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Subject: Some ideas I had (similar to zee parks) for Zpoc rss

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David Bernier
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After a few plays already and not being sure what is "wrong" with the game (wrong is too strong of a word but being a puny french I can't seem to find another word to describe it ) I thought about how could I enhance the game (from my personal POV) and make it a bit better for my group.

So here it goes:

1- Feeding Survivors: Zee had the same idea. What I do now is when I can't feed a Survivor I rotate him/her on it's side. An unfed Survivor cannot participate in the Fortify step of Phase 2 and only receive 1 action during Phase 4 Combat.

If you can't feed that Survivor for a second straight day he returns to the bunker as per the rules.

2- Took from Zee: When a Survivor steps on a Bio/Rad space he'll lose 1 HP as per the rules but you add 1 Bio/Rad token on it's card. On the Feed step of Phase 2 you'll remove 1 HP to your squad per token on a Survivors. All this to simulate a Survivor being disease and getting patched up in the bunker.

***zee's idea was that in order to remove the Bio toekn you have to heal the Survivor with a First Aid card. I really like this idea but i'll wait after a few more plays before adding this. It's a harsh world out there but I want my Survivors to stand a chance to survive

3- Took from Zee too: When you scavenge in Phase 4 and find food, you can feed 1 survivor for 1 action.

4- As per the Zmergency rules: Passing through a yield space cost 2 movement points instead of stopping his move action.

5- Not sure about this one yet: Each squad must start the game with at least 1 Survivor with a Smarts of 2.

6- Not really a variant but I roll for each Survivor in combat, not for each type of weapon (ranged then melee) and I choose my target space for each Survivor for a more realistic feel.


That's a start I think and it helped a bit with the overall enjoyement and immersion of the game (again, for us).

Feel free to try those and add your ideas in here, i'd love to here from you and maybe together we can elevate Zpocalypse to a whole new level cause like I said to Jeff, Zpoc have a strong base and really cool ideas and maybe a simple revision of the rules first would kick his game a bit more towards the top!

I think we're on to something great with this community, cause only real survivors tagged along here
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zee Parks
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Rhezuss wrote:
After a few plays already and not being sure what is "wrong" with the game (wrong is too strong of a word but being a puny french I can't seem to find another word to describe it ) I thought about how could I enhance the game (from my personal POV) and make it a bit better for my group.

So here it goes:

1- Feeding Survivors: Zee had the same idea. What I do now is when I can't feed a Survivor I rotate him/her on it's side. An unfed Survivor cannot participate in the Fortify step of Phase 2 and only receive 1 action during Phase 4 Combat.

If you can't feed that Survivor for a second straight day he returns to the bunker as per the rules.

2- Took from Zee: When a Survivor steps on a Bio/Rad space he'll lose 1 HP as per the rules but you add 1 Bio/Rad token on it's card. On the Feed step of Phase 2 you'll remove 1 HP to your squad per token on a Survivors. All this to simulate a Survivor being disease and getting patched up in the bunker.

***zee's idea was that in order to remove the Bio toekn you have to heal the Survivor with a First Aid card. I really like this idea but i'll wait after a few more plays before adding this. It's a harsh world out there but I want my Survivors to stand a chance to survive

3- Took from Zee too: When you scavenge in Phase 4 and find food, you can feed 1 survivor for 1 action.

4- As per the Zmergency rules: Passing through a yield space cost 2 movement points instead of stopping his move action.

5- Not sure about this one yet: Each squad must start the game with at least 1 Survivor with a Smarts of 2.


That's a start I think and it helped a bit with the overall enjoyement and immersion of the game (again, for us).

Feel free to try those and add your ideas in here, i'd love to here from you and maybe together we can elevate Zpocalypse to a whole new level cause like I said to Jeff, Zpoc have a strong base and really cool ideas and maybe a simple revision of the rules first would kick his game a bit more towards the top!

I think we're on to something great with this community, cause only real survivors tagged along here


all good ideas, except the smarts one. Granted I understand that smarts is one of the most necessary stats in the game in a vanilla game. However that does add to the variability of it. This can obviously be mitigated by being able to perhaps draft your first survivor, and choose which to start with? But to each his own.
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David Bernier
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Yeah I understand why the rule exist and play with it anyways. But when you draft your first 2 Survivors and get 1 Smarts...your chance of surviving past Day 2 are incredibely low...and really not fun for the player that fails his rolls the first 2 days...no way to feed his people...

I just wanted to make the game a bit more enjoyable from the start but I understand why this was designed that way.

Like it say in the rulebook: It's not a pic-nic, it's a Zpocalypse
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Shawn Macleod
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Nice ideas. Great job.

Zpoc has turned into one of my favorite games. I initially had a love-hate relationship with it, but I've now come to enjoy it as one of my favorites - albeit with some house rules. I'm constantly play-testing variants and new ideas. Some of my ideas have stood the test of time while others have been replaced or died on the vine.

A variant I am currently toying with is developing improved Daily Goal cards. I can't tell you the last time I've included Daily Goal cards in a game of Zpoc. However, I think the design element can be re-purposed to increase one of the more critical elements of the game - smarts!

My current approach to re-purposing the Daily Goal cards is to develop more reasonable cards (meaning less chaotic and better suited for cooperative play) that reward the squad with an increase in "smarts". The rationale behind the change is that as the squad survives night-to-night they have gained experience and gotten more savvy and smarter at surviving in a post apocalyptic zombie infested world. Therefore, if they achieve their goal they receive a bump in "smarts".

In my opinion this is the easiest way to solve many of the issues that can be traced to "smarts".

Again, you've got great ideas. I look forward to hearing how they test out. One tip...try to get a feel for how much rules "fiddle" your tweaks minimize/eliminate/add. My goal for Zpoc is to minimize the rules fiddle to the greatest extent possible while preserving the game elements that make it awesome. In my opinion, managing rules "fiddle" is key to Zpoc's success.
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zee Parks
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macleodsr wrote:
Nice ideas. Great job.

Zpoc has turned into one of my favorite games. I initially had a love-hate relationship with it, but I've now come to enjoy it as one of my favorites - albeit with some house rules. I'm constantly play-testing variants and new ideas. Some of my ideas have stood the test of time while others have been replaced or died on the vine.

A variant I am currently toying with is developing improved Daily Goal cards. I can't tell you the last time I've included Daily Goal cards in a game of Zpoc. However, I think the design element can be re-purposed to increase one of the more critical elements of the game - smarts!

My current approach to re-purposing the Daily Goal cards is to develop more reasonable cards (meaning less chaotic and better suited for cooperative play) that reward the squad with an increase in "smarts". The rationale behind the change is that as the squad survives night-to-night they have gained experience and gotten more savvy and smarter at surviving in a post apocalyptic zombie infested world. Therefore, if they achieve their goal they receive a bump in "smarts".

In my opinion this is the easiest way to solve many of the issues that can be traced to "smarts".

Again, you've got great ideas. I look forward to hearing how they test out. One tip...try to get a feel for how much rules "fiddle" your tweaks minimize/eliminate/add. My goal for Zpoc is to minimize the rules fiddle to the greatest extent possible while preserving the game elements that make it awesome. In my opinion, managing rules "fiddle" is key to Zpoc's success.


oooo I like that. Better you cooperate the smarter you get! love it! Though I do have a bit of some love for a few of the daily goals (Blackbelt, tank commander(ZE)), though, instead of just being randomly assigned I think a drafting mechanic where you draft #players+1 daily goals, and then let the last player choose first, and pass to the next last player so a squad can choose what their goal is better then just blind luck.

However building an improving smarts mechanic would make sense. Thing would be to mitigate super smarts from taking place, aka, the gaining of smarts needs to be exponential. Easy at first, but much much harder once you get up past 2-3. I'm not sure what the best way of handling that would be, but I'm open to see how your handling it.

I would think, it would need to be squad based. Aka, all your squad needs to be smart 1 before you can raise to smarts 2, and so on. This would eliminate smarts getting out of hand with a group of dumb dumbs, and one super smart survivor who only pumps up the smarts.
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Shawn Macleod
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I agree with your concern regarding runaway "smarts". Rather than handling it with additional rules or complexity, I'm planning to handle it on the goal card itself. This preserves my goal (no pun intended) of simplicity while adding in a mechanic that improves the game.

For example, a part of my goal is to make the handling of "smarts" (when a survivor dies or is replaced) similar to the other skills...again, an eye always towards simplicity.

As for the cards... I haven't quite figured out how best to apply the reward. I'm definitely considering some "if/then" statements, but I'm not sure if the underlying principle for reward should contain a "catch-up" mechanism. For example, should the reward depend on your place on the victory track? Greater reward for folks further back on the the track? In example, an increase in skill and smarts if you are currently in last place???

As you know, "smarts" is a key element of this game. And, per my plan you will be limited to increasing your "smarts" by one each day. I'm not too concerned about folks becoming so smart that they almost always succeed on a roll. That can be managed by a popular mechanic of "1" always misses. By design the game's difficulty increases significantly on nights 3 and 4. And, in my opinion all the smarts in the world doesn't tip the balance much in favor of the survivors - it only makes it slightly more "manageable" because as you recall melee and firearm skills become worthless late game. Therefore, anything to minimize the number of zombies placed on the board in these later turns could be key to an enjoyable experience.

Maybe I'll have it worked out before the next Zpoc expansion. Or, maybe I can talk Jeff into making it a promo that can be purchased at conventions?
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David Bernier
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Could we simply say: +1 Smarts at the start of Day 2 and another +1 at the star of Day 4?

I think i'm gonna try that too.
 
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zee Parks
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Rhezuss wrote:
Could we simply say: +1 Smarts at the start of Day 2 and another +1 at the star of Day 4?

I think i'm gonna try that too.


It's simple, but I think it should act as a minimum smarts. not blanket +1.

I would say this would be sufficient for a squad that has no smarts.

So on after day 1, if you have a total of zero smarts, you can now have 1 smarts. If you already have 1 smarts, you still only have 1 smarts.

after day 2 the minimum would now be 2, after day 3 the min would be 3, etc..

this way you don't have a squad which starts with 3, then gets lucky shades, and then by day 3 is rolling 7 smarts.
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