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Zombicide: Undead or Alive

RRP: 109.99
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RRP €127.99
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The hit board game is back, reinvented in a western setting! Streamlined rules, different classes, new survivors, and zombies!  
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Category Tags , , SKU ZBG-CMNZCW001 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Easy set-up 
  • Great replayability 
  • Customization

Might Not Like

  • Cooperative gameplay (there is a solo mode, too) 
  • Very challenging 
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Description

The hit board game is back, reinvented in a western setting! Streamlined rules, different classes, new survivors, and zombies!

 

Wild West Of The Undead – Howdy Partner

Welcome to the western themed version of Zombicide, a cooperative game for 1-6 players. I’ll be your guide today and explain the basic ins-and-outs of the game along with some of the new features and reasons why it’s worth staking a claim on a copy of Undead or Alive for yourself.

Before you ride into town to battle the undead, let me give you a quick rundown of how Zombicide plays.

General Gameplay

Each round in Zombicide has two phases: player and zombie.

During the players’ phase, you can use your survivors to perform certain actions such as Move, Search, Reorganise/Trade, Combat (Melee or Ranged), Take or Activate Objective, Make Noise, and Do Nothing.

There is an equipment deck filled with items that help the survivors on their mission. Survivors perform a search action in a room to draw a card from the equipment deck to gain items like a better weapon, holy water (used to remove corpse pile tokens [more on that later!]), or dynamite (good for killing abominations and large groups of zombies). Each mission has certain criteria to meet in order for the survivors to win – this could be taking all the objective tokens or hopping on the train before it heads out of town.

Once every survivor has finished their turn, it’s time for the zombies to cause some trouble! The zombies are controlled by the game, meaning they have set rules to follow. The first part of their phase is to either attack or move. The second part is spawning them around the map.

Survivors & Zombies

A new element of this edition of Zombicide is that the 14 survivors are now divided into four classes, each with their own special ability.

The Brawler class are the rough and tough of the bunch. They start with 3 health (instead of 2 like the rest of the survivors) and have the ability to perform a charge action which allows them to move up to two zones and perform one free melee attack.

The Faithful class harness their devotion to a higher power to fight the evil zombies. They can use normal water (found in the equipment deck) as holy water. Their special action is the Vade Retro ability which can be used once per turn on a group of zombies within line of sight. This group of zombies loses their activation during the zombie phase. It’s a very useful ability to have in this fast-paced game!

The Gunslinger class deal in lead. Their ability is fanning – like in the old westerns when a character slaps the hammer back repeatedly, firing off all six rounds in rapid succession. The survivor performing this action rolls 6 dice with an accuracy of 5+, meaning any dice rolled as a 5 or higher counts as a hit.

The Townsfolk class possess the knowledge of the town needed to take on the undead. They can perform as many search actions as they want per turn; they are not limited to one search action like all the other survivors. Also, they can trace line of sight through more than one building zone, unlike the other survivors who can only see into one building zone at a time.

The four zombie types are the same as in other Zombicide games. Each has their standard actions, wounds dealt, damage to eliminate, and adrenaline points provided to the survivor that kills it. They are as follows:

Walkers – plenty of them to go around!

  • Actions: 1
  • Wounds Dealt: 1
  • Damage to Eliminate: 1
  • Adrenaline Points Provided: 1

Brutes – strong fellers!

  • Actions: 1
  • Wounds Dealt: 1
  • Damage to Eliminate: 2
  • Adrenaline Points Provided: 1

Runners – the quick and the undead!

  • Actions: 2
  • Wounds Dealt: 1
  • Damage to Eliminate: 1
  • Adrenaline Points Provided: 1
  • Abomination – the big bad!
  • Actions: 1
  • Wounds Dealt: 1
  • Damage to Eliminate: 3
  • Adrenaline Points Provided: 5

New Additions To The Game

So, what else sets this new Zombicide version apart from all the other ones besides the new survivor classes? Well, I’ll tell ya!

This version is extremely streamlined. It pulls no punches with a quick set-up and fast-paced play. The zombie deck (the cards you draw from when spawning zombies around the board) is full of abomination cards. Plus, the number of zombies spawned increases even more drastically than usual as your survivors move into the yellow, orange, and red zones from gaining adrenaline points.

But hold your horses, now. The game is balanced enough for the survivors to find the items they need in the equipment and bounty weapon decks. The equipment deck is loaded with enough guns, swords, ammo (allows you to re-roll your ranged attacks), and dynamite to lay the zombies to rest for good! The bounty weapons have better dice and accuracy stats than other weapons, making it easier for survivors to lay waste to the undead. They’re awarded either by completing mission objectives or accomplishing the feat described on the card (kill 3 zombies or more with a rifle in a single turn, for example).

There are also two new zombie spawn tokens in play. The first is the corpse piles. These activate when a survivor first enters a building. Throwing some holy water on them removes them from play. So stock up on your holy water because you’re gonna need it! The second is the abomination spawn token. This remains inactive until an abomination is spawned and then it becomes active, leading to an extra spawn zone in play. Once the abomination is killed, the spawn token goes back to being inactive.

Instead of several noise tokens to be placed on the board, there is now only one. It is two-sided with Bang! on one side and BOOM! on the other. The Bang! is for basic gunfire and grouped survivors. The BOOM! is for fanning, firing the gatling gun (oh yeah, you get to use a gatling gun in certain missions!), and dynamite. With good strategy in play, survivors can use noise as a way to lead zombies to a certain point on the board, which may open a clear path to victory.

One of the last additions I’ll mention is the tiles that make the mission maps. The objectives are printed directly on the tiles so that makes for a nice, quick set-up. Some buildings have balconies. These allow survivors a nice line of sight to the roads in the town. Position a survivor on one with a rifle and you can start picking off zombies faster than molasses freezing in winter! And perhaps one of the best additions is the train. There are three double sided train tiles. One side is the tracks; the other is the locomotive itself and two train car tiles. It moves along its path at the end of each player phase. It destroys everything in its way, which means you can line up the zombies and run them down!

Phew! That’s a lot of new additions.

Final Thoughts

I’ve very much enjoyed playing Undead or Alive. The missions are very challenging; it’s definitely on the harder end of the Zombicide scale so be prepared to lose some missions.

The set-up is easy as there are fewer tokens for noise and no doors to worry about, so you can get a mission up and running much faster.

Zombicide in general has a lot of replayability to it, but I feel the new survivor classes offer even more replayability. You can replay a mission with a new team of mixed classes or try to beat it with survivors from a certain class. Each survivor selection offers a new dimension and challenge to the game.

Now, Zombicide is a pretty popular game that has other variations in themes. So if a western setting doesn’t tickle your fancy, try one of these on for size instead: modern, sci-fi, fantasy, and Marvel.

Happy trails to ya!

 

 

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Easy set-up
  • Great replayability
  • Customization

Might not like

  • Cooperative gameplay (there is a solo mode, too)
  • Very challenging