Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Cabin and the Frontier House

I’ve been asked a few questions about the buildings that I used for the Day 2 ATZ encounter (http://wargamersparadise.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/generation-zed-day-2.html) and in particular what were the houses that I used.
I use paper models from Dave Graffam Models. I like these because they’re not too big and don’t take up too much space on the table and they are scaled for 28mm in terms of the doors and window.
Also the majority of the models (probably all the new ones) come with interiors.
Whilst they aren’t big enough to put detailed furniture inside them they are big enough to put the figures in and to position them up against the windows etc (the placement of windows and doors on the inside of the model matches the outside of the model).
I originally made all the houses to suit my European WW2 table and we’ve had many sessions enjoying the kind of rustic rural scene that they create when they are put together with my dirt and cobble roads, rural signs, livestock, fences and trees etc which all match that period and place.
I buy them from rpgnow and most of them are about $3-5 USD depending on which model is chosen. A bargain, I think, given their quality and that they mostly have multiple skins meaning that you have quite a variety of houses for each file (you could probably do half a dozen fairly distinct buildings per file).
The first one I thought I would show is The Cabin. This was the first building I built and it’s the simplest.
As you can see from the next couple of pictures, it is a fairly small model, but it is well scaled to match 28mm miniatures (sorry the pictures are a bit yellow but I had to take these almost in the dark before I flew out this yesterday morning).
It’s a nice simple design and it’s got a suitable interior as well. 
 I’ve used a variety of materials over the years for making the models but the best I’ve found for durability and ease of making them is foam core cardboard. It doesn’t warp, is light weight and it easy to cut. For smaller elements (like chimneys) I use manila folders that you find in any office. I usually try to build buildings that have something on the roof just to break up the model a bit.
Here is the official picture of the model. 
These are the different texture options that you get with the model:

  • Stone walls,
  • Wood walls,
  • Stone corners,
  • Stone foundation,
  • Brick walls (3 styles),
  • Plaster walls (2 styles),
  • Beams (3 styles),
  • Many window and door positions,
  • 4 types of roofs,
  • 3 types of floors,
  • Optional floor rugs,
  • 2 chimney positions,
  • Optional 1" grid overlay.

The next one is the Frontier House. I like this model because it has a 2 part roof structure and it has a small second storey (which is great for housing a MG in WW2).

The interiors are done up to match the exteriors.

And with one roof on. 
I learnt after a while that if I make simple braces for the roof that it’ll sit a lot better on the model and keep its shape better. All the roofs are mode of manila folder whereas the walls, floors and bracing are all foam core. 
 And the official picture. 
So I hope these give you some good ideas about paper terrain. It’s easy (easier than you think), quick (much, much quicker than trying to build and paint) and cheaper than you think and it looks good (often better than model terrain).

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Generation Zed - Day 2 conclusion

Attracted by the gun fire another zombie appears and start to shamble its way towards the warm brainy humans.
Having just cleared the wall, a little drool slips from the zombie’s mouth that is nearest to pink Emma but she knocks it down.
Amanda starts to desperately club the zombie that has grabbed her. She buries it under a torrent of blows and whilst she cannot kill it she’s bought some time by knocking it down.
The two zombies that had previously been knocked down start to get up as the third zombie, which was still on its feet, lunges at Tim. Swinging to the left and the right, Tim is able to keep the beast at bay and it slips on the gore of its comrades and is knocked down.
It’s a tough choice. Looking around Tim can see that another zombie has been attracted to the scene and that there were two more starting to shamble towards him and Amanda that had been attracted to the areas previously by the fire. Bob, the baseball bat man, was sobbing and Tim didn’t know if he would be grieving too much to either accept help or to help.
He thinks of taking one last swipe at the zombie that he’d just knocked down but thinks better of it (ie he fails his brown pants) and he turns to Amanda and shouts “Common darls let’s just get to the car and get out of here.”
The make towards their ute but the progress is slow because of the debris from the melee (ie they didn’t pass any fast move checks and Amanda’s ankle is twisted so they can only move 6”). Tim is worried that with her ankle Amanda isn’t going to make it to the truck before the zombies can react so he places himself between her and the zeds, hoping to ward them off with his axe.

Suddenly a police car comes hurtling towards them. The cruiser screeches to a stop and two officers jump out. “Snap,” thinks Tim, “who would have ever thought I’d be happy to see the law.”
Officers Girle and Mahoney are dead tired. They’ve been on the beat almost continuously for two days but with the outbreak there is a serious need for every officer to be on duty. They quickly size up the situation. Their first priority is to protect the living from the dead and their second is to disarm illegally armed citizens.
Pulling his pistol from its holster, Officer Mahoney forgets all his training as he fires one handed at the zombie in the red board shorts who is looking to jump at Emma. Bang. Bang. He hits it twice and puts it down permanently.
Officer Girle handles his firearm in the orthodox two handed manner as he fires at the small pack of zombies that had been attacking Amanda and Tim. His fire knocks one zed down and kills another. Officer Girle yells out to baseball cap Bob, Amanda and Tim “Run to the squad car, I’ll cover you!!!”

With Mahoney having taken care of the zombie in the red board shorts, hooded Steve decides to take care of the remaining zombie that had just attacked Emma. He ambles over and pops the weasel.

“Put the gun down,” yells Mahoney. Steve ignores him.
Baseball Bob is torn. The two folks in front of him had rushed to the aid of his family and him and now were in danger, but his wife had been killed and his daughter had run into the store. He decides to kill the zombies, secure the situation, save his daughter and help the nice folk out if he can.
Ignoring the order of Officer Girle, he rushes one of the downed zombies, lifts his baseball bat and dashes its skull apart.
The noise from the police car arriving and the shots fired attracts another four zombies. What had been a quick trip down to the shops was turning into a blood bath. Even with the help of the police, there appeared to be more zombies than ever. 

Officer Girle can see that Amanda is hurt and is the priority for help. He advances from his squad car and as he does so he fires two shots at a zombie on the way but both rounds miss.

Bob attacks a zombie that is still on the ground but he isn’t able to smash its head in.
Officer Mahoney fires twice at the zombie that had just rounded the corner near Emma. He hits it once and puts it down for good.
Steve decides that he doesn’t want to give up his pistol so he grabs Emma and they run off, leaving the others to fend for themselves.
Rooted to the spot, not knowing what to do, Tim and Amanda watch at Officer Girle comes to help them.
Meanwhile the remaining zombies start to close in on the humans. Two of them get up near Bob and one of them gets close enough to charge Officer Girl but he fires twice and knocks it down.

Four more zombies are attracted by the shooting and a blood curdling scream can be heard from the store as two of them find little Susie. She is quickly grabbed by one of the zombies but evades the next. “Help Daddy!!!” she yells.

Before he can do anything, a zombie lunges at Bob. He goes wild, not caring for himself and knocks the zed down. But a second advances on him and this time he brains it, finishing the monster for good.
The zombie that Officer Girle had previously shot gets up whilst another charges him. He fires at her once with his service pistol but fails to hit. She grabs him and biting his arm drags the officer to the ground and starts to feast on him. The other zombies, seeing the feast, ignore Tim and Amanda and head straight for the ill fated Girle.

Tim and Amanda run as fast as they can from the scene, leaving their car and the carnage of the day behind. As they go they can hear more shots, as Officer Mahoney tries to defend himself and more clunks clunks clunks of the baseball bat as Bob tries to fight his way to his daughter.

Well that was tense. Way too tense. I need a beer and it’s only 10:00am. I think the mission is a failure too because we didn’t get to search or find anything. In the end 16 zombies and two humans were killed.
We were so close, so very close to dying on a couple of occasions. The axe really helped but as you can see by the fate of Officer Girle, one bad roll of the die and you’re zombie chowder. And there were a few times where we only just got even results with the zeds.
I feel shame and guilt over leaving Bob and his daughter and also for the death of Officer Girle who had come to our aid, but I guess that’s almost the point of the game. Sometimes you’ve got to make hard decisions in order to survive and you have to learn to live with them later.