Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Zombie's Lament

Being nine parts crazy to one part totally insane, I decided to play a zombie game using Pikeman's Lament.  The living were forlorn hope, the zombies were raw pikemen with the attack and move activation rolls swapped.  Zombies didn't have to check morale either.

The living at the top right. They have to try to clear this area of the city and adjacent countryside.  Eight mobs of zombies scattered about.  Buildings can not be entered.

Three groups of infantry and a group of mixed security guards and armed civilians.  They all are rated the same.


Lots of zombies.

And a few more zombies.

The infantry by the oil barrels open fire.

And the ones next to them join in.

The other two groups of living cut between buildings to start clearing the open ground.  

Another two zombies gunned down on the main street.

As the zombies shuffle closer.

Firing starts on the open ground.

And at the alley.

But the zombies keep coming closer and closer.

A mob of zombies is cut to half strength, it's less of a worry now.

The zombies in the alley remain a serious threat.

Continued gunfire on the hill, with limited effect.

The zombies fail their first activation roll, which would have seen them reach the closest unit and attack it if they had passed.  Good news for the living, they get another round of firing.

And they fail to make any head shots.  (Three hits is a kill)

Better luck in the alley.

And on the hill.

And the zombies fail the first activation roll again!

Another kill in the alley.

Another miss in the street.

Ever get deja vu?

Ever get deja vu again?  Three turns in a row where the zombies didn't to activate anyone.



Vu.  Admittedly this time they failed to activate to fire rather than fired and missed.

This is where being a solo player helps, because in a two player game there would be one very frustrated gamer at this point.

If the zombies will mill around aimlessly they have to expect to be used for target practice.

Finally someone manages to hit the zombies in the street.

And someone else misses.

The zombies finally attack, and fail to kill anyone.

The next mob of zombies fails their activation roll, ending their turn.

But the living fail their activation too, so it's back to the zombies to act.

The zombies in the street attack and are wiped out, but take one of the soldiers with them.

Another unsuccessful zombie attack, but at least they are moving at last.

An overview of the situation at this point. The situation seems well in hand for the living.

More zombies fall.

And fail to act.

And they take another loss to fire.

The living units advance.

The zombies try to attack again, and fail again.

The unit trying to clear the alley fails to act.

And wouldn't you know, the zombies fail their roll too.

Which sees them take losses to fire.

The second group fails to fire.

The zombies charge in but don't even get a hit, never mind a kill.

And their other attack is just as ineffective.

The second wave of zombies approaches. 

Failed activation.

Failed activation.

Failed activation!

Zombie charge!  Zombie die!!

Failed activation as the zombie hoard advances.

And failed again.

Letting a full strength zombie mob attack, fortunately with no losses to the living.

Pushing the zombies back, they finally open fire on them.

A unit of infantry moves to support the troops in the open, leaving a lone unit to face a zombie mob in the main street.

The next zombie attack causes a loss.

And, as I should have expected by now, the infantry fail to fire.

But they survive the follow up attack.

This time they manage to fire.

Charge again.

Fire again.

Other zombies are moving closer and coming under fire.

Slowly but steadily being reduced in number.

On the main street shooting is ineffective.

But they hold off the first attack.

And a failed activation by the living sees them the zombies go straight back in, and this time a soldier dies.

On the other flank a soldier goes down too.

Things aren't looking so hopeful now.

Desperation improves their aim.

And the luck continues.

Even in the main street!

Then disaster strikes.

Their moral cracks and they run for their lives.

The unit on the hill holds the zombies off.

One living unit gone, and one reduced to half strength.  On the positive side, the zombies have lost over half their starting strength.

More firing on the hill.

With support from the half strength unit.

But the remaining zombie gets a kill in before being put down.

Zombies stumble out of an alley on the flank of the line.

Firing slackens off.

And it's fall back time.

They hold for now.

Not giving up.

Another of the living ceases to be so.

A couple more zombies die in a failed attack.

Another failed firing activation, I need new dice.

The unit on the hill is reduced to half strength.

By the building the zombie mob is being reduced, but it's letting another full strength mob get closer behind it.

Only one fully effective unit left and two zombie units still with twelve dice in the attack.

No luck on these activation rolls.

Or with the melee rolls.

Almost finished the zombie mob off, but then there are more behind to face.

Another living turn of inaction.

The unit on the hill is cut down to a sole survivor.

She falls back, takes a morale check and sensibly flees.

The last zombie in the lead mob dies.

Clearing the way for the mob behind.

The remaining units move to escape but take a loss on the way.

Backing up between the buildings then off the table.

Well, that was an interesting experiment.  I think if I was going to do it again I'd make some changes to the unit ratings and add some special rules.  I might also make the living have three figure units with odd casualties being recorded.

Next up should be an American Civil War battle using Neil Thomas's rules.  Hopefully tomorrow, time permitting. 😊


  1. That was a lot of failed zombie activation rolls; you seem to have found my mythical magic dice ;)

    On a serious note, it seems a little weird to me that zombies could fail an activation roll: what makes them so scary is that they never stop coming!


    1. They are easily distracted I guess, it is something I might change if I was to take the concept further, maybe borrow a concept from TMWWBK of having some action type automatically succeed, move and/or attack for zombies, fire for humans?