Tuesday, July 4, 2017

This is WAR!

"We need supplies."  Patrick said, lacing up his boots.  "I say we check that small warehouse we passed on Highway 11."
Sandra looked over the few supplies they had in the truck they were using.  "You're right, we need more than a a couple of cans of beans and a blanket."  Pulling on her jacket, she added "Let's go."

This is a recap of the first scenario, meant to teach the basics for The Walking Dead - All Out War.  I have played it a couple of times, both solo and with one other player.  I will show just one of my solo plays, it was the most interesting of the times I played anyway.
Basic setup
The first basic scenario is a supply run.  I have to use Sandra and Patrick, a runner and a bruiser.  This is mean to teach the game, so I have no equipment, and the survivors are designated by the scenario.  I have setup 1/4 of the playmat that comes with the game to designate the warehouse, which is supposed to be 10"x10".  I have to get three supply crates for a successful mission and there are three walkers to face to start out.
Sandra and Patrick
The miniatures that came with the game are of good quality.  I expected as much, Mantic games has a good record of quality.  The plastic is bit soft, but I think they will take paint well enough.  As you can see, I have not painted them yet.
Sandra and Patrick move towards the supplies
Event card
Walkers close on the survivors
There are a couple of key concepts to the game, noise and events.  As you move, you can choose to run (move 8"), which causes noise, and the nearest walker to shamble (move 6") or you can choose to sneak, and move 4".  On the first turn I have Sandra run, with her special ability she has a chance to avoid combat, and Patrick sneaks.  Each turn, you draw from an event deck, which determines how the walkers move and can cause general chaos.
Sandra loses her melee
After melee the losing models are pushed 1" away from the victor, allowing movement each turn.  I found this keeps the game moving along.  After a few turns, things get messy, I move Sandra to get the crates and Patrick keeps the walkers busy.
Things seem to be okay
Moving around it seems things are well in hand.  The events stack up, and the walkers really make things..."interesting".
Pandemonium is aptly named
More walkers appear
The events cards definitely give the game twists and turns.  You may have the walkers not even move, or you may see several more enter the game.  I must admit they do make each game unique, on one play through the walkers barely did anything, we killed them (or knocked them down) and grabbed the supplies in like 3 turns.  Kinda boring.  Other times went sideways in a hurry...
Two down, one to go
Sandra and Patrick move along, grabbing the second supply crate.  I hope to just move along the back wall and grab the final supply crate to win the scenario.
Walkers swarm the survivors!
Luckily Sandra has picked up some armor and a tire iron.  She and Patrick manage to win the melee, even killing one walker (with a head shot) and buy enough space to get the final supplies.
A walker is knocked down...
...Only to get back up again
Sandra moves to the final crate, and the game gives a final surprise!
A lurker!
Luckily Sandra has football pads on, combined with a decent defense roll, she doesn't take any damage.
Sandra and equipment
The final round of melee goes well for the survivors, and the victory conditions are met.  The game ends with the survivors getting the supply markers.  Even with some walkers on the board, the victory conditions are met and the game ends.
The walkers are pushed away and knocked down
As Sandra grabbed the last pack of supplies, a legless torso grabbed and bit at her.  It's teeth latched onto the shoulder pads she was wearing, and she kicked the lurker away.  She yelled at Patrick "I've got them!  Let's go!"

So I have played the game a few times.  There are good and bad points.

The good is the quality of the minis, the various components and the rules are well done.  Games move at a fair pace and for a zombie game, how can you not want to have the Walking Dead franchise?  There are decent rules for solo play, and competitive play as well.

On the bad side, I dislike games that use 'special' dice in place of numerical results from d6s.  How hard would it be to note results as 1-2, 1-3, etc?  The lack of customization and the limited number of survivors hurts the repeat play of the basic game.  I realize I can get a few expansions, but they are still limited.

Once the narrative campaign expansion comes out, it might improve my opinion of the overall game.  It is good, but on a par with Zombicide (which is a great game as well) but I think it is lacking in various scenarios.  It's worth checking out and worth getting it for the miniatures if nothing else.