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Thread: Please, Convince Me Zombicide Is Worth It.

  1. #1

    Default Please, Convince Me Zombicide Is Worth It.

    I very much like the zombie genre, and I've been looking for a good zombie game that can be played solo as well as with friends & family. The reviews I read all seemed to love Zombicide, so I figured I'd download the rulebook to see what everyone was talking about. I do want to like it, and do quite like the sound of some of the rules... but I have to admit, on the whole I don't get it. The rules seem... broken.



    Here's what I'm mainly having trouble with:


    1) Line Of Sight:


    - Survivors cannot see diagonally, only in straight lines​. Can they not turn their heads, or move their eyeballs?


    2) Zones:


    - The whole zones system seems somewhat vague/sloppy/inaccurate. But maybe I'm just used to map tiles that are broken into squares, and more accurate systems for movement, figure placement, and targeting?


    3) Zombie Movement:


    - If there is more than one "most direct route" to a player, zombies split up between each route of equal efficiency. Because zombies can apparently only move in even numbered groups, you have to add extra zombies of the same type to make sure each group taking a different route has the same amount?


    4) Combat (these are my main roadblocks, especially the first one):


    - No defense against zombie attacks, it's an automatic point of damage. Really? Shouldn't there at least be a small chance? Have they never watched a single zombie movie or TV show, never read a single zombie novel, or played any other game with a combat element?
    - Ranged attack damage priority system. I could understand this if firing into a zone where zombies and players were clustered together or near each other, but this rule seems to indicate that even if the other survivor was in the same zone/car, you'd hit them first. I could see this if they were between you and your target, but what if the player piece is next to/behind yours?
    - AND YET, the game lets you shoot through zones with other players & zombies in them without penalty.
    - Cars. No protection from a zombie attack, and use the priority damage system. Again, I could see it if you drove through a cluster of zombies & survivors, but just simply from driving through the same zone. Zones are pretty big, and cars do have steering wheels.


    I guess I understand that the game was designed in such a way to create a specific experience, and force people to play in a more cerebral/strategic/stealthy way. But if you include a combat element, it should work for players who want to take a more direct/action-y approach. I want to like this game, and I'm hoping you'll be able to convince me that it's not as broken as the rules make it seem.


    Thanks,
    - 'Ski
    Last edited by Werzbowski; 01-16-2017 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2

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    Look... flat out, Zombicide is intended for a casual audience. It's more about dice chucking and some minor feeling of levelling up than anything. If you're looking for something incredible, this ain't it... it's flashy, the figures are cool, and people play it. People also played Halo for years, despite being really average, at best.

    ZPocalypse is, to date, the best zombie board game out there if you want something that kinda looks like ZCide but is more thematic and interesting. Guns regularly jam/run out of ammo so you need melee backups, every round begins with scavenging for supplies and people (which usually requires an attribute check), and zombies get nastier every night. Each player controls a single model "group" who are as good are their strongest link.

    The downside... production values. Card art is mostly tweaked photos, the base set minis pretty much suck. On the positive, figures are easily replaced by a ZCide season 3 set. This is enough stuff to account for the ZPoc 1 v all expansion that brings in crawlers, lady zombies, and other weirdness. You can also use the survivors to represent groups. It all fits together, and there's an adapter system suspiciously made to connect the puzzle fit pieces to ZCide tiles. And finally, there are a ton of different game modes. Tons.

    In summary, unless you want mindless arcade shooter, ignore the ZCide hype, and get ZPoc instead. You can probably find a cheap deal, too.

  3. #3

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    Based on your listed comments for Zombicide, you might prefer Zombicide Black Plague. It's a medieval system, and your list in part four are mostly changed.

    Defense: you can get armor, and some figures have a skill which acts like armor. It's not autosave, but at least it's a chance.
    Ranged Combat targeting: You only hit friendly figures if you miss hitting a zombie. So if you use a weapon that uses multiple dice, it's quite possible you'll hit friends as well. (As to why they did it in the original, I suspect they found it to unbalance if people were firing into a zone with friendlies in it, allowing one or two figures to tie down the zombies, while the rest of the team blasted at range.)
    Cars: there aren't any. (smiles).

    As to Zpocalypse, I backed it at the same time as Zombicide, and I've never managed to figure out the system well enough to make it fun. Even after trying to play at GenCon with someone that supposedly knew the game, we came up with questions on the zombie movement that weren't able to be figured out, even using the revised rule book. Someday I hope to actually make it work, but even if it does, Zpocolypse has a stab the other player in the back concept in it, and is hard enough with out the special goals which cause those actions. (Case in point, I got bonus points if I managed to get another player's figure into a trap. Plus, it wasn't clear how you actually did that.) Your results may vary.

  4. #4

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    I absolutely love Zombicide and Z:Black Plague, so my answers may seem a bit biased.

    Line of Sight: This is NOT a skirmish game, where every player has their head on a swivel. The 'no diagonal movement/shooting' is a game balance issue. When weapons have a range of 0 (your zone) to 1 (adjacent zone), how does a diagonal zone that is 1 * square root of 2 distance away fit? Also, since walkers only have one action (one zone move) per turn, shooting diagonally is somewhat unbalanced, unless you also allow melee on that diagonal... making a simple rule into a complex nightmare to make the game seem more "real". In all honesty, it doesn't break the game... Lots of other games utilize the grid system to simplify Line of Sight rules for people who are not Wargamers.

    Zones: again, simplifying movement so that each figure movement doesn't require a tape measure and an argument over where it finished moving. This I a crossover game where zones are nice, wide open areas delineated by walls for 'inside' and white stripes on the roads for 'outside'. And, one zone can be on four tiles (street intersections).

    Zombie Movement: this is a balancing effort. There are few scenarios in which you can zombie train them around in circles. If the zombies could split, what is the best way for an odd number to split? Who decides which way the odd zombie goes? Simple answer: make them an even amount by ADDING a zombie. The game is supposed to be hard, that's why the solution wasn't to remove the odd zombie.

    Combat: Automatic hits...if you are dumb enough to remain too close to zombies, you need to pay a price. Surviving the game should be an accomplishment, not a right. That being said, there are a few items in the game (Hockey Mask and Nightstick, if I remember correctly) that can be used to avoid a wound.

    Combat: Ranged attacks... Without a degree of risk, everyone would just get a ranged weapon and kill zombies without much risk. There are several house rules... once a hit is rolled, a die number is assigned to each legal target... 2 players, 3 zombies.. 1-player, 2-player, 3-zombie, 4-zombie, 5-zombie, 6-player (or reroll). Then a die roll determines who gets hit... Zombicide Black Plague modified the rules so that successes hit zombies, misses hit players.

    Combat: long range attacks ... well, that's the rules...

    Cars: added for flavor, made a lot of issues. consider this the apocalypse, there are probably a lot of other cars on the streets, so chances are, in your haste to run over that crowd of zombies, you clipped the bumper of a car that two of your friends happened to be hiding behind, pinning them to a wall or another car.

    With all this being said, look for a game at your local game store. If no one close by has the game for you to try, see if the store as a contact with CMON's Legion demonstration team. More than likely, they have a copy of the game for you to sample.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by eypyeash View Post
    In summary, unless you want mindless arcade shooter, ignore the ZCide hype, and get ZPoc instead. You can probably find a cheap deal, too.
    The funny thing is, that's sort of what I was looking for... a fun solo/co-op zombie fighting game with just enough depth to stay interesting. I read the rules for ZPoc, and I was left with a headache, but ZCide seemed just about right... until I hit the combat rules... Then it seemed to really odd to me that a game billed such as it is had rules that made combat such an unlikely to chose option.

    Thanks for the reply.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    Defense: you can get armor, and some figures have a skill which acts like armor. It's not autosave, but at least it's a chance.
    Ranged Combat targeting: You only hit friendly figures if you miss hitting a zombie. So if you use a weapon that uses multiple dice, it's quite possible you'll hit friends as well. (As to why they did it in the original, I suspect they found it to unbalance if people were firing into a zone with friendlies in it, allowing one or two figures to tie down the zombies, while the rest of the team blasted at range.)
    Cars: there aren't any. (smiles).
    Defense: I like this... wish they could've added something like it to classic Zombicide. There are enough types of protective wear in the modern world to make it thematic.

    Ranged: I do like this... I can at least see misses being potential hits on nearby friendlies, though I would still prefer perhaps misses that roll a 1, or somesuch.

    Cars: That would be interesting in a medieval setting... Army of Darkness anyone? LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    As to Zpocalypse, I backed it at the same time as Zombicide, and I've never managed to figure out the system well enough to make it fun. Even after trying to play at GenCon with someone that supposedly knew the game, we came up with questions on the zombie movement that weren't able to be figured out, even using the revised rule book. Someday I hope to actually make it work, but even if it does, Zpocolypse has a stab the other player in the back concept in it, and is hard enough with out the special goals which cause those actions. (Case in point, I got bonus points if I managed to get another player's figure into a trap. Plus, it wasn't clear how you actually did that.) Your results may vary.
    Yeah, as I mentioned in my reply to eypyeash, I read the rules for Zpocalypse, and they just left me with a headache.

    Thanks for your reply.

  7. #7

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    Zombicide remains the best Kickstarter I've backed and I've pledged on a fair ol' number. Have run it for over a dozen people and only one didn't think it was great (he wanted more PvP than collaborative).

    The LOS and movement being zones rather than squares we've found to be one of those great things in game mechanics, elegant and simple, or elegantly simple. While less detailed, it gives a greater sense of pace than clunking from square to square - and danger, when the zombies are underestimated.

    Getting swamped by zombies really doesn't happen that often, but it does feel rather justified in it's finality when it happens (we messed up bad for that to happen). Ain't as if the game has been fair up to that point, the poor rotting buggers not having guns and skills.

    Generally it's an abstract approach that can certainly be picked apart from a detail perspective but that's rather missing the good things going for it. But as someone else said, if you like a fantasy setting the zombicide:black plague has tweaked a few things like the target priority ruling out other survivors (they get hit when you mess up instead) and survivors wear armour for the chance to deflect hits.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    Line of Sight: This is NOT a skirmish game, where every player has their head on a swivel. The 'no diagonal movement/shooting' is a game balance issue. When weapons have a range of 0 (your zone) to 1 (adjacent zone), how does a diagonal zone that is 1 * square root of 2 distance away fit? Also, since walkers only have one action (one zone move) per turn, shooting diagonally is somewhat unbalanced, unless you also allow melee on that diagonal... making a simple rule into a complex nightmare to make the game seem more "real". In all honesty, it doesn't break the game... Lots of other games utilize the grid system to simplify Line of Sight rules for people who are not Wargamers.
    I guess it bothers me as I somewhat felt the game was presented as a kind of zombie combat/skirmish game. As I mentioned, I've just read the rules, but I did notice in some of the board layouts that there seemed to areas big/wide enough to allow a survivor to potentially see and eliminate a zombie from a distance with a range weapon, but because that zombie was diagonally in LOS, the rules would forbid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    Zones: again, simplifying movement so that each figure movement doesn't require a tape measure and an argument over where it finished moving. This I a crossover game where zones are nice, wide open areas delineated by walls for 'inside' and white stripes on the roads for 'outside'. And, one zone can be on four tiles (street intersections).
    I could see, have seen actually, tape measurement movement start arguments in games that don't use existing maps. But the majority of games I've played that use maps/tiles have generally had some form of grid to help with movement/figure placement/targeting. Zones, to me at least, seem to represent a reasonably large area of space. It seems very sloppy/vague to assume that every piece that enters a zone is automatically considered to be congregating right in the middle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    Zombie Movement: this is a balancing effort. There are few scenarios in which you can zombie train them around in circles. If the zombies could split, what is the best way for an odd number to split? Who decides which way the odd zombie goes? Simple answer: make them an even amount by ADDING a zombie. The game is supposed to be hard, that's why the solution wasn't to remove the odd zombie.
    Simpler answer... roll a die. 1-3 they go this way, 4-6 they go that way. ;-) Zombie hordes do tend to stick together after all, unless flowing around smaller obstacles than buildings or rooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    Combat: Automatic hits...if you are dumb enough to remain too close to zombies, you need to pay a price. Surviving the game should be an accomplishment, not a right. That being said, there are a few items in the game (Hockey Mask and Nightstick, if I remember correctly) that can be used to avoid a wound.

    Combat: Ranged attacks... Without a degree of risk, everyone would just get a ranged weapon and kill zombies without much risk. There are several house rules... once a hit is rolled, a die number is assigned to each legal target... 2 players, 3 zombies.. 1-player, 2-player, 3-zombie, 4-zombie, 5-zombie, 6-player (or reroll). Then a die roll determines who gets hit... Zombicide Black Plague modified the rules so that successes hit zombies, misses hit players.
    Automatic hits: I agree, I don't think survival should be a right either... I do however think there should be at least a random chance to fend off/negate a wound. Say a roll of 6 for the survivor, and/or an armour system like in BP. There's plenty of protective sports equipment, and work wear in the world.

    Ranged: See this has to do with the vagueness of zones, and assuming all actors are all automatically considered to be crowding the center of them. I can see misses hitting survivors if they're actually in the line of fire, and say if the miss is a roll of 1. Unless the game assumes that survivors are simply "spraying & praying" when making a ranged attack, and/or none of them actually know how to use a firearm or aim.

    But then I suppose that's why you always keep a melee weapon equipped, and/or do your best to try and keep the zombies at least 1-2 zones away from you at all times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    Cars: added for flavor, made a lot of issues. consider this the apocalypse, there are probably a lot of other cars on the streets, so chances are, in your haste to run over that crowd of zombies, you clipped the bumper of a car that two of your friends happened to be hiding behind, pinning them to a wall or another car.
    You do have a good point here. What about the fact that being in a big steel enclosure offers no defense against zombies though?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    With all this being said, look for a game at your local game store. If no one close by has the game for you to try, see if the store as a contact with CMON's Legion demonstration team. More than likely, they have a copy of the game for you to sample.
    Haven't found a store yet that doesn't keep some version of this in stock... LOL... though there's only one store convenient to my location, and it doesn't have in-house gaming tables. I'll have to find the time to trek out to the one(s) that do. Until then, I plan to hit up YouTube and see about watching some videos of the game being played by others.

    Thanks for your reply.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    Zombicide remains the best Kickstarter I've backed and I've pledged on a fair ol' number. Have run it for over a dozen people and only one didn't think it was great (he wanted more PvP than collaborative).
    This is one of the things I've heard so often that drew me to considering the game. But I wanted to make sure my investment wouldn't go to waste if I dropped that much cash on it (around a $100 here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    The LOS and movement being zones rather than squares we've found to be one of those great things in game mechanics, elegant and simple, or elegantly simple. While less detailed, it gives a greater sense of pace than clunking from square to square - and danger, when the zombies are underestimated.

    Getting swamped by zombies really doesn't happen that often, but it does feel rather justified in it's finality when it happens (we messed up bad for that to happen). Ain't as if the game has been fair up to that point, the poor rotting buggers not having guns and skills.
    I guess it's just my old school bias that rankles at this method. As I mentioned, most games of this type I've played before have been a little more exacting. Probably just something I'll have to suck up and get over. ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    Generally it's an abstract approach that can certainly be picked apart from a detail perspective but that's rather missing the good things going for it. But as someone else said, if you like a fantasy setting the zombicide:black plague has tweaked a few things like the target priority ruling out other survivors (they get hit when you mess up instead) and survivors wear armour for the chance to deflect hits.
    Fantasy or modern doesn't make too much difference to me... as long as it's zombies, solo or co-op, and fun, rather than frustrating to play. I guess I've just become somewhat set in my ways from all the other miniature combat games I've played, and the rules for Zombicide just seemed so opposite/counter-intuitive to what I was expecting.

    Thanks for your reply.
    Last edited by Werzbowski; 01-17-2017 at 12:00 PM.

  10. #10

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    What part of the world do you hail from? I can try to locate a CMON Legion demo member in the area to demo the game for you. Or, you can email Pete@cmon.com (He is the Legion Coordinator) and he can put you in contact with a store/Legion member in your area.

  11. #11

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    The old school had its moments too. Like one of the lowly 'stealer hybrids in the 1st edition of Spacehulk, killed my Terminator Captain with a las pistol, cos everything kills on a 6. Left me wondering why bother with all that Terminator armour.
    And the abstract combat system in Necromunda. Rolling as many dice as the Attacks stat, then only using the highest, all compared to the opponents similarly worked out score, the highest score minus the other is how many hits caused. Gave a few of my friends a proper session of head scratching trying to rationalise that when they were used to more direct and easy to visualise "roll to hit, roll to wound, roll for armour save". Add in all the crits, fumbles and parries and it got quite messy

    For all it's simplicity this does have a moments of cunning and glory.
    Thinking a turn ahead, with the turn order of players changing each round someone different would be going first, trading weapons this turn and making sure the 1st player is the one to open the door to the zombie horde to give everyone else a chance at shooting them. Unless you want to open the door late in the turn and retreat out, let the zombies gather before letting rip with a Molotov cocktail.
    Being mindful of the exp' of each character, so no one character accelerates away with all the kills leaving the others relatively lacking in skills, while the higher exp character causes the zombie spawns to get tougher.
    Trading a 2damage weapon to someone that does +1 damage, so they can kill an abomination without needing to flame it.
    Or leading an abomination around with a brave survivor with the Tough skill, so they can take a slap and keep moving away, leaving the rest of the survivors to kill zombies and search for something to kill that abomination with.

    Something else going for zombicide is the support on their website. Loads of free extra missions to add to the longevity. I've yet to play them all.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerlith Kinspirit View Post
    What part of the world do you hail from?
    I'm from the Great White North... north eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Valley region... if I can't find a demo game at either of the two stores I know about that offer such, I'd certainly be interested in contacting the Legion.

    Thanks much for the info.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    The old school had its moments too. Like one of the lowly 'stealer hybrids in the 1st edition of Spacehulk, killed my Terminator Captain with a las pistol, cos everything kills on a 6. Left me wondering why bother with all that Terminator armour.
    I loved Space Hulk... That along with Battletech were my first introduction into miniatures gaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    For all it's simplicity this does have a moments of cunning and glory.
    Thinking a turn ahead, with the turn order of players changing each round someone different would be going first, trading weapons this turn and making sure the 1st player is the one to open the door to the zombie horde to give everyone else a chance at shooting them. Unless you want to open the door late in the turn and retreat out, let the zombies gather before letting rip with a Molotov cocktail.
    Being mindful of the exp' of each character, so no one character accelerates away with all the kills leaving the others relatively lacking in skills, while the higher exp character causes the zombie spawns to get tougher.
    Trading a 2damage weapon to someone that does +1 damage, so they can kill an abomination without needing to flame it.
    Or leading an abomination around with a brave survivor with the Tough skill, so they can take a slap and keep moving away, leaving the rest of the survivors to kill zombies and search for something to kill that abomination with.
    Does sound like it has a robust strategic element.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrmypops View Post
    Something else going for zombicide is the support on their website. Loads of free extra missions to add to the longevity. I've yet to play them all.
    That's another aspect of what interested me about Zombicide... the sheer volume of support, extras, and expansions.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    As to Zpocalypse, I backed it at the same time as Zombicide, and I've never managed to figure out the system well enough to make it fun. Even after trying to play at GenCon with someone that supposedly knew the game, we came up with questions on the zombie movement that weren't able to be figured out, even using the revised rule book. Someday I hope to actually make it work, but even if it does, Zpocolypse has a stab the other player in the back concept in it, and is hard enough with out the special goals which cause those actions. (Case in point, I got bonus points if I managed to get another player's figure into a trap. Plus, it wasn't clear how you actually did that.) Your results may vary.
    The rulebook ain't the best, for sure. It's better to play a solo session to really get a grip on everything, but the zombies are mostly just going to go after what they can see. You can use this to your advantage, but it also screws you, because when the fast zombies come, you kind of want to hide... but if they can't see anyone, they're going for the bunker.

    It also doesn't HAVE to have the competitive aspect. It can be pure coop, as well.

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