Sunday, August 4, 2013

Zombie Risk

Can such a precision machine be tuned?
Its funny how some ideas are so simple but you never think of them until you hear that simple phrase or concatenation of terms that sparks the self evident.  I was pretty much done with Risk years and years ago.  I kept a copy in hand for nostalgia, and then later on, to play with the kids.  I didn't think I'd want to play it again though.  Risk: Legacy looked interesting but it didn't look 70$ worth of interesting.
A couple days ago I saw the term Zombie Risk in a google search on house rules for Zombies!!! and immediately I realized what that there was potential for shenanigans here.  Without even reading any details I could think of ways to revive that Risk board and maybe fix some of the problems with the game, make it fun again.  It is not an accident that this synergy has occurred, Zombies!!! and Risk have much in common being games that are very popular and fun while being pretty flawed.  The universe loves them despite themselves.

I've looked up some different rules going under the label of Zombie Risk and I think my favorite are the ones that have a semi-cooperative feel to them.  These variants use one faction as the zombies and have the other factions not allowed to attack each other directly but use the zombie faction as the beating stick.
I'm going to try a few different ideas and play test this with my family.  My goal is to shorten the game,  make it more fun to mess with the other players without getting too personal about things, and to prevent turtling up and the Australia effect as much as possible.

Basic rules: 
  • Set up the game as normal* but with one faction being the zombies.  I'd use good old zombie Black but what ever floats your boat.
  • Every turn players play their turn and then take a zombie turn.  Players may only attack zombie controlled countries in their regular turn but are free to go after anyone as the zombies.
  • In the Zombie turn you add armies for countries controlled as normal** and then make one attack on someone, and then flip two cards - placing two zombie units in each of those countries and then resolving those combats as well. 
  • In combat, players who loose a combat roll with 1s convert their lost unit(s) to zombie units which immediately rise up to continue the fight.
  • You win by being last player standing or the player with the most points (countries and continent bonuses) if the zombies are wiped out.
I'm going to try this basic set of rules and see how it works out.  Then adjust to suit.


*Setup should be done by dealing out all the country cards (minus the wild cards) and putting units on the countries you receive - at least for the zombie faction if not for all players.  I assumed this since it's always how we played, but it's not in the official rules I had.  Once all territories have a unit, then the remaining units are placed as reinforcements in player order.  Players should take turns to place a number of reinforcements equal to the number of players and then place a zombie unit until they are all deployed.

** Zombies get reinforcements for the number of countries they control but do not get cards or continent bonuses.

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