Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Zombicide Scenario BS01 - Death From Above Part 1

It is no secret that my favourite boardgame of all time is Zombicide. I fell in love with it from the moment I opened the starter set box and read the rulebook. I have all of the supplements for it, including the spin-off game Zombicide: Black Plague, which incredibly, improves on the original, and I have just about all of the figures made for it. I was tempted to run a Zombicide: Black Plague batrep here, but there is still so much fun and so much new stuff for the original game that I haven't covered, so I'm sticking with that for the moment. Over the next three weeks I'll show you what happened in a scenario of my own creation that I called "Death From Above." The reason I chose this title will become immediately obvious. Not only will the Survivors have to deal with a growing horde of Zombies but I'm also adding the Murder of Crowz expansion set into the mix. Hence, "Death From Above."
In this scenario, I'm using four Survivors from Zombicide Season 2. They are Dakota, an escaped convict, Elsa, a cat burglar, Gary, a miniature figures sculptor and Ross, an ex-Army veteran and warehouse manager. Despite their widely differing backgrounds they had grouped together when the zombie apocalypse brought them in contact with one another. Dakota started with the Taunt skill (not very useful); Elsa with the Break-in Skill (which proved very useful); Gary began with the Slippery Skill (incredibly useful!) and Ross started with the +1Die: Ranged Skill (another useful Skill). Their starting weapons were a Fire-Axe for Dakota, a Pan for Elsa, a Crowbar for Gary and a Pistol for Ross.
The photo above shows the board set up for the start of the game. The upper four tiles are from left to right, 1B, 2B, 2C and 4B. The four lower tiles from left to right are 3B, 5F, 2C and 4B. There are four Spawn Points (not numbered in this photo but they are in the other photos) - two at the top (north end) of the board and two at the bottom (south end) of the board.
Take all four Objective Tokens. One of them will be a Green Objective Token (placed face down) and it represents a First Aid Kit, which can be used to heal one wound on any Survivor in the same Zone as the person who has this Token. Healing counts as a separate Action. All Objective Tokens are worth 5 experience points to whoever finds them.
Once all four Objective Tokens have been found, the Survivors may exit the board at the Exit Point on Tiles 4B and 5B.
Death from above. This scenario includes the figures from the Murder of Crowz expansion set as part of the Zombie Horde. Rules for Crowz are they can move 3 Zones per Turn. They ignore doors and walls when moving. They only have one action per Turn - Move or Attack. They only have 1 wound and when killed, they are worth 1 experience point. On the Target Priority Chart, Crowz appear just after Survivors, meaning they will always be the first type of Zombies to be shot.
Out of gas! The Pimpmobile and Police Car may not be driven. However, they can be searched as normal. The Pimpmobile will contain either the Evil Twins Pistols or Ma's Shotgun.
Hah, you missed me! I decided to use the Target Priority rules from Zombicide: Black Plague when shooting into a Zone that contains one or more Survivors. This means the Survivor is only hit if the shot misses its intended target. I think this is a much fairer rule and it will be a house rule in all of my future games of Zombicide.
The four Survivors started in the North West corner of Tile 1B. For the most part I'll alternate who acts first in a Turn. Moving clockwise from Dakota, the Survivors are arranged alphabetically - Dakota, Elsa, Gary and Ross. Notes relating to the rules will be written in blue.
DAKOTA, ELSA, GARY & ROSS. With only three Actions per Turn, they each moved 2 Zones east and then 1 Zone south to stand alongside the police car.
"We need to find some decent weapons," Gary moaned.
"There should be some in this car," Ross pointed out.
"The keys are missing and the gas tank is reading empty," Elsa noted as she peered through the window of the driver's door.
"Hey, guys! The trunk's unlocked. Let's see what they've got." Dakota said in a cheerful voice.
ZOMBIES. Spawn Point 1 wielded one Walker. One Walker climbed out of the manhole on Tile 1B, close to Spawn Point 1.
Two Walkers emerged from Spawn Point 2 and another one arrived from Spawn Point 3, south of where the four Survivors were.
ELSA. She searched the police car and found an SMG. She moved 1 Zone south to stand beside the door into the big building. She deftly unlocked the door with her set of lock-picks. (She used her Break-in Skill for which no dice roll is required and it makes no noise. This counts as a Free Action for her). Inside Zombies spawned in every room except one. There were four Walkers and four groups of Crowz.
"What the fuck!" she screamed as she saw a flock of zombie crows filling the room.
She sprayed the room with bullets from her newly acquired 9mm Uzi. Most of her shots missed but she managed to reduce the number of Crowz facing her by half.
GARY. He searched police car and found a Hunting Rifle. He moved 1 Zone south to join Elsa.
"What's the problem?" he asked.
"That's the problem!" Elsa replied pointing at the Crowz.
"Holy shit!" Gary exclaimed. He raised his Rifle and blasted the remaining Crowz out of the air.
ROSS. He also searched the police car and he found a Machete. Noticing the Zombie Walker slowly shuffling towards him he fired his 9mm Pistol twice (remember he gets a +1 die bonus for his starting Skill, giving him 2 dice to hit per shot instead of just 1 die) and blew the back of the Zombie's head off. With a satisfied grunt, he moved 1 Zone south.
DAKOTA. Searching the police car, she found a Sawed-Off Shotgun.
"Cool!" she murmured. She moved 1 Zone south to catch up with her three colleagues.
ZOMBIES. The two groups of Crowz moved 2 Zones to exit the building, threatening the four Survivors. The remaining Walkers slowly moved towards the quartet. From Spawn Point 1 came one Walker, nothing from Spawn Point 2, two more groups of Crowz from Spawn Point 3 and two more Walkers from Spawn Point 3.
GARY. He made the decision to let the others deal with the Crowz. He was more interested in dealing with the two Walkers approaching from the south. His first shot killed the male Walker instantly. He missed his second shot at the female Walker but calmly corrected his aim and shot her between the eyes with his third shot.
ROSS. "Hell! That's not something you see every day," he remarked as he opened fire with his Pistol at the Crowz. His shooting was deadly accurate and he killed both groups. He shifted his aim to the two Walkers just inside the entrance to the building. This time his shooting was not so accurate. He missed with his first two shots but scored killing hits with his next two.
DAKOTA. She moved 1 Zone west to enter the building. Then she moved 1 Zone south into the big room that contained one of the four Objectives. She took it but it was not the Green Objective.
ELSA. She moved 1 Zone east to stand behind the bright orange Pimpmobile. Popping the trunk she found a specially crafted Sawed-Off Shot gun with an under-slung blade. It bore the inscription "Ma's Shotgun" on a small golden plate on its stock.
"Ooh, shiny!" she purred as she took it and lovingly caressed it. It appealed to her greedy streak and love of all things valuable. She moved back west 1 Zone to rejoin Gary and Ross.
ZOMBIES. The two groups of Crowz sped 3 Zones to reach the Zone with the Pimpmobile in. A female Walker emerged from the toilets to confront Dakota. The remaining Walkers advanced slowly but were no immediate threat to anyone. One Walker arrived from Spawn Point 1. Two groups of two Crowz flew into Spawn Points 2 and 4. But Spawn Point 3 remained empty for this Turn.
ROSS. "Those damned crows are getting to be a right nuisance," he muttered as he blasted away with his 9mm Pistol. He missed twice and hit twice. The threat from above had been neutralised. He spun round through ninety degrees to face the two Walkers next to the police car who were lumbering towards him. His first shot went wide but his second shot hit one of the Zombies in the mouth and exited the back of his head in a spray of blood, brain matter and skull fragments.
DAKOTA. "Think you can sneak up on me, huh, bitch!" she sneered as she swung her Fire Axe in an overhead arc that clove the female Walker's skull in two.
"Now, let's see what else I can find in here."
Her search wielded some empty glass bottles. She pocketed one of them. (Note that if a Survivor has a Glass Bottle and a Gasoline card, he can combine them to make a Molotov Cocktail - one of the only weapons in the game that kill an Abomination.) She moved 1 Zone north into the toilet block that the female Walker had emerged from.
ELSA. "Don't worry, Ross," she said to the portly warehouse manager. "I'll deal with that Zedhead,"
A short burst from her Uzi Sub-Machine Gun shredded the Walker's head.
"Thanks," Ross nodded at her in approval.
She moved back to the Pimpmobile and pointed her Uzi at the female Walker a few yards away. The Sub-Machine Gun bucked in her hand and she stared in amazement as every one of her shots missed such an easy target.
"Oh, shit!" she whined through gritted teeth.
GARY. The miniature figure sculptor never imagined that a zombie apocalypse would happen for real. He had designed and sculpted one inch tall figures for a zombie apocalypse boardgame. That was for a game that should not have come true. But it had. The fantasy was now the reality. He was scared witless but also determined to survive. The Zombie Crowz were something he could not imagine existing but there they were, just in front of him and flying his way. He aimed his rifle at them and carefully pulled the trigger. He missed. He tried again and missed again.
"No way, man," he muttered. "This isn't happening."
He fired a third time and breathed a sigh of relief as a small group of Crowz fell to the ground in a spray of blood and feathers.
ZOMBIES. The group of Crowz that Gary had just missed flew directly at him. A Walker exited the big building to confront Ross. The female Walker who Elsa had shot at and missed increased her pace and reached out her bony arms to grab the leather clad cat burglar. More Crowz and Walkers moved onto the main street, attracted to the noise made by the three humans at the T-junction. Single Walkers crawled out of the sewers in Tiles 2B and 3B. From Spawn Point 2 came one more Walker. From Spawn Points 3 and 4 came two new threats - one Fatty and one Runner respectively.

To be continued.


  1. I can see why folks get excited about zombicide Bryan, visually it looks appealing, the minis look great and it seems quite tense.

    Look forward to part 2 :-)

  2. Hmm, could you JUST use crowz? So, do a scenario based on Hitchcock's "The Birds"? Not knowing the rules, I don't know if this be too unbalanced - but it might make an interesting scenario...

    1. In theory, yes you could. However, I suspect you'd quickly run out of figures. You only get 20 stands of Crowz in the expansion set.

    2. Hi Jez, sorry we`ve been quiet, busy week, but I just came to check the posts and spotted this: so I`ll reply to it before moving on to Bryans Zombicide batrep.

      Jez, I think I know exactly where you`re coming from with this, I actually had the same thought the moment I saw the post. Bryan`s answer to you is accurate, if plying to the letter of the rules. Yes it might be possible to play a home brew “Birds” type scenario within Zombicide the rules itself. I don`t see why not, but I would probably advice 2 sets of Murder of Crowz to do it effectively.

      However, I said I knew where you are coming from and let’s see if I can prove it a moment *grins*. Reading your word carefully, I see you are asking literally if Hitchcock`s “The Birds” might be possible, and I say firmly.... yes! Maybe not by using the game e-x-a-c-t-l-y as it is meant to be played. But I KNOW you, as you are just like me; you are never afraid to break a few rules to create a few more of your own. Let’s see.... YES Zombicide is actually very flexible and I can see the basic rules engine itself working for many things beyond the original scope of the game: Doctor Who, Weird World War I & II, Star Wars and so on and so forth. But okay here`s how I would go about playing “The Birds” using the Zombicide rules, even as they stand.

      Looking at my own set of Murder of Crowz, I see the set comes with 15 bird stands... and each stand has 5 birds upon it (yes the stands look quite impressive I must say). Buying two sets might not be a perfect option if money is an issue, besides which, I think there is something nice about custom builds... not just in rule design, but also chopping minis themselves about a bit to create new things (Bryan after all does this all the time with his zombie figs, for all his duplicate posed pieces).

      Looking at my miniatures (you are honoured, I just cracked open my sealed Crowz box set to take a look for you, to make sure I know what I`m talking about here lol), I see it would be a fairly easy fix, to splice each one piece five bird model apart, so each one makes two stands: two birds on one base and three birds on the other. You could split them down to two birds on a base (without losing too much aesthetic integrity). Do this across all 15 models and you would end up with a ton of birdy bases. NEXT, you would take out the bird cards (which in game is how you `randomly` determine if you spawn any bird models each turn of the game; by simply assigning the new bird cards to the rest of the zombie deck) and scan and photocopy as many more cards as you would need: multiplying as many new cards as you need... by just judging how many extra bird stands you now have in the collection: i.e. photocopy a page of extra card fronts and card backs. Put them in plastic card holders like I assume you would do with the rest in any case) and you would be hard pressed to tell them apart from the original cards. End of the day, the number of birds actually on each stand (like I say, the game has them looking suitably fiendish with five per stand) is irrelevant. You could have a single bird on a stand if you like, and just imagine in your head that it’s a flock: that’s a standard D&D trick anyway, isn’t it. Allow suspension of disbelief to kick in. But meh! Its not even necessary here: splitting the birds down to make more usable bases is very viable with this set, if a birds heavy game is the theme you are interested in setting up.

      Hope that helps Jez mate.

    3. I made a mistake. You do get 15 stands of Crowz in the expansion set. I forgot that I got some extra stands free for backing the Zombicide Kickstarter project. So you would need an extra set. I actually have two sets but only one is fully painted. I got my second set as part of the Zombicide: Black Plague Kickstarter.

  3. Bryan, I was very interested to see you include Murder of Crowz to your game. Also very interested how utterly differently you paint your birds to us here. We have a load of on the wing models here for other games like Tannhauser. Resident Evil, and D&D. Its weird coincidence, but Hil and I have played that Hitckock classic using Pulp Alley to re-create the film/movie in near perfect detail. We used Bob Murch Pulp Figures for the heroes and secondary characters, and we used our myriad of bird minis form other games as the feathered protagonists for our mini campaign. The game went down a treat at the public convention we played it at. Hil is a keen ornithologist and so absolutely loves painting bird minis.

    Part one of your batrep is warming up a nice exciting zombie fix... end of part one looks suitably cliff hanger hehe. Roll on next week when we get to read part two woot!!!!

    Steve :)

    1. Thanks, Steve. Adding Crowz to this scenario was the "twist" I was telling you about. There's no secret to how I painted my Crowz - I simply copied the box art. So paint them matt black, add a dot of white for their eyes to show they are zombified and not normal crows, and then paint their bases. I wish all figures were this simple.

      Interesting to hear that Hil is a keen ornithologist. I once worked as a graphic designer at Washington Waterfowl Park, just a few miles away from where I live. I learned a hell of a lot about birds whilst there.

  4. Crows are fun to draw (and paint in miniature). Not all black as supposed, but with speckled white and grey plumage, and when wet they look particularly beautiful as their natural waxing make their feathers appear to have a purple sheen. Best of all, for some unknown reason, there are a unusual number of albino crows (especially in the hood crow species) which appear black and white.. much like a collie dog in its markings: and even all white which actually looks more all grey than anything else.

    I cant wait to paint the Zombicide crows in the collection. I already painted these once before, with a covetous eye, as I was pointing them for a friend (he owned them, I just offered to paint them), so this time round will enjoy them even more as they re OURS this time (thank you for buying them for Stevie all that time go, I was very happy to see these).

    Interesting fact about crows. When dead, the eye goes into spirals of white and black as the corona dilutes and pigments, making it fun to paint (a bit like painting chibi eyes).

  5. I think I bought the Crowz love... Bryan got me the cool Dog sets mmmmmmmm

    1. I have to admit that whilst I've yet to be removed by the main game, I have been eyeing up the Crowz expansion - not surprising really. The corvidae family is a bit of a favourite of mine (although I did get ridiculously excited when I saw a Green Woodpecker in my garden last week). Hmm, Master Crow summoning flocks of crows to harry his foes...might have to look into getting a box. :-)

    2. "Removed"? What gibberish is this? Obviously a touch of Stevitis...

  6. Thinking about it more, if you are not blown on the idea of the main game that much, the flutter, flutter of these oscine passerine may still be your cup of tea Jez... just for the Hitchcock thing you mention alone. They are rather lovely models. As Passeriformes go (sorry couldn't resist *winks*) they are an essential must have, if you are into that sort of thing, of course. You don`t need the main game if your intent is to `go it alone` with your own Pulp adventures.. just these birdies will do.

    Sorry I` quiet this week, we are all busy, busy with stuff for the next while. Soooo I better fly *grins* and do my Icarus act... only less sticky wax of course.

  7. No worries, Steve. I've just started a new contract, so not a lot of time for hobby stuff this week - in fact it might have to be a filler post this weekend. But what will it be...? ;-)