Saturday, February 18, 2012

Battleground Weird WWII: Zombies

Notes:  You can use these rules loosely on just about any system by just modifying it to the rules you use but to get the most out of them you need to get the Battleground WWII core rule set to appreciate their true genius.  Watch your ass cuz them zeds are hungry!
Zombie Apocalypse:  The zombie apocalypse began on 1/1/1945 at exactly 12:01 AM.  The undead have been witnessed on every continent and country across the globe.  Zombies have only one motivation, to feed on any and all living mammals that they can.
Zombie Types:  There are two types of Zombies within Battleground Weird WWII: the Recently Deceased (RD) and the Decaying Dead (DD).  RDs have only been dead for a short period of time and can look very human if they haven’t sustained noticeable damage.  These zombies are as fast as their human counterparts and are extremely dangerous as they can run to overtake their targets without tiring or in fear of injury.  These zombies are very deceiving as they are hard to differentiate between the living and dead whilst on the battlefield, causing terrifying results.  DDs are those zombies that have been dead for some time or have sustained substantial damage during their time alive or after their turning.  These zombies often show rotting features and have limited function of their body due to decay or trauma.  A vigilant person can easily outmaneuver small numbers of DDs but when in large groups they make a terrifying obstacle.  DDs move in a very slow, lumbering manner as their bodies break down.  As they rot, DDs carry deadly diseases that can spread to their living counterparts if not dealt with carefully.
Zombie Profile:  Zombies do not have a said Morale, as they will never break, but will use their Decay Factor when making Skill Checks and when attempting to perform some sort of action other than moving.  The Decay Factor represents the zombie’s strength, ability and motivation to perform some sort of action like bashing down a door or smashing through a window to get to their target.  Neither zombie type will ever make Morale Checks, Gut Checks, be Broken or need to Rally.  Zombies will never become heroes or cowards.  Zombies are considered to be Fanatics and will act as such at all times.  Zombies will never use weapons or equipment in any meaningful manner but can sometimes be seen grasping items.  Even though they posses these items, zombies will not know how to use them properly but could accidentally fire a weapon in their hand or press a button that could activate some kind of event.  For situations like this, the BM will make the call to see if the zombie does something with the item in their hand or Commanders can make a random roll each action the zombie moves to see if something happens.  The only time a zombie will be knocked Prone is if they are knocked down in close combat, when receiving a Gory Death or under a blast template of some kind.  Zombies have no fear whatsoever!

Decay Factor

Zombie Type

Decay Factor

Recently Deceased
Decaying Dead

When zombies attempt to do something other than move or eat, they must make a successful Decay Factor roll to do so.  For example, a zombie follows a woman to a house where she has taken refuge.  The woman has locked the door behind her just before the zombie reaches her.  The zombie then senses its meal and begins to pound away at the door to get to her.  Since the zombie is a RD, it has a Decay Factor of 18 representing that it is newly turned and has somewhat normal human physical attributes.  The zombie must pass a ¼ Decay Factor roll to bash in the door and rolls a 3.  The roll is successful and the zombie has managed to bash in the door enough to move into the house and get a bite to eat.  Zombies that attempt to perform the same action at the same location will receive a bonus as multiple zombies are assisting in the action.  If the roll is unsuccessful, the zombie cannot perform the action but may make as many tests as it has actions.  Zombies receive an additional –1 to their Decay Factor roll for every other zombie within base to base contact with the location in question.

Example of Zombie Actions Against Their Decay Factor

Attempted Action

Decay Factor

Breaking down an average interior door
½ Decay Factor
Breaking down an average exterior door
¼ Decay Factor
Smashing an average window
Decay Factor
Knocking down an average wooden fence
¼ Decay Factor

Supernatural Phase
:  Zombies take all their actions in the Supernatural Phase.
Zombie Senses and Sighting Checks:  Both zombie types have a supernatural Zombie Sense that allows the zombie to detect any living mammal within 15”, even if they are not in line-of-sight or have been spotted using the Sighting Chart.  This includes any living mammal, whether it is in a building, vehicle, concrete bunker, flying or under water; a zombie will sense it and try to get to it and feed.  RDs may make normal Sighting Checks due to their eyes being more functional or even still present.  RDs do suffer a +2 column shift on the Sighting Chart due to their degrading human senses however.  RDs will also see light at night as listed below and will always move their maximum movement towards a light source at night to see if it is food.  DDs will never take Sight Checks and only hunt by their Zombie Sense.
RD Night Sighting

Light Source


Pistol/SMG/All Rifle Types/Mortar
All Machine Gun Types/ Auto-cannons
Main Gun/Rocket Launchers
Grenade/Rifle Grenade/Mine Blast
Artillery Blast
Full Headlights
Blackout Headlights
Flashlights/Matches/Small Fires
Street Lights/Light from inside Buildings

Zombie Hearing:  RDs still have limited use of their ears and will hear any movement up to the amount moved in inches each action taken.  For example, a Puma armored car moves 10” down the road and may be heard out to 10” away.  The chart below will also show the distance in inches a RD will hear each category.  RDs will always move their maximum movement towards a noise they hear to see if it is food. 

RD Hearing

Noise Type

Hearing Distance

Rocket Launcher
Main Gun
Grenade/Rifle Grenade/Mine Blast
Artillery Blast
Starting Engine
Engine Idling

Zombie Actions:  Zombies rise and go Prone as normal.  RDs have 2 actions per turn and may move up to 6” and may crawl at 3” per action.  DDs only have 1 action per turn and may move up to D6” and crawl at a D3”.  Zombies may perform other actions like smashing in a window or break down a fence by passing their modified Decay Factor.  Zombies suffer all terrain penalties as normal.
Random Zombie Movement: All zombie-types that have not detected a living target will move randomly until they acquire a target or move off the battlefield.  Roll the Scatter Dice and a D6, the arrow will show the direction in which the zombie will move and the D6 result is how many inches they move.  Both zombie-types will move the shortest direction to their target.  Zombies will move through fire, water, or any other type of extreme if it is the shortest path to their target and will take any damage as normal for doing so.
Zombies in Close Combat:  Anytime a zombie is in base-to-base contact with a living mammal it will attempt to attack it and feed.  RDs fight with a +2 modifier while DDs fight with a +6 modifier to their close combat dice roll.  These modifiers represent a zombie’s impaired skills and untrained ability to fight due to their loss of any previous training or loss of bodily functions.  All normal close combat modifiers apply.  Any human fighting against a zombie will suffer a +2 modifier to their roll due to the terror of their opponent.  If the living target wins then the zombie is pushed 1” away.  If the living opponent wins by 10 then the zombie is pushed prone 1” away.  If a living opponent wins by 15 or more it will result in the zombie sustaining a Gory Death result.  However, this does not mean that the zombie is dead but just unable to move to attack.  Any living mammal that comes into base-to-base combat with an immobile zombie will be attacked by that zombie but the zombie will suffer a +10 modifier to its close combat dice roll.  If the living opponent wins they will move 1 action away from the zombie immediately.  Whenever a zombie wins in close combat it will feed on the target just killed as described below.  Animals that are attacked by zombies gain no modifiers so if they win they move a full action away immediately but if they fail they will be killed and eaten.

Zombie Close Combat Modifiers

Recently Deceased Zombie
Decaying Dead Zombie
Immobile Zombie
Living Opponent Against Zed

Feeding:  Whenever a zombie wins in close combat or encounters a dead unturned mammal corpse, they will feed on it.  Each zombie will feed a number of actions listed on the Flesh Chart per corpse.  Each corpse will only have so much flesh to eat until it is passed up by the undead.  This represents the amount of fresh flesh that a corpse has before it is no longer found appealing by the living dead.  Roll on the Flesh Chart every time a zombie kills something or a zombie encounters an unturned corpse.  Once the roll is made, this number is the number of actions a zombie will spend feeding on the corpse’s flesh.  Multiple zombies can feast on the same corpse up to the total actions rolled.  For example, a zombie kills a GI in close combat then a D20 is rolled on the Flesh Chart.  A score of 10 is rolled and it is this many actions that the zombie that killed him must feed before it moves on.  If another zombie moves in base-to-base with the corpse still being fed upon, it will feast on it too.  Both zombies are DDs so it will take both zombies 5 turns to finish eating before they move on for fresher game.  Note the bigger the corpse the more flesh there is to eat so a horse would more than likely have more flesh to be eaten than a man would and the chart represents this by the dice rolled.  Corpses that have been fed on the total actions rolled will never return but if the number of actions rolled is not finished they will return as a DD.  The number of zombies feeding on one corpse is also listed so only a few zombies can feast on a single man but many can feast on a dead horse or cow.  Always mark any dead mammal corpses with the appropriate Fresh Flesh marker no matter whose piece it might be or how it died.

Flesh Chart

Corpse Type
Actions of Flesh
Max. Zombies per Corpse
< Human-Sized
> Hippo/Elephant-Sized

Non-Mammal Flesh: It is not known why but all zombies will ignore any creature that is not a mammal.  This includes humans that have mutated characteristics like fight, super strength or the ability to manipulate things with their minds.  This includes both mammals that were born with these characteristics or have been manipulated by either science and some other unforeseen force that gives them their powers.  The undead seem to only prefer the flesh of mammals and will ignore all others no matter the situation.
It Ain’t Dying!:  Zombies can never be killed unless they are completely obliterated or possess no flesh on their bones.  This makes zombies incredibly dangerous and hard to stop.  The most common way to stop a zombie is to damage it so much that it can no longer move or feed.  This is by blowing off its legs, severing its spine or even decapitating it.  To incapacitate a zombie it must first sustain 2 Gory Death results.  This represents the damage and carnage wrought on their body to make it immobile and crippled.  All wounds are accumulative as represented in the Accumulative Wound Chart below.  Once a RD sustains a Gory Death it will then become a DD.  Remember, even if a zombie goes down and cannot move it is still undead and will attack as described in the Zombie Close Combat section any living mammal that moves in base-to-base contact with it.  All zombies must be marked with the appropriate Zombie Profile marker no matter whose piece it may be.
Accumulative Wound Chart
2 Light Wounds = 1 Heavy Wound
2 Heavy Wounds = 1 Killed in Action
2 Killed in Actions = 1 Gory Death

The Turning:  Any human that is killed in any way will turn into a zombie in D20 turns after their death.  Only humans that sustain a KIA will return as a RD.  Humans that suffer a Gory Death will return as a DD.  Once these dead return they will act under all Zombie rules.  Humans that find themselves having to fight someone they knew alive previously must pass a ½ Morale Check to do so.  If passed they can do whatever they please but if they fail they will suffer a +3 to all rolls against this zombie for the duration of the battle.  This is only done once per battle in cases of campaign scenarios.  Humans are the only creatures that will return in this way in battles of Battleground Weird WWII.
Zombie Effects on the Living:  Zombies are terrifying and deadly creatures.  Their combined appearance, moaning and smell make them a true terror to behold on the battlefield and can break the strongest veteran’s mettle.  Even animals fear these creatures as they can sense their unnatural presence and will make them flee as fast as they can.  Because of the nature of these creatures, they will negatively affect the living if they are encountered.  Any untrained animal within 15” of a zombie will move its full movement to try and escape.  Humans that sight a zombie must pass a Morale Check to move closer to it.  If passed, they may move but if failed they will not move any closer.  If a comrade, family member or friend within a group of people turns, that group must make a Morale Check.  If passed, they act as they want but if they fail they will all break and run an action of movement to get away from the zombie.  All humans fighting a zombie in close combat will suffer a +2 to their dice score.  If a living person needs to search an immobile zombie for equipment, papers, weapons or anything else it may have on its person, they must pass a ½ Gut Check to do so.  If playing a campaign remember that extended exposure to the living dead can cause disease as well as break down a unit’s morale.  It is not known how long the undead can survive but it is known that their lust for flesh can never be satisfied.

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