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Subject: Too easy? rss

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Ed
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I’ve been playing this a lot with my 5-year old lately. He loves the theme and look of everything and we’ve only lost once. Which leads me to my concern that the game is too easy. Cars are too strong, search action is too strong, slippery is too strong. I don’t have a problem with the friendly fire rule. Without it, game would be way too easy.

If it’s just players versus the game, then I think the game needs to be difficult or there’s no incentive to replay it. I think the best co-op games exhibit this trait. Maybe there should be a hard mode for more experienced players (e.g. start the spawn phase on yellow). What do you think? Is there an expansion for the base game that fixes these issues?

P.S. Despite all of this, I’d say this may be the perfect game for anyone with 5- to 12-year old zombie lovers in their life.
 
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Stephan Beal
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ed95005 wrote:
I’ve been playing this a lot with my 5-year old lately. He loves the theme and look of everything and we’ve only lost once. Which leads me to my concern that the game is too easy. Cars are too strong, search action is too strong, slippery is too strong. I don’t have a problem with the friendly fire rule. Without it, game would be way too easy.

One of the great thing about Zombicide is how easy it is to tune the difficulty for. The simplest and fastest way to up the difficulty is add one more zombie spawn point.

Cars, IMO, were a horrible addition to the game and can be ignored outright. (Google for "shelf life of gasoline". Not a single author/producer of zombie fiction/games has bothered to do so.) If cars bother you, don't use them (i never do except for immobile cars which can be searched).

The Search action is definitely not too strong (unless you have a character who can multi-search or search for free). Searching is the only way to find New Stuff. If you really feel that it's too strong then "pollute" the item deck with more bags of rice and soup cans (which are useless in most scenarios and effectively cause the searcher to waste a search action). Perhaps the Police Car search is arguably too strong, but the game needs a way to provide characters with better equipment than what they start with, and the Search Action is the only non-scenario-specific mechanism it has for that.

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Kunnagh Scott
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ed95005 wrote:
I’ve been playing this a lot with my 5-year old lately. He loves the theme and look of everything and we’ve only lost once. Which leads me to my concern that the game is too easy. Cars are too strong, search action is too strong, slippery is too strong. I don’t have a problem with the friendly fire rule. Without it, game would be way too easy.

If it’s just players versus the game, then I think the game needs to be difficult or there’s no incentive to replay it. I think the best co-op games exhibit this trait. Maybe there should be a hard mode for more experienced players (e.g. start the spawn phase on yellow).

Are you sure you’re not missing a rule? Zombies spawning whenever you open a new building is missed more often that one might expect. Also, when any one of you reaches (eg) yellow level, you’re all at that level for the purposes of spawning, and that usually happens pretty quickly in our games.
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Henric Eriksson
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ed95005 wrote:
. Cars are too strong, search action is too strong, slippery is too strong.

Cars are strong, but it make one player level up way ahead of the others
which often is a problem.
Hmm..never found search action being overpowered..
Rarely use the slippery skill..
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Quentin Frost
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Add more spawn points. Definitely don’t use cars. Add different kinds of zombies. And make all normal zombies, skinners.
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Stephan Beal
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MtnFrost wrote:
And make all normal zombies, skinners.

FWIW, i disagree wholeheartedly about skinners, especially when playing with a 5 year old. Skinners add complexity which no other type of zombie adds, namely in that you have to remember to treat certain dice results differently. i hate the Skinner design for that one simple reason.
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Steve Kozlowski
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Don't hand pick your survivors. We deal out two at random to each player and then pick one. If you're not doing it that way, it might make things a bit more difficult
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Stephan Beal
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Koz1120 wrote:
Don't hand pick your survivors.

Which reminds me: remember that each Survivor must complete their actions before the next Survivor goes. There is no switching back and forth between the same Survivors in a single turn.
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Ed
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kunnagh wrote:
Are you sure you’re not missing a rule? Zombies spawning whenever you open a new building is missed more often that one might expect. Also, when any one of you reaches (eg) yellow level, you’re all at that level for the purposes of spawning, and that usually happens pretty quickly in our games.
Yep, got both of those rules. We also follow the zombie splitting rule.
 
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Ed
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sgbeal wrote:
Which reminds me: remember that each Survivor must complete their actions before the next Survivor goes. There is no switching back and forth between the same Survivors in a single turn.
Yep, got this one, too.
 
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Ed
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Koz1120 wrote:
Don't hand pick your survivors. We deal out two at random to each player and then pick one. If you're not doing it that way, it might make things a bit more difficult
Hmmm, I don't see how randomizing survivors would make it harder. Then again, I'm playing with a 5-year old so I'm definitely alpha gaming his turn.
 
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Philip Lodge
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You might be playing it wrong.

We tend to play 4 player 1 survivor each. If cars are involved it can get easier but that's if a fatty doesn't spawn. We do play different car rules that have changed a bit from my current download that's linked in various threads.
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Steve Kozlowski
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ed95005 wrote:
Koz1120 wrote:
Don't hand pick your survivors. We deal out two at random to each player and then pick one. If you're not doing it that way, it might make things a bit more difficult
Hmmm, I don't see how randomizing survivors would make it harder. Then again, I'm playing with a 5-year old so I'm definitely alpha gaming his turn.

Well it depends on how you're doing it now on whether or not it would make it harder. If you have access to a ton (or all) survivors in the game, it's very easy to pick a bad ass team that should be able to smoke any mission. Random means you could end up with a hodge podge group that don't synergize very well.

Another factor is which missions you're playing. Some are just much easier than others
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Brett Schaller
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You probably know this, but it's tripped some people up so just in case. . . .

You can only search inside buildings. No searching in street zones.
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Ed
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mitchiemasha wrote:
You might be playing it wrong.

We tend to play 4 player 1 survivor each. If cars are involved it can get easier but that's if a fatty doesn't spawn. We do play different car rules that have changed a bit from my current download that's linked in various threads.
Well, the rules say for a 2p game, each player chooses 3 survivors. For 4p, you are correct, it is 1 survivor per player, which would obviously make the game a lot harder. So I'm guessing those who are guessing I'm playing wrong are playing 4p.
 
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Ed
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Brett Schaller wrote:
You probably know this, but it's tripped some people up so just in case. . . .

You can only search inside buildings. No searching in street zones.
Sorry, got this one, too. Sheesh, so much suspicion I'm playing this wrong, ha ha. I'll pay 100 GG to anyone who correctly points out a rule I'm playing wrong. Yes, we roll d6's.
 
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Mark McG
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Well I feel like a dumbass, because we routinely get overwhelmed by the zombie horde, yet a 5 yo can beat them easy.

We often end up desperately searching for the right gear as the Abomination chases us around the board! Never seem to find useful stuff.

We stopped playing car scenarios.
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Hank
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Hi.
Some possible suggestions based on your original post.

Slippery - unless you are playing a modified version of this skill - it does not allow a survivor to move through a zone with zombies in it, only to move out of a zone without incurring the action point penalty per zombie present. My group got this wrong on our first game and it does make a difference.

Cars - Again, loads of great mod rules than help to reduce their power. But, also be aware that: they don't harm fatties or the Abom. If you drive into, out of or through a zone with one or more survivors in it, they will take damage first (normally killing them). This also applies if you drive through a zone (or in or out) with another car containing survivors. If your car is full (4 in it) you can't swap driver at the end of the driver's turn, without them getting out of the vehicle first. This normally means the car can only be effective as a battering ram during one survivor's turn, because anyone that uses their last action to exit the vehicle to allow another to take the drivers' seat is going to get crushed by the car as soon as it drives off.

Check the weapon type - it is very easy to forget, in the heat of battle, that several of the (potent) shotgun style weapons need to be reloaded after each firing action.

Building spawn - remember to turn a zombie card over for every single room zone. Some of the missions have huge buildings that span several tiles with a dozen rooms in each. Even on blue danger level this can lead to a lot of zombies to handle for a poorly equipped group.

In buildings, don't forget that you can only fire into an adjacent room and no further. Even if you have a sniper rifle or a +1 range skill. LoS only extends to the next room! This make is much trickier to take down a building full of runners etc.

Buy the Angry Neighbours expansion set. The Seeker zombies add a significant level of difficulty early on as it is very easy to get swamped. Season 2 give you Berserkers which are bullet proof! Again, quite a challenge if you've not got a decent selection of melee weapons.

Hope that helps. No judgement on you at all. I've been playing a while now and we almost always forget to follow one rule in every game!
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William Hoyt
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ed95005 wrote:
Sheesh, so much suspicion I'm playing this wrong, ha ha. I'll pay 100 GG to anyone who correctly points out a rule I'm playing wrong. Yes, we roll d6's.

This isn't the first time this exact topic has popped up with the same conversation and usually someone was playing something wrong. Everyone is just running over the most obvious ones new players tend to miss. One of the original rules we had initially got wrong was how Fatties protect the runners with their higher toughness.

Also, alpha gaming the entire group (yes, no need to remind me of your 5 year old, i get it) makes the game much easier. Unless you get a really bad run of spawn cards or rolls or searches.

So Mission 1, with 4 survivors, collecting all the goods and everyone escaping was easy then? We've always found this a nice medium difficulty one to play. Having played it a dozen times. We don't loose survivors but its almost always a close game. Never usually a blow out.

BTW when you say it's easy? Are you meaning no thought was really required and victory was a guarantee with little decision? It's a light game. Tactically fun. But deep, no...not by miles. Get a group of individuals and don't alpha game and watch...

It's a super fun, light, sandbox game that lends itself to tinkering to fit your needs. We tend to play Black Plague more now with the continued progression of the rules being slightly more interesting to us in this incarnation.

For modern, we usually play Season 3. We prefer that rule set and the additions accompanying it.

Cheers & Happy Gaming,
~Will
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Ed
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hankAA wrote:
Slippery - unless you are playing a modified version of this skill - it does not allow a survivor to move through a zone with zombies in it, only to move out of a zone without incurring the action point penalty per zombie present. My group got this wrong on our first game and it does make a difference.
Hmmm, I’m not following you. First action, Josh moves into zone full of zombies. Second action, Josh takes objective. Third action, Josh moves to another zone. Is that a valid turn?

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Cars - Again, loads of great mod rules than help to reduce their power. But, also be aware that: they don't harm fatties or the Abom. If you drive into, out of or through a zone with one or more survivors in it, they will take damage first (normally killing them). This also applies if you drive through a zone (or in or out) with another car containing survivors. If your car is full (4 in it) you can't swap driver at the end of the driver's turn, without them getting out of the vehicle first. This normally means the car can only be effective as a battering ram during one survivor's turn, because anyone that uses their last action to exit the vehicle to allow another to take the drivers' seat is going to get crushed by the car as soon as it drives off.
We play all of this correctly —- except wait we did not play in our last game that survivors in a car take damage from another car entering the zone. Got me, good job, ha ha. I remember checking the rules and thinking it was ambiguous. But looking at them again, seems clear enough: everyone in the zone gets hit.

Quote:
Check the weapon type - it is very easy to forget, in the heat of battle, that several of the (potent) shotgun style weapons need to be reloaded after each firing action.

Building spawn - remember to turn a zombie card over for every single room zone. Some of the missions have huge buildings that span several tiles with a dozen rooms in each. Even on blue danger level this can lead to a lot of zombies to handle for a poorly equipped group.

In buildings, don't forget that you can only fire into an adjacent room and no further. Even if you have a sniper rifle or a +1 range skill. LoS only extends to the next room! This make is much trickier to take down a building full of runners etc.
Yep, check, check, and check.

Quote:
Buy the Angry Neighbours expansion set. The Seeker zombies add a significant level of difficulty early on as it is very easy to get swamped. Season 2 give you Berserkers which are bullet proof! Again, quite a challenge if you've not got a decent selection of melee weapons.

Hope that helps. No judgement on you at all. I've been playing a while now and we almost always forget to follow one rule in every game!
 
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Stephan Beal
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ed95005 wrote:
hankAA wrote:
Slippery - unless you are playing a modified version of this skill - it does not allow a survivor to move through a zone with zombies in it, only to move out of a zone without incurring the action point penalty per zombie present. My group got this wrong on our first game and it does make a difference.
Hmmm, I’m not following you. First action, Josh moves into zone full of zombies. Second action, Josh takes objective. Third action, Josh moves to another zone. Is that a valid turn?

Many people have historically mis-played Slippery, but it sounds to me like you're doing it right except that an Objective cannot, unless i'm sorely misremembering, be taken as long as there are zombies in the objective's space.

Edit: there is no penalty for moving into a zone with zombies, only out of a zone, and Slippery removes that penalty.

Season 3 clarified Slippery wrote:
Slippery* – The Survivor does not spend extra Actions when he performs a Move Action through a Zone containing Zombies. Entering a Zone containing Zombies ends the
Survivor’s Move Action.

The "ends move action" part is important when pairing Slippery with any ability which lets you move more than 1 zone per action.
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Ed
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Many people have historically mis-played Slippery, but it sounds to me like you're doing it right except that an Objective cannot, unless i'm sorely misremembering, be taken as long as there are zombies in the objective's space.
Had the exact thought while I was replying to you so I checked the rulebook and it depends on the scenario. It’s not like search, there’s nothing inherently that stops you from grabbing an objective with zombies around. Which is why Josh has won us a couple of scenarios where we were dead otherwise.
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Ed
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Floydski wrote:
So Mission 1, with 4 survivors, collecting all the goods and everyone escaping was easy then? We've always found this a nice medium difficulty one to play. Having played it a dozen times. We don't loose survivors but its almost always a close game. Never usually a blow out.
No, this was a tough one. Lost the first time, won the second time, and both times were with 6 survivors. 4 survivors? Yikes.

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BTW when you say it's easy? Are you meaning no thought was really required and victory was a guarantee with little decision?
Not at all, definitely a game that requires thought and good decisions. Maybe it’s the masochist in me but I’d say my complaint is we tend to win too much and I don’t consider myself any sort of Zombicide expert. That shouldn’t occur in a co-op game, at least not to my taste.
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Stephan Beal
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ed95005 wrote:
Maybe it’s the masochist in me but I’d say my complaint is we tend to win too much and I don’t consider myself any sort of Zombicide expert.

The easiest way to "fix" that is add a single zombie spawn point. On a larger map, maybe 2 (as a spawn point far away from the action really doesn't do anything except waste minis). i am assuming you're using Season 1, but if you're willing to hack just a tiny bit, i recommend the spawning rules from Season 3 (edit: available in PDF form from the publisher's site), as they are less predictable (and can integrate flawlessly into any Season - you just need 6 tokens or extra dice to mark the numbered spawn points). Zombicide's ease of tuning is one of the reasons this game is right up at the top of my collection.

Hank mentioned the Seeker zombies and i wholeheartedly agree: they're highly unpredictable and have killed more of my (former) Survivors than any other single zombie type. That said, i more often use a mix of Berserk (from Season 2) and Toxic (from Toxic City Mall) because those complement each other well: Berzerkers have to be killed in melee and Toxics have to be killed from afar, so combined groups of them can be problematic.
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I also thought this game was really easy. We have followed all the rules as well. I did make it harder by taking out all the spawn cards that were empty for the first blue phase. That way a zombie is always spawning. As others have said, you can also add another spawn point.
 
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