Zombie Apocalypse at the Archery Range!

The second of our three annual archery events at OCCS

The event shirt for the inaugural year, 2014!

Running an event revolving around a team archery game went pretty well with the Killer Robot Challenge, so I thought, “Why not make another one?”. And shooting at zombies is a fun thing to do, especially since they were enjoying quite a revival (so to speak) in the public and media consciousness. So I asked, and was given permission by the boss to run another event! This one I scheduled close to Hallowe’en, because it kind of fit the theme and it would be easier to get decorations.

I posted the instructions ahead of time, and played a simplified version of this with my classes leading up to the event, to give people a chance to become familiar with it. Because I wanted it to be interesting and fun, the rules were quite a bit more complex than “shoot the most zombies for points to win”. People signed up as teams of three, and were given their Zombie Hunting license. Teams received additional bonuses for bringing in non-perishable food items for the local food bank. The bonuses would be extra starting supplies or survivors, or the zombies starting further away from them. These are explained when I get to the rules in the next paragraphs.

Like my other event games, this required participants to shoot at multiple targets. On the back wall on the target butt, each team would have a standard target, either 60cm or 40cm depending on the experience level. This target used standard scoring, in that hitting the 3 ring would get you three points, etc. Except they weren’t shooting for points, they were shooting for supplies. Each point scored counted as one supply. At the finish of each end, teams would have to subtract the number of survivors they had (each team started with 25, denoted by happy faces on their score card) from the supply they scored, representing the survivors using up the supplies. If there were more survivors that supply, the difference in survivors need to be crossed off, because they either left due to insufficient supplies, or they weren’t survivors any more. If the team hit a 10 on the target, they could add a survivor to their list. It took a bit of explanation in the first round, but people figured this out pretty quickly.

Here’s what the set up looks like on a portion of the range.

But they also had to contend with the zombies! On a small, moveable target in each team’s lane, they had zombies to shoot! The different zombies (drawn by Bill) were different levels, as indicated by the size of the target circle on them. Novice shooters would have a zombie with a large target area, while more experienced shooters would get the smaller target areas. At the finish of every end, the foam target would move one step closer to the shooting line. The steps were indicated by pylons at the side of the range (I used gravestones as pylons for this event). If a team hit the target area twice in the same end, the zombie would not advance. If they hit it three times, it would move back one step. To make things more challenging for experienced shooters, they had two zombies to hit. So to stop the advance they need to hit each one once, and to push it back, one needed to be hit once and the other twice.

Doesn’t seem too bad so far, right? Collect supplies and hold off the zombies? Well, this is supposed to be an apocalypse, not a picnic, so there’s an added twist to keep the tension up. I created a deck of “event” cards to draw from for a random happening each end. Mixed in were two “Nothing Happens” cards, but most of the time, something happened. We started with cards I printed at home, but after the first two years, got a set professionally printed.

Reading the random event was my favourite part, but not so much everyone else’s.

So how do you win? Well, after about 12 ends, whichever team had the most survivors left was the winner! Since it was possible for teams to run out of survivors, it could also be possible that there was no winner! Every time a zombie target got to the end of the pylons, I would roll a foam 6-sided die to determine how many survivors were eaten before the zombies were fought off and the target was returned to its starting position.
If a team ran out out survivors, either through being eaten, or not enough supply (although it is tough not to shoot enough supply to feed one person), I split them up and assigned them to other teams (usually the teams in the lead), as zombies! They would be shooting against the team they joined. Their arrows canceled out the arrows of that team. For instance, any score the zombie player hit on the target would be deducted from the total supply the team earned that end. If the zombie player shot a zombie in its target area, it would cancel a successful hit by the team. I did this because I wanted it to get more difficult as the game went on, and I didn’t want people to pay for an event and be eliminated from it.

The die of doom! Everyone watched as I rolled this to determine how many survivors a team would lose!

We had some great moments over the years, such as when a team with two survivors left would get overrun by the zombies, and I would roll the die of doom, and it came up a 1, meaning they were still able to continue fighting the zombies!

This was a lot of fun, and we gathered quite a bit of food over the years for the food bank! I hope that some of the participants get to read this and think back about the good times we shared. When it is safe to gather publicly again, it would be great to see events like this happen again. If you run an archery range, and want to purchase the rules and materials to host this event, or even, if you are in the GTA, would like us to come and run this event for you, let us know! We’d be more than happy to do this again!

Stay tuned for the final of our events, the Alien Invasion! That should be up later in the week!

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