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Zombie Spawn Points

These two are numbers seven and eight of the eight strong zombie spawn points project.  The rest of the zombie spawn points were posted as Zombies of the Week if you fancy a more in-depth look at any of them.

The remaining two dont really qualify under that tag so I have put them here instead.

A Cerberus marks its territory against barrels of unholy chemical concoctions using cold, dead, bloody dog piss.

This one is similar to many that have gone before, except that this one has a zombie dog instead of a zombie human.  Allowing animals to become zombies opens up a whole can-o-worms, but I am ok with it being cross contagious with a limited number of species.  Kinda like swine or bird flu I suppose. Dog-flu that re-animates corpses I suppose.

Predatory Sewer Dwelling Mutant

Tentacles dont tend to suggest zombies to most people.  The figure is designed more as a Cthulhu thing really I suspect.  Nonetheless I was happy to use a manhole with tentacles coming out of it as a zombie spawn point.  I suppose that it goes back to my zombie grounding in the Resident Evil franchise, where mutant animals…

[comic store guy mode ]

…and not necessarily zombie animals.  There is a difference of sorts…

[ /comic store guy mode… well… reduced to normal levels at least ]

…are reasonably common due to reasons related to the zombie outbreak.

Yesterdays News

The newspaper is an image that I found online a few years ago and held on to.  I printed out a sheet of tiny papers back then but always found them just a little too big to fit on most 28mm figure bases.  I am pleased with how they look on the spawn base above though.

Lastly, here is a silly, tiny shot of all of the spawn points together, along with some of the other zed related stuff that I have painted up recently, just for fun.

Its curtains for Jill Valentine.

The spawn points were a satisfying project: the sort of thing that I regularly talk about, but dont always get around to completing.

Not this time 🙂


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Dr Braga & Umbrella Security Service NBC Squad / Red Shadows

Umbrella NBC Sergeant & Trooper

I have wanted some NBC troopers for zombie games for a while, but I couldnt decide what way to paint them.  While army greens or khakis may have been apt I figured that I would try to tie them to the Umbrella forces that I have been painting, just to be a little different.

As I plan to get some white-clad HazMat suits at a later date (like the suits at the end of the first Resident Evil movie) I didnt want to go for that.  I decided instead to use the other colours from the palette in the Umbrella logo: red and black.

Umbrella Elite Troops ("Blood for the Baron!")

Painting red is a pain in the ass. Trying to get a shaded yet vibrant red (rather than a brown or orange or pink) is irritatingly difficult.

I went for a bright rubbery red in this case and some liberal application of Tamiya Clear red helped to keep the colour vibrant while still shading it.  I am happy with the rubbery look that the red ended up with (aided by a liberal gloss varnish, which in turn makes the shading hard to see in the photos.  Its there all right).

As I painted the black on to the predominantly red figures I realised how Nazi or James Bond-bad-guy they look.  In particular they remind me of the Red Shadows from the UK Action Force toy range that preceded and was subsequently absorbed into the G.I. Joe franchise.

In response to how cartoony looking the final figures ended up looking, I decided to add a cheesy lightning bolt transfer to the miniatures backs.  I think that it is a GW Space Marine White Scar chapter logo and it was a hell of a lot easier to do than paint an Umbrella logo on a red background.  Plus now it shows them to be some sort of elite squad or something like that.

Dr. Braga and Laser Armed Umbrella NBC Trooper

I painted a Moonfleet scientist miniature at the same time as the NBC guys and christened him Dr Braga, after a Star Trek writter known for his technobabble filled writing.  The doctor fits in well with these elite Umbrella troopers I think but he would be equally at home playing God in a lab or antagonising Xenomorphs in their cage or in any number of other sci-fi toy-soldier-y applications.

Since 2008 I have found myself painting scientist spectacles with 3D glasses style red and blue/green.  It doesnt make a lot of sense, but I like the look and so I keep doing it (Dr Jacoby from Twin Peaks wore a pair, didnt he?  I could be wrong).  It works well on Dr. Braga I think.

I bought a toy vehicle last week to transport these guys around in their own hi-tech, HazMat truck.  I hope to get to that at a later date, probably at the same time that I get the two humvees for the USS guys finished.

Collecting Samples for the T-Virus Project

Note that since August 18th, 2010 I have retconned these guys to be Umbrella Special Forces Unit Epsilon.  Not that it really matters, but for the sake of accuracy 🙂

Running the Zombie Gauntlet

 

A few weeks ago a MT (a long time gaming buddy) and I decided to try out frequent LAF contributor AKULAs zombie apocalypse rules, AR:SE (available for free HERE). 

The rules are simple and provide for automated movement for the zombies, like computer game “bots”.  This appealed to the two of us because it meant that we could play semi-co-operatively if we wanted, which sums up the whole zombie apocalypse genre really.

 

 

Preamble

We decided that we would place as much non-ruined urban terrain as we could muster on a 6’ x 4’ table.  We then added 80 or so zombies (ten of which were based in two “hordes”), which covered the table sufficiently to give us a run for our money.  The amount of zombies placed was guesswork, as although we had previously read the rules (satisfyingly short at 2 xA4 pages), we didn’t really have a feel for how effective our heroes would be.  I would rather play a game of a heroic defeat than an easy victory so we erred on the side of more zombies rather than less.

To this we added two Witches and a possibility of spawned zombies spawning as Tanks.  The likely hood of Tanks showing up increased as the game went on.  Although I have a number of zombie “characters” available, we didn’t want to bog down our first game with too many specials, so we left it at Witches and Tanks.

We also specified that Spawned zombies emerged from the zombie horde closest to any survivors (I have dedicated zombie spawn point markers in the pipeline, but they were not available for this game).

A couple of quick notes about the terrain: my modern stuff is pretty crude but functional.  It was originally made under time constraints for use in Heroclix games, which is why the roofs are marked out with a grid.  That’s what the ugly looking white tile spacers are (I really should get around to painting them black).  Eventually I will get around to making some “proper” modern terrain, but as is often the way with these things, the stuff that I have is functional and so “proper” modern terrain never tends to get to the top of the to-do list.  Still, although lacking aesthetically, they buildings are durable and functional, so I wont make any more excuses for them.

Deployment and Table Set-Up

We set up our forces on the South East corner of the table and placed the car park, replete with potential getaway vehicles at the North West corner.  The Survivors were tasked with getting to a specific crashed vehicle in the middle of the battlefield to pick up the vital briefcase of scientists notes.  From there they have to get to the car park where they can hotwire some of the functional vehicles there to make their escape.

L to R: "Silent" Yoshi, Botan, Suzi

MT chose to chart the exploits of some Yakuza survivors.  L to R “Silent” Yoshi, Botan and Suzi.

L to R: Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong

In an unlikely alliance that could only brought on by impending, walking corpse filled Armageddon I chose to ally the Yakuza with the forces of the Racoon City Special Tactics and Rescue Service (STARS).  L to R: Chris Redfield, Leon S Kennedy and industrial espionage agent Ada Wong.

The view from the South

A shot of the battlefield from the South.  Note the car park in the top left.  That’s where our heroes are headed for.

The view from the North

A shot of the battlefield from the North.  Note  the zombie horde in the centre, just below the overturned yellow car.  Those guys occasionally move around and are lethal if they come into contact with survivors.  Primarily in our game, they were a mobile spawn point.
If you squint, you might be able to see one of the Witches.  It’s the figure with the square base at 9 o’clock to the overturned yellow car.  Witches react to disturbances nearby by shrieking.  This in turn causes shamblers within range of the sound to head toward the Witch.  This is a bad thing.

Northerly view including the Car Park

Another shot from the North, this time showing a little of the car park objective.

Aerial view from the ZTV news chopper

An aerial shot, taken by the ZTV news chopper.

Gameplay

Heading East

The Survivors start by heading north via the Eastern table edge.  The theory was that they should avoid the large concentration of slackjaws in the middle for as long as possible. The more noise that the Survivors make, the more active the living dead become.

Businesslike and professional rolling up of a flank

Leon brings up the rear while Botan beheads a walking corpse with his katana.  Chris gives covering fire as they head to the junction where they will proceed West towards the car which contains the briefcase.  So far so good.  “This is a snap for a international woman of mystery such as myself” thinks Ada as the survivors make short work of any zombies in their path.

The first casualty

As she rounds the corner Ada is attacked by a corpse that has been drawn by the gunfire.  In a surprising display of incompetence, Ada is caught flat footed, while the zed seems to be at the top of its game.  Ada has her throat ripped out in a gurgling spray of blood.  “NOOOO!” cries Leon.  “I never expected our flirtatious will-they, wont-they relationship from opposite sides of the track to end like this!”.

“At least she is properly dead.  She isn’t coming back from that”. Chris advises Leon using stilted, computer game-y dialogue.  Chris then riddles the offending zed with lead.

Objective acquired

Botan is “in the zone” at this stage and advises a stealthy approach as he has heard the crying of a Witch up ahead.  “What are supposed to use now? Harsh language?” says Leon in a predictably action movie quote style as he holsters his pistol.  Silent Yoshi does not speak.

Botan ignores them both and chops up two more undead with  ninja like stealth before he pins a crawler to the ground as he retrieves the crucial briefcase from the crashed car.

The Plan

At this point viewers at home were treated to some expert commentary about the situation from back at the ZTV station, complete with a play analysis.  The circled vehicle is where the briefcase has been retrieved from and the green path is the direction that the survivors have chosen to take to get to the car park and getaway vehicle.

Turning Eastward again

Chris runs forward and clinically dispatches the Witch in their path before it can react.  He then provides cover as the remaining survivors head past the limo and towards the cinema.

The "Horde" in the foreground starts moving...

 A large zombie mob starts to stumble toward our heroes, forcing them to hurry away from it, perhaps a little rashly…

Zombies approach from all sides

 Despite gunning down a number of zeds as they closed, Suzi and Yoshi are forced into hand to hand.  Leon and Chris are unable to help as they keep the other closing ghouls at bay.

The death of Botan...

Botan bites off more than he can chew.  While he makes good account of himself in terms of eviscerated corpses, he is eventually dragged down to his doom…

...and the birth of a Tank!

With a series of bloody, squelchy sounds the thing that was Botan convulses.  With a roar, all of its hair falls out and tentacles sprout from its rapidly growing body. Witness the birth of a Tank.

(In game terms we had been using the AR:SE rules to determine if downed heroes would come back as zombies.  Ada hadn’t but Botan had.  We had also been incorporating a simple incrementing roll to determine when the next zombie to spawn would be a Tank.  As luck would have it, this happened when Botan shuffled off, so he was the one that came back as a Tank.  And all in front of a poster of the Governator.  “I’ll be back” indeed.  Hooray for narrative!”)

 

Decisive action required

 The Survivors have a small chance to re-kill the Botan Tank if they can get to it while it is transforming.  With that in mind the four remaining survivors attempt to circle the Tank and neutralise with extreme prejudice.  Suzi has to riskily dodge away from her close combat aggressors to help out with the tank, but a well timed cartwheel reminiscent of Xiaoyu in Tekken 3 gets her where she is needed most. 

Our heroes repeatedly plug the Tank and barely manage to re-dead it before it gets a chance to get up.  “If its dead, we can kill it!” cheers Chris, confusingly.

Car park bound

 Almost as if our heroes have overcome the main aggressor in the third act, the sun breaks through the clouds (or the camera flash was too close) giving the survivors the strength to run around the side of the cinema toward the car park and salvation.  Chris cheerfully riddles a few zeds that get too close en route.

Bus stop

The survivors jump over the car park wall and line up beside a bus.  Suzi, familiar with hotwiring her own school bus during the many Battle Royale school trips that she has been on suggests that she get the bus up and running.  Leon whimpers self pityingly about Ada.  Yoshi remains quiet.  “Holy $h1t! Its Michael Jackson!” says Chris and heads for the roof of the bus.

Chamone in peace... again

“THAT’S for “Earth Song!” hollers Chris as he empties a clip into the former Prince of Pop turned cannibalistic reanimated corpse.
“Its too late to look at he man in the mirror now sucker!”  says Chris in a failed attempt to deliver a pithy closing one liner.  Zombie MJ’s head explodes in a shower of gore.

Clang!

The bus shudders to life and Suzi floors the pedal, heading straight through the gates with a clang.

Vehicular extermination

Suzi expertly guides the bus over four zombies as the survivors drive off into to sunset.  Billie Jean plays to fade.

 

 

Conclusions

We had good fun with the scenario and rules.  We had a couple of minor rules decisions to make a call on during the game, but as we are both grown ups with a lot of hours gaming time clocked over the years, they were decided upon quickly.

I plan to make cards for each of the survivor miniatures that I use as quick reference for the weapons and abilities that they have.  Having played the game, I have more of a handle on how it works now and I will base the stats accordingly.  I plan to bring a very, very simple points system (as in each character is rated as 1, 2, 3, 4) so that James Bond type characters are distinguishable from some survivor with a two by four.

Next time I will incorporate some Hunters and Jockeys into the mix, along with a different scenario.

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