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Subject: Taking Matters into my own Hands(An Incomplete Session/Review) rss

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Dustin Spayde
United States
Mississippi
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I, like many others, am very interested about Zombicide. As of this writeup the game has a little less than two days left on Kickstarter and is insanely over-funded. However I, and what appears to be a small minority of the geek, have been holding out to back this project.

Why?

By this point we all know the answer to that question.

No Rules & No reviews vs. $120+ (What I would spend)

So instead of complaining about it I decided to take matters into my own hands. Based on the well done Partial Rules Writeup posted in these forums, the gameplay video and anything else I could find I was determined to try and "play a game of Zombicide" to the best of my ability.

Disclaimer: This is a review/session report of a game that has incomplete rules, no official components, and many assumptions I've personally made to fill in some rule gaps.(aka TAKE THIS REVIEW VERY VERY LIGHTLY)

My Very Brief BGG History:

.Been in the hobby just over two years now.
.This is my first post, because this is the first time in two years I've ever had a question about a game and BGG did not already have the answer posted somewhere.
.I do not have any zombie games in my collection as of yet.
.I enjoy many different types of games euro & American, mechanic driven games & player driven games, coop & competitive, luck & pure strategy. All I really care about is did I have fun?

Setup:

First things first I had to select one of the included ten scenarios to attempt to play. I chose scenario 08 "Zombie Police" which is available on the guillotine games website. I chose this scenario for a few reasons.
1. Smaller map, it uses 6 tile instead of 9
2. I liked the idea of the scenario's objectives, collect a series of objective tokens around the map in order to unlock a bunker. you win if you get one survivor in the bunker.

To play this game i had to, of course, improvise the game's components. I did this by using my Mansions of Madness tiles and other components such as its figures. I laid out the game tiles as the buildings and left gaps in between to create the street zones. It was not perfect but it was close enough to remind me how the board was supposed to work. I should note I tried to keep all of my game information on hand during this play through to attempt to correct any mistakes.

Next I choose some survivors. I immediately started with Josh and Wanda because they were featured in the gameplay video. Next I chose Amy and Phil to round out my single player team of survivors. I kept track of all of the survivors equipment and stats by paper.

Now what to do about all the cards and tokens that are missing. Well tokens were easy enough i just pulled some out of MoM. The cards on the other hand were a lot trickier. Seeing as only a select few cards have been revealed I decided to change how this portion of the mechanics worked. I decided to make a table of all the cards I could find (both search cards and Zombie spawn cards) and use dice to determine which table entry to use. I agree this is less than ideal but i thought it would suffice for my purposes.

Last but not least I decided not to use the vehicles at all, as I had very little info on them.

Ok, I think that is everything. Now on to the gameplay.

Gameplay:

Right off the bat I realized I had a big issue, doors. It is my understanding that special equipment is required to open locked doors, and with the exception of Phil(starts with a Pistol) my survivors where empty handed. To make matters worse you can only search indoors. So i could not get to the equipment to open the doors because the equipment itself was locked inside. So what to do? I made the thematic decision to allow Phil to spend an action to unload a few rounds into the door opening it and causing some noise. Now I should note that it maybe possible to open a door with a pistol, I'm not totally sure, but I could have very easily not chosen Phil and ended up with four unarmed survivors.

After Opening the door I rolled my dice to see if any zombies spawned, only 1 walker (still in Blue). Phil Shot him down no problem. I then moved my other survivors into the building to look for equipment. Rolling the dice I ended up with a couple katanas, a sawed off, goalie mask, and plenty of ammo after a few game rounds of searching with Phil guarding the door.

During this time most of the street zones had begun to fill with approximately one zombie a piece. So i decided it was time to go for the first objective(the blue Obj)in the far corner of the map. After shooting down a few zombies i took Wanda and skated her to the entrance of the building containing the blue objective. Opening the door with her katana(again a rule change on my part) causing noise. The building spawned about 1-2 walkers per room (still in Blue). After some fighting Wanda was able to get to and eventually collect the objective with 5 kills (one short of yellow).

After this there was no turning back (each objective gives 5 zombie kills to the character that collects it). It was all or nothing as the hordes began to grow. The map also contained an extra red Objective which i sent amy to get right after the blue objective was collected. So now wanda and amy are at 4 actions per turn with josh and phil still in the blue. I should also mention wanda and amy both had shotguns and ammo due to an extra search and an item trade from josh.

Now on to the Green Objective back on the side of the map i started from. This is when i ran into another issue what to do when a zombie is equally attracted to two different zones? I decided to let the dice do the deciding in this case. Problem solved. Ok back to the objective, Josh had hung back to try and manage the horde a little, when the rest of the group moved forward to the blue objective, but now he was about to be overwhelmed. The rest of the team was able to come to his rescue and together they where able to clear out the four-way intersection zone. They were still surrounded tho. The next turn with plenty of shotgun and ammo to fight with amy and wanda cleared a path north to the next building's door, sending josh in to open the door (katana assumption). This spawned about 12 zombies in the entire building. It was not looking good at all for my team, but they were safe for at least one more round because all of the zombie would end there turn on the survivors different zones but not attack (this now included a few runners). On the next turn josh amy and wanda made it inside the house and cleared the first room. Phil got VERY lucky and managed to kill off the zombies in his zone. But next turn he would be easily overwhelmed. The team in the house managed to kill enough zombies to give wanda the objective once again (her fast movement is awesome).

Now the survivors where in orange territory.

This was when it became an all out dash to get someone inside the bunker. Phil had yet to move this turn and he decided to moved south to draw a lot of the zombies away from the four-way intersection. It was a suicide mission and it felt awesome. I have to say it was very thematic for the cop to sacrifice himself to give the others a fighting chance. Sure enough in the next zombie phase phil was lost but there was a small opening to get to the bunker with wanda(of course). All i needed was a few good dice rolls to pull it off. Amy came out firing with every shot landing, and josh became an urban samurai when it really counted. They cleared the way for wanda who made it to the bunker door with one action left. VICTORY.


So what did i learn from my venture?

1.Doors in the early game concern me at the moment.
2.The game felt VERY Thematic
3.It took just over an hour
4.ran out of minis at one point and busted out some other games
5.I Had FUN.

Im not sure if this will help anyone but it helped me make my decision.
Now, if you will excuse me I'm off to kickstarter to drop some cash on a bunch of plastic and cardboard.

Dustin




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Tom Howard
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Kudos to you for taking the time to set this all up! I think all your rule assumptions/adjustments were completely reasonable. I'll also admit that I certainly tensed up at reading your session report - sounds exciting!

Btw, welcome to the geek! (at least on the posting side of things) Have some bag
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Maddock Krug
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Man! You have no idea how much I appreciate your service here!

+1

All the best!
Mad
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Dustin Spayde
United States
Mississippi
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Thanks for the positive feedback guys.
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Thiago Aranha
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That was a great exercise. And I can clear up the door issue:

- During setup you'll have at least 2 survivors equipped to open doors (an Axe and a Crowbar are handed out). So they can clear the way so the rest can search for their own door-opening equipment inside.
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Stephen G Roy
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Thank you for validating my questions about gameplay. Now I have more minis AND a game to use them with!
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David Laine
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Brilliant! Enjoy the gg--you've earned it!
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The War Chief
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BRING ME THE HEAD OF SETH NEMEC AND RIK FALCH!!!!!!
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In Memorial: Moose, my dog. B:? D:01/13/16. He died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. You will be missed.
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Now I feel so much better about pledging. Between Zpocalypse and Zombicide, I'm gonna have a whole ton of cool zombies.

Thanks.
 
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R Mayers
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Well done!

Thanks
 
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Ad
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Great job! thumbsup
 
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Kieron Kelly
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Fair play. What an entry for your first post. Some GG for you sir!
 
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Mike Walko
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Nice to read. I was skeptical on backing when i saw super dungeon explore on their resume(horrible character balance) and after the MSFG debacle, I can't really justify backing any board game without reading the rules first.

But the shear amount of bonus swag almost makes it worth it just for the parts, even if I end up using them for other games and not zombicide, so it was nice to read.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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kakitamike wrote:
Nice to read. I was skeptical on backing when i saw super dungeon explore on their resume(horrible character balance) and after the MSFG debacle, I can't really justify backing any board game without reading the rules first.

But the shear amount of bonus swag almost makes it worth it just for the parts, even if I end up using them for other games and not zombicide, so it was nice to read.


Super Dungeon Explore isn't really on their resume. Zombicide is by Guillotine Games (former Rackham people, for what that's worth). Cool Mini Or Not picked it up and is acting as publisher... but the game itself (rules, character design, balance, play-testing, etc) is by Guillotine Games.
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Serial MoM
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iNano78 wrote:
kakitamike wrote:
Nice to read. I was skeptical on backing when i saw super dungeon explore on their resume(horrible character balance) and after the MSFG debacle, I can't really justify backing any board game without reading the rules first.

But the shear amount of bonus swag almost makes it worth it just for the parts, even if I end up using them for other games and not zombicide, so it was nice to read.


Super Dungeon Explore isn't really on their resume. Zombicide is by Guillotine Games (former Rackham people, for what that's worth). Cool Mini Or Not picked it up and is acting as publisher... but the game itself (rules, character design, balance, play-testing, etc) is by Guillotine Games.


And the stuff they made while they were at Rackham was awesome too.

I have to admit that i have not played Confrontation a lot, but i liked the rules and i really loved their minis.

I believe we will get a good set of rules and some awesome minis and playtiles with zombicide too.

I would not say my pledge is a no brainer, but it does have lots of braaaiiinnnzzz.
 
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Steve Carroll
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Dustin,

Thanks for the rundown.

Where on their site are scenarios? I can't find them. Thanks.

Steve
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Texas gamer wrote:
Dustin,

Thanks for the rundown.

Where on their site are scenarios? I can't find them. Thanks.

Steve


Here are the scenarios. They were taken from images of the rule book shown in photos and HD videos.
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Tison Hiland
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Man, what an exciting read! You got me all excited for this game all over again!

Can't wait until the preorders pop up. So angry that I missed the kickstarter!
 
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Jeff Smith
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Nitsud wrote:
Right off the bat I realized I had a big issue, doors. It is my understanding that special equipment is required to open locked doors, and with the exception of Phil(starts with a Pistol) my survivors where empty handed. To make matters worse you can only search indoors. So i could not get to the equipment to open the doors because the equipment itself was locked inside.

So what did i learn from my venture?

1.Doors in the early game concern me at the moment.

Well, now we know that doors are not an issue since some equipment is distributed at the beginning of the game!
 
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Sharon Gorbacz
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OMG FUN!

Since we were in on the Kickstarter, we got an advance copy of the game, along with the extra zombies and characters we'd ordered.

We played with 4 players and breezed through the tutorial, so we decided to try the first scenario. We were fighting off the zombies and doing well at picking up objective tokens, but the sheer number of zombies overwhelmed us about halfway through. We did figure out later that we weren't stocking the board exactly correctly, so we might have actually had a chance if we'd done it right.

It's a highly cooperative game. If you don't cooperate, no one will survive. Meta-gaming is encouraged. Each character has his/her own strengths. As you kill zombies, the danger level increases from blue to yellow to orange to red. At higher danger levels, you get more skills and actions in a round, but more zombies spawn too. Don't kill zombies too much faster than your friends, or else you'll get overwhelmed very quickly and they won't have the extra skills and actions to help you.

You can search buildings and cars. There are many items and weapons to find, but characters can only carry five items, with only two of those in the active slots.

Oh, the weapons! Chainsaws, sawed-off shotguns, fire axes, machetes, rifles - each has a specific range, amount of damage, and generates a different amount of noise.

Each character generates noise just by being alive. Each use of a chainsaw or firearm also generates noise. Zombies on the board who do not have line of sight on a character will move toward the loudest area, and take the shortest distance possible to get there. If the distance is equal, the zombies split up to try to find you. If the split is unequal, you have to add zombies to make it an equal split.

Types of zombies are walkers, runners (move twice as fast as walkers), fatties (always spawn with an escort of 2 walkers), and the Abomination. Cards are flipped to determine how many of each type spawn at each of the spawn points and in buildings. Spawns in buildings occur when you open up the doors. Objectives and items are found in the buildings.

The first player each round changes, clockwise, a la the governorship in Puerto Rico. This can either help or hinder the party, depending on who has what items and skills, and what sort of zombie menace you're facing that round.

The game is fast-paced, exciting, and fun. Once you start playing you'll understand the rules pretty quickly. I can see a lot of replayability in this game, as strategies will change depending on the scenario you're playing, number of players (1-6), which characters you're playing, and sheer luck of the draw on the items and zombie spawns.

The sculpts are phenomenal. They actually made a few different Walker and Runner models for variety, and each of the Survivors look great - crisp features & lots of detail. We're hoping to be able to order a few more trays of zombies so that we don't run out (really bad things can happen when you run out of a zombie type to put on the board!). We got also got the first three of the bonus Survivors - think Sheldon, Danny Trejo, and McClain from Die Hard. Waiting on the others, but I'm sure they'll be no less cool.

The cardboard punch-outs and boards are heavy and well printed. The artwork is detailed, a bit gory at times.

The cards are those little 1/4 size cards, so can be a pain to shuffle. Otherwise, good linen card stock with clear graphics.

The Survivor boards are probably the worst bits - moving the plastic experience slider will definitely start wearing these cards down before the other bits in the box. We're thinking about making color copies on cardstock and/or laminating the cards.

I'm eventually going to make some laminated full color cheat sheets from the last page in the rules manual (available in PDF on the Zombicide website). Right now I'm just making b/w copies.
 
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