Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zombicide deconstructed

Many real-life... things prevented much gaming from happening this month. I even missed our almost-regular Pathfinder game. Boo hiss. But it's OK, I have been keeping busy resisting getting in on a lot of Kickstaters and playing with the toys I already have at home. Main focus has been getting the Kaamados ready for our Critical Mass challenge. Which I am naturally way behind on, but yeah. Also distracted with Pulp City preparations and some other backburner concepts I have been fiddling around with (including terrain assembly. I wish I was one of those people that loved making terrain. Or knew someone like that, heh.)

The one night I was able to get out was for some Zombicide. Now, as noted previously, I missed the first Kickstarter, and regretted it as soon as I saw all those lovely miniatures once they finally arrived. So I bought in on the second, and man, it's a mighty horde. I even justified it to myself, saying it's a minis game I could teach the family. But really, after playing it this last time, it occurs to me that despite being fully of great figs, it's not what I consider a miniatures game.

Seriously, do NOT open that door.

It's a good game, don't get me wrong. A little fiddly, rules-wise for my taste. And I think that is what takes me out of the experience to a certain extent. There's a bit of team-building at the beginning, when you put your survivors together. And a few tactical decisions along the way: when to level, which skills to select when you do, how to go about moving out and thinning the hordes, etc. 

The pic above is where the gaming 'realism,' for lack of a better term kicks in. There's really no maximum of zombies per tile. So the zombies followed the noise, and sat there waiting patiently for us to open the door. Which we of course didn't do until we had everything we needed. And you're really just playing to the rules, and taking it from a fearsome experience to something of a logic puzzle. Even an extensive ruleset like Zombicide doesn't move beyond that threshold. Which is fine, for a board game, but doesn't really immerse me like a good solid minis game.

And yes, while we weren't required to have the Abomination crowdsurfing on the horde, it became a moral imperative, once it was mentioned out loud.

And then there's things like this. Aaron figured out that, as long as you planned where your car would end up, once you got in the car and got it moving, there was really nothing the zombies could do about it. The loop of roads outside the prison just became a zombie recycling circuit. The car took zero damage from running over an infinite number of zombies, and as long as you did the simple math, you could always make a clean getaway. Tension? Whatever.

Yes, it's a fun game, and I like a good logic puzzle as much as the next nerd. But it's not, you know, really like a minis game. More on this dichotomy as it comes to me.