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Subject: The solo game I've been looking for rss

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George Leoniak
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Zombicide Black Plague is a fantastic solo game.
Over the past few years I've been looking for a solo game in the fantasy genre, and I really did not expect this to be the game.

Here's a short list of some of the games I've tried out:
Mage Knight, Lord of the Rings LCG, Myth, Shadows of Brimstone, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Warhammer Quest adventure card game, All the D&D adventure games, Runebound 2ed. and many others I'm forgetting.

It's a diverse list of card and miniatures games, but for the most part I've been hoping to land on a game that gives me an RPG feel with leveling up and campaign play.

Interestingly, Black Plague doesn't entirely scratch that itch like many others on the list above. So then why would it be the game I've been looking for. Since, I've basically been looking for a game that has consistent character development over a series of adventures.

Well, black plague has kind of turned my priority list for the perfect adventure game upside down, and has made me totally reassess what I hoped these other games would provide for me.

Even though the characters start over from scratch each game in terms of abilities, experience, equipment etc., that has not gotten in the way of developing the personality of the survivor in an RPGish way over the course of the campaign. I have really enjoyed starting each mission new again because it keeps the game play fresh.

What I found in other "level up" type games is that a character gets into a rut of using the most powerful combination, and as they get stronger they rely on that more and more. There is also what I now call the illusion of leveling up in other games. Sure you get cooler gear and abilities, just to defeat more difficult monsters. Nothing has really changed in terms of overall game difficulty. Or what often happens is that the characters find a combo that just destroys everything and the game gets boring (pathfinder game for instance)

Most of the fun in these types of games is the initial struggle when the characters are not that strong, and each mission of Black Plague, puts the survivors back into that situation, although it also allows the characters to grow really strong throughout the game while the game scales perfectly to match their new awesome abilities. If a survivor were to start a new game where they ended the last, the next game would have to start at an incredibly difficult level and then be even harder from there on out. At some point there would be like 50 zombies or more spawning from a single point to keep up with the increased hero power. That all seems like a waste and kind of silly. Black Plague works fine without having to fall into the trap of the consistent character development through leveling up over the length of the campaign.

To me a more interesting mechanic might be having permadeath for survivors and replacing them with new ones as the campaign continues.

One last thing I'll mention about what makes this game awesome is it's simplicity. In many other games I'll get lost in the mechanics of the game, or a wall of text on the cards, or tons of combinations to keep track of, or digging through the rule book for answers or searching the forums on how to play.

Black Plague cut through all that crap. Finally, I feel like I can just enjoy the game. For me it's like watching a movie. The AI is so simple it takes care of itself, and for me I can focus on how the survivors are going to deal with the situation. It's just a blast and fun.

The game also has enough strategy in how the survivors work as a group that I don't find it to be a mindless activity on my part, so there is enough decision making to keep me happy.

Overall, I'm kind of shocked that this would be the game that I was looking for (I'm sure I've said that before), even though it debunked much of what I had been looking for in a game. I'm completely satisfied with it and really looking forward to additional materials. I can even see myself creating my own adventures for the game too.

And maybe the most important factor is that my wife likes it to, and we even played with my 5 year old son, who was more happy when the zombies won.

Great game! I'm going to paint it all. Sorry for the ramble, had to share.


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Great to hear you've found what you've been searching for George. I can relate to your feelings, not that I was looking for a solo game, but I have been searching for a game that my wife would enjoy, and so far so good on that front.

I played a game with my wife and my 7yr old son a few days ago and it was a lot of fun. Definitely a good candidate for family gaming as long as the theme isn't a turn-off.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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I think there is a way to cobble together a more campaign-like feel with all the Kickstarter content, and possibly even a rudimentary character advancement system that doesn't break the game. I'm working on one, myself.
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George Leoniak
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Dormammu wrote:
I think there is a way to cobble together a more campaign-like feel with all the Kickstarter content, and possibly even a rudimentary character advancement system that doesn't break the game. I'm working on one, myself.


Campaign play would be cool, and probably would not break the game. My example of a 50 zombie spawn point was a bit exaggerated. My main point was that the ideal I held so high for a game got trashed with zombicide. I knew zombicide would not meet my expectations of a campaign game. Instead it totally replaced my dream of the perfect RPGish game, with a game that scratches the itch without trying to emulate one.

That's why it was such a curve ball, but I connected with it and hit a home run.
 
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Max Maloney
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To be more clear, all I mean by campaign play is arranging a sequence of scenarios and additional rules such that the game grows over the course of playing them. Since we haven't seen the Wulfsburg scenarios, I can't be precise but I'm thinking something like this:

Base scenario 1 (easy): as in the base game box with nothing added.

Base 2 (easy): add the extra normal Necromancer mini from the stretch goals to allow for multiple Necromancers on the board.

Wulfsburg 1 (presumably easy): add in wolfs but not the wolfbomination, also towers presumably are on the map.

Wulfsburg 2 (easy?): add in the wolfbomination.

Base 3 (medium): add in deadeye walkers.

And so forth. The idea being that the gameplay continually adds new things to change the game and the strategies. I have the situation where the people I play with don't know the rules, so I will get the added joy of seeing them respond to new things they didn't know were coming.

I also like the idea that you start with the basic six characters and every time one dies they are permanently retired. If someone picks Troy as a replacement, I would shuffle Evil Troy into the deck without telling them. For dual use player/necros, let them pick the character and use them but if it ever "dies" have it return as a necromancer.

So yeah, anything that evolves the game over time seems fun. Maybe after doing this one time we'd always shuffle everything in, but I want to do this at least once.
 
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Dormammu wrote:
To be more clear, all I mean by campaign play is arranging a sequence of scenarios and additional rules such that the game grows over the course of playing them. Since we haven't seen the Wulfsburg scenarios, I can't be precise but I'm thinking something like this:

Base scenario 1 (easy): as in the base game box with nothing added.

Base 2 (easy): add the extra normal Necromancer mini from the stretch goals to allow for multiple Necromancers on the board.

Wulfsburg 1 (presumably easy): add in wolfs but not the wolfbomination, also towers presumably are on the map.

Wulfsburg 2 (easy?): add in the wolfbomination.

Base 3 (medium): add in deadeye walkers.

And so forth. The idea being that the gameplay continually adds new things to change the game and the strategies. I have the situation where the people I play with don't know the rules, so I will get the added joy of seeing them respond to new things they didn't know were coming.

I also like the idea that you start with the basic six characters and every time one dies they are permanently retired. If someone picks Troy as a replacement, I would shuffle Evil Troy into the deck without telling them. For dual use player/necros, let them pick the character and use them but if it ever "dies" have it return as a necromancer.

So yeah, anything that evolves the game over time seems fun. Maybe after doing this one time we'd always shuffle everything in, but I want to do this at least once.


Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. No chance of unbalancing the game with houserules, but you still get a feeling of progression.
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Michael Jenkins
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I feel the same way as the OP. I can always count on Z:BP to be fun. As someone who has played Zombicide a bit, I think it would be great to add an "advanced" mode with some more depth/RPG-like elements. Basically, just a slightly different way to enjoy the same great game.
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