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Subject: Super Simple Zombicide Scoring System rss

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Yoki Erdtman
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I came up with a simple scoring system to evaluate your victories in Zombicide. I add up each victorious Survivor's XP total, add in 5 points for each food Equipment Card (Water, Bag of Rice, and Canned Food) among them, and then add a multiplier based on starting group size compared to the largest size allowed by the Scenario.


Zombicide Scoring System

XP: Each winning Survivor scores their XP in points (capped at 43), add these scores together.

Food: +5 points per Bag of Rice, Water, and Canned Food Equipment Card in the victorious Survivors' posession.

Group Size Multiplier: If your starting group of Survivors were smaller than the maximum number of starting Survivors allowed by the Scenario (usually 6), then multiply the group's score by the max group size and divide that sum by the actual size of your starting group of Survivors.


Example Scoring

Doug, Dave, Nick and El Cholo took on Scenario 10, Small Town*. Doug and Dave survived, the former with 37 XP, the latter with 23, and 4 food cards in between them. This equals 70 points. The max number of survivors for this mission is 6, therefore I will multiply my score by 6 and divide it by 4 (70 x 6 = 420, and 420 / 4 = 105). They earned 105 points in victory!

A score of 105 points divided by Scenario 10's max possible High Score of 303, means I scored a tad under 35% of the max. After I'm done writing this post, I will or course try to beat my personal high score. zombie

*Note: Scenario 10, Small Town, as written grants victory once all 4 Objectives have been collected, but I added an Exit marker to the starting zone, as a house rule, as it felt weird giving myself a win, while the team was still surrounded by zombies.


Zombicide Scenario High Scores

The main reason to cap points for XP at 43 is to create a maximum high score attainable in each scenario, but of course also to avoid tracking extra XP by other means than the Survivors' ID Cards. In a single deck of equipment cards there are currently 3 of each food Equipment Card (Water, Bag of Rice, and Canned Food), for a total of 45 possible points. The max combined XP score for any scenario that allows 6 survivors is 258. Add those together and you can score a maximum of 303 points in the official Scenarios 01-08 and 10, while the high score in Scenario 09 is only 174 points (due to only allowing a max starting group size of 3 Survivors).


Design Notes

Danger Level Multiplier: I considered a bonus multiplier for each Danger Level below Red at the end of a Scenario, but that doesn't back up my own play style preferences, and I therefore left it out. I want the players to take risks in Zombicide, the current scoring system encourages this. Note that the opposite, that is granting a bonus based on the final Danger Level is a moot point, as that is already included in your XP totals.

Wounds Penalty: The same logic that applies to my thoughts on the final Danger Level, also applies to any penalties based on the total number of Wounds among the survivors. Such a penalty would discourage risk taking, and does not fit into my play sessions of Zombicide.

Why No Other Equipment Card Bonuses? Weapons and their accessories are already a big part of how you racked up your precious XP totals, so they're out. I considered granting a bonus for Gasoline, but it's already such a precious resource. The food items however, are not of any use in any of the official Scenarios, apart from being a victory condition in Scenario 01, City Blocks.

Why No Bonus for Objective Tokens? Because each official scenario* already grants 5 bonus XP for taking it. (*Yes, I know this is not true of Scenario 00, Tutorial.)

No Points for Losers! As you can tell my scoring system doesn't grant any points in failing to win a scenario. There's simply no point in doing so in my personal opinion, as losses are quite common in Zombicide. You may of course record your XP totals for posterity, but this system only evaluates winners!

Tiebreakers: Oh so you want to compare high scores, but don't know what to do in case of a tie? Well if each of you scored the max possible, then congrats! Otherwise, the player with the smaller starting group of Survivors wins ties. If you're still tied, then use the combined XP score of any Survivors who died in the scenario as a tiebreaker.


Please have a look at my Super Simple Zombicide Campaign System as well.
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Jeff Dunford
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Re: Zombicide High Scores - Evaluate Your Victories!
A neat idea, but aside from your "group size multiplier" (which I really like), your suggestions reward suboptimal play. I realize you want to encourage risk-taking, but it also rewards making mistakes and getting away with it (e.g. luck). My "best" wins (no wounds; dominated the zombies, never letting them get out of control), both solo and when playing with others, have occurred when everyone stayed in the yellow zone. My closest wins (where I very nearly lost) had every remaining survivor in the red - and I stopped counting experience, as per the rules. A lot of that experience came from car kills... so I don't know if I'd consider it particularly heroic. Finally, since water/rice/canned food are useless in most scenarios, survivors only have some in inventory if they haven't searched enough yet or were lucky enough to find/trade for really good weapons (e.g. a sniper rifle and a chainsaw) before needing to discard a useless bag of rice (they only hang onto it because it's useful for discarding when taking a wound) or spent most of the scenario in a car (e.g. searched twice, found "supplied", traded to get a fire axe to deal with fatties, then drove around in the car for the rest of the scenario). A strong survivor will usually have something like dual saw-offs with plenty of ammo and dual machetes in reserve (to be swapped for when needed).

If you play scenario #06 (The Escape), then you've probably put all your water/rice/canned food under the cars, so you're unlikely to have any left in inventory (although I've miscounted and stashed more than 6 on a couple of occasions). I guess you could go for overkill in that scenario, loading 6 onto cars and filling your inventory with more (until there are none left in the deck), but that's just drawing out the game. I'd much rather get 'er done and start a new game than keep going to obtain a high score.

Since I'm much more a fan of good (vs risky/lucky) play, I like having a Wounds Penalty. I'd also factor in which characters were used from the start... but the math will require more playtesting to correctly evaluate difficulty with certain sets of survivors. For example, a game with a 4-membered team comprised of Wanda, Amy, Nick and Josh might be a walk in the park compared to a 5-membered team comprised of Doug, Dave, Phil, Ned and El Cholo.

And if you want to compare scores between different scenarios, you might need to account for cars... like "divide your score by 2 if you can use cars in the chosen scenario."
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Yoki Erdtman
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Re: Zombicide High Scores - Evaluate Your Victories!
Thanks for the feedback Jeff. I have yet to play any scenarios with cars, and may very well change my mind about this whole thing after I do.

The reason I grant points for food, is more from a roleplaying perspective, as the survivors are bound to be in need of sustenance. The fact that those Equipment Cards are in fact useless during the scenarios is even more reason to award bonus points for having them at the end, because just like you I don't have room for food cards and easily toss them if I find something better that I can actually use.

It's part of the same reason that I chose to house rule the winning conditions for Scenario 10 to include the Survivors getting back to the starting zone (where I placed the Exit marker). It just didn't feel right for me to "win" while surrounded by zombies at all sides. What the heck were these objectives that we collected, did they magically teleport to our base or something, and we don't have to bring them back ourselves? It could just be that I put more emphasis on roleplaying.

I agree that it would be very hard to come up with a set of multipliers based on characters used in a scenario, especially as some are more valuable in certain situations, and their value depends on the scenario to an extent. There is a reason I refer to my scoring system as "simple" and it is also a matter of taste, as you can already tell that you and I consider two different play styles "good play".

iNano78 wrote:
If you play scenario #06 (The Escape), then you've probably put all your water/rice/canned food under the cars, so you're unlikely to have any left in inventory (although I've miscounted and stashed more than 6 on a couple of occasions). I guess you could go for overkill in that scenario, loading 6 onto cars and filling your inventory with more (until there are none left in the deck), but that's just drawing out the game. I'd much rather get 'er done and start a new game than keep going to obtain a high score.

I should try this scenario next, since you mention it specifically and it includes cars. I agree that I don't want to drag out the end of a scenario to try to better my score, I too would rather play another scenario. I do realize that the system I've outlined above would encourage maxing out everyone's XP tracker. However, I have also never been able to survive being in the Red for very long, which perhaps brings me right back to never having played a scenario with a car.

You could easily deduct a Wound Penalty if you want to adapt a version of my scoring system, just go for it. Like you though, my first victory was a well balanced tight-rope act of not trying to raise the Danger Level too high, and misdirecting the zombies across the board by splitting the party, and I also didn't have any Wounds.

I don't want to compare scores between scenarios, just see if I can do better (as per this system, nothing else) at the same scenario as I replay them again and again.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
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Re: Zombicide High Scores - Evaluate Your Victories!
I thought of another multiplier that this scoring system needs. There must be an adjustment based on whether one is playing with the regular two trays of miniatures in the base game, or the three sets in an Abomination level Kickstarter package, and then people could of course combine several sets having anything from 2-6 or more trays of minis.

I have yet to try the game myself with just two trays, but given that it's the zombies extra turns that really get you, I think that would be the harder game. On the other hand as a group of Survivors is at Orange Danger Level, the board fills up with zombies if you use extra trays of minis.

It will be interesting to see how many miniatures are included in the first expansion set (Toxic Mall?). We already know that it takes place in a mall and that it features toxic zombies. I wonder how they will handle the amount of zombies used in the game then?

Edit: I have now tried several scenarios with and without the extra tray of zombies, but the difficulty doesn't go up or down consistently, it very much depends on the scenario itself, so a multiplier based on the number of miniature trays used is about as hard to come up with as the one for the group of Survivors used.

tl;dr: I will not pursue developing any score multipliers based on number of miniature trays or Survivors used.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
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Re: Zombicide High Scores - Evaluate Your Victories!
iNano78 wrote:
Since I'm much more a fan of good (vs risky/lucky) play, I like having a Wounds Penalty.

I'm set against a Wound Penalty. After many games I just don't think penalizing the group further than the space of inventory that the Wound takes up is necessary. The Medic skill also impacts my decision, as it just feels odd that the Skill would take away negative points.

I like how simple the system is as is, but will still consider the need of a multiplier for how many trays of minis you are using. There is also the extra Romero Zombie Deck, full of just Walkers, if this is shuffled into the game or not also impacts the difficulty. As of right now, I'm happy simply noting which options I've played with and only compare scores in similar setups.
 
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Yoki Erdtman
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I've collected my Zombicide tweaks and add-ons in its own document:
Zombicide Tweaks & Options by Yoki.
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Dan
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Yeah... I see what you did there.
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I am following this thread. Keep up the good work!
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