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Zombies!!!» Forums » Variants

Subject: Andor-style leapfrog movement for zombies rss

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Stephan Beal
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Hi, all,

i only recently (about a week ago) got Zombies!!!, and knew from the start that it would be a tweak-heavy game, starting with making it solo-playable (my many thanks to those of you who've posted solo options in the files section, by the way). i knew in advance, from experience with Zombicide, that the combination of large maps and large zombie mobs would lead to zombies (potentially many of them) getting "stranded" far away from a (the) player, unable to realistically ever catch up to them. So...

i borrowed a movement rule from the game Legends of Andor to speed up zombie movement somewhat, and thought i'd share it...

Imagine that we have 3 zombies, A, B, and C, moving towards player X:

ABC....X

(Periods denote empty squares.)

We roll a 3 (or more) for zombie movement and move each zombie towards player X, starting with the zombie closest to X, leading to:

.ABC...X

Hmmm. Not very satisfying. If X is headed to the right, there's no way that A, B, and C will ever catch up. They're effectively "orphaned" and likely add nothing more to the game.

Here's where Andor's "leapfrog" movement comes in: when a zombie would move into a space with another zombie, it skips over that zombie and moves to another adjacent space. This leapfrogging continues as long as their are zombies in the target space. i.e. A zombie may move arbitrarily far, "surfing" over a mob of other zombies.

With leapfrogging in place, given the above situation, we can move the 3 zombies, this time in "reverse" order (farthest from the player first), and we end up with:

Step 1, zombie A leapfrogs over B, then over C:

.BCA...X

Step 2, zombie B leapfrogs over C, then over A:

..CAB..X

Step 3, zombie C leapfrogs over A, then over B:

...ABC.X

Much better (mechanically, though possibly not thematically). Despite being ostensibly far away from X, they're able to approach X at a useful speed, meaning that these zombies remain "relevant" for game purposes.

While movement this way is normally straightforward, it's sometimes necessary to make arbitrary decisions about exactly where to leapfrog. e.g. when a zombie is in the player's space then another zombie may end up having to leapfrog over them to some adjacent (or even further away) space (unless, of course, you're playing with a multiple-zombies-per-space house rule, in which case multiple zombies can leapfrog into the player's space).

This variant has worked out well for me so far, and i hope that it can spice up your Z! games as well.
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Patrick Tovey
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I think this is an interesting concept. I haven't played my Zombies!!! in quite a while, although I recently painted them up (over 300 minis). From what I remember though zombies were pretty much everywhere you wanted to go and didn't need much help to get into combat. What I mean is zombies A, B and C might get "stranded" but just around that corner were D, E, F and G. It also seem to recall that sometimes the strategy for zombie movement was to move them away from you rather than towards your opponent. In which case they would just move away faster. Although it sounds like you are using a solo variant so maybe my concern isn't worrisome for your games. I need to check out the solo rules you are using. Hopefully they work co-op too.
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Stephan Beal
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LesBakers wrote:
What I mean is zombies A, B and C might get "stranded" but just around that corner were D, E, F and G. It also seem to recall that sometimes the strategy for zombie movement was to move them away from you rather than towards your opponent.


My household is solo-play only, so there are different tactical considerations.
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Stephan Beal
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Now that i've got a few sessions under my belt, i think it's probably easier to simply move all zombies each turn (rather than rolling 1d6), in particular when playing the "small-box" expansions standalone, where the distances between the player and zombies aren't likely to be as far as the base set (the expansions each have 14-16 map tiles).
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