Monday, 1 August 2016

Zombicide: Black Plague Survivors 01

In December of 2015, just before Christmas, I received my boxed set of Zombicide: Black Plague, an expansion for the popular zombie apocalypse board-game. Only this time, instead of being set in the contemporary era, Guillotine Games set this expansion in medieval times in a fantasy setting. When and where it takes place is undefined. I recently finished painting all of the 71 figures that came with the game (6 Survivors and 65 Zombies) and I'll be reviewing them all over the next few weeks. I'll start off by featuring the 6 Heroes of the game.
At the far left of this trio is Ann, a human Warrior Monk. She very much reminds me of one of the Sisters of Sigmar from Games Workshop's Mordheim skirmish game, a favourite faction of mine. She starts with the Bloodlust:Melee Skill, which for the cost of one Action, she can move up to two Zones to a Zone containing at least one Zombie and then gains one free Melee Action to use immediately. Very handy for a skilled fighter.
Next up is the human Wizard called Baldric. It is hard not to associate such a named character with the oafish, Baldrick from the Blackadder TV series, but note the different spelling of his name. Rather appropriately, Baldric's starting Skill is Spellcaster, which grants him a free Action per Turn, which may only be used for a Magic Action or Enhancement Action. I usually find in my games of Zombicide: Black Plague that Baldric almost always kills the most Zombies in a game. Magic is very powerful!
The bearded human, Clovis, is a veteran warrior. His figure is both heavily armed and armoured, which means nothing at the start of any game. His starting skill is +1 die: Melee, which simply grants him an extra die for Melee Actions. Dual Melee weapons gain a die each, for a total of +2 dice per Dual Melee Action.
Nelly, an attractive human, worked as a barmaid, where she honed her combat skills by dealing with unruly customers. She begins each game with the +1 Free Move Action, which is self-explanatory. It makes her a lot faster than her colleagues, which is useful for scouting ahead or fleeing from danger.
This being a fantasy setting, other races apart from humans exist. Samson is a dwarf blacksmith with a deep hatred of the Zombie scourge. As befits the archetypal dwarf fighter, he is very tough and  tenacious. His starting Skill is Iron Hide, which allows him to make armour rolls with a 5+ Armour value, even when he does not wear an Armour item on his body slot. Wearing Armour, Samson adds 1 to the result of each die he rolls for Armour rolls. The maximum result will always be 6.
Silas, is another non-human Hero. He is an elf archer who is highly skilled at ranged combat. Not unsurprisingly, he starts all games with the +1 to Dice Roll: Ranged Skill. Silas adds 1 to the result of each die he rolls in Ranged Actions. The maximum result is always a 6.
All of the figures have been superbly well sculpted and they were an absolute delight to paint. I have grouped them all together in this photo directly above to show them in their usual starting line up. I always line them up in alphabetical order, so from left to right are Ann, Baldric, Clovis, Nelly, Samson and Silas.

26 comments:

  1. A nice looking group of characters. I do have mixed feelings about the fantasy setting but as it stands |I am thinking why not?

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    1. Thanks, Clint. I still think there is more that Guillotine Games could do with their contemporary setting - a military option readily springs to mind. But the fantasy setting works just as well, and the fantasy rules have been better thought out than the original contemporary rules. The company is clearly learning.

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  2. Top painting Bryan!! What a great idea, setting the game in another century, I'm sure gamers will want the Dark Ages/Medieval zombies!

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    1. Cheers, Ray. Actually, it seems that gamers have mixed feelings about this setting. Some love it, some hate it and some just don't get the whole fascination of zombie apocalypse gaming!

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  3. One of my fave Vampifan postings of the year, without a doubt!! Terrific painting Bryan. Clovis is particularly colourful imho, and you've really managed to pick out each sculpts' detail with great aplomb!! Highly inspirational stuff my friend, and a pleasure to view :-)

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    1. Big praise indeed, Simon. Many thanks. I think you'll really like this series of posts I'm planning for "Zombicide: Black Plague". I seem to have neglected it for far too long.

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  4. Very nice Bryan! Great looking sculpts to!

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  5. Your shading on these is masterly Bryan, I think possibly the best shading, to date, I have seen you do. Excellent skin tone and an interesting take on the faces. I`m not t-o-t-a-l-l-y sure about the heavy shading of the features (eyes mouth and eyebrows) but if it is an unusual look you are looking for, you have succeeded. I can only say that you have managed to get an absolute match with the artistic feel of “Frostgrave” by Osprey Publications, which I`m betting you don’t even know about hehe.. you HAVE to take a look, as I think you will be amazed by the striking resemblance.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=osprey%20books%20Frostgrave&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=osprey%20books%20frostgrav&sc=8-13&sp=-1&sk=

    To me, this `look` is a good thing, and really fits nicely with the whole of Black Plague ethos. I`m impressed at the high standard and level of accomplishment with these heroes and I am looking forward to seeing the zombies next. This is an unusual look for you Bryan and I am not disappointed by the end results.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say, Tarot. I know nothing about "Frostgrave" other than what I've seen on some of the other blogs I follow. I checked out the link you sent me and I can see why you made that connection but I can assure you, it was Pure coincidence on my part. My inspiration for painting this range came from the Black Plague rulebook. I love the artwork in all of the Zombicide books.

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  6. very, VERY nice Bryan. You know me, I wouldn't say that unless I really meant it. These are extremely well rendered pieces and you have done the subject proud.

    Heck she is right, they DO have a Frostgrave look about them lol. This is good because Frostgrave has a very cool look too.

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    1. Much appreciated, Steve. I know that "Frostgrave" is a popular games system but I have no intention of getting into it. I had a lot of fun painting these figures as it made a refreshing change from painting contemporary figures.

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  7. Frostgrave is nice looking, as all Osprey things are, but the system itself is a bit disappointing and .. meh, like so many of Ospray projects: they look amazing but nothing to shout about once you get the bonnet up and take a good look at the engine.

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    1. Thanks, Tarot. From what I've seen of "Frostgrave" I know it is not for me.

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  8. This is shaping up to be a REAL collection to be proud of. I love how you are painting these Bryan, and I look forward with very keen interest in seeing the rest.

    I disagree with Tarot about the faces (sorry hun x), I really like the black out lining.

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    1. Thanks so much, Hil. This is a collection I'm VERY proud of. Wait until you see the Zombies!

      The black lining is a signature of my painting style. I won't be changing it, so it stays.

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  9. Lovely painting as usual Bryan, and very much "of your style", I like the idea of fantasy zombies and some of the sculpts look gorgeous (the two unpainted zombie ladies at the bottom of Mr Awdrys latest post for instance). Really looking forward to seeing this develop on you blog.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Many thanks, Roger. This is just the start of what will be a long review of this wonderful expansion set. Stay tuned!

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  10. A fairly standard set of fantasy character archetypes, right? I do prefer these "traditional" types over some of the weirder, more modern characters (what exactly *is* a "dragonborn windrider", anybody?)

    Zombies as portrayed in popular culture are a very modern invention, but I don't see any reason why they cannot be transported back in time to other settings. If necessary, just call them "plague victims" or something like that...

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    1. Thanks, Hugh. I'm with you on the naming of weird character types. Let's call a spade, a spade and not some fancy name.

      Zombies will fit in anywhere, any place and anytime, in my humble opinion.

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  11. Very nice, Bryan. I was a bit miffed I missed the Black Plague kickstarter, as the genre and style does appeal to me. Sort of Mordheim for the current generation. This might've one I might invest in.

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    1. Cheers, Jez. I can certainly see the figures from this set being used in games like Mordheim or Frostgrave, for example.

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  12. Glad to see someone's been painting these. They look great Bryan.

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    1. Many thanks, Roger. I thoroughly enjoyed painting them.

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