After posting on here and asking for recommendations of a suitable first scenario to try for my first proper experience of Zombicide, I had a go with scenario 10. I had previously played through the tutorial and when I met up with my friend, we quickly played through the tutorial together so that he had a good idea of the rules. All of that done, we went forward onto the mission proper.
I can't give a full 'blow-by-blow' account here as we just got way too focussed on the game to take notes, which can only serve as a marker of how much we enjoyed this game. However, I will give some of the broad strokes and some of our favourite moments.
We played with Nick, Josh, Phil, Amy, El Cholo and Dave, all chosen at random and quickly hit upon the general direction of clockwise to accomplish our goals. The scenario comprises of four tiles and the mission objectve is to collect four objective markers (one in each tile). You start effectively behind a building with no immediate way in, but with a door facing you on the building in the next tile, so we started from there. And the fun (zombie destruction) started!
The path to the first objective was very straightforward and all of the surivivors bundled into the building, completed a bunch of searches, killed a few zombies and moved on. This was when CM1 happened. What do I mean by CM1? You'll have to wait and see....
The remaining survivors moved onto building two, which involved a bunch of killing zombies, some levelling up and a cunning tactical decision or three about how to lure the zombies so that we could sneak behind them. Onto building three and CM2 happened. Only two survivors lived, so a final passage onto building four occurred and CM3 happened.
Of course, this session report may seem very bland so far, but that's because I haven't explained what "CM" means. For us, the game was defined by several key Cinematic Moments. Essentially the rule set is incredibly simple and the game should be relatively dull. But this just isn't the case. The games designers have very carefully and subtly built in so many wonderfully executed concepts that you just don't notice them being there. Having the threat level increase with the levelling up of the survivors maintains a sense of peril and trepidation throughout and there really were so many moments when you could almost see the film playing in your mind as the game played through.
Right. Enough blathering. What were the key Cinematic Moments of the game?
CM1: Having just emerged from the first building, Dave and El Cholo found themselves fairly centrally placed with approximately 12 zombies 2-3 squares from them. They very triumphantly managed to kill everything that stood a chance of getting to them in the zombie turn in a staggering bout of dice-rolling supremacy. The zombie turn happened and all the remaining walkers and runners ended up one square from Dave and El Cholo. Victory to the survivors.....? Only if you don't then draw an "All Runners get an extra turn" card, resulting in five runners moving to the zone containing your heroes and killing them instantly. I can imagine the scene of the plucky heroes shooting everything and breathing a sigh of relief, only to find their worst dreams come true and the spectacular early unexpected hero death scene. All of this was made even better (?) by Phil being in a nearby zone, looking on to see his buddies die and being theoretically safe until (in the same turn) an "All walkers get an extra turn" card being drawn and he was resoundingly chewed to pieces.
CM2: In the third building, with four rooms, the spawning left one room empty, two rooms with a few walkers and the dreaded Abomination in the room next to the open door. Amy and Josh charge past the Abomination and clear up the other zombies in the building whilst Nick goes into the Abomination room and distracts him (with his skill 'Tough' allowing him to ignore those wounds he delivers). Amy finds the last component of the requisite molotov cocktail in one of the rooms and throws it into the room, killing the mighty Abomination and also Nick. A great sacrifice made by Nick, already wounded and soon to be killed by the approaching shambling horde.
CM3: To exit the third building and enter the fourth, Amy opens the exit door, crosses the road and opens the door to the fourth building. The zombie turn happens, resulting in a vast amount of walkers and runners being spawned, killing Amy. However, her final sacrifice allows Slippery Josh to run into the fourth building and get into the requisite room grabbing the last objective and securing a victory for us. We decided to look at the remaining miniatures in the box considering there were a lot of walkers out on the board and were very amused to see that there were zero walkers left meaning that had the last remaining survivor not grabbed the objective at that moment, the following zombie turn would have resulted in a movement and extra action for all walkers meaning the certain death of Josh. He literally won the game for us at the last possible moment!
What an amazing game! We had such a superb time and couldn't stop ourselves talking about the 'scenes' of the game whilst the game unfolded. Any zombie film would be proud to have as perfect a script as that of our game. I just can't recommend this game enough. A simple rule set leading to a beautiful experience. How could you ask for more?
Well "la de" freck'n Da!
The "Dennis System".
Just played 10 myself tonight and beat it i was stoked!. Such a fun game, starting to paint also.
We had a very similar situation last night running through the tutorial very easily before trying this scenario. Although we didn't lose so many people so early there were many moments of triumph and many more of dread as zombie after zombie appeared and stumbled ever closer.
My favourite moments were Ned sacrificing himself by chewing through most of a horde with his chainsaw and making as much noise as possible to distract the rest of the board. Also Wanda as the last survivor using her orange level Slippery skill to skate past the remaining zombies and pick up the last objective.
Completely agree with you that this was an amazing experience.