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Subject: Issues I have with this game - please advise rss

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Krzysztof Zięba
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Ok, so I really like the feel of the game. But, unfortunately, I find it very frustrating. This is why:

- After seven games, the heroes haven't seen even a single victory, and were very seldomly close.
- The zombies are too powerful and too numerous.
- The weapons are few and far between. What's more: I keep losing them due to bad rolls, or simply don't find any use for them as I keep missing.
- A six rolled by the Zombie player during a fight is an automatic win unless cancelled by a card.
- Scenarios in which the goal is too find a specific item are only won per the "Just what I need" card or extreme luck.
- I feel there is too little time for Searching. A card drawn by a Hero every third turn is simply not enough. Even drawing every other turn or two turns in a row doesn't help - the cards are mostly inferior to Zombie cards.

I played the following scenarios to date:
- Die, Zombie, Die! 2 times
- Stock Up!
- Escape in the Truck
- Defend the Manor
- Save the Townsfolk
- Burn 'Em Out!

I've been using only the basic heroes, and gradually introducing cards from the Stock Up and Revenge of Dead supplements. I do own the Growing Hunger expansion, but haven't used it yet as I want the game to stay fresh for longer. All games have been played with two players.

I need some serious advise on playing the Heroes, ideally dealing with each of the scenarios. As it is now, I can't see a chance for the heroes to win - taking into account the odds, my dice rolls, and the fight mechanic. I do know that heroes do win in games, it's just I can't see how - and that's why I need the advice.
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Ian Klinck
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We've only played once, or maybe twice (someone that used to come out to game nights had the game), and I think the heroes won, but, if not, it was very close.

I recall a lot of teamwork, and holing up in buildings where you could search. We did start getting herded into the middle of the board towards the end of the game, but I think we held out.

We did have one tweak to the rules: Someone got killed about 2/3 through, and we let them come back as another character. It actually worked out very well thematically: The "Mysterious Stranger" (or whatever he's called) came into town, looking to save the day... then promptly got turned into a zombie, and zombified someone else.
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Tovarich Pizann
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I've played Die Zombie Die three times. The first time we played, the Zombies won pretty handily, but we discovered we weren't playing it correctly. The second time we played, we played by the rules, and the humans won a hard fought battle that was anybody's game all the way to the end. The third time the Zombies won with the humans at 11 kills, but they had had some serious bad luck with firearms rolls which worked very much against them.

I've also played Defend the Manor once. That variant is significantly harder, though we figured out a strategy toward the end - you actually want to keep the humans outside of the manor and lure the zombies away from the house. I just wished we'd figured it out sooner. Still, we lasted 15 of the 17 turns. Again, close game.

My question for you: how much time do your human players spend looking for weapons? The success of the humans seems to be more or less directly proportional to the amount of time spent looking for gear.

I frankly think this is one of the best balanced games I've played in a long time. The combat is a little too reliant on luck for my taste, but every game I've played (correctly ) has been close.
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Dan Cain
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Are you just playing with one hero on the board? If I am not mistaken, I believe in a two player game you are supposed to control four, or five heros, because otehrwise, you are right, it is hopeless for the lone hero. You have to search, and search, and search. Search, until you can't search no more. Weapons will turn up, and you will figure out what hero/weapon combos work best with special powers. Each hero you are playing with should also get a turn before the zombie player, otherwise it does become quite unbalanced.

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.308 Jake
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Use long range weapons...you don't want to fight zombies hand to hand. It sounds like you may be playing something wrong if you have too many zombies. Are ALL the heroes getting a turn before the zombies move? So it should be 4 heroe turns to every one zombie turn. Zombies only spawn at the end of the zombie turn and it's only one D6 that they spawn.
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Brian F
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I like this game alot now but I shared your same frustrations in the beginning, heroes just couldn't win -it's good you already own Growing Hunger and one thing that has helped balance the game for our group has been to use the random search counters so they can burn thru the deck a bit quicker (also a chance they will be attacked too so it's not all good just for them).

We have used this rule and the door locking rule (heroes place 2 doors to their liking at start and doors locked card is permanent) as well and it feels a lot more even. there are a few other suggested rules in growing hunger that can tilt the heroe's chances a bit - play around with some of them til you find a combo that seems fair , that's what we did.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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richpizor wrote:
My question for you: how much time do your human players spend looking for weapons? The success of the humans seems to be more or less directly proportional to the amount of time spent looking for gear.


I'm trying to hold up with as many heroes as possible in a building until a Zombie is one space away (that is: will move due to hunger next Zombie turn). I also try to Search and shoot them down when I can, but I feel the ranged weapons are rather badly introduced (I hit maybe 20% of the time with the Revolver, the 4+ would suggest it should be 50%).

lastalchemist wrote:
Are you just playing with one hero on the board? If I am not mistaken, I believe in a two player game you are supposed to control four, or five heros, because otehrwise, you are right, it is hopeless for the lone hero.


Of course I'm playing with four heroes That would be a very silly mistake to make... And games would probably last about 10 minutes tops with one Hero.
 
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Dana R.
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I think teamwork is the key. In early games hero's were very much independent and we lost without much of a chance. later on we wised up and found teamwork IS the key to having a chance. Still hard to win mind you but you at least have a chance.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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trippercook wrote:
Zombies only spawn at the end of the zombie turn and it's only one D6 that they spawn.


I find that D6 to usually be overwhermingly much. I know they don't move to quick, but cards like "Shamble" and "Relentless Advance" are very common and it seems like they're there almost each turn.
Searching is a must, of course, but as I already stated, I find it rather hard to search AND avoid hand-to-hand combat. If searching was something you could do IN ADDITION to moving, I probably wouldn't have this issue.

wyrm187 wrote:
there are a few other suggested rules in growing hunger that can tilt the heroe's chances a bit - play around with some of them til you find a combo that seems fair , that's what we did.


I probably will and possibly tweak the game with some house rules, but the thing is that I'd rather use Growing Hunger later on, as I want the game to stay fresh for as long as possible.
Plus, I was hoping the basic game would be a bit more balanced - as it is now, it's falling a bit short of my expectations.
 
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Jon Grey
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Lord_Kristof wrote:
Ok, so I really like the feel of the game. But, unfortunately, I find it very frustrating. This is why:

- After seven games, the heroes haven't seen even a single victory, and were very seldomly close.


Things should change very soon. I had the same experience early on. Chalk it up to the inexperience of both teams, but being a Zombie player early on is much more forgiving.

Quote:
- The weapons are few and far between. What's more: I keep losing them due to bad rolls, or simply don't find any use for them as I keep missing.


You may find Sheriff Anderson and Rachelle to suit your style of play if weapons don't come to you easily.

Quote:
- A six rolled by the Zombie player during a fight is an automatic win unless cancelled by a card.


Not necessarily true. Johnny's Tough ability allows him to pull a win on tie. Sally's Luck ability can force a Zombie player to re-roll an unsavory roll.

Quote:

- Scenarios in which the goal is too find a specific item are only won per the "Just what I need" card or extreme luck.


Not true either. If you use Jake's resourceful ability you can turn over enough cards to eventually drop what you need into the discard pile, and use a buildings Pick Up: to grab that item (gasoline, for example).

Other than that, we must be extremely lucky, because we always find just what we need for such scenarios.

Quote:
- I feel there is too little time for Searching. A card drawn by a Hero every third turn is simply not enough. Even drawing every other turn or two turns in a row doesn't help - the cards are mostly inferior to Zombie cards.


There's enough time to search. Spread across 4 Heroes, all of which searching at the same time will burn through cards like crazy. It's a sign of a good Zombie player to keep Heroes moving instead of searching.

Quote:
I played the following scenarios to date:
- Die, Zombie, Die! 2 times
- Stock Up!
- Escape in the Truck
- Defend the Manor
- Save the Townsfolk
- Burn 'Em Out!

I've been using only the basic heroes, and gradually introducing cards from the Stock Up and Revenge of Dead supplements. I do own the Growing Hunger expansion, but haven't used it yet as I want the game to stay fresh for longer. All games have been played with two players.

I need some serious advise on playing the Heroes, ideally dealing with each of the scenarios. As it is now, I can't see a chance for the heroes to win - taking into account the odds, my dice rolls, and the fight mechanic. I do know that heroes do win in games, it's just I can't see how - and that's why I need the advice.


I've had the best success with Father Joseph, Becky, Johnny, and Sheriff Anderson. Father Joseph's ability to cancel Zombie Cards makes him an invaluable Hero; Becky mends his wounds (and the Sheriff's) so the Father can keep canceling. Coupled with Faith, he's actually an exceptional melee fighter as well. Johnny and the Sheriff are fighters right out of the gate; give Johnny a hand weapon and he'll pay dividends. Whomever uses the Sheriff usually racks up the most kills. Jenny's also a great melee combatant, almost guaranteed to win every fight with a crowbar and baseball bat.

As for actual strategy, liberal searching is absolutely necessary. Don't let the Zombies constantly chase you out of a building until you absolutely have to leave.

If you're not using Well Stocked Buildings yet (Growing Hunger rule), then you'll need to turn over cards as frequently as possible. Since you can only use the Pick Up: ability of buildings on cards in the discard pile, don't always get hung up on cards that are discarded. Sometimes the Zombie player may play a card that discards some from your Hero Deck, but this can always play into your hands through the Pick Up: ability.

Use the Zombie Hunger rule to your advantage. Use Heroes that are proficient fighters to draw Zombies off your vulnerable allies. Especially during Defend the Manor House, use Zombie Hunger to keep them out of the house.

Use Father Joseph to cancel burdensome Zombie Cards. Cards like Shamble, Urrgh!, Unstoppable, and the like aren't usually game changers. Heavy Rain is often a target for a cancel, anything that impedes your movement (one of the Heroes biggest advantage) must go. Sometimes a building is about to be Taken Over that Heroes are occupying or one that has a useful Pick Up: item, I'd cancel these if it puts us at a strategic disadvantage or again impedes mobility. Fight: cards aren't often canceled.. not usually a reason for the Father to take a Wound to prevent another.

There's nothing you can do about bad rolls. We've all had them, just try to adapt your strategies to the best of your ability if rolls don't go your way.
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Nicholas Vitek
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The trick for the humans is to get into a building's doorway and search, search search search until the zombies get close. Meanwhile, another hero is doing the same thing across the board, and another elsewhere, and another elsewhere.

With the 4 heroes spread out, the zombies are spread out and they have a hole in their 'net' that you can exploit to run between to head to a new building.

If you are only searching once every 3 turns, you're going to have a problem. A major problem.

And yes, a zombie rolling a 6 is autowin unless you play a card or have a hero power (Force zombie to reroll, win on ties, etc).

It is about playing to the abilities that each hero has.


In regards to the human cards being 'subpar', my personally opinion is that you are wrong. Human weapons are hugely powerful and long lasting. Baseball bat is great, flare gun is insane, etc.

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Jon Grey
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Lord_Kristof wrote:

If searching was something you could do IN ADDITION to moving, I probably wouldn't have this issue.


This is something you can do via "Free Search Markers" with the Growing Hunger expansion. Go ahead and crack that box open.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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SJBenoist wrote:

2. Your not automatically spawning Zombies every round, right?


No, but the thing is, that usually if they do not spawn, there's already a lot of them on the board. I find that the game starting with a lot of zombies is an immediate disatvantage for the Heroes.
Spawning isn't much of a problem, but with cards like "My God, they've taken the..." and "There's too many!" the zombies spawn like crazy and it's nothing strange for a player to go from 6 or 7 zombies to 12 or more in a single round.
 
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Sounds like you aren't searching enough. If you expect to have to fight 2 zombies before your next turn, and are unarmed, you can probably "break even" by searching. You can expect to take 1 wound for every 2 zombies you fight unarmed, and 1 wound is probably an appropriate "average" for the utility of searches. Most weapons will prevent more than 1 wound during their lifetime, several events prevent wounds, heal wounds, or cancel fights (thus preventing wounds). Taking one wound in order to search is generally a fine cost.

Also, from the way you describe it, it sounds like you are having several Heroes flee just because one zombie got close. You are wasting a LOT of searches out of fear of one zombie? It is not likely that all of those Heroes are unarmed. Put the biggest and baddest Hero against that Zombie and you can probably kill it before it even threatens the other Heroes, so they can stay put. You don't have to be on the run. Most scenarios can not be won by avoiding fights. Remember, killing Heroes is usually only a secondary condition for the Zombie player to win. In most scenarios, you have to search to win, which means you have to fight.
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Bryann Turner
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You have to roll OVER the number of Zombies on the board to spawn zombies. I find it very hard for Zombies to continually populate the board as a Zombie player.

All the advice here is sound, too.

Is the Zombie player drawing 4 cards per turn, or UP TO 4 cards each turn. If he is drawing tons of cards, then there's a big problem right there. He is only allowed to have 4 cards TOTAL (unless he draws the card that lets him draw 3 more immediately.)

I find the game incredibly well balanced, and I love to play, so it saddens me to think you'll be giving it up or modifying it.
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Gordon Adams
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The answers to the problems KZ is having will probably be the ones I will experience because I will be playing this game solo very soon and have taken every comment made here on board.
Thanks.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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btizo wrote:

I find the game incredibly well balanced, and I love to play, so it saddens me to think you'll be giving it up or modifying it.


Let me assure you that I'm playing by the rules - I rarely have trouble with grasping them and I always double check anything I'm unsure of.
Right now I believe that my ongoing bad luck is the major factor. I'm hoping that with all the good advice here (which I am thankful for) I'll be able to make it a less decisive thing and maybe even overcome it. I'll write how it goes - I'm probably playing a game of two today.
 
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Krzysztof Zięba
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Ok, I played "Die Zombies Die" with the advanced cards (I'm using both the Revenge of the Dead and Stock Up supplements) twice, and the Heroes didn't win either of the games. My girlfriend killed 10 zombies, I killed 6, both games ended with the death of the second hero.

One question popped up: what do you usually do when you have a Wounded Student Hero (Two wounds total - in my game it was Jenny) and a Zombie in close vicinity (meaning - Zombie Hunger will make him enter the space next turn):
- Run
- Use Youth to heal
- Search in hope of finding a new item or event that will help the hero to heal or to kill the zombie

This is what I find really frustrating about the young heroes - two wounds are simply not enough.
 
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Anders Pedersen
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It depends on the movement die.
If you roll a 1, you might as well stay in the space and heal. If there has been only a few weapons appearing so far, maybe you could take a chance and search.
If you roll 2+ you could consider leaving the house, if it could place you far from other zombies, and in a good place to search in future turns.
But the question is very situational.
Using one character as bait, to draw a lot of zombies away from the rest of the team, can sometimes be a solution as well. It really depends on the number of zombies on the board, plus the position of the other heroes.

As for your problem, in general:
When I started playing the game, the zombies lost the first 10 games, or so. This made our group drop playing LNoE, in favor of other games.
Earlier this year we decided to give it a try again. Now the win/lose ratio is close to 50/50!
I think you simply have to rethink your strategy and play more tactical with your heroes. Use the advice in this thread, but remember there is no sure way of winning. If the cards or dice are against you in a game, there is very little you can do.


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Gordon Adams
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I shall be buying this game next week so these helpfull hints will help me, too.

Thanks
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Krzysztof Zięba
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Two games today, I'm at 13 plays. No Hero victories for me. Today we played "Save the Townsfolk" twice - I lost miserably, my girlfriend won without much trouble other than losing one character.

I'm starting to think I'm just not getting this game...
 
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.308 Jake
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Zombies can only move one space so they should be pretty easy to run from. Get a ranged weapon and keep your distance. It only takes one hit from a ranged weapon to kill a zombie.
 
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trippercook wrote:
Zombies can only move one space so they should be pretty easy to run from. Get a ranged weapon and keep your distance. It only takes one hit from a ranged weapon to kill a zombie.


Nothing new here. It's getting the weapon and then not loosing it after the first shot that I find challenging...
Plus, running around doesn't count for nothing, as you cannot search while not in a building.
And then there's "Shamble" and "Relentless Advance" to break the "Zombie moves one space" rule.
 
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.308 Jake
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Well if you keep losing your weapons you can get to a building that will let you take it from the discard pile instead of searching. If you're the cop, you can always get your gun back instead of searching aswell.
 
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Michael Kefauver
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Sounds to me like you're having an insane streak of bad luck. You shouldn't be losing a gun right after getting it that often. If it's a pistol, that's a 1/6 chance, a shotgun 1/3.
Shamble happens, yes, but it only effects one zombie, and then there's a die roll. Relentless advance is one more space, but the board is pretty darn big. And zombie 'insta-wins' on sixes happen one every six fights. That's assuming no special abilites, too. As someone else said, Johnny wins ties, Sally forces re-rolls, etc. Add that to weapons that force re-rolls (And even if they break on the first attack, it should sitll stop the insta-win) and all the events that cancel fights (which can be used after the insta-win) and heal/cancel wounds... There's not much you can draw that DOESN'T help fix that situation. Guns keep them away, weapons help you fight, and most events do a variety of things.

Next game, try holding your ground for as long as possible. Search for 4 turns or until you get something good with each hero, whatever comes first.
 
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