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Wherein we discuss ZOMBIES!!! (and modification thereof)

FlayFlay Registered User regular
edited December 2008 in Critical Failures
I so happened to acquire a copy of this game for Christmas, and thought it deserved some discussion. This is my first thread/post in Critical Failures, so if I'm doing it wrong let me know.
Zombies!!! puts you in the middle of the action as you try to escape the ever advancing zombie horde. Players must use a combination of wits and brawn to be the first to the heliport and certain escape. The only problem is, the zombies are everywhere, they appear to be very hungry and your opponents would really prefer if you didn't escape.

Shamelessly stolen from wikipedia:
The game board is a zombie-infested town built by the players as the game progresses. The game starts with the Town Square tile face up and 28 other town tiles shuffled into a pile, with the Helipad tile placed underneath. The players' pieces ("shotgun guys") are placed on the town square, and they each receive three life tokens and three bullet tokens.

On each turn, the player places the topmost town tile adjacent to tiles that are already face up. The new tile must be placed in a way that matches: roads must connect to roads, and so on. Most tiles are roads and road junctions, but some contain locations within the town, such as the Fire Station or Hospital. When a tile is placed, the player must also place two or more zombies on it; if it is a named location it may also hold additional life tokens or bullet tokens.

If the player shares a square with a zombie, he must try to destroy it (see below). Otherwise, he draws up to three event cards, which may be used to modify the game rules. The player may use only one such card until the beginning of his next turn.

Next, the player rolls a six-sided die to determine how far his "shotgun guy" can move. He may use some, all, or none of this movement, at his discretion. If the player moves into a square containing a zombie, he must attempt to kill it by rolling 4 or more on a six-sided die. If he fails to roll a 4 or greater, he has the option of improving his roll by using bullet tokens, or of losing a life token and attempting to kill the zombie again. This continues until either the player or the zombie is dead. If the zombie is killed, the player keeps the zombie figure to show who killed it; if the player is killed, he "respawns" at the town square with three life tokens and three bullets, but may not move further. If a square is clear of zombies and contains a life token or bullet token, a player may pick it up and add it to his own, although no player may have more than five life tokens at a time.

Once the player has finished with movement, he rolls a six-sided die to determine the zombies' movement. Each zombie can move only one space per turn, but as many zombies move as are shown on the die.

Finally, the player may discard an event card. Since each player may only discard one and use one per turn, this means the player should always have at least one card at all times.

The game is won by the first player to kill 25 zombies or the first player to reach the center square of the Helipad tile and clear it of the zombie if one is there, whichever comes first.

There are also many expansion packs available (also stolen from wikipedia):
Zombies 2: Zombie Corps(e): This expansion adds a military base with 15 new tiles and 30 event cards, as well as government-enhanced "super zombies" (represented by six glow-in-the-dark zombie figures) which move twice as fast and which require a 5 or 6 on the die to kill. The first edition of Zombie Corps(e) also had a blank tile included.[1].

Zombies 3: Mall Walkers: This expansion adds a mall containing 16 new tiles and 32 event cards and air vent movement rules while in the mall.

Zombies 3.5: Not Dead Yet: This expansion adds new event cards. As an optional variant, players can construct their own decks of event cards.

Zombies 4: The End You've escaped the zombie ravaged streets of the city, but now, the real terror begins. Up in the mountains lies a cabin, and in the cabin and the surrounding forests, lie the pages of the Book of the Dead. If you can gather enough pages together, you could end this entire zombie mess for good.

Zombies 5: School's Out Forever!: This expansion adds a school containing 16 map tiles, 32 new event cards and "Guts" tokens.

Zombies 6: Six Feet Under: This expansion takes players into the sewers and subways. It offers 16 new map tiles, 32 event cards, 24 sewer tokens, and new sewer rules that can be played with any set. Unlike the other expansions, all of the new map tiles are shuffled into the main tile deck.

Zombies 6.66: Fill in the ____: Players can create their own map tiles and event cards using the blanks provided by this set.

Zombies 7: Send in the Clowns: Now players must deal with zombified clowns in a circus.

RULES (pdf)

I'm going to attempt to develop a modified, co-op rule-set. If anyone has any contributions to make, please voice them.

Conditions of Victory
  • (possible) Play continues until all players have either reached the heliport or been eliminated.
  • (possible) When a player is killed, they are eliminated from the game; there are no 'respawns'.


Life and Bullet Tokens

Alternative Co-op Cards
  • Rally the troops: Calls any players within three map tiles distance to the card-user's location.
  • Blood transfusion: One player sacrifices one life token to give two life tokens to another player.
  • Since the cards given with the game are specifically aimed at impeding other players, a custom deck will probably be required.
  • Each player token, instead of representing a single survivor, could represent a group of people.
  • Each life token, instead of representing 'hit points', could act as another survivor. When another is acquired, the group gains another survivor.
  • 'Groups' with a higher member count could be given bonuses to combat, but may also suffer impeded movement.


Flay on


  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I got in a fight with a friend of mine last time I played this game. It's really easy to be a dick, and when the game has been going on for two hours, tempers get frayed. (Edit: the original release of the game did not have the 25-kill caveat.)

    The glow-in-the-dark zombie figures that come with one of the xpacs are pretty cool though.

    delroland on
    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I haven't actually played the game yet, to be frank. Mainly because I'm waiting for a group of fellow zombie fans to finish their Christmas activities so we can all play together.

    We're all pretty relaxed, though, so even if someone is being a dick chances are we'll just end up making a joke out of it.

    Flay on
  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The game suffers from lack of a co-op victory. Zombie survival is not about fighting zombies; it's about the human condition. The game would be better served with a "let's work together unless I stab you in the back" mentality instead of the race-to-the-finish playstyle.

    delroland on
    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Well, no one's forcing us to stick to the given rule set. I wonder if I can modify it to be a co-op game...?

    EDIT: Okay, I'm gonna play around with the rules and see if I can improve them. It'd help if I had someone to play through the game with, but I'll just see what I can do for the moment. If anyone has any experience with the game, any help developing custom rules would be appreciated. I'll update the OP with the modified rule-set.

    Flay on
  • SkulloSkullo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If you figure out a way to stop the tiles from sliding all around the table, please let me know. Drives me right outta my damn mind when a minor bump messes up a whole city layout :P. My roommate suggested creating an earthquake rule for that, ahaha.

    Skullo on
  • SkulloSkullo Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    delroland wrote: »
    The game suffers from lack of a co-op victory. Zombie survival is not about fighting zombies; it's about the human condition. The game would be better served with a "let's work together unless I stab you in the back" mentality instead of the race-to-the-finish playstyle.

    Just came up with this on fly, seriously.

    Players work together (ideally) to get to the helipad. Game ends when all players escape/die.

    1 player controls the zombie horde. They roll for zombie movement and can draw their own cards, but don't place tiles. Each turn, the horde-player may generate 1 new zombie. The other players control their players, but don't roll for zombie movement. Turn order goes Player 1 -Horde -Player on and so forth. (Or all players could go at the same time maybe?)

    Cards for players work as normal. Cards for Horde-Player will probably need to be re-tooled, but could probably work. Horde player could only use 1 card until the 1st player goes again (I think technically that's how it would work anyway, but I'd just want to cover my bases and write it out)

    Each time a player dies, a new zombie is added to the board in their tile.

    Starting health/bullets and maximums for each should probably be increased.
    Respawns could be optional.

    Teamwork can be accomplished by...
    -players on adjacent tiles can swap health/bullets
    -when fighting a zombie, a player can get a modifier to their roll for a/each player that is adjacent
    -if a player fails to kill a zombie, instead of discarding a health token or bullet, an adjacent player may 'take the hit'/join the fight and discard one of their own heartss/bullets, allowing a re-roll/modifier as normal. (really only useful if someone is about to die).

    You could also create a points system to work out indvidual 'winners'.
    +1 point for each zombie killed
    +3 points if you survive
    +1 point for each remaining bullet
    +2 points for each remaining heart
    You could subtract points for respawns if you use them I guess.

    I kind of like this. I'm going to try it out this weekend.

    Skullo on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I like the idea of having a player control the zombie horde. The biggest problem I can see with the game are the event cards which specifically target other players. I'm gonna see if I can brainstorm some alternative, cooperative cards. Again, if anyone has any suggestions, I'll be glad to hear them.

    Flay on
  • DarianDarian Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Here's a co-op variant for 2p:

    And another co-op:

    Rules variants are discussed on the BGG page at where you might find other co-op variants and/or help developing your own. Good luck with this!

    Darian on
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