Archive for December, 2011

I’m not really a “zombie” gamer. I tend to lean more toward historical periods for my wargaming purposes. I like the whole idea of strategy against an opponent who can equally use strategy to defeat you, and I don’t really see zombies fitting into that. However, I try not to be too dogmatic with things like games, and I found myself swayed toward the dark side by a really cool rule set called Undead States of America.

The rules have actually been out for a couple of years, but I only recently bought them. I may have been heavily influenced by a season and a half of The Walking Dead, which is such a cool show. The rules really aren’t complicated (The combat rules themselves could probably be called bare bones), but I found them very playable, simple (Simple’s a good thing for me these days), and they move along quickly. But the real point of the book, in my opinion, is the campaign rules. You can take your little band of survivors across the broad panorama of an America succumbing to a growing zombie infestation. You start out with a few survivors, mostly unarmed, and can pick up more members as you go. You can also pick up weapons and training, maybe even the remnants of some surviving military units. Certain members can give advantages to the group in terms of weapons training, mechanical abilities or enhanced scrounging¬†capabilities. ¬†You might run across crazed survivalists or cult leaders. Your people might starve or freeze in the winter if you don’t take the proper precautions. You’re also faced with tough decisions: Should I take my little army and try to clear out the small but growing zombie presence in Denver, or try to strengthen the group first? Should I raid Fort Hood to try to find military weapons or do I scrounge for food instead?

So after reading the rule book, I wanted to quickly build up some forces in order to play. Since I already had a few figures I thought could pass for survivors, I decided to start with them. In the game, there are three basic types of survivors: Unarmed civilians ( including those armed only with makeshift melee weapons), armed civilians, and military.

The first of these are a couple of Reaper figures depicting high school students, which I decided to use as unarmed civilians. I like to think of them in those carefree early days of the outbreak, blissfully unaware that their world is about to change. Here are The Jock and The Geek. I’m sure you can tell which is which.

Next up is a figure I call Henry which I bought from Mega-Minis, but I believe it was originally produced by Alpha Forge. It is really a nice figure with good, crisp detail. I think it’s a true 25mm figure because he’s a tad shorter than some of his fellow survivors, but not really enough to look out of place. The dog was a separate figure, also from Mega Minis, but I figured old Henry needed a buddy so I included him on the base. I used my own dog, Patches, as a model for the color pattern.

I actually bought several of those Alpha Forge figures, in all age brackets and social strata, each using whatever weapons at hand to fend off the monstrous horde. I’ll be sure to post them here when I finish painting them.

Next up are a couple of armed civilians. These are both Reaper figures, and very nicely sculpted.

Finally, I made up some “fortification” markers for the survivors to huddle behind. The rules were fairly vague as to what actually constitutes a section of fortification, and I interpreted that as looking makeshift and non-uniform. So, in game terms, each of the pieces below function exactly the same way.