Friday, 19 August 2016

My Zombicide: Black Plague Dream Team



Over the last couple of weeks I've been highlighting my choices for a Black Plague Dream Team - the characters that I think make up an elite team for running your average ZBP scenario.

Here's the recap...


THE ATTACKERS:



Xuxa is my main melee choice for the simple reason that she can take down an Abomination from the opening turn. Once tooled up with a couple of decent melee weapons, she's the one you can rely on to take down the big bad guys with ease. She's also pretty nifty with a bow if there is an abundance of gear.


Morgan is my main magic choice. He quickly accumulates additional dice to his magic actions and is the magic equivalent of an assault cannon. He's not suited to take down the bigger foes but when it comes time to clear entire zones, and there's no dragon bile in site, Morgan is your man. Be warned though he will level up very quickly once let loose.



Cadence is my main ranged choice. She is built to be a sniper thanks to starting with the Marksman skill. Her main role is to take down Necromancers as they roam through the zombie hordes. Give her a Longbow and she can do this from 3 zones away. Because the Longbow won't take up a hand slot she can arm herself with other gear to expand her contributions.



THE SUPPORTERS:




James was added as the main Searcher of the group. His abilities allow him to pick up multiple cards when performing a search action, which will in turn speed up the process of gearing up the survivors. He also has ranged and magic skill available later on so will support in combat as the game progresses.



Theo is my runner. He starts the game with the Sprint ability, allowing him to move faster than anyone else. His main role will be to run about the place, opening doors early on and grabbing objectives before the zombies numbers start to tell. He is also decent in a fight which will help him achieve his goal when out on his own, as well as when supporting the rest of the team.



Gowan is my tank, plain and simple. His ability to regenerate lost wounds means that he can be thrown into the thick of things and make sure other key members of the team don't die. He needs to be given a shield and armour as soon as possible to enhance his wound-taking ability. Once he's levelled to max he becomes immune to certain zombie types, making him untouchable... almost.



So there you go. That's my Dream Team. It's been fun doing the theory-crafting but the real test will coming on the gaming table. Some of these characters have already proved themselves, some yet to be tested.

I'd be interested to see if anyone has alternative characters in their Dream Team, and why.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Black Plague: The Dream Team – part 6


This penultimate post in the Dream Team series is a day later than anticipated - I thought I'd ramp up the drama! Earlier this week I inducted character number 5 into the team, who gets the final spot and why?

All best laid plans can go awry, even if you're running an elite team (have you seen Predator?), so it helps to have someone around who can mitigate any problems should your team have a round of shooting blanks or hitting like a schoolgirl. Basically you need either a tank (someone who can take the hits for the team) or a healer (someone who can recover any lost wounds). The ideal would of course be someone who can do both.

There is a healing spell floating around in the gear deck but you're probably better off giving that to someone with the Spellcaster skill should it appear, in effect making it a free heal. Spellcasting and tanking don't tend to go hand in hand so we may need to look elsewhere for an individual to take one for the team.

Another mitigation skill that I discovered is Lifesaver. This allows the character to be able to pull another survivor in an adjacent zone into his zone, pulling them out of danger. That sounds good, but costs an action when there might be better solutions to a situation. Shove has the opposite effect, pushing zombies out of the character's zone into an adjacent one. Another very useful skill, but needs to be tested first I think. Neither of these will be of much use if the zombies get a bonus turn and your character is lying in a pool of his own snot before he can take an action.

The ultimate tanking skill surely has to be Ironclad:X which makes the character immune to attacks from zombie type X. Only one character has this at the beginning - Gregoire - and his immunity is against Zombie Wolfz, which is pretty good. Is it Dream Team quality though? Is it enough?

The only other character that I can see with the Ironclad skill is Gowan, who gets to choose between being immune to Fatties, Walkers or Runners once he reaches red level. That is awesome, the only negative being that he has a lot of levelling up to do before he gets there. The thing that gets him into my Zombicide: Black Plague Dream Team is his opening ability, which is Regeneration.

As we discovered in our Black Plague game day at the beginning of the month, taking a couple of wounds on behalf of your teammates and be able to heal them automatically at the end of the turn is a superb ability to have from the start. Throw in some armour and a shield to negate some of those wounds before they land and you have a true tank! Should things get nasty and Gowan levels into the red, he is now immune to your zombie flavour of choice! Stunning!

So by my reckoning that's my Dream Team complete. Just to be sure all the bases are covered I'll do a recap and a look at the team as a group.




Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Black Plague: The Dream Team – part 5


My Zombicide: Black Plague Dream Team currently consists of Xuxa, Morgan, Cadence and James (to give them their official in-games names).

Speed can be a bonus when you need to grab an objective or get a door open in a hurry (usually trying to out-run an undead mob at the same time). In the Black Plague box, Nelly is your go-to gal with her free move action at the beginning of a game. This comes in handy but sometimes it's not fast enough.

My choice for character number 5 in my Dream Team is Theo, from the Wulfsburg expansion box. He doesn't have a free Move action. What he does have is Sprint

"So what does that do?" I hear you ask.

Sprint allows you to use one of your actions to move the survivor up to THREE zones! So, once Theo has levelled up initially he could move up to 6 zones if he used all his actions to move. 

Let me say that again… Theo could move 6 zones in a single turn!!

He doesn't have any other movement orientated skills like Slippery, but at orange level he gets to boost his melee or ranged ability and at red level he could take Marksman (though by that point you probably won't need it).

His body slot will take a standard sword so you could equip his hand slots with a second sword and/or ranged weapon. Not unlike James, he will never be one of your bigger hitters unless he gets into trouble, but will support the rest of the team well enough I think. He has a specific skill that will come in very handy – he's bloody fast when you need it!

So, only one character slot left to go. Who will be our final Dream Teamer?


Monday, 15 August 2016

Black Plague: The Dream Team – part 4



With my choices now made for the main Melee, Ranged and Magic slots within my Dream Team, it's time to look at the supporting characters and see what gems can be uncovered.

One of the primary goals early on in a game is to gather gear for everyone and the main way to do that is to Search. James (Sean Connery's character William of Baskerville from the 1986 film Name of the Rose) gets to take an extra card every Search action. Whilst other characters may get a free Search action, getting two gear cards instead of one means that the team will be geared up a lot quicker.

To boost this ability further, his third gear slot allows him to take a Torch. This allows him to take an additional card when he searches… wait ANOTHER card?! Yep, once he has a Torch, James can take 3 gear cards for every Search action. Wow – it's like Supermarket Sweep in a dungeon! In addition, he could also take a Transposition spell that would (in effect) give him a second search (albeit he couldn't take 3 cards for that!) – if he picked his Spellcaster skill later on, this extra 'search' would be free.

Now, the obvious flip side to all that is once your team has decent gear he becomes redundant, does he not?

Well I don't think he will be relied upon as much, once the team's gear is looking healthy. However, because he can take the Torch in his third 'body' slot, it means he still gets to carry a couple of weapons. The skills available to James means that he can go down the Magic route or Ranged and have some impact (giving him a Longbow and the +1 max Range ability would allow him to shoot zombies up to 4 zones away!).

This ultimately means he plays an essential role early on and will not be too shabby as the game progresses – he can always search for better gear!



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