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The Walking Dead: All Out War

I've gathered my recommendations about running demonstration games for the The Walking Dead: All Out War board game from Mantic Games.

Before you read further, I recommend you to read: Running game demos - Guidelines

Nexus Klub játékalkalom a Szinvaparkban (2017.03.31) - Játékbeszámoló

I use the second tutorial scenario for demo games - it's pretty much the same as the scenario in the rulebook, but you don't have to think about setting up the scenery.

Optional rules for demonstration games - The Walking Dead: All Out War

No Threat: The game always stays in low threat, so the players get an easier time. Advantage: You don't have to bother with setting Threat. It's easier for the players to finish the game.

No Panic: Even if you use the Threat Tracker to increase the difficulty, do not use the morale of the characters. Advantage: You don't have to explain morale rules. You don't have to bother with checking morale. It's easier for the players to finish the game.

No save for the dead: If the walker gets a hit, don't roll Defense for them, just lay them on their side. Advantage: You roll less. It's easier for the players to finish the game.

Cooperative teams: The player teams belong to the same group of survivors, they just compete who gets the most loot. Advantage: The game becomes more friendly. It's easier for the players to finish the game.

Die by bite: The characters only die when they get bitten, and even then only when they roll a success on the black dice. It only works in cooperative mode, otherwise they would fight each other and get damage from other sources. Advantage: You don't have to track the wounds. It makes the game a bit easier for the players, as they can receive an unlimited amount of small wounds, but they die instantly on a bad roll after being bitten.

Everyone is generic: Every character have red dice in every ability, 5 wounds and no special rules. Advantage: You don't have to explain the special rules of the characters. The players don't have to bother with the special rules. Disadvantage: It makes it slightly harder to finish the game, if the zombies still get their own red dice, as it statistically increases their chances compared to the characters.

  • It would probably work better if every character would get a white dice in every ability. That would also make it easier for the players to finish the game.

Everyone is Rick: To give them better chances, play every character as if they have the abilities of Rick. Advantage: It's easier for the players to finish the game. Disadvantage: Unless you print or get more, you'll only have one Rick character card.

Just count the loot: Because there were several cases I didn't introduce equipment to the demos, and only used the basic abilities of the characters, we didn't draw cards for the loot, just collected them, and the player with the most marker was the winner.

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Vasútmodell kiállítás (2017.04.08-09) - Esemény beszámoló

Because the parents of some kids objected to zombie-themed games, quite understandably, we have come up with a retheme with some kids. The rules are the same, and they work well with the new theme too.

The zombies are animals, goblins, space aliens, or whatever you have miniatures for. There was a car-crash / spaceship crash, so there is some wreckage on the playing area, and the scavangers are looking for the loot, but the creatures sleeping nearby awoke, and roam the area. The characters have Tranquillizer guns they can use to put the creatures asleep.

When the players roll a wound on the creatures, they get sleepy, and get turned to their side, but at the end of every turn they roll a Black Dice to get up. If they roll a Special result for their attack, the creature falls asleep, and gets out of the game.

The Threat Tracker indicates the noise the players make. When the tracker reaches the end, the whole pack of creatures wake up and trample the area, making the game end.

When the creatures roll a Special result, they are so happy to meet the characters, they try to play with them. If they roll a hit, they played with them for a while. If they roll a Special result, they have licked the faces of the character. Any face-licked character has to roll a Black Dice at the end of the turn, and on a success, they have to go to wash themselves, and get out of the game. We didn't use wound points, but if you do, you can lower it, and they only go to have a shower, if they reach 0.

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Optional rules - The Walking Dead: All Out War

Vasútmodell kiállítás (2017.04.08-09) - Esemény beszámoló

Four player game: I let the players choose between Rick + Carl two-man teams, and the three-man scavenger teams. The games can get a bit confusing because of the events, but it's quick and bloody. Due to the noise and mayhem of the many participants, the Threat level ends the game in a couple of turns. The lack of extra rulers could make the game a bit slower, but on the basic playing area the distances will be so small, practically every move will be a Sneaking, so you won't really need them.

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Further advice from The Walking Dead: All Out War demo organisers

Advice from Andrea Nedaras Pomelli:

  • When you play against a beginner, shoot a zombie with someone that will be lost due to Mayhem. It will teach him about the dangers of being surrounded.

Advice from Thomas Farley:

  • When you play as the organiser, you can control the zombies, so they don't have to bother with those too.

Advice from Andy Meechan:

  • Start at Threat 4.
  • Don't play Hold Nerve.
  • Don't play the YELLOW dice.
  • If there is time to play another game, explain these rules, and add them to a follow-up game.

Advice from Nagy Máté Farkas (Dwalin):

  • Use only the Core Set.
  • For 1 or 2 players, run the first scenario from the Core Set, with Rick, Carl and 4 zombies. 3 of the zombies are at the objective, 1 of them is in the middle. 1 car in the middle, 2 light cover beside it. You don't need to play the game, just assist the beginners.
  • If there are more than 2 players who are eager to play, you might try the second scenario from the Core Set.

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Buying the product - The Walking Dead: All Out War

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What do you think of my guidelines about running wargame demos? What are your experiences? Do you have further ideas? Tell us in the comments!

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