What's That Comin' Over the Hill..is it a Zedfest?

Agent Cooper really felt the need to prove his worth to the group.  He had lost face when spooked by an ironing board falling from the caravan door.  So he had tried to show he was worth the badge by volunteering first for every salvage hunt Gus and Rick authorised.  He hadn't been picked at first, but eventually his turn had come.  It was a simple drive to an abandoned store and garage.  He'd done it twice now and there had never been any sighting of Zeds, let alone any contact.  It wasn't enough.

Three months had passed sleepily at the Ranch.  Diesel had spent the time working on the cars, fine tuning them with what he had to hand, and making sure every available drop of fuel had been taken from the abandoned and useless vehicles, ready to be used by our survivors.

Today, Cooper had been chosen to do the garage run a third time. "It's a charm!" Chantelle had said with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek.  And to be honest, it had proven to be as mundane a run for him as the previous ones.  Not a soul to be seen.

Upon arrival he'd nodded to the grave they had dug for the old man and his wife who had owned the place before the apocalypse.  They had discovered her body slumped over the back of their sofa in the back room, the back of her head blown away.  The old man was slumped on the floor beside her, his fingers still clutching in death the shotgun he had shoved into his own mouth afterwards.  Gus wanted to show their remains some respect.  No one had argued with him.

And with the car loaded with more nutri-grain bars, frozen burgers of dubious quality and the last of the chocolate supply, Agent Cooper began whistling to himself.  This was becoming too easy.

Famous last words.

He paused his whistling when he heard a strange groaning sound coming from behind him.  He stopped in his tracks, looked around and drew his pistol, taking the safety off as he did so.  He looked around but saw nothing. 

The sound repeated, this time echoed in a number of other voices.  He could hear the sound of shuffling and knew this couldn't be good.

Around the bend of the road came a single Zed, shuffling along with its head cocked at a strange angle, as if it were sniffing the air.  Bad time to have a fag, Cooper thought as he stamped it out.  As he did so the Zed turned towards the noise, making an expletive rush from his lips. 

A moment later another Zed appeared from round the bend in the road.  Then another.  And another.  And another.  Another expletive left his lips as he put the safety back on and holstered his gun.  A pistol would be no use against this number.

Soon the road was filled with Zeds.  And more were coming through the woods to his left.  By now expletives were flowing as fast as his eyes caught sight of another Zed.  Agent Cooper dived into the car and sped off.  Surely he'd be able to outrun them in the sports car?

Rick was the first to hear the sound of the speeding car.  He put down the six month old paper he'd been reading for the umpteenth time and stepped out onto the porch.  He was just in time to see ??? drive his car between the two wrecked vehicles that blocked the only road to the ranch, sending the packing crates flying that had guarded the gap only moments before.  ???? skidded to a halt and got out the car screaming at everyone.

"They're coming!  A whole freakin' horde of Zeds is coming this way!"

Diesel and Chantelle appeared from the stable to see what he was shouting about.  No one was in any doubt what they'd been up to.  Clearly The Bazinator had been completely forgotten.
The others stepped out onto the porch to see what the commotion was all about.  The sight that greeted them wasn't pretty...
..but it had the potential to make a great finale to our apocalyptic wargaming!
In game terms, we had decided to set up this finale to provide an epic culmination to our campaign.  Thirty-six Zeds were placed on the table.  From a gamer's perspective, I can tell you that the road looked crowded when a third of that number were put down on the table.
 But 36?  This was simply insane!
 What follows is a view from the survivors' position.  a rather frightened ??? has just exited his car.
 Now that's a scary view between the buildings and over the hedge.
 With all this happening, Agent Cooper took his position behind the SUV, although nobody really understood why.
 The others made their way to the barricade and readied themselves for the inevitable assault.
 Gus can be seen on the extreme right of the picture heading to the building.  He was determined to climb up to get a greater swath with his assault rifle.
 Rick and Daryl took post to the right of the breach in their defences.
 Diesel and Chantelle held the other.
 And while Gus reached his vantage point on the roof...
 Tiger and Ripley, both now armed with crossbows, took up defensive positions behind the crates, ready to help out as best they could.
 Now this is where a bit of maths comes into play.  Rick and Gus have 3 shots each per turn.  Daryl, Ripley and Tiger have one each with their crossbow.  Chantelle and Agent Cooper have pistols, affording them 2 shots each.  So this shouldn't be too much of a bother, right?
 Well, with all the shooting taking place, more Zeds were attracted.  No mean feat in itself when you consider that a Zed only appears on a roll of a 6 per shot fired.  The one featured above gave Agent Cooper an opportunity to redeem himself.  Pity nobody noticed his effort.  They were too busy panicking about all the other Zeds to their front to look behind them!
 Even Gus faced a dilema or two.  His shots were attracting Zeds to his right, away from the horde.  If he'd been on the ground, he'd have had to take them out.  But up on the roof he was able to leave them.  He knew from experience that there weren't many Zeds who could climb.  So although he was getting surrounded, Gus could afford to concentrate on the horde.  Well, for the moment anyway!
 The horde was beginning to thin out, helped by the fact that the activation dice kept allowing the survivors to act, but held the Zeds inactive for three turns.  Trouble was, for every two we were ODing, another kept appearing.  And for the first time in our games, Rick kept running out of ammo.  We couldn't understand why they weren't moving.  Perhaps the heat of the sun was slowing them down.  Maybe it was their hunger that was dulling their senses.  Whatever was causing it though, one thing was certain.  If that horde moved forwards, it could all go pete tong...
 Trouble was, more and more were coming up from behind.  Gus was beginning to look rather exposed.
 See what I mean?
 Thankfully the dice were in our favour.  A Zed can only climb if you rol a 6 on 1D6.  Neither did so.  Gus wiped the sweat from his brow and continued to lay down withering fire on the advancing Zeds.
 Gradually the number of Zeds were thinning.  Without their inactivity, we'd have been swamped.
 As it was, the survivors began the mop up of the remaining Zeds.  Quite frustratingly Chantelle never got to fire up her chainsaw.  Just when she was about to her target bumped into the car to her front.  We rolled even, so it turned to is right, bumped again into the stable, and began walking away.  Fed up with it all, she drew her pistol and blew its brains out.
 It was then time for Gus to grin at the Zeds that were continually failing to climb up the shack.  He double tapped each one, climbed to the roof's apex and hollered down to Rick, "Are we clear?"

"Yeah, looks that way," Rick replied.

"'Bout time too."  He turned to look at Cooper.  "You'd better have a Snickers in the car for me."

"Get you some nuts!" they all hollered in response!


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