Friday, 25 August 2017

Rethinking Ambush Z

I enjoyed both my games of Ambush Z, even though I messed up some rules regarding interruptions and overwatch. All part of the learning process. :)



The basic system is excellent but the feel of the zombies doesn't seem right to me.  The rules feature three types of zombies that could fit in with the games I want to play, Oscars, Zulus and Romeos.  There's a fourth type, the Dexter, which is an intelligent zombie who controls other zombies and humans through mental powers.  Not really my thing, so I won't be using any Dexters.  That also lets me skip a load of rules to remember. :)

My test games only used Zulus, which are meant to be your standard slow moving zombies from the original Dawn of the Dead series of movies.  Playing against them they feel more like fast zombies from World War Z, 28 Days Later or the excellent remake of Dawn of the Dead.  

Romeos are officially the fast zombies, I'm currently too scared to even consider facing any of these. :p

Oscars are meant to be the long decayed dead risen from the grave.  They are slower and more fragile than Zulus.  I think they are perhaps more what I am looking for, who knows, I might even complete a mission against them?

There are other variables I can work with, the infection level changes how likely zombies are to turn up due to gunfire or be found when entering a building.  The number of zombies turning up as reinforcements are scenario specific, I've been using the reinforcement table for scenario one in the rule book but I can write my own without deviating from the rules.


I want to change some rules too.  

Zombies get defence dice against fire based on the number of zombies in the mob being fired on +2 if they are Zulus or Romeos.  Romeos can also get a cover bonus.

Forget the cover bonus for a start, my zombies lack the brains to use cover.  I might even consider them to be exposed targets if they aren't inside a building, giving the firer an extra dice. 

But it still leaves the issue that the more zombies there are the harder it is to hit them.  If I fire at a stationary lone zombie with six dice he gets one defence die is he's an Oscar, three is he's a Zulu or Romeo.  That seems odd, their heads are the same size.  If I fire at nine of them the Oscars gets nine dice and the Zulus or Romeos get the maximum ten allowed.  More targets makes it less likely I'll hit any of them?  Nope, doesn't seem right against zombies.  Against humans it makes some sense, but not zombies.

My solution to this is to give the zombies a number of defence dice equal to the number of firing dice.  Zulus and Romeos get +2 dice only against a unit they are charging, to reflect their rapid approach putting people off their aim. Units firing on rapidly moving zombies will not get the +1 fire dice, which I think is more realistic when you are trying to make accurate head shots and nothing else will have any effect.

Close combat remains as it is, because there the number of zombies really should make a difference.

So, next game sees me up against Oscars, same scenario as before I think with unchanged reinforcement table and infection level.  That's when I'll find out if I'm on the right track with these rule changes.  I don't imagine I've come up with a perfect solution at the first try. :)

And because I like to always include a picture, here's the zombies I have now surrounding four troopers in a building. :)

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