Zombicide is one of those game series that has grown to be a huge phenomenon. The original game (and it’s add-ons) are set in your typical ’20 minutes into the future’ post-apocalyptic zombie-infested setting, and well regarded for their highly detailed models and fast and easy play. It’s a high-speed miniatures-based zombie-fighting game that relies on the players to work together, against an every growing horde of monsters. Manufacturer Guillotine Games have been very engaged with the community and have released plenty of expansions to keep its growing fanbase happy, but for a while the releases have looked pretty similar.
Zombicide Black Plague is a departure from the usual formula; the modern setting has been swapped for medieval times and your usual shotguns and Molotov cocktails, have been replaced with magical spells and potions. As per usual for the board games industry, the game was initially launched via Kickstarter, and raised over $4million. This means that the core game is an interesting box of goodies. Not only do we get the usual rack of very nicely sculpted unpainted models, we also get nifty little plastic trays to hold all the game components and a decent number of scenarios and the like. Zombicide Black Plague is a complete game on its own and if you’re a casual gamer that should keep you going for some time.
Black Plague is not just a departure in terms of setting; the gameplay is different as well. The rules have been tweaked and regular fans of the series should be able to get playing straight away. What’s new is a stronger melee focus. The game comes with six survivors for you to fight the undead with, and four of them (the nun, the warrior, the dwarf and the angry barmaid) are all melee focused. The other two (the wizard and the elf) rely mostly on ranged attacks. New rules make it easier to shoot into melee, but don’t miss. This changes the strategy a fair bit and means you’re more likely to get stuck into the zombie fighting action early on.
Zombicide Black Plague is the best iteration of Zombicide thus far; it’s a furious game of dark ages survival horror that has something resembling the cast of The Lord of the Rings running into ancient tombs and desperately trying to hold off hordes of mouldering corpses. It’s a fun and addictive game and we can easily see why it’s such a hit.ZOMBICIDE BLACK PLAGUE / DESIGNERS: RAPHAËL GUITON, JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLIEN, NICOLAS RAOULT / PUBLISHER: GUILLOTINE GAMES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW