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Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Hero Rankings rss

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Howard Roark
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Hi everyone. I usually play LNOE with my sister. She likes to play Zombies while I like the Heroes. I'm a pretty good Magic player, so I like thinking through plays and maximizing my chances, which is perfect for playing as Heroes.

However, it had occurred to us, after many games and across most scenarios, that the Heroes are just stronger. Zombies do not allow much leeway, especially against Heroes who actively use Zombie Hunger. If both sides made all the right plays, the Heroes would win the majority of the time.

We tried and incorporated a lot of ideas to balance the decks. We made Despair and OMG He's a Zombie auto-cancels, and will try auto-D6 or D3 for Shamble and other movement in the future.

The most successful idea was separating the Heroes into 4 groups, so that starting the game with one Hero from each group would balance out game play.

Here are our groups, with what we believe are the best Heroes to the worst:

Tier 1
Jake Cartwright (pretty obvious why, since Hero cards are so strong and key to winning)
Sam (nearly impossible to kill with good weapons and First Aid Kit/Doc Brody)
Sheriff Andersen (almost always has 1-2 Revolvers ready; insane with Laying Down the Law)

Tier 2
Father Joseph (allows Heroes to control how the game is played)
Johnny (rediculous with Chainsaw; can take out multiple zombies with proper equipment)
Sally (unreal with Chainsaw/Heroic Resolve; quite difficult to kill)

Tier 3
Rachelle (starts with Revolver, but is bad if it breaks; Intuition is too limited)
Kenny (starts in the Supermarket; yes, that's a legitimate strength)
Amanda (quite good at staying alive and herding zombies using their Hunger; Beautiful is quite risky)

Tier 4
Becky (only really effective with Father Joseph, because you don't want to get wrecked by LNOE/Bickering/Catfight)
Billy (extra movement is only relevant for some scenarios)
Jenny (the Cornfield board is pretty terrible for Heroes in the first place; all the best weapons don't test to see if they break, such as Chainsaw, Garden Shears, Fence Post)

Youth characters in general aren't as good as older Heroes, because you can't take as much advantage of Doc Brody or First Aid Kit. However, they do make the best Heroic Resolve targets, since they won't be able to search but can auto-heal.

So my question is, has anyone else tried something similar? How would you rank the Heroes?
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Heroic Resolve wrote:
However, it had occurred to us, after many games and across most scenarios, that the Heroes are just stronger. Zombies do not allow much leeway, especially against Heroes who actively use Zombie Hunger. If both sides made all the right plays, the Heroes would win the majority of the time.


Wow, that hasn't been my experience... I find the game to be pretty balanced, or even in favor of the Zombies. There seems to be a lot of people on this forum that agree with that, too, so I'm wondering if there's a chance you're not playing something right? For example, for quite a while, I was playing that the Heroes killed a Zombie if they ever rolled doubles, when it should be that they have to roll doubles and roll higher with at least one die, otherwise they lose and take a wound. Even playing that way, it was fairly even between Zombies and Heroes, but after I started playing that correctly I realized why so many others said that the game seemed to be skewed towards the Zombies. It sounds like you know the game very well, though, so I'm guessing you know what you're doing, but even with experience, I think it should be pretty closely balanced, at least if the Zombie player is equally experienced. You're right that the Zombies have less control in general, but I think the key to their success is in how they use and manage their cards and their movement options (limited though they are).

But regardless, I do like your idea of ranking the Heroes and limiting the choices for initial Heroes... it reminds me of the BSG method of having to choose characters from the different role types before a second of that type can be chosen. I would consider using that method to add a "dot" for the Zombies, per the Growing Hunger dot system. Generally speaking, I agree with your assessments of the Heroes, though I do find Sally to be particularly strong with her reroll ability, so I'd rank her higher and maybe bump down the Sheriff (if he loses his Revolver and can't easily Search again to get another, he's not that good).
 
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Biodiesel
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Heroic Resolve wrote:
However, it had occurred to us, after many games and across most scenarios, that the Heroes are just stronger. Zombies do not allow much leeway, especially against Heroes who actively use Zombie Hunger. If both sides made all the right plays, the Heroes would win the majority of the time.

Yeah, I question this assertion, too. I think even the game designer feels that the game is stacked against the Heroes. My guess is that the lack of balance is within your playgroup, not the game, or that you have fallen prey to "groupthink". I know I've suffered from it, mostly because I don't play with a variety of different people. It's easy to fall into a philosophical/strategical rut (e.g. "Becky is only effective with the Father" and "the cornfield is pretty terrible for the Heroes").

My questions to you are how often do you play as the zombies against your sister? Do you play with/against anyone else? Are you sure you're following all of the rules correctly (browse the "rules" forum)?

From a strategy stand-point, the zombies should play cards pretty much every chance they get, since they auto-draw and auto-reshuffle the deck once out. You've got to wear down the heroes rather than holding onto cards and waiting for the planets to align in your favor.
 
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