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Subject: Session Report rss

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Li'l Ronnie Post
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Last night, seven of us sat down to play our freshly-constructed copy of Zombie Plague.

I'd previously printed out and mounted the game board, as well as player and barricade tokens and the Search cards. In place of player tokens, we used the zombies and shotgun dudes from Zombie!, which worked pretty well for the most part. In addition, I also created reproductions of the various Search squares in Photoshop to use as an aid in remembering who has searched which square (each player can only search each square once).

There were four humans and three zombie players. The humans came in on the side of the garage and sent one volunteer in to raid that search place while the others went for the house and the car. The initial three zombies seemed to multiply quite rapidly (much faster than they could move!) and the zombies were quite lucky in their placement of reinforcements, which come in each turn on a randomly chosen side. This resulted in one human being trapped in the garage for a while with a zombie or two....

The humans had truly terrible luck with their initial searches! The first few resulted in humans with ammo but no weapons, extra zombies, zombies with extra Action Points, and a fairly useless (at that point) barricade. There was plenty of ineffectual flailing at each other by both humans and zombies. Both sides suffered from severely bad dice for quite some time, although truth be told, it really IS hard to kill a zombie with your bare hands!

The humans had split up to try to get more weapons, but a few bad breaks for them, coupled with lucky zombie reinforcement rolls resulted in zombies guarding most of the search squares, and eventually driving the one human in the house out toward the car/garage area! One did finally find the shotgun, and then immediately ran out of ammunition! We also found out that baseball just wasn't his game - when he tried to use the shotgun as a baseball bat (which increased his odds of killing a zombie twelve-fold from hand-to-hand), he rolled several "OOPS!" in a row, stunning himself each time.

The zombies wounded humans several times and eventually managed to zombify their first human, who had gone to anothers aid as she tried to get past the zombies guarding the car trunk. Unfortunately for her, she only found another Zombie in the car trunk, and was then boxed in by another "fresh" zombie and had to try to fight her way out past her ex-teammates! Despite dire threats referring to the merits of sleeping on the couch, her brain was munched (mmmmm.... brains...), and a 3rd would-be rescuer got 'et as well, leaving only a hapless solo human tripping over his ammo-less shotgun!

The zombies were slow, but they eventually ate him as well, despite a valiant flourish of baseball bat swings (three strikes - you're out!), resulting in a clean sweep for the Zombies!

Having only played once before, I'm no expert, but it seemed this was a very unusual game. The humans really had horrendous luck with their initial search cards, no good luck at all when they really needed it (it's HARD to fight zombies barehanded!), and the zombies were consistently lucky when placing fresh undead. An early weapon or two, and it would probably have been a VERY different game. I doubt the zombies are often able to "defend" search squares! ;-)

Regardless of the slow and sloppy combat, everyone seemed to have a good time. Plenty of in-character chatter and zombie sounds. I do think this game benefits from having a good number of people, although it became impossible to tell which zombie was whose, once well into the game (16 on the board plus a couple "bonus" corpses). Next time, we'll color code the zombies or something!

The one other thought I had was that the rules regarding zombification seem kind of "brittle". A zombie attack has a one in six chance of wounding, and then a one in six chance of the wound resulting in zombification. It's pretty much all or nothing. My wife (a zombie teammate!) and I were tossing about some ideas to maybe make it less all or nothing. Perhaps using Action Points similar to good old Hit Points might be interesting, maybe giving the humans one more to compensate. This might add a little more tension as the zombies start to speed up (relatively speaking) as the humans get wounded. I think someone else here may have mentioned trying something like this before (any comments?).

My thought after the first game (2 humans, 2 zombies) was that the game seemed a little slanted towards humans. One human with a chainsaw handily wrapped the game up pretty quick. After the second game, I'm not so sure - guess we'll have to play some more to get a better idea! ;-)

Joe-Bob would say: "Check it out!"
 
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Rob Robinson
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Re:Session Report
There were four humans and three zombie players. The initial three zombies seemed to multiply quite rapidly (much faster than they could move!)

The rulebook says place the Zombies on the opposite edge at setup. Total number of Zombies on the board is limited to four times the number of humans.

It's not a clearly defined rule, whether or not you place Zombies each turn 'til maxed out' or begin with the full compliment. The rules regarding this seem to be split into two sections confusing matters. We stick with the first Setup section and use the Basics section for reinforcement purposes, which is always start with maximum Zombies (16 in your case), and replace with reinforcements after they've been destroyed.

although it became impossible to tell which zombie was whose, once well into the game (16 on the board plus a couple "bonus" corpses). Next time, we'll color code the zombies or something!

The way to get around this is to split yourself into teams - human players & Zombie players. The (four?) humans take their turns first. Then the players controlling the Zombies take their turn (as one) to move the undead (working as a team). This way it totally erradicates any confusion as to whose Zombie is Who's. Bonus Zombies can easily be kept track of with a lump of blu-tac or similar.

The one other thought I had was that the rules regarding zombification seem kind of "brittle". A zombie attack has a one in six chance of wounding, and then a one in six chance of the wound resulting in zombification. It's pretty much all or nothing.

Remember you can use the 'fall back' from a wound to good effect. Rather than move Zombies to attack, try and time it so the player falls back next to another Zombie, thereby giving him 2 bites of cherry human
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Li'l Ronnie Post
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Re:Session Report
zombiegod (#22989),
The rulebook says place the Zombies on the opposite edge at setup. Total number of Zombies on the board is limited to four times the number of humans.
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Yup, that part we got. We started with three zombies, opposite the humans.

We stick with the first Setup section and use the Basics section for reinforcement purposes, which is always start with maximum Zombies (16 in your case), and replace with reinforcements after they've been destroyed.
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This part, we DIDN'T get - we just added one zombie each turn. Kinda seems like starting with a full complement would make it awfully hard on those puny humans! Hmm.. it does make a certain amount of sense though - I do remember thinking that the humans had a pretty big window of opportunity at the beginning...

Has anyone asked the authors their intent, or are they keeping mum?

We ended up playing the zombies jointly as a team after we gave up on telling which were whose. That worked pretty well and was fun, but not all teammates are equally opinionated - it could become a problem.. ;-)
I'm going to mount a few zombies on different colored board - they'll be easier to both move and tell apart if anyone wants to do so..

I also think we had only one wounding in the whole game that resulted in a human being pushed back - the rest of the time there was nowhere for them to go! (evil grin)

It's surprising how fun it is to be the walking dead! ;-)
 
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Rob Robinson
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Rotherham
South Yorkshire
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I open my mind, need flesh, fear mine
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Re:Session Report
them (#23014),
This part, we DIDN'T get - we just added one zombie each turn. Kinda seems like starting with a full complement would make it awfully hard on those puny humans!


If you start with a full compliment at one edge of the board it works perfectly fine. Then just keep adding one Zombie per Zombie turn once they begin to get bumped off ('til you get back up to max # Zombies).
 
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