28 Days Later: Savage, Z+32

Today, let’s try using Quick Encounters with the zombie apocalypse house rules from a few posts ago


Here’s the board at the start of the game; note that Don can see the road sections, but not what’s in the buildings to either side…

Start of Z+32: The road is clear.

There’s nothing on the road, so Don starts by going into the south-east building. It’s empty (encounter card: two of clubs).

  • Next, the east building. It’s empty too (two of spades).
  • May as well clear this side of the board while we’re at it… north-east building – nothing (three of spades).
  • Crossing the road to the north-west building; empty (six of clubs).
  • West building: Empty (eight of clubs).
  • South-west building: Empty (ten of diamonds).

Well, that was a bust. Nothing at all; encounters only occur on face cards (including aces and jokers) so roughly one time in three – we might reasonably expect three encounters on a board, but it’s entirely possible that every area (or, as in this case, none of them) might have something of interest.

Meanwhile, Don goes home empty-handed, planning to search an adjacent block the following day.

End of Z+32: Sometimes, there’s just nothing there.


Let’s try that again, shall we? Don is now down to three days’ food so really needs to find something soon.

Start of Z+33: The road is blocked, but there’s loot between Don and the blockage.

Now this is more promising; the road is impassable at the end of the block (queen of clubs) but the centre of the board has a joker with two diamonds on it; a wrecked truck perhaps, hopefully full of useful stuff. Don moves up to it and makes a survival roll for each card; the first gives him 6+5 on the skill die, and 2 on the wild die; success with a raise, taking his ammo level to Very High and his food supply to 8 days. The second roll is a simple success (with a 5) but still takes his food to 9 days; his ammo level can’t go higher than it already is.

Don checks out the north-east building and finds zombies; time for a Quick Encounter. The zombies outnumber him 3:1, which I decide is worth -2 on the roll, but then again they are very slow and have no ranged weapons, which I think is worth +2, so it’s a wash. Don rolls on Shooting because after the skirmish on Z+31 he doesn’t fancy getting bitten. Don rolls 6+1 = 7 on his skill die, and 6+3 = 9 on his Wild Die; he chooses the Wild Die and scores a success with a raise, and so escapes unscathed. There are more successes and raises than PCs, indicating overall success, which I decide means the zombies don’t pursue (likely because they are destroyed by shotgun blasts). His ammo level drops to High though. (One could have left searching the second diamond until now, thus restoring the ammo to Very High, but that doesn’t feel like something Don would do.)

  • Don moves to the east building. It’s empty (eight of hearts).
  • Southeast building: Ace of clubs, locked and barricaded.
  • Southwest building: Nine of hearts, empty.
  • West building: Four of hearts, empty.
  • North-west building: Seven of clubs, empty.

The cleared board looks like this:

End of Z+33: A successful day.

Don now has ammo level High and 8 days of food (starts with four, consumes two – one per map – and finds six).

GM Notes

Those two sessions took about half an hour to play and write up, so as expected the Quick Encounters version is much faster. Not as much fun as the map and figures approach, but simple enough that I can use some notepaper and the dice and cards apps on my phone to play if a tabletop game is not an option.

I’m tempted to Savage the 5150 universe and put Arion back into it using some similar rulings, but one solitaire campaign at a time is enough, I feel, so I’ll park this now until the current season of the Arioniad wraps up, and decide what to pursue later.

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