Sunday, 24 August 2014

Zombicide Season 2 Survivors and Zombivors 06

And so my review of all of the Zombicide season 2 survivors and zombivors continues with a look at six more characters. These are all based on characters from films and TV, some more recognisable than others.
I'll start with Mack Cage the car salesman, who is based on Nicholas Cage's character, Cameron Poe from the film, Con Air. Mack's story, like most, began when the zombies came and killed his wife and two daughters. After burying them, he took a car from his lot, and began a cross-country zombicide, eventually joining a motley crew of survivors. His fighting spirit has made him a precious resource for any team and his manic grin gets even wider the worse the odds are! Mack the survivor is armed with a pair of Kukri knives, much favoured by the Gurkha army. Mack the zombivor only has one Kukri knife. He starts the game with the Starts With 2 Kukris skill, which needs no explanation.
Looking quite manic is Mike Nicholson the misfit, who is based on the psychopathic Jack Torrance as played by Jack Nicholson in the film, The Shining. Once again there is some confusion over this person's name. His character record sheet calls him Mike but the background info provided on the back of the box he comes from calls him Gary. It seems like Guillotine Games have mixed up his name with that of Gary/Mike the miniature games sculptor that I reviewed earlier (he's the character based on Jeff Lebowski from The Big Lebowski). Anyway, I've decided the character record cards are right and the background blurb is wrong. So, Mike was not well educated and struggled to find a job before the apocalypse struck. Now, however, Mike has done well and thrived on his own. He has always been a survivor and the zombies didn't really change his habits. Survivor Mike is armed with a chainsaw (yes, another chainsaw wielding hero!), whilst zombivor Mike is armed with a one-handed axe. He begins the game in both forms with the Starts With a Chainsaw skill. 'Nuff said!
Next up is a character who is instantly recognisable. This is Brad Eastwood who is inexplicably known as a crime lord when he is clearly based on Clint Eastwood's iconic detective, Harry Callahan from the Dirty Harry series of films and books. From his very youth, Brad could not live by the rules and wished he was born in the Wild West. Retraining anyone's potential has always been anathema for him. So, he became a mobster and climbed the crime ladder, eventually becoming a crime lord until he was betrayed and imprisoned. Brad allied with the prison director when the apocalypse came and they escaped together. Now Brad is free in a world that doesn't have rules anymore... just like the Wild West! Survivor and zombivor Brad are each armed with a .44 Magnum revolver and indeed, he starts the game with the Starts With a .44 Magnum skill. I just can't imagine using him as a criminal and not as "Dirty Harry." "Go ahead, zombie. Make my day!"
Kirk Torrez the old sensei is based on Stephen Seagal's character, Rogelio Torrez in the film, Machete. This is not the lean and mean Seagal of his early career but Seagal from more recent times with an expanding belly! Kirk gained some fame twenty years ago when learning martial arts was considered cool, and he was the best teacher in town. That respect faded over time as people found new idols among the rich and famous. Kirk became a nobody and nearly abandoned his passion. Wealth and fortune are useless against zombies, however, and Kirk surprised himself upon discovering he hadn't lost his martial arts skills. Sure, he's older now, but once again his abilities are in high demand. Both survivor and zombivor Kirk are armed with a katana. Kirk starts the game with the +1 Damage: Melee skill, which grants him a +1 bonus to the damage of all Melee Attacks.
Rose Lansbury the old aunt is based upon Angela Lansbury's sleuthing amateur detective, Jessica Fletcher from the popular TV series, Murder, She Wrote. Rose was your ideal loving, caring, cooking, lovable aunt, always smiling and giving out wise words to the whole family. Some people, however, started to worry about her after a few memory lapses. They were wrong to underestimate Aunt Rose. When the zombies came, she was horrified at first but adapted to the situation faster than many youngsters. Sure, there is blood and mayhem, and sure, she sometimes forgets her reading glasses in the fridge, but Rose has found a brand new family of survivors to care for. Survivor Rose is armed with a flamethrower (yeah, I couldn't believe it, either!) but zombivor Rose is totally unarmed, which is unusual as both types start the game with the Starts With a Flamethrower skill. Go figure!
Finally, is Thaissa Hayward, who is probably the hardest character to identify. Apparently she is based upon Bridget Fonda's assassin character, Maggie Hayward, from the film Point of No Return aka The Assassin, a pointless and dire US remake of the excellent French film, Nikita. Thaissa was a successful entrepreneur when the zombies came and tried to change the deal. She kept her cool and slightly altered her terms of service to fit the situation. Thaissa now grows her network among local survivors, dealing in equipment, information and weapons. Of course, her beauty and unusual attire help a lot. After all, a new world means new opportunities. Survivor Thaissa is armed with a pair of 9mm pistols, whilst zombivor Thaissa is armed with a pair of knives. She starts the game with the +1 Free Search Action, which may only be used to search and can still only be used once per Turn.
Most of the characters based upon movie and TV characters have been male, so it was especially nice to see a couple of females amongst this lot. Note that four of these characters start the game with the Start with a... skill, which gets them well armed from the very beginning. That makes them useful for starting players wishing to learn the game and I'm sure more experienced players will appreciate having the character armed exactly as the figure is. My criticisms of these figures are as follows - Mike with a chainsaw. Why not a large axe? Brad the crime lord? No way! Not in my games. For me, he can only ever be detective "Dirty Harry" Callahan. Rose armed with a flamethrower? WTF! Who's idea was it to give a little old granny a freaking flamethrower?!!!!! And why hasn't the zombivor version got one when she's supposed to start the game with it? Even if she lost it when she died as a human she gets it back as soon as she reanimates.
I do like Mack's choice of weapons. Kukris are very unusual and very lethal. Now that is being original and different. All in all, they are a nice collection of figures, well sculpted and all are very usable.

21 comments:

  1. Great work as usual, Bryan.

    That grandma really looks like a lot of fun, but Clint Eastwood has to be my favorite.

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    1. Thanks, Mathyoo. I had to laugh when I first saw Rose with her flamethrower. Of all the characters to give a flamethrower to the last I'd expect to see is a little old lady! I totally agree with Clint being the best. Mack is my second favourite.

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  2. Great paintjobs on these Bryan, but I fail to see much if any likeness to the characters you say they represent, but it doesn't really matter. I have seen other figures with kukris (based on the main character form Resident Evil I suspect). flamethrower would not be my first choice of weapon, granny or not.

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    1. I can't believe I'd forgotten about Alice from "Resident Evil" and her kukris. Thanks for reminding me, Joe. Incidentally, Alice, or rather a not-Alice, will be part of the season 3 range of figures from Zombicide.

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  3. Lovely job as usual Bryan!
    A granny with a flamethrower is insane. A nice selection of figures Dude, the WNI has only used Mack and Mike in games, both are extremely useful even with the cliched chainsaw.
    Dirty Harry looks great, does he work for Mayhem PD, he should do.
    Thiassa has a fine cleavage Dude!

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    1. As always I appreciate your comments and input, Bob.
      A granny with a flamethrower IS insane!
      Mack and Mike both look useful.
      Dirty Harry has not transferred from the San Francisco Police Department... but he should! Mayhem City needs him!
      Thaissa's cleavage is most impressive, Dudemeister!

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  4. love the chick with the flame thrower, but that wont be much use against zeds

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    1. Sorry, Shinto, but in Zombicide a flamethrower is one of the most powerful and effective weapons you can get for killing zombies. It is one of the very few weapons that can kill a zombie abomination.

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    2. lol, not nice to get a hug from a burning zed, I would not think that fire would stop them coming after you, they don't fell pain or have to breath

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    3. If we were talking about zombies and flamethrowers in real life I'd totally agree with you, Shinto. But in Zombicide, flamethrowers are just SO effective at killing LOTS of zombies at once. They automatically kill ALL zombies in a Zone without having to dice to hit them.

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  5. AS you may remember I'm not a fan of armed and/or intelligent zombies. So with those comments aside and taking nothing from those that do like them. All nice useful additions to mayhem city. I have to say Rose Lansbury really is great. I like the checked skirt and the colours you have painted her. Nice work mate.

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    1. Thanks, Clint. Painting Rose's checked skirt was a real bind as I did it just prior to my first cataracts operation so my eyesight was really bad at the time. It is not perfect by any means but it looks good from a distance.

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  6. Great stuff. Mack Cage has been one of the hardest figures to find an alternative of for those who missed out on the kickstarter.

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    1. I can well imagine you're right, Simon.

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  7. Rose Landsbury is wonderfully painted by yours truly as are the others but form me she stands out. I prefer her unarmed zombivor as you know I'm not fond of armed zombies. I have to agree after choosing the characters they wanted to make they then made some really strange weapon choices.

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    1. Another vote for Aunt Rose, Robert. She is rather cool and, yes, it is nice to see an unarmed zombivor. I agree that there are a few odd weapon choices (Mike's chainsaw and Rose's flamethrower in particular).

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    2. We have another fan of Aunt Rose. It is nice to see an unarmed zombivor, Robert, and I do agree that some of the weapon choices are strange (particularly Mike's chainsaw and Rose's flamethrower).

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    3. De'ja vu Dude, they've changed something in the matrix.

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    4. You're not wrong, Bob! it is fecking deja vu!

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  8. Very nice Bryan, Rose has to top it for me!

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    1. Thanks, Adam. Rose has proved to be a very popular character.

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