Readers of my blog will probably know by now that Zombicide is my all time favourite board-game, so it seems obvious that this review of Zombicide: Black Plague will be biased. That can't be helped and I make no apologies for it. The bottom line is that I like this fantasy based expansion set more than the modern day sets. The rules will be very familiar to anyone who has played any of the contemporary sets. But what makes them better are the changes, all of which I approve of. I have already mentioned the new Dashboard. This is such a massive improvement on the old-style Character ID cards that I hope Guillotine Games will produce them for the contemporary sets. It's unlikely to happen but I can dream, can't I?
Fatties now spawn on their own, without their pair of Walkers accompanying them. The extra Wound and the introduction of armour makes Survivors have a much better chance of surviving without making them too powerful. But best of all, are the new Friendly Fire rules. Probably the most controversial and least popular rule in previous Zombicide sets was the Target Priority rule used in Ranged Combat. This rule made fellow Survivors the first targets to be hit by ranged fire. I know many people hated this rule or couldn't understand why this had to be. Some gamers ignored it completely. I accepted it as part of the game but used canny tactics to ensure such a situation never arose. In Zombicide: Black Plague, Friendly Fire only occurs if you fail to hit your target. The player(s) then choose which Survivor in that Zone is hit. But this is not automatic as the wound(s) can be avoided by making a successful Armour roll for the Hero chosen. This seems far more logical to me and is a rule that should be used in ALL games of Zombicide.
I have played the tutorial scenario twice and the first two scenarios once each, winning in every case. Bear in mind, these are all described as being easy scenarios. But even so, I took to the new rules straight away and thoroughly enjoyed playing them all. This is one game that will get played a LOT in the coming months.
Only those people who made a pledge for the game on Kickstarter will be receiving this boxed set so early. Everyone else will have to wait until early 2016 before they can buy it. Consequently, I'm not giving out price details. My final verdict is that Zombicide: Black Plague is the best zombie board-game ever! It surpasses the original Zombicide game in so many ways and I can only give it my very highest recommendation. As it stands it is damned near perfect but once the add-ons and stretch goals are released it will be just awesome! When I first learned that Guillotine Games were going to produce a fantasy version of Zombicide, I was a tad sceptical about it. But that passed within seconds when I realised the potential of the game. Every Zombicide set produced so far has improved on the previous ones. Guillotine Games have a proven track record of striking gold with their games. So surely Zombicide: Black Plague HAD to be something special? I'm telling you, folks, IT IS!