Zombicide: Surviving Switch City Part 2
Hunger drives the walking dead forward in a relentless search for fresh meat. Of course, when pushed, humans aren’t much better. The survivors had pushed deeper into the city looking for what they needed; and they needed everything.
The same six players, the same six survivors. We all got together again to try our hand at the second scenario of the Switch City campaign. We quickly learned a new lesson: things change. Any game, be it board, miniature, or electronic, rapidly gets boring when the same tricks and strategies work all the time. Zombicide is not one of those games.
After completing the first scenario, Pull the Switch, we moved on to Fast Food. This is based on which exit the survivors choose to take. This scenario starts at a Yellow Danger Level which means that all survivors start at the Yellow Experience level, and that more zombies spawn. This scenario also starts with 20 walkers on the board, located in the diner, and 5, (yes 5) spawn zones.
Using our tactics from before, Nick moved over to open the door to the first building, a large garage. Remember, when you open the first door to a locked building, you draw a card for each room in the building to see how many zombies spawn. There were 6 rooms in the building, which meant 6 draws. This proved to be a mistake. See, there were already 20 walkers on the board, and there’s only 40 in the box. After drawing to spawn, we only had 3 left “in the pool”. Looking over the 5 spawn zones, we realized we were in deep trouble.
Nick and El Cholo moved into the building and quickly killed the first 3 walkers, bringing our “extra pool” to 6. Ned moved in to search for gear while Wanda and Doug sprinted for the cars. Josh bolted south to guard against more zombies. Then the zombies moved. Those in the garage moved toward Nick, El Cholo, and Ned, while those in the diner started moving through the busted doors to get to the fresh meat. At the end of the zombie’s turn six more were in the room with Nick and the rest. Then we drew for spawning and it was all over. The first draw specified four more walkers. Two left in the pool. The second drew four more. As you may recall from my last write-up, when you don’t have enough zombies in the pool, all zombies of that type get an extra action. The walkers in the garage turned Nick, El Cholo, and Ned into zombie-chow. The rest of the horde moved closer to the others. Third draw, and another extra activation for the walkers, putting all of the survivors right next to a horde. Fourth draw and they were surrounded. On the fifth and final draw another extra activation sent the last of the survivors to the ground. Total game time? 10 minutes. So we played again!
We thought we had learned our lesson this time, and left the buildings alone. Our goal was to “restock the pool” by driving around and mowing down zombies the original 20 zombies. This had the added benefit of driving the Danger Level up, which, ironically, saved our bacon. Once the danger level hits orange, you start to see more runners and fatties, two types we were in no danger of running out of. Plus, it’s rather cathartic to pick up a big handful of dice and listen to them rattle as they hit the tabletop. (Another benefit of playing “unplugged”.)
Our plan worked quite well. We managed to whittle down the mass of zombies and keep their numbers relatively under control. We even managed to get the constrained blue objective, so that we could open the blue door. Then we made a mistake. We got cocky (again). Wanda, having earned enough experience to get Slippery, knew she could slide out of a mass of zombies. Josh, now driving the police car, escorted her to the door of the small building locked by the blue door. Their plan was simple: open the door and let the zombies come out. Wanda would slip away, and Josh would crush them under the wheels of the cruiser. But, as they say, the best laid plans….
The only real drawback was when Doug hit the Red Danger Zone. We even considered pushing him out of the car to get the Danger Level back down. I kid, I kid.
The zombies, as expected, moved out into the same zone as Wanda and Josh with their move. Then we drew the “extra activation” spawn card and the zombies struck, Wanda and Josh falling beneath their claws. Down two survivors, we were facing an uphill battle. Another lesson learned: keep an empty zone between you and the zombies. Just in case.
A few turns later, El Cholo entered the now empty building to get the objective (and its associated experience, granting him a new skill). Then, for some reason none of us can recall, he emerged from the room and was quickly surrounded by the undead. Around the corner, Doug was facing off with another set of walkers. Between them, the police cruiser was blocked. Either way it went, it had a chance of hitting a survivor. El Cholo was surrounded by four walkers, which would result in 5 dice being rolled for that zone, with any hits being allocated to survivors first. This would be sure to kill El Cholo. But Doug was all alone, so only one dice would be rolled. But he had only one wound remaining; on a 4+ he would be ground under the wheels. Naturally, Ned, the driver, rolled a 6. Another one bites the dust. Knowing we had to save El Cholo to have any chance of getting the last objective, Ned spun the cruiser around the block and Nick leapt out to help El Cholo.
Nick had two actions to attack. He needed to kill two of the four walkers, El Cholo had one wound, but Nick is Tough. He would ignore the attack of the first zombie, then take a wound from the second. Any more than that would result in the death of one or both of the survivors.
The dice were lifted, breath was held, all eyes upon the roll. I needed 4+ to kill a walker, had two chances, and needed to kill two. I needed, no, we ALL needed, me to roll better than a 4 on both dice. The dice were thrown: a 1, and a 2. Zombie-chow. Now one remained.
So we decided to give in. A noble effort, but a loss. The zombies prevailed and the survivors fell.
Six guys (with a spectator at one time) sat around a table, ate take-out Mexican, rolled handfuls of dice, insulted one another, and occasionally took the time to move plastic zombies around the board. In other words, we had a great time. So what about you? Hanker a good time? Think you can do better than we did? Then pick up a copy of Zombicide, grab some friends, turn off the game machine, shut off the TV, and “play unplugged”. Drop us a line and let us know how it worked out for you!