The Walking Dead by Mantic Games
As an avid fan of the Walking Dead comic I was delighted when Mantic Games announced that they were developing a skirmish game and eagerly signed up to the Kickstarter whilst hoping that the game would live up to my expectations. Many months later and after what seemed like endless waiting The Walking Dead and the generous stretch goals package arrived through my door much to my excitement and delight. Apon opening it I was immidately impressed with its contents and since then I've played several games with my daughter and must say so far I continue to be impressed with this novel new game by Mantic.
Concept and Contents
What struck me as fun from the very begining was finding that this is not a cooperative game with your fellow player being on your side. Using a points based system for purchasing characters and equipment you chose to build your own team of survivors and go out to do battle against your opposing player to take what supplies are available on the map. Your opponent also does the same and from there you both sqaure up to fight over the limited resources available whilst avoiding the zombies whom are intent on eating whoever crosses their path. With a growing threat meter which acts as a timer as well as a risk manager you find that you have to play both tactically and take risks to ensure that your team leaves with the loot and your opponent becomes the zombies next meal. Mantic have done well in their design with a simple yet challenging combat system, a random events generator linked to the threat level and a relentless, player controlled zombie horde to keep the players busy surviving as well as fighting each other.
Looking at the box set you will find that there is a whole host of characters and equipment to use in your games giving you a huge variety of choice for those who enjoy the comics as well as competitive list building. You also get a ready supply of zombies to cater for both big point games as well as the smaller ones. Both survivors and zombie minis are individual in their design,well sculpted and look like fun to paint. You also get pcrashed cars, barracades and supply caches to use that act as a backdrop to your fight. Again these are well made and alongside the card decks give The Walking Dead a polished feel.
Overall Mantic have done a good job in creating a skirmish game of the Walking Dead. The game is true to the comic, fast and fluid yet holds enough depth for the experienced gamer and comes in at good value when you open the box. I would recommend buying the table top mats or using a green flocked board however, as I fear the paper mats supplied in the box will not do well if used excessively. All in all, Mantic's Walking Dead gets the thumbs up with their experience as a games developer shining through and we expect to see copies of the game being played in clubs everywhere. Who knows maybe one day it may be my ragged bunch of survivors who will be facing yours to capture the last food on the planet!