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Subject: Zombicide - A GamerVrsGamer review rss

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Mauricio Zebel
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I am very excited because this is my first negative review! Ooopps… I just spoiled you the end. Please forget the last line; I’m just going to play it cool.

Soooooooo, Zombies, they used to be slow moving and very slow minded, now they run all over the place trying to bite everyone around, destroying walls or worse… climbing them! Nowadays, they mutate into strongest and deadliest versions, with super human abilities! But more importantly, they are a trend now.

 


I loved the art, the minis, the theme and I thought: -Hey! My game collection might need a cooperative zombie game where you have to accomplish different missions to advance through a campaign, besides, so many people who backed it at Kickstarter can’t be wrong right?- So I requested it to one of my Mexican game dealers.

Opening the box was awesome; so many minis with so many details and great quality, the quality of every cardboard item, like the map tiles and the tokens were very good too. So off I go to read the rules and prepare the first game, nothing too complicated, actually kind of easy, you get to control one survivor with some specific abilities and as you kill zombies you get experience and obtain more abilities but at the same time whenever a player advances to a next level, the following zombies to spawn will be more in quantity or toughest, good idea to balance the game, because this avoids players to exp up before setting off to accomplish the objectives.

Speaking about objectives, sometimes you will have to reach certain places or sometimes you will have to find certain items, etc. Combat is dice based but you have to use a weapon in order to kill something, otherwise you are powerless against the zombies. Another good idea was the use of noise tokens which are laid every time you shot a gun, by destroying objects or by shouting.



I like games with theme, I love when a game creator manages to transform a real life thing into a game mechanic, having the capacity to abstract the reality into a game mechanic should be considered some kind of art.

If you have read any other of my reviews (if not, you should haha) I try to focus on the theme and feel of the games rather than on the rules or explaining the game play. This game produced no feeling in me or my friends, for us, the game failed to immerse us in a city overrun by zombies and some rules had no logic at all, like not being able to combat without a weapon, another example is that when you range shot the first target always has to be a friendly figure, or the fact that in a crowd of zombies you have to target first to the little ones before targeting a boss… more rules, no feel.

My conclusion about this game? I ended up selling it to get another one, which was sad, because I really wanted to like the game, but it just didn’t “click” with us, though I am pretty sure there are many people out there go do like it, because I heard it is running its second Kickstarter campaign for an expansion.

Complexity: Light- Medium



You should get this game if:

- You and your play group like co-op games.

- You like chess like game but with the luck of dices.

- You like zombies and great art.

- You like supporting Kickstarter enterpreneurs.

You shouldn’t get this game if:

- You like theme before mechanics.

- You don’t like co-op games.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the game, the mechanics or feedback to the review or visit my blog at http://gamervrsgamer.wordpress.com/ and read more on how to get your GF/Wife into games!
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Mike
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I think the game does well with the theme of a zombie apocalypse.
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Mauricio Zebel
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Maybe it just didn't "click" to us. But I promise, we made an effort to like it, or maybe it was the non so logical rules.
 
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Jeffrey Nolin
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Lohael wrote:
This game produced no feeling in me or my friends, for us, the game failed to immerse us in a city overrun by zombies and some rules had no logic at all, like not being able to combat without a weapon,

This is your first example? Well, first, everyone starts with a weapon, and second, it's not that you can't go hand to hand with a zombie, but that to do so is so ill advised (in real life too) that they simplify combat by making it an automatic wound, rather than making you roll dice. On the other hand, there are survivors who are so 'tough' that they can control one zombie in hand to hand combat and not get bitten.
 
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Mauricio Zebel
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Hello Jeffrey!, indeed this is the one I remember the most because it didn't make sense to me. I like better the Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game system, where even with your bare hands you can fend a zombie or even injury. How is it working for you? is one of your favorite games?
 
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Scott Hill
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longagoigo wrote:
Lohael wrote:
This game produced no feeling in me or my friends, for us, the game failed to immerse us in a city overrun by zombies and some rules had no logic at all, like not being able to combat without a weapon,

This is your first example? Well, first, everyone starts with a weapon, and second, it's not that you can't go hand to hand with a zombie, but that to do so is so ill advised (in real life too) that they simplify combat by making it an automatic wound, rather than making you roll dice. On the other hand, there are survivors who are so 'tough' that they can control one zombie in hand to hand combat and not get bitten.

All the "illogical" rules come down to this.

They're simplifications of what would otherwise be an overly complex and cumbersome rule set.

I personally think they got it just right, there's no, say, counting how many zombies of different types are in a zone, consulting a look up table, and then rolling a combination of various polyhedral dice, just to take one shot at one zombie with a pistol, for example.

(and yes, that is a deliberately over complicated example, but it is deliberately so to illustrate the point of just how simple this game's combat system is)

Instead, you have one die type, one target number, one quantity of dice to roll, one 'weapon strength' stat, and everything else flows from that, and is paired down to be as simple and streamlined as possible.

All the house rules I've seen for the ranged priority rules, for example, have done little more than add complexity.

That said, things such as this are highly subjective - you either like them, or you don't. Neither position is 'right'.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Seems like you feel the same way about this one as I do. I really wanted to love the game, but I found that the rules got in the way of the theme. The theme almost dissolves away during play, leaving behind the mechanisms that we didn't really enjoy. I understand why certain rules work the way they do, I just don't agree with them or like them. It is a real shame, because the game looks great when it is set up.
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Mike
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I think it is really about expectations and perspective. For my group, one of the main expectations of a zombie apocalypse game is tension. Zombicide builds a whole lot of tension for us and we get the feeling of being outnumbered, swarmed from all sides, low on resources or missing the items we need, etc. I have all of the expansions, so we also have a plethora of different zombies to keep us guessing what's going to happen next.

It is our favorite zombie game by far and my group feels it is dripping with theme... and dead bodies.
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Mauricio Zebel
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Seems like you feel the same way about this one as I do. I really wanted to love the game, but I found that the rules got in the way of the theme. The theme almost dissolves away during play, leaving behind the mechanisms that we didn't really enjoy. I understand why certain rules work the way they do, I just don't agree with them or like them. It is a real shame, because the game looks great when it is set up.


Exactly my point, I understand why those rules are there, but for me they get in the way of the theme.
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Mauricio Zebel
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TheDarkKnight wrote:
I think it is really about expectations and perspective. For my group, one of the main expectations of a zombie apocalypse game is tension. Zombicide builds a whole lot of tension for us and we get the feeling of being outnumbered, swarmed from all sides, low on resources or missing the items we need, etc. I have all of the expansions, so we also have a plethora of different zombies to keep us guessing what's going to happen next.

It is our favorite zombie game by far and my group feels it is dripping with theme... and dead bodies.


That's what I was saying Mike, this game is a hit to some groups and a no-go for others, I envy you a little, because I would had liked to kept this game.

 
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Ian Clarke

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Its a shame it didn't click with you, I've been enjoying playing the game for over 12 months and still do. Its a good thing everyone doesn't like the same thing, or there'd be loads of stuff made that never gets used.
 
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Teskal Flink
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I would like to know how many Zombicide Games did you play?
Which Scenarios did you play and how many Survivors in the Scenario?

Because if the game failed to immerse you in a city overrun by zombies, I think you didn't play the harder ones, which would have the board full of Zombies...

Fighting Zombies without weapons is not really logical.

Hitting/kicking a head from a body or though the skull to damage the brain is nearly impossible. Especially if the opponent can move and want to bite you. The chance will be higher if you are a kicking martial artist but not much.

Quote:
...is that when you range shot the first target always has to be a friendly figure, or the fact that in a crowd of zombies you have to target first to the little ones before targeting a boss...


Yes, the targeting order is really bullshit, but mostly acceptable except one:
"the need to kill first the Survivors in the Zone".

I think the targeting order is ok, because you can shoot with some skills every kind of Zombies you want to kill. If you have not learned to shoot in extreme situations like combat, aiming would be very hard, especially because you need to hit the head.

After few games, not shooting in close combat with Survivors in it if there are no speciall skills learned for it, I decided that Survivors will be hit only on rolling a 1 while shooting in a Zone with other Survivors. (I do not think I would use it often, even with this rule change!)

It would make it still dangerous to shoot and it would be an easy handling. These skills would be still usefull and make them more even with other skills. Medic and Taunt are very good, but they are more seldom used (but still very usefull) as point-blank, sniper or steady hand.
 
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Matt Jolly
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Lohael,

thank you for your review! I think you have captured a lot of good stuff about Zombicide, so much in fact that I was surprised by your overall negative review of a game I liked. So I began to think about why I liked it.

And I guess a lt has to do with inherited history. I came at Zombie gaming from Zombies!!!, which is a dreadful roll and move filler game, good when the players are all well-lubricated, one of my "plays well drunk" games (hmmm - idea for a geeklist?). But not so much as a zombie game.

Then I got All Things Zombie: The Boardgame, which is fun, and has a noise mechanism like Zombicide, but the time/distance relationship seems screwed up to me. The hardcore hex-and-chit approach wants me to think more realistic, but it just isn't. The zealots in Nuklear Winter '68 by the same publisher seem to do a better job in the hex and counter milieu. Oh, and the "hardness" of the hex and chit conned me into thinking that I would be playing something that was attempting to model a (albeit fantasy) reality. But ATZ doesn't do that.

Then I got Zombicide. It has the ameritrash goodness that i liked about Zombies, but more so. It had some puzzle-solving elements like ATZ, and it was clearly realistic. Now, just a minute I hear you say, Zombicide more realistic than ATZ?!? zombie

But I think it does a great job of modelling zombie movies. Not a "real" Zombie Apocalypse, but zombie movies. In the movies, anyone who tries to fight off a zombie with their bare hands is toast (almost wrote taoist there, but that would be a different game) unless they are a superhero like Project Alice in Resident Evil.

In the movies, anyone shooting into an ongoing melee is almost bound to hit the not-zombie protagonist, it makes for greater dramatic effect (and IIRC friendly fire provides the poignant denouement to Romero's groundbreaking "Night of the Living Dead"). And all those horrible moments when our hero or heroine hesitates before firing into the swirling melee. I hesitate in this game too.

In the movies the heroes tend to face the big bad after mowing down hordes of cannon fodder, and for some reason the heroes, many of whom are not fire-arms trained, find it really hard to hit olympic sprinting zombies, but relatively easier to hit shuffling corpses (and remember, anything but a headshot tends not to count).

And in the movies, the screenwriter ensures that whatever needs to survive for the greatest dramatic peril, does so.

Zombie movies have a very high rate of heroes losing, far higher than vampire, werewolf or fantasy movies, where the whitehats tend to triumph more often.

At the end of each zombie movie, our heroes know far more about the zombies than they did at the beginning, yet are far more challenged by the zombies than at the beginning of the film, else there wouldn't be an exciting climax.

Well except World War Z and maybe the dreadful Will Smith version of I Am Legend, both of which finish like the end of a game of Pandemic where the victory conditions have been achieved, but the game is so boring that I don't care.

It seems to me that Zombicide does a cracking job of reflecting all this stuff.

For me then, I found the theme compelling,

but that's the beauty of BGG, so many games, so many gamers, so many opinions!

Cheers,

Matt





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Mauricio Zebel
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Dear Matt,

kudos to you! and a magnificent way to relate the game to a movie script. Your reasoning perfectly matches the rules with how a movie plays:
Quote:
In the movies, anyone who tries to fight off a zombie with their bare hands is toast (almost wrote taoist there, but that would be a different game) unless they are a superhero like Project Alice in Resident Evil.

In the movies, anyone shooting into an ongoing melee is almost bound to hit the not-zombie protagonist, it makes for greater dramatic effect (and IIRC friendly fire provides the poignant denouement to Romero's groundbreaking "Night of the Living Dead"). And all those horrible moments when our hero or heroine hesitates before firing into the swirling melee. I hesitate in this game too.

In the movies the heroes tend to face the big bad after mowing down hordes of cannon fodder, and for some reason the heroes, many of whom are not fire-arms trained, find it really hard to hit olympic sprinting zombies, but relatively easier to hit shuffling corpses (and remember, anything but a headshot tends not to count).

And in the movies, the screenwriter ensures that whatever needs to survive for the greatest dramatic peril, does so.


This definitely is a point that any player considering this game has to take into account:

Do you feel like fighting zombies hordes and chopping their heads off with your friends as allies in a guided tour? go Zombicide. Do you want something light to fill in between games? go Zombies!!!. Do you want to run around an infested town, less zombies of course, but with a many aces under your sleeve because of the card variety? go Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game. All of them with different mechanics, it's just about tastes, which I thank you for noticing and pointing out:

Quote:
but that's the beauty of BGG, so many games, so many gamers, so many opinions!


I would still stay with my good old Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, which plays with simpler rules and add depth via the cards, because of two things:
- Players (IMHO) have more freedom.
- Having a person controlling the zombies.

Allow me two things Matt, I will write a LNOE review and prepare and article in my blog pointing out your great points to zombicide.

Regards!
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Mauricio Zebel
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Hello Matt!

Please check this link to see what I wrote about your comment:
http://gamervrsgamer.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/in-reply-to-th...

I still owe you the Last Night on Earth review.
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Matt Jolly
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Lohael wrote:
Hello Matt!

Please check this link to see what I wrote about your comment:
http://gamervrsgamer.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/in-reply-to-th...

I still owe you the Last Night on Earth review.


Hey Lohael,

thank you for all that - I feel very flattered by your thoughts on my thoughts. And yes, do that LNoE review; let's see if you can convince me to buy it......

Cheers,

Matt
 
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Mauricio Zebel
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Expect the review by this weekend or early next week. I'll make my best to get you a new zombie game haha
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Matt Jolly
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Lohael wrote:
Expect the review by this weekend or early next week. I'll make my best to get you a new zombie game haha


Thanks,

I think...

Matt
 
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Mauricio Zebel
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matt.jolly wrote:
Lohael wrote:
Expect the review by this weekend or early next week. I'll make my best to get you a new zombie game haha


Thanks,

I think...

Matt


Hey Matt, it's finally out! Check my review in the last zombie game that you would need: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16107360#16107360
or at my blog for a better formated article: http:/gamervrsgamer.wordpress.com
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Matt Jolly
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Thanks Lohael,

I have segued across and had a read!

Cheers,

Matt
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