Friday, January 18, 2013

LOTR Zombies Rules

Having played several games of Pike Shot & Zombies over recent weeks albeit with an Elizabethan flavour, the urge for bigger games has started to take over, having spent a number of nights working away without PC or paints, it gave me the perfect opportunity to attempt some in house rules merging GW's Lord of the Rings Rules with Pike Shot & Zombies.

PS&Z has some great mechanisms I love the idea of umpire driven arrival points and their random movement is a great way for the umpire to keep control, rather that the more random movement rules with All Things Zombie which has been a favourite of our club for quite a while. However trying to move PS&Z beyond 10 figures aside bogged the game down a little.

So here goes a first draft of Zombie rules for LOTR, For the most part, the rules are exactly the same as The Strategy Battle Game - The Lord of the Rings.

The stats for your basic undead figure is as follows.

Zombie 2/- 2 3 1 1 - 0 0 0

Zombies move 4" and are worth 4 Points Value.
They have no Courage rating and will always fight to the death.

Special Rules

The Living Dead have no fear and rely upon tearing and biting attacks on the living, Any human wishing to charge a Zombie must test their courage or will stand in place racked by fear.
The Shambling Dead
The Living Dead aren't the most agile, so any model must roll two dice for Jump and Climb tests, selecting the lowest score as a result.

Should a Zombie defeat and kill a living character they and any victorious zombies will spend 1-3 Turns feeding on the body. Any Zombie with 12" will move to join the feast of flesh.

Dead Sight
The undead will pursue any living character with 12" within their Line of Sight, once line of sight is lost the undead will follow the most recent and loudest sound generated by the group or living characters.

Any zombie characters without an active target will move on the random movement of a dice, for each group of undead roll 1D6 this number represents the move distance and number of zombies that my move from the group this turn.

Plague Pits & Burials Mounds.

The starting points for your undead forces. These will be hidden from the players at the start of every game and will be come active once a player comes within "X" inches of the plague pit.

Plague Pits will generate 1D6 Zombie each turn, until the Zombie player reaches his point allocation or you run out of models....
Burial Mounds can be suppressed/closed by inflicting 3 wounds on the terrain item, the stats are as follows.

Plague Pit 5/- - 8 - 3 - 0 0 0

They are worth 120 Points Value.

Each turn a player conducts one of the actions below roll the following dice if the distance reaches the location of the plague pit the pit will be activated and will being spitting out its evil content the following turn.

Sounds             Description                                                           Dice Modifier
Quite                 Moving                                                                  1D10
Noisy                 Hand to Hand/Shouting/Musical Instrument        2D10
Loud                 Firearms                                                                 3D10 + 3
Deafening         Volley Fire or Cannon Fire                                    3D10 + 6

I would welcome any feed back as like many rule sets it will take a few more competitive games to iron out any kinks.


  1. Thanks for this and nicely done!! I was impressed with the "spawn points" in Pike & Shot & Zombie as well. I don't like the thought that you can "kill" a spawn point, but it becomes more acceptable to me with the thought that you are "consecrating" the area. If I do this myself, like you, I would definitely want a larger group of "survivors" vs the zombies, rather than a only a couple of figures. BTW, how many zombies can you field?


  2. Good point Frank, besides it would make more use of my priests.
    I had through about limiting the pits to a maximum number of occupants, I guess it depends on the book keeping.
    In most recent games I have been working on a basis of 3:1 for Zombies,usually starting with between 5-15 on the table for starters.
    I have 60 in my own collection which normally gets me through most games although they are probably recycled at least twice over :-)

  3. Hmm, interesting, any chance you might continue this "lotr" Gothic horror conversion? I'd love stats for werewolves, vampires / dracula, gypsies, van Helsing and his hunters etc etc

    1. Scot I was only thinking about werewolves the other day, I had an idea for a scenario based on the Dog Soldiers Movie.

  4. What a great idea and well done.

  5. I think you have a typo (2 actually) in your table.

    Noisy rather than Nosy and 2D10 rather than 2D20.

    To keep things simple, rather than work out on a die roll where the noise travels to - why not allocate 1d6 per plague pit and 1 extra d6 every time a single figure makes a noise of any sort?

    A volley of shots would result in several d6 being generated at each plague pit, as would smashing down a door, knocking over a table and firing a single shot.

    1. Thanks for the reply and good spot on the nosy table :-)
      I have another play test in the coming weeks, I will give the extra dice per noise event a try, my initial concern was that players would be put off firing due to the potential increase in numbers, but it's certainly worth a try.

    2. You're welcome .... and nice blog btw..

      I agree that could be an issue ... but unless they are playing a stealthy ninja-type scenario where they are rewarded for sneaking in/out .... it's inevitable that they make some noise. :-)

      But if you find there are too many zombies spawned (although you can't have too many zombies :-D) , you could always limit the number of zombies on the table at anyone time or change the spawning rule to a pool of dice - 1d6 per plague pit and 1d6 for every noise - randomizing the spawned zombies between each discovered plague pit. Randomizing would mean that you get to put down the zombies where they will create pressure for the players without necessarily confronting them with a "killer horde" - unless you really wanted to. :-D

    3. It's an interesting point, I thought about having a set number of Zed's per spawn point, especially if the Zombies are played by a gamer rather than an umpire, on the basis that the burial ground would be fixed.
      Tanks for the feed back good to know people are dropping by.

    4. Hmmm .... that's an interesting idea.

      Any thoughts as to how you would determine the set number of zombies per spawn point and/or how you would track these throughout the game?

      If you need a mechanism for "halting the flow" - perhaps roll a d6 per spawn point prior to dropping the zombies on to the table and on a 1 or 2, there are no zombies that turn and so any zombies allocated to that spawn point don't materialize?