Sunday, 3 May 2015

Zombicide Scenario C19 A Little Setback Part 1

It is no secret that Zombicide is my favourite board-game and for a long time now I have wanted to post a batrep for the game. With the recent release of Zombicide Season 3, my passion for this game has been greatly rekindled. The scenario I have chosen to play comes from the Zombicide Compendium volume 1 and is C19 A Little Setback. If you don't have this book you can download the scenario from the Guillotine Games website here -
This is described as an Easy Mission for two Survivors and can be played solo (as I did) or with two players. As such, this is an ideal scenario to play first and is more of a challenge than the introductory tutorial scenario in the Season 1 rulebook. The two Survivors I chose were Chuck and Fred, both Season 2 promo figures. I deliberately chose these two because they complement each other very well and because of their likenesses to Ed (Nick Frost) and Shaun (Simon Pegg) from the classic zombie film, Shaun of the Dead. For me, they were obvious partners. Fred/Shaun would be far too sensible to get trapped in the toilets but it is just the kind of mishap that would befall Chuck/Ed.
"We had the key. We were close to the generator. Why did I have to use the damn toilet? Splitting up is rarely a good choice, especially when there are only two of you, but it is a relatively safe part of town. Now I am trapped and cornered with the only key to the generator room, which was the whole point of coming out here. We need that generator. Better solve this quickly before the others learn about our stupid mistake, or they are going to laugh at us for years!"
The photo above shows the initial set up of the board. I have numbered the two Zombie Spawn Zones 1 and 2 to remind myself which one spawns first in each turn. To help aid my notes on movement I designate the top of the board where the two Zombie Spawn Zones are as North. At the far left of the three game boards are my three card decks, which from top to bottom are Wounded cards, Equipment cards and Zombie cards. My two Survivor ID Cards sit directly in front of me. The Skull token on Chuck's ID Card indicates that he will act first when I start playing. At the top of the photo are my two boxes of fully painted Season 1 Zombie figures.
1 - Reunion. Have both Survivors stand together in the same Zone. You can't take the red Objective until it's done. 
2 - Reactivate the Generator. The generator room is marked with a red "X". Take the red objective.
3 - Reach the Exit Zone. Reach the Exit Zone at the far left of the board with both Survivors. If one of them dies, the mission fails.
1 - The Generator. The objective marked with the red "X" gives 5 experience points to the Survivor who takes it. 
2 - It's quiet, for the moment at least. Use only Zombie Cards #1 to #24 from Zombicide Season 1. This means that no Abominations will spawn nor will there be any nasty surprises like Zombies getting an extra Activation or emerging from the sewers.
3 - Wandering threat. At the beginning of the game, place 3 Walkers in the diner on board 6B.
4 - Split without enough weapons. Survivors start in different locations and with specific Equipment. The one in the toilets of the diner on 6B (Chuck) starts with a Crowbar. The one on the street of 7B (Fred) starts with a Fire Axe.
5 - Where's the key? Only the Survivor on 6B (Chuck) can open the door to the generator room. He has already taken the key, so he starts with 5 experience points.
In each Turn, there are three Phases. In Phase 1 the Survivors act. In Phase 2 the Zombies act and Phase 3 is the End Phase, in which all the Noise tokens are removed from the board and the First player token is passed to the next player in line. If playing with multiple players the First Player token is passed clockwise to the next player at the end of the Turn. If a player is controlling more than one Survivor (as I was), he gets to chose in which order they will act per Turn. For the sake of simplicity I had Chuck act first each Turn, followed by Fred. Survivors start the game with three Actions per Turn, whilst most Zombies have only one Action per Turn (Attack or Move). Zombie Runners get two Actions per Turn.
CHUCK. First Action. Search. Searches may only be performed indoors. Only one Search per Survivor per Turn is allowed and then only if there are no Zombies in the room. I draw the top card from the Equipment card deck and reveal it to be a Shotgun. This is a good start as Chuck now has a melee weapon (his Crowbar) and a ranged weapon in his hands. 
Second Action. Make noise. I do this to let Fred know where he is. Of course, making noise will also attract Zombies but Chuck is not the sharpest tool in the box and he thinks this is a relatively safe area of town.
Third Action. Make noise. This is indicated by the black and yellow Noise tokens. Zombies will move towards any visible Survivors but if none are in sight they'll move to where the most noise is coming from.
FRED. First Action. Move North one Zone. A Move Action is limited to one Zone at a time.
Second Action. Move North one Zone.
Third Action. Move East one Zone.
ZOMBIES. The Zombie Turn is split into three Phases - Attack, Move and Spawn. There are no Zombies in either of the Zones that the Survivors occupy so I ignore the Attack phase. The three Walkers in the diner can hear Chuck but can't reach him because the door to the toilets is locked. In Zombicide, all closed doors are considered to be locked, and Zombies cannot open a locked door. So they are unable to Move this Turn.
Spawn Zone 1. I turn over the top card from the Zombies deck. Each card is divided into four coloured sections which correspond to the Danger Levels found on the Survivor ID Cards (Blue, Yellow, Orange and Red). The Danger Level chosen on the Zombie card equals the most elevated Danger Level among any active Survivors. Chuck and Fred are both in the Blue Danger Level, so this is the choice I must make. As a result I spawn one Walker.
Spawn Zone 2. This also results in one Walker spawning.
CHUCK. First Action. Make noise.
Second Action. Make noise.
Third action. Search. This time Chuck finds Glass Bottles. He stows them away in reserve.
This is Chuck's ID Card and shows he has a Crowbar and a Shotgun in his hands and the Glass Bottles are held in reserve. Glass Bottles are useful to find because if he also finds Gasoline he can combine the two Items to make a Molotov Cocktail, the best Zombie killing weapon in the game.
FRED. First Action. Move East one Zone. This brings him into the Zone with the female Walker.
Second Action. Melee Combat with his Fire Axe, which uses 1 die to hit and which wounds on a roll of 4+. He rolls a 6, as represented by the Molotov Cocktail symbol on the Zombicide dice. A Fire Axe causes 2 Wounds, which is more than enough to kill a Walker who only has 1 Wound. The Fire Axe is silent when used in melee so he does not generate a Noise token.
Third Action. Move South one Zone.
ZOMBIES. The Walker from Spawn Point 1 moves East one Zone.  Although he can't see or hear Fred, he is attracted by the Noise made by Chuck and so moves towards it.
Spawn Zone 1. One Walker is spawned.
Spawn Zone 2. Once again, one Walker is spawned.
CHUCK. First Action. Opens door. Chuck uses his Crowbar to unlock and open the door. A crowbar does not generate a Noise token when used to open a door.
Second Action. Ranged Combat with his Shotgun. A Shotgun has two dice to hit and an accuracy rating of 4+. Unfortunately for Chuck I rolled double 1 and so both shots missed. Bummer! No matter how many dice you roll to fire a weapon you only ever generate one Noise token per Action.
Third Action. Ranged Combat with Shotgun. This time Chuck rolls a 4 and a 6, resulting in two hits and two kills. A Shotgun causes 2 Wounds per hit, which will kill any Walker, Runner or Fatty. He generates a second Noise token.
Fourth Action. Ranged Combat with Shotgun. Chuck fires at the female Walker and scores a miss with the 1 (as represented by the zombie head symbol on the die) and a hit with the 4. The Walker dies in a spray of blood and gore. He now generates his third Noise token.
If you were wondering how come Chuck suddenly got a fourth Action check out his ID Card above. A survivor gains 1 Experience Point for every Walker, Runner or Fatty killed. Chuck started the game with 5 Experience Points. When he killed those two walkers in his third Action he gained two Experience Points which moved his Danger Level tracker into the Yellow Level. As soon as a Survivor advances to the next highest Level he automatically gains a new Skill, which in this case (and every other case for Survivors' Yellow Levels) is a +1 Action. This meant that Chuck could use this extra Action to fire again. Cool, huh? The downside to advancing to a new level is that when Zombies spawn they now spawn on the Yellow Level instead of the Blue Level. This means more Zombies can spawn per Turn.
FRED. First Action. Move South one Zone.
Second Action. Move East one Zone, bringing him inside the diner.
 Third Action. Search. Fred finds a Rifle. This is a good weapon to find. Although not as lethal as the Shotgun (only does 1 Wound) and only rolls 1 die to hit, it is more accurate (hits on 3+) and has much greater range (1-3 Zones).
 ZOMBIES. The three Walkers move one Zone each towards the Noise coming from the diner.
Spawn Zone 1. The effects of Chuck reaching Yellow Level are immediately felt as three Walkers spawn from this Zone.
Spawn Zone 2. Only one Walker is spawned.
CHUCK. First Action. Search. Chuck finds a Pistol, which is nowhere near as good as his Shotgun, so he stows it in reserve.
Second Action. Moves South one Zone. This brings him into the diner along with Fred. As a consequence, the first objective, Reunion, has been achieved. I should have took a photo of their reunion but I forgot. Sorry.
Third Action. Moves West one Zone.
Fourth Action. Ranged Combat with Shotgun. He shoots at the Walker in the adjacent Zone and scores a 3 and a 6, which is a miss and a hit. The Walker is killed and a Noise token is generated.
CHUCK. First Action. Search. Fred finds a stash of Canned Food, which he places in reserve on his ID Card.
Second Action. Moves West one Zone.
Third Action. Moves North one Zone. He could have fired at the Walker standing on Spawn Zone 2 but I chose to move instead as I wanted my two heroes to reach the generator room as soon as possible. It was a calculated risk on my part but was it the right one?
ZOMBIES. The six Walkers close in on the two Survivors. The Walker from Spawn Zone 2 advances into the same Zone as Fred, eager to feast on him.
Spawn Zone 1. Uh, oh! Two Runners spawn. This is not good news.
Spawn Zone 2. Three Walkers spawn. Suddenly the board is filling with Zombies. With the game finely balanced on a knife edge I shall bring Part 1 of this batrep to a close.


  1. That was a whole lot of fun to read. It really does look and sound like a good game. Can you mention why Chuck made so much noise instead of taking what I would think of as Productive actions in the first 2 turns? Does making noise have a positive result of any kind? Just curious, you may have been roleplaying of course, but making noise seems so very wrong in all other zombie games! Cheers Mate

    1. Thanks, Clint. Chuck making Noise was pure role-playing. But, there can be a positive effect of making Noise in Zombicide. If the party is split up, as it was here, one side can make Noise to draw Zombies away from the other side. Sometimes (but not always), this is a sound tactic, especially if you want to lure an Abomination away from the other group.

  2. Well that was gobsmackingly good stuff Bryan. Absolutely brilliant... except for the sudden ending you fiendish tease!!! I'm well aware this has taken you some considerable time to put together so thank you so much for posting this (now get on with the next part!!) :-) Read very well and I'm certainly very keen to get painting my "Zombicide" minis just as soon as I can clear my table of my current projects. I also plan to look out for those fine two stars of your story... what great minis and as you say, they compliment one another rather well :-)

    1. I'm glad you liked it so much, Simon. It was quite a struggle to prepare this batrep and get it ready for publishing today but I managed it. Part two will be ready for Wednesday. The photos have all been edited. I just need to type in the text. As for the two Survivors, finding them will be very difficult and most likely costly. However, there is no reason not to use proxy figures in their place. Hasslefree make two not-Shauns and a not-Ed in their Adventurers range.

    2. Cheers Bryan. I've already spat my tea all over my monitor at the £35 price tag for Chuck alone. Although I do see the rpg-element ID cards sell for £5 without any figures - not sure though that a piece of card is worth such a costly investment? I'll certainly be putting in a small order to "Hasslefree" soon because of your BatRep though :-)

    3. The extortionate price for Chuck does not surprise me. Sadly the promo figures are selling for ridiculously inflated prices. I just wouldn't pay that much for a figure on a matter of principle. For sure, you should order them from Hasslefree. As for the ID cards you have two options. I do believe you can download the ID cards from the Guillotine Games website. Failing that, I have spare copies of those two Survivor ID cards which I'd let you have for free. Just send me an e-mail if you want them.

    4. Very grateful to you as always Bryan... and having finally found time to settle down and play the tutorial with my youngest I can honestly see why you like this game so much. Whether it was the slow stream of zeds shuffling down the street or opening the door to our neighbours and finding it packed full of the hungry undead, it was laugh a minute stuff. Great game, and certainly I'm looking forward to playing some more :-)

    5. You're very welcome, Simon. This game is just so awesome! I totally love it. I'm glad you're able to play the game with your family and that they love it too. That's what gaming is all about - having fun!

  3. Very nice Bryan! Great to see you promoting Zombicide, it's a fantastic boardgame. Nice to see you picked a suitable duo to show off the game.
    The compendium of missions is a very nice product, well worth the investment.
    Just a little tip, won through hours of gameplay, never search on your last action. You never know when those Argh cards will show up.

    1. Many thanks, Bob. That is a very good tip about searching. It is so long since I last played Zombicide that I totally forgot about the "Aaahh!" card. (Note - if you draw this card you find a Zombie Walker instead. A nasty surprise!). I love the Zombicide Compendium. It really is a must have product.

  4. Nice report, one of the best of Zombicide. I found quite difficult to play most of the scenario solo as it is less exciting.

    1. I understand what you're saying, Cedric. I'd love to play this game with other gamers but I'm forced to play solo. I'm not complaining because it's something I'm very used to now.

  5. Bryan, I just got your hotmail letting me know this batrep was posted on your blog.... oh my, you have truly outdone yourself this time... you really have excelled - big time; pure pleasure to read (excellently written), tension filled, and inspiringly creepy and atmospheric. I can barely find enough superlatives to express and describe how much I enjoyed this game write up. TOTALLY amazing; utterly enthralling, and makes me want to go and set up Zombiecide, and play a game of my own. You`ve r-e-a-l-l-y inspired me to want to play now.

    What really impresses me is your photography. I have been wondering for a while how exactly you could bring a game of Zombicide alive as an on line battle report, due to (what I thought would be) the limiting nature of the 2D board... but you have shown me how utterly possible it is to create something intensely visual and stunningly intense. You have created a masterly visual feast and a literary piece of genius.

    I also had no idea just how good your zombies would look Bryan. Strange, but seeing them lined up and on review in previous threads, barely does true justice to just how WELL they are painted, or how much they come alive once actually in play. When shot against the Zombicide board backdrop (literally `in game`, as it were) then they totally rock, and wow... do they come into their own!

    I can hardly wait to see part two of this batrep, and it leaves me with only one thing to say really.... pleeeeaaaaaaase do many many, many, more of these. There is truly nothing like it on line that I have seen, for this game. Zombicide NEEDS people like you to show others, (a) just how much fun solo gaming can be if you approach the subject correctly (i.e. theme, atmosphere, and total immersion created by attaining utter suspension of disbelief): and (b) you manage to mix a good story, with informative `in game` descriptions of the rules in action.

    Absolutely riveting stuff Bryan. I`m dead impressed mate.

    One final note. I totally get the high price tag of these special and promo miniatures. Not only do they become precious and desirable due to their treasured rarity, but they add a real sense of style and theme to the game. You must be so very proud to own such an amazing collection. I begin, finally, to get exactly why you collect EVERYTHING for this game. I really get it Bryan. Your collection reflects clearly, your love for this game, and you bring your passion to the table for all to see.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Steve :)

    1. Wow, Steve! I'm almost at a loss as to what to say to your kind words. As you well know, Zombicide is a game I am hugely passionate about. Indeed, it was my passion that inspired you to buy the game. It is great that you "get" what the game is all about. You can so easily immerse yourself in the stories of the Survivors battling overwhelming odds against the Zombie hordes. Just look at how quickly my game board filled with the undead. This is gaming at its most tense and it is such a thrill to play.

      Thanks for complimenting me on my photography. All I can say is that I have good gear and a good knowledge of photography honed by years of experience. I also have a few excellent photo-editing programs on my computer which are a huge boon for me.

      You are right, the Zombie minis look far better in situ on the game board than lined up against a wall. Just wait until you see part two. It gets better. I wish it was Wednesday already so I can post it. What happens next is both amazing and jaw-droppingly tense.

      As for doing more Zombicide batreps, hell yes! I am certainly up for that. They are far easier to do than ATZ batreps. If this one goes as well as I suspect it will, it'll be the first of many.

      I am immensely proud of my Zombicide collection. Did you see my review of Kyoko that I did recently? I was so happy to buy her from e-Bay at such a nice price. I'd love to get all of the Season 1 promo figures but I very much doubt that will ever happen. Nevertheless, I am still incredibly proud of my collection and oh so grateful that I own so much.

      Thank you for leaving such a heart-warming response.

  6. I am sooo tempted by Zombicide, especially when I see the enthusiasm that other people have for this game!

    1. All I can say, Hugh, is if you can afford it then buy it. As far as I'm concerned, the more people playing Zombicide the better.

  7. I'm glad you did this! It's such a great game for new players and veteran gamers both.

    I got to play it last night. A friend and I were teaching it to some of her friends. I got to sit at a table with five Doctoral candidates who each happened to be breathtakingly beautiful.

    Who knew games could get me introduced to women??

    Yeah, I'm bragging a tiny bit...

    1. Hi Jon, It's lovely to hear from you again. Oh, man, you certainly know how to make me feel jealous! Damn, but you have every right to brag, my friend. I would too if our roles were reversed.

  8. Enjoyed part one. Its been good to see the game mechanics as I've not really been able to appreciate how it works until now. Can't wait for part 2 :)

    1. Thanks, Simon. You were very much the target audience I had in mind when I decided to do this batrep. You won't have to wait too long for part 2.