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Subject: A Short Review of Dawn of the Dead by a Zed Lover rss

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Mark Cookman
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I reviewed this game as part of my 365ZED project.

A long, long time ago, in a world far, far away, I had a real copy of Dawn of the Dead, but I couldn't remember what happened to it. I made a PnP copy of the game on tile, but I really wasn't happy with the way it looked. When I played it though, the memories came flooding back. I was a kid and my mother (God rest her soul) did not approve of zombies, skeletons, undead, halloween and a number of other things. We had a huge fight and she threw the game away. The memory was so vivid; it was like I had constructed a time machine.

Dawn of the Dead really brought back some fun memories for me of a time when I was a fledgling gamer. The game itself is a tactical wargame pitting people against zombies. Two of the people, Roger and Peter have better guns than the other two people, Steve and Fran. The object of the game for the human player is to kill all of the zeds in the mall after barricading all the doors so that no more can come in. The zombie player wins by, you guessed it in one, killing all of the humans. In my experience, the people stand very little chance to win. At its core this is a dice game, so results are varied and random, but the weight is stacked in the zombie player's favor.

I played the game solitaire. My favorite game went like this: Steve and Fran move into the mall hallway in front of the baby doctor where they start the game. They attempt to fight a zombie, but fail their panic rolls. A couple of turns later Fran is a zombie closing on an infected Steve, who has fled back to the baby docs to get away from the zeds, when Peter and Roger roll into the hallway and continue a pattern of total zombie destruction that they had begun on turn 1. Until turn 9 Peter and Roger both never failed to kill a zombie that they shot at. They were taking -3 modifier shots and still killing the zeds every time. The three team up, and even though Peter later becomes infected, they keep bucking fate and they kill every zombie they come across. They barricade 3 of the 4 doors and are moving towards the last door when their luck runs out. In one turn, both Steve and Peter fail their infection rolls and become zombies. After killing (or being a part of the killing) of 43 zombies and having never failed to kill one, Roger had nothing when his friends turned. He rolled 3 to hit and snake eyes on the infection roll. Now only the dead are shopping.



Originality -- While the originality of a game about being trapped in a mall with Zombies would today be , this game gets grand-fathered in for It's from 1978, that's before The Empire Strike Back by 2 years. It's an original geek artifact (real ones are anyway)
Rules -- Plainly written, well organized and difficult to read and understand for most people the first time through. In other words, they are perfect war game rules.
Components -- I like the map board. I use the counters, but I will replace them for human miniatures at some point.
Theme -- Because of the mechanic that you do not know the strength of the individual zombies, this is a tense game. You never really know when you will fail to kill an approaching zed, only that you eventually will. It adds to the "scary"/survival horror aspect a lot.
Cool -- For some people this game will just be TOO OLD to be worthy of being cool. I'm not one of those people, but you might be so caveat emptor, so to speak.

Total -- As that old beer commercial used to say, "It don't get much better that this."
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Paul Martin
Japan
Edogawa
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That sounds like a load of fun!

I'm dying to add a zombie game to my collection, will probably get LNoE, but, being a fan of the movie, I'm happy at least knowing that this one is out there.
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Zigi Hogan
United States
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What's it going to be then, eh?
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I have recently run into a copy of this in a lot of wargames the store I work in part time purchased. The copy we received is missing the box and in a manilla envelope but when I saw "Dawn of the Dead" written on it and saw it was complete I knew I must make it mine!

I still haven't played it but this is a zombie game I think I will really like (unlike the godawful Zombicide, which is one of my most disliked games EVER!).

(Belated) Thanks for the review!
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