Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Zombicide Season 1 Survivors 01

We start the month of May with a detailed look at the board-game that has captured the hearts (and wallets!) of a lot of zombie gaming fans - Zombicide by Guillotine Games. As you probably know, I came into this game rather late, and missed out on all of the season 1 offers and special edition figures when the game was launched on Kickstarter last year. I bitterly regret my decision not to support the game due to me not wanting to get ripped of by the thieves at the UK's Customs and Excises department. Being assured that such a thing would not happen when Season 2 was launched earlier this year I made up for my previous mistake by supporting the game with gusto. I ended up pledging $400.00 to Guillotine Games. Money well spent in my opinion.
I'll take a close look at the game later this month, but first I want to review the figures that come with the game. The figures are roughly 30mm in size. I will post a size comparison shot for you after I've posted my reviews. I shall start with the six survivors that come with the game and here they are. Note that I have arranged the figures alphabetically from Amy to Wanda.
At the far left of the group is Amy the Goth Girl. She is armed with a Katana and a Sawn-Off Shotgun. Each character starts the game with a special ability known as a Skill. As they kill more zombies, they gain further Skills. Amy starts with +1 free Move Action, which allows her to move four times in a turn (if she wanted) instead of three. The second Skill that everyone gains is always +1 Action, which can be used as they please.
Doug the Office Guy is armed with a pair of Uzi Sub-Machine Guns and has a pair of pistols tucked into his pants. His starting skill is Matching Set. This means that whenever he draws a card with the Dual Weapon symbol, he can immediately search the Equipment deck for a second card of the same type. This makes Doug a great killing machine from the outset.
Moving on, we come to Josh the Street Thug. He certainly knows how to survive in these mean streets and this is reflected in his starting skill - Slippery. This allows him to move through a Zone that contains zombies, without having to spend extra Actions to avoid them. He is armed with a pair of Pistols and a Machete.
Fourth in line is Crazy Ned, a homeless guy full of street smarts. He is armed with a Rifle with a fitted Scope-sight, a Baseball Bat and a Frying Pan. Yes, the Frying Pan is a weapon and is dealt out to the three unlucky survivors who don't start the game with an Axe, a Crowbar or a Pistol. It only hits on the roll of a 6 on 1d6 and is usually the first item to be ditched whenever a survivor finds something better. His starting Skill is +1 free Search Action. This action can only be used to search and like all Search Actions can only be used once per turn.
Next up is Phil the Cop, who is armed with a Shotgun and a Pistol. Phil's initial Skill is Starts with a Pistol. This card is always assigned to him before the game begins. It does not count against the six weapons assigned to the group at the start of the game, so if Phil is included in your party, they'll automatically start off with two pistols for the group. By the way, does anyone else think that Phil would make a great figure for Shane Walsh from The Walking Dead?
Finally, we come to Wanda the Waitress, who wears a pair of roller skates and who is armed with a Chainsaw and a Sawn-Off Shotgun. Because of her roller skates, she starts the game with the Skill of 2 Zones per Move Action, meaning that whenever she spends one Action to Move, she can move one or two Zones (her choice) instead of only one. This makes her very mobile and a great scout. Arming her with a Chainsaw can be a game-winning tactic as we discovered on many an occasion..
When I recently played with Mathyoo, Amy was his favourite character, followed by Doug and Ned. My favourite character was Wanda (especially if she acquired a Chainsaw!), followed by Phil and Josh. We once tried switching characters and it just didn't feel right so these were the three survivors that we chose in the majority of our games.
One thing that you've surely noticed about my figures is that they have all been given textured bases. This is the same texturing and colour scheme that I use for all of my other 28mm scale figures. I wanted to do this so that I could use these figures in my games of ATZ. After all, they are nicely sculpted figures, so why limit them to just the board-game?
Finally, I'd like to reassure those of you worried about how well the figures take acrylic paint and because they are made of plastic, are they too bendy? These figures are made of a hard plastic that holds its shape very well. I primed them in black acrylic paint and they painted up a treat. The photos show the figures after Mathyoo and I had gamed with them about a dozen times or more and as you can see, they show no flaking or damage whatsoever.

43 comments:

  1. If I have said it once I have said it a dozen times. "Roller-skates and a chainsaw is an accident waiting to happen!" I like them all in there own way I even have a hoody the same colours as Josh! And while I can't pick one out as better than the rest the Josh figure kind of resonates with me. Great painting on all of them. Top Notch sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Clint. As for Wanda being "an accident waiting to happen," fortunately, the rules don't allow for such mishaps to happen.

      Delete
  2. Nice figures Bryan, I like the Goth Girl pose the best, but from your description I can see that Wanda's very handy to have on your side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ray. Amy certainly looks cool but when I saw how well Wanda performed with a Chainsaw, my affection switched to her!

      Delete
  3. Those look really great, Bryan! Thanks for the assurances about their paintability. I was in on the initial KS for these but don't have a lick of paint on mine yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a feeling that some people would wonder how well they take paint, Chris.

      Delete
  4. They look great painted!
    I too missed the first kickstarter, but I dove in the latest as deep as my wife allowed! ;)
    The Warstore carries the game now, so perhaps soon my kids and I can slay some zombies while we wait for September! We do plan on including the figures in other games as well as mixing in the other zombies we've painted into zombicide games.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a good idea, David. Mix and match!

      Delete
  5. Chainsaw *and* sawn-off shotgun? That's a completely over-the-top, psycho combination! Add in roller-skates and I wouldn't want to be anywhere nearby...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda would often end up with the weapons depicted on her figure and it did prove to be a killer combo!

      Delete
  6. A great fun looking group, done very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Carl. They were a joy to paint.

      Delete
  7. Nice paintwork Bryan, they are lovely figures. I will get it at some point I think it seems like a lot of fun from what I hear. Look forward to the Review of the game.

    The Cop phil with the right paintjob would make a perfect Shane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Simon. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to spot the similarity between Phil and Shane.

      Delete
  8. That's a nice looking set. They are plastic I presume? You've done a great job with the paint. I love the waitress the most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mentioned in the last paragraph that the figures are made of plastic, Robert. We both agree on Wanda being the best.

      Delete
    2. The bending sort of plastic toy soldiers are made of? At least that's what I thought.

      Delete
    3. No, these are made of a much harder plastic.

      Delete
  9. I missed out on the first campaign too, but jumped in with both feet on the second one. Your painted survivors make me all the more impatient, but I just have to remind myself I've plenty of other things to work on in the meantime. :)

    Nice work for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic paintjobs as always. I regret not grabbing Zombicide while it was on Kickstarter. There were so many cool bonuses. I wonder if they'll ever release those as a pack on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect that the limited edition figures from Season 1 will never be re-released, Adam. I can understand why but it is frustrating for those of us who missed out.

      Delete
  11. amazing work on the painting!

    I really want to try Zombicide and reading your blog is making me want to spent money I don't have!

    Keep up the good work :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like them, Rob. Just wait until you see the zombies!

      Delete
  12. Great job on the survivors - and Amy looks really happy to get zombie-slaying. Looking forward tothe zombies.
    BTW, I'm not sure if I've understood you correct but Doug only gets a free second weapon when he himself draws the weapon in question. So if someone gives him a pistol it is not, unfortunately doubled, only when he digs into the gun cabinet himself. I hope I didn't misinterpret what you were describing but it seems to be a common mistake that makes Doug a bit better than he really is.
    All the best,
    Kasper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I carefully re-read about Doug's starting skill and you are so right! We got it so wrong with him! Ooops! Ah well, I'll know better in future. I'm very grateful to you for pointing that out to me, Kasper.

      Delete
    2. Glad I could help - while it does make Doug somewhat less useful it also cuts down on the micromanagement between survivors (which can be something of a problem).
      All the best,
      Kasper

      Delete
    3. Yes, this will make Doug less useful to the group. We did a lot of "micromanagement" in our games. We kept our party together most of the times and co-operated between each other a lot. As a result, the survivors had a very high success rate.

      Delete
  13. I went in for the first Zombicide Kickstarter, but not the second - no money.... :(

    Great game, though I have to admit... Ned seems to die a lot, almost as if I feel he is expendable or something.... (Really, if Ned dying will keep someone else alive... sorry Ned.... :P )

    I have used the figures from Zombicide in my Fallout tabletop game, and in fact that was the main reason that I bought the game - whole mess of Feral Ghouls and some survivors....

    Favorite scenario is in the powerhouse - where the zeds keep trying to escape. Ned dies there more often than any other scenario, making noise to attract zombies....

    The Auld Grump

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a shame about missing out on Season 2, TAG, but I do understand. It was an expensive proposition for me.

      We found that Wanda tended to die the most. She'd go wandering ahead of the party and suddenly a spawn card will reveal all walkers gain an extra turn and she gets swamped by zeds. It happened far too often for our liking.

      It took us three attempts before the survivors claimed victory in the Powerhouse scenario. Once we learned how to force the zombies to move where we wanted them to move by way of Noise Tokens it proved to be a winning tactic.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm, let us retype this while looking at the keyboard this time... I dislocated my thumb a few days ago - popped it back in place, but my aim is still off....

      Yep, in the powerhouse... brave of Ned to go and make noise like that, isn't it?! :P

      Not too much trouble with Wanda - just make sure that she is not alone when the turn ends. Use her as fast response support, not for exploration, tempting though those two area moves may be. She can be insanely useful with a sniper rifle or twin submachine guns too. You can make up for the time spent shooting by letting her skate two squares to catch up with others.

      If only it was easier to make her Slippery....

      That said... I like her with the Chainsaw, it just gets her dead....

      Jon, one of the other players, really favors El Cholo - one of the limited edition figures. He saves El Cholo for last, and then announces in a [i]bad[/i] fake accent 'And now, El Cholo! The guy can take out an abomination with machetes....

      The Auld Grump, only in the End Game, mind, but....

      Delete
    3. Sorry to hear about your injury, TAG. Get well soon, mate.

      What often did for Wanda was when the zombies got a free move, especially Runners. Nasty!

      Now you're making me jealous telling me about El Cholo! :)

      Delete
    4. Well, they do have his stats on the site - so if you have a suitable miniature with twin machetes, long hair, and a weedy looking beard and mustache.... The rules for El Cholo can be found here -> http://guillotinegames.com/en/blog-promo-survivor-2-elcholo

      The Auld Grump, I apparently have a zombie El Cholo coming some time this week....

      Delete
    5. Cheers, mate, I'll check that link out.

      Delete
    6. Sure enough - a package with a few new characters (one looks suspiciously like Bruce Campbell) and some 'Zombivors' - including zombie versions of the limited edition figures Dave, Bruce, and El Cholo....

      Looking at the character cards... not all zombies are the bad guys - the zzombivors buck the brainless zombie trend.

      The Auld Grump - but there are abilities on the cards that I don't have rules for....

      Delete
  14. Very nice Paint jobs Vampi. I got in on both seasons, and choke a bit when I see how much I got invested. But its a great game with great minis that can be used in any system. I just need to start painting...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do envy you, PS, for getting in on both seasons. You lucky man!

      Delete
  15. Great looking figures, amongst the best Zombicide painted figures I've seen.
    Even with full cooperation and micromanaging your survivors, you may have just been lucky - but time to read and re-read the rules I think.

    I always thought that a chainsaw is a poor Zombie weapon, but it is iconic, but I think that those who think it's a good weapon have probably never used one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment about the painted figures, Joe.

      Mathyoo and I couldn't have been that lucky that many times. We simply worked well together as a team. Co-operation is very much the key to survival.

      I would agree with you about chainsaws if we were talking about real life. But in Zombicide a chainsaw is the best weapon a survivor can find. It rolls 5d6 to hit and kills zombies on any roll of 5+. Yes, I have missed with every roll, but thankfully not often. On the other hand, when I've rolled well, I have slaughtered large groups of zombies.

      Delete