Tuesday, 28 August 2012

All Things Zombie

Having noticed that this game had just come back in to stock at iguk.co.uk I decided to pick up a copy. It's much the same rule set as the original ATZ only with cardboard tokens so you can get started immediately without hundreds of zombie miniatures. Also you get a couple of double-sided boards divided into hexes for movement. Overall the boards and tokens are good quality, although the game cards are a little cheap. I think they might start to show wear after regular use. The details on the board are good and we found the layout of buildings and terrain often (but not always!) made for good escape routes - the hallmark of any good zombie adventure. It's a co-operative game. All of the players are on the same side and the game mechanics take care of the zombies' actions. Having said that, I believe there is a competitive mode of play somewhere in the rules also.

It's really good fun. Alex and I played three games over the weekend using the first two scenarios. Alex actually asked to play the second and third times, which is a good review in its own right! In play you quickly find yourself swamped with zombies and struggling to stay alive, which is the way it should be.  There's plenty of scope for tactics using the terrain and your characters to try and divide the zombie hordes before attempting to thin their numbers. Ultimately though, it's about achieving the objectives so most of the time you find yourself in a mad dash to a location before turning around and running from the zombie horde. The mechanics of zombies mindlessly heading for the nearest survivor and gunshots potentially attracting even more zombies adds an extra level of decision-making. Do you really want to risk attracting more zombies by blasting away with the shotgun? Should you do the heroic thing and lure the zombies away from the rest of the group? At all times the random nature of the turn activation means the zombies may end up not moving at all that turn (good!) or they may (bad!) or the human survivors may stand frozen in terror whilst the zombies claw away at them (really bad!).

Overall I liked it and I reckon it'll get several outings over the coming winter months. Games last up to a couple of hours, but I reckon some of the later scenarios could take longer.

Playing the game made me realise I need to get my zombie miniatures painted for a game of ATZ using my small Sarissa town. Some of those buildings would be very tense and interesting to try and clear!

Scenario 2 of ATZ. Good job the survivors only have to last to turn 15. By this point they'd completely run out of board and it would have been only a matter of time...

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