Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Pike & Shot & Zombies

This is what happens when you don't have a game for a few weeks and you don't have the time to paint the backlog slowing building up in the garage. Your head gets turned by other things..... Now I have a reputation at our local club for always doing some strange periods well this one looks no different....


Any rule book that's opening line is.
"Do you have a bunch of ECW figures hanging around not doing much? Do you have a gang of undead eaqually underused??" Has my attention.
Several months ago I painted up a couple of boxes of Mantic Zombies and Ghouls but I have yet to play them in anger, I also have a couple of blisters of Foundry's Elizabethan Sailors which have been tucked away in a draw since at least 2007....
The rules call for a small number of miniatures, about half a dozen survivors and two to three times as many zombies, I figured I could get the Sailors finished as a short distraction from the on going Ottoman army.... where purchases are once agina out stripping painting.....
PSZ struck me as a bit of a change from the usual Zombie fests that we have at the club and gives me a chance to play out some smaller evening games with a few figures and some nice terrain.
The thought of a land filled with the plague and the belief in witchcraft seemed appealing.

The game is set in the Thirty Years War era were the world is pitched into darkness where a 'New Plague' has resulted in the dead rising.
Each player controls one or two characters each, with an umpire handling the zombies.
As well as the usual walkers there are a number of special types you can include such as friends and family members that your character might hesitate in attacking.

Having read through the rules there looks to be some nice mechanisms, characters have actions per turn, which reminds me of the old Combat Zone rules, where you have to decide to spend your points on moving, firing or other actions....

A random desk of cards is included which results in characters tripping, misfiring or seeing Zombies around ever corner, a nother nice touch is accusations from other players. As a result accusations of; cowardice, theft, murder or infection you might be forced to separate yourself from the rest of the group or face trial after the game.

Firing is split between damage and impact, characters are required to roll over the distance in order to hit, characters have to decide to spend actions on ensuring they hit vs the damage they might do if hit..

I have been playing ATZ for a number of years where the Z's appear to be slighty tough to fight off once in combat, in PSZ they appear to be a little weaker, unless they "grab" and hold you when their numbers start to tell..... However if you spend all your actions you could simply out pace them and run away....

Movement for characters with little armour and weapons is very fast.. however each item you carry/wear carries a weight score which slows you down, Plate Armour and a Broadsword for example can have a serious impact on your speed each turn although the ability of a single Zombie doing you harm is very slight.

The rules have an RPG feel to them with each character holding a number of stats, Lifepoints, Endurance, Strength, an interesting stat is 'Geist' - the zest for life. This factor goes up and down in relation to events on the table. A high score allows you to re-roll certain failed actions where a very low score indicates your character has given up his will to live and my offer himself to the Z's... 
Geist can be transferred from one character to another to gee them up, put the Geist of one can pull the whole group down...

You are encouraged to hunt around on the table top looking for stuff as resources are limited and with under 20 rounds for your musket you need to make every shot count.

I hope to have a small batch of Sailors finished in a couple of weeks and perhaps a test game before Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Now you see I'm obviously of the same easily distorted persuasion as your good self, because this just looks like so much fun!