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Tag: zombies

TAG13, Dragon’s Maze and New Games

Toy and Games Expo 2013

Toy and Game Expo season is upon us! Save the date for the Queens Birthday Long Weekend for an entire weekend of gaming and crazy goodness. Tickets are on sale now and are at 25% off for a limited time only!

Big draws for TAG is the gaming, sales and all the cool exhibits. I will definitely be there ready to try all the newest and funnest games.

Dragon’s Maze

Last weekend was the Dragon’s Maze Prerelease for Magic the Gathering. Selesnya all the way! All the cards look real amazing to draft which is my format of choice. I can’t wait to try DM/GTC/RTR. Came 4th in my flight with a powerful Selesnya/Orzhov mix lead by my BFF Obzedat, Council of Ghosts!
Sick thing I saw : 18 damage from a Flesh and Blood Teysa which pretty much went all the way. 18 life is the new red zone.

New Games just in!

Zombies X for all you zombie fanatics.  

New Yu Gi Oh! Hidden Arsenal 7 for all you duelists.

Dungeon’s and Dragons 3.5 Premium Spell Compendium for all those nostalgic for better times

Strangely a Caverns of Time raid deck when the game is already in the Mists of Panderia.

Words with Friends which is a board game based on an app based on another board game.

Munchkin Penny Arcade in light of Penny Arcade EXPO which will be all over Melbourne in a few short months.

Other News.

The Friday Frenzy is back after a long hiatus and is here to stay.

Next Tabletop product is X – Wing the miniatures game. We are restocking the expansions for that product late next week so keep an eye out for them.

Guest Video Review: Eaten by Zombies!

Eaten by Zombies! is a deck building game for 2-4 players, set in a 1940s American overrun by the living dead! It’s deck-building to die for!

We have stock arriving around November 25th-30th—pre-order now and get yours before the USA receives their shipment! Includes free promo cards!

In Eaten By Zombies! players strive to survive as the horde of the living dead make it their goal to force you to join the crowd. You must work with or against the other survivors to be the last one standing. No, not standing—cowering in the corner crying for their mommy! With a set of over thirty different cards to start with, no two games will ever be alike.

Every turn you must venture out from your safehouse and scavenge for ‘swag’. But not so fast, because the Undead have other plans for your brains. Every day a Horde of fresh zombies will be waiting for you, and over time the threat gets greater. Using your swag (the cards in your hand) you must survive any way you can. If you can get away or kill the Horde, you may scavenge the remains of the desolate suburbs for any swag the neighbors may have left behind. With the right stuff and a few good friends to out run, you may just make it through this alive… well, no probably not. But being the last one to die a slow, painful death means you can claim sole victory!

This game by first-time designer Max Holliday is a unique combination of card drafting, hand management and survival horror with a few dirty tricks thrown in.

Check out this glowing video review from Drakkenstrike, our guest reviewer, who calls Eaten by Zombies! “brilliant and balanced game design”, and pre-order your copy now!

What’s Hot: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Enter the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead! Take on the role of Rick, Shane, Andrea, and other favorite characters in a world suddenly full of zombies. With only one companion at the start of the game, each player must struggle to gather resources, find other survivors, and eventually find a refuge from the zombies that have taken over the landscape. Can you find enough resources and scout enough locations to find a safe haven to escape to?

Each player takes on the role of one of six key characters from The Walking Dead. With meager resources and only one other companion, each player must travel across north Georgia in search of food, ammunition, gas and other survivors. But… wherever a player moves, the zombie hordes are always right behind them. Who will be the first to scout three locations and find refuge from… The Walking Dead?

The Walking Dead boardgame is based on the original graphic novels of Robert Kirkman (not the recent television series) and features fantastic artwork from Charlie Adlard throughout. The encounter and location cards recreate scenes and events from the comics, so for fans this is a ‘must buy’. Zombie boardgame fans in general, however, will love this fast-paced, fun, luck-heavy boardgame of survival in the zombie apocalypse!

Game Contents: 4 Blue “Hero” Dice, 4 Red “Warrior” Dice, Green “Scavenger” Dice, 1 Black “Ammo” Die, 216 Zombie Tokens, 72 Fatigue Markers, 6 Starting Character Cards, 23 Follower Cards, 26 Location Cards, 90 Encounter Cards, 6 Starting Character Portraits, 6 Bases, 6 Player Sheets, 1 Game Board, 1 Rulebook, 18 Resource Markers, and 23 Follower Tokens.

No. of players: 1-6
Ages: 13+
Playing time: 30-60 minutes

Braaaainnnnssss…!!!!

Zombies

I recently started watching the new series The Walking Dead on DVD, which I highly recommend for zombie fans out there, and felt inspired to write an article looking at some of the many zombie-themed boardgames available. The shuffling, shambling, brain-eating living dead just never seem to get old in popular culture, and the boardgame world has no shortage of games where you can try to survive during the zombie apocalypse!

ZombiesOf course the first game that springs to mind is the endless series from Twilight Creations called—you guessed it—Zombies!!! Kicking off with Zombies!!! Second Edition, which is justifiably famous for including 100 plastic zombies in the box. No one ever said Zombies!!! was a groundbreaking game, but when it comes to basic, straightforward zombie-killin’ action nobody does it better. It’s one of those games that cries out for variant rules and fan-made extras, and you can even find completely re-worked rules systems for the game online that make it a little less luck-based and, I think, even more fun.

The great thing about Zombies!!! is the zombies, and you get a pile of them, and for even more fun, you can get yourself a bag of glow-in-the-dark zombies and turn out the lights! The artwork on the cards and tiles is good, and with the number of expansions available you could probably built an entire city’s worth of zombie killing field. At last count there were nine themed expansions! Everything from classic trapped-in-the-mall scenarios (Zombies!!! 3: Mall Walkers) to high school madness (Zombies!!! 5: School’s Out Forever!) to undead clowns at the carnival (Zombies!!! 7: Send in the Clowns), and Twilight Creations show no sign of stopping..

For something a little more detailed, the king of B-movie zombieness has to be Last Night on Earth by Flying Frog Games. Set in the sleepy town of Woodinvale, players are B-movie hero archetypes—the priest, the prom queen, the farmer’s daughter, the drifter, to name just a few—banding together to fight for their lives. Eight different scenarios and modular board recreate classic scenes—the desperate race for the truck, the barricading of the manor house, the search for guns and ammo. All the time, unending waves of zombies spread over the town like a plague! So put down that popcorn, grab your shotgun, and hide your brain; the zombies are coming and this could be your last night on earth!

This hilarious and fun game has spawned some excellent expansions: Growing Hunger introduces new game mechanics and three exciting new scenarios to challenge players, as well as a two player mini-game. Four new Heroes and seven new red zombies, new modular game board sections, and new game cards are included, plus lots of new counters and extra bits so you can create your own scenarios. You can expand both your hero options and your zombie types with the Hero Pack 1 and Zombies with Grave Weapons. All the miniatures are really nicely sculptured and a fully painted game of Last Night on Earth is as immersive as you’d ever want to get!

Zombie DiceZombie Dice is a quick, easy-to-learn and fun dice game by the makers of Munchkin (I did mention Munchkin Zombies, right?) Each game only takes 10-20 minutes and includes 13 custom dice which are your victims—push your luck to eat their brains, but stop rolling before the shotgun blasts end your turn!

Steve Jackson Games also make Give Me The Brain Game, a fun and chaotic cardgame filler (excuse the pun) in which players take on the roles of zombies in a fast-food restaurant in hell. They all have to complete a number of tasks before leaving work, and the work keeps piling on. Even worse, some of the tasks require basic intelligence—and there’s only one brain to go around!

In All Things Zombie, players are survivors fighting tactical battles in a devastated world populated with zombies. It’s designed to appeal to both strategy gamers and roleplayers alike. Whether searching a police station for guns and ammo, gunning down hordes of zombies, or blasting through a running gun battle with other not-so-nice-survivors, All Things Zombie will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Which brings me to the exciting news: Z-Man Games have announced The Walking Dead Board Game! Based on the orginal comic by Robert Kirkman, this promises to be another worthy addition to a genre that just won’t lay down and die—zombies!

Fantastic Flying Frog

If you think loads of atmosphere, a big helping of luck, and lots of laughs make great gaming, then you’ve probably already discovered Flying Frog Games, a relative newcomer on the gaming scene that has made a huge splash with its cinematic games and photographic art style.

Flying Frog first hit the gaming scene with a loud cry of “Braaaaaains!” in 2007 with the B-movie zombie fun of Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, and the game was an instant hit. There have been a lot of zombie games over the years, but Last Night of Earth really focuses on re-creating all those iconic moments from classics such as the George Romero zombie movies and numerous 80s horror flicks. As the human player, you get to control sterotypical characters such as the local sheriff and the high school sweetheart, and as the zombie player—well, you get to control hordes of shuffling zombies, of course! They may move slowly at only one square per turn, but they’re relentless and they come in great numbers… and your hero may even turn into one if things turn nasty!

The rules are easy to learn. Hero characters move a number of spaces equal to the roll of a six-sided dice per turn, or can search and draw a card from the Hero deck if they spend their turn in a building. Heroes and zombies in the same square must fight, and the zombie player can draw new zombie cards each turn and spawn new zombies if he rolls higher than the number of zombies on the board on two dice. The zombie and hero cards are the meat—excuse the pun—of the game, and lead to all kinds of special events, frequently hilarious, along with providing the heroes with various items to aid them in beating back the tide of undead.

As for hero characters, you can choose from Becky the Nurse; Father Joseph, Man of the Cloth; Johnny, the High School Quarterback; Billy the Sheriff’s Son; Sheriff Anderson, Small Town Lawman; Jenny the Farmer’s Daughter; Jake Cartwright the Drifter; Sally the High School Sweetheart. They’re all represented on the board by high-quality plastic miniatures. As are fourteen horrible zombies in three different sculpts.

The game can be played with a simple ‘kill or be killed’ scenario, or there are four special scenarios that really enhance the gameplay: Defend the Manor House, Save the Townsfolk, Burn ’Em Out! or Escape in the Truck. The latter scenario is perfect for those ‘dropping the car keys just as the zombies are about to kill you’ moments!

Of course any successful game these days just cries out for expansions, and Flying Frog hasn’t disappointed on that score. In addition to new scenarios and villains available for download on their website, they released a first expansion the following year: Growing Hunger. Sam, the Dinner Cook; Kenny, Supermarket Bag Boy; Rachelle Winters, Detective; and Amanda the Prom Queen join the battle, along with more zombies of course—seven of them. Three new scenarios—Zombie Apocalypse, Plague Carriers and Burn it to the Ground!, two additional boards, and lots of extra cards and counters complete the expansion.

But the expansions don’t stop there! Last Night on Earth: Survival of the Fittest includes three new card decks that feature unique items, grave weapons and survival tactics (seventy-six cards in all), four new scenarios and four counter sheets. Last Night on Earth: Hero Pack 1 has four new heroes: Stacy the Investigative Reporter; Mr. Goddard the Chemistry Teacher; Jade the High School Outcast; and Victor the Escaped Prisoner; along with a new scenario and ten new cards. Last Night on Earth: Zombies with Grave Weapons Miniature Set features fourten new plastic zombie miniatures in seven sculpts: the Crawling Torso, Machete, Old Pitchfork, Rusty Axe, Wrapped in Barbed Wire, Bloated Body, and Sickle. Aaaargh!

Of course, if you have a bit of painting experience you can really enhance the appearance of the game. Here are my hero miniatures from the base set, fully painted (note the miniatures in the game come unpainted):

If you’re a fan of the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow—and it’s one of my all-time favourites—then you’ll love A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game (2008). Though keeping the photographic style, this is quite a different game from Last Night on Earth. It’s set in America at the dawn of the 19th century—an age of science, superstition and witchcraft—and the hero characters can either co-operate or act independently to track down and destroy the supernatural villain that is threatening the secluded village of Shadowbrook. There are several villains to choose from that give the game a different flavour every time: the Scarecrow, the Vampire, the Werewolf, or of course the classic Spectral Horseman. As for the dauntless heroes, you can choose from Karl the Soldier; Inspector Cooke; Isabella von Took, Noble Woman; Thomas the Courier; Victor Danforth, Playwright; Anne Marie the School Teacher; Heinrich Cartwright, Drifter; or Katarina the Outlaw. In addition, there are six Town Elders who may help or hinder you on your quest, and who may have dark secrets of their own that must be uncovered …

In the expansion A Touch of Evil: Something Wicked the terror reaches out into the countryside; with the help of new heroes (Valeria the Vampire, Brother Marcus, Eliza the Witch Hunter and Captain Hawkins), the players must confront villains such as the Unspeakable Horror, the Banshee, the Gargoyle and the Bog Fiend. The expansion features an additional board depicting Echo Lake and the locations around it that is added to the main game board, and of course a plethora of new cards and counters.

Finally, A Touch of Evil: Hero Pack 1 gives you even more heroes and their miniatures: Adrianna the Foreign Traveler, Harlow Morgan the Inventor, Lucy Hanbrook, and the infamous highwayman, The Scarlet Shadow; plus a new villain, the dreaded Necromancer.

Here are my hero miniatures from the base set, fully painted (note the miniatures in the game come unpainted):

The newest game from the Flying Frog workshop is Invasion From Outer Space: The Martian Game (2010). Creepy little Martians—complete with clear plastic helmets—invade a 1940s circus, and the motley crew of circus performers are the first line of defence for planet Earth. There are definitely some Tim Burton fans at Flying Frog, because the Martians are reminiscent of the ones in his film Mars Attacks.

The circus performers—in Flying Frog style, played by actors—include Angelica the Bearded Woman; Lucrezia the Contortionist; Cassidy the Trickshooter; R. J. Flannigan, Ringmaster; Carl the Strongman; Archibald the Human Cannonball, Hannah the Firebreather, and finally Jo Jo the Dancing Bear. Arrayed against them are eighteen Martian Soldiers, a Martian Champion, and the huge and intimidating Zard Beast. You can play the basic Invasion scenario to get started, then try out Abduction, where the Martians try and kidnap human allies from the various circus buildings; “Wipe Them Out!”, where Martians attempt to obliterate four groups of the crowds that are running screaming about the fairground; “Blow ’Em Out of the Sky!”, where the humans must destroy three flying saucers with the cannons placed around the board; and Unleashed, where a flying saucer has crashed and a Super Zard Beast is running riot!

Invasion features some new mechanics—the Martian player has several options on his turn, from receiving reinforcements to building new tech Like the Death Ray—and there are also additional rules for fires and crowds. The great news is there are comprehensive rules for combining Invasion and Last Night on Earth, so you can also play games of Zombies at the Carnival and Martians in the Small Town—or just mix and match the bits you like—if you own both games. No doubt further expansions won’t be long in coming!

Finally, here are my hero miniatures from Invasion From Outer Space, fully painted (note the miniatures in the game come unpainted):

As you can see, there’s a lot of variety and replay value in Flying Frog Games. Add that to well-sculpted miniatures that are perfect for painting, high quality components, and easy rules, and you’ve got some of the most entertaining games around. And as a bonus, each game comes with a CD of ‘background music’ composed by Mary Beth Magallanes to get you in the mood. When it comes to theme, Flying Frog can’t be beaten!

by Universal Head

For more information about these games, visit Flying Frog Games and BoardgameGeek. You can also find rules summaries and reference sheets for all of these games (Invasion coming soon!) at Headless Hollow.

Universal Head has been designing for clients across the globe for more than 20 years, and playing games for much longer than that. He’s responsible for the graphic design of several boardgames, notably ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ by Z-Man Games, and once spent an entire year recreating the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in 3D for a computer game. In between he’s designed just about every form of visual communication: corporate identities, websites, packaging, brochures, even postage stamps. He also created the game websites www.tekumel.com and www.battleloremaster.com. His blog site www.headlesshollow.com is an obsessive repository of professionally designed rules summaries and reference sheets for boardgames.

More Halloween Favourites

Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s time for another look at the best horror and supernatural-themed games out there for your special Halloween gaming night! We’ve already had a look at the Sleepy Hollow creepiness of A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game, and the B-movie zombie madness of Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game; now it’s time for a bit of classic haunted house mayhem with the new edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill (shipping this week!) and the classic Dracula-hunting fun of Fury of Dracula.

Betrayal at House on the Hill was first released by Avalon Hill in 2004, and the brand new second edition should be getting close to the virtual shelves of Games Paradise as you read this. If you’re a fan of those classic 80s horror movies like Fright Night, Poltergeist, Nightmare on Elm Street and Re-Animator, this will be just the thing for that scary Halloween gaming! The victims, sorry, I mean players, each play a character entering and exploring a haunted mansion built up with room tiles; encountering omens and gathering items. Pretty standard stuff so far. But at some point during the game, everything gets turned on its head as the Haunt begins! One of the players will be revealed as the traitor, and from then on the game is played according to the special rules in one of 50—that’s right, 50—different classic horror scenarios.

There were a few issues with some of the rules in the first edition—for example, the classic one where an underground lake could be encountered on the second floor of the house—but all that has been fixed and streamlined with the new edition, which upgrades the components and even adds a few new scenarios. The amazing thing about Betrayal is its replayability. While the initial phase of the game can be quite similar, once the Haunt begins all bets are off and you never know what particular blend of villain, beasties, and special conditions you might come up against. Also of course, with a game like this chock full of classic horror movie clichés and characters, there’s opportunity aplenty to share your favourite movie quotes, show off your bad accent, and generally extend the whole experience into a roleplaying game experience. Perfect for Halloween!

Perhaps you like something a little more serious however … a little more classic. And what could be more classic than Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the game based on the book—Fury of Dracula? Definitely one of my all-time favourites, I have great memories of playing this one (in the original 1980s Games Workshop edition) late at night with friends on the night of a full moon and by the light of flickering candles.

Luckily, Fantasy Flight Games re-vamped (you knew it was coming, didn’t you) the original and brought this fantastic game back to gaming tables everywhere in 2006. If you’ve ever donned a cape and plastic fangs, you’ll know the fun of playing Dracula, and this game lets you wield his evil influence over Victorian Europe as you move from London to Transylvania and everywhere in between, laying traps, setting red herrings and delaying tactics, gathering and unleashing your human and animal minions—all to thwart Van Helsing, Mina Harker, Lord Godalming, and Dr. Seward as they follow hot on your heels. You’ll use an ingenious system of cards to lay down your trail, but all your movement is done in secret. It’s that secret movement, and the fun of putting horrific obstacles in the path of the other co-operating players, that makes being the Dracula player in this game such a huge amount of fun. You’ll gloat, cackle and make mw ha haaa haaaaa noises as you set down each card, watching the other players desparately try and beat you to the next location to drive a stake through your heart.

Every gamer should have a copy of Fury of Dracula in their collection, and it’s my personal favourite for Halloween gaming. But next time, we’ll have a look another excellent contender for the perfect creepy game—FFG’s classic Lovecraftian masterpiece, Arkham Horror…

by Universal Head

For more information about these games, visit Fantasy Flight Games, Wizards of the Coast and BoardgameGeek. You can also find rules summaries and reference sheets for both of these games at Headless Hollow.

Universal Head has been designing for clients across the globe for more than 20 years, and playing games for much longer than that. He’s responsible for the graphic design of several boardgames, notably ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ by Z-Man Games, and once spent an entire year recreating the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in 3D for a computer game. In between he’s designed just about every form of visual communication: corporate identities, websites, packaging, brochures, even postage stamps. He also created the game websites www.tekumel.com and www.battleloremaster.com. His blog site www.headlesshollow.com is an obsessive repository of professionally designed rules summaries and reference sheets for boardgames.

Halloween Favourites

Trick or treating is all very well, but if you ask me the best way to pass the time on the night of All Hallow’s Eve is with some good friends and a creepy boardgame! Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at some boardgame favourites that are perfect for conjuring up the Halloween atmosphere.

In fact gaming is a time-honoured part of Halloween celebrations; for example bobbing for apples, or old semi-witchcraft rites to try to discover the name of one’s future spouse. Getting friends together to tell ghost stories is traditional, and would be an excellent accompaniment to a boardgame. Why not make a night of it and prepare some Halloween-themed food and drinks, and put up some decorations. Just don’t get the spider webs too close to the candle flames!

A great place to start your gaming would be with the Flying Frog game A Touch of Evil: the Supernatural Game (2008). If you’re a fan of the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow you’ll especially enjoy this atmospheric game. Set in the early 19th century in the small village of Shadowbrook, players take on the roles of unique heroes—perhaps Katarina, the outlaw, Victor Danforth, the playwright, or Cooke, the police inspector—trying to hunt down and destroy the villain, which could be either a vampire, scarecrow, werewolf or even the classic spectral headless horseman. You’ll be exploring the environs of Shadowbrook trying to build up your strength for the final confrontation and collect items to help you, and uncovering the hidden secrets of the town elders, who may help or hinder you in your battle with the supernatural villain.

A Touch of Evil can be played co-operatively and competitively, and the variety of villains, each with special powers and themed minions to do their evil bidding, makes for a different game every time. Things get even better if you add the expansion set,  Something Wicked. Not only does this add more heroes and more villains (the bog fiend, gargoyle, banshee and the Unspeakable Horror), but there’s also an additional board, a slew of new variants, and even solo rules.

Both games come with beautifully sculpted plastic figures for the heroes, which I highly recommend painting for the full experience.

While we’re looking at Flying Frog games, we can’t go past their debut game (and another perfect Halloween indulgence), Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game (2007). As well all know, zombies and Halloween go together like toffee and apples, and this game can’t be beat for the authentic B-movie zombie experience. The game is similar in many ways to A Touch of Evil: players are characters straight out of a zombie movie—Sally the high school sweetheart, Jenny the farmer’s daughter, Sheriff Anderson the small town law man, Father Joseph the man of the cloth—and depending on the game scenario, must survive the depredations of hordes of shuffling undead! Whether you’re trying to escape in the truck (“where are those keys!?”) or defend the manor house (“hold them off!”), you can guarantee that some of the players are going to get munched on before the night is over. It’s a hilarious game and perfect for Halloween laughs.

Of course, there are expansions—the big box Growing Hunger, which adds more heroes, zombies and scenarios, variants and special rules; and a series of small packs that add more figures: the Hero Pack, Survival of the Fittest, and Zombies with Grave Weapons. If you go the Flying Frog website here, you’ll even find a downloadable All Hallows Eve scenario. Perfect!

Come back next time for some more creepy Halloween gaming options; by the time October 31st comes around, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

by Universal Head

For more information about Flying Frog games, visit their website and BoardgameGeek. You can also find rules summaries and reference sheets for both of these games at Headless Hollow.


Universal Head, has been designing for clients across the globe for more than twenty years, and playing games for much longer than that. He’s responsible for the graphic design of several boardgames, notably ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ by Z-Man Games, and once spent an entire year recreating the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in 3D for a computer game. In between he’s designed just about every form of visual communication: corporate identities, websites, packaging, brochures, even postage stamps. He also created the game websites www.tekumel.com and www.battleloremaster.com. His blog site www.headlesshollow.com is an obsessive repository of professionally designed rules summaries and reference sheets for popular boardgames.