Wednesday, 23 August 2017

First Attempt at Ambush Z

Had my first trial game today, I like these rules. :)

Three groups of four soldiers at the bottom right plus a leader have to try to make it across the board and exit top left.  Red dots are the 'hot spots' were zombie reinforcements will arrive and three groups of six zombies each are already wandering the city.

The soldiers are trained, Q8 M10, and their leader is a veteran, Q10 M10.  The zombies are the basic type from the rules, they start at Q6.  Infection level is 4, stress level starts at 0.

Group One (furthest forward) opens fire on the zombies up ahead.

Dropping two of them.

While the zombies mill around unaware where the shots came from Group One cuts down the alley to the right towards the compound.

Group Two (on the right) opens fire dropping two more zombies.

Then advances to Ami's bar.  The zombies still fail to react and no new ones have been attracted by the gunfire yet.

Group Three advances to the oil drums and the two remaining zombies react, turning in their direction.  Before they can take more than a couple of steps Group Three drops them and the leader moves up to join them.  Still no reaction to the sound of gunfire, which is some compensation for how few hits were achieved.

Start of turn two and a new hot spot is added.

And seven zombies reinforcements appear out of Flick's store.

Group One runs to the security fence and easily crosses, but they were noticed heading for it and a group of zombies moves towards them.

Group Two advances towards the zombies emerging from the store who react and move towards them.  Two of them fall as Group Two opens fire on them.

Group Three moves up and adds it's firepower, unfortunately all aiming at the same zombie.

And the shooting attracts six more zombies.

The zombies from outside the holodrome move over towards them.

Turn three and another hotspot appears and the zombies change to Q8.

Four more zombies arrive as reinforcements, worryingly close to the exit point.

Group Two opens fire again, dropping two more zombies.

Then vault the wall of the house on the corner.  The zombies react to this but are interrupted by Group Three who manage five hits.  Shame there were only two zombies left to hit.  Group Three loses it's move because of doing an interruption.

Unfortunately the sound of the shots causes three zombies to rouse themselves from where they were slumped against the wall.  (Should have been four I now realise, oops.)

While all this is going on Group One moves along the side of the warehouse and opens fire on the zombies who entered the compound.

And my shooting gets terrible again, only two hits.  The zombies react automatically and it's close combat time.

Seven more zombies head towards the sound of gunfire.

Group One fails it's quality check so there is no defensive fire.  They stand for the first round of combat where one of them dies and then fail their roll to flee for the next two rounds.  By then they have wounded who they will not abandon so it's a fight to the death.  Group One is wiped out with only one zombie destroyed to show for it.

At the corner house Group Two also fails it's quality check for defensive fire but easily dispatches the zombies over two rounds of combat with no casualties taken.

The remaining groups of zombies wander randomly about, but remaining too near the exit point.

At this point the mission was cancelled and the survivors pulled back to their entry point.  

Final Thoughts

I spent a lot of time looking through the rule book, but I think a couple more games should get most of the rules fixed in my head.  My die rolls for firing were terrible, I may have to consider using veterans (Q10) rather than trained (Q8).  

I need a lot more zombies, seeing as they are guaranteed reinforcements every turn and can also get them as a result of gunfire or if I enter a building.

The rules seem to have some gaps in them, for example some rules mention vehicles but I can't find any rules for how to use vehicles in the game.  Not a huge problem, I can make some rules up myself, but slightly annoying.

I didn't use 'Quirk of Fate' cards, just to keep things as simple as possible for the first game.  I want to get a good grip of the rules before I add them in.

Well, that was a fun experience, might have another go tomorrow. :)


  1. Vicki,

    Alright, now we are cooking with gas!!! Okay, where to start? First, the terrain looks fantastic, I have got to get some modular boards like that. But I'm not talented enough... How much are your going for? ;)

    The tropies look great too; did you make those yourself? And you're absolutely right, with the Ambush 'X' series of games, you need literal tons of bad guys. And casualty figures!

    Okay, the fight itself: on the technical side, I don't have the Ambush Z rules, they seem a bit different (of course, lest they wouldn't have Ambush Z rules, they'd just be Ambush Alley rules for zombies ;) ), and I was trying to figure out the points of intersection. I was really curious when Group 1 went down, do they spring back up as zombies, and you also mentioned wounded. Man, you don't want to be wounded by zombies right? Does that guy/gal turn? You mentioned the zombies trying to figure out where the good guys were and being able to react, does that mean the good guys can simply try sneaking by the zombies without engaging them? I know I certainly would ;) And I thought it was interesting that new zombie hotspots pop up during the game; can you kill hotspots?

    Regarding the 'quirk of fate' cards,' I assume these come out like in Ambush Alley/Force on Force, when you roll a '1' on a reaction/quality test? It certainly doesn't happen all that often for me.

    As for the narrative, AWESOME!!! And tense! I was surprised how badly the good guys were handled in close combat, and of course your shooting was terrible ;) But actually that makes sense to me, you can hit them a million times and they don't go down, gotta hit them in the brainbox, so it's not going to be so easy. But I can't believe the commander chickened out and pulled the remaining two teams back just 'cause there were a few zeds near the exit point ;)

    Anyway, great work Vicki, I loved it and can't wait for more! And sorry for so many questions...


    1. Ambush Z has a vaccine professional troops take to stop them coming back as zombies, but there are rules for not having it and the casualties coming back on the other side. When I start my 'official' games (ones that count as part of the campaign narrative) I'll probably not have any vaccine available.

      The zombies automatically react if they are within 6", beyond that and in LOS they take a quality check to react.

      I can't see any way of killing hotspots in the rules, but I'm going to need to make a rule for it myself when I want to play clearing infected areas.

      Quirk of Fate get drawn when you roll a 1 on a reaction test for the living, with my die rolling I'd expect a lot of them. :p

      It is possible the commander chickened out because I ran out of zombies to put on as reinforcements and decided to spend the rest of the night painting more of them...

      Oh, I don't know what a tropie is, but if it's terrain I made it myself, if it's a type of figure I bought it. :)

    2. Vicki,

      A vaccine, eh? Sounds cool. Maybe start the campaign without it, but that's one of the tabletop games: a cache of vaccine has been located, the player has to move in, secure it, and exfiltrate it. And it's a one-time deal; a fire or flood is threatening the vaccine's location, so it's now or never. And it's surrounded by the undead, of course ;)

      I can't wait to see what you come up with as the campaign backstory!

      In Ambush Alley/Force on Force (AA/FoF), you kill hotspots by moving onto them and then remaining there for an entire turn without doing anything else (not even reactions). And the Quirk of Fate cards sound exactly the same (activation-wise) as AA/FoF "Fog of War" cards.

      Running out of bad guys DOES NOT sound like a good reason for a commander to pull back! But I understand ;) And sorry, I don't know how the hell I got "tropies" in there, should have been "troops."


    3. The soldiers are Ground Zero Games Sci-Fi arabs, the zombies are a mix of five or six different manufacturers.

      I need to work on a blog entry about the background story, I have most of it worked out in my head but nothing down on paper or typed up yet.

      I like your vaccine mission idea, but I need to learn how to win a game first. :p

      Glad your enjoying it, you inspired this after all. :)

    4. Cool, I'm digging it! You're tremendously creative, can't wait for the back story. And I'm wondering how it's going to work once you're in campaign mode and some of your troops are trapped: run away and leave them, or risk everything going all out to save them? Interesting times ahead ;)

      Thank you for the kind words regarding inspiration; I've said it a million times: there were three guys that inspired me to this, and so my blogging is paying it forward to hopefully perform the role of muse for other gamers.