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Oktobermessed! Zombie Rules for ASL» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First Impressions rss

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Erez Ben-Aharon
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I played scenario C from Oktobermessed Zombie ASL rules, here are my first impressions:

Rules are quite solid - zombies get drawn ('zombie hunger') to humans (either civies or armed officials) based on LOS and distance (distance if no LOS) and they receive MF based LOS (LOS gives them +1MF from the usual 2MF).

This really gives the game the zombie feel, as the humans have to constantly reposition their forces so that the zombie player loses ‘control’ of his zombies as they charge to some remote corner of the board while the human players firing at the zombies from afar with his other units. The human player must also weigh in the fact that even his civies (with 3MF) have usually one more MF than the zombies (if out of LOS) and so the skill depends on getting the zombies to berserk charge adjacent to you (while not having enough MF to get into your hex), while the humans then blasting them at point blank fire in the Defensive Fire Phase, then moving away during the human turn.
There is also an Alpha Zombie that provides independent thought when stacked with other zombies so that they can ignore normal charge rules making it extremely powerful.

One other interesting thing, contrary to normal ASL defensive ‘thought’, humans really wanna be out in the open as zombies always get -2 hazardous movement and can never fire at you, so TEM is worthless to humans but very valuable to zombies - THEY ARE COMING THROUGH THE WINDOWS! Once the zombies get into the building, it is nigh impossible to kill them (since against these 10 morale berserkers, you are mostly relying on -2 shots to get you to a K/KIA results, which will never happen if you are firing with positive modifiers).

There are of course other chrome-y rules (it’s ASL after all!) dealing with throwing Molotov cocktails at zombies, zombie infection
(Nothing more scary than having a zombie infect your stack, since if one of your humans get turned - he will create a CC in that hex, lock their firepower and it won’t be too long before
they all turn), infected humans committing suicide or euthanized by their fellow men, etc.

Overall, I found it to be a great zombie themed rules set overall that really captures the feel of Zombies in the ASL system.

Now for several minor complaints:

This is NOT for ASL beginners - the LOS/Distance positioning of the humans (which feels like the Rout Phase on speed), as well as the Banzai charge nature of the zombie strategy (e.g. trying to break humans by causing them to FPF, since broken humans can’t escape CC with zombies and will automatically turn), requires the players to be somewhat familiar with PTO strategy and tactics as well as being quite skilled at LOS/distance projection - especially if they are playing the humans.

The map used for these scenarios is a realistic map of the ASLOK convention (hence Oktobermessed name), with real places like the hotel, the diner and gas stations and the specific roads at the locations.
However, due to its realism, some of the positions of the building terrain in the hexes make it a bit funky for LOS and is a bit confusing when thinking about bypass movement. However, since this map/scenario pak is no longer
available anyway, and I believe the new in-print ZombiePak #1 uses existing ASL maps, I think that won’t really be a problem for anyone using the new scenarios/maps.

Another thing, is that it really IS a different game/beast altogether so there is a bit of unlearning/relearning to do, so you are likely not to get much out of it unless you play a few scenarios one after the other in order to ‘master’ the ‘system’.

Nevertheless, I give it 4/5 brains, if you are a zombie fan who plays ASL - you should definitely give it a try.
If you don’t care much for zombies (in which case they won’t care much for you since you must be brainless), but are still an ASL fan,
I give it 3/5 brains as you might still enjoy the change of pace, but the inherently different strategies might turn you off if you don’t understand how they are ‘themed’ in.
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