A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Zombie Month! All Things Zombie! Actual Play Experiences

And by experiences I mean, "Things myself and a friend found in playing that the rules don't bother to mention".

Maybe I just misread the rules.  I've gone over it in play, and now again before doing another minicomic talking about my issues with some pictures for quick reference.  (I like pictures.  They are shiny.)

(Y'all know the click for bigger drill by now.)

Yeah.  This game for 60 bucks is a complete disaster.  Its limited in scope, overly luck dependent, missing obvious and important rule situations, got a totally borked set of timing for events, and the game's design makes it possible you will lose just due to a bad Zombie card draw.  

Heck, the scenarios don't even list partial victories!  Just all or nothing for the most part!

If this was a 5-10 dollar print and play PDF game or a 15-20 dollar minibox game ala the old Steve Jackson games I would say its a fun little diversion for what it is, and any flaws could easily be houseruled.  

But as a 60 dollar game I have been waiting for since preordering in July 2008?  INEXCUSABLE.

Thick cardboard mapsheets that have tears in them just by virtue of being thick cardboard folded.  The fact that you have 4 maps but you can't even use all 4 sides at once due to them being double sided.  Lock N Load's first game used thin laminated cardboard sheets that were single sided allowing for lots of fun scenarios.  (And it was only a 35-40 dollar game.  With 5 sheets each almost as big as one of these mapboards.)

Yay a full color big manual.  That's missing obvious information, has such loose timing rules its almost a complete mess, and not even enough scenarios to justify the price even if the rules were totally clear!

I mean, the rules don't even have SCALE information listed in them.  This is something nearly every hex n chit game has in them!

This game WASTED money on high production values instead of gameplay, what really matters.  Yes, the counters are great and the maps do look really pretty.

But the game is so lacking its not even funny.

Its an ok play if you aren't paying for it, but as someone who did, I feel cheated honestly.  For any sad sack unlucky enough to pay full MSRP plus shipping you are getting cheated, AND Lock N Load is repeatedly punching you in the groin.

Maybe a FAQ will fix the rules queries, but for a game in development this long it should be AIR.  TIGHT.


pudson said...

The three ATZ Boardgame reviews could be jointly titled, "The Metamorphosis of A Preorderer."

I can relate, as someone who's definitely been let down after a long preorder wait.

It's what I really enjoyed about this series of reviews. They went from really optimistic, excited guy all juiced up while he's opening the box to horribly bitter, pissed guy angry at the world for screwing him.

It's kind of like watching the zombification process in a movie!

Look at you, Rufus, getting all literal on our collective ass!

Captain Rufus said...

I don't think I am THAT angry. Just really disappointed. The amount of time this game was in preproduction and the cost of it should have meant they took that extra step.

They clearly did not.

pudson said...

I was making it sound worse, for sure.

I read all three segments of the review at once and it was much more obvious to me, I imagine, than it was to you as it was happening over time.

I love it, man. Good posts.


Captain Rufus said...

Perhaps. I linked my review to BGG and the response from the creators was.. disheartening to say the very least.

They defended their vague rules and came very close to being insulting about it.

Enough so that I will probably be dumping this game on Ebay and will not support the company any more or buy anything else they make.


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