Edward Monreal

Saint Louis
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Zombicide's beauty lies in its simplicity and hack-and-slash mentality. It also lends itself very well to house rules. While I don't want to make it super complicated (there are other boardgames with all the rules you could want), I think with a little testing, house rules can give Zombicide a little more room for creativity and refinement.

Special thanks to BGG's ClarkGrphyn and others for many of these rules and much of my inspiration. His house rules are here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1610444/clarkgryphyns-house....

Let me know what you think! I've played with these rules many hours and I hope you can find something that makes your experience even better, just as they have for me.

Key changes*: Necromancer rules, Abom HP, Search, Bows, scaling difficulty

Set Up
• Sets used: BP, Wulfsburg, NPCs, Boss Pack, Dog Companions
• Starting Zombie Deck: BP, Wulfsburg, 6 NPC cards, 2 standard Necromancers, 1 Cabal Necro
• Add two Wulfsburg tower tiles to maps that don't have any (preference)
• Add 3 dogs to equipment deck
Add "Unsearched" token to every room on the map*

Scaling Difficulty*
• Each time a new level is reached, add the following cards to the discard pile and shuffle in to zombie deck:
>◊Abominations: 0/+1/+2/+2
>◊Necromancers: 0/+1+1+1
>◊Note: The Trollbomination can be saved for Red (recommended)

Necromancer Rule Changes*
• Game cannot end by Necros escaping; Dark Ritual removed
• Use colored tokens for all starting standard spawn tokens
Necromancer Spawn Tokens move along with their respective Necros
• If all Spawn Tokens from a zone are removed, mark that zone with a “Sealed Portal” token (Seal)
• Necros move towards the nearest starting spawn token; if none, then to the nearest Seal
• When a Necro escapes
>◊ Its Spawn Token remains at its escape zone and it turns into a standard Spawn Token. If there was a Seal token here, remove it.
>◊ This turn's Spawns all happen at +1 danger level (unless already Red)
>◊ If there any remaining Seals, one randomly turns into a standard Spawn token. At red, all Seals turn into standard Spawn Tokens

Refined Item Mechanics
• All bows -1 to dice roll*
• All crossbows gain Reload (except Repeating Crossbow)
• Body slot weapon must simply include Body Slot Weapon's name (e.g. "Sword" can store Great Sword)
• Shield + Armor Can reroll only hits (simultaneously) after shield is applied

Item Rebalancing
• Food/Water: For 1 action, regain 1 health and gain 1 experience
• Dragon Fire: Deals 3 damage and lasts until the End Phase. Zombies ignore fire with regards to movement.
• Dragon Bile: Igniteable by Torch, Fireball, Inferno, and Great Flaming Sword. If ignited by Torch, actor has the option of discaring Torch or else taking 2 damage.
• Vampire Crossbow: Does 2 damage, 3 damage on 6s
• Deathstrike: Gain: Marksman
• Disintegrate: Gain: Marksman
• Chain Lightning: 6s grant +1 kill instead of +1 dice; If all zombies in a zone are killed by CL, any remaining hits (from the same attack) can extend to any 1 adjacent tile. Can repeat this procces but targeting path cannot branch
• Earthquake: On at least 1 success, all zombies in the target zone with 2+ actions/turn are Knockedback 1
• Ice Blast: Special limited to 1 zone per turn (can select tile)
• Earthquake Hammer: On 6s, hits can target at range 0-1. At range 1, considered a special non-melee attack that ignores priority. If there is no LoS at range 1, target selected at random
• Bang Staff: Gain: Automatic Door Open, Point blank, 3/2/1 damage at range 0/1/2
• Dog companions: When carrying an item, -1 tile/movement action. Also cannot attack while carrying an item. All dogs give maximum +1 die melee/dog. Dogs do not take up backpack slot.

Gameplay Mechanics Refinement
Dropped Items
1. Items dropped, willingly or unwillingly, remain in their zone face-up
2. On Surivor deaths, all items are dropped except for equipped Armor and equipped Shields, which are destroyed (lost)
3. If a Survivor discards equipment from backpack or after searching, they can choose to turn those items into Dropped Items
4. To pick up an item out of combat, 1 action
5. To pick up an item in a combat zone, 2 actions

Search/Search Again*
1. When searching an Unsearched room, remove the token and draw 3 equipment cards. This does not stack with +1 search draw effects (hard 3 cards max). Room now considered Ransacked.
2. To Search Again a Ransacked room, roll 1 die. Successful on 6s.
3. Seach/Search Again has no turn limit.

Torch (item)
No longer grants bonus card, instead grants +2 to Search Again die roll

+1 search draw (skill)
No longer grants bonus card, instead grants +2 to Search Again die roll

Inventory Management
• Armor: Armor costs 3 actions to equip/unequip. Can only be done out of combat.
• Armor: Any survivors in the same tile as the amor can pay actions. Survivor equipping/unequipping must pay 1 action. Any survivor that pays an action can provide/equip/unequip/store the armor.
1. Rearrange (self) always 1 action
2. Trade (Out of Combat) costs 1 action/survivor. Each survivor must pay.
3. Trade (In Combat) costs 2 actions/survivor. Each survivor must pay.

High Ground (It's Over)
2nd and 3rd stair zones grant +1 range Ranged/Magic. Towers grant +2 range, +1 to dice roll Ranged/Magic.

Ability Updates
• Marksman (blue): Gain Vantage Point and Jump Down
• +1 to dice roll Ranged (blue): Gain Vantage Point and Jump Down
• +1 die Ranged (blue): Gain Vantage Point and Jump Down
• Jump: Gain Vantage Point and Jump Down
• Vantage Point: Can spend 3 actions to climb up from the outside of Tower/stair zone. Afterwards actor is Exhausted, Disabled
• Jump Down: For 1 action, roll 1 die and can jump down from Tower/stair zone. Jump/Jump Down/Vantage Point cannot be used next turn.
>◊ On 1s, Exhausted, Disabled, +2 damage
>◊ On 2s, Exhausted, Disabled
>◊ On 3s, Exhaused
• +1 Search card: No longer grants +1 search card, now grants +2 to Search Again dice roll
• Swordmaster: Survivor can dual-wield any two melee weapons. Weapons don't have to be identical.
• Free Combat/Ranged: These actions can be used to perform Reload
• Ironclad: [zombie type]: Ability now considered self-targeted non-spell Enchantment and requires 1 action. Ability or Spell cannot be used two turns in a row.
• Rotten: Survivor also considered out of combat

Abomination Buffs*
HP 4/6/8/10. Minimum 2 damage weapon required. Maximum 1 HP lost per hit (i.e. HP is successful hits required, not damage taken; Super Strength deals -1HP per successful die hit)
• Troll (raid boss): Has Regeneration, Putrid, Reconstruction
• Abominotaur: Damage inflicts Exhaustion, Disability. All attacks Knockback 1.
• Blob: Attack range is 0-2, still AoE. All targets roll individual die. On 6s, target(s) drop 1 equipped shield. If none equipped, drop 1 Hand item. If no Hand items, Pulled 1.
• Rat: Damage Exhausts (action penalty can stack). Spawns in the noisiest zone. If not within 3 tiles of Survivors, extra activation removes it from the board. On respawn it will be at full HP

New Definitions/Term
• Disabled: Actor cannot take any actions, including free actions. Equipped shields have no effect. This status is removed at the start of actor's next turn.
• Exhausted: -1 actions next turn (place miniature on the side to indicate Exhaustion). Equipped shields have no effect.This status is removed at the end of actor's next turn.
• Putrid Blood Spray (PBS): Special attack that deals 1 damage to every actor in the same zone
• Putrid: If killed without taking fire damage, deals 1 damage to every actor in the same zone; this is considered a Putrid Blood Spray (PBS)
• Reconstruction:
>◊ 1. When reduced to 0HP without taking fire damage, enters Reconstruction (only considered in Reconstruction while 0 HP).
>◊ 2. Actor takes no actions and is untargetable except by fire (including 1 damage fire). Fire instantly kills actor in reconstruction (removed from board) and grants 1 experience
>◊ 3. PBS at the start of Spawn Phase. Extra activations also trigger PBS
>◊ 4. During the next End Phase, actor regains full HP and exits Reconstruction
• Knockback 1:
>◊ 1. When actor is Knockedback 1, they move to any adjacent tile 1 zone further away from attacker (except the tile most recently previously occupied by the attacker).
>◊ 2. If no tile is available, all Hand items dropped and Exhausted, Disabled.
• Pull 1: When actor is Pulled 1, they are moved one tile closer to the attacker (includes attacker's tile). Ignore standard movement restrictions.
• Combat: A zone with at least 1 Survivor and 1 zombie; otherwise considered Out of Combat (OoC)

Currently Testing:
Face-down Mode
OK, so I tested this for like 4 hours. Here are my discoveries (if you've played hidden spawns, you probably figured this out already):

1. Simply keeping cards face-down does not work.
• We eventually thinned out the zombie deck of the easier cards and ended up with a zombie deck full of only double spawns, Necros, Abombs, and extra activations
2. It is not easy to keep track of the cards
• I thought keeping spawns secret would help with the ridiculous mini management that is ZC, but it did not. The cards are hard to pick-up and keep in their zone. Which is part of the next problem:
3. You end up with 8+ spawn cards per zone
• By the time we were Red, we'd have tiles with 8+ cards which resulted in 25+ zombies. And while it was cool to see Klom kill 20+ zombies per action, this is super impractical and cancels out the easier management that this mode was supposed to grant.

However, I've had some time to think about it, and I might have a solution:

Using a different token for the unspawned zombies.

I think if we use dice or cubes (e.g. Pandemic/euro cubes), this can work. It'd be super easy to manage cubes and this way the zombie deck isn't thinned out. You'd check the card and unless it's a Necro/Abomb/Extra Activation, it goes to the discard and you place a cube where it should've spawned. Then when you need to spawn it, drawn from the zombie deck like normal. Yea, it won't be the same card that spawned the cube, but it should balance out.

The problem that hasn't been solved, tho, is the stacking of ridiculous amounts of unseen spawns in one zone. And for this I think I have a crazy idea that might be crazy enough to work:

What if there was a max amount of cubes per tile? Here's what I propose (in this case, using Pandemic cubes):
For each non-boss card (not Necro/Abom/Extra Act), place a cube of its respective color. So a blue spawn puts a blue cube in that spawn zone. If you would ever place a third cube of the same color, instead you place a cube of the next color (e.g. a zone with two yellow cubes would not add a third yellow cube but an orange cube). This would cut down a bit on ridiculous numbers of spawns while (hopefully) maintaining difficulty. I don't know yet what happens with Red cubes (No limit? Spawns boss card?), but I plan on testing this out and hopefully I can find something that works wonderfully and smoothly. This might also speed the game up! It's getting crazy up in my mind, but I feel like we're onto something... Will return with update.
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