The situation in Purgatory had got progressively worse. Quarantined and feeling isolated the civilian population were frightened. The ‘sick’ were still about. The civil powers and military had yet to make any influence. Local gang members were running the shanty. Law and order has broken down and a deputation, attempting to escape was turned back (c.f. Patrol). Disgruntled, frightened and bolstered by gangster arms the population rose!
TURN 1 (2-3) & TURN 2 (4-6)
Gunnery Sergeant Highway cast a seasoned eye over the street before him. His brief had been as simple as it gets.
“Highway, get your sorry ass platoon into the next street and relieve Ring. Just stop them getting through.”
Ring’s platoon was grim. Tired and beaten they had battled all night and from the look of it they had just survived. It had been quiet since daybreak but the odd shot sounded from the main drive and disorder was in the air.
He saw them just before noon. Forty or so, they emerged from amongst the surrounding buildings and pushed from Donkey Drive. They stood and stared at the 152nd Recon platoon. Highway was glad of the Browning Automatic Rifle that he’d set up on his right flank and even happier with the Vickers mounted on the armoured car given him in support of his task.
A shot fired and tumbled harmlessly into the earth before reaching the army lines, others followed.
“Steady boys,” ordered Highway, “return fire only when we receive EFFECTIVE enemy fire.”
“Deadly force had been authorised.”
No move for both units. The mob passed 1d6 both times and remained in situ and fire ranged weapons. All their weapons were out of range. No zeds created. Prior to turn 3 the mob pass 2d6 and advance 6” and engage in ranged combat.
Turn 3 (3-1)
The crowd surged forward as if under the control of one mind.
“Hold,” ordered Highway.
They moved closer. Thrown bottles dropped and shattered before the barricade covering the ground in broken glass.
“Rifle Group!” Highway’s warning order barked out, “one round above the crowd.” He waited as the other two in his team prepped their weapons and brought them to bear. “FIRE!”
The cracking sound jerked those taken by the environment back to reality and the mob hesitated.
Tom Profile Highway heard the popping of ‘Saturday Night Specials’. Corporal Thomas Profile, to Highway's right, staggered and fell back clutching his chest. Stitch Jones spun and fell to his knees.
“Christ,” Highway hissed.
“Gun Group! At the smoke trails, One Burst, Fire at will!”
The BAR chattered into life.
“Roberts!” he directed the armoured car’s gunner (PFC Clarke being the driver), “Likewise! You understand?”
The Vickers barked into life and its heavy .30-06 rounds tore into the crowd. Highway grimly watched fellow Americans fall.
Fairly straightforward dice throwing. The crowd with their 8 ranged weapons opened up and hit 2 guards. One Quinoness went OOF and the other Stitch Jones knocked down. 3 zeds were created coming from buildings 6 (x2) and 4. The crowd’s rep fell to 3 (1st use of deadly force). Yet they passed 2 d6 and advanced a further 6”. Just failing to contact the army lines.
Turn 4 (Z1-Crowd6-Mil6)
The mob roared forward.
“RECON PLATOON! FIRE AT WILL!” the voice of authority rose high above the clamour and the platoon obeyed. Springfield rounds thudded into, rioters and the y slowed. The softer banging of homemade weapons underpinned the heavier clatter of machine guns. Highway felt tugging at his uniform as the ineffective rounds pulled at the folds in its cloth. Several rounds banged into the prone body of Thomas Profile.
“DOWN!” he yelled dropping prone. Well trained, the platoon-followed suit as a volley snapped above them.
“ROBERTS, KEEP THEM AT BAY!”
Once again the Vickers sounded ripping into the heart of the crowd.
The mob got lucky and hit all the guards, knocking them down. The Vickers got two out of four hits. Artistic licence got the platoon to lie down. Two more zeds were created (bldg 4 + 5). The mob’s rep remained the same and they passed 1d6 therefore remaining in place.
Turn 5 (3-6-5)
“UP, UP!” Highway climbed to his feet, “FIX BAYONETS!”
The Guards struggled with their steel.
The crowd milled and pulsed like a being in itself. Debris rained down upon the Recon platoon. Bottles shattered against the armour of Roberts and Clarke's vehicle. Roberts squeezed the trigger and a bloodied gap appeared in the line of mobsters.
Danny Ashton, sensed the threat before he felt the hot breath on his neck. Spinning to face it he brought his baseball bat crashing into the fleshless skull of the sick the lurched at him. Blood and gore showered him he stood speechless in the chaos.
George O’Rielly was not as lucky and his living flesh was ripped off of his shoulder as he tried to push through the seething mob. Screaming he turned to be greeted by the snarling face of what was once Peter Quartz. George pushed at Quartz’s rotting flesh but his hands sank into the putrid flesh trapping him. The pain was excruciating as Peter’s teeth shredded his cheek. Those next to the unfortunate O’Reilly moved to berate his squealing but their minds melted as the sight of Peter’s feasting made its way into their sentience. They fled.
Highway and the Guards recovered their feet and the AC opened up hitting and killing 3. With the mob not being able to activate that only left the zeds. Those that were close enough fell on the rear of the crowd. One was beaten but the other killed and began to feast. I did a ‘see the feast’ on all those within 2”, as I felt the crowd would shield any others form the view. 2 failed and ‘ducked back.’ The zed would fest for 1 turn. The mob passed 1d6 and remained in place. 2 zeds created blgs 3-4.
Turn 6 ( 2-3-4)
“GUN GROUP! FIVE ROUND BURST! THE CROWD TO YOUR FRONT! FIRE!”
Stitch Jones repeated the order to his group and they opened up. White smoke obscured his view but he did not need to see the results as his ears told him all he needed to know. When he could see only bodies lay before him.
All the mob saw was bayoneted Guardsmen to their front, wounded and dead about them, panic to their rear. No one controlled them, yet they moved again as one. To an individual they turned and fled.
They ran and ran dispersing into the shantytown. Some dodged the sick, others engaged them, and none were downed.
The 152nd Recon platoon moved amongst the wounded. Quinoness, the platoon medic, did what he could. They loaded the bodies, the wounded and the crazed onto the back of their truck and shifted them back to the FOB.
Another great amount of fun. I was amazed at how the crowd behaved again very realistic, certainly if it was a training event. The game lasted two hours, which again was good. The military got lucky as the mobsters missed most of their shots, but this again demonstrates how good the rules are. The rep difference gave the military the edge, as one would expect. The only criticism would be that as the crowd broke they made short work of the zeds they came across, which I feel had they been harder to beat it would have given a further aspect to the scenario as Highway and the platoon turn their mission into a rescue one.