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Subject: World War Z: The hordes could use an upgrade. rss

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Edward F
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I got a copy of World War Z from University Games and have spent some time fighting off the zombie hordes. I know people have been asking for a review, so I figured I'd give a quick summary here.
FYI, I did a full board game review on my site for anyone who wants the full read.

Overview:
World War Z has been described as a cross between Pandemic and Zombie States. My response to that is...kind of. World War Z has players fighting off the zombie hordes for a set number of turns. The ultimate goal is to have less then 10 zombie hordes of strength 3 or 4 at the end of the game.

Components:
Ouch. Quick thoughts: Not good. They feel cheap. From the generic plastic pawns for the players to the numbered tokens to represent the hordes, WWZ feels like an exercise in cost cutting. For anyone who has played one of the many zombie games to come out of Kickstarter lately (Zombicide, Zpocalypse), you are going to be disappointed. Even the cards feel low quality and not able to sustain repeated play.

Rules:
The rules are pretty simple. On your turn you:
1. Move
2. Equip
3. Battle
4. Draw a zombie card

Battle is where most of the game happens. It is basically a roll off between the player (d6 plus modifiers) and the zombie horde (d6, d8, d10 or d12 based on the horde strength). If the player wins the horde drops in strength, if the horde wins the player loses a card.
If a player ever is out of cards then they turn into a zombie. I've found this really hard to do unless a player tries to become a zombie on purpose.

In step 4 players advance the horde. For the most part this will be drawing a card and increasing the strengths of a horde in some random zones. This is all luck of the draw. You may have been fine in a whole continent and this can change with an unlucky draw.

General Thoughts:
While WWZ is far from a bad game, I don't think it's going to appeal a lot people on BGG at large. I think this game will be great for either: Someone who wants a game with easy rules to play with their kids or the mass market who is still cutting their teeth on Monopoly and Life.

The game has a ton of randomness. We lost one game we had well in hand due to the final draw of the game. That was a very anti-climatic way to end the game. There is just not much depth or strategy here. Each turn will involve moving to where a horde is and rolling (hoping for the best).

I just don't see this being more then a filler game for anyone here. And that might not be a bad thing for some. Everyone needs a filler game. Zombie Dice and Guillotine have their place in everyone's collection. You should just know what you are getting with WWZ. I'd say play time is about 30 minutes or so. But the lack of depth will cut down on its replay value. I'd say there isn't much of a chance of WWZ ousting Pandemic or Zombicide from my gaming table. The rules, components and strategy just isn't there.

Anyway, feel free to check out the full World War Z review if you want to know more.

Full Disclosure:
University Games provided me with a review copy of the game which did not influence my opinion.
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Ian Allen
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this is about what I expected ...thx
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Kevin Outlaw
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The zombie tokens are unforgivable. Colour-coded circles with numbers. I accept they couldn't use miniatures, but they couldn't use a bit of artwork on the tokens either?

Poor show.

I never have very high hopes for games based on movies. I don't really have high hopes for this movie either...

Thanks for the review, and for your excellent site.
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Edward F
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
The zombie tokens are unforgivable. Colour-coded circles with numbers. I accept they couldn't use miniatures, but they couldn't use a bit of artwork on the tokens either?

Poor show.

I never have very high hopes for games based on movies. I don't really have high hopes for this movie either...

Thanks for the review, and for your excellent site.
To be fair, there were grey zombie tokens with a zombie face on one side and a hidden number on the other.

But the other zombie tokens with just numbers was baffling. They could have easily just used the same zombie art and color coded the background.
 
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David Knepper
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It may still be better than the movie!
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David Brown
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The movie was pretty good. Not like the book, which I loved, but not bad. Wouldn't mind a sequel.
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David Knepper
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Davidofga wrote:
The movie was pretty good. Not like the book, which I loved, but not bad. Wouldn't mind a sequel.
I believe the only thing the movie has in common with the book is the title.
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Christopher Taylor
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DarkJedi wrote:
Full Disclosure: University Games provided me with a review copy of the game which did not influence my opinion.
That was fairly obvious. ^_^ Nice solid critical review.
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Christian Marcussen
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anarchy wrote:
DarkJedi wrote:
Full Disclosure: University Games provided me with a review copy of the game which did not influence my opinion.
That was fairly obvious. ^_^ Nice solid critical review.
Don't be too sure. It could have been worse coollaugh
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E Butler
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Aging One wrote:
Davidofga wrote:
The movie was pretty good. Not like the book, which I loved, but not bad. Wouldn't mind a sequel.
I believe the only thing the movie has in common with the book is the title.
It's a good mindless summer action movie, but adaption of the book? Well... both had zombies and... er...... did I mention that both had zombies?
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Grant Fikes
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DarkJedi wrote:
Battle is where most of the game happens. It is basically a roll off between the player (d6 plus modifiers) and the zombie horde (d6, d8, d10 or d12 based on the horde strength). If the player wins the horde drops in strength, if the horde wins the player loses a card.
If a player ever is out of cards then they turn into a zombie. I've found this really hard to do unless a player tries to become a zombie on purpose.
Without having actually played the game, this is probably my biggest beef with it. If the players are losing, they might have incentive to become zombies on purpose to be on the winning team, and that's completely un-thematic in a cooperative game about surviving and killing a zombie horde. A saboteur in a cooperative game is something I can understand, but the option to defect to a saboteur in the middle of it just feels weird. In Pandemic, you can't change your role to Bio-Terrorist in the middle of the game if the disease is looking ugly, because it just doesn't fit the theme; in real life, most people would not defect to the side of bio-terrorism just to be on the winning team, but would fight on behalf of humanity to the bitter end because they feel they have a moral duty to humanity, or else devote their lives to bio-terrorism because they genuinely want to see humanity die. Turning it into an amoral (not to be confused with immoral) game where "winning" and "losing" are the only things at stake, and such decisions which don't fit the theme at all are more appealing.
 
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Michael T. Probst
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mathgrant wrote:
DarkJedi wrote:
Battle is where most of the game happens. It is basically a roll off between the player (d6 plus modifiers) and the zombie horde (d6, d8, d10 or d12 based on the horde strength). If the player wins the horde drops in strength, if the horde wins the player loses a card.
If a player ever is out of cards then they turn into a zombie. I've found this really hard to do unless a player tries to become a zombie on purpose.
Without having actually played the game, this is probably my biggest beef with it. If the players are losing, they might have incentive to become zombies on purpose to be on the winning team, and that's completely un-thematic in a cooperative game about surviving and killing a zombie horde. A saboteur in a cooperative game is something I can understand, but the option to defect to a saboteur in the middle of it just feels weird. In Pandemic, you can't change your role to Bio-Terrorist in the middle of the game if the disease is looking ugly, because it just doesn't fit the theme; in real life, most people would not defect to the side of bio-terrorism just to be on the winning team, but would fight on behalf of humanity to the bitter end because they feel they have a moral duty to humanity, or else devote their lives to bio-terrorism because they genuinely want to see humanity die. Turning it into an amoral (not to be confused with immoral) game where "winning" and "losing" are the only things at stake, and such decisions which don't fit the theme at all are more appealing.

Turning a player into a Zombie helps the game mechanic and should avoid that one or two players will be out of the game before it ends! Simple.

I don't say I like it, but it's a simple mechanism to keep all on the table in the game till the end. Other games doing the same.
But of course, it's like as it is for many other games too, some like it some not. My proposal, dont play it when you don't like it!
Simple too... devil
 
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Michael T. Probst
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As very well mentioned in the review, it's a filler game, not a tactical nor a strategic gem. It simple depends what you're looking for.

Here it is really "simple". A cheap game, with cheap components, which uses a license for a film. Not more not less.
If you play simple basic risk games it could provide some fun for you too, if you prefer a risk 2210 A.D. or something more challenging it will be not your game.

I got this game for USD 11,00, so I have nothing to complain! At least it looks good on my shelve.
(I know some of you paid less...)

 
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