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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » General

Subject: Black Plague vs D&D rss

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danutzek danutzek
Romania
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Hello !

Should I buy this game if I already own D&D Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft? I know that they are different games,but I would like to know if Black Plague will bring something new to the table,or it will be the same old "move,kill,get a treasure or encounter".

Thank you !
 
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Jack
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It brings something different to the table, for sure. I love the zombie management that you need to do to keep things from getting out of control. The spawn cards can throw your plans into disarray. The Necromancer adds another level of threat. Really good stuff. I've played one of the D&D board games and I don't ever need to play any of them again.
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Dillon Flaherty
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Having played a lot of dungeon crawlers, I would say that the D&D adventure games and Zombicide do share some qualities. The primary one is just how easy it is to get them up and running, and they don't feature campaign persistence (CR and WoA do not, although WoA sort-of has a "campaign")

Where Zombicide is different (in a good way) is the complete lack of the obnoxious Encounter cards from the D&D games that act as a forced timer. Instead the game more elegantly escalates difficulty over time because you'll be killing Zombies - which makes XP go up, and puts harder/more zombies on the board. There's also just a ton of enemies to fight and you can get into some really crazy brawls. Also, Black Plague fixed the ridiculously obnoxious friendly fire rule from the original Zombicide and also made a great decision by having wounds be represented by health instead of clogging up an already small hand size.

There are some downsides to this too, though. The leveling system in Zombicide pretty much guides players into doing their best to game the system and in many cases actively try not to kill or get XP because you don't want one person too far ahead. (Zombie strength affected by the highest XP player only) This always seemed pretty un-fun to me, having to pull back or run away, and somewhat punishing performance. It does create interesting gameplay, though.

For me, the much bigger downside is the reliance on finding one or two specific items in the search deck to actually kill the Abomination zombies. Sure, there are some characters that can end up doing this naturally, but using them almost feels like cheating because of it. The result is that plenty of time is spent just searching through a deck of items that offers nothing more (after a certain point of equipping) than the potential to kill the big guy - who could spawn right back a few turns later.

The expansion offers some items that help alleviate this a bit, but it's really lame that there weren't more options available in the base game to kill abominations. Spending time searching the deck for two items to pull it off isn't fun. Still, having some "fixes" in the expansion helps!

There's a lot to like about Zombicide: Black Plague, though! As much as I dislike those two drawbacks, I think I still prefer it over the Encounter cards constantly popping up in D&D!
 
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Jack
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And I find having an Abom on the board that you can't kill and have to actively avoid until you find the right item as being a big positive.
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Chuck Hurd
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senorcoo wrote:
And I find having an Abom on the board that you can't kill and have to actively avoid until you find the right item as being a big positive.

Agreed. He is a danger management mechanic that the survivors must work around or deal with while trying to accomplish their overall mission. It can present quite a challenge.
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Tristan Hall
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Carcking wrote:
senorcoo wrote:
And I find having an Abom on the board that you can't kill and have to actively avoid until you find the right item as being a big positive.

Agreed. He is a danger management mechanic that the survivors must work around or deal with while trying to accomplish their overall mission. It can present quite a challenge.


Unless you have LEEROY JENKINS REDCAP ROONEY!!
And a starting hammer.
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QorDaq H'Nter
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danutzek wrote:
Hello !

Should I buy this game if I already own D&D Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft? I know that they are different games,but I would like to know if Black Plague will bring something new to the table,or it will be the same old "move,kill,get a treasure or encounter".

Thank you !


Disclaimer:

I am a big Zcide fan in general. Further, the question posed, and my answer are, both subjective by nature, so take the following with a grain of salt.

/Disclaimer

Overall I feel that Zcide in its various forms, is a really fun system. The pacing is good for the most part, the enemy types are somewhat different, and the map tiles and minis are very cool.

It's also REALLY easy to teach, even to first-time gamers. And this is one of the first major differences in my opinion because, for the most part, I think this is where Zcide shines in many ways. the D&D ABGs are not terribly difficult to learn or teach, but they do come with some baggage in the form of people's preconceptions about what D&D is or isn't. Thus, for new gamers the D&D games can seem like a lot to manage or that D&D is inherently a complex game that only certain "Types" of people play.

In contrast, experienced gamers may feel that the ABGs will not fulfill that RPG itch the way a true/full RPG can.

With Z:BP, (all the Zcide games really), it's an easier sell to everyone because people are expecting a board game. And, at it's core I feel that Zcide games are less Dungeon Crawlers and more Miniature Skirmish games with an RPG-lite theme.

I mentioned earlier that the Zcide game system is fun, and Z:BP more so than the Modern versions in my opinion. I'm not personally a big fan of the D&D ABGs system itself in terms of being fun in it's own right. It's functional but while the game sessions can be fun, the system is not.

However, where D&D outshines Zcide is when it comes to exploration. I find that the D&D ABGs offer a lot more in terms of varied game play through randomized maps and the sheer number of creature, trap, and encounter types that can come up--especially if you own more than one of the games and mix and match some goodies here and there.

Also the player abilities in D&D feel more interactive with the game when compared to Z:BP where most skills and even equipment feel like thinly veiled dice modifiers. Even the "Magical Combat" in Z:BP is not much different than the other ranged combat in the game.

So, in a nut shell, I think that they are different games that scratch slightly different itches. They are both technically crawlers, that rely heavily on random but frequent dice chucking, they are both essentially skirmish games, but the Z:BP system is simpler and more polished, while the D&D may offer more of the RPG-lite goodness that we have all been craving since the days of Hero Quest, and certainly more variety.

If I had to give one up, I'd more easily part with my D&D Board Game collection. Fortunately, so far, I have not had to give one up.

My best advice though, is to ask your gaming group which they would prefer? If they are not sure, maybe check around and see if any local gaming stores and or clubs, are running some Zcide games... Or maybe even try to set one up yourself through your FLGS? If on the other hand you are mostly a solo player, or only play with a family member/ roommate/ etc. then I'd personally say; Z:BP is a better solo game--certainly easier to manage multiple characters with if only because of the dashboards.

But again, everyone's needs, preferences, circumstances, etc. are different so your mileage may vary.

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Luke Jacobs
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I have every D&DAS product + Dungeon Command.
I also have every Zcide modern product released to retail.
I have everything released for Z:BP except for a few artist boxes and Homer.

D&DAS and all the Zcide stuff together make up the bottom two shelves of my main game bookcase.

I play D&DAS when I want:

- To explore, because I love generating the dungeon.
- Grid based combat. Sometimes you just have to move 6 squares and zones just won't do.
- A wide variety of monsters with variance in AI.
- The familiar feel of D&D.
- To look sideways at the encounter deck and judge it harshly.

I play Z:BP when I want:

- To see the entire dungeon at once. Imagine a ceiling on the street zones, and it's a dungeon. It loses exploration, but allows for a more strategic look at the map.
- Something with fast mechanics.
- To control 6 characters by myself, easily.
- To move a ridiculous amount of plastic around the board.
- To deal with a narrow band of monsters in great quantity.
- To justify my KS pledge and all the extras.

D&DAS strategy revolves around protecting the HP resource, controlling the number of monsters versus encounter cards drawn, and choosing which one shot powers to use when.

Z:BP strategy revolves around managing the xp of the characters so that no character gets too far ahead of the others, managing the flow of zombies, planning out the best route to meet the objectives, and figuring out how to deal with that abomination before it gets here in 5 turns.

I love them both.
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Brendan Slade
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I have Castle Ravenloft and I do love playing it but I have found there is a lot more to remember and a lot more going on and it is pretty hard for other people to keep track.

I particularly like in Zombicide you only start off with one weapon whereas in Raveloft I spend forever in the first turn trying to explain the subtle differences between the different cards and what they mean.

Also Ravenloft can be even more bizarrely random than Zombicide. You draw an encounter and bam you are on the other side of the dungeon with three monsters.

Ravenloft generally only has a couple of monsters at a time while Zombicide has hordes of them.

Ravenloft doesn't really allow your characters to become more powerful very well. Zombicide does it brilliantly and with the dashboard easily.

All the monsters have different movement rules in Ravenloft and I spend a lot of time rereading them. In Zombicide all the zombies follow the same pattern so their turn is a lot quicker and simpler.

Zombicide is a lot tighter with wounds. You only have 3 hit points and healing is pretty rare. Ravenloft dishes out a lot of random damage to you but also allows you to heal easier.

Overall i think Zombicide is more tactical and more fun. Ravenloft is still a great game though.
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James J

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The last three replies were chock full of great info. I've played a fair bit of Z:BP (my first foray into Z-cide) and only two games of Drizzt. I completely agree that, at their core, one is a light skirmish game while the other is a light exploration/RPG game. Different flavors. FWIW, I have found it very difficult to muster the motivation to open Drizzt up again, as the systems didn't really gel with me. I found myself having to look up exactly how this monster interacts with this tile and what had to happen to win (etc). Maybe I need to invest more time with it. In contrast, Z:BP was up and running almost immediately, and I've managed to teach it to over a dozen people, all of whom really enjoyed it.

I'm definitely keeping both.
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