Monday, June 27, 2011

Zombies - (one of) the game(s)

Ok, so I'm not a huge zombie fan but some of players in my gaming groups are.  So we picked up ZOMBIES!!! (Director's Cut) and give it a try the other night.

May the gaming gods strike me down for this comment, but I enjoyed the D&D 4th Ed board games more than this one.  Maybe it was because they are cooperative and this one is a free-for-all (except you don't directly attack other players). 

The basics: every player starts in the "middle" of town, draws a tile, places a tile, places the indicated # of zombies, bullet and life tokens, rolls to move, rolls to fight, rolls to see how many zombies move.  The goal is to get to the chopper or kill 25 zombies first.  Apparently the chopper is a one-seater like the Cobra Fang (you know, the one that a standing GI Joe would get decapitated by, the one with an exposed cockpit so one good shot could kill the pilot, the one that had 4 missiles attached to the skids to blind the pilot when they were fired, the one that probably didn't actually have enough horsepower to lift-off with a full weapons compliment, pilot and 2 passengers (attached to the foot pegs on the skids)).

There are several randomly rolled aspects of the game that didn't sit well with me - player movement and zombie movement being the most glaring.  I can understand the random nature of zombie movement, especially when multiple players move the same zombie in opposite ways.  But rolling to see how far you move, then having another player play a card that prevents you from moving, AFTER you have rolled just irritated the fuck out of me (maybe because it kept happening to me). 

Combat also creates a bit of an irritant, on a 6-sided die, roll a 4-5-6 and you kill the zombie, roll a 1-2-3 and either the zombie hits you for 1 damage or you spend your bullets to raise it to a successful attack.  If you "die" you lose half of your kills, all your  active equipment and go back to the middle of town.  Much more likely early on, and in my case, was actually a boon because it put me much closer to more life, bullets and zombies.

The outcome of our game was that we walled ourselves in, so the silly helicopter never came into play.  Fortunately, the designers did a good job of putting lots of zombie spawn cards into the deck and we ended the game with kill totals of 25, 22 and 18 with easily 10 zombies left on the board.

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