Hey guys, and welcome to a slightly different game system talk today!
I have recently discovered Mantic’s fantastic The Walking Dead All Out War miniatures game, and have been playing it a lot!
For those of you who haven’t come across this game, it is a tabletop miniatures game based around the Comic Book series of The Walking Dead. Players take control of small groups of survivors, and compete against rival players groups to secure the most supplies to ensure their survival in the apocalypse. In it’s most basic form, you have a skirmish sized group of models (anywhere from about 2-3 to 6-7 appears to be about usual) competing to collect objective tokens quicker than your opponents to win. However, this is The Walking Dead, as so in here the Dead walk (see what I did there?)
This is done in game by having Walkers (must not use the Z word!) scattered around the board which are controlled by the game itself, as well as the actions of the players. Make noise and you’ll attract the attention of the nearest Walker. Fire a gun and all the Walkers within 10″ will come racing towards you. On a 20″x20″ board thats a huge area to affect! In addition, random events will mess with the players. Maybe a car alarm will go off, drawing all the Walkers towards it, maybe more Walkers will stumble into the play area, maybe one of the characters panics and screams out…..
The game also has a “threat” mechanic. It doesn’t have a set turn limit like most games do (for example 6 turns for Batman and 40k etc), but instead has a clever little threat dial that ranges from 1-18, split into No Threat, Low Threat, Medium Threat and High Threat. This represents the ever present threat of drawing more Walkers into the area in overwhelming numbers, and so when the threat hits 18 the game ends, as both sides are forced to withdraw. Random events can push up the threat, as do things like shooting firearms and fighting in melee, so the pressure is on to get the job done quickly.
As I mentioned above, the threat range is split into 4 section (No, Low, Med, High), and each of these serve 2 main purposes. Every survivor has a Nerve level, and if the Threat is higher than their nerve there is a chance they may panic and not do what you want them to! More importantly though (in my opinion), is that the random events get worse the higher the threat. For example, all no or low threat, there may be 0-2 new Walkers enter play, whereas at high that would be 2-6!!
As well as the brilliant PvP element of the game, which makes up its main play style, full rules are included for solo play. As the Walkers are all game controlled, it is very simple to be able to play solo and just try to collect supplies and get out alive! And of course, as you can play solo, you can just split the crew and play co-op games very easy, each player taking the role of a survivor or 2 and trying to work together to survive the end of the world!
I have had great fun playing this game, and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it. Games tend to last only about an hour or so, meaning plenty of time to get a couple of games in on an evening.
To this end, I am working on running a demo day down at one of my local stores, and am looking forward to introducing new players to this game, running a few co-op games. In the game, our survivors are set upon by Walkers while asleep in camp, and must fend off the horde whilst trying to repair the RV in order to escape. The pressure is on in this scenario to get the job done quickly, as any Walkers killed will re-enter play! Depending on number of players and time, I may even throw in some PvP games for those who want to try that!
More information on the event can be found here
The other thing The Walking Dead All Out War has done is prompt me to pick up a paintbrush again!! Those who know me will know that I do not do painting, or only very begrudgingly, and so this is a huge step for me. The models are beautiful, and I have actually had quite a bit of fun with them. What follows will be some pics of what I’ve done, they are never going to win any awards, but for me they are a big step, and I feel comfortably land in the “tabletop” quality bracket.
First up we have the survivors. These guys have been through hell in the apocalypse, and are just trying to survive:
As you’ll see on the survivor bases, I have put all of their names. This will make it easier to tell who is who, especially for new players who may not be familiar with some of the more obscure characters from the comic series (admittedly that includes myself)
Next up we have the Walkers. For these guys I decided to do something a little different. I’ve seen a lot of people online do very good monochrome effects to match the comic series. I knew that was beyond me, but wanted to do something kind of similar, mostly to separate the living from the dead. To this end, these guys are undercoated in a rotting flesh colour, clothes painted a darker green, then brown wash and then blood put onto any part I felt relevant (mostly gaping wounds and mouths). This serves the purpose of making them feel like a dead swarm, and not distracting from the players characters.
In the pictures above, I still have to finish off the Walkers’ bases, with a bit of flock similar to the survivors. I’m also going to paint the base rims black, to further differentiate them from the living.
In the picture above, you can see Rick and Carl facing off against Brian Blake (The Governor before he becomes the Governor) and Patrick, while the Walkers close in. You can see the difference I’ve gone for between the full colour Survivors and the slightly muted tones of the Dead.
That is all from today. There will be more tales of my exploits into The Walking Dead soon. I also want to try and get more Batman in. I’ve recently picked up the new 40k, so will be hitting that with some Chaos Space Marines soon, and want the get more games of BloodBowl in. It’s going to get very busy!
Until next time, keep gaming!