MERCS? – Our annual Halloween zombie fest happened again this year. Ben took the iniative to create a Left 4 Dead variation using the Zombie rules I came up with a while back and generic survivors. Basically the table was set up as a 3'x6' board covered with terrain. The survivors have to run across the board to grab and objective and then run back to trigger the escape button. Easy right?
To start the survivors have no weapons. Throughout the board are random tokens that allow you to either heal or draw an item card. This is how your character levels up during the game. Essentially going from a sneak-theif to a bad ass zombie killer. The rules set is based on MERCS with movement cards and firing numbers. It worked really well and fit the bill for what we were trying to do.
Zombies are loosely controlled by a GM spawing a random number each turn and moving toward what ever they can see. If the survivors fire a gun or kill something it generates noise which overrides the LOS movement.
Once the survivors reach a set point on the board an event triggers which essentially changed the rules of the game. The instance we had was a flash flood. Which reduced movement and increased firing numbers.
The surviors died several times while moving across the board and had to be respawned by a teamate to continue the game. We made it to the objective and then had to call the game because the store was closing.
Overall it was really fun, in our post game parking lot discussion we had some tweaks we would make to the game to make it move a little faster and smoother.
• Reduce the size of the map – 6' is really far to cross when your model moves and average of 6" per turn. I think with a 4' map we'd be golden and have a shot.
• Give survivors a basic weapon – Having to run a grab items was fun, but it seriously slowed down the first part of the game and forced the survivors to make some "bad" moves.
• Allow models to "fire and move" or "melee and move"– some spots where we had to choose to kill a zombie or run made it impossible to get away. Thematic for sure but it's more fun for players to be able to smash skulls then to run and hide.