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Subject: Zombicide: Any ideas on a GameMaster / Game Screen to hide areas unseen? rss

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Michael Handorf
United States
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Please forgive me if this topic has been discussed, or I’m in the wrong section.

I’ve played Zombicide a few times (and Deep Madness, and other games) and really enjoyed them.

But I can’t help thinking the game’s enjoyment wouldn’t be magnified if the players didn’t see what they couldn’t see, or know what they shouldn’t know.

In other words, keep all of the game mechanics, but a GameMaster runs the game, draws all spawn cards, moves and activates all enemies, etc. But this would require some way to ‘shield’ the areas of the map the players don’t currently occupy (and spawn points). The players shouldn’t know an Abomination is rambling down the street around that corner up ahead.

So, there would have to be a player keeping track of the enemies, where they are, etc, without putting them out on the board. Same with objective tokens.
Then, when a player rounds a corner, he or she would see whatever enemies were in the new line of sight.

Has anyone tried to implement this? What has worked? How do you keep entire map section ‘invisible’?

Thanks so much!
 
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Per Glöde
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hand0rf wrote:
I’m in the wrong section.
 
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Davey Boy
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Please excuse Per's rudeness. You're better off asking this in the Zombicide forum - somebody probably has a solution already!
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Benj Davis
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You could also use a different approach (kind of like the "blips" in Space Hulk): when you'd spawn zombies, instead put out a mystery token, which moves like a regular zombie. When a survivor comes into line of sight of the token, then you flip a Zombie card and spawn the zombies shown at the token, and remove it.
So the players know there's something there, but not what until they scout it.
 
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Benj Davis
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(but yeah, this should be in the Zombicide forum)
 
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Chris Rees
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Jlerpy wrote:
You could also use a different approach (kind of like the "blips" in Space Hulk): when you'd spawn zombies, instead put out a mystery token, which moves like a regular zombie. When a survivor comes into line of sight of the token, then you flip a Zombie card and spawn the zombies shown at the token, and remove it.
So the players know there's something there, but not what until they scout it.

The only flaw here is that different zombies move in different ways, and zombie groups will split. It would be weird to walk into a zone that has been moving one space at a time just to find out that it's a set of rats, runners, or wolves. To make this (and probably most other solutions) work, you'd want some way of tracking game state for the GM so they can mark which zombies are where and move them appropriately. It might give away some information if your players are paying attention to the fact that some of your tokens are moving multiple spaces, but that's fine.

hand0rf wrote:
But I can’t help thinking the game’s enjoyment wouldn’t be magnified if the players didn’t see what they couldn’t see, or know what they shouldn’t know.

In other words, keep all of the game mechanics, but a GameMaster runs the game, draws all spawn cards, moves and activates all enemies, etc. But this would require some way to ‘shield’ the areas of the map the players don’t currently occupy (and spawn points). The players shouldn’t know an Abomination is rambling down the street around that corner up ahead.

For what it's worth, I play Zombicide weekly and have over 100 plays under my belt. This idea sounds cool, but also like it could lead to a lot of deaths and failed missions if someone walks into a square they can't handle or a square with wolves/runners/etc they can no longer escape because they had no way to plan or prepare. This idea also ignores that some enemies can attack from a distance (Deadeye Walkers, Ablobination), or may activate differently depending on if players are in line of sight or not (Abominatroll), so those would be especially dangerous with hidden information. You'd probably have to adjust spawns a bit to not be as heavy at times to make up for the lack of information. The game is heavily dependent on players actually having knowledge of the full game state at all times so that they know when it's okay to, or when they must, take a risk or work together. Enemies being capable of multiple activations, moving through walls, or capable of inflicting multiple wounds heavily influence strategy.
 
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Benj Davis
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Serneum wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
You could also use a different approach (kind of like the "blips" in Space Hulk): when you'd spawn zombies, instead put out a mystery token, which moves like a regular zombie. When a survivor comes into line of sight of the token, then you flip a Zombie card and spawn the zombies shown at the token, and remove it.
So the players know there's something there, but not what until they scout it.

The only flaw here is that different zombies move in different ways, and zombie groups will split. It would be weird to walk into a zone that has been moving one space at a time just to find out that it's a set of rats, runners, or wolves. To make this (and probably most other solutions) work, you'd want some way of tracking game state for the GM so they can mark which zombies are where and move them appropriately. It might give away some information if your players are paying attention to the fact that some of your tokens are moving multiple spaces, but that's fine.


I was thinking of it as still for GM-less play. I don't think adding a GM will be worth it unless you have a scenario that really works off surprises.
And I don't think it's that weird. Easy enough to explain it as that even the faster kinds of monsters are just kind of patrolling and wandering towards noise, then break into a sprint once survivors are actually spotted.
It DOES mean that the game will be harder though, as the players will have less information. You'd need to account for that.
 
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Chris Rees
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Jlerpy wrote:
I was thinking of it as still for GM-less play. I don't think adding a GM will be worth it unless you have a scenario that really works off surprises.
And I don't think it's that weird. Easy enough to explain it as that even the faster kinds of monsters are just kind of patrolling and wandering towards noise, then break into a sprint once survivors are actually spotted.
It DOES mean that the game will be harder though, as the players will have less information. You'd need to account for that.

I suppose that is a way to make it fit thematically. Another thing to consider would be that you might be more likely to run out of figures as zombies would be moving slower and would probably lead to more groups that eventually get a spawn card associated with them. How would you handle necromancers? You'd have a token representing movement towards players and suddenly the Necro would drop a spawn point where the token was revealed and then he may change directions? Double Spawn could be a little tricky as well. I guess you'd just spawn two cards in that tile instead of dealing with the normal rules.


I also realize that I mention BP/GH mechanics a lot, and this may be an idea for Modern. I'm just speaking from the experience I have, so some of my concerns may not even be valid
 
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Benj Davis
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Serneum wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
I was thinking of it as still for GM-less play. I don't think adding a GM will be worth it unless you have a scenario that really works off surprises.
And I don't think it's that weird. Easy enough to explain it as that even the faster kinds of monsters are just kind of patrolling and wandering towards noise, then break into a sprint once survivors are actually spotted.
It DOES mean that the game will be harder though, as the players will have less information. You'd need to account for that.

I suppose that is a way to make it fit thematically. Another thing to consider would be that you might be more likely to run out of figures as zombies would be moving slower and would probably lead to more groups that eventually get a spawn card associated with them.

I don't get what you mean here.

Quote:
Also, what do you do when you draw Extra Activation cards?

Now THAT is a good question. I have no idea.
This could also be an issue with things like Manhole cards too. But at least with those you could explain it as you thought you heard something moving over there, at the end of the street, but it was really coming ... FROM UNDERGROUND! OH NO!

Quote:
How would you handle necromancers?

I don't know how they work. It's that a Black Plague thing?

Quote:
That would be brutal if one could get off the board before someone figured it out, though the movement towards a spawn zone should hopefully top someone off.

No, because until you get into line of sight, the token moves like a regular zombie. There's nothing to tip the players off, because there's nobody who knows any different.


Quote:
Enter The Horde from Green Horde would be rough with this, too.

I haven't played Green Horde, so ... I have no idea.
 
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Chris Rees
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Jlerpy wrote:
Serneum wrote:
Jlerpy wrote:
I was thinking of it as still for GM-less play. I don't think adding a GM will be worth it unless you have a scenario that really works off surprises.
And I don't think it's that weird. Easy enough to explain it as that even the faster kinds of monsters are just kind of patrolling and wandering towards noise, then break into a sprint once survivors are actually spotted.
It DOES mean that the game will be harder though, as the players will have less information. You'd need to account for that.

I suppose that is a way to make it fit thematically. Another thing to consider would be that you might be more likely to run out of figures as zombies would be moving slower and would probably lead to more groups that eventually get a spawn card associated with them.

I don't get what you mean here.
You need a way to represent zombies on the board before they flip and you get a specific spawn. So on the far side of the board away from players, you'll likely have a ton of these walking around. At some point, a lot of them will get line of sight in a short amount of time, and I think that could lead to running out of figures quickly.

Jlerpy wrote:
Quote:
That would be brutal if one could get off the board before someone figured it out, though the movement towards a spawn zone should hopefully top someone off.

No, because until you get into line of sight, the token moves like a regular zombie. There's nothing to tip the players off, because there's nobody who knows any different.
I realized that after and updated my post while you were responding, sorry
 
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Benj Davis
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Ah, didn't see your edit. That clarifies things.
And yes, I see what you mean about maybe running out of figures. That causes an extra activation, yeah? That could be ... pretty deadly.
 
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Michael Handorf
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Thanks for all the help! I knew someone would put me in the right area!
 
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Christopher Dickey
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My personal favorite way of playing is to use markers (poker chips, glass beads, etc.) that correspond to each threat level color. Whenever a zombie spawns that is not in line of sight, i use one of these markers. Once the marker is in line of sight, I spawn zombies based on the threat level of the marker. Extra movements only effect revealed zombies. I feel this balances out the difficulty enough, between not getting as many extra movements and not knowing what zombies are what. Thematically, as has already been stated, runners and abominations just wander about like walkers until they actually see a survivor.

I've only played modern zombicide (I own medieval, just never broke into it), so I can't say how well this works for necromancers and what not.

I also own tons all of the expansions and kickstarter exclusives, so running out of zombies has never been an issue.

I believe in the file section, you will be able to find a sheet of markers. They're the first player token image, but with the different colored backgrounds. I had requested this years ago and I cannot remember who provided them (thank you again!) but I'm pretty sure they uploaded them here.
 
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