New Year’s Eve Gaming With the HAWKs

Chris Palmer    As has become the tradition, Buck Surdu and his wife hosted a gaming New Year’s Party for the HAWKs on December 31st.  Things kicked off at 3:00PM, and we played 2 games before the Times Square ball fell at midnight.

A view of the table.  

  I ran the first game, entitled “A Zombie Christmas Story”, using GASLIGHT rules.  This game set the classic Holiday movie “A Christmas Story”, against the background of a Zombie Apocalypse (Brought on by Soap Poisoning in the water supply, of course!)

The staff of the Chinese Restaurant face off against a lone Zombie early in the game.  

 Each play controlled a 4-man group consisting of characters from the movie.  These groups were then divided up into two teams.  The fist team consisted of:    Ralphie and Family, Flick & Schwartz, and the Warren G Harding Elementary School Kids, the Police Department, the Fie Department, and Miss Shields & WGHES Faculty.  The other team was made op of:  the Bumpuses, Black Bart & his Gang, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill & the Bullies, Higbee’s Santa & Elves, and the Staff of the Chinese Restaurant.

The Miss Shields and the Teachers scuffle with Scut Farkus’ Bullies over ownership of the Pink Bunny Slippers. 

   The goal for each side was to gather the most “Supply” tokens, which were randomly scattered on the table, and get them back to their headquarters; all the while battling Zombies.  The “Supply” tokens consisted of: The Leg Lamp, The Fra-Gee-Lay Crate, Pink Bunny Slippers, Red Ryder BB Gun, the Old Man’s Turkey, and lastly a Can of Simonize with a Blue Bowling Ball.  Each team’s Headquarters was located at an opposite end of the table.  For the first team it was the Parker House, and for the second team it was a Garage.

The Bumpuses, trying to flee in their old car, send their Hounds after some approaching Zombies in an attempt to buy some time. 

     The two teams were allowed to Scuffle with each other, with a failed Save resulting in the figure becoming Stunned and knocked down for a turn, but not killed.  When fighting Zombies, of course, deadly force could be used.

The Fire Department battles the Department Store Elves for ownership of the Fra-Gee-Lay Crate; while in the background Ralphie and his Family battle Zombies for the Pink Bunny Slippers..

The game turned out to be rather bloody, with the Teachers, Bullies, Chinese Restaurant Staff, Fire Department, and School Kids, all being eliminated one by one during the course of the game.  Most of the other teams were reduced to only one figure by the end.   Many multi-sided skirmishes developed over the tokens with Zombies thrown in for good measure.

Ma Bumpus, the lone Bumpus survivor, spent all game trying to get their jalopy started to escape, all the while fighting off Zombies.  She succeeded finally in the last few turns of the game to get the car going; driving off into the sunset with a string of hungry Zeds trailing behind.
        In the end, the Bumpus-led team was able to get the Leg Lamp and the Turkey to their headquarters.  The Can of Simonize & Blue Ball were close to the garage, but the person carrying it died before getting in to safety.   One of the Department Store Elves had the Fra-Gee-Lay Crate, but was not  close to the Garage. The Ralphie-led side was unable to recover any of the Supply tokens back to their Headquarters; though at game’s end Ralphie’s Mom did have possession of the Slippers, and the Police Captain had the BB Gun.
   The game was a ton of fun to run, and the players all seemed to enjoy it as well.
A Policeman, a Fireman, and Ralphie’s Mom battle Zombies and Elves for possession of the BB Gun. Meanwhile, in the background, Ralphie holds his own against a horde of Zombies, uttering a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing as he goes.
    After my game, Buck ran a Pulp Sci-Fi game using his “Combat Parol” rules.  This scenario featured an assortment of Aliens invading a small Midwest town in 1948.  The town is being defended by the US Army, and the Aliens  needed to cross the length of the table in order to secure a special part of a wrecked spaceship at the far end of the table. 
Alien forces deploy on the outskirts of Granville, USA

     I was part of the Army defenders, and we started  in a more rural area of the town by a Drive-In theatre.  As a team we decided our best move was to deploy as far forward as we could to keep the Aliens as far from their objective as possible.    So we immediately marched further into the town, with my squads being located on our right flank.

GIs move forward into town and attempt to find cover, as the Alien tanks advance.

     We didn’t get far before we came into range of the Alien tank guns, and had to scramble into the buildings. There we waited for the Alien foot troops to arrive, as our tanks dueled with the enemy’s

An overview of the Alien game.  US Tanks are just entering from the bottom of the photo.

     Unfortunately, the long range fire of the Aliens tanks proved better than ours.  Combined with some lucky hits, and unlucky misses on our part, we began to lose tanks one by one. 

I used one of my squads to drive some of the cars from the Drive-In into a couple of the streets in an attempt to block them.

     As the Alien infantry arrived, we quickly realized the orientation of the buildings along the main streets left us with very poor choices for firing position.    This combined with the fact I was facing squads of 8 ft tall super strong Aliens (Over twice the Endurance of us GIs) on my front, meant I was quickly worn down.

My troops (in the grey building on the left) try to hold out against overwhelming odds.

   We were able to do better against the weaker worm-like Alien creatures on our left, but the Aliens concentrated their Armor there, and were able to do severe damage. 
     In the end, the aliens were able to push one of their tanks through our line, and reached the objective, securing it for the victory.    It was a great fight, and we all had fun.

A lone Alien tank makes it to the objective (The glowing reactor in the center foreground), sealing a victory for the Aliens.

   The game ended around 11:30, giving us time to get a good start on packing everything up, before toasting the New Year at midnight.   It was certainly a great way for a group of gamers to usher in 2019.

After the game we watched the Times Square ball drop,  and toasted the New Year with champagne
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via One More Gaming Project http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2019/01/new-years-eve-gaming-with-hawks.html
from Tumblr http://harfordhawks.tumblr.com/post/181885717473
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