As anyone who has popped on this website can tell, we are pushing The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game somewhat hard. It’s not the only game we play on Thursday nights, but when I pulled it out, with my painted cars, walkers, crate walls, and newly purchased trees from Woodland Scenics, a sense of awe came over everyone as they looked upon the board I created. It wasn’t that I was so wonderful; on the contrary, I hardly get a second look. However, the board lends itself to one, two, even three takes as the zombies (walkers) roam the streets of Atlanta sweeping this way and that, looking to take a “Chunk” out of any passerby. As I explained the game and moved to the “GM” role, rolling dice for walkers and helping others formulate strategies so that four others could play, a strong sense of pride coupled with my own glee at the quality of miniatures portrayed left indelible marks on all of us. This game is good. And we were all about to see just how wonderful it really was.
Two players took control of Rick and his gang, hoping to gather as many resources on the table before the allotted time of “threat” took its toll. The other group gathered Shane and the Governor with a few others. We had about 150 points each fielded, with the ten walkers set up in the middle and around supplies, and knew we were in for a great match. Tony and Chris, two guys with lots of experience in strategy, talked amongst themselves as Nima and Mona defaulted to doing that which was obvious. Though I tried to stay in the middle of it all, I couldn’t help but desire Nima’s forces to vanquish the rest.
The game went well as players took cover in parked cars and behind trees, though no one really understood just yet the importance of sneaking around and taking the walkers out one by one. Gathering too much attention, they fired their weapons, ran to certain places, and didn’t fully grasp the battle between the two while balancing the walker threat. In the end, Tony and Chris faired best with their tactics as they turned their gunfire upon Rick’s hapless crew, and saw victory as the threat meant the end. At the end of it all, though it was hotly contested, we have at least two who will be buying the game from us and creating their own ragtag crews of apocalyptic figures.
As I mentioned earlier, I created the table using Woodland Scenic trees glued to the bases given in the game, while also using the expansion of scenery from Mantic Games. Along with these two resources, I purchased McFarlane’s prison tower’s fence on one side that created a nice border. I glued the two mats from the core set and one expansion on foam core so as to make it more sturdy, and painted ten walkers somewhat quickly so that we could play with a few painted figures. None of the survivors were painted though I spray painted each one black setting them up for the future I had in store for them. Already, as the game finished and as we packed them away, I thought of more scenery I could make and set my mind to making Hershel’s barn that plays such a prominent role in the television series. As of Monday evening, I finished most of the barn though I have a bit of drybrushing to do.
I absolutely love this game; more than most. And though there are several reasons why, I’ll simply list a few.
First, the game has such a storied background from the comics. It isn’t based on the television series but mostly on the comic series, one that I had collected and sold (for a ridiculous amount of money). There are a few variants in the models as Morgan comes with his son and his wife looking to be molded after the television series. Sad to say, however, there isn’t a crossbow wielding maniac by the name of Daryl, but there are endless expansions planed and I can’t wait to see what they will release. May seems to be the next big date for new releases (Hershel’s farm).
Second, though I love that its based on the comic series instead of the television series, what I do love also is that the core set comes with plenty to play amazing games on. And, as I mentioned making the Barn, there are endless possibilities on letting your creative juices flow that aren’t based upon the release of the game, but that can be based upon the television or comic book series. Barns, stores, camps, trailers, malls, woods, hospitals, veterinaries, prisons; all of these are left to your own devices. I love this! Though I play Warhammer 40K, and though the models are excellent like the Walking Dead ones, there isn’t the complete story that is so readily available to most (yes, there are books upon books, but sales will show these haven’t hit mainstream like the television series or comic series has for the Walking Dead).
Third, the gameplay is simple and good. Simple gameplay is nice, but if it doesn’t make that much sense, and if certain things are left out, then the game breaks down. If it’s good, but overly complicated, teaching the game will take hours upon hours, and this isn’t good either. To me, this hits the sweet spot for a perfect miniatures game, and any time I want a little added incentive, I can play the television series off of Netflix in the background as I paint or create. I can also plan out tactics and create survivor armies for several points costs and have them ready and prepared for Thursday nights. The game is just fun; it’s fun to sneak around to get supplies for your survivors, it’s fun to take up cover behind parked cars and shoot zombies, it’s fun to watch the walkers run towards you as you create mayhem with your weapons. It’s fun to try and outwit your friends, outwit the game, and play amidst such a storied game board.
This game is just perfect and I think, no I know, you will love it too. Take a look at the images from many of the popular sites and you will see just how glorious this game can be. Every time there is an expansion or booster available, I will want to always be one of the first to purchase, and I will be doing this for a long time. Even my son, who is ten years old, can’t wait to play this with me as we engage each other on the mean streets of the Atlanta suburbs, seeking the ever elusive food and ammo crates, running from zombies, and getting those head-shots that seem to evade me because dice hate me. Needless to say, this will be with me at every game group I attend, and chances are, I’ll get many involved because it is just that beautiful. Yes, zombies are beautiful.
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