Wednesday, 25 October 2017

ZOMBICIDE - THE JOURNEY - Part 1

week off work. - Check
Halloween is around the corner - Check
and I'm getting an itch to buy a new game and Zombicide has been in my sights for a long time. and whilst i am very much a late comer here i do my usual digging to see if its worth throwing my hard earned cash at. and like the previous and ongoing journey series i am doing on shadows over hammerhal. i hope to share all of my discoveries to bring you a somewhat /NOT review, but more an insight into it all of my concerns and discoveries as i proceed on my next journey.


There are a few reasons I have held off on buying this game


  • I already own a zombie game in Last night on earth
  • this game was and still continues top be a massive blockbuster on Kickstarter. but if it is so successful, why do they still need Kickstarter?
  • With all of the expansions and booster packs and what not i have no idea where to start!
  • is it worth it?

The reasons i want to buy this game!

  • Co-op 
we have an interesting dynamic in this house where each and everyone of us can be quite sinister when it comes to gaming. when playing last night on earth which isn't co-op. my eldest daughter is sheer ruthless. she even laughs when she takes out our characters in the most evil ways.
my wife is scheming as the dungeon master in shadows over Hammerhal. and even playing descent she has been known to bend the rules to uphold her sadistic approach to killing the heroes.
me myself. I'm a much more accommodating GM i will throw tips the players ways before taking them out in cut throat fashion and say "well i tried to help" Mwuhaha. 
Regardless we only own 1 other co-op game in silver tower. and that does'nt see the table much as we find it clunky without a GM. so we want another where we can team up.


  • loads of minis
I want to paint up and customise those zombies so they are all unique..nuff said!
they look pretty cool. and whilst I'm not keen on the whole mutated zombies. they still have a place on my table. 71 IN TOTAL!!!

  • art looks cool
I'm kind of liking the artwork. and the comic book approach. again something new to our table. also liking the pop culture references with all the characters having resemblances to movie characters..like Doug who is clearly Michael Douglas' character from falling down.





  • Zombie AI
I'm really intrigued to see how the zombie dynamic pans out. the use of sound tokens and generating sounds by smashing down doors or firing a gun seems like a really cool concept. and zombies and AI seem like the perfect mix. they are mindless. they walk and they eat the nearest thing they can find. so it seems like a perfect mixture that would lend to a co-op game.

  • Curiosity
i have my gripes but the sheer volume of popularity for this game has got me thinking. Am i missing out? the fact that this games expansions have been a record breaking kickstarter campaigns must be for a good reason right?. i want to know if it is all hype. plus i want another zombie game. and this seems like the popular option right now.


Concerns about the rules??





Whilst I like the idea of the zombie AI I also realise i know nothing about this game at all..have i been sapped into the glitz and hype already? So I do a bit of reading on the rules to find out more!

All rules can be downloaded at the official Zombicide website

Also the Zombicide wiki page was very helpful.

from my digging and researching I discover that other players also seem to have similar reservations. most notably regarding the rules themselves. 3 of the rules that stand out to me as odd choices

  • Ranged combat
The ruling for shooting guns and such appears to be a really weird choice thematically. this is a cooperative game. however the order for resolving shooting means you ALWAYS hit any friendly survivors before you hit any zombies. for me at this point i was pretty confused about this. WHY would you have to shoot your own people if they are in a crowded area or even just with 1 or 2 zombies? even shooting in the same area will give the same effect i get that it could be argued that a spray of bullets could hit anyone. but thematically this already breaks the game in my opinion and must purely only be in place to enforce more strategy.
  • Splitting
The zombies in this game are controlled by AI. meaning that they always move towards characters that can be seen. or they move towards the sound tokens generated by the survivors making excess noise. If there are 2 different routes that would cause a group of walkers to split up. that group essentially doubles in order to make sure an even split occurs....WHAT?? they just double??
not quite but not far off. its already feeling like some of the rules are geared towards you buying more mini's this game is clearly mini orientated. why else would you need 71 in the box? it also appears another rule is in place that reinforces that
  • Running out of zombies
so if you run out of a zombie type. all other zombies of that type on the board get an extra activation (move or attack) So that clearly looks like a fatal reason to run out of mini's. most of the zombies get to do an action again...that's double!! so you prevent that by going out and buying one the very handy booster sets to add even more zombies into the fray right?

Breaking down the barricades

so with all the info i have gathered i decide to dig and see if anyone could steer me towards my purchase. heading over to BGG i whacked up a post hoping to get some answers my question being "i own last night on earth, why should i buy zombicide?" which also proceeded with all of my gripes hoping to get some clearance to justify me buying it.

well clearly those gripes did get cleared up or else i would'nt of been writing this up now would I? :)

I own Last night on earth why do i want to buy another zombie game?

Zombicide is a full coop experience and the only thing it has in common with LNOE is "Zombies". LNOE portrays old school zombie movies and the typical situations that happen using the cards. In Zombicide cards are only for equipment and the game is basically a "Shoot'em up before they eat you".
Whenever I try to explain Zombicide to a newcomer I always ask them if they played the Left for dead videogame. Because the game feels very much like that.

I've seen many comparisons between the 2 games and LNOE does appear to come out as the better game overall. I'm not looking for better or worse, I am looking for something different

It is something really different, but I wouldn't go for better. Zombicide will appeal more to those who enjoy seeing a lot of figures on the board. LNOE is more about the theme. Mechanics are completely different.

No game is perfect but some of the rules mentioned seem like absolute stinkers

Indeed. Zombicide has some rules that are not for everyone, but they are easily changed if you don't like them. In fact, Zombicide's one of those unique games which every house plays the game different.Basically the 2 "controversial" rules are splitting and shooting. Shooting has been adressed in Black plague, so if you don't like the shooting rules in modern zombicide, use the black plague ones.The splitting rule states that whenever a zombie could move to two different areas, the zombie "splits" and moves to both. If you don't like this rule (I don't like it) basically ignore it and randomly choose where does de zombie move using the dice.

What sort of value would i expect from scenario to scenario?

There are different types of scenarios, but all of them involve killing hordes of zombies. I can say I got different experiences when playing different scenarios though. I don't exactly recall scenario's names but the experience we felt when trying to reach the escape point without killing too many zombies was totally different from resisting while looking for food and water.

replay ability of a scenario?

Replayability in Zombicide comes from the people you play with. I'm gonna say that LNOE is better for replaying scenarios because of event cards and different tiles every time.Most of Zombicide's scenarios have a clear objective and whenever you know the best approach to them there is no point on trying new strategies to beat them. But Zombicide has LOTS and LOTS of scenarios. I would say more than 100 but maybe I'm mistaken. Have a look at their website or in BGG files.

Campaigns

You can find some "official" campaigns in Zombicide's website but they are nothing more than some scenarios meant to be played one after the other. I don't even know if something carries between them depending on your actions.
You can also find "fan-made" campaign modes in bgg files.
Still I would say the game was meant to be played as a one shot game. I would say you can play some type of campaign mode, but I would not buy the game thinking about it as an RPG experience. If you only buy the game with "campaign" expectations you'll be disappointed.

What order should i buy?

If you want modern Zombicide go for the original or season 3. In fact buy the game you like the most, you'll like them all. However, always use the most recent rulebook. That's season 3 atm.

Is this game like a big budget movie that people don't want to admit isn't that great because they have pumped their own hard earned cash into it?

The game was a birthday present for me, so I think I can answer this.After reading lots of mixed reviews I had low expectations and the game surprised me. It's fun to play and even non gamers love it. I'll also say that it's not the best game ever made. In fact both Dead of winter and LNOE are probably better "boardgames", but they are not as accessible and not as pretty. There is something appealing when you see lots and lots of zombie figures going after you and it's also satisfying when you throw a molotov and every single zombie in an area is killed.
It's a fun experience and everybody I played with liked it. Zombicide is all about the action and not on rules. I prefer more complex games, but I admit I had tons of fun with it, specially because it can be played with anybody.
People enjoy throwing dices and killing zombies. This game is just about throwing dices and killing zombies. Yeah, you have an objective, but you'll always be throwing dices and killing zombies in Zombicide. It's the core part of the game, no matter the scenario you're playing.


Is it a Cash Cow? 


as this is clearly a mini orientated game that throws more and more zombies your way. is it structured in a way that makes you need to keep spending more money? or could i buy 1 set and be happy I've got a game that will entertain us for the night?
Well Kaiede Farenheit you did help. massively! and for that reason I've put your answers directly here so that others can be helped in the same way. in fact i went and ordered the game right away for next day delivery. and right away prompted me to set up a second journey NOT review type thing

well that wraps up part 1
Part 2 will focus more on the rules, unboxing and first gaming session as well as my hopes and aspirations what i want to do with the game for myself.
hope you enjoyed
Peace