Games Night 3rd June. ‘Zombies’by Todd Breitenstein
Malcolm is the first to arrive at Dicken’s place, Kendall and Spiller follow soon after. This has allowed Malcolm to grab the unique opportunity of reading the rules before the party begins. Dicken meanwhile, has been colouring the ‘heart’ (life) counters as they bear a passing resemblance to the bullet counters – Dicken admits to failing eyesight. They are small – the counters, not Dicken’s eyes.
The rest of the components are more impressive. Two dozen, largish, square town tiles (downtown ‘Carcassonne’);a pack of Event cards, lavishly illustrated; a huge amount of grey, plastic zombies each in the same ‘beckoning’ position; a brightly coloured playing piece per player, each holding a pump action shot-gun (or so it’s presumed, it being a favourite Ragnar weapon); 4 pages of rules (cheap); two dice.
Time for some small talk on cricket, football and tennis. But not much, as the Test is rained off, England look tired against Japan and Henman is up against the best clay-court player in the world.
Malcolm goes first. He draws and lays a town tile and some zombies appear on it. He rolls a dice and moves. He meets a zombie and fights (4,5,6 kills a zombie). He rolls a ‘1’. He discards a heart (he started with three lives). He rolls again, ‘2’. He plays two bullets (he started with three) to increase his dice roll to ‘4’. He kills the zombie and puts it in his dead zombie pile. He carries on with the rest of his movement. He goes into a building, finds a heart and a bullet and adds them to his stock. He ends his movement. He rolls a ‘5’ and so move five zombies, one space each. He ends his turn.
Well, he didn’t quite do all that, but it gives you some idea of how the game works. There’s not a lot more apart from Events, which can be played one per round (not just in your own turn). Players start with three Events and re-stock to three at the start of their turn.
This is a Simon-type game. Simon (‘Orc's Nest’) Ellis recommended ‘Zombies’whilst at the Ragnar bash in Derbyshire. Against Ian’s pod-racing game, ‘Blue Max’ and ‘Bohnanza’it stands up pretty well, especially as a multi-player, lager frenzy affair. Against ‘Princes of the Renaissance’ (which Malcolm had been half-promised) it feels distinctly fluffy. Anyhow, Kendall and Spiller bought it (reduced price from Orc's Nest) for Dicken’s birthday and this is its first outing. Given that they also bought an expansion pack, it is likely to be played at least once more on a games night and will travel to future Ragnar bashes. If you like ‘Space Hulk’ or anything else with mindless death, then this is for you.
Spiller has been doing a lot of killing. He’s now holed up in the Fire station and Kendall has just played an Event by which a further ten zombies surround his position. He’s doomed. He runs out of bullets and lives and dies. Half of his zombie pile (13 so far) is returned to the stock, he regains three lives and three bullets and re-appears on the start square.
Dicken and Kendall have found themselves in a dead-end street. But what's this? A parking lot? Kendall deftly places another parking lot adjacent to the first and the two of them sneak across into a new part of town (subsequent reading of the rules reveals this to be totally illegal).
Malcolm is having trouble. He doesn’t seem to be able to kill zombies. They kill him. Hope he’s having fun.
The last tile is drawn and placed. It’s the Heli-pad! What a surprise! First to the Heli-pad wins the game (unless someone amasses twenty-five dead zombies – as if).
Dicken stays in the new part of town determined to take out as many undead b******s as he can, whilst the rest of the boys pick their way through crowded streets.... blah, blah, blah. .....
All the zombies have been allocated to the city long ago and Spiller throws a six, Kendall tries to play an Event, Spiller reminds Kendall he has already played an Event this round, Malcolm realises he can’t play his Event either, Spiller walks onto the pad and wins - might have been different if any zombies were left to bring on at the end!. This is a game of more air than substance, but the atmosphere is good and if you accept it for what it is then it's an excellent vehicle for a light hearted, alcohol influenced evening.
‘Viking Fury’ also lasts one and a half to two hours.
And .... the cards have been proofed, wooden cubes sorted, plastic pieces bagged up, maps folded, rules finalised. It may not look so commercial, but you won’t be disappointed. Out in 5-6 weeks time.
Go to top of page