Thursday, 31 March 2011

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS: Scenario Three - Creeping Crawlers

Jack and Jensen survived the attack of the ghouls – but barely. Now, both at Devil’s Door, they have been left in the lair of the ghouls waiting for their attackers to return and devour them.
But a group of bikers are in the area. If Jack and Jensen can call to them, maybe they will come and get them out of there.
However the ghouls have left behind some surprises to deter escape. 
4’ x 4’ dense woods and lakes. In the centre of the board is a roughly circular Ghoul lair approximately 8” across made from rocks, trees, swamp and foliage.
Jack and Jensen from the previous scenario. Bikers: Nazi, Skipper, Sparky, Spike and Grace.
Characters are armed as modelled apart from Jack, who has a hammer.
6 Blood Roaches & 6 Swamp Maggots initially; then 1 Ghoul Pack consisting of 2 Ghouls and a Ghoul Hound coming on from reserve

Jack and Jensen are lying down in the heart of the ghoul lair. They are both at the lowest health bar of Devil’s Door but will continue to heal as normal during the game
The bikers are deployed in at least two groups with no more than three bikers in each group. Each group starts the game in the centre of a board edge of their choosing (no more than one group per board edge)
The bugs are deployed on the Stalking Board in clusters of two. Stalking points are only placed outside the ghoul lair and within 12” of the edge of the lair. Place 24 stalk points in the possible area
The Ghoul Pack becomes available after there has been some gunfire. Two successes must be rolled on two dice for them to be deployed. Roll at the beginning of each Antagonist turn after guns have been fired. They move on during their turn from any board edge
The Protagonists have the following priorities in order:
  1. Survive
  2. Get Jack and Jensen safely off the board
  • Eliminate the Protagonists
The bugs will not enter the Ghoul lair under any circumstances

Saturday, 26 March 2011

LOST IN NECROPOLIS: Scenario Two - Curse of the Mindolar

The group of investigators and their attendant SWAT team have flown for over an hour in their helicopter, searching for the edge of the city but there is no edge visible. The city seems to stretch on forever. And now they’re running low on fuel.
Finding a spot to land that isn’t far from a petrol station, the protagonists set off through the ruins to get fuel. But something is lurking in the shadows… and watching: a Mindolar– a huge slug-like creature capable of controlling the minds of other creatures.
A 6’ x 4’ board filled with city ruins. At one end of the board is an open area where the helicopter is parked.
The survivors from the previous scenario: Kate, Brock and Annie (Investigators) & Stacy, Brett and Lillian (SWAT Team)

A Mindolar
The Mindolar begins the game in control of one Protagonist. Its priorities are as follows:
1)      Survive
2)      If possible, take control of all Protagonists
3)      If control not possible, kill all Protagonists
With one of their number already controlled by the Mindolar, the Protagonists priorities, in order of preference, are as follows:
1)      Survive
2)      Kill the Mindolar
3)      Knock out controlled characters rather than killing them
4)      Kill controlled characters as a last resort
5)      Flee by helicopter if necessary

Protagonists are armed as modelled
Stacy and Annie are deployed within 6” of the helicopter
The other characters are split into three groups of Searchers. Kate and Brock are deployed together. Brett and Lillian and deployed separately. All Searchers must be deployed more than 24” from the helicopter. Each Searcher group must be deployed more than 18” away from the next
The Mindolar is deployed on the Stalking Board on the talk point closest to Lillian. Lillian begins the game under the control of the Antagonist player

Friday, 25 March 2011

Lethal Dice

The aim of the game with the Necropolis combat system is to minimise dice throwing. Why roll to hit, wound and break armour or cover if a single roll will do it everything?
For a long time, my Lethal Dice system, though streamlined, has still required the player to look up the result on a chart. But no more!
Witness the creation of the Lethal Dice:

When a ten-sided Lethal Dice is thrown, 1-5 is a miss, 6-7 is a pushback and 8-10 do damage.
Purchasing a bunch of black ten-sided dice online, I have blacked out five of the sides – the misses.
Two of the sides (0 & 1) have been painted yellow. These are the pushbacks.
The three remaining sides now show the amount of damage done. So instead of looking up the damage on the following table:

Lethal Effects
  The player can see the damage on the die (2, 3 or 4)
I had originally planned to continue to have Pushback cause no damage but considering I now have 0 and 1 as the pushback sides, I’m going to experiment with having that number list the amount of damage done. Therefore it is now possible to take a point of damage from a pushback.
We’ll see how that works but we now have a very elegant way of rolling for damage.
The numbers that come up show which dice are misses, which are pushbacks and how much damage in total is done.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Jack and Victoria ran through the ever deepening forest, terrified of the things they had seen behind them in the deserted town – the shuffling dead, reaching for and dragging down their friends. And now, also the things they were seeing in the dark wood: hideous looming shapes, more frightening in silhouette surely, than they ever could have been in life. There were other things out there watching them and coming slowly after, that were very different from the undead people that they’d seen and far more dangerous.
Victoria started to lag behind. She couldn’t run as quickly as Jack but he was scared to wait too long for her. “Come on! There are lights up ahead! If we can just make it we might be safe!”
There was a tiny cabin nested in a small clearing and it wasn’t far off, but as they drew closer they heard a terrible baying coming from their left and from a gap in the trees fifty yards away, two pale-skinned, bald-headed humanoids with hunched gaits ran to head them off, a massive white-furred hound racing in front of them. They were going to cut them off!

Victoria screamed but Jack grabbed her hand and sprinted for the cabin, calling out for the inhabitants to open the door. The ghouls and their hound were closing but the door opened, split seconds before they were trapped and both of them clattered inside.
A woman and two men – students on vacation by the look of them – fell back, startled as Jack pointed at the door. “Block it off! Now!”
Nobody moved. Jack grabbed a dresser and but his back into it, sliding it across the floor. Nobody helped him; but suddenly the door was being bashed in from outside and they all grabbed the dresser, pushing it into place, just in time to keep the huge hound that had thrown it’s bulk against the door out.
“What the hell’s going on?!?”
“Listen to me,” said Jack. “There are things out there – I don’t know what they are – but we have to stop them getting in here, no matter what. Quick! The window!”
The hound continued to batter itself against the door with one of the ghouls, but the other ghoul ran to the window and started battering on it to smash it in.

One of the guys, Buddy, grabbed a baseball bat they’d brought with them and smashed it down on the ghoul’s hands as the glass broke. It withdrew long enough for them to slide a bookcase into place in front of it but the creature continued to bash against the wood, trying to get in.
Meanwhile, outside, two more ghouls came from the forest, with a second hound, sleeking in toward the racket, searching for prey.
For food.
Jack and the others worked desperately to block off the big front window of the cabin and only just in time as the second hound threw itself at it. The ghouls kept battering, trying to get in and the barricades were weakening. All they could do was to keep trying to reinforce them. Almost useless to them, all Victoria could do was squat in the corner and scream, her hands over her ears.
Jensen, one of the college students, said, “Wait a minute...” He ran to his bag and pulled out a rolled up piece of cloth, unravelling it to reveal a small revolver. “He glanced at Jack’s questioning face and grinned. “In case of bears.”
There was a trap door in the ceiling against the back wall with a ladder going up to it. “Get up onto the roof!” cried Jack. Try and clear them away with that! If we can hold out long enough, maybe they’ll give up and go away! How many bullets have you got?”
Jensen dropped the spares into his jacket pocket. “Enough for one reload. I don’t know why I even brought that many. What did I expect? A herd of bears, tramping through the forest after us?”
“This is a hell of a lot worse than bears,” said Jemima, testing the weight of a chainsaw she found at the back of the cupboard under some junk. She pecked Jensen on the cheek. “Good luck baby.”
The front door started to give and they all rushed to bolster it and the windows as Jensen climbed up onto the roof. He paled when he saw what was coming through the trees: another ghoul, this one almost double the size of the others – a ghoul king – and a third hound ranging ahead of it.
He got to the edge of the roof and fired down, desperately trying to either kill them or at least drive them back, but the ghouls kept pounding the doors and windows, gradually weakening them. He wounded one or two but they kept coming! It wasn’t going to work! He kept firing, concentrating on one of the ghouls and finally took it down but he was almost out of bullets in the gun already. There was no way he could kill all of them!

Inside the cabin, the others frantically struggled to strengthen the barricades. One by one, what they’d put at the windows or door was being splintered and bent and it was getting harder and harder to find materials to keep it closed. Jack had found a hammer and nails and kept fixing broken furniture fragments across the apertures but it was ultimately a losing battle. All they could hope for was to hold them off long enough for them to lose interest.
For a moment, the banging started to subside. “I think we’ve done it,” said Jack. They’re going to give up!”
Then the door smashed in completely and the ghoul king was there at the breach. They were never going to give up now. It was a fight to the death or escape.
There was an instant of indecision; a levelling of possibilities – whether to flee up onto the roof and hope to jump down the back and run for freedom, or whether to stand and try to fight them off. Then Jemima and Buddy ran to the door to block the way and the decision was made.
Jemima used her chainsaw, Buddy, his bat, fighting against the ghoul king and his hound but they hardly had a chance. The front window crashed open and two hounds leapt through, attacking Jack and Victoria. Buddy and Jemima were forced back as the ghoul king shouldered his way inside, wielding a huge rusty spade. From the trapdoor, Jensen reloaded and fired down, killing one of the hounds, but it was blatantly clear that they’d made the wrong decision. There was no escaping from the bloodbath that was going on down there. They should have run when they had the chance and risked being cut down; now all they could do was fight.
Buddy was ripped apart by one of the hounds. Jack and Victoria fought back; Jack with his hammer, Victoria with a kitchen knife; but they couldn’t hold their own. Both of them were brutally knocked down until all they could do was crawl away from their closing predators.
Jemima lost her chainsaw in the melee, bashing her forehead against the wall as she was thrown back and she cried for Jensen, reaching for the ladder and pulling herself up. She looked back down at Buddy’s crushed skull and the other two grievously wounded people she hadn’t even known before tonight. She told herself there was nothing she could do for them but she honestly didn’t know if it was true. Jack was crawling for the now open window. Maybe he could get away, but his injuries looked bad. They looked very bad.
“Come on!” yelled Jensen, pulling her up before the hound below could snap at her ankle. They got to the edge of the roof and looked down into the darkness. It was further down then they would have liked but they had no choice. Jemima and Jensen held one another’s hands and jumped off.
It was their last moment of intimate physical contact.
Jensen landed on his feet and rolled, clambering up but Jemima twisted her ankle as she hit and fell against a stone, losing consciousness!
First one, then two, then three ghouls circled the cabin, searching for them. Jensen fired his pistol, trying to protect his girlfriend, but the ghouls were on him and they were on her. Insensate, Jemima offered no resistance as the female ghoul tore her neck open, then the other two ghouls slashed at Jensen, knocking him off his feet.
He was horribly wounded, crawling now, sure they were going to finish him off. The line of bushes was only a couple of feet away. If he could just reach there... maybe they would leave him alone... maybe he would have a chance. But they were baying now: all of them. And the hounds were baying too.
Surely that meant that all was lost. Surely death was coming for him now and there was no escape.
He just had to keep crawling. Keep crawling and then he could escape. But even as he reached the thick foliage the baying abruptly stopped and he knew in his heart exactly what that meant.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Measuring Distance for Movement Clarified

Measuring Distances
Distance for movement and ranged combat in Necropolis is measured using colours, each colour corresponding to a different distance, as shown on the table below. Characters have bases painted the colour distance they can move.
6 Inches
8 Inches
12 Inches
18 Inches

For example, Duke, a hero, can run Yellow (8”) while a zombie can only shamble Blue (6”).
A machinegun can hit targets up to Green distance away (12”) while a rifle can target opponents at White (18”).
Each range ruler is marked by coloured bands to denote the distance. You will notice that there are two bands for each colour: single and double. The double band denotes the full distance (8 inches in the case of Yellow) while the single band shows half distance (4 inches for Yellow).
This becomes important during movement where running moves the character the full distance (to the double band) and walking moves half distance (to the single band).

Here, we can see that the nurse has walked Blue (3") as she has a blue base edge. Her friend in the green shirt has run Yellow (8").

In game, the colour system gives a very smooth way of remembering and acting on different movement rates and ranges.

This measuring stick was made from a piece of balsa wood sprayed black with the coloured bands painted on.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Screaming for Help

Calling Out
Characters in Necropolis can Call Out during their turn without spending any actions to do so.
This might be a cry for help or a call to attract the attention of some zombies to draw them away from a certain area. Or perhaps they are searching for someone who is lost.
Calling Out has a range of 18” (WHITE). Unaware models within range will become Aware of the calling out characters. For zombies, for example, if humans Call Out, the zombies must move toward them if (a) they are closer than the characters they were already pursuing or (b) they can no longer see their quarry  
If Protagonists are Unaware, and thus unavailable for movement, they may be activated by characters Calling Out within their range.
Risks of Calling Out
When a character Calls Out, roll 1d6. On a 5+, 1d3 low level Antagonists are deployed on a random board edge at the beginning of the next Antagonist turn. The default here is zombies, but something appropriate to the scenario being played can be chosen in preference. The new Antagonists are Aware.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Jack and Victoria, the survivors from the first Lost in the Wilderness scenario are about to meet some new friends.
Let’s take a look at them:
Jemima, Buddy, & Jenson are students who have rented out a little cabin in the woods for a bit of “fun.” They are already well aware that dangerous creatures are lurking in the wilderness; having come into contact with them and survived; and have managed to tool themselves up ready for defending themselves.

Jemima is a happy-go-lucky nature-lover who likes to spend her time partying.

Buddy is a good guy who is questioning how happy he is spending so much time with Jemima and Jenson.

Jenson is a bit of a loose cannon – a bit aggressive and a bit loud. He loves partying with Jemima and Jenson, maybe a little too much.

Unlike the original characters, these three are already armed and know what’s what so it will be interesting to see how they manage when they’re… Lost in the Wilderness.

Incidentally, these miniatures came with the Last Night on Earth game; a fairly good board game about fighting zombies!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Rules For Ghouls!

Ghouls are... Cautious predators who train vicious hounds to bring down their prey before closing in themselves for the kill 

Ghouls are deployed in packs containing two ghouls and two hounds. The Ghoul King can be substituted for two ghouls.
In order to Advance (enter the line of sight of an opponent and move toward them), a ghoul must pass a roll on the table below with the modifiers shown  
Roll 8+ to Advance
Outnumber Opponents
Opponents Impaired
Opponents at Devil's Door

Ghouls heal very quickly, regenerating one health bar per turn
Ghouls suffer different effects from being taken to Impaired or Devil's Door. When Impaired they get +1 Dice in combat (representing their desperate fury). At Devil’s Door they cannot attack but are otherwise fine (so will tend to flee so that they can heal).
 Ghouls are ignored by zombies
They do 1 Lethal Dice damage when attacking. They move Yellow.

A complete character sheet is available on the Free Downloads page.

Ghoul Hounds
Ghoul Hounds may be set loose to attack if opponents are within 12" (Green)
Once loose, the hounds will move straight towards and charge opponents
If they no longer have opponents to fight they will either: charge other opponents within 12" OR return to their handlers
When a hound receives a kill wound, give it a kill marker. It dies if it receives a second wound while marked
Remove any kill markers when the ongoing combat ends

Ghoul Hounds also move Yellow and do 2 Lethal Dice.
If the ghoul handlers are killed, the hounds will move randomly until they find more opponents, more ghouls or any dead bodies on which to feast  

Wild Ghoul Hounds
Ghoul Hounds can be found wild. If so, they will be nested in a particular building/area
Choose a building/area secretly during deployment for the hound nest
When opponents move within 12" (Green) of the area, the hounds are deployed
Once loose, the hounds will move straight towards and charge opponents
If they no longer have opponents to fight they will either: charge other opponents within 12" OR return to their area and Hide.

The Ghoul miniatures pictured here were purchased from Heresy Miniatures.

Friday, 4 March 2011

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS: Scenario Two – Hunted

Jack and Victoria, the two survivors from Scenario 1, are making their way through the wilderness on foot having narrowly survived the zombie horde, There is a cabin ahead where help might be found but the woods are the dwelling place of a pack of vicious ghouls and their slavering hounds.
The protagonists must reach the cabin and hold up for ten turns. If the cabin is breached they must survive by defeating the ghouls or fleeing off the board.
The ghouls are trying to eliminate all the protagonists.
Jack, Victoria, Jemima, Buddy, Jenson
Jack and Victoria are unarmed. Jemima, Buddy and Jensen are armed as modelled. An axe and a kitchen knife are available in the cabin.
Ghouls and Ghoul Hounds.
One pack comprising two ghouls and a hound initially, then two more packs after the protagonists reach the cabin.
4’x4’ board covered in woodland with a cabin in the centre.
Jack and Victoria are deployed together in the centre of any board edge. The other characters are deployed in the cabin. Jemima, Buddy and Jenson may not act until the other two come within 12” (GREEN) of the cabin.
The initial ghoul pack is deployed in the centre of one of the table edges closest to the protagonist table edge. Further ghoul packs enter play at any point on a randomly determined table edge.
One appears in the turn after Jack and Victoria reach the cabin. The other appears two turns later.
If Jack and Victoria are killed before reaching the cabin, only one ghoul pack appears immediately.