Beck fumbled for the magazine she had stuffed in her pocket earlier that day. She was running again, she just had to make distance and get away from the bar Meemo’s that she had entered trying to find a weapon, but which had instead been filled with zombies! Now there were just so many of the deadheads pouring out of the surrounds trying to get to her and her BFF Tonya and snack down on the two ex-street walkers. Talking of which, where was Tonya? The beautiful yet deadly woman who had travelled with Beck from Las Vegas to this dusty no-name shithole.
The loud discharge of a firearm over on the north west side of town drew Beck’s attention, that had to be Tonya. Finally pulling out the clip and slamming it into her own pistol, Beck pulled back the slide in time to see a zed stumbling closer to her. Lifting the weapon she pulled the trigger double tapping the big male and dropping it to the floor. Stepping over the redead-undead she headed toward the house that the friends had first entered when arriving in Shitsville confident that there would be no zombies inside now that they were chasing after the pair. [in the game buildings that have been entered literally have that as their status and are marked with a token! A player has to actively search it to reveal any items and for the building to gain the “searched” token] Creeping into the house she quickly but carefully searched it looking for weapons. “Goddamn it!” She cursed under her breath finding nothing, not even a revolver in the bedside cabinet, this was America wasn’t it? Where were all the goddamned citizens exercising their goddamned 2nd amendment rights?
Tonya, BFF to the frustrated Beck eyed the door of a likely house in the north west of town. The house was surrounded by a chain link fence with signs telling visitors to the property that “Trespassers will be shot without warning!” There just had to be a veritable arsenal stashed away behind those walls, she was sure of it. Moving closer she saw that the front door was slightly ajar, pistol raised she crab-walked over and toe poked it open further, peering into the gloom. Pistol leading the way now, she stepped silently into the hallway balancing the need for stealth with speed as the zombie hordes rampaged outside. Tonya hoped that her friend was keeping safe somewhere, Beck had a tendency to get into trouble due to her bullheaded nature. Tonya was always having to pull her buddy’s fat out of the fire back in the day, whether it was a result of her mouthing off at some of the other girls back on the strip or pulling her off some “John” who'd thought he could rough her up because she walked the streets. Tonya snorted with suppressed laughter as she remembered the time when she had walked into Beck’s room to find that Russian dude with a bottle shoved up his a…… A sudden noise coming from the room up ahead caused her to come back to the task at hand. “Damn it Beck, always distracting me!” She cursed as she lifted her pistol, pointing it down the hallway at the far room. A crash from above her, followed by a low moan told her that another of the foul creatures that had once been ordinary people before “the Plague” had torn through America and by now, no doubt the world, was approaching. Another crash, another room and then another in a different direction and Tonya started to retreat back towards the front door. One second the hall was empty save for Tonya, the next six of the former human beings who had lived their lives probably preparing for this very day but somehow falling anyway, came tearing out of adjoining rooms desperate to rip at her tender, warm flesh.
Beck jogged out of the door of the residence on the eastern edge of the dust bowl she had labelled “Shitsville”. Finding not even a dainty .22 in a ladies handbag in the hallway closet, she was royally pissed at this dump of a town, where were the guns? In this modern age of America where even toddlers had firearms and most households had more than one, where the fuck were the motherfu…… Beck’s inner rant was cut off as a huge weight crashed into her from the right side of the building. The zombie that charged her, pinned her right arm and consequently her pistol to her body while it tried to sink it’s teeth into the fleshy part of her shoulder. Beck screamed in agony as the filthy beast tore a piece of her deltoid muscle away and quickly swallowed the hot flesh. Drawing back her left hand, she snapped out a quick punch that forced the zed’s head back and allowed the former hooker to grab it by the lank hair in an attempt to slam its face into the wall. This brilliant plan which would have allowed her to gain vital space to run was curtailed as the toupee of the former resident of Shitsville was yanked off its head leaving Beck with a handful of Donald Trump Special. Taking advantage of her shock the zombie tried again to bite into her right arm only to find a mouthful of artificial hair as Beck shoved the wig down its throat. Twisting away, she desperately kicked out with her right leg, pushing rather than striking the undead creature back but gaining some clearance and allowing her to take few stumbling steps away from the choking zombie and right into the path of another.
Tonya emptied her clip down the length of the hallway at the family of dead ‘uns bearing down on her, the first in line, probably the matriarch of the house took a round to the forehead and dropped to the floor tripping the others behind her and giving Tonya a precious second or two to try to get clear of the house. At the last minute her famed agility left her though as she stumbled over the threshold and fell onto the front porch of the building. Gasping with the shock of falling she managed to regain her footing just as papa bear and one of the baby bears crashed into her and bowling her to the floor once more.
Beck growled in frustration as she bounced off the meaty chest of an enormous male zombie and stumbled backwards. “Leave me ALONE!!” She screamed at the creature, venting all of the anger and hatred that had been building up over the last three weeks. Curling her fingers into tight fists and forgetting to shoot the pistol that she still clutched in her right hand she launched herself at the zed, pounding at its face and neck in a brutal attack. The red mist that had followed Beck all of her life and that had caused so many problems, arrests and fights descended on her, clouding her vision and pumping her full of adrenaline. Shoulder wound forgotten she tore at the face of the zombie with the nails of her left hand while using the butt of the pistol in her right to club the forehead of the deader.
Tonya smashed her elbow into the face of papa bear, breaking its nose and driving the bones and blood into the skull and forcing the zombie away from her. Baby bear slashed its nails across her toned stomach drawing a burning trail of bloody tracks along the soft flesh. Forcing her way to her feet she kicked the little bastard in the face knocking it on its ass. Gritting her teeth against the pain of her injury, she took to her heels and sprinted out of the compound. Looking over her shoulder she saw the large form of papa bear slump to the floor as its head filled with bone fragments and blood, the rest of the clan chased after Tonya. Glancing round she could see the town filling with the groaning forms of the undead, ahead was a large car dealership, Tonya snorted in wonder - bizarrely in this two horse town they had a massive Lexus showroom! Shaking her head in astonishment she headed toward it wondering where the hell Beck had got to….
The sound of the pistol smashing into the face of the male zombie was matched by the ugly grunting noise coming from Beck’s throat as she drove the tempered steel of the 9mm into the nose of the zed over and over. Beck was lost, the red mist had draped over her, narrowing her vision to this one epitome of the entire zombie apocalypse squirming underneath her. Smash/grunt, smash/grunt, smash/grunt… All thoughts of her friend Tonya was subsumed by the need to destroy this abomination. Smash/grunt, smash/grunt… the squirming had stopped some time ago but that fact had not registered with Beck as her famed temper demanded that she utterly destroy this filth. Smash/grunt… The former hooker oblivious to all but the red ruin of the creature below failed to notice the shadows of the former inhabitants of Shitsville as they closed in around her.
Tonya stopped at the big glass windows of the dealership, sitting inside the huge bays were the newest models. Big, gleaming machines, testament to the engineering prowess of the former dominant species of the planet. The ownership of one of these fine, expensive automobiles once signified that you had made it, reached the top of the American Dream. Now they just signified escape, a way of getting her and Beck out of this nightmare, she had to find her BFF and get the hell out. Low groans and shuffling feet from every direction caused her to spin around raising her pistol in a two handed grip, she snatched at the trigger dropping the closest zed and shifted slightly to her right to switch to the next target and gazed into the empty eyes of her closest, bestest of all friends…..
So ends my first, but certainly not my last game of ATZ- the Board Game. All in all I enjoyed it, I forgot to use my rerolls half the time and we forgot the rules or misinterpreted quite a few which slowed the game down a bit too much, but that should get slicker with practice no doubt. The fact that it doesn't take up much room and the board can be put away between campaign sessions rather than a 3’x3’ board (or 4’x4’ in my case) that takes hours to sort out etc is a big plus. My ATZ FFO games are on my modular boards and use my scratch built hospital and other terrain pieces to bring a visual cinematic feel to it, whereas the board game forces you to use your imagination to bring it to life something that I enjoy doing so didn't detract from the playing experience only enhanced it for me. The campaign story in the back of the book is really good and that's what I'll start doing when I come back to the game, reviving Beck and Tonya and starting again, the tabletop version is a bit more flexible in that you can design the scenarios to suit your campaign and the direction you want to take it in.
All in all I liked it and as I say I will be coming back to the game but will be playing solo, which I think will be better. I think I prefer ATZFFO for the flexibility but I can see me reaching for the board game on those proverbial rainy days and whiling away a few hours immersed in the campaign.
Talking of ATZFFO, with Zombtober around the corner I thought I would, in my very limited free time start a new storyline. I'm very fortunate that I'm able to leave my table set ups out for any length of time in da Grotto so I'm going to take my time and develop the story over the next few months and dip into it when I get a spare few minutes. As AARs take a great deal of time and effort don't expect a report every week so the story will be interspersed with my usual Bushido posts and other hobby news plus of course with Zombtober there will be some painting of zombies and survivors to come although because of my non-hobby commitments it won't be anywhere near my usual output. The story, unusually for a zombie apocalypse will be set here in leafy England which will require some adjustment to the rules particularly around firearms which are rarer here although not as rare as people think and it will star a character based on a certain Student Paramedic.....
As a taster this is a picture of the first gameboard
Hope you enjoy