Thursday, August 25, 2016

Last Days (Campaigns and things)

Until our favorite game publisher, Ash Barker, releases the rules for Last Days, we really can’t do a full breakdown on warband construction, gear, or the factions.  We just don’t have enough information to give you a full breakdown, but we’re going to make some educated guesses.  

Each of the factions has a limited window of the gear and weapons available in the game.  Police are likely more prone to using handguns and shotguns, whereas the Military guys have access to assault rifles.  The civilian faction has access to crossbows and bows, which gives them access to the only quiet weapons in the game, and I’m sure the zombies have something crafty up their rotted sleeves.  Because each faction has a limited slice of the armory, they by default will play differently because their equipment shapes the way they get involved.  

For Warband construction, i am guessing that the default warband size is 100 points, with the initial equipment, special upgrades and base costs factoring into the total point cost of the character being bought.  Scavenging equipment and leveling up after games will affect your point cost, and highly trained, heavily equipped characters are going to be difficult to replace if you can.  I suspect you have to designate one of your characters as a leader, and it may be the highest point cost guy in your group, or it may come from a special section of the warband description (like an HQ or Hero choice from a different game).

The Factions:  

I thought I heard Ash mention the existence of 5 factions in his opening breakdown, and I’ll cover the four that I think are there, and go into wild speculation about what the last one is.  

Faction 1:  The Cops
    Made up of surviving law enforcement guys from a variety of different branches, jurisdictions and levels of training, the cops are one of the factions featured in Ash’s play through.  Look for cops to have decently high stats, access to mid range guns and equipment, and moderate point costs.  I suspect the cost increases are going to come more from equipment than the baseline stats of the guys.  

Faction 2: The Military
    Surviving soldiers from any branch of a military, these guys have access to a lot of gear and i’m speculating have higher average stats than most other factions.  They’ll have access to the big guns in greater numbers than other factions, and body armor.  I would expect that this faction has a lower model count than most other groups, but offsets it with good stats and gear.  

Faction 3:  Civilians
    These are the average cast of a zombie movie or tv show.  Everyday citizens caught in the struggle to survive the zombies, they use their outside the box thinking and approach to problem solving to deal with the daily struggle of surviving.  I would expect that these folks have lower overall stats (and point costs) than either of the first two groups, and a wildly different gear profile.  This feels like a warband that can drown you in bodies if you aren’t careful, but are not very tough individually.  
Faction 4:  The Zombies
    Not to be confused with the zombies roaming around the board, the Zombie faction will feature a lot of oddball weirdness.  Since most zombies can’t use weapons, i expect to see at least a couple of zombies that can, and probably a couple of other zombie types that can either take control of the NPC zombies or have powers that buff up other zombies around them. They could be a lot of fun, but i would like to see more about them.  

Those are the four factions that we have heard about and can confirm exist, but i will mention the last faction that i thought i heard (and hope Ash corrects me).

Faction 5:  First Responders
    Comprised of Firefighters and EMTs, this faction is iconic of groups that walk into dangerous situations to extract the wounded and the injured from hostilities.  This faction could have access to gear that lets them see through smoke, walk into burning buildings, heal injured units on the table, and i suspect a lot of fire axes.  A mechanic that lets them bring a rescue vehicle into the game would be neat, but i can see how it could be overwhelming on a small table.  

Campaign Play for Last Days

When you’re settling in to play Last Days with you and your friends, you can decide before the game to make it a part of a campaign.  This doesn’t change any of the setup for the game but will add some extra steps after the game has ended.  It could also affect the next scenario you play, depending on the outcome of the game you finished.  This is one of the strengths of playing a campaign, because the linked scenarios will tell a greater story and give you memories (either fond or rage inducing) that you and your friends can share.  There are five steps for resolving a game for campaign play, and they all occur post match

Step 1:  Resolve Injuries
Any model that was removed from the game has to have their injuries checked.  Being removed during game play doesn’t mean the character’s been killed, just that they’ve been impaired to the point they can’t meaningfully contribute to the scenario being played.  For this, roll 2D6 to determine the outcome (double 1s are bad).  This will give you the affected model’s injury for the game.  Some injuries are fatal, but it’s just as possible to be fine for the next game, crippled, blinded, or have some other lingering problem affect your character.  After every injury has been resolved, move on to the next step.
Note:  Injury result 3 is Captured! And determines the next scenario to be played as a rescue mission.  I’m not sure what happens if both players end up with a captured result...

Step 2: Experience points
Every character earns experience points for participating in the game.  (Roll 1D6 to determine how many experience points are earned).  Additionally experience points are awarded for killing the opposition (human or zombies) and interacting with objectives.  After calculating experience points for everyone, move to the next step.

Step 3: Level Up
Depending on the amount of experience points your characters have earned, you can level them up.  Experience point costs for leveling up increase as you level up, so it takes more for a level 3 character to go to level 4 then a level 1 going to level 2.  Leveling up allows you to increase characteristics or acquire new skills.  (these are randomly generated, and if you have excess experience, you can manipulate the roll by burning experience points.)

Step 4: Scavenge Equipment
You can loot equipment and gear from the ruined city around you.  Choose a place from the list of options, and roll some dice.  These dice will determine how much gear you scavenge.  (A D3 per surviving dude in your warband, 2D6/1D6 if you won/lost the previous game, and a couple of other modifiers).  Once you’ve got your total, you can spend your points to pull equipment off of that location’s list.  You will have to roll for rarer items, and it costs scavenge points to attempt to roll for the rare items. Excess points are banked for future expenditures

Step 5 : Hire new guys
This is a guess, but i suspect that there’s a step in this process that lets you hire additional guys for you warband to replace the ones you lost during the game.

Step 6: Recalculate
After you’ve finished your leveling up and your scavenging, calculate your new warband point value to get ready for the next game.  

Again, parts of this are speculation based off of things we’ve heard Ash say, and some educated guesses, but this what we think Last Days campaign play looks like.  That’s all for this week game fans, check back next week to see if we’ve gotten more information out of Ash, or if we’re covering a different game.

Game on, Game Fans

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