I’ve meant to get back to (some of) the events that took place in Connemara to mark the passing of Mr Saturday from the foolish, loud, impetuous state of his 30s to the enlightened, wise and mellow 40s*. I didn’t. I’m doing it now.
Being a marathon session of gaming in the same way it was inevitable that Hunter S Thompson and Dr Gonzo would sooner or later get into the ether we would have to play a zombie game. Zombicide the current favourite had been hot bunked all weekend. It was mid to late weekend that we jumped on it.
I’ve played my fair share of zombie games, zombies, eh, other zombie games, you name it, I’ve probably played it, to date Zombicide is my favourite. It captures the whole spirit of the zombie thing in the same way as the video game left4dead, it’s simple, it’s fast and above all it’s great fun. (A buddy of mine plays it with his kids who believe that a chainsaws primary purpose is crowd control)
Now I haven’t exactly covered myself in glory with this game. There was an incident on a Thur night were I may have made the classic horror mistake of going ahead on my own and drawing a lot of heat onto the group. I did selflessly hide and let the hoard attack the main group before crawling out and whispering ‘sorry’ as the Zees chomped down on the surprised survivors. It happens. In my case quite a bit. They say some people will freeze in a plane crash and some will crawl over others to get out, chances are I’d take the only parachute and jump just after I suggested they draw lots for it.
Zombicide is a survival game in the classic genre. The world is overrun with zombies, dogs and cats sleeping together, no coffee, basically the end of everything and your small group of six survivors have to
- Arm themselves
- Achieve some objective
- Get to the exit with a minimum of bite marks on their pasty bodies
Optionally allow your fellow survivors to die. It’s not in the rules, I’m just saying
The rules are piddly simple. you can move a set number of spaces and along the way carry out some basic actions like, shoot, search, pass equipment to another survivor or carry out some action based on the equipment you have. After the group has moved All the zombies get to move towards the nosiest square and additional zombies spawn at defined spawn points around the board.
Noise is created by moving, breaking doors, shooting etc. and the zombie hoard gets added to based on the draw of zombie reinforcement cards. Make no mistake it’s a HOARD of zombies and it’s never ending. You need to get your business done as quickly as possible and get out of dodge. Any delay or detour spells grizzle death for both you and your team. More importantly you,
Each of the survivors are suitably different and some are inevitably clichéd. The Cop, the Drifter, The Student, The Token and so on, but there are some novel ones in there like the pissed off office worker and the roller girl and a TON of ones you can download and purchase models for. Each of them start with different equipment and special abilities and each of them have different upgrade paths.
Ah yes upgrades.
As you accumulate kills in a Gimli v Legolas manner, you will start to level up and acquire a choice of new abilities but here’s the rub, it also attracts more numerous and nastier zombies. In the card above you can see how our hapless survivor goes from blue to red to orange and then maxes out in red. The colour indicates what section of the reinforement card to read from, blue being ok-ish and red being very bad indeed. Worse still the spawn rate of the zombies is determined by the highest level character in the group so as soon as one character gets into a higher level it opens a can of whoop ass for all the team.
The zombies aren’t all just shamblers, there’s fast moving zombies, replete with jogging suits, fatties that are tougher to kill and worst of all abominations that are the McBain of zombietown. So as I said get in, get your objectives and get the heck out of there as if your life depended on it. ho ho.
So how did it go at MrSaturday’s event? Well not as planned would be a kind way of putting it. The objective was to get to thirty kills which I obviously took as a challenge that included the caveat of “before anyone else”. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t implicit in the rules but it was real for me. I was allowed the first turn to which I jumped into a nearby police car, drove straight through my team knocking some aside and wounding others and proceeded to do doughnuts around the central building knocking over zombies and well, I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for the haters in my team who working together (for shame) ran out jumped on the bonnet of a nearby car as I screamed by, shot me dead then continued the game without me…. I had a long but not unpleasant wait for the game to end
Zombicide is a cracker of a game, I highly recommend it. There are a ton of additional scenarios and some very nice extra characters that can be acquired. Snake Pliskin anyone? On top of that there’s already a couple of expansions for it set in a shopping centre and a prison and lots of mini expansions. If you’re a zombie fan then this is where it’s currently at with zombies games. Look no further