Saturday morning rolls around, and for whatever reason we all wake up early. Good news because that means a leisurely breakfast at IHOP with a surprise appearance by a hostess with the magical gift of oversharing early in the a.m.
As noted in the Friday report, I did pretty well at Wally's Basement, so let's talk shopping at the con. I never know how much my dozens of readers really care about what someone else is buying. I mean, maybe? So let's hit the big topics instead.
Definitely fewer booths in the dealer's hall than before. I mean, I still found things to spend money on (thanks Brigade and Recreational Conflict!) but there wasn't a lot of competition.
I have a few big Kickstarter rewards showing up in the next few months, so as for strategies for spending my money I stuck mostly to things to supplement games/genres I already have. Better to add more terrain or figs or whatever, to keep me focused. So more Victorian scifi (Wolsung, IHMN) and modern (Pulp City, Gotham.) Was happy to see Brigade had some of the Midnight Workshop figs from Artizan, in addition to their Empire of the Dead offerings.
I didn't pick these up, but it's an inspirational concept.
And now my big Saturday event. I'd seen them run games like this before, but this was the first time I was able to reserve a seat at the table.
From the description:
S160 Hold the Line - Z+60 Days
Sat 3:00:00 PM, 3 hrs, 6 players
GM: Henry Kyle
Period: Modern, Scale: 25mm, Rules: Zombie Apocalypse (Home Brew)
"Sixty days after the dead began to rise, your small Texas town is in danger of being overrun by the walking dead. Luckily, word has reached you of a safe zone a few counties over. As the non- combatants are loaded into a convoy to be taken to safety, it is up to the town's ragtag defenders to hold back the undead horde long enough for them to flee."
Yes, those are all 28mm figs.
The plotline is: we're some of the remaining citizens of Arlen, TX. The city is surrounded by a massive horde of the undead, and we're the defenders gathered on the south side of town, trying to hold off the zombies until a convoy of non-combatants can get moving (in eight turns.)
(They specified the southside of town, as previous runnings of this scenario have been the one of the other three sides of town. Clever!)
Suffice it to say, our work is cut out for us.
The rough outline. The deck of cards was massive, with many options played in different phases of the turn.
The rules are straightforward and fast. Within a turn, we had all the basics down, and we only had to ask for specific rules or 'creative' ideas. Initiative was by cards, worked wonderfully for the ten or so players they had. Victory points were earned for killing zombies (and other things) and points were lost when zombies began attacking the convoy (and a couple other things, I think.) Yes, this means we're encouraged to screw over the other players. Each turn each player got a random event card. Which helped them out or hurt opponents.
No, they don't have these rules available yet. Yes, when they do, I will be picking them up without hesitation.
My crew of ne'er-do-wells.
Other factions included: the local donut-eating cops, the local gun club, the A Team, the Sons of Arlen Motorcycle Club, the heavily-armed strippers, some Blackwater mercenaries, and many more. Each had their own little advantages and characteristics. Great to sit down to that kind of variety.
See that light blue police car in the middle of the barricades?
Turn one starts, we start taking shots into the undead crowd, and a few zombies get over the cars. The local cops, who have found some dynamite (via their random event card,) toss it into the horde. It bounces back a bit, and takes out... the police car in the middle of the barricades. This is bad.
My crew spots an ambulance nearby. Curiously enough, we have the rules on our card for how to hotwire a vehicle. We're stationed next to the A Team, so we take some shots at the zombies with them while falling back to our new ride.
Couple turns pass, and the barricade is now more of a speed bump. Zombies are streaming through the breach. Thanks to those random event cards, other zombies have popped up from buildings in town, from the sewers, and from one of the table edges. Eek.
My posse has jacked the ambulance and is heading to the road west. We can't get offboard until turn five, at which point we get VPs for saving our own necks. I did mention we weren't nice guys, right?
I should say most of my posse. Jefferson was tied up in hand to hand combat with one of the walkers that got through, and when he was able to break free, thanks to some help from the A Team... his buddies had driven off. No honor among thieves!
Seriously, it was a firefight!
My ride makes it to the edge of town, but needs to wait a couple turns until we can slip off. We pick off any walkers that are near us. Other townies are suspicious of my motives, but don't know what exactly I am up to. Other than, you know, running away. Snee hee hee.
LOOK AT THAT. So cinematic.
Thanks to someone else's random event card, a zombie breaks into the ambulance, and attacks us. After a turn or two, I go from three criminals fighting one zombie to one criminal fighting two other zombies, including the driver.
Remember Jefferson? Inexplicably still breathing, he sees the writing on the wall, and is sticking like glue to the other survivors, falling back to the convoy.
I could write three more blog posts about everything else that happened in this game. Walkers ambushing survivors, one-in-a-million shots, terrible turns of the tide. One of the things that went really well for a con game is that each player had their own characters, and thusly their own story in this larger event, enhanced by their own cards and cards others played on or around them. Highly effective, and a real plus for the folks behind this game.
Posey, the lone surviving criminal from the ambulance, gets out, gets in another ambulance they randomly ended up packing next to, and uses that to secure his escape and me a fair number of victory points. (As bad guys, we didn't care about fallen comrades.)
Oh, and Jefferson, the luckiest bad boy in town, makes it out to the convoy at the end and off the table. Victory points are tallied. I come in second, after... another bad guy player who didn't care about the convoy getting attacked. Having zeds pop up so early, before we could muster a rearguard to keep them off the civilians cost a lot of points from the good guys, which really gave us criminal types an advantage. But I speak without fear of contradiction when I say that everyone had fun.
Huge game. Great times.
After that epic battle, we headed out of town early. Swung by Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie, since it was on the way and I'd never been before. Believe the hype, it's pretty close to the ideal game store. Clean, well-lit, well-stocked. Plenty of space for gaming. The downside is... that's it's too far from my house. Ah well.