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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Granny and Pops go to Town in Zomtober!

The scenario - You are a small family who live in the Ozark Mountains in Virginia and come from generations of moonshiners, you “only go to town about twice a year” to sell your moonshine to Jack Handsome who runs a bar in Horseman Flatts, his is the only bar for miles around.
You will stock up on food from Molly at the Horseman's Deli where your food will be in crates in the back room,she knows when and what you will collect.
Your other urgent requirement is fuel which you get from Jeramiah Pile, a strange old man. He will have your fuel in drums locked in the barn next to his garage, the keys are usually hung up on a nail in the garage.
Lastly, young love - Daisy May wants to meet up with her boyfriend Tank, he is the watchman working at the container yard and usually sleeps in the watchman’s shed by the gate into the yard.

Your family consists of Pops, Granny and the 3 young uns, your grand children, Betsie May, Ellie May and Daisy May, their parents died in a car crash while being chased by the revenue men and they have lived in the mountains with you ever since, moonshining is in their blood too.

Here is a picture of them taken just before this trip, all happy and smiles, well Pops and Granny don’t smile much, but you know what I mean.

Pops is the head of the family, in name at least, both he and Granny trained in Kung Fu when they were young and still have the knack of it, he isn’t afraid to punch anyone on the nose. He is as brave as a lion where his family are concerned but unfortunately as dumb as a bean.

Granny well “everyone knows she’s the brains behind Pa, she says she’s 68 but you know she’s only 64” she leads and he follows, she is still able to recollect her heydays of  kung fu fighting but is not so brave - as befits an intelligent person.

Betsie May the eldest, is also the leader of the young uns, she takes after Granny with the brains and Pops with the bravery but she can’t shoot or fight for toffee, in fact she doesn't like toffee.

Ellie May, the middle un, on the other hand can fight and shoot but is as chicken as a yellow rooster, unfortunately she's a stubborn rooster.

Daisy May the youngest, coddled by the family all her life she is the liability in every respect but one, as brave as Pops, she will stand up to anyone or anything but does not have the skills to deal with what she has stood up to. The rest of the family, especially Pops are having to bail her out of situations she can't handle.

OK got that - because there will be questions later. These were some of the pre-game notes I handed out err - Pre-game, in one of my few games recently with a live co-opted partner.

Horseman Flatts
You are travelling at night and will arrive in Horseman Flatts at daybreak, before the police are up and about, you have a set date when you come to town and the guys you are going to meet will know you are coming.
However, and there's always an however, you usually take a trip down to the valley on the night before you go to town and make a phone call from the diner on the main road to Jack and confirm everything is OK. This time the diner was empty, looked like it had been abandoned in a bit of a hurry and worse the phone line was dead. Could be that business was bad and they had just moved on but it left you a little uneasy.
You have decided to take some back up, Pops and Ellie have pump action shotguns, Granny a side by side shot gun and a knife in her boot top (she led a wild youth), Betsie a machine pistol and Daisy a big ass sub machine gun, you have licences for these and if locked in the cab of the vehicles the police will be happy enough about this, not happy about the moonshine though.

These are the places you need to visit.

The Hillbillies are arriving in town in a big truck with Granny driving and Daisy May and Ellie May as passengers followed by Betsie who is driving the Red Pickup with Pops riding shotgun, his eyesight is a little suspect and road signs have a way of coming up and surprising him from time to time.

The truck has the hooch onboard and this has to be offloaded at the bar, you need to find Jack Handsome to accept and pay for this. Then you need to collect the food from Horsemans Deli, finding Molly so you can pay for it.

The Pickup has empty fuel barrels, these need exchanging at the garage for full ones, you need to find Jeramiah to pay for them and then you need to find Tank, Daisy May’s boyfriend.

Then have a celebration Pizza at Stinkeys before going home, sounds easy. You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? Well yes I kinda did. Extra points for naming the film the quote is from, and the two songs that the words in “red” are also from.

Last but not least, you will always help your friends and in spite of the moonshine are quite a law abiding bunch.

Ok this is how the game panned out.

Turn 1 - The Billies make their 1st move, Granny, Ellie and Daisy lead in the big truck, they are aiming to drive round to the bar and drop off the hooch before going on to the Deli for the food. They do not see the strange figure with the shambling gait who wanders out into the middle of the road. Gawd Damn mutters Pops as Betsie who is driving the pickup, slams on the brakes to avoid him/it/what, and they screech to a halt, only feet from him/it/what.

Looks drunk to me says Pops to himself, no one else seems to listen to him much these days.

Turn 2 – Granny speeds on down the road, oblivious to what is happening behind her, she does see a drunk on the sidewalk ahead at the junction, strange at this time of morning but hell it’s good for business if the guys in Horseman Flatts are drinking so much they are still staggering down the road at this time rather than being tucked up in bed.

Betsie is trying to start the pickup after her emergency stop and the wild eyed man is gazing at her through the window, a bit off putting especially as she realizes he seems to have a lot of blood around his left eye, and is right leg and arm seem to be hanging a bit loose, wonder if he has been run over by a previous truck!!, maybe we should get out and help him.

Turn 3 – Granny turns the corner at the end of the road and she and the girls get out of the truck, there are a couple of bikers lounging on the street corner, they exchange hellos.

Things have taken a peculiar turn and 2 other strange drunken men have run (at a slow shamble) out of the terrace of houses and are now banging and tearing at the car, slobbering over the windscreen and trying to get in but they seem to have trouble understanding how the door handle works. Betsie May finally realizes something is seriously wrong here and cowers back in her seat, transfixed.

Granny and Ellie May, exchanging “Hi's" with the bikers.

Betsy May walks over to talk to the drunk by the sidewalk and realizes his head is on one side, his neck is broken so badly that he can't support his head, what the hell is going on he must be dead with that injury but he is walking about.

“WALKING DEAD” !!!!!!!

Turn 4 – Pops gets out of the truck. Umm is this a good move!!! "Hey you he shouts, stop drooling on my truck".
“Brains” is the only thing the creature responds with, so Pops chambers a round and blows the nearest creatures brains out, all over the sidewalk and worse than that, over the hood of the truck, 'damn, there’s going to be trouble he thinks, Granny's going to give me hell for messing up the truck'.

Turn 5 – Granny and Ellie pull the truck around onto the forecourt and enter the bar, Bad news as there's no one home and it has been looted, 'wonder if Joe is OK, if not who is going to pay us for the hooch what do you think' Ellie, 'ummm' says Ellie.

Just out of picture you can see Daisy Mays blonde head, she decides that the dead should be lying down and blows the walking deads head off, it obligingly become the lying down dead.

Daisy Mays dead zed. I need to re-cycle my zombies.

The two remaining zombies, not drunks, rush slowly around the truck and attack Pops, not a good move for them and with his Kung Billie Fu he drops them to the ground with a couple of chops and a neat spin kick, neat for someone of 68. Bugger this for a game of cowboys, come on Betsie lets get a move on he says climbing back in to the truck.

Turn 6 – Things are looking up for Granny’s crew, the 2 bikers have decided to help out and also she has found Jack Handsome, he was hiding in the building next door to the Bar, he still wants the booze and has the cash ready. Another of those zombie creatures is approaching and Harley Davidson goes to deal with it.

Pops and Betsie drive to the garage to get the fuel and Jerahiah is waiting, he gives them the low down on what has been happening, a zombie outbreak, no idea what it is about, some talk about experiments up north that have gone wrong, but the buggers are all over now, quite a few in town, the law seems to be losing the fight and the National Guard have been called out, not seen them round here though he mutters.

They load up the fuel quickly and Jeramiah refuses Pops offer of a lift out of town. 'If I turn my back some thieving son of a gun will take all I have built up over the years. I’ll stick it out here thanks'. This is maybe not his best decision ever.

Still offloading hooch

Still offloading hooch, but there's more movement on the streets, all of it slow and shambling.

Still offloading hooch but Pops and Betsie have got the fuel and are driving round to see if they can find Tank, they stop and shout over to Granny and tell her what Jerry said, 'yes Jack has been filling us in on the details, sounds bad, we have killed a couple of the monsters and there’s more about. We will get the food next and be ready to go as soon as possible', 'Ok' replies Pops and they drive on.

Turn ? lost track but must be about 9 – Granny and the girls have finished off loading the hooch and enter the Deli looking for Molly and the food, it should all be ready and waiting.

Unfortunately Molly is gone, the place is in uproar, they have discovered looters in the process of cleaning out the place, everyone goes for their guns and hells teeth the looters fire first. Granny and Ellie go down out of the fight, bleeding bad. Daisy just stands there, the shock is too great. What was turning out to be an easy day in town has just gone down the pan. The two Bikers, Vincent and Harley shoot two zeds and there is a lot of noise, the situation is going to Devcon 1, or is it Devcon 3 I'm never sure which way it goes but whichever is the one where “the sh*t has hit the fan”

Pops and Betsie park the pickup and head round to Tanks shed. The girl to the left of the picture is Chardonet who has been running around in circles looking for a place to hide for the past few moves.
I forgot to mention her!

This is the situation at the end of turn 9 after zed generation. The looters, Big Dave, Desire and Fat Willy are shown on the roof because this building is solid and the roof does not come off, which is a shame because all the others do. The fight is taking place inside and the Billies are in there too, although they probably regret going in now.

The zeds are on the roof of the other building because I couldn't be bothered to lift it off and put them inside as they would be coming straight back out next turn, - sorry.

An overhead view of the same scene.

Turn 10 – Pops and Betsie find Molly the Deli owner in Tanks shed but Tank is not there. She ran from the looters and has been hiding for a few hours now, wondering what to do and when Pops suggests she join up with them is only too willing to accept his offer.

Turn 13 – sorry lost a bit of time here, things getting tense and forgot to take photos. To catch up Turn 11 the looters shot Daisy who was out of the fight but not dead. The big group of zeds came streaming out of the square building.

Pops Betsie and Molly went in to the big corrugated shed, inside were 2 National Guardsmen making very amorous advances to Wang Mei. She is the grand daughter of the Kung Fu master who taught Pops and Granny so many years ago and is Pops favourite person, who is not a Billie, in the whole world, there’s going to be blood on the floor here.

Turn 12 – Looters thinking about life the world and what they are going to do next (in other words were inactive.) Zeds continued streaming. Pops shot 1 of the guardsmen, but the other returned fire and Pops was down, things are really going down hill fast.

Turn 13 Molly and Betsie run out of the shed one side, the remaining national guardsman runs out the other, Pops lies in a pool of blood and Wang Mei tries to help him but decides he must be dead.

The Zeds are swarming around the Deli.

Over view of swarming zeds, Harley and Vincent by the truck, shooting zeds and thinking it’s gone very quiet in the Deli, I wonder what has happened to the girls and there seems to be a lot of zeds about and we have a truck right here and it would be a shame to loose such a nice truck and maybe we should see how well it drives …. Pops and the dead National Guardsman having a lay down in the corrugated building and just to the north of them is the other guardsman in the corner by the wall and he is thinking, beam me up Scotty.

Turn 15 – I lost 14 but Wang Mei, Molly and Betsie ran from the corrugated building and here in 15 are being attacked by a gang of zeds, Wang Mei kills the road worker in the yellow hat.

Desire, Fat Willy and Big Dave decide that even though they have just shot Granny and the girls they can not leave them to the Zeds and start dragging them back through the Deli, the zeds still have not figured out how to use door handles and remain milling around outside.
There were 2 of us playing this cooperatively against the rules and my mate said, I think the looters might save the girls from the zombies. Fat chance I thought. But as the figures have a characteristic to do exceptionally good or bad things, we rolled some dice and surprisingly they decided to rescue the girls from the zombies.

Harley and Vincent “Black” Lightening jump in the truck and make an escape.

General overview of situation some time around then.

Turn ???? Wang Mei is killing another zed while Molly finds a little girl in a garden shed and Betsie runs in to a house in a desperate bid to find Tank and try and retrieve something from the situation.

Zeds finally break in to the deli but it’s empty, the looters behaving out of character (good dice roll for Granny) carried the 3 Hillbilly women off to safety, blood streaming from gunshot wounds but better than being eaten.

Fades to black as the girls run away from the Zombies and also escape.

Well to sum up, this started off as a complex series of events and tasks and was going very well, 1st 2 tasks completed and then it all went down hill Granny Ellie and Daisy shot down and now dragged off gawd knows where by bad ass looters, the truck stolen by bikers. Pops left for dead, the pickup with the fuel left behind, no food and they did not find Tank. Only Betsie May survived, luckily she has 2 friends Wang Mei and Molly with her plus a dead weight child, who is looking a little grey around the edges.

This my only contribution to Zombtober.

Well if you're still here - thanks for reading

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Granny and Pops - Daisy May Has Been Kidnapped

Following the run in with the Revenue Men, rumours started circulating that Pops and Granny have money stashed away and their granddaughter Daisy May has been captured by a gang of savages, cut throats and vagabonds and she is being held captive at a remote house.

They have demanded a ransom but Pops and Granny, together with their other 2 other granddaughters, Betsy May and Ellie May, got wind of the location of the house and determine to rescue Daisy May. The story going round is that the kidnappers sent the ransom demand on headed note paper but I’m not sure I believe that.

The rescue attempt is a big risk for them, they don’t know how many savages there are, at least 6 but probably more, however no one messes with Pops and Granny and gets away with it.

The previous game is HERE

The isolated house with the gangs transport parked up in the yard.

Granny’s plan, yes she is the boss, was for her and Ellie May to move down the road on the right and circle round to the house from the far side. Pops and Betsie May meanwhile would go towards the wooden crates so that then they could rush the house from two sides at once and hope surprise would give them enough of an edge.

Betsie May was instructed to keep that damned old fool out of trouble. Pops was going a little deaf, a little short sighted and didn’t have 2 brain cells to rub together, but combined with the fact that he was as brave as a lion – well it always led to tricky situations.

The Rescuers

Main stats are - Rep Brains Guts Shooting Brawl Awareness
Pops 3 2 5 4 5 2
Granny 5 4 3 3 5 5
Ellie May 3 3 3 5 5 4
Betsie May 5 4 4 2 2 2
Daisy May 3 2 5 3 2 4

High is good.

You can see that none of the characters are super good, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, originally I used an average dice to determine the stats. The elder generation must have trained in some form of martial art in their younger days as the oldsters are exceptionally good at fighting. Maybe it was kung hillbilly fu, one of the lesser known martial arts developed by Jed “Bruce” Clampett-Lee.

Another view, all looks quiet. Too quiet!

The green pennies are 13 encounter markers, as they are revealed I drew a card from a shuffled deck of 13 playing cards, which represent :-

Ace = Savages 1D6 -3.
2 = Savages 1D6 -2.
3 = Savages 1D6.
4 = Savages 1D6 +2.
5 = Dogs 1D4.
6, 7 & 8 = nothing there, stop being so jumpy.
9 = Trip wire test on awareness to discover it, if not then it make a noise, test on savages awareness to see if they hear it.
10 = Daisy May + Savages 1D6-3.
Jack = Fuel.
Queen = Information as to where Daisy May is.
King = Daisy May + Savages 1D6 +3.

Pops and Betsie May encounter 7 of the savages but they see them before being discovered themselves. The little white head followed by a cowboy hat seen just over the hedge far right are Granny and Ellie May carrying out their pincer movement.

This is Ellie May bringing up the rear. Nice rear and interesting comparison shot. I love the Granny and Pops figures, but can’t remember who makes them.

Pops decides, or maybe with Brains of 2 Pops didn’t decide anything but anyway it seemed like a better bet to go and join Granny and try and get around the savages blocking their path.

They joined up with each other quite quickly due to a bit of slow movement on the part of Granny, i.e. she did not activate for 2 turns, which was fortunate for them all. I never thought too much to her plan.

Pops walks up to the next encounter which turns out to be 1 savage called Big Dog, - by name and nature. He is half as big again as Pops but the little man is not phased by this, how does it go “the bigger they are the harder they fall” That’s right - Brains 2 Guts 5 the little man is not going to back off.

In the distance Big Dog facing off to Pops. The encounter marker on the road is now in sight and is resolved as another group of savages - random direction dice decides they are heading towards the house, so don’t look back. The 1st group have been milling about but have also decided to head for the house.

Big Dog is so surprised by this little old man that he does not shout out to his mates but smiles evilly and says what do you want you little baldy old man “WHOOP” Pops hits him with a double turning kick and Big Dog drops to the floor, “who you calling old” grunts Pops. Big Dog doesn’t reply, in fact he doesn't move either.

Both the groups of savages head to the house, no one hears Big Dog fall like a large tree. The group on the left enter the house 1st and a turn later so do the other group. This is good and bad news. There is not going to be much opposition outside but the house has 5 encounter points in it because logically that is where Daisy May would be held.

Pops and the girls continue up the track, as Granny passes Big Dog she bends down and cuts his throat, “don’t you call my man old” she whispers in his ear. To do a bad deed Granny had to roll over 3 on her Affinity target, she got a 6 so was able to do a very bad deed indeed.

There is another encounter marker in the field between the Hill Billies and the house, so far it’s looking hopeless, they have counted 13 savages in the house, there are 5 encounter tokens also in the house, 1 round the back of it and 1 in the garage, not good odds on finding Daisy May without committing suicide.

This is the encounter in the field, “bugger” mutters Pops “a dawg” I hate dawggys, this is a stupid dog, it doesn’t bark just charges up to kung fu Pop and gets chopped down, dead.

Dead dog.

I’m not sure why Ellie May always has her back turned to the camera, she must be showing her best side, or maybe it’s the new hot pants she wants to show to best advantage. The guys hop over the wall and rush forward to the garage.

Where they encounter Daisy May with 1D6-3 savages, I threw a 3 so no savages. What a bit of luck.

Pop quickly unties Daisy May and they both get back across the wall.

The scene in the house. (No lift off roof again)

It’s looking pretty good, all the savages are in the house. Pops and Granny have rescued Daisy May and there are no encounter tokens between them and getting the hell out of Dodge. What can stop them now.

Just then Wolf and Mad Maybelle come out of the house for some fresh air, they see the Billies and open fire first, the wall provides good cover and the shots miss.

Reaction for being under fire is good, even for a coward (intelligent person) like granny, she threw 1 and 2 so they all returned fire.

Betsie May fired her smg at Maybelle and missed all 3 shots, granny blew both barrels of her shot gun at wolf and missed him, hmmm not looking so good. Ellie May’s pump shotgun was next and a throw of 6 killed Maybelle – dead. Pops, also with a pump killed Wolf, “that’s for THINKING I was old” he was heard to mutter.

The savages were stunned (failed reaction) and did not dare leave the house, the Billies, all 5 of them are seen here running back to the getaway car. By the time the savages recovered their nerve and activated it was too late - the Billies were in the car and over the skyline.

The Cast

The victorious and slightly out of breath Billies. I’m not so sure Ellie Mays rear is her best side after all.

The in breath, and out of pocket savages.

The mutt and the rest of the dead.

Quite an amazing result, the Hill Billies had some luck on the dice when both groups of savages went into the house with an even larger slice of luck when they discovered Daisy May, without guards, on the last encounter marker available without them having to go into the house.

There is very little chance they would have survived that, and Pops with no brains (2) and lots of guts (5) would almost certainly have led them in there. I know I said Granny was the boss but Pops is the man about the house and wears the overalls.

Typing this up now I realise that the odds were stacked too heavily against Pops and crew which is probably why it was such a memorable game, even though the body count was low and they succeeded easily it could have been disaster.

I played this game quite a while ago and re-photographed it for the post, I thought I might show the original game photos so that anyone who has not spent 5 years refining terrain (yes I know it still needs work) can see that in my opinion it's the game that matters not the terrain. I enjoyed this game as with all the Granny and Pops games and have cleaned them up to post here, but the essence of the game was played with some quite nondescript terrain and is in my opinion the enjoyable part of wargaming.

The re-shot photo

The original game, a cloth mat instead of a caulk mat, the original house I bought for £1:00 and a door mat for crops.

The re-shot photo

The original game shot, it looks very basic in comparison but the game and the text are original, don't ever be mislead into thinking terrain is more important than having an exciting game, it isn't. It's nice to see but only for other people.

If you are still here – Thanks for reading and any comments or thoughts are warmly received.