Day 2 – After a day in hiding, Brian has decided to brave the roads and travel to his parent´s house, hoping to find his family and a safe place to ride out the outbreak. On the way there, he stumbled upon an abandoned government makeshift aid station. Realizing that he might have to survive on his own for a long time, he cautiously makes his way inside the ravaged building.
Three supply-caches were lined against the opposite wall. Meds, food and survival gear. Unfortunately, some people had not managed to evacuate in time. Brian shared the building with three walking dead.
The scenario is the intro-scenario in the “Prelude to Woodsbury” expansion of Mantic´s the walking dead. It pits Brian, unarmed and inexperienced, just after the outbreak, against three walkers. Brian needs to gather supplies before he can continue his journey.
Unarmed, Brian tried to sneak along the wall, hoping to avoid the walkers until he could find something to fight them with, or at least avoid being mobbed by several of them. However, one of the walking dead reacted to his movement and charged shamblingly into him. Brian fought his instinct to panic as the woman clawed and bit. He managed to fend her off, pushing her back, buying him time to run from his assailant towards the supply crate in the corner.
I chose to sneak to not alarm any zombies, but the event card ended up sending the closest zombie right into him. Neither side managed to land any hits. As ties go to the survivor, Brian managed to push the zombie back 1″.
The noise drew in a second walker, and Brian found himself cornered. The zombie lunged at him. Defending himself with his arms, Brian screamed in pain as the zombie bit into his left hand.
Frantically pushing himself away from the zombie, he looked at his left hand. His little finger and ring finger were bitten straight off at the second knuckle. Blood was spraying everywhere.
Pumping with adrenaline, Brian pushed past the zombie and slung the crate open, stuffing food into his backback. He had not noticed that a fourth zombie, just consisting of the torso, head and arms of a man, was hiding behind it. It clawed at his legs, ripping his flesh. In his adrenaline high, he ignored the pain and managed to stomp it into the ground. Then he turned on his earlier assailant and smacked the lid over his head, cracking it open.
As I didn´t have a weapon, I ran past the first zombie to get to the first supply cache. I knew it would draw in the middle zombie, but I needed to get him to move anyways, as you cannot check crates that are in base with enemies. Unfortunately, the zombie bit Brian hard, giving him a wound and an infection. I would have to roll each turn from now on to see if the infection got worse. As I lost combat, I was pushed back. This allowed me next turn to sneak around the zombie and loot the crate. The crate however contained a lurker! I took another wound, and then in the end phase, the infection got worse and I took a third wound! Just two to go! At least I managed to kill the zombie that bit me in the melee phase.
The way was now clear to the second crate. Now not having the attention of any walkers, Brian sneaked over to it and lifted the lid. Inside he found survival gear, and tucked behind it, a loose pipe. He pryed it from the wall. The sound got the attention of the third walker, and it stumbled towards him. Brian tugged at the pipe. It felt like he wouldn´t have time to jerk it free, but then it finally broke free of the wall.
With the pipe in hand, he clobbered the zombie, bringing it down. The effort made his left hand spurt blood and ache. The walker on the floor was still moving, but Brian saw his opportunity to get out of here.
He jumped over the prone walker and raided the medical equipment crate. The last zombie was moving towards him and the one on the floor struggled to get up. The crate contained some bandages, and he quickly bandaged his aching hand. before jumping out of the window and making his way towards his family home.
Wow! That was close! I sneaked over to the second crate and searched it, finally getting a weapon, a lead pipe. Unfortunately, the event cards once again sent a zombie into me. With weapon in hand however, Brian was a much more dangerous foe, and he knocked the zombie down, winning combat by 2. As I did not roll any head shots, the zombie was not dead. My infection then took another wound, leaving me with one wound. The threat tracker was also very close to high threat, where Brian would have to start taking panic tests, and events would become even more deadly. With just one threat remaining before high level, Brian got the last supply cache, which contained a bandage. The event was nice to me, not sending any zombies against me, and with that, I had successfully completed the scenario.
Mini-review of Mantic the walking dead:
The miniatures are better than I expected. From other reviews, I thought they were really big, and kind of squat. In person however, they fit fine with other heroic 28mm scale miniatures. The figures are also a joy to paint as a break from GW figures. They are not packed with endless detail, and the details they have are well defined, which makes them easy to pick out. I finished Brian and the three walkers in no time. Of course it helps that I have chosen to paint the walkers in gray-scale. I like the effect, it feels kind of like the comic book look.
As is par for the course for Mantic, the rules seem very good. The game is easy to learn, but I think there is quite a lot of room for tactics. The walkers feel like zombies with the rules they have, and are surprisingly dangerous, at least to an unarmed survivor. I am looking forward to trying out the remaining two scenarios in the prelude to Woodsbury expansion and to playing some games with more players.
Some things that are missing to make the walking dead an amazing game are the campaign dynamics, non-walker NPC handling and more generic scenarios. There is practically no post-game stuff, no NPC handling and very few scenarios. In all the sets I have, there is only one generic scenario.
Overall, it is a great zombie game though. I think I will struggle to go back to the simplicity of Zombiecide after having played the walking dead, as this just feels so much more like a real zombie apocalypse.