Saturday, February 20, 2016

Zombicide: Black Plague... an enjoyable dungeon crawl

The Zombie craze in society is still going strong I see. The Walking Dead, Zombie walks in real life protests, Zombie weddings, you name it.

I myself have been doing a lot of Zombie gaming, playing ATZ, Carnival Zombie, and Zombie State. Hell, I was even in a post-apoc kick for awhile with respect to miniatures and miniature terrain.

Today, I tried out my friend Jeff's Kickstarter Zombicide: Black Plague from Coolminiornot, a website I am well familiar with as I post a lot of my miniature paint jobs there since 2007.

My friend Jim, Pix and CB are aficionados of the original Zombicide, which is set in the modern age, and love the game, investing a lot of money in all their expansions.

I haven't played the original yet, but I did tonight this fantasy variant. Zombicide: Black Plague (Z:BP) you see, has a fantasy twist to it, which I find more intriguing not because I am a fantasy guy, but Zombies seem to fit better in a Necromancer's lab rather than at a 7-Eleven.  I love fantasy movies when there are Necromancers for some reason.....those old 1960s Ray Harryhausen movies I saw when I was a kid are to blame I guess, what with the  Necromancers skeleton armies.

Jeff got the Kickstarter edition in December and tells me all the Kickstarter goodies will arrive in the summer.

 We tried out the basic scenario.

The first thing I noticed were the quality sculpts, which one has come to expect from Coolmini. This is not cheap soft plastic stuff.

Jeff was telling me of some link with another Kickstarter to this Kickstarter, called Besieged. You get Besieged characters, which he showed me ...

and showed me the Besieged minis that can be played with this game

 as well as unofficial stat cards someone made on BGG for Z:BP..

We didn't try the Besieged variant, but stuck to what comes with the basic Z:BP game, in the very first scenario.

While the sculpts were great, what Jeff and I loved, loved, loved, as gamers, was the elegant trays that you use during play for each of your characters. We each had to manage 3 characters each, but the trays did all the organizing for us. It was all there and can't imagine why no one thought of this idea before.

On the top left, there is a place to put your characters' hit points, from 0 to 3. Once you reach 3, that character is dead..

 The Center of the tray, you put your character card, and there are holes to put a peg on his skills. You start off with blue level, and as you get experience, you put another peg as that character levels up. In this case, Baldric will get +1 actions once he reaches the yellow experience level.

Every Zombie you kill, you go up by one experience level, which you mark with this slider at the bottom of the tray. On the 7th kill, you enter into yellow, and as discussed above, you get the +1 action.

Samson here was racking up the kills, and his experience and skill set was climbing from yellow...

to red...

From what I understand, Z:BP will get a ton of expansions just like the original Zombicide, and will have tons of characters to use, each with different skills sets as you level up.

And there are tons and tons of skills to look up in the rule book when the expansions come along.. four pages worth of skills.

Back to the tray... The left side of the tray is for your left hand to put weapons and such..

The right side is also to put weapons and equipment in your right hand...

 such as a magical scroll...

The slots on top is your knapsack, where you can put up to 5 pieces of equipment. 

 There is also a place to put captured armour and such in the center...

It is all there, nice and neat on the trays, even when you got 3 characters to manage. 

 Weapon information is also easy to read.. Range, # of dice, To hit or higher and Damage inflicted, in this example below, the short sword has a range of 0, 1 dice, to hit 4 or higher and 1 damage point.

The bell symbol means this weapon causes noise when you use it, in this case, when used to bash down a door (on a four or higher).

You put noise markers on the board, and there are rules for the Zs to head to the area with the most noise (each adventurer is 1 noise point in addition to the noise symbols)..

The game has lots of equipment to discover as you would expect in a dungeon crawl..

though from what I understand, there is less chance to heal or level up than in the Zombicide original, though we did notice there were some cards in the deck that allowed it.

Game play is fine and enjoyable.. not too hard, not too many fiddly bits and there are the usual traps and underground passageways that allows you to pop all over the map...

Underground passageways..

The usual line of sight rules, sound as I said, traps, etc.

As typical of a Zombie game, the Zs come fast and hard in hordes.. herds! as they're called on the Walking Dead the Zombie horror theme is respected...

The Zs break like water on your heroes as you would expect and your heroes have their sword arm and magic spells to sweep them away..

A pile of Zs jam into one room where some dragon bile was thrown..

A torch was throw on the Dragon bile and wooooooooooooooooof.. the flames go off destroying every Z in the room..

Very satisfying..

The Necromancer is cornered by the gallant heroes..

The dead Z's pile up....

Lots of bad dice rolling all day long. Bad enough to earn a spot in the Dice Hall of Shame.

There are about a dozen scenarios to play, but from what I understand, there are no campaign rules just yet.

That's fine with me as the game is enjoyable as stand alone scenarios..

Good game. Thumps up!

We continued the evening playing Train Heist,...

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