I consider Zombicide: Black Plague to be a modern classic in the making. Everything works “just good enough” to put out an exiting game each time one plays it. The mechanics and theme are easy to pick up, it has elements of survival-horror, and light role-playing/character progression to it, all wrapped up in an experience that plays out over two hours or so.
Over the next few posts we’ll jump in further on those details and some of the core strategies I’ve noticed over dozen of plays to help you in some of the more challenging missions, all delivered without any spoilers.
Let’s start with our heroes- putting together a party.
Tactically the game is build for around 6 heroes- with each player taking one, or less player taking control of multiple heroes. Beyond the base game, there are numerous hero expansion packs, and lots of Kickstarter heroes still floating around.
So if you have core +1 you are looking at a TON of choices.
I consider Z:BP to be first and foremost a social game- a ton of players navigating the Black Plague, rolling fist-fulls of dice and slaying zombies.
As a house rule everybody selects the character(s) they want to play, regardless of party optimization, and we see how the game plays out…
…but if the group is open to optimization?
We can break down the characters/actors in the game by thee types: melee as in run up and thump a zombie, ranged as in shoot something pointy at a zombie, and magic as in burn a zombie with magic flame or lightning.
A good majority of the party is going to be melee types as you need to clear rooms, and plow through the undead one the way to an objective.
Magic-users would be next as there are a number of good spells to find along the way- both in healing and damage dealing. Magic also lets you hit with better numbers at range. Always take a mage dude, perhaps even two.
Playing a ranged character is the hardest in the game as most of the weapons are melee based and having a wider spread of ranged characters cuts down on your horde removing ability. Ranged characters are just that- hitting zombs a few spaces away, or sniping necromancers. Ranged characters are good for taking up the rear and thinning out any zombies that would be following the party as they press ahead.
Thoughts on optimal part composition?
Bring out your dead…