Sunday, 4 January 2015

Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak

I got this cooperative board game as an early Christmas present and so far, I am having a blast trying to survive in the exciting (and terrifying) zombie apocalypse theme it creates. With nine double sided, interchangeable boards, around 80 good quality figurines, and 11 grueling missions that come with the game I can see that it will be keeping us busy for quite some time. The ever increasing and mostly shambling zombie horde also handle themselves, which is a big plus - meaning no one is stuck as an antagonistic game master.

You just get stuck with antagonistic zombies. :P

Players have a choice from 6 characters who have differing abilities from each other and from their "Zombivor" version - what you turn into if you get wounded twice by any zombie. You are still on the same team, but your character has traits that lead them to be more violent instead of traits that let them move around more for example.

While maps offer a suggested playtime length, I suggest you ignore those because I've clocked my current games of 4 and 5 people going as long as a game of Eldritch Horror, especially on maps with many tiles. Setup time is slightly shorter though. Also, having scenarios spelled out in the book is great as it has gives an overall story as you play through the vastly different missions. As fun as it is, there are two big flaws in the game for me and I will go into both of them right now:

Player Elimination

If you take five wounds while in Zombivor mode you are out of the game. While we have come really close to it, this hasn't happened in any of our play throughs yet. However, I can see that if it does that whoever is eliminated is not going to hang around for x hours while the rest of the mission plays on. Even Eldritch Horror with its high mortality rate lets you respawn as someone else (unless you run out of characters) to keep all players really invested and often only in the end game does it kill people off permanently.

Ranged Combat

The above might have been an oversight but this here is plain stupidity. Say I am shooting into a tile that has a friendly character and zombies. I roll the dice and discover I hit six times. Each hit will hit the friendly character(s) first until they are dead before I start hitting zombies. Doesn't matter if there's one zombie or 70 zombies, you will hit your allies first (unless you have the sniper perk). I wouldn't mind if it was a chance to hit friendlies like if your rolls had 1 or 2's or something but a guaranteed 100% to hit your allies regardless of which direction you are shooting from, or elevation (shoot from towers) is just stupid. The result is guns being almost useless in tight quarters.

Other than that this is a really fun game and one that will make the hours fly by as you and your team work out how to complete each objective while minimizing casualties. I give it 4 chainsaws out of 5!

As an aside: Finally won a game of Forbidden Desert starting on Elite level! Not sure how we pulled that off but it sure felt great! :D

3 comments:

  1. I got Zombicide for my siter last year, pretty good game, she has the complete collection now (so toxic city mall and the original game), including a bunch of kickstarters exclusives, like zombie dogs(like runners but 3 spaces, really hard to hit) and dog pets.

    The range weapon thing is kinda strange, but still good even with that. Some skills me it so that it's possible to use range without kiling your friends, so there's that.

    Dying can be anoying butfor us, it rarelly happened until the end, except for very hard missions where we all died, usually a few turns appart, so it usually didn't matter too much.

    There's also many more missions at the official site btw, we've played many quite challenging too, so there's always different content.

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    1. Haha, that dog one really sounds interesting! Do you and Vally usually play the same characters or do you switch around each mission? :)

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  2. Those zombie "dogz" are really dangerous, especially since you hit them after everything else, so a sniper is almost a necessity. Makes every mission much harder

    We usually pick at random and hope we get a decent team, we have 20 characters so we don't always get the same ones. We do it that way in Arkham and other games too, we don't always get ţe greatest team, but whatever.

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