Category Archives: Horror

The Soul Survivors: A No More Room in Hell AAR Part 1

One of my friends has been pestering me to play a zombie game on my table for a while now, and I figured it was about time for some No More Room in Hell. The last time I played the game was also the first time I played it; and while I really loved the game, I didn’t like some of the mechanics. So I fiddled with the system, came up with some house rules (see below) and got familiar with the rulebook over the last week or so.

One of the big problems I had the first time around was that my survivors kept getting trapped in melee endlessly simply because they were too close to a zombie spawn point. By the time they dealt with whatever zombies they were fighting, they were unable to move away before they were instantly charged by a zombie and the whole cycle started over again. So, for example, my survivor ends his activation within 6″ of a spawn point. The zombies spawn, and because one spawns within 6″ of the survivor, it charges into melee. Next round the survivor activates first, but all he can do is melee with the zombie, he can’t move or shoot. Whether he beats the zombie or not, he’s effectively stuck in the same spot until the next zombie activation. If enough zombies are spawned, he may be facing the same situation next round. This becomes more and more likely as more and more zombies join the melee. Sooner or later there will be too many to defeat. But it’s just not fun to be stuck in one spot.

The rules have no way of getting out of melee once you’re in it aside from either getting killed or killing your opponent. You may retreat as you’re being charged, but who wants to do that? And even if you did, it wouldn’t prevent the above situation from happening, assuming you found yourself close enough to a spawn point again.

So I made a house rule. You can attempt to leave a melee assuming you have initiative. If you’re facing one zombie, you need only pass a FISTS check (one zombie isn’t hard to fake out). However, if you face more than one zombie or any number of survivors, you must succeed in a difficult SURVIVE check (2 successes), which is a lot harder to do. If you fail, you’re stuck in combat and can’t retaliate that turn. This also makes it pretty much impossible for Sheeple, who only have a SURVIVE score of 1, to ever voluntarily leave combat. But then again, they’re supposed to die.

My other house rule has to do with zombie feasting and zombie movement. Normally, zombies move towards the closest survivor, period. My house rule states that zombies move towards either the closest survivor or the closest zombie feast, whichever is closer.  Once the feast is over, normal zombie movement is restored. So it really only affects one turn, as zombies only feast for one turn. It gives the survivors a little break every once in a while.

Next I threw together some Survivor Groups for me and my two friends. I decided to go with a 70’s Blaxploitation theme to the game, because I love those movies and because I have the miniatures. I wish I had the time to throw together an appropriate playlist before the game but I didn’t.  (the Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown soundtracks would have worked well.) I decided to collectively call the Groups the Soul Survivors. Although Group on Group combat is accounted for in the NMRIH rules, we decided to play a cooperative game. Three different groups deploy separately, but with the shared goal of meeting the mission objectives and getting the hell out alive.

The Fist of FUNK!

First up was my group, led by Spartacus Jones, the Fist of Funk (Shot-Caller). He’s backed up by the lovely Foxxy Dynamite (Back-Up). Behind them is De’Andre and Cyrus (both Sheeple).

Cue the Curtis Mayfield...

Next is the group led by Mr. Wisdom, the Earl of 139th St. (Shot-Caller). Backing him up with her Colt Python is Lady Chardonnay (Back Up), and her two girls Mo’nique and Yu’nique (both Sheeple). Mo’nique is the big one.

They call me MISTER Magnum!

 

Lastly, we have the group led by Honey Velvet and her submachine gun (Shot-Caller). She’s supported by Rameses Magnum in his powder blue suit (Back Up), and B-Train and Lorenzo (both Sheeple).

The Board

 

The mission was a Supply Run, the goal of which is to obtain one unit of food or ammo or fuel per survivor. All the SURVIVE ocations are marked with a red glass counter. There are three unique locations: The Gun Shop, currently barricaded up (wonder what’s in there?); The Med Stop, and the Food Mart. All of them have a water bottle cap on them to denote their unique status. There are many vehicles scattered around the table; any that could possibly be used have a small key-shaped screw on them. And away we go!

Maybe we can get this started.....GAAAAH!

 

We deployed our Groups separately. Honey Velvet and her crew made a beeline for the closest vehicle, an old pickup. (Astute readers may notice the color of the pickup changed from blue to red. That’s because my friend wanted a pickup that looked like the one from Sanford and Son.) B-Train hopped in and tried to start it up, only to find a zombie inside! B Train found himself in Monstrous Melee on Turn 1! He managed to hold it off for this turn…

Elsewhere, Mr. Wisdom and his girls made his way around a building towards a spawn point. Mr. Wisdom has the special ability to destroy zombie spawn points, an ability he put to good use in this game. He didn’t make it this turn.

Meanwhile, Foxxy Dynamite moved quickly over to an abandoned tractor (a SURVIVE location). One quick exploration later, she discovered a battery operated television broadcasting the fateful last newscast of a doomed anchorman as he became zombie chow on camera! She rolled on the Fear Reaction table, and was so traumatized by what she saw that she collapsed and was suppressed for 2 turns! Spartacus Jones got into a good firing position, as it was time for the zombies to activate!

To be continued!

 

Trying Out the Table (with Zombies)

I’m gearing up to play my first game of No More Room in Hell, by Iron Ivan Games. I figured I’d set up the table with some appropriate terrain and the majority of my zombie and survivor miniatures to see if I need more minis and/or terrain or less space. Plus, it’s just fun.

All the zombies are from Wargames Factory, with the exception of the three or four Hasslefree zombified survivors. Survivors are from various companies. I will endeavor to identify them all in the pictures below.

Here’s the table all set up. The buildings and street tiles are from World Works Games’ Streets of Mayhem sets and from Model Paper World. The MPW stuff is FREE! so that’s always nice, but the WWG stuff is awesome and more than reasonably priced.  The various vehicles were purchased at CVS in their toy aisle. They’re all made in China (surprise) and retail for about 5 bucks each, although I bought a bunch when they were on special for 2 for 1. They constantly rotate their stock so every month I usually grab one or two. Various other terrain pieces are from Armorcast (like the dumpsters), Pegasus Hobbies and JR Miniatures.

Seems like the two chainsaw chicks got the same idea…raid the gun shop! One of them Is Hasslefree’s Ashley Campbell (who is actually facing off against the zombified version of herself), the other is Reaper’s Berklee, Zombie Survivor.

These funkadelic survivors square off against a pack of zombie dogs, from Mississinewa Minatures. Clockwise from left to right, the survivors are Horace “Action” Jackson, Ebony Foxx and Sly Withers, all from Reaper. Out front is Delilah, from RAFM.

Father Thomas tries to ward off the shambling horde with his cross. Good thing Rex has his trusty sawed-off to back him up. Both minatures are from Reaper. The zombies come from Hasslefree, Wargames Factory and Mississinewa.

Hey guys…don’t look now, but…

The not-Shaun and not-Ed are both from Hasslefree: Ray and Tony, respectively. The lurking hairy zombie is from Mississinewa.

Some folks just like to stomp zombies the old-fashioned way… with their bare hands. All the Z’s are from Mississinewa. El Diablo and Butch “Killer” Davis are both from Reaper, while Tanshiro is from Hasslefree.

When do you not trust a couple of clowns in an ice-cream truck? When they’re zombies!!!

The clowns are from Mississinewa, the rest of the Z’s are Wargames Factory.

Besieged by naked (and clothed) zombies. The naked ones are from Mississinewa. The more modest Z’s are from Wargames Factory.

Another view. The Elvis clone is The Pretender, from RAFM. The fireman in his jockstrap is Mad-Dog, one of my favorite Hasslefree miniatures.

Sometimes it’s better to call in the pros. On the left is RAFM’s Gloria with Uzis, center is Hasslefree’s Harby, and on the right is Hasslefree’s Cobra.

Not all cops protect and serve. Some are zombies.

These gangers are from Bobby Jackson’s Thugz line.

After a careful look at the table, I realize I’ll probably need more zombies. Good thing I still have the 40 Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens to paint, plus a few others like Reaper’s Zombie Strippers.

A 6′ x 4′ table full of terrain looks great, but I’m left wondering where I’m going to roll my dice without sending buildings and miniatures flying all over the place. Maybe I’ll only use a 4′ x4′ surface and roll the dice on either side of the play area.

Happy Halloween

In honor of the coming holiday, I’ve decided to post some spooky-themed fantasy miniatures from my ongoing AD&D 3.5 campaign. My players  ran into most of these guys over the course of the last year.

First up is the old good witch/bad witch combo. The players first ran into the nice, pretty witch who was being blamed for the disappearance of some children. After a quick visit to her house in the woods, they had a hard time believing she was anything but  a nice lady. Turns out she was really an evil hag in disguise. The good witch is Reaper’s Selmarina (Reaper 02682), the bad one is Wyrd’s Zoraida the Hag, from their Malifaux line. The gravestone on Selmarina is from a GW zombie sprue, the one on Zoraida was part of the original base of the scarecrow, below. The pumpkins are from Reaper’s pumpkins and jack o’lanterns set (Reaper 02992). The stakes on Zoraida’s base are from Lance & Laser.

After finding out the witch really was to blame, the party returned ready for a fight. They got one from her guardian golem, Gourdy. They were forewarned, however, by her unwilling servant, Cobb the scarecrow, who travels with them still. Cobb is a RAFM Shrieking Scarecrow (RAFM 03856), while Gourdy is Reaper’s Rotpatch, Pumpkin Golem (Reaper 03377). Cobb’s post is scratch-built, and the leaves are from Hudson and Allen studios.

The players ran into these spooky ghosts while plundering… er, I mean exploring a tomb. The one on the left is a Reaper Spectral Minion (Reaper 14327) mounted on a Malifaux graveyard base. The others are from an OOP GW Spirit Host. They were all designed to fit on one base, but I separated them and individually based them. Nothing particularly impressive about the paint job, but it looks ghostly enough for me. I was tempted to paint the spirit hosts ghosts as the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ghosts from The Scooby-Doo Show S1 E15: The Ghost of the Bad Humor Man, but decided against it.

Last are some odds and ends. Nicodem, the Undertaker from Wyrd’s Malifaux line served a necromancer with a vulture familiar, and was the very first “boss” the party encountered in the campaign. I tried to paint him in a monochromatic color scheme, but found it difficult. Still, I like the overall effect. He’s mounted on a Malifaux graveyard base. Next to him is an old Reaper miniature, Jean-Paul DuChamps, Werewolf (Reaper 02139). He actually never made an appearance in the game, but I included him anyway because I painted him over the last year in between other projects.

Happy Halloween to all!

Bruce the Zombie Killer

A while back I picked up this miniature from Neal over at the War Store. It’s “Bruce the Zombie-Killer”, by Shadowforge/Laughing Monk Miniatures out of Australia. Of course, shortly after I bought him, Hasslefree Miniatures came out with another Not-Ash that I like a lot better, but the die was cast. The base is a Malifaux Resurrectionist base from Wyrd miniatures. I added an old GW zombie hand clawing at his legs for effect.

My criticism of the minature is that his face isn’t quite right somehow…his eyes are large and somewhat diagonal.  There are also a lot of flat surfaces on this model, both on his face and his gun. I did the best I could without (hopefully) making him look like he has raccoon eyes, but if I had shaded them any less they would have looked weird. Maybe not my best work, but overall I’m happy with him.

I wrote a special scenario for him using a tweaked version of .45 Adventure (1st edition) and played it a few times with some interesting results. “Night of the Living Evil Dead” may make an appearance in its entirety on this blog before long.