Having finished up my Pitchcar connector track, I was free to start up my Dropzone Commander building base project.  I had already made the prototype in CAD and then I set the tool pathing so it was ready to try it out.

Fresh off my success with the Pitchcar piece, I had high hopes for this to be quick as well. Unfortunately, it was not quick.  The “roughing” alone on the mill job ended up running almost two hours and had a static shock snafu that forced a reboot.  Since I never connected my homing switches, re-aligning the tool perfectly didn’t happen but I figured with it being a prototype, it should work out well enough.

Things are a bit rough but aside from some weird errors, it looked like it would do ok, even if it didn’t look the best.

Nope. The edges were too big to fit the building under so I’ll need to resize the CAD and come back.

The little mini building didn’t fit either so both options were a bust.  Ah well.  I should have known I wouldn’t get lucky on the first try as my Pitchcar pieces usually took two trials to get it down correctly.  This project will be no exception.

Unrelated but of even more concern, my machine is acting a bit funny by trying to drive into the stock when it starts the path program and right after it completes.  It must be a setting or file command that I didn’t setup correctly.  I’ll have to compare some files to see what code I trying to bury my mill bits randomly into the stock.

This past weekend wasn’t all CNC work though as we were able to drop another seasonally thematic game to the table: Last Night on Earth.  We haven’t played this one in a while but a friend dropped off an old copy of Mall Madness and we decided to try out the fan-made variant that links the Mall Madness board with the Last Night on Earth module boards to make one massive variant in the style of Dawn of the Dead.

The variant is really well done with a lot of thematic rules and nice blending of the two board layouts.  The goal is to get seven supply counters from the mall back to your truck and get out of town before three of your heroes die or the round counter reaches round 20.

Some initial feedback said the variant seemed to favor the zombies but we still thought we could power through.  The game went very smoothly and we decided to not bog down the game trying to figure out the edge cases.  Flying Frog seems to have rulebook issues where the complicated interactions never really resolve through any of the rules listed and you have to infer or try to find the resolution online.  Since the game is otherwise pretty simple, getting lost in the weeds really kills a lot of their games so we’ve found that just deciding on something and moving on usually works best.

Our heroes sucked in this one.  We struggled to find good items and when we did, those sneaky zombie players would play a card to wipe it out.  We also lost a lot of critical fights as the zombie players kept rolling hot.  Finally, we messed up a bit by keeping our heroes split up, trying to do too many things at once and it made it easy for the zombies to pick off a lone hero that wandered too far away.

Zombie Johnny ended up killing our third hero and ending our failed supply run.  It was great to see the game hit the table again and the Mall really added to the flavor and scenario.

Unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of fan-made content I’ve seen, it didn’t seem particularly well balanced.  The Last Night on Earth rules offer several ways to add new rules to the game and even does a good job at ranking the add-ons so you can see how much it may affect the game balance and compensate accordingly.  This scenario seemed to take a lot of the zombie add-ons but not compensate the heroes very much to balance it out.  There was also an interesting rule that the variant added where the zombies move 3 spaces in the mall (normally they move 1).  Since there was no change to the hero speed (still rolled a d6 for movement), it seemed odd to give them such a big advantage.

If we do it again, we’ll drop the extra speed to two spaces and give the heroes 1d6+1.  We’ll also look at the add-ons to see if we can’t balance up the hero side a bit more. Still, the mall board works very well and I’m looking forward to trying it again.