tunnel...
We resisted 2 days and nights until the German officer, one of the German Heer, graciously proposed we stop fighting and we would be escorted back to the Vichy zone. He said we fought well and somehow I read guilty on his face.
For the first years, I lived in Paris with my parents, working as a butcher. Life was hard but at least we ate enough. Year after year the war brought hardship on us with its restrictions, rationing. Until the night the Gestapo and its French collabos arrested my father for act of resistance. He helped a group of American pilots to escape and was sold out by his best friend, betrayed for 30 kilo of wheat. I then left Paris to my uncle in the countryside when finally.... June 6th happened!
Little was known that day but since then there is only hope.

June 9th, 1944
I feel so free and liberated. Starting this dairy is making me feeling good. It's also exciting. It is so dangerous. If the collabo or the Gestapo find it, I am done. It is an act of resistance in itself.

Yesterday, I joined my cousin to one of his secret gathering in the woods. Lord, they have weapons! To be honest, most of them are old hunting rifle, but I saw a sten. "Gift from the Sky" said Marcel, the baker of the village. I wish we can have some action soon.

June 15th, 1944
SWD soldier
What can I say? I have not written any entry since 9th. So many things happened, so fast. First, the Allies are not moving as fast as expected. We can hear the straffing of German convoys and the sound of trucks during the night. The radio, the BBC of course, is keeping us informed of the progress. So many cities are liberated, but they are going West, because the Germans are defending Caen too much. We also heard that Hitler has disappeared -good thing- the SS replaced by a new organization, the SWD (Secret Weapon Division). Bloody battles are fought in Normandy.
On our side, we are not inactive. 3 nights ago, we ambushed 2 Germans cars. They were SWD as Raymond (my cousin) said. Raymond is very knowledgeable and knows everything about the Germans. He is working in a cafe that delivers food at the Kommandentur, the HQ of the Germans. They had a box of landmines. 
- "Gaz", said Marcel."Stupid Germans, didn't they learn the Great War? Gaz will never solve anything. We'll drown these in the swamps" Then he looked at all of us. "and we will NOT use it. Gaz will kill us and everybody we love as surely it will kill the Fritz (aka the Germans)"

We dumped the cars and the bodies together with the landmines in the swamps. Hopefully, the Germans will not find them.

June 22nd, 1944
I had to hide the dairy far from the farm. On June 17th, the Germans arrested Marcel and his family. I don't know how they found him, but we heard they are using new methods. Better safe than sorry. 
Bad news are never alone and Raymond disappeared too. Last night he was closing the cafe when a convoy reached the Kommandentur. I know, I was there washing the kitchen. All vehicles were all black and no marking. Sven Miller, one of the regular military guard came to order some food. I still remember his face. He was terrified, so pale and sweating like hell. He said that Raymond had to bring the food. 
"what kind of food?", asked Raymond. Sven replied strangely...."whatever food, as long as YOU bring it"
Raymond went and never came back. When I asked about him, Sven replied he was already gone. He urged me to get home as soon as I can and close my door. I cannot tell that to Mum. She'll be too sad. She likes Raymond very much.

June 23rd, 1944

I am taking risks to write so close to the previous entry, but I need to write it. Last night, when I brought the dairy where I am hiding it, I heard a convoy. Not unusual I said to myself then. So I laid down and waited for the convoy to pass. It was the SWD convoy of the previous night.
Seating in the mercedes was likely the officer, tall, pale, very aristocratic. Next to him was a kind of scientific with his little round shaped glasses. 
What i am doing? I am writing little details but not the reason I opened this entry. What is important is what I heard. It was a long kind of wolf howl and the scream of Raymond in one of the truck, I can swear it on my mother's life. The truck was marked with a red cross and too well defended. I had no chance to liberate him. He was going somewhere to the front. I hope he can escape.

June 25th, 1944
We hear the front has been broken and the Allies are driving the German home. The BBC is asking us to stay calm and stay home. They are also saying that we need as much as possible to stay indoor. The same for the official radio under German control.
The Germans convoys are heading the other way now, and very fast. I believe they are in a hurry, the Americans should be near now.

June 28th, 1944
There was a bombing raid the other day. Lots of bombs around the railway. All the youngs of the village have decided to gather and we are going to take action around July 1st. Some are worry about their family but we also heard the Americans are about 100 kilometers from here. 
Yesterday, on the Paris radio, we learnt the SWD has officially replaced the whole German civilian government. I do not care, I will be soon liberated. But it seemed important.
I am planning to join the Free French once the Americans are here and go free my mother in Paris. In the other good and best news of the week, I am now engaged with Germaine. Once the war is over, I will marry her.

June 30th, 1944
Tomorrow is the great day. We heard the Americans are only 30 kilometers from here and the Germans should not be many. We will gather, take weapons and embush whatever Germans we can see. So the village will be freed by us! 
All communications have been severed, either by the Americans or the Germans. I hope my mother is safe in Paris. 
About the Germans, we heard they are avoiding the road so close from the front, to avoid the constant straffing of the Typhoon or the Mustangs.
2 hours ago, there was bombing next to the front. Apparently, the Germans. I did not know they still had aircrafts. I thought they were all gone, as I have not seen any of them for about a month. 
Anyhow, tomorrow is the day we fight back and hard the Germans!

Rules and modifications.

The universe is the one from Secret of the Third Reich (SOTR) with the SWD conducting inhuman and mystic research and achieving them. Because I don't like Nazi, I won't be playing them (even passively) and replaced the bad guys by the imaginary SWD. 

In terms of game, SWD is ruled by weird people drawn from nobles. They are leading the German army now and they will be the big boss that it will be better to avoid. They have minion, the SWD soldiers, and the whole German army is afraid of them.
Same as in SOTR, the SWD has designed the V-Gaz. It is a viral gaz that change recently dead or healthy people into zombies. That's all I can say without taking much of the plot.

Having the game in 1944 also change few of the FFO ingredients. First, people are used to blackout. Electricity is a luxury and people don't need fridge or light.
Secondly, there is no internet. The only source of information are coming from radio that you can plug on electricity or more likely manually power.
Thirdly, Urban/Semi-urban and rural environment does not work. There are more military forces than civilians. I will then roll for change of zone 1d6 :
1-2 : Limited military presence during the gaz attack, count as rural
3-4 : Average military presence during the gaz attack, count as semi-urban
5-6 : Major military presence during the gaz attack, count as urban.

So every movement may be a salvation or higher risks, as the main character, Jean Courage, will have no right to know. Unless he can gather information from encounter with people. 

Additionally , V-Gaz will be effective only for a short period and is highly contageous after that if bitten by infected people. On of the random event will be gaz cloud (gaz landmine exploding or just the wind). But Jean Courage will not know about the gaz unless, again, he can meet or the BBC informs about it.

Finally, there is no police in the sense of FFO-ATZ. Police may be German military, French gendarmerie (similar to county troopers) or Vichy police. The National guard equivalent will be military (Heer or Allied Para) and gangers will be either highwaymen or SWD units.

The campaign will start on July 1st, 1944, the day after the first V-Gaz attack against the Allies few kilometers away from the city of the character.

Miniature front update

2 weeks of on-hold projects.

I have few updates, as I haven't kept my personal objective not to buy miniatures.
All started with an innocent acquisition of FFO (Final Fade Out) and seeing that I was missing some miniatures to play it properly.
Then came the famous Xmas deal of Mantic games (70 miniatures for US$50), then promotion at FRPGames.
All in all, that's about 150 miniatures that I have to store in my ever squizzing space.

Back to the fun part! As more stuff join the unpainted lead mountain, I have decided to complete projects before starting new one. That includes the Berlin or Bust soldiers. I have painted about 25 soldiers by now, and there are about 50 to go and I will have a full force. Good point is that I am only missing the flesh paint on about 10 soldiers, German grey for 50 and the wash. I should be done by end of the week.

Then I will attack my FFO civilians and resistants (about 50) and I have already 10 almost completed. once I have finished that 10, I will be good to go for a starting party (assuming I can finish at least 2 buildings too). I am planning a test party by first week of December. Sweet!

Secondly, I had the wrong idea to visit a friend during lunch time at the local (and only) GW store in Hong Kong and decided that it would be great to play Witch Hunter (fluffing way, not cheesy way) and I am pending to read the codex to decide if I jump or not. I have a lot of GW miniatures (inquisitor, some grey knights), scibor minions and plenty of Warpath Forge Father in addition to Urban War Junker/Gladiator to make a good and funny retinue. More on that once I have read the corrupting book.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ATZ is dead, long live FFO

I know, an easy title for this article, full of irony.
ATZ, or All Thing Zombie is dead, or a living dead as no more maintained, and an uber-ATZ is born from the DNA of ATZ, Final Fade Out.

ATZ was a very good games. I tried it at home and liked it. I spent a lot of time reading very great AAR about games, and most of them sounded like TV Show or movies, the great quality one, not the one with the simple plot so audience does not need to think too much to understand who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.

FFO brings a lot of in game mechanics of great quality, smoother interactions, more skills and still all within the limits of enjoyment. The only bothering part of FFO and ATZ is that they are based on modern times and as much as I like modernity in my real life, I prefer the rusticity of old time before the Internet and the mobile phone, the 40's. Why? Because the story is in my opinion better. Less technology to screw it, more in depth characters and decision to be made without knowing what happens outside a 10 kilometers radius. Radio is available but clumsy. Transportation rare. Survival skills developped.

I will be playing in the Secret of the Third Reich universe, at least for the start, with ambition to expand the plot and the tricks.The story will be happening in France, in 1944 just at the beginning of the V-Gaz attacks, and follow the story of a French civilian.

It's an ambitious plan, that need careful planning. The most important is work-wise and I had the luxury to move to another department with less travel but more (unpaid) OT. So more game opportunity.
The second one is acquisition of the materials. I have many WW2 28mm building, mostly ruins I'm afraid. I will need to print more unscathed buildings and make them. I will need to paint the civilian and miniatures I thought would be used for French partisans in my game. Some are under painting, other have been commissioned (damned OT!) to have a first gaming phase.
The third part is the design of the goodies. I like cards and prefer them to dice roll/table check combo. The first draft of the cards is available. I used the graphics of Wolfenstein 3D, but missing some of the pictures for Survivors or other small items that I am sure will occur later in the game.

Finally, some recent acquisitions done with the hard discount FRP Games:
Group of Ganger/Survivor

Group of Ganger/Survivor

Group of Survivors

Group of villains
Group of Ganger/Survivor
Group of bad guys
Group of special bad guys (SWD Troopers)

Groups of Civilians

Equivalent to the Police force

Equivalent to the Police force




Sunday, October 21, 2012

House building (Airfix)

I have done some update on the Airfix buildings, and work on adding extra floors to the brewery and the church.

Here is some pictures. Painting is on its way and I have to find some 30's wallpaint to decorate.

Brewery, outside primed
Brewery, long wall
Brewery, inside. As you can see, barren walls and no floors
Floors for the brewery, using cutboard
Floors with their design. I used Dave Graffam Low Ruined set floor template
The church
The church. Inside with its cardboard floor
The house. German design
The house with its card board floor
The floors printed. They all come from the same Dave Graffam Low Ruined set.
The church and its barren floor. All the valuable were removed during the Soviet occupation of 1939-1941
The house and its floor
The brewery and its ground floor
Outside view of the brewery with its ground floor