Ever since I did the Ghostbusters Board game review I’ve been wanting to try out more co-operative board games and one kept popping up in recommendations from others – Zombicide. Take on hordes of zombies with your friends whilst leveling up your characters and completing objectives? Sounds great to me!
Whether you want to gather up a group of friends or go it alone in the zombie apocalypse, Guillotine Games’ Zombicide is the one for you.
With some of the co-op games I’ve found they’ve taken a little getting used to. A few runs of trial and error whilst you try to learn the mechanics of the game and often needing to refer back to the manual has usually been the case. But Zombicide feels different, it feels a lot easier to pick up. I guess part of this could be down to the fact that co-op games have a few similarities and now that I’m more used to them I can pick up new ones a lot easier. What ever it is, it didn’t take long to learn Zombicide. Mastering it however, has been a completely different affair.
With the game you get 71 miniatures that I think look really good and feel good quality too. There’s a nice variation of zombies with a number of different looks and they all look really detailed. I used to paint Warhammer back in the day and I’m half tempted to buy a paint set and paint the zombies and characters.
With the base game there are already plenty of scenarios to play through, ranging from easy to hard. But in our groups time of playing we’ve found that the even ‘easy’ ones can still be pretty challenging if you’re not having a good day with your dice rolls.
Each scenario gives you your basic set up details – which tiles to use, where the players start, etc… Once you’ve selected which characters you want to use you will divvy out the starting equipment – you could get lucky and have a pistol to start, or you could end up with a frying pan. All the character have there own set of abilities that you can unlock as you gain experience from killing zombies, but beware the more you rank up the harder the game gets, so it is a good idea to try and keep the zombie killing evenly split across your players to slow down your experience gains.
Each round consists of the players actions (which you get 3 of to start) – movement, opening doors, searching buildings, attacking zombies and trading items. The zombies then complete their movements or attacks and then you spawn more zombies – providing your scenario has spawn points. This is where the game can rack up the difficulty. The Zombie cards have four tiers of spawning, each tier relates to your characters level, the higher your level the more zombies that can spawn. As soon as one players hits the next rank you will start to spawn zombies based on that rank. In a few games we accidentally ranked up one character a lot quicker than the rest meaning we quickly hit the second tier which meant we quickly got over run.
To try and help you along the way you can gather equipment from searching in buildings (and cars on specific scenarios). Handguns, Rifles, SMG’s, Axes and even a chainsaw are just of the weapons you will get to use to combat the plague of the dead. Each weapon has it’s own specific stats – how many dice you get to roll, what number you need to hit and what damage it does i.e. what zombie types it can kill. Certain weapons won’t be powerful enough to take out some of the tougher zombies like the fatty.
To succeed you’re going to need to plan ahead, talk through your decisions a lot and make the most of each characters abilities. If you don’t you can quickly become surrounded or stuck because when a zombie occupies the same space as a player in order to move away from it you must use an action point. So, if you have one zombie in your space you’re going to need to spend two actions to get away from it, one because of the zombie in your space and another for the actual move. Now think how difficult it can be if you get 5 or more moving in on you.
But as I said some players have special abilities such as Josh who is able to move through crowds of zombies without costing him any extra action points. This ability actually enabled us to win one scenario. We started with four players and we were up against it with a load of zombies on the board. Josh made a break for it and hid in another building whilst the rest of our survivors attracted all the attention. This gave Josh some space to move freely and eventually win the scenario for us. By the end of it I think we must have had 50 zombies on the board as Josh just kept running staying one step ahead.
Even though we’ve mostly sucked whilst playing and have lost quite a lot of times I’ve still really loved playing Zombicide and I can see myself getting some of the multitude of expansions and add-ons that are available. It’s a great game that feels really well built with really well put together game mechanics. It’s very easy to spend hours upon hours playing this working through the large number of scenarios, or you could play some of the shorter ones if you don’t have quite enough time to spare. It kind of caters to most gaming sessions and definitely deserves a place on your gaming shelf. Basically I love it.
You can also download a load more custom made scenarios and free missions if you get bored or complete the ones in the book!
Want to get it? Find your nearest games store here.