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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » Rules

Subject: The splitting rule. Do you house rule it? rss

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Rune Ørum
Denmark
Aarhus
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I love everything about the way these rules have been tweaked, from the previous Zombicides.

BUT every time I have to teach the splitting rule i just start to cringe when players ask why it is there. It really makes no sense to them (or me).

Why not just decide which group gets the uneven Zombie?

The extra "layer of strategy" that this rule supposedly entails just feels so thematically out of place, and does not really add to the FUN of chasing/running around the map without having to worry about packs of zombies with an uneven number in them. It's really just a mathematical meta rule that is in the way.

- "Hey Clovis! Move a little to the left, otherwise those fatties down the road will magically clone themselves if they cant split up their group into even numbers."

Anyway, do you guys have any good hose rules I might consider thumbsup

Ps. I like the IDEA of zombies splitting up. But wouldn't it be much cooler if there was a dice the Necromancer had to roll each time he activated, and if it was perhaps a 6 then he cloned one or two of the zombies in his space that turn devil
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Carlos Gesser
Brazil
Florianópolis
SC
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In our group we do not add new zombies when splitting. If we need to split a group of zombies and 1 get left, we put it on one group or another randomly, by playing a die. Or if one of the paths passes close to a group of survivors, we choose that path.
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Conan Meriadoc
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The thing is, without the rule, the game turns into an optimization / metagaming problem where you take bad decisions for the zombies - "let's move this fatty this way so it doesn't get in the way, and split that 3-walker group 2 here, 1 there, since we can take on the group of 2.".

I'm not saying the rule is a good implementation to solve this: it feels unnatural to just pop a new zombie, especially with groups of one, and playing to avoid the split is as much metagaming as the decision-making process was.

However, its main goal stands : reduce decision points for the players when it comes to the zombie horde.

A few house-ruling possibilities :

- Random move (Dice roll decides direction of extra figure):
Not good. A zombie could run one way then the other on successive activations, which doesn't feel very threatening.

- Closest survivors :
Not good. Doesn't cover all cases, even though it does the job when it works.

- Compass Priority:
When there is a choice, uneven zombies always move towards an arbitrary North if it's one of the target destinations. If it's not, they try to go East, South, West, in that order. Groups still split, but you don't pop extras.
Not good either : Can be gamed, unnatural (never moving diagonally towards survivors). Even though gameplay-wise, the diagonal isn't a shorter path than moving around an angle, it still feels like it should.

- Varying Compass Priority.
Use an arrow token (anything . Each game turn, turn in 90° counterclockwise so it points North, then West, then South, then East, then North Again. Use this direction as a priority when a zombie direction choice arises, if it's not one of the target zones try the next direction clockwise, same as Compass Priority.
=> can still be gamed a bit, but feels more natural (zombies take diagonals).


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Rune Ørum
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Quote:
The thing is, without the rule, the game turns into an optimization / metagaming problem where you take bad decisions for the zombies


That is actually a good explanation at least Thanks for that.

I like the idea of simply choosing randomly, there are many other occasions in the game where zombies will run one way and then straight back again. They are zombies so you at least can't argue that i doesn't make thematic sense

EDIT: I have the 1st player coin from kickstarter. We could just flip that!

I am still quite keen on my zombie cloning necromancer idea. It gives him something to do while walking slowly towards the exit. I shall have to gametest this at some point.
 
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Alexander
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you do not split Abominations or Necromancers either. why don't you have a problem with that?

Actually it seems unthematic to split Zombies at all. in Zombie Movies the horde always goes one direction. if one goes one direction, all others follow. just by the way.

However, I still play by the standard rules. it does not occur that often anyway.
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Andreas
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Actually the splitting just adds a bit of Fog of War. You never know how many Zombies really are waiting behind that corner. The survivors do have too much infomation on the situation anyway...
(SpaceHulk actually has this nice blip mechanism. You know there is something, but you do not know how many of them. Would be nice for Z:BP too..)
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C M
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Watch some B zombie movies. The number of zombies in a group magically changing every time they cut away and back it pretty standard.
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Conan Meriadoc
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I don't think the OP's issue is with the number of zombies magically changing, but the fact that you can play around it and decide on your actions based on that fact: "Don't make noise here, they're going to split !"



 
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Brian
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I always consider splitting the same as drawing an Aaaahhhh!!!! Card... The zombies stumbled across a 'sleeping' (hibernating?) zombie and woke it up.

Black plague's board is designed to prevent it from happening though so we never considered house ruling it... We act to prevent it less then once a game usually. YMMV.
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Terence Lee
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xavierjackson wrote:

EDIT: I have the 1st player coin from kickstarter. We could just flip that!


This gave me an idea too. Just move the zombies in question towards the player with the 1st player token. Makes it simple so you don't have to roll a die, flip a coin, etc. Simple, no brainer, and don't have to split the zombies.
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Jorgen Peddersen
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tlee33 wrote:
xavierjackson wrote:

EDIT: I have the 1st player coin from kickstarter. We could just flip that!


This gave me an idea too. Just move the zombies in question towards the player with the 1st player token. Makes it simple so you don't have to roll a die, flip a coin, etc. Simple, no brainer, and don't have to split the zombies.

Except when that player controls multiple Survivors, or the Survivor in question was in the Zone the Zombies were splitting to try to reach...
 
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Gaius Cordovan
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we house rule: roll a die/flip a coin for left or right. done.
 
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Eric Harman
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Nope, I play it as written. My justification has always been, the characters miscounted.
Simple, and it's not like they're actually taking the time to count every zombie in the horde.
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Rune Ørum
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Quote:
My justification has always been, the characters miscounted.


LOL! Sure that will work too But how did they miscount one single fatty?

We have decided on a simple flip of the coin each time it happens. It is in tune with the rest of the games simplicity, and the way we wanna play.

Lots of good suggestions here though! Keep them coming if you have more.
 
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Max Maloney
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I love the splitting rules.

Gameplay-wise, it prevents weird gaming of the system that would make the game too easy.

Theme-wise, it's easy for me to imagine another zombie crawling up from sewers, or falling out of a second-story window, or just waking up from being freshly-killed hours before. There are plenty of times in zombie moves that unexpected zombies show up from nowhere. This fits right in.
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QorDaq H'Nter
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The two rules that really felt "Odd" to me with Modern when I first started playing, were Splitting and targeting friendlies over Zs.

I understand the function of both.

Very early on we house ruled only targeting friendlies on misses. So I was happy to see that change made to Z:BP.

Splitting I have come to appreciate, and would now miss if it were removed.

 
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Brad Willo
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Just think of the 'add zombie' when splitting as just another spawning mechanic.
 
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Emivaldo Sousa
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LX1986 wrote:
you do not split Abominations or Necromancers either. why don't you have a problem with that?

Actually it seems unthematic to split Zombies at all. in Zombie Movies the horde always goes one direction. if one goes one direction, all others follow. just by the way.

However, I still play by the standard rules. it does not occur that often anyway.


Unless you are playing with crows, which split every other turn
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Eric Harman
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xavierjackson wrote:
Quote:
My justification has always been, the characters miscounted.


LOL! Sure that will work too But how did they miscount one single fatty?


Because of the 20 walkers between you and the fatty. :-)
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Bone White
United Kingdom
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If you weren't supposed to consciously control the hordes then the action to simply create noise would not be there.

So no, we abuse the hell out of this as intelligent humans vs unintelligent hordes.
 
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Bone White wrote:
If you weren't supposed to consciously control the hordes then the action to simply create noise would not be there.

So no, we abuse the hell out of this as intelligent humans vs unintelligent hordes.


Sorry, but that's bullshit. Are you really comparing an action a survivor can do with game mechanics of zombie movement, i.e., the enemy AI?

I personally cringe every time the survivors can choose the path of zombies, when the AI fails to resolve the move completely and have so far always ruled for something else than meta gaming...
 
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Chuck Hurd
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Dormammu wrote:
I love the splitting rules.

Gameplay-wise, it prevents weird gaming of the system that would make the game too easy.

Theme-wise, it's easy for me to imagine another zombie crawling up from sewers, or falling out of a second-story window, or just waking up from being freshly-killed hours before. There are plenty of times in zombie moves that unexpected zombies show up from nowhere. This fits right in.

This N
For me it's a question of game balance. The game was developed and playtested with the mechanic in place. It's there for a reason. Without it you have something missing in game balance. Thematically, I don't have any trouble with the survivors not knowing exactly what's around the corner and can easily envision dormant Zs being woken up and dragged along...or Zs just coming out of the woodwork.
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