Playtesting The Walking Dead: All Out War- Impressions Part 2
Tim and I ran an 4 player game of The Walking Dead: All Out War at the Tabletop Minions Expo. We ran a test version of the event on Memorial day to get some game practice and feedback on the scenario. We had 4 test players, who each controlled two survivors. The zombies controlled themselves.
What follows are pictures from the game, and feedback from some of our participants:
Chris already posted his feedback in a delightful blog post.
I enjoyed the game a good bit. I liked the hidden objectives, though on that size board, it seemed like it would have been really tough to get very many of them. Though, as Josh mentioned in an editor's note at the end of Chris' review, there may have been a couple things played wrong with regard to the threat dial. So perhaps with the threat not escalating as fast and maybe if we had 2 more turns, more objectives would have been found. So when you play on a 3x3 and double check the threat dial stuff, that should work out really nice next weekend.
The terrain setup was awesome and really helped with the evolving story and in painting a picture of the events.
The game itself was thematic and gave players some good options, though on our side of the board, I don't think we felt as nervous about being swarmed. Of course, in that last round there were 3 walkers entering my area, so if that happened a turn sooner, or if the game lasted a couple more turns, it could have gotten dicey.
Getting one of my characters killed by Mike was a surprise, though I didn't mind and it felt thematic. He just rolled extremely well and plenty of things could have made that not happen, like rolling worse, shooting my guy with the motorcycle helmet instead, which would have stopped the headshot, or he could have failed to climb onto the roof and having to deal with walkers. So it seems like there is a lot of replayability in the game, as things can work out differently each time.
Our first game of The Walking Dead had some fun surprises as we learned the details of this new game. The rules themselves are very simple- there are a few clearly presented options for character actions and the automated zombies are very easy to handle. I do like that close combat is a separate phase rather than an action initiated by the players. The real surprise was the event deck that adds a lot of randomness to the game and can drastically change things. This brings the theme of the game to the fore- making the best of a bad situation. In our game, this meant that there was a car alarm making extra noise and a building on fire. I think the large table we played with made these things relatively easy to ignore- they were big problems in a small area of the board, but players just did not go to those sections if they did not have to. So, I think we should try a game on a smaller board, as suggested in most of the provided scenarios. That does mean I’m looking forward to playing the game several more times.
We really like this game and you should expect to see it again soon!