"Tempus Fugits", and it's certainly fugited this year! October already, and I haven't managed to get my act together in preparation for the great Zomtober event. I've got some survivors that need painting, but other than an undead dragon that's awaiting pigment application, I've currently got no unfinished zombies in da house!
October is also insanely busy gigs-wise (actually our busiest month this year - why are we so popular for Halloween parties??!!), so this years challenge is going to be a real, erm, challenge!
More of the Zomtober activities to follow in their own dedicated posts, along with links to this years participants blogs.
Unfortunately, I've still not had the opportunity to fit in any of the games that are queuing up to be played (and written up), and I just know I'll be "binge playing" as soon as I get the chance - I've also been giving some thought about what to do when my "gaming table" is in use as a modelling bench, and have my own take on "Travel Battle" in the pipeline, using Irregular Miniatures 2mm minis and terrain.
Now, as promised, some thoughts on "All Things Zombie - Evolution".
The title is really fitting, because Ed has really made some BIG changes to our beloved ATZ game! I'm not one of the 'old hands' since I cut my teeth on Final Fade Out, but the veterans out there who started playing with Better Dead Than Zed and earlier will find massive changes to "THE" zombie apocalypse game.
I'm not sure how to tackle this - posting details of the rules would probably breech various copyright laws, so I'll do my best with generalisations. Ed is posting examples of play on the THW blog, which you'll find over in my list on the right hand side bar >>>>>>>
First off, let me say that the game is extremely streamlined with most of the changes aimed at speeding up play - for example, the introduction of "battle boards" which dispense with measuring distances for movement and firing. Also new rules for actions like "Searching Buildings" are very much simplified - two battleboards are supplied with the rules, but you can optionally treat each 1ft square of your old table as a 'battleboard'.
For us folks who prefer to play over a 3ft x 3ft table and don't like the 'abstract' nature of the battle boards (all movement and firing is restricted to just the battle board area - the rest of the table is 'ignored'), there's a free download supplement titled "ATZ Tabletop Convention Play" ( I think "Conventional" play would be more explanatory), and here we find all the familiar mechanics along with some additional 'new' content.
Of course, there just had to be changes to the old "In Sight" test....... is this the most tweaked rule in the history of the game?
Other significant changes include a new method of increasing/decreasing Rep in campaigns, a new class known as "Sheeple" who are neither Gangers or Survivors, new (simplified) age groups, and (I really like this one) gone are the 'standard' 3 PEF's per encounter..... the number is now randomised and weighted so there's the probability of fewer in rural areas, more in suburbs and most in urban environments!
Players who like to 'Talk the Talk' will either love or hate the new "Interaction" rules, and my own star character Brad will need to have a read of the new "Companionship" rules considering his relationship with Hannah!
What I don't want him looking at are the new "Fame and Fortune" rules - Stars decide on their campaign 'goal' then track their progress via monthly Rep increase/decreases before "Retiring" at the end of a ten year campaign..........
To end, I'll draw your attention to "The Town", a six area introductory campaign module provided at the end of the main rules.
Oh, and did I mention the "Ragers" or "Smart Zombies"? (or the magic using "Casters", hairy "Lycaons", blood thirsty "Vampires" or Resident Evil 'Alice' - esque "Razors"?) If you're finding survival against zombies and gangers too bland, you have these additional optional classes fully described and given their rules stats to spice up your games!
So, will I be 'Evolving' from Final Fade out?
No. But just as players have ported over their preferred mechanics from older versions into ATZ:FFO, I'll definitely be taking some of the better rules out of this new 'tool box' to use in my existing campaign.
I can also see an opportunity to use a lot of the 'streamlined play' content to allow for quick scenarios and 'side quests' to be played out while I'm away from home gigging!
Sorry for this being yet another late and "wordy" post - normal service WILL be resumed as soon as possible!!