Sunday, 19 June 2016

7TV - Break Down

Building on our enjoyment of the Dr Who game last week, we set about trying out another genre using the 7TV2 rules...this time, zombies!

We used a variation of the Break Down scenario from the 7ombieTV rulebook. In a change of sides, Matt and I would this time be the bad guys, the zombie horde, whilst Mike and Wes would be using a motley collection of survivors made up from our combined collections (you may recognise a few of them).

The aim of the scenario was for the survivors to walk from their vehicle (which was out of gas) to the gas station, collect the maguffin and return it to the vehicle (the survivors would get 1vp if the collected the maguffin, and 1d6 if they returned to their vehicle). Meanwhile, the zombies would have to stop them. The objective tokens were zombie spawn points, which we could return zombies to play at by spending a plot point, but could be cleared by survivors (gaining them 1vp) if they made contact with them - preventing more zombies returning at that point.

Here's the initial set up:

Spawn points: cornfield, woods, cabin, graveyard and gas station (behind the police car)

Jules (Action Hero)
Stephanie from Lazytown (Angel of Justice)
Tom Baker (Crackpot Inventor)
Osgood (Investigative Academic)
Shaun 'of the Dead' (Strongarm)
Da Guvnor (Military Mind)
Daniel Craig (Tough Detective)
Doctors & Assistants (6 Bystanders)
Cops (3 City Cops)

Abomination (Marauding Monster)
Rage Zombies (3 Missing Links)
Shamblers (40 Zombies)

The survivors pile out of their over-crowded vehicle.

Zombies shamble towards them from the graveyard...

...and the gas station...

...and the woods...

...and the cornfield.

Stephanie from Lazytown returns from scouting (removing a spawn point)
She opens fire on the zombies in the field.

The survivors begin to march down to the gas station.

Osgood heads out alone...surely she can't achieve much by herself...

Stephanie is jumped upon by a Rage Zombie.
She fends the creature off.

The countryside is alive with the walking dead.

The police lay down a withering wall of bullets.

Shaun runs to Osgood's aid.

The Doctors take cover behind the car.

Osgood produces a grapple gun and shoots onto the cabin.
She then drops down to close the door (removes the spawn point)

She then drops two of the zombies and scoots off towards the gas station.

A lumbering form heads towards the crowd.
Nobody shoots because they don't know if it's human...(disguise kit)

Shaun struggles with an elusive Rage Zombie.

Zombies shamble in towards Osgood. 
Dodgy script editing sees the Abomination stranded in a field...

...and the ominous shape in the road turns out to be Stephanie.
Good job they didn't shoot her then?

Somehow, Osgood is still alive and closes another door
(removes another spawn point).

She then releases an experimental nerve agent, weakening the horde.

Tom Baker makes it to the graveyard to block the crypt
(another spawn point gone).

The rest of the survivors form a firing line, mowing down scores of zombies.

Shaun finally finishes off the Rage Zombie.
The route to the gas station is clear!

A bullet hits the (apparently empty) fuel tank of the crashed car.
After the SFX sequence Stephanie, a Cop and Catherine Tate lie dead.

Osgood's luck (and gadget pool) finally runs out.

Jules find himself dragged closer to two zombies and is killed.
The undead have clearly seized the initiative!

Shaun makes a heroic charge into the woods to prevent more zombies arriving.

The remaining cops are dragged down by the zombies.

And they join the horde.

Shaun's charge proves foolhardy, and he too is killed. 
A Rage Zombie fails to grab hold of Tom Baker.

Recognising a former girlfriend, Daniel Craig gets the girl...
...and shoots her in the head!

A single zombie stands between the remaining survivors and the fuel.

The Doctors and Assistants scatter as more zombies appear.

Still more emerge from the woods.

Craig and Baker finally reach their objective.

Meanwhile the survivors run into the ruined church for sanctuary

An inevitable (and inexplicable) explosion sees the roof collapse..

...leaving only one Doctor alive.
Despite the terrible casualties on both sides, we worked out the final score as...

Spawn Points Blocked - 4vp
Fuel collected - 1vp
2 Fast Zombies (co-stars) killed - 4vp

Jules (star) killed - 3vp
Stephanie from Lazytown (co-star) killed - 2vp
Shaun 'of the Dead' (co-star) killed - 2vp
Osgood (co-star( killed - 2vp

Final Score: 9 - 9

A draw!

Ultimately, it seems that taking the time to kill as many zombies as possible, stopped the survivors from achieving their primary goal, which would have won them the game. However, more zombies in combat would potentially had led to more deaths.

This was a really interesting game as early on, Matt and I felt that we were being massacred, and when the Abomination was moved off to a corner (and out of the game), we thought we'd totally lost. The zombies really struggle against ranged weapons. However, a convenient explosion and stealing the initiative saw the tables turned quite quickly, and when things got up close and personal, the zombies really came into their own, as sheer number of attacks can drag down even the toughest opponents.

Although this was a good game, I think the zombie genre needs a few changes to the game to really feel right:

  • Limiting the choice of stars and co-stars (some of them don't really seem right)
  • A zombie themed countdown deck - less explosions, more tripping over
  • Zombie themed gadgets, perhaps even separate decks for zombies and survivors
Next time, I'll probably create the casts before the game and (depending on time) do some of the above.

Monday, 6 June 2016

7TV - "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Davros?"

September1940. Somewhere in Dorset weary British soldiers have been tasked with training a local Home Guard regiment in preparation for what is believed will be the imminent German invasion of Blighty. Little do they know that they will soon be on the front lines against an invasion from much further away; an invasion that threatens to exterminate them all!

Meanwhile, in a farmyard not too far away, a strange whooshing sound heralds the appearance of a Police Box where there wasn't one before.

Cue title music...dum de dum, de dum de dum, oooeeeeooooooo!

It's 7TV time again and a bigger game with two players per side. This time Mike Daleks would be joined by some more controlled by Wes, as they try to invade wartime Britain. Opposing them would be the Doctor (John Pertwee), his assistant, Sarah-Jane, and a unit of Home Guard, controlled by me, and a unit of well trained British regulars back from Dunkirk, controlled by Matt.

The Regular Army
The British Army (Matt)
Colonel Mustard - Military Mind
Reverend Green - Dependable Deputy
Army Section - Corporal, 3 Privates, Support Weapon Team (HMG)

The Home Guard
The Doctor and companions pile into his car. 
The Doctor & Friends (Me)
The Doctor - Unearthly Traveller
Sarah-Jane - Plucky Assistant
Home Guard Unit - Security Guard Commander, 6 Security Guards

Davros & his Escort
Dalek Strike Team
Davros & 2 Daleks (Mike)
Dalek Unit - 3 Daleks (Wes) 

As before, the Dalek stat cards came from one of the members of the 7TV Action! group on Facebook. We're not sure if they truly represent the power of Daleks yet, but they give a good game (which is arguably more important).

We decided to play a straight fight, as it seemed appropriate, with the Daleks attacking the thin line of soldiers in the vicinity of the farm. We didn't use objective tokens (mainly because I forgot about them before we started), but it didn't matter. I figure that Davros had arrived intent of using the confusion of the war to build a power base ready to attack the invading German army when the inevitably invaded (Davros doesn't do history) and defeat them when they are stretched thinly, then go on to take over the world.

However, when he became aware of the Doctor's involvement in revealing his presence, Davros decides to throw caution to the wind and attempt to destroy the Doctor. Little does he know that the Doctor and Sarah-Jane have managed to patch up the differences between the squabbling Army Regulars and Home Guard, and are now ready to fight them in the hedges.

The MacDonald Farm - he's not there...he's old...
Davros and his escort begin their advance out of the woods.
The strike team heads straight for the gate.
The Doctor leaps out of his car and takes cover with Charlie and Clayton.
Sarah-Jane acts as look out at the gate, "Lookout! Daleks!"
Mustard leads his men forward.
Whatever the Doctor did to the ammo works, as the HMG damages a Dalek.
The Doctor's car explodes as the Daleks target it.
Without cover, the Time Lord is wounded.
Daleks begin to exterminate the soldiers.
However, the weight of fire forces them into cover.
A brave grenade run wounds the Dalek supreme leader.
And he's finished off with some accurate fire through the trees.
Well, that's the last we'll see of him...
The Doctor also backs off, but identifies the Dalek's weakness,
"Shoot them! A lot!"
A reckless Dalek plunges into the Army lines.
The Daleks spot Sarah-Jane, and she disappears in an explosion.
Moments later, though, the van mysteriously rolls to block the gateway.
How did that happen?
Clayton takes aim through the gap.
Scores a direct hit and doesn't spill a drop!
Rev. Green rushes to Col. Mustard's aid...
...and Mustard cuts the Dalek down to size.
The Doctor directs fire through the gate, taking out another Dalek.
A reinforcement arrives from the village.
The director forgets that this actor had already been in a key scene.
A Dalek jets in over the hedge and lands amidst the Doctor's allies.
When the smoke clears, the Doctor is missing...
The Home Guard spread out, but their fire is ineffectual.
Meanwhile, Mustard and Green take out another one.
The Retired Brigadier is exterminated. It's not looking good.
Mustard add his fire to that of the Home Guard.
But is caught in an explosion which kills another Home Guardsman.
Mustard finally dies bravely to the third Dalek he has faces in combat. 
The Dalek leader looks on as the leaderless humans begin to panic.
Suddenly, a perfectly coiffured white head appears on the hill.
"Calm down gentlemen. Aim for the eye."
The attack is renewed, and the editor reuses the shot of a grenade being thrown.
Was this the reason for the mysterious 'reinforcement'?
The Doctor leads the men to victory. Only one Dalek left now.
The Dalek flies in and kills the grenade thrower for a second time.
The battle continues...
Suddenly, the MG team sprout Dalek eyestalks and turn on the Doctor!
However, their attack causes their own ammo to explode, killing them.
At the same time, the final Dalek is also destroyed.
The battered survivors stand amidst the carnage.
Suddenly, Sarah-Jane emerges alive from the van she had blocked the gate with
(not part of the game, it just means we haven't ruined Doctor Who).
A really great game which swung backwards and forwards, with the countdown cards adding drama, intrigue and plot twists aplenty. My favourite moment was the Doctor returning from the dead as the Daleks looked to be on the verge of victory. The moment could only have been improved if Mike had brought his Tom Baker model with him and we could have had an in-game regeneration.

7TV continues to be a really good game, and although this was technically sci-fi, the game showed that 7TV could easily cope with skirmish games of WWI, WWII or VBCW.

I need to think about how we can create more narrative scenarios, and I need to remember to place the objective tokens in future. The game can clearly cope with tweaking, and I felt that giving the Daleks access to the unit rule really made them more of a threat, although they still struggled for activation counters.

Next week we're doing another 7TV game...with Zombies!