Sunday, 24 December 2017

ATZ – Reaction Tests Made Easy

Perhaps the biggest thing to get your head around when first playing Two Hour Wargames games, such as All Things Zombie, are the reaction tests.
And I must admit when I first starting playing ATZ the reaction tests and knowing when to use them was pretty confusing. But after I’d been playing for a while I started to see a pattern and it became easy peasy.
You see I’m not exactly the worlds smartest man but I am good at breaking things down and thinking about ways to make life simpler, easier, faster.
So I figured I’d write a short post to explain how I remember it.
Firstly, when Ed describes the turn sequence in the introduction to the rules he talks a fair bit about how these rules are different to a traditional IGO UGO rules because he’s invented the THW Reaction System. And whilst that’s all good and correct, the description is, for the new player, in my opinion, a little daunting.
The reality is that it isn’t that hard folks, you’ve just got to think about things a little differently.
So let’s address that in two parts shall we, the activation system and the reaction system.
Activation System
The activation system, whilst innovative in its mechanic, isn’t super different in the outcomes generated to other games which have a system which randomises who goes next if you get to go at all. Possibly the best analogy here is the card based activation system used by many systems including, for example, Too Fat Lardies.
The main difference is, again in my opinion, that the Two Hour Wargame system is simpler.  By just by using a couple of die and the Rep of the main protagonists rather than a series of different cards it’s pretty easy to work out who has activated first and who hasn’t activated.
Ok, ok DEW you’ve just handled the easy stuff so far. How about the reaction tests? They’re the difficult ones to get your head around. Righteo let’s handle them next.
Reaction Tests
They are not really that difficult. If you just think about all the different things that can happen to you in a combat situation and how you’d REACT to them then you’ve pretty much mastered the concept.
With the exception of the In Sight and Recover from Knock Down tests, the majority of the others are morale tests of one type or another. And so really the biggest difference is that you take them straight away rather than taking them at the end of the turn, like you would in 40k.
Even the In Sight test is mostly about is working how who shots first and the Recover from Knock Down is really just about working out if you are heavily or lightly wounded when you’ve been hurt.
For example:
1.     Come around a corner and run into and enemy. Don’t sit there wondering who should shoot first. Take the In Sight reaction test.
2.    Get shot at. What do you do, well you take a Received Fire reaction test.
3.    See one of your mates get shot up or stabbed. Yeah that’s not good is it. Do you man up or chicken out. Find out by taking a Man Down reaction test.
4.    You get shot but aren’t killed. Are you heavily wounded or is it just a scratch? Find out by taking a Recover from Knock Down reaction.
5.    Previously chickened out by having effectively failed a prior morale test. Have you recovered your nerve yet? Take a Recover From Duck Back reaction test.
6.    Never seen a zombie before and suddenly one just lunges at you, take a Zed Or No Zed reaction test to find out how you handle the situation.
7.    Seeing the undead feasting on a dude for the first time. Yup that’s a little unsettling isn’t it. Take a See The Feast reaction test to see if you just freeze or if you’re a man of action.
Because All Things Zombie makes you take these tests at the time that they happen, the game is more dynamic and you have less control than in a standard IGO UGO.
And I think, that is part of the beauty of the system.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Generation Zed - Day 5 - Gangsters Paradise - Part 2 - Bash Values

As Knuckles stands rooted to the spot the zombies converge on Macca’s still warm corpse. His senses dulled, he doesn’t hear the noise of the zombies eating his friend nor the police siren wailing in the distance. All he can see is the murderous zombies devouring his former colleague.
A small family bursts from The Dutchess Delicatessen and runs towards Knuckles. “Hey buddy,” yells the father. “Hey buddy, over here.” He says trying to lure Knuckles away from the danger. 
Knuckles doesn’t even hear them.
And another woman runs towards Knuckles, this time from the Belvedere. As she reaches the big man she notices that he is still just staring at the corpse being eaten as she gently says, “Let’s go. Come on. Soon they’re going to turn on us.”
Knuckles slowly turns his head and stares at her. “Come on,” she yells. Then she slaps him.
Knuckles spins on his heel and runs. He leaves the woman behind and sprints straight past the family towards the safety of The Dutchess Delicatessen. The family turn and run with him. The woman is taken aback that she’d been left just like that. She raises her hand to her mouth in shock as she watches Knuckles and the family leave her. She cannot follow them as more zombies close in and her escape routes become limited. She runs back to the relative safety of the Belvedere.
Knuckles and the family reach the delicatessen at the same time. Behind them, over a dozen zombies are feasting on what remains of Macca’s body. Then, slowly, one of the zeds turns. He’s noticed the fleeing humans and starts to shamble towards them. 
Knuckles pays no heed to the young family following him as he runs into The Dutchess and closes the door behind him. Flicking the latch he locks the door and callously bars their access to safety.
The man, Harry, yells out to him. “Hey buddy, let us in. Buddy…..”
The big police cruiser slows as it gets closer to the address of the “Shots Fired” call. Officers Morgan and Copeland are aghast at the scene. In the middle of the street is a dead man being devoured by a dozen zombies.
As the police car comes to a stop the zombies turn and look at the officers. With their mouths wide open, blood and gore drools out as they spot the new opportunity to satisfy their insatiable hunger. They stand as one and start to move towards the vehicle. 
Harry looks over at his shoulder at the squad car and then back at the door of The Dutchess. He knocks incessantly and yells, “Hey buddy, let us in would ya.”
But his pleas fall on deaf ears. A zombie closes in on the unprotected family. 
In the police car, Morgan turns to Copeland, “We’ll we can’t stop all them. Let’s grab that family and get them to safety.”
Copeland nods his agreement, “Bloody oath. I don’t want to be eaten like Girle was the other day.”
As Morgan begins to pull forward the cruiser is mobbed by a throng of zombies. 
Copeland screams at Morgan, “Aggghhh, gun it!”
Morgan slams the skinny peddle but loses control of the cruiser. The car catches the gutter and flips.
Officer Morgan is knocked unconscious and thrown from the vehicle. Copeland is luckier. Saved by his seat belt, he is hanging upside down in the squad car. He gently releases the clasp and falls. Crawling through the open window, he tries to get the attention of his partner, “Morgan, Morgan….hey man you ok?”
Standing he looks back at the horde of zombies shuffling towards him.
He looks down at his partner and tries to shake him awake. “Come on, get up.”
The mass of zeds shuffles closer. 
The situation becomes desperate at the door of The Dutchess. The zombie growls and grabs the little girl from behind.
She shrieks in terror and twists and turns to get away from the beast. “Mommy,” she yells. 
But the mother, Susie, is too preoccupied with trying to get into the building. The zombie trips on the sidewalk in the tussle and falls to the ground. 
Another zombie, who looks like she’s come straight from the emergency ward of the local hospital, turns the corner and lunges at the little girl’s father.
Harry tries to fight the monster off and they tussle too and fro. He twists his arm and the zombie looses its grip. Harry yells to Susie, “Time to go honey.” She grabs her daughters hand and they follow Harry away from the scene. 
They turn the corner and put more distance between them and the carnage.
The zombie horde shuffles forward towards officers Copeland and Morgan. Copeland reaches for his pistol and then looks down at his partner. Morgan who is still unconscious. “I’m not going to let you go the way of Girle,” Copeland mutters to himself.
Copeland rolls Morgan onto his back and then gets behind him and then, grabbing him by the shoulders, starts to drag him away from the zeds.
It’s slow progress but he gets his partner away from the wreck. 
Meanwhile, back in The Dutchess, Knuckles finds no one on the first floor.
He runs up stairs and there he sees one of his shot callers ransacking the place.
“Nate,” the big man calls. “What you doin here?”
“What you think?” calls back Nate.
“It’s chaos out there. We’ve got to DD before we get grabbed and eaten by those filthy bastards. They got Macca.”
Nate was a known looter and cared little for the rules but he did care about his fellows in the gang. “No. What those f@#king zeds outside?”
“Yep. And Jonsie flipped out and ran. Gawd knows here he’s at now.”
Knuckles peers outside the window. He can see that a police car has overturned and two police officers are trying to get away with the zombie following them. Looking over his left shoulder at Nate his voice deepens, “Let’s find a way out the back whilst these pigs keep the zombies busy.”