So yesterday, we played Zombicide. It was playing a game in the face of the worst storm so far in 2017. The predictions were horrific. There would be up to 3 inches of snow, followed by 1/2 to a full inch of ice. Horrors, necromancers raising the dead, people petting cat tummies. You know, the worst of the worst.
Well, the storm hit while we were playing at the local game store. Cut to the end, there was a light dusting of snow on everything. The wind blew it around in lazy swirls. It was amazing luck that everyone made it home alive and unscathed.
Here are some candid shots of Ferdinand and Rocky in their desperate plight to go on a walk to find some grass to water. This was fully 8 hours into the worst storm so far this year.
It didn’t take long when we started the Zombicide game before people started to wonder if we would be snowed in to the game store, ala Donner Party style. Being a manager at work, I tried to slip into my doublespeak form, to keep people calm. I calmly explained that while we saw three snowflakes so far, and it might have been fewer than three, since there was a mild breeze, it was entirely possible that we observed the same snowflake more than once. Also, in the unlikely event that we were indeed snowed in the game store, there were only a few people here, and Roy had a sizeable stock of candy bars, Slim Jim’s, soda and Corn Nuts. Besides, Sue and Mike brought healthy snacks, veggies and nuts.
It didn’t take long for Sue and Mike to quietly pull their brought snacks towards them (yes, Sue, I did see you securing your food stocks), and pretty soon, they had pulled their snacks to the far edge of the table, almost out of sight, hidden by their D&D Players Handbook. Mike even asked me a question about how I painted a zombie, and I unwittingly got him the paints that I used. Mike quietly put the paints in as part of the phalanx of material obscuring the view of their nuts and veggies. Mike also mentioned that he should have brought his new game where you play members of the Donner Party trying to figure out which player “wins” by having lost the fewest people while gaining the least shame.
Collin kept up a chatter, trying to figure out where his loyalties lay. How was it going to come down? What was the best way to insure his survival? His eyes darting from Eric, to me, to Mike and Sue. No amount of reassuring made Collin comfortable. I pointed out that it was going to be all right, and Collin recoiled in terror, believing that I was trying to lull him into a false sense of security where he would let his guard down. I would never do that, or would I?
Eric was asserting his Alpha Male self. He made no bones about it. He was poking and prodding the other players, testing them for toughness like a cattle buyer in Kansas City. I am pretty sure that he wanted to look at our teeth, to help judge our age.
Shari was the smart one. She stayed home. According to Collin, she wasn’t feeling well. I wondered if this was a ploy. Collin would go out and gather some helpless individuals and bring them home as a living larder, in case the storm got too bad?
With nothing better to do, since we were all paralyzed by the four snowflakes that had fallen by now, we started playing Zombicide.
In this scenario, we needed to explore every room that had a red objective token in it.
Eric got Zombicide for Christmas, and he told us that we weren’t playing the game right. We were playing it that we had to enter the room in order to spawn the zombies. Eric told us that when we opened up a building, we needed to spawn the entire building at once. We discussed that, and it seemed odd, that we would spawn the entire building, instead of just one or two nearby rooms.
We decided to create a house rule, where we would spawn the room we walked into, when we opened up a door. When we walked into the room for the first time, we would spawn all adjacent rooms. We used a marker to designate which rooms we had spawned zombies in. This works for several reasons. First, if you spawn the entire building at once, you can go and open up all the buildings and spawn everything at the blue level. That’s not a lot of fun. Towards the end of the game, when we walked into a room, we were spawning at the orange and eventually red level.
So we started out, and Collin decided he wanted to drive the pimp mobile. Yup, it fits, Collin and the pimp mobile. He spent quite a bit of time driving up and down the road mowing down zombies, running us into the orange level pretty quickly.
As the game progressed, we would clear out the rooms pretty quickly. We spawned zombies, and then we killed them.
This is where we started to show our more seasoned approach to Zombicide. The first few games that we played, we were worried about going into the yellow… Everyone was strategizing about how to keep us as low as possible in zombie kills. A few games ago, we figured out that killing lots of zombies was fun, and when we got into the orange, we got to kill a lot more zombies. We just had to be smart about it.
As we played, we laid out individual tokens (bricks, chicken legs, carrots etc) to denote who had searched in each room. Somewhere along the line, I got a big stock of the kill markers, so we used those to track where we had spawned the individual rooms.
Further into the game, we started getting into some tighter spaces. I had a pistol with unlimited ammo. In fact, almost everyone had a gun of some type with either unlimited ammo. We killed a lot of zombies. Wanda had her chainsaw. We were trying to figure out how to get Wanda a scope for her chainsaw. You know, something which would make it even more deadly.
Things were getting kind of dicey. We tried to keep the killings pretty well balanced between the players. It didn’t help that I was lagging in killing, so I was in the yellow zone with only an extra action, while most of the other players were in the orange, where they had some more fun things they could do each turn.
You can tell we are pretty well into this game by now, since we are dropping stuff that we don’t need.
Clearing our way through the building, one room at a time. Because we aren’t killing off the zombies in the street, we are starting to run out of zombie minis. That is kind of bad in this game, since when you run out of walkers, you place runners if walkers are called for, and if no runners, you place fatties, etc.
And the hordes are gathering in the street. We have two Molitov cocktails left, but are waiting for when we really need them.
A little anticlimactic. The hero’s view, leaving the game, with the horde of zombies behind. It was really tempting to throw a couple of Molitov cocktails into the fray, but it was time to leave.
Another view of the hordes.
So we all left after this game, headed home to try to survive the horrible storm.