Last night saw the continuation of the ongoing Zombicide campaign with Mission 01: City Blocks.
If you wondering, we decided to start with the Introduction Mission: 00, and then jump to Mission 02: Y-Zone, then return to Mission 01: City Blocks. Why? Mission 02 is rated a Medium mission and we had several new guys playing with the group who need an introduction to the mayhem that is Zombicide. Having played Mission 01 before, we knew it was going to be a tough one as well and didn't want to put the new guys off.
Well, that was a few weeks ago and we were all keen to get back to the zombie apocalypse and kick some of walking dead's butt (no, not those Walking Dead, just some walking dead guys).
Our shelter is safe, for now. Unfortunately, our food supplies won’t last long. We've decided to arm ourselves and go explore the surrounding houses. We cannot come back empty-handed.
Take all the Objective tokens.
Find at least one Canned Food card, at least one Rice card, and at least one Water card.
Once you have achieved the previous objectives, reach the Exit Zone shown on the map with at least one Survivor. Gather the Equipment and Survivors that escaped. You win if you have at least one Canned Food, one Rice, and one Water card.
Using classic styled trading cards, here are the highlights from the mission.
This is a very-very tough mission, by the groups reckoning, probably the toughest mission within the Season One Zombicide mission set. The mission started really well, we had a plan, experience and as this was the third mission in our campaign, this meant we were also packing some helpful equipment and skills as well. Just to make things more interesting we also included the Toxic City Mall expansion into the mix introducing some awesome equipment, Toxic Zombies and the awesome Zombvivors.
The mission went as expected and planned for the first few turns, the group made good time and we very quickly had the Water and several of the Objective Tokens collected, whilst keep the ever coming horde of zombies under control - it's a bit like mowing a lawn, if you stay on top of it then your garden is good to go. Let it slip, you have a jungle and things are out of control making it a lot of work to regain the upper-hand once more.
One of the group became separated from the main and got chomped and wounded, not a big setback as Zombicide goes. However, the distance between Neema (the survivor) and the main group was pretty big leaving her stranded like an island in a sea of the dead.
This situation spiralled events quickly - and not in a good way.
Very quickly the streets were jammed with the dead and we were two survivors down and two Zombvivors up. Then things started going really wrong as the dead started to gain extra actions and closed in on the main group of survivors, several of which became separated, surrounded and cut off they didn't last long..
The main group fled to find shelter in a building to take stock and form a counter attack to then go on and complete the mission. Smashing the door from its hinges the group prepared to enter the building to find walker after walker shamble out of the doorway. With the dead on all sides, weapons running dry and nowhere to go the mission was done. All of the survivors chomped, mauled and nibbled by the dead to a man - Game over man, game over....
Conclusion, this is a hard mission, as stated at the start, possibly the hardest mission in the first season book. Can it be done though? There are many on the internet who think not, and after last night there are a few in the group who share that opinion as well. Me? Yes, it can be done, it will take several replays and a lot of very solid planning and a big bang of luck. But, yes. It can be done.
Here is a guide to how:
Pick your survivors carefully: each survivor has a unique starter skill that is invaluable and needs to match your plan.
Sit wisely: who goes first each game turn is a very important thing, balance this with your team of survivors and your plan, this even means sitting in the right place around the table due to the way the first player turn passes to the left at the start of each game turn.
Banana splits: split into two 'search party' groups making sure you create an even balance of equipment and skills across both so each group mirrors the other as best as possible, then one group takes the top of the map, the second the bottom of the map making sure you leave your Zombie Bate survivor in the start room.
Search and Destroy: Sweep and clear the rooms at both ends of the map ignoring the objective tokens for now (pick these up once you have the supplies of food and water you are looking for and are ready to make your way to the exit. The tokens are needed to complete the mission. However, they carry five experience points each and will drive the volume of zombies up sooner than needed if you are too trigger happy when it comes to grabbing them). Once all of the rooms for the two buildings at the top and the bottom of the map are clear begin searching for the hidden food and water.
Zombie Bate: The zombies come thick and fast in this mission, and you need a character who is quick on their feet and tooled up to guide them away when needed. Leave one survivor in the centre room where the only action they take until needed is a search and bash zombies when needed so that they can build up the equipment they need and fend of any zombies who should pop-up as part of the repeat searching. Then as and when needed, the two search parties can stop and take no actions (and therefore making no noise and stop attracting zombies) whist the Zombie Bate survivor draws them away making as much noise as possible and becoming highly visible. Once you have the zombies where you need them, your other survivors can move, splat zombies or whatever they need to do. Don't underestimate the power of doing nothing for several turns with some of the survivors whilst one draws the dead away.
The Greater Good: Get ready to let members of your group die for the greater good. You only need one survivor to exit the board, if needs be, get that survivor off the board with the objectives and use everyone else to hold of the dead in a glorious cinematic last stand - hey, it's what Zombicide is all about!
The unpredictable: Be ready to die and lose this mission more than once. There is a huge unpredictable element to this mission, unlike almost all of the others, and that is the crucial objective of finding the food and water. Due to the nature of searching rooms you could spend the whole game looking for the food and water needed to complete the mission objectives. The likelihood is that statistically you will not find one or more of the three food and water supplies needed to complete this mission before the game escalates beyond control and everyone dies. In a nutshell, all of the planning and hard work is going to be for nothing without a huge dollop of luck when it comes to getting those supplies.
Next gaming night is back to some X-Wing. Talking of, I have an update to post on the last few games of X-Wing from last week as well.