Zombies

Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! is a tile-based strategy board game for two to six players. Zombies!!! won the 2001 Origins Award for Best Graphic Presentation of a Board Game, and Zombies 3: Mall Walkers won 2003's Origins Award for Best Board Game Expansion.

Game play

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.

Game interest

Zombies!!! is an homage to zombies in fiction, particularly the zombie films of George Romero and Sam Raimi. The shambling movement of the zombies as compared to the players and the relative ease with which they are dispatched makes them weak enemies individually, but (as in the films) they are strong in large numbers.

Players must decide whether to avoid combat and allow the other players to dispose of the zombies for them, or to strike out and collect the various items that the board and event cards provide. Once the Helipad tile is placed, the players can choose between racing to the helicopter (which will often result in death); holding back and hoping to rush in when another player dies; or ignoring the helipad entirely and trying to kill 25 zombies.

The event cards and the zombie movement phase also provide opportunities to hinder the progress of other players, and there is scope for diplomacy.

The game can take up to three hours to complete, which was a complaint of some reviewers--for shorter games, the publishers recommend that the Helipad tile be shuffled in amongst the other town tiles.

Expansions

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.

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 moutains 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.

Spinoffs

Zombies 4: The End: A stand-alone game, though also backwards compatible with any (and all) of the previous games, in which the players must battle zombie dogs through woodland while collecting pages from the Book of the Undead to undo the spell that is making the dead rise. This expansion will have a "Second Edition" released in March 2008 with new art and rules clarifications.

MidEvil: Another stand-alone game in which the players must battle skeletons in medieval times (see Army of Darkness). This game also has an expansion (Castle Chaos), with another (Subterranean Homesick Blues) released in December 2007. The tiles are marked as in other expansions of Zombies!!!, but there are no listed rules on how to combine it into the original game.

Humans!!!. This game is playable by itself but also allow you to incorporate it into a game of Zombies!!!. The game is played from the perspective of the zombies where your goal is to eat humans. These humans can also be other players.

Second edition

On June 2006, a second edition was released. Known also as The Director's Cut, the second edition features red heart tokens (as opposed to black in the original set), updated tile graphics, cards with different artwork and phrasing, and female zombie figures. The Directors Cut is supplied in a deeper box, designed to hold the extra cards / tokens / figures etc. from the expansions. Second Editions of the 2nd and 3rd sets were also created, with a Second Edition of Zombies 4 just released.

References

External links

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