Monday, 19 September 2016

ATZ - the Board Game part 1

Hi all

****WARNING NON BUSHIDO POST****WARNING NON BUSHIDO POST****WARNING N

Hahahaha yes shockingly this post is not about Bushido, instead it incorporates the unboxing of All Things Zombie (ATZ) the board game, published in 2009 by Lock and Load. The game is by Two Hour Wargames and Ed Texiera as the designer.  I was the very lucky (and grateful) recipient of the largesse by the lovely Gilberts of “The Gamers Cupboard” fame. It won’t be a comprehensive review of the game as I will leave these things to the experts of which there are many including our very own Bryan “Vampifan” Scott, who could and probably have taken the game through it’s paces, I have a feeling that it has been rewritten as well.  I’m also going to run through in the form of a batrep the first scenario from the game that I played recently with my son.



Inside the game you have five white dice and one black, a full-colour manual with all of the rules in it. You have cards for each of the set characters with all of their profiles and gaming stats on.  There is a turn on track, with which you can mark your progress (I’m not sure if the scenarios require limited turns but it’s there should you need it.  Also you get a pack of cards for randomising the amount of zombies that spawn in an area and some loot cards for when you explore buildings. There is a full set of card counters all in colour and printed on very thick card which is very durable.  There are two double sided playing mats printed on the same card and marked out with hexes all given a specific designation and with buildings covering the board.  Lastly you also get a a quick reference guide, this has on it the insight reaction test, received fire reaction test and other valuable information.




As stated earlier we will playing the first scenario – “For a Few Minutes More”, set on Apocalypse Day +26. Stefan will be playing Tonya who is a “star” and I will be playing Beck her sidekick and buddy, who is a “grunt” but for ease I will be playing as a “star” and we will both be competing against the zombies controlled by the game mechanics.  The idea of the scenario is for the girls to explore the buildings on the map until they both find a weapon or they have searched all of the buildings and escaped off the map edge.

Tonya strode down the dusty road as if it were the Strip back in Vegas, larger than life and as bold as she ever was back in the day before the world blew to hell.  Beck snuck an admiring glance at her friend, trying to emulate the confident and graceful stride that Tonya seemed to effortlessly pull off.  The girls had been moving constantly since the early days of the Apocalypse and the end of humanity as the dominant species on the planet.  Moving during the day and fortifying whatever shelter they could find at night, barely sleeping and always on high alert, they were exhausted.  Not that you would know from looking at Tonya, Beck reflected ruefully, Tonya looked like she had just woken from a solid ten hour slumber – bright eyed and bushy tailed! Only the grime on her clothes and the 9mm in her right hand betrayed the recent turn of events and stopped her friend from looking like she had stepped out of the pages of a magazine. “Well maybe ‘Guns and Ammo’ magazine at least” Beck mused with a snort and a supressed laugh, earning her a quizzical look from her BFF.  This only made Beck laugh harder as she bent over holding her sides, every enquiring look and now clear exasperation from Tonya made it worse until tears rolled down Beck’s filthy face leaving tracks of clean skin down her sunburned cheeks.


Several minutes later she managed to reduce the noise of her raucous laughter down to a few little hiccups and snorts, much to the annoyance of her friend, when she heard the first shuffles and moans of nearby zombies.  “Damn it Beck” Tonya sighed, pulling the slide on her pistol and checking to make sure a round was chambered.  Eyes up and scanning the girls moved into survival mode and headed toward the nearby residence.

That's it for this post, next one is the batrep - stay tuned!
hope you enjoy
dGG


32 comments:

  1. Oo nice start, sounds fun fun fun. ooowww now you got me all looking forward to the next part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the batrep will have to be in two parts T as I've written it as a story with a few clarifications in brackets. The game was fun for a first go, think it'll be better solo played so I can take my time to get the best out of it (my son gets too impatient so I hurry a little)

      Delete
    2. played solo, this game really shines at its best.. especially if you like to take your time and enjoy the immersive-ness of it all. Playing with the kids is always nice, but yes hehe, they do tend to get a touch impatient for THINGS TO HAPPEN all the time (are we there yet, are we there yet etc lol).

      Delete
  2. "ATZ" is something I've heard loads about but never properly played, Andy, so I'm looking forward to the BatRep and your thoughts on its mechanics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Analysis of the game will follow the batrep Simon :-)

      Delete
  3. A good honest overview of the game, Andy. You're right on two points. First, I have played this game many times and secondly the game has been revised. Version 2 has better rules and more maps (sadly on paper, not thick card) but I much prefer the campaign scenarios from version 1. As a simplified version of the ATZ tabletop rules they work well as a primer. It is quite an easy game to play and doesn't take up too much space on your table. It is good to dip into if you want a quick game. However, I much prefer the more detailed rules from the tabletop version of ATZ: Final Fade Out. That said, any game of ATZ will attract my attention and I'm looking forward to seeing how Sonya and Beck get on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The maps on this are really nice Bryan, good thick card and full colour. The full campaign will be played by me as a solo game but thatl come in the new year I think as I'm pushed for time at the mo. I prefer minis on the table rather than card counters but I think the quality of the game is high so it doesn't suffer the lack. I could use minis and my new casualty counters that I showcased last week could indicate the zed stack?

      Delete
  4. I`ve played both, original and the new second version ( the latter of which, after half a dozen or so play throughs will reveal its own set of complications, as many of the rules simply aren't properly though out or well balanced). The supposed errors in the game bought up by those who own the first edition (the one Andy has) is almost always mentioned as being the system streamlining.. which is something that is always going to crop up with gamers who are used to the full system - aka the ATZ table top skirmish wargame. It is human nature I suppose always to spot the shortcomings first and the merits after. However as Bryan points out, the campaign system in the original boardgame is second to none, and ideal for nice simple solo game. If you want to play without the rules getting in the way, allowing decent immersion (solo, or joint play like with your son), and if you want a nice story telling narrative type game, this is without doubt, a fine example of a good box game. Without all the flashy nuts and bolts which (frankly) often just annoy me anyway. I sometimes simply like a good game, and this is not usually based on just how many lovely shiny components a game has in the box.

    Also the map boards (again mentioned by Bryan) are WAY better quality in the original box game, and I dunno, having played both versions quite extensively, I still have to say prefer the original best. What others see as rules shortcomings, I see as areas which allow YOU the player(s) to fill in the gaps with your own interpretations. I always prefer that style of rules writing best. Assumes reader intelligence and not just spoon feeding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know about reader intelligence T but I will be adapting the game a little to best suit what I want. Ed Texiera is always saying that he encourages this when using his games anyway so....

      Delete
  5. absolutely Andy, I`ve played a few games with him in the past, he`s a nice guy and always promotes an attitude of "if its not there in the rules, make it up," and "if you don't like a rule, change it." Which is a healthy thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Licking my lips in anticipation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting, though I don't plan on adding to my rules list any time soon (Zombicide covers all the zombies games I ever want to play, and I'm too blooming old to learn another rule set!). I will still be interested in you opinion of these rules. Ed dose some cracking rule sets.

    Cheers Roger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ATZ was the first zed apoc game that I gave me what I needed from the genre so have an affection for it

      Delete
    2. you now Andy, there is seriously something to be said for `sicking with our first love.` Many sets of rules will try (and probably succeed, at some stage) to seduce you away, but no set will ever replace the `connection` you will feel for that first love. Me, I`d stick with the game you love and know. That's my hobby aim in life: identify, then stick with those few treasured and precious rules sets ever more. Like Dick does with his zombicide, it all makes good sense really.

      Delete
  8. I'm planning to stick with the ATZ miniatures rules, but I'd be very interested to find out in what ways this differs. Quite a bit, I imagine? Anyway, looking forward to the batrep...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes ATZ FFO is certainly more detailed C6 but the board game was fun, I look forward to playing at my leisure to get more out of it.

      Delete
    2. same game........ just simplified.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Thanks HW, it was a fun game. Hope you enjoy the batrep

      Delete
  10. Hooked already, I can this going on the Christmas list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope the batrep doesn't disappoint then sir :-)

      Delete
  11. Other than all the obvious advantages of a board game I can't see this adding enough to make me want to buy it. I'll be sticking to my version of all the best bits from ATZ the minis game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's cool Joe, the big advantage has to be the small amount of space required I think. It can be left out for consecutive nights because of this.

      Delete
  12. game works really really well when you replace the tokens with 15mm miniatures ( Rebel Minis make some r-e-a-l-l-y cool 10mm zombies ideal for this, and fit nicely on the spaces... http://www.rebelminis.com/15mm-zombies-and-unde.html )

    ReplyDelete
  13. Replies
    1. I could see that but that means an investment of cash into minis so I'll stick with the board tokens ;-)

      Delete
    2. yeah, surprisingly, once a game starts, you root for them, care for them, and worry about them just as much as though they were minis: all thoughts that they are not, goes out the window as your heart races and your hands tremble, hoping your little guys will be okay.

      Delete
  14. OOOOoooo!!!!! This promises to be good.... and told with a narrative too; this couldn`t get any better. Waiting excitedly to see where this goes :-))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope that it doesn't disappoint then Steve

      Delete