Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Zombicide Zombies - Season 2 Toxic Abominations 01

Toxic Zombies were introduced to Guillotine Games' Zombicide game in the Season 2 expansion set, Toxic City Mall. Toxic Zombies differ from standard Zombies in a number of ways. First, upon elimination, a Toxic Zombie inflicts 1 Wound on its assailants if they are both in the same Zone. This is a free attack called Toxic Blood Spray. Ranged attacks from outside the Zone do not cause this effect. Toxic Zombies exist in all types - Abominations, Fatties, Runners and Walkers. They have the same characteristics and get the same targeting priority as their counterparts but are removed first in Ranged Combat and car attacks. Toxic Fatties come with an escort of two toxic Walkers. Toxic Zombies do not benefit from the extra activation cards of other Zombie types. Eliminating a Toxic Zombie with a car does not cause a Toxic Blood Spray.
The Toxic Abomination at the left of the photos is the figure that you get in Toxic City Mall. He is wearing nothing more than a pair of underpants, a pair of fluffy rabbit slippers (!) and a spotted handkerchief tied around his head.The Toxic Abomination has an additional game effect - all Standard Zombies standing in its Zone at the end of the Zombies' Phase become Toxic Zombies. Replace their miniatures with matching Toxic Zombie miniatures. If there aren't enough Toxic Zombie miniatures, any remaining Zombies are simply not replaced. Replacing Standard Zombies with Toxic Zombies does not generate a new activation for the Toxic Zombies. Remember that this effect only applies to Standard Zombies. Other Zombie types are not affected.
The Toxic Abomination at the right is a conversion. I turned his underpants into shorts and his slippers into trainers with modelling putty. I also made him bald-headed. I acquired him by sending away for just about everything in the Zombicide Season 2 Kickstarter project. Amongst the goodies I received were three extra Abominations - one Standard, one Toxic and one Berserker. There are a few scenarios that require more than one Abomination be used, but thankfully, these are very rare. A Toxic Abomination can act once per Turn, has 3 Wounds and rewards the Survivor who kills it with 5 Experience Points.
Finally, I'd like to mention how I painted these figures. Normally, I paint my figures using Foundry paints. But for these I also used the Army Painter Zombicide paint sets - Zombie Core Paint Set and Toxic/Prison Paint Set Expansion. I first used Zombie Skin with a wash of Zombie Shader, which perfectly matched the colour scheme of the Toxic Zombies' skin tones in the rulebook. The spikes were painted with Dirt Spatter, followed by Boney Spikes then Brain-matter Beige. The boils were painted with Toxic Boils and highlighted with a 50/50 mix of Toxic Boils and Brain-matter Beige. The rims of the eyes and mouths were painted first with Dead Black, followed by Foundry White 33C for the whites of the eyes and teeth. These paints are quite thick and they give good coverage. I am very impressed with them. I know I will use Zombie Flesh the most and was wondering what to do when it runs out. Unfortunately, these paints can't be bought separately at the time of writing and I don't want to buy another boxed set just to replace one colour. Fortunately I discovered that Foundry Boneyard 9B is a perfect match for the Warpaints' Zombie Flesh. Sorted!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Impact Chibi Pit Lord

My final (for now) review of Impact Miniatures' range of 28mm scale Chibi figures focuses on one of their larger figures - the demonic Pit Lord.
You can find him in the Chibi Adventurers section of Impact Miniatures' webstore as CA-PITF Pit Lord. He costs £12.57 but he is huge! Compared to GW prices for a similar sized monster that is a bargain. He stands 65mm tall from the bottom of his hooves to the tips of his horns and he has a wingspan of 90mm.
He was beautifully sculpted by Juan Miguel Lopez Barea and he comes in 8 parts - body, head, left hand with sword, right hand with half the flaming whip, the second half of the flaming whip, two wings and a 48mm diameter base. Please note that as with all Impact Minis' bases that come with their figures, the slottabases are plain and untextured. However, Impact do sell textured bases with a dungeon floor pattern on them with both a slot in them and without the slot. They come in two diameters - 24mm and 48mm. The Pit Lord does not come with a slottatab under his hooven feet so I pinned and glued him onto a textured base that did not have a slot in it.
The figure fit together extremely well. I used superglue to stick him and it worked just fine. I added a small bit of Milliput to the join between the two halves of the whip just to strengthen it a tad. Please note that he is made of Trollcast resin, as are the majority of Impact's figures. I feared that his fiery whip might easily snap but actually, it is quite springy and providing you take good care of your figures he should last a lifetime. Incidentally, I store all of my Chibi figures in foam-lined cases made by KR Multicases.
I like demons a lot and the main reason that I bought this particular one was to use him as a substitute Dungeon Boss for Starfire the Dragon in Super Dungeon Explore. Yes, he does have a big head and big eyes (all four of them!) but I would certainly use him in other fantasy games like AD&D or Warhammer (a Chaos Khorne Demon) if I still played them.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Impact Chibi Pumpkinheads and Giant Pumpkins

I have a few more 28mm scale Impact Miniatures Chibi figures to review, which this time consists of three Pumpkinheads and four Giant Pumpkins.
The Pumpkinheads to the left and right of my photos are listed as CA-PUMP on the Impact Miniatures' website and the cost £3.49 each. I bought two. In the centre of the group is the Pumpkinhead General who is listed as CA-PMPA. He is slightly dearer at £4.19.
The Pumpkinhead General is the same sculpt as the ordinary Pumpkinheads but he comes with extras - a cloak, top hat and pet crow, which have to be glued in place. I used superglue, which worked fine.
The Pumpkinheads are unarmed but no doubt they will have some special power. I do not have any game stats for them yet, but I suspect that will change when Chibi World, the Impact Miniatures' RPG, is released.
It is just the way they have been photographed but the fire within their heads seems to be glowing with a white hot intensity. That is just the effect I was hoping for.
The Giant Pumpkins can be found in the Impact Elfball Sideline Figures range. All four can be bought for £11.69 and their reference code is EO-PMP4.
From left to right we have Looking Up, Side Look, Big Grin and Single Tooth.
Individually, they cost £4.54 each, except for Looking Up who is £5.93. I have no idea why he should be more expensive than the others. Clearly, you'd be better off buying the set of four.
I bought these figures after seeing one of the Spawn Points from my Von Drakk Manor expansion set for Super Dungeon Explore. It was a spooky animated tree holding a Halloween pumpkin aloft. As soon as I saw these Impact figures I made a connection. These will fit in perfectly as Minions of Von Drakk, no doubt brought to life by the Coven Witches of Glauerdoom.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Impact Chibi Skeletons and Zombies

Impact Miniatures are a company who make 28mm scale resin figures, including a range of Chibi Adventurers who are very compatible with the figures used in Super Dungeon Explore. You can find them here - http://www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?option=chibi
The skeleton is listed as CA-SKEL Chibi Skeleton on the Impact Minis website and costs £3.49. I bought four of them to help supplement my SDE Skeletons.
He is very lightly armoured with just a helmet and shoulder guards, which I have painted rusty and ancient looking.
He is armed with only a rusty sword.
I have no game stats for him yet. A rulebook for using these figures called Chibi World will be coming out later this year. I can't wait to get my hands on it as I know the author, Steve Gilbert, very well and I know that writing it has been a labour of love for him. You could use this figure as a Bonehead or Rattle Bone in SDE.
The zombie is listed as CA-ZOMB Chibi Zombie on the Impact Minis website and he also costs £3.49. Once again, I bought four of them.
The zombies are unarmoured and carry a wooden club. I have deliberately kept my gore effects to a minimum on these figures.
As yet there no game stats for zombies in SDE but they will be making an appearance as an expansion set for The Forgotten King, which is available now.
Given my love of all things undead I simply had to add these delightfully cute figures to my collection. I never thought I'd ever describe a skeleton or a zombie as being cute!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Zombicide Season 3 Ultimate Survivors 01

"The world evolved and so did we. We learned in a couple of months what a soldier might need years to learn. The lives we had, the people we were, are all gone, and we have accepted that. We are survivors and we are here to bring the future."
Of all the products I got with my Zombicide Season 3 parcel, Ultimate Survivors #1 was the set I was most looking forward to receiving. Why? Because it takes your Zombicide Survivors to a whole new level, making them much stronger and preparing them for campaign play instead of one-off games. I really want to run a Zombicide campaign and the new rules provided with this set will help accomplish that goal.
The biggest change between normal Survivors and Ultimate Survivors is that Ultimate Survivors now start all games with two Skills at the Blue Danger Level instead of one. This will make a big difference and greatly improve their survival chances. The six figures that come with this set are upgraded versions of the six Survivors found in the original boxed set of Zombicide - Amy, Doug, Josh, Ned, Phil and Wanda. I am very pleased that Guillotine Games chose these six to be their first Ultimate Survivors because they have been around the longest, plus, I have a soft spot for them due to me using them more than any other Survivors. Let's take a look at them.
First up is Amy the Goth Girl. Amy was a Goth girl who hated everything from mindless consumerism to the pointlessness of daily existence. The world Amy despised so much has crumbled, but from it comes the promise of a fresh start and simpler times. Desperate zombie battles have sparked a will to live in Amy, but she still doesn't feel comfortable without some white foundation on.
Amy is very well armed with a Katana and Sawn-Off Shotgun in her hands and a .44 Magnum Revolver and Hand Axe tucked in her ammo belt. Her first Blue level Skill is +1 Free Move Action, which is self-explanatory. To this she adds the very useful Medic Skill. Once per Turn, she can freely remove one Wounded card from herself or any other Survivor standing in the same Zone as her.
In the centre of this trio is Doug the Office Guy. Four hour commutes, twelve hour days, uncooperative colleagues and unappreciative bosses are a thing of the past for Doug. Sure, dealing with zombies is a little stressful, but frankly, quite a pleasant change from the daily grind. An Uzi in each hand helps in dealing with troublesome ex-colleagues and ex-bosses, most of whom Doug is pretty sure were already zombies before any of this anyway.
Doug is still armed with his twin Uzi Sub-Machine Guns and he has a Pistol in a holster on his right hip. He starts the game with the Matching Set Skill. When he performs a Search Action and draws a weapon card with the Dual symbol, he can immediately take a second card of the same type from the Equipment deck. Shuffle the deck afterward. His second starting Skill is Hoard. This Skill allows him to carry one extra Equipment card in reserve. I guess that explains his big backpack and coat of many pockets.
Last in line is Josh the Street Thug. Josh grew up poor in a tough neighbourhood. Surviving day to day was all he could do before the zombies. Now there's no more law and no one can tell him what to do. Josh finds his street smarts in high demand by other survivors. Respect, worth more than all the money in the world is his reward now.
Josh is armed with a pair of Pistols, just as he was in normal Survivor mode. However, I decided to gold plate the Pistols to convert them into the Evil Twins, which could be found in a Pimpmobile car in Season 1. Note that although the Evil Twins are two Pistols, they only take up one space on a Survivor's ID Card. It seemed appropriate that Josh would find them and want to keep them. Josh begins with the Slippery Skill, which allows him to move through a Zone containing Zombies without penalty. To this, he adds the Jump Skill. He can use this Skill once per Activation to Move two Zones into a Zone which he has Line of Sight. Movement Skills, like Slippery, are ignored but Move penalties, like having Zombies in the starting Zone do apply. When Jumping, he ignores all Survivors, Zombies, barricades and holes in the intervening Zone. Any other obstacle, such as rubble, prevents the use of this Skill.
Crazy Ned knew it. He knew THIS would happen. THIS was THEIR fault, but NOBODY ever listened. Ned has been preparing for years; collecting food and weapons, building a bunker, all to survive THIS. Unfortunately for Ned, he's lost his bunker key, so until he finds it he's going to need every survival skill he's got. And probably other people. Crap!
Ned has kept his Sniper Rifle and Frying Pan from being a normal Survivor but has replaced his Baseball Bat with a Pistol. I did wonder why he still has the Frying Pan, which is next to useless, but then I noticed that in the Equipment Deck found in the Angry Neighbors expansion there is an Item called The Holy Pan, which can only be used by Survivors who reach the Red Danger Level and it's a truly awesome weapon. Perhaps, this is what Ned has found. It would explain a lot. Ned's first Blue Level Skill is +1 Free Search Action, which is self-explanatory but he can still only Search once per Turn. His second starting Skill is Scavenger, which complements his first Skill extremely well as it allows him to Search any Zone on the board, and not just indoor rooms. That really is a fantastic Skill to have!
Moving on, we come to Phil the Cop. Phil is a policeman through and through, even though there isn't really a police force any more. He still wears his uniform, keeps his issued sidearm and sees it as his duty to protect civilians; at least, those that are still human. Being a cop keeps him sane, if a bit of a stick in the mud.
Phil is now armed to the teeth. He still retains his service Pistol and Shotgun but has added a Knife, a Machete, a second Pistol and a second Shotgun to his arsenal. This is rather anomalous as a Survivor can only carry five Items (six if they have the Hoard Skill, which Phil doesn't) and here we have Phil with six weapons. He begins the game with the Starts With a Shotgun Skill, which is self-explanatory. His second Blue Level Skill is Lifesaver. He can use this Skill once during each of his Activations. Select a Zone containing at least one Zombie at Range 1 from your Lifesaver. Choose Survivors in the selected Zone to be dragged to the Lifesaver's Zone without penalty. This is not a Move Action. A Survivor can choose not to be rescued if his Controller so decides. Both Zones need to share a clear path. A Survivor can't cross barricades, fences, closed doors, holes or walls. Lifesaver can't be used by a Survivor in a car, helicopter or observation tower, nor can it be used to drag a Survivor from a car, helicopter or observation tower.
Finally, is Wanda the Waitress. Wanda served burgers and beer at the local drive-in. The zombie apocalypse hasn't changed her routine much; she still has to dodge grabby hands, scoot around on rollerskates and firmly reject inappropriate advances. The new chainsaw is a perk though!
As you'd expect, Wanda has kept her trusty Chainsaw but has swapped her Sawn-Off Shotgun for a Pistol. Her first Blue Level Skill is 2 Zones per Move Action, which allows her to Move one or two Zones per Move Action. Entering a Zone containing one or more Zombies ends her Move. For her second Blue Level Skill she gains Bloodlust: Melee. She can spend one Action to Move up to two Zones to a Zone containing at least one Zombie. She then gains one free Melee Action.
There is one other important component to this set and that is a deck of Experience cards. Playing in Experience mode allows Survivors to earn Experience cards. These work just like Skills and enhance the Survivors' abilities. Equipment and experience points still reset between games but Experience cards remain from one game to the next, until the Survivor is definitively eliminated (or discarded). A Survivor earns an Experience card of the player's choice each time he reaches a Danger Level he never reached before, including previous games. The selected Experience card counts as a Skill and is immediately active. A Survivor can hoard an unlimited amount of Experience cards during his lifespan but may have only a single copy of each. Experience cards stack with other game effects. A weapon's Accuracy number can never be brought below 2+. If you use the Resurrection rules, a Survivor keeps his Experience cards when he turns into a Zombivor. The Zombivor can earn additional Experience cards.
To give you an idea of what the Experience cards are like most list a specific weapon and a Skill that can be used with that weapon. For example, there are three cards listing .44 Magnum but they each provide a different Skill - +1 Die: Ranged, +1 Free Ranged Action and +1 to Dice Roll: Ranged. So, they are like Skills but are specific to just one weapon. There is an obvious downside to these Experience cards and that is they only apply if your Survivor is armed with the weapon listed on the card. They are great if you start with or quickly find the weapon you have the bonus Skill for but otherwise are no good at all. This has obviously been done for play balance.
Full rules for using Ultimate Survivors are provided with this set, along with the deck of 110 Experience cards, the six 28mm scale figures and their ID Cards. Zombivor versions of the figures are not included but their Zombivor stats are provided on the back of the ID Cards. If you include Zombivors in your games then just use their normal Zombivor figure when an Ultimate Survivor is resurrected.
One point occurred to me about this set. The rules do not state when a Survivor becomes an Ultimate Survivor. That would suggest it is up to the players to decide. I'd suggest that your Survivor has to survive at least one game before he can even be considered to be an Ultimate Survivor. You may feel that Ultimate Survivors are too powerful but remember, these are optional rules and you don't have to use them. Also, these rules are meant to be used for campaign play. If you only play one-off games you don't need them.
Personally, I love this set and I can't wait to try out these six awesome characters in a few games or more. For veteran Zombicide players, this set is highly recommended. For the casual gamer or newbie, it is not an essential purchase. If you missed out on this set from the Kickstarter launch, I'm sure it will go on general sale in the near future. Just be patient.