Having spent all of this month reviewing the figures that came with the Zombicide board-game, it is now time to review the game itself. The rulebook measures a mere 28 pages and only half of them are taken up with the rules, meaning it is very easy to learn. The rulebook is in full colour throughout and littered with excellent examples of how the game works. I'm going to show some of those examples here, to give you a flavour of the game.
The game can be played by 1-6 players (Yay, it allows for solo play!). Each player controls one or more of the six survivors provided. The survivors are initially armed with one crowbar, one fire axe and one pistol - that's per group not per player. Note that if Phil is amongst your group he starts with his own pistol. Those who didn't receive one of the three weapons are given a pan as a rather sorry consolation prize. Not much use but better than nothing. Don't worry too much about this, as the survivors are allowed to acquire extra weapons and equipment from a deck of equipment cards whenever they search a room. However, only one search is allowed per turn by each player.
These are the actions available to the survivors and each one costs 1AP.
MOVE Move 1 zone.
SEARCH Indoors only and as previously mentioned, one Search per turn by each survivor.
OPEN A DOOR Special equipment needed. Note that doors only appear on the outsides of buildings.
REORGANISE INVENTORY Equipment exchange with another survivor (if in the same zone) is permitted.
RANGED COMBAT An equipped ranged weapon is required.
HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT An equipped hand-to-hand weapon is required.
GET IN OR OUT OF A CAR If allowed by the scenario.
TAKE AN OBJECTIVE TOKEN or ACTIVATE AN OBJECT Only if in the survivor's zone.
MAKE A NOISE Gotta need it to risk it.
DO NOTHING And live with it.
The illustration above also details the rules for Line of Sight
The illustration above explains all the icons on two of the weapon cards. Killing a zombie earns you one Kill Point, unless it is the Abomination, which grants you 5 Kill Points.
Zombies who did not attack move. Each zombie favours visible survivors then noise. Zombies choose the shortest distance to their target. If needed, they split the group and add an extra zombie of the appropriate type to make both groups equal. This is a nasty little rule!
Each scenario has a number of spawn points on the board. For each spawn
point, you draw one card from the zombie spawn deck and place the amount
of zombies listed on the spawn point according to the player with the highest danger level, i.e.
most kills.The illustration above shows a typical spawn card.
Note that spawn cards are drawn whenever a survivor opens a door to an unsearched building. Every room in that buildings requires a spawn card to be drawn. Friendly tip - try to open the doors to all the buildings whilst all of the survivors are in the blue danger zone. That way you get far fewer zombies to deal with.
The game provides rules for cars, but they only appear in a few scenarios. There are 11 scenarios listed in the rulebook, including an introductory scenario to help newbies become familiar with the rules. Additional scenarios can be downloaded from the Guillotine Games website - http://guillotinegames.com/en/ Check under the Game Stuff tab.
So, verdict? Come on, you all know that I love this game! I played a few solo games and picked up the rules very quickly. When my friend Mathyoo came to stay with me a short while ago, we became addicted to the game and we played 8 of the 11 scenarios over three days (scenarios 03, 04 and 05 were the ones we didn't play). We won every scenario on the first attempt except for scenario 07 Grindhouse, which we played three times before securing victory. A word of advice, try to keep your party as close together at all times and remember to co-operate with one another. The first time we played Grindhouse we split into two groups of three and my party got wiped out on turn 3! It went downhill from there.
Normally, I am not a fan of zombie runners or creatures like the Abomination, but in Zombicide, they have their place and actually enhance the game. Kudos to the game designers for pulling that one off!
If you already own the game and have played it, you have to agree that it is a lot of fun to play. I bought my copy at Amazon.co.uk for £66.99 but having checked there this morning I see it is currently out of stock.
I am counting down the days to September when Zombicide 2 is released and I can get my hands on all of the goodies I ordered on the Kickstarter project. It was a lot!