Ok, I'll admit it,.. I'm a fan of all things 'Zombie'.
The idea of mindless undead swarming over the countryside hell bent on destroying all in their path holds a particular fascination for me. Maybe it's the image of stalwart dogged survivors fighting it out in a post apocalyptic world or maybe it's just living in our nations capital where I'm convinced the 'Walking Dead' already hold sway, (particularly in Parliament).
Anyway I recently came across a game called 'ZOMBICIDE' and what a nifty BIG boxed game it is.
The game is produced by Guillotine Games and is an impressive collection of gaming 'Bits and pieces'.
It comes with 71 Miniatures consisting of 6 survivors, 65 'Zombies' (40 'Walkers', 16 'Runners', 8 'Fatties' and 1' Abomination'). There is also 9 Game Tiles that fit together to make the playing surface and of course Dice, Tokens, Cards and a very easy to read and learn rule book.
At a retail price of $120 it isn't cheap, but when you consider all the stuff you get its pretty good value for money. It's almost worth it just for the miniatures alone.
Yes they are plastic but they are very nice miniatures, well detailed and already based.
The rule system is simplicity itself! First off, you do not play against your fellow players. Well, you could but that wouldn't be wise. The game is designed to be played against the system controlled zombies. Ideally you should play cooperatively against the walking dead but there is nothing stopping you from ignoring the other survivors or actually blowing them away also.
All survivors start off at a 'basic' level of experience (BLUE LEVEL) and as they succeed in tasks, or take out the Zombies they gain experience, from BLUE to YELLOW to ORANGE and finally RED. As soon as one player reaches the next level of experience the number of zombies that are 'SPAWED' by the game system either increase in number or become more dangerous (move a little quicker). That said, the survivor gains extra skills as he or she gains a new experience level. Too bad for those survivors that are experience level BLUE when you're level ORANGE!!!!
Basically the game is played with all survivors carrying out a few actions such as moving, fighting, searching or a mix of the above. Certain ACTIONS cause noise, and noise attracts zombies. Do you dispatch that zombie with a crowbar or a chain saw. Sure the chainsaw will mince the zeek, but it's sure to draw some unwelcomed guests. Once all the survivors have done their actions then the zombies spawn, then move or attack, (or move AND attack).
The rules themselves are IMHO a tad too simple. For example, if you fire a weapon into a 'zone' where there are both friends AND zombies the first 'HIT' you score MUST be on a friendly (unless you have a 'scoped' weapon). Now for me this is ridiculous. At worse there should be a chance you might hit a friendly with you first shot but if there is 8 zombies in a zone with one fellow survivor I'm guessing even the worst marksman is more likely to hit a lumbering corpse than a franticly flying friend! When my daughter and I played our first game we instituted a 'house rule' that ALL shots had a percentage chance of hitting a friendly (depending on the number of zombies and the experience of the shooter). And here is the real diamond in the rough with these rules! They are so easy to modify or use as a base for your own rule system.
My 15 year old daughter Hayley and I played the Tutorial scenario and with 3 survivors each came within a whisker of succeeding in the mission but unfortunately we were overcome by a wave of stinking undead just short of freedom.
BELOW: Early in our first game. Not many 'Zeeks', and we're doing well
ABOVE: Ned is doing well, knocking over 'Zeek' by the half dozen!
BELOW: Ned's in trouble!
Now let's look a bit more at the miniatures.
The miniatures that come in the box set are '30mm' apparently. Well they look like the traditional 28mm miniatures we all know and love.
BELOW: We have photos of the SURVIVORS (and the hulking 'Abomination'). Wanda the rollerblading waitress with a chainsaw was Hayley's favourite. 'Lucky' Phil, (the grey miniature of a police officer with the shotgun) I was rather fond of.
BELOW: Some of the Zombies. As you can see the quality and detail is first rate. Like I said, the price is almost worth just the miniatures alone.
They mix well with the 28mm plastic figures from WARGAMES FACTORY. I've included some photos so you can make a comparison
BELOW: Two WGF zombies either side of a ZOMBICIDE WALKER. The early production zombies from WGF don't come with round bases and are rather crude compared to their later sets for Female Zombies and MALE and FEMALE survivors. Considering they are the walking dead, a lack of detail isn't a deal breaker for me.
BELOW: You can see the difference in quality between the earlier 'ZOMBIES' from WGF and their current set of ZOMBIE VIXENS.
There is also an IPAD app for ZOMBICIDE that basically gives you the stats cards for all the survivors and tracks their equipment, wounds and skills as well as their experience level.
The App will even resolve combats for you (you can roll dice or have the App do it for you) complete with the sound of weapons being discharged.
Very handy and a must for those ZOMBICIDE players who have an IPAD.
As we can see below, Wanda has settled in nicely even if she has sustained 1 wound.
I highly recommend ZOMBICIDE to those who have an interest in such things. It's a simple fun game that is well worth the price. There are two expansions that I know of (I have them on order at present). The miniatures are very high quality and the rules are great as a basis to build upon if you want some more 'Chrome'.
Well, gotta go. I'm feeling a bit seedy,........ aaaaarrrrrgggghh.