Friday, 19 January 2018

Escape from Zombie Planet!

The latest adventure from the Old Buckenham Bone Crushers, using my own home-brew rules...

The zombie plague continues to spread on the colony world Arturo.  3 small groups of survivors have converged on an outlying landing field.  Together, they have formulated an escape plan. 

An overview of the landing field and associated settlement.
The townsfolk have been trapped in a building but are running out of food.  Now they will have to make a break for it.

The townsfolk survey the area.
More survivors have reached the outskirts of the settlement and are concealed in some rickety shacks.  They've made their way here in the hope of finding a ship to take them off-world and it looks like they could be in luck!

Wilderness survivors prepare for action.
Interstellar Mining and Extraction Consortium have a small cargo lifter almost ready for launch.  The crew have been holed up for several days but this looks like it could be their chance to complete launch prep and escape.  Navigational charts need to be downloaded from a nearby spacecraft undergoing maintenance.

Nav charts and supplies are located near the IMEC cargo lifter.
The 3 groups have been in radio communication and have finalised their escape plans.  Before the IMEC ship can take off, they must gather five important sets of supplies which are situated are various points around the landing field.  These include food, spare parts, CO2 scrubbers and other vital items.

The wilderness survivors make the first move.  Rummaging in the shacks they find some blankets.  It's not much but they might come in useful.  They decide that their safest approach route is over the rocky outcrop between them and the settlement.  This will avoid various zombies lurking in the woods and will give them a good view across the settlement and landing field.  Tying the blankets around their bodies, they prepare for the climb.

The IMEC team strike out from their cargo lifter towards the other spacecraft, pausing only to gun down a nearby group of zombies.  There seem to be few zombies on this side of the landing field.

IMEC crew members dash to recover them.
The townsfolk are going to make a break for the vehicle parked outside.  After taking a pot-shot at the zombies from the roof, they start to make their way downstairs.  Inside the building they pick up a datapad and some of the operating codes for the loader-bot outside.

Other than the zombies which heard the gunshots and are moving towards the townsfolk, the undead  lurch and shamble randomly around the area.

It looks like the townsfolk have misjudged the situation.  As they reach the ground floor, zombies burst in through the doorway, threatening to overwhelm them.

Townsfolk find there are zombies downstairs!
On this occasion luck is with them and in the nick of time they pile out of the fire exit and dash towards the off-roader.

So it's time to leave!
Realising time is of the essence, the IMEC crew sprint desperately to the spacecraft.  While one of them sets the nav charts downloading to their cargo lifter, the others start to drag the supplies towards a nearby forklift.

IMEC crew have reached the dry-docked shuttle.
The townsfolk start the engine and rumble away from the buildings in the off-roader.  One jumps out and dashes around behind a building.  Will the zombies see him or are they distracted and following the vehicle? The off-roader rattles down the road, its tracks mincing to mush the 3 zombies who stand in its path.
Townsfolk squash zombies on their way to the woods.
Turning into the woods, they pause to collect some supplies.

They skid to a halt next to the supplies.
Over in the woods, the wilderness survivors are reaching the bottom of the outcrop.  The rifleman sprints to the corner of the building to see if there are any zombies nearby.

Wilderness survivors have reached the edge of the settlement.
He recoils in horror as a decaying, one-armed undead lurches around the corner!

Rifle Rick encounters a zombie.
The IMEC mechanic swings the forklift around and his companions load on the supplies.  Now they can get it back to the ship more quickly!

IMEC crew load the supplies onto a forklift.

Two of the wilderness survivors check out a nearby building - they have discovered a store, crammed full of fuel drums!  The rifleman survivor makes a snap decision.  He will try to lead off the zombies by running away from his companions, deeper into the woods.

More zombies close on Rifle Rick.
A fanjet sits temptingly within reach but the survivors wisely choose not to risk trying to break through the cordon of zombies surrounding it.

Too many zombies to risk a run for the fan-jet.
Circling back from the woods, the townsfolk's off-roader falls victim to a zombie horde drawn to the sound of the engine.  The zombies manage to overturn the vehicle!

Townsfolk misjudge their escape route!
More zombies are closing in, attracted by all the noise.

Can they escape?
As the townsfolk ponder their situation, flames start to lick around the side of the vehicle.  Time to abandon it and move out on foot!

The zombies close in...
The fuel drums look heavy.  Luckily there is a digger nearby, should prove useful for transporting them.

Wilderness survivors have found a fuel depot.
Back in town, Andy Axe has used the datapad and codes to activate the Loader-bot.  It should prove useful for carrying more supplies.

Andy Axe activates a loader-bot to pick up some supplies.
In the woods, Rifle Rick finds he is cut off and surrounded.  It looks like his time is up - but will his sacrifice allow his companions to escape?

Rifle Rick has run deep into the woods to draw off zombies.
The last thing to go through his mind is... a zombie's teeth!  Aaaargh!

He has sacrificed himself to give his friends a chance.
Thanks to his decoy of the zombies, the other wilderness survivors have loaded a digger with fuel drums and are preparing to make a run for the cargo lifter.  Their last act at the fuel depot is to rig the remaining drums to explode.

They have been busy loading supplies and fuel drums.
Andy Axe rides the Loader-bot through town,picking up some supplies en-route.  As it passes one of the buildings, he leaps nimbly through the top-storey window ready to search it.

Andy Axe leaps from the loader-bot into a building.
The Wilderness survivors detonate the fuel dump.  The explosion attracts zombies from much of the town, hopefully it will leave a clear path for them to get to the cargo lifter.

Wilderness Survivors detonate the fuel dump.
Back at the burning off-roader, the townsfolk jump clear and scarper for the cover of the woods.

Townsfolk flee the zombies.
Out of sight of the zombies, they press on towards the landing field.

Townsfolk seek concealment in the woods.
The remaining wilderness survivors are ready to go.  Zombies are closing in, drawn by the explosion.

Wilderness survivors prepare to depart.
They cut round the side of the town where they see more zombies shambling towards the noise.

They make their way through the settlement.
On the other side of town, Andy Axe has emerged from the building, having found nothing useful.  A road grader wouldn't normally be his vehicle of choice but it beats walking!

Andy Axe decides his new ride is a road grader.
His comrades emerge from the woods nearby.  Can Andy get the vehicle started and pick them up before they are all overrun by the zombies?

Can he get to his companions before the zombies get him?
Meanwhile, the Wilderness survivors trundle through town, knocking aside zombies as they go.

The digger knocks aside zombies who lurch into its path.
The Loader-bot continues its circuitous march towards the landing field.  Not realising that it isn't alive, Zombies are attracted to its clunking mechanical footsteps.

The Loader-bot is running into trouble...
The number of zombies beating at its legs proves too much for the Loader-bot to handle and it keels over and crashes to the ground, disabled.  Looks like those supplies won't be making it to the escape ship.

... and it's down!
But the wilderness survivors have a plan!  One transfers to a nearby lorry, taking some fuel drums with him...

Wilderness survivors transfer part of the load to a new vehicle.
... while the other diverts to the wrecked Loader-bot to try and collect the dropped supplies.  Engine started, the lorry heads for the landing field via the woods, the road being too crowded with zombies to allow safe passage.

Split up!
Andy has evaded the zombies gathering by his new road grader.  Swerving across the road he picks up his colleagues.  Alas, they have no supplies - but at least they're all still alive.

And Axe picks up his buddies.
Back in town, the digger has been loaded with the supplies - but it has taken crucial seconds to do so and now zombies are surrounding it.

The digger runs into trouble.
Zombies beat at the bodywork of the vehicle, leaving bloody hand prints and smears on the paint.  The digger is great for driving into zombies but the scoop is no use when the zombies are attacking from the back!

Zombies surround the vehicle.
The inevitable happens as the digger succumbs to weight of zombie numbers.  Pistol Pattie's chances of survival are slim as flames erupt from the stricken vehicle.

The digger is overturned and bursts into flames!
In fact her chances of survival are precisely zero.  It's a toss-up whether she burns to death or gets eaten by the zombies first.

One more survivor becomes zombie food.
The townsfolk witness Patty's gruesome demise and decide to waste no more time.  They have to get to the landing field, and fast!

Unable to save the wilderness survivors, the townsfolk head for the cargo lifter.
Back at the cargo lifter, the IMEC crew have successfully loaded their supplies on board and updated the nav-comp.  They're ready to go as soon as the others arrive with the supplies they've gathered.  They should be here any moment, a vehicle can be heard approaching through the woods.  Not sure what's been happening back in the town, there's an awful lot of smoke billowing up over there...

The IMEC crew have loaded the ship.  But what has happened to the others..?
So... not what you'd call a win for the survivors!  Although 2 full groups made it to the escape ship, they failed to gather anywhere near enough supplies.  Perhaps they can make a sub-orbital hop to another settlement to search for other supplies?  But they certainly aren't escaping the planet just yet.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Sale Time! Rebel Minis Christmas Sale 20% off

A rather belated note about Rebel Minis Christmas Sale, use code Merry17 to save 20%!  Here's a sneak preview picture featuring lots of Rebel Minis zombies from my latest game, the full report should appear as my first post for 2018!

"With Christmas around the corner, it is time for our Annual Christmas Sale! As you know, we only have two sales a year, and we like to make them big! So, from now until Dec 31 1st, everything on the site is 20% off! Yes, you heard right, 20% off! Use code Merry17 when checking out to get the discount!"

Monday, 11 December 2017

Llah Ega'lliv

"Why is always nasty aliens attacking poor innocent humans?" asked one of the Explorer Scouts when we were getting out the scenery at our latest games day.

Thus was born the villainous human attack on the poor innocent alien settlement of Llah Ega'lliv...

The battlefield...
A Neo-Colonial Commonwealth strike force is attacking to seize the "alien maiden" and the settlement's supply of "alien yoghurt" located within the target building.  Don't ask why, they just are.

Aliens are scattered across the town in small groups.  Despite being "innocent" they are nevertheless well armed and by no means defenceless.  Most are regular Crusty troops but some have plasma guns and a few are equipped with power armour, representing a greater threat to the attackers.

Commonwealth Lancer IFV moves into position.
Commonwealth forces comprise 2 Glaive APCs, 2 Lancer IFVs and 4 Outrider scout vehicles plus associated infantry fire teams.  They move in a 3 pronged attack from the North West, North and North East.

Crusty infantry unit fire ineffectually at Commonwealth Lancer IFV.
Crusties open fire against the NE prong but their fire bounces off the Commonwealth Lancer's armour.  Return fire is more effective and the first Crusty goes down.

Lancer IFV opens fire.
The Lancers are armed with twin rotary chain guns and have up-armoured hulls, giving them excellent protection.

Commonwealth APC decides to strike fast!
Rather than pause to deploy infantry to breach a Crusty compound, a Glaive APC takes a more direct route from the North.  At this point, the Commonwealth teams receive orders to deploy to an alternative target nearby.  While they try to sort out the contradictory instructions and verify the original orders, vital seconds are lost and initiative passes to the Crusties.

Crusty plasma gun fire rips into the APC.
By lifting over the compound wall, the APC has exposed itself to plasma gun fire from several Crusty units scattered across the town.  Numerous shots are narrowly deflected but one penetrates the hull and the APC crashes to the ground, flames billowing from the hatches.

Comonwealth APC survivors come out fighting.
The Commonwealth fire team stumbles from the burning wreckage.  Between shrapnel from the APC crash and the firepower of the dazed but still effective Commonwealth troops, all but one of the stunned Crusties in the compound go down.

Commonwealth recon troops cautiously approach.
To the NW of the compound, the Commonwealth recon unit moves in cautiously.  The confusion over their orders means they are actually lagging behind the main elements of the strike force.

Crusty reinforcements strike from behind Commonwealth lines.

Crusty reinforcements start to trickle in from nearby settlements.  One catches a Commonwealth fire team at the Northern entry point from behind.  Surprising the Commonwealth troops they take out one trooper.

Crusty reinforcements don't last long!

Despite their surprise, the Commonwealth unit rapidly switches their focus and effectively eliminates the entire Crusty reinforcement squad.  But back in the compound with the crashed APC, things are about to take a turn for the worse...

Crusty Power Armour leaps into combat with Commonwealth troops.
Crusty Power Armour troops leap down from a nearby building.  Despite this shock entrance, the tough Commonwealth troops take down one of the power armour Crusties in the first round of combat.  While the fighting rages, the surviving regular Crusty manages to rouse its comrades, one of whom is badly injured.

Crusty Power Armour grind down the Commonwealth survivors in close combat.
Maintaining pressure on the Commonwealth troops, the Crusties' tougher armour and enhanced firepower begins to take its toll and the humans start to fall.

Commonwealth troops succumb to Crusty superiority.
Finally the Crusty power armour overwhelms the Commonwealth troopers and the compound returns to Crusty control.

More Crusty power armour in cover.
More Crusty power armour takes cover in a building to the East of the town.  They fire on a nearby APC...

Crusty fire ignites a nearby building.
Their fire misses the APC but hits something flammable in a nearby building and flames quickly take hold.  Commonwealth troops won't be able to take cover in there!

More Crusty fire hits the nearby APC.
More Crusty fire streaks in, this time impacting against the armour of the APC itself.

Lancer moves up in support.
The Lancer moves in from the East, its firepower should help support the APC and suppress the Crusty power armour in the domed building.

Aerial view of the East flank
Crusties on the roof of a building down the street risk a look... and one falls under the stream of shells from the Lancer's twin chain guns.

Recce unit prepares to move.
On the opposite side of town, the recon unit prepares to move.  Crusty reinforcements are spotted coming down the road from the West.

Crusties use a burned out car for cover.
In the centre of town, a Crusty unit lean their shoulders into pushing a burned-out car along, providing street-crossing cover from the Lancer's guns.

Recce troop springs into action to assault a compound.
Back to the West, the recce troop act quickly before the Crusty reinforcements can link up with existing units in the town.  3 Outrider scouts skim over a low hill and pour missile and machine gun fire into the nearest compound, wiping out all the occupants.

Suspected IED! Alternative route required!
A second Lancer is moving cautiously in from the North.  The vehicle commander calls an IED warning against a suspicious oil drum and all Commonwealth units will need to avoid that area in future.

Crusty power armour proves surprisingly vulnerable!

Nearby, the victorious Crusty power armour from the APC crash compound leaps across to the Commonwealth back-stop unit - but are gunned down before they can act!  The Commonwealth casualty was only stunned and the team are back to full firepower.

Crusties and Commonwealth trade fire.
To the East, more Crusties flock towards the damaged APC.  Fire from the APC eliminates one Crusty but the overwhelming firepower destroys the vehicle.  The Commonwealth troops bail out of their stricken transport, one of them injured and unconscious.

Now that's a bad armour defence roll...
On the West flank, a Crusty plasma support weapon from the reinforcements fires at the reserve Outrider scout vehicle.  It obviously hits a weak spot in the Outrider's armour, going through it like tissue paper!

Commonwealth recce troop suffers a casualty.
The Outrider brews up catastrophically.  The nearby infantry fire team ducks away from the explosion.

The Outrider eliminated, more Crusty reinforcements move down the road into the town.  Crusties are starting to move more clumsily now - rumours of a Commonwealth chemical agent attack are spreading and the Crusty regular troops are donning protective filters which restrict their vision and reduce their fighting efficiency.  Fortunately the power armoured troops are unaffected by this.

Lancer vs Crusties
On the Northern route, the Lancer is moving along an alternative track to avoid the suspected IED.  More Crusties gather in the buildings ahead.

Outriders approach the objective building.
The remaining 3 Outriders leapfrog over a compound and find themselves facing the objective building.

The "Alien Maiden" and yoghurt barrel.
In the tower atop the building lies their target, the "Alien Maiden" and a barrel of her legendary yoghurt.

Close up of the maiden.  Isn't she lovely?
She roars her fury to the heavens... or perhaps she's calling in more reinforcements?

Crusty reinforcement, an alien mercenary.
On the East flank a new threat emerges, an alien mercenary.  A ferocious warrior armed with a powerful weapon, it represents a threat to both infantry and light vehicles.

Alien mercenary threat to the rear of the Commonwealth unit.
The mercenary moves in behind the Commonwealth unit, endangering the entire flank.  It prepares to charge and eviscerate the humans in close combat... but thinks better of it at the last moment and remains at a distance.

Commonwealth troops are in no position to intervene, administering medical aid to their injured comrade.  The mercenary prepares to charge once more... but again changes its mind and the Commonwealth troops remain unhindered.

Power armour Crusties get to their feet.
On the North flank, the Crusty power armour med-systems go to work.  Auto-injectors pump the occupants with stims and painkillers and all three troopers rise to their feet once more.

Commonwealth recce squad move in.
To the East, the foot recce squad infiltrate forwards into some ruins that overlook the road.  Can they see the Crusties that took out the Outrider from here?  They are now the only unit covering this flank against Crusty reinforcements.

Brrrrapp!! Chain guns mow down Crusties.

Crusties make a dash across the track to another building nearby - but the Lancer's twin chain guns mow them all down before they reach safety.

Brrrrapp!!  And two more!

In a near-repeat, another unit of Crusties rushes in from the South.  Once more the Lancer opens fire, once more Crusties fall to the ground, though on this occasion two manage to make it to the building.  The other Lancer is moving in from the West.

Commonwealth infantry help out.

The Commonwealth foot recce squad open fire, eliminating two more Crusties.

Crusty revenge takes out an Outrider.

Unfortunately, Crusty weight of numbers is telling and from a nearby building, a Crusty plasma-gunner sends his shot through the thin rear armour of one of the Outriders.

Power armour proves effective at last.

Although one of their number is injured, the re-animated Crusty power armour wipe out the Commonwealth rearguard unit.  The Commonwealth rear is now undefended against Crusty reinforcements.

Crusty reinforcements building...

Meanwhile in the centre of town, more Crusties swarm into buildings overlooking the street.  Time for the Lancer to move on.

Objective building reached!

The Lancer moves up the street and reverses into position against the target building.  Time to begin the final phase of the operation!

Still more Crusties attack.

Crusties move into the street and open fire from the East but Lancer return fire knocks three to the ground.

Anti-tank missile versus Crusty infantry...

The Crusty reinforcements approaching from the West treat their casualty caused by the recce squad.  Another reinforcement unit is completely wiped out by a missile from one of the remaining Outriders.

Supporting fire from Commonwealth recce squad.

The Commonwealth recce squad assist by firing on the Crusty plasma gun team which destroyed an Outrider moments before.  One of the Crusties falls.


A Commonwealth sniper team has infiltrated Llah Ega'lliv and chooses this moment to reveal itself.  They catch the Crusties in a crossfire and the remaining three are also out of action, temporarily removing the threat of attacks against the rear of the remaining Outriders.


The Commonwealth troops come under attack themselves - having eliminated the rearguard unit, the Crusty power armour leaps onto the roof of the compound and their shots knock down one of the sniper team.

More Crusty casualties.

The second Lancer moves in to secure the street.  Crusties spill out of a building and are mown down like wheat.  Only one survives the hail of bullets.

Commonwealth troops cover the advance.

The lone survivor falls victim to the fire team from the wrecked APC to the East.  They've taken cover behind a burned-out car to provide covering fire down the street.

Commonwealth troops storm the target building.
With the Lancers in position, one of the Outriders lands on the roof of the target building.  Commonwealth marines debus and secure the structure.

The final power armour Crusty is hit again.
 A single suit of power armour from the carnage in the street has survived.  The auto-med systems revive the Crusty just in time to be gunned down again.

Additional reinforcements join the Crusties.

More Crusty reinforcements start to gather in a building overlooking the street.

Recce squad eliminates more Crusties.
To the West the Recce team trade fire with a Crusty squad.  As the smoke clears, only the Crusty plasma gunner remains standing.

And more...
Crusty reinforcements move in along the road but half immediately fall victim to the Recce team.

Commonwealth forces guard the objective building.

A Lancer and one of the Outriders fire down the street at the reinforcements already mauled by the Recce team.  Now only one of the original eight Crusty reinforcements is capable of continuing.

Reinforcements are visible to the North.
With the Commonwealth rear wide open, more Crusty reinforcements pour in from the North.

The two surviving members of a Crusty unit are killed.
Two Crusties had somehow survived their earlier near-suicidal charge down the street.  Risking a shot at a Lancer from the cover of a building, their luck finally runs out.

Weight of Crusty fire begins to tell on the Lancers.
Despite having limited anti-tank firepower, the quantity of plasma fire raining down on the Lancers starts to inflict damage.  Nothing crippling yet, but both are taking hard hits.

More Crusties swarm in from the North.
The Crusties move down the street towards the Commonwealth centre.  An Outrider hopefully drops a missile into their ranks but causes only a single casualty.

Crusties continue to build up.
Having given up trying to charge the Commonwealth team to the East after three consecutive failures, the alien mercenary gallops across towards the centre of the town.

Commonwealth forces prepare to extract.

Despite the building Crusty reinforcements, the Commonwealth strike force has inflicted severe casualties and has obtained its objectives.  With the rather dubious "Alien maiden" and the barrel of yoghurt safely ensconced in one of the transports, the Commonwealth grav armour is ready to lift clear of Llah Ega'lliv.

A fun game of Tomorrow's War played with 3 Commonwealth players and 2 Crusty players while I was GM.  Normally used to playing 4K and its ilk, they adapted quickly to the reaction mechanics of the new game.

Commonwealth started with the initiative but quickly lost it thanks to a fog-of-war card.  They never regained the initiative.  The Crusties suffered from drawing the Gas! Gas! Gas! fog-of-war card twice in a row which dropped their regulars from troop quality D8 to D6.  The Commonwealth player ended up with both All Clear cards which they certainly weren't going to play any time soon, so the Crusties were at a disadvantage for much of the game.  The alien mercenary failed its troop quality roll to try and close-assault the injured Commonwealth fire team nearby, not once, not twice but three times!  This meant that effectively played no part in the game!  The Crusties were also hampered by one player who wasn't paying full attention and rushed two squads of Crusties straight into the guns of the Lancers, with predictable results.

So, victory to the Neo-Colonial Commonwealth who have shown Humanity's worst side to the inoffensive local Crusty population.