Rebuild is a game by Sarah Northway. It’s best described as a survival sim and it’s done in the after action report style. Meaning you assign people to tasks that have chances of success or failure, then when you are done the game calculates the results and gives them back to you. In Rebuild, each turn is a day. But enough about that… this game is about zombies, and the story goes like this:
It all started in Holland…
The media called it the Dutch Flu, and connected it to some kind of weird tulip eating cult. The Netherlands used to export a quarter of the world’s tomatoes and cucumbers, but that wasn’t all. They were exporting the undead. Armageddon.
During that first year, survivors banded together to fend off the zombies, always staying on the movie and never looking back. But we’re not going to run any more. We’re putting out feet down here and we’re going to reclaim this place in the name of Humanity. Today… we begin to rebuild.
But I’m not just here to tell you about a nifty game. I’m a writer… I’m here to tell you a story. So what follows in this post, and for the rest of this series, is a narrative of the plight of Kingston Falls, a 10×10 city in Rebuild on the Nightmare difficulty level.
Jason watched as Bruce Collins secured the last piece of the fence. Jason had convinced them to stop running, to try to make a safe place to fight back against the shambling husks. And it began in a police station and then spread to two small neighborhoods and a field they were already working to grow food in.
“You know,” Bruce said, “running was a lot safer than this.”
“Sure. But it also kept us on edge all the time. Perhaps behind a secure fence we can relax a little.”
“Relaxing gets you dead.”
“I did say ‘a little’.” Jason turned and headed back toward the police station. Bruce trailed behind him. Along the way they ran into others, everyone heading toward the meeting Jason had called. Inside, they all took seats and sat silently for a while.
“Who’s on the wall?”
Jason didn’t see who asked it, but he ticked off the names aloud anyway. “Gray, Candy and Superman.” The soldier already had that nickname when Jason had met him, but he’d seen enough action out of the man to know the guy deserved it. Lately he’d taken to watch duty. They called it ‘sitting the wall’ but in reality they were on roof tops. Superman was up on the police station now, along with Candy.Â Gray was out on one of the houses, which was just as well since the scientist’s talking to himself made everyone a little uneasy. They were all a little stressed and tired, run down, but Gray might just be full-blown crazy.
The room fell to silence again. Ever since the decision had been made to stand some ground, the whole group had been looking to Jason for orders. “Eric,” he said at last, “you and Tom, grab some sacks and see if you can scrounge up some more food from that other field just south of the wall. Take Private Walker with you.” The three of them nodded. “Bruce, if you’re up to it, I want you to go outside the fence, north-west, and check out the warehouse we can see from the roof.”
“Aye aye.” Bruce tapped his fingers to his brow in salute.
“Cut that out.” Bruce smirked back at Jason. “Johnny, you know this town, right?”
Johnny was a skinny kid. He’d probably be in high school if not for the end of the world. “Yeah.”
“You know the hospital to the south-east at all?”
“I’ve been there once. A long time ago.”
“Well, I’d like you to go check the place out and see what you can find. Eventually I want to move the fence to include it. A lot of that equipment could be useful.”Â Johnny gave a half nod and hung his head. It was clear to everyone that he didn’t want to go outside.Â “That just leaves me and Private Kane. We’ll be looking in on the apartment building to the north. I think I saw some people in there.”
“Might be zeds,” Kane blurted out.
“That’s why you are going with me. You and that M-16.” Kane smiled from ear to ear. “Anyone got anything else to add? No? Well then, everyone has a job to do, so let’s do it.”