Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Mucking about in the swamps of western Immoren
    Posts
    4,853

    Default [ZKO] Night of the Noxious Dead!

    My package arrived today. My daughter and I didn't get to play (cuz I was busy reading Orrin grey's excellent Metamorphosis to her), but it's on tap for tomorrow's lunch break with a few coworkers. I was somewhat surprised to learn that the Stinkers need to sit in the sun for a while before they'll glow in the dark, but my wife told me that's standard with this sort of material. Maybe that's why I didn't find that information inside the box or anywhere on its outside, either! The Stinkers are not nearly as sturdy as the Runners, Leapers, Creepers, and Brutes that come with the original game, but I suppose that's a limitation of the glow-in-the-dark material.

    And I'll have more to say about this latest expansion tomorrow evening!

  2. #2
    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Mucking about in the swamps of western Immoren
    Posts
    4,853

    Default

    I played a solo game this afternoon because the usual suspects at work were unavailable. We're hoping for better luck tomorrow. I also played a game with my daughter tonight, although she abandoned the game after building one contraption in favor of having me read a few more chapters of Metamorphosis to her. Chalk it up as two victories for the bodgers. I ended the first game with, as I recall, 3, 2, 8, 3, and 5 barricades left; I finished the second one as a two-player game and ended with 3, 2, 6, 4, and 4 barricades left. Both games featured multiple Defend and Repair actions, which was a good change of pace in the absence of the Extreme Zombie rules from NQ54. Unfortunately, the hour is late, so I need to save a full write-up of the contents, the rules, and the games for later this week.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Mucking about in the swamps of western Immoren
    Posts
    4,853

    Default

    Okay! I'm back. I was able to gather some coworkers last week and play two games during lunch. In each game, we had three players. I'll get to that in a minute, but first I want to talk a bit about the expansion itself.

    First, the quality of the components. It's high, but it's slightly different from that of the components in the base game. The Stinkers are easier to bend than the zombies in ZKO, but I believe that's because of the glow-in-the-dark material. As a consequence, their bases are more easily warped, but I didn't notice any problems putting them on the board and keeping them where they're supposed to be. You might notice it when you first open the box, though.

    The expansion comes with three sets of cards: 15 part cards, 10 contraptions, and 10 Terrible Things. The coloring on my expansion sets is slightly different than that of my original cards. It's lighter and brighter--to me, anyway. This is noticeable on the backs of the Terrible Things, which means it's possible to game the system slightly in the sense that a trained eye might be able to see an expansion card coming before you draw it. I'm not sure that'll help you during the game, but it might. One benefit of the slight change in coloring is that identifying the expansion contraptions is fairly simple. As a result, you could pull them from the game rather quickly. That said, I have no idea why you would, even if you wanted to play the game without Stinkers (as a demo for your fellow gamers, for example).

    The only material-related drawback I've noticed is that the cards from the original box shuffle perfectly smoothly, but the expansion cards make the shuffle choppy. I don't know how to explain it. They're either a shade stiff, or a shade small, or something else. But it's noticeable. And the original cards shuffled perfectly right out of the box. With any luck, they'll smooth out over time; if they don't, I'll do more overhand shuffling and less riffling. I can't cascade the cards anyway.

    Second, the rules. In a word: awesome. The new Terrible Things deal exclusively with Stinkers, and they force the Stinkers to move in unpredictable ways. As DC mentioned in the most recent Primecast, experienced players—those who are familiar with the deck and the ways zombies shamble—can play against the deck and the board a bit. In essence, they start making decisions like "Let's sacrifice a parts card to start a second blueprint so we can use that move-two-blueprints-back-one-space option if it comes up," or "Let's move this zombie up instead of that one further back so we have one in this column and one in this row."

    The new part cards are stronger, too. The original game includes 11 cards for each of 5 parts, but only 1 of every set has two barricades, and only 4 have one. (For the math-challenged, this means that more than half the part cards in the original games can't be used for barricades, which might explain why my group and I didn't take many Repair actions when playing the original game.) The new sets, however, feature equal numbers of cards with one barricade, two barricades, and no barricades. Those double-barricade cards also allow you to destroy any zombie type, including Stinkers, with a Defend action, so my coworker and I have started to set those cards aside for Repair and Defend actions.

    And what about the contraptions? Glad you asked! They've got a lot of flavor and pack a lot of punch without being overpowered. Sadly, I can't post any examples because my games are at work.

    Third, the effect on the game. The new Terrible Things aren't numerous—at 10 out of 65 cards, they'll only come up every 6 or 7 draws, on average—but they will quickly take you out of your comfort zone if you find the basic game too easy. Zombies shamble much more often in Night of the Noxious Dead, and you'll notice an effect on your games. The wide variety of contraptions will add a good amount of variance to your games without being game-breakers. You'll be taking more Defend and Repair actions, which are subpar options in the original game because of the low barricade counts and the limited zombie-destroying options.

    The Stinkers themselves are the stars of the expansion, though, and you'll notice them quickly. Once they're on the board, they're hard to eliminate, in part because a Defend action will typically nail only one of them at a time. You'll have to decide how best to handle them: should you place them in the top row and try to shamble them off the board as quickly as possible, or leave them in the back row and essentially play with a short board, or spread them across the board? (Personally, I think putting them in the balcony and cellar columns is the best plan because it limits the impact of cards that shamble any zombies adjacent to Stinkers, or of those that turn adjacent zombies into Stinkers, but I've noticed that it's a hard plan to pull off.) You'll be cognizant of the Stinkers when you're adding other zombies to the board, and you'll be forced to consider the many ways Stinkers can shamble and mess up your board. But their inconsistent method of shambling will keep you from consistently predicting their movements, which adds a shot of variety into the old form.

    So! What's my recommendation? Well, that's easy. If you own Zombies Keep Out, you should definitely pick up Night of the Noxious Dead. It adds a great deal of variety to the game and really shakes it up well. Between NotND and the four variants in No Quarter No. 54, the replayability of ZKO has gone up quite a bit, and the game offers challenges for all levels and numbers of players. I strongly recommend it.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Mucking about in the swamps of western Immoren
    Posts
    4,853

    Default

    Oh, I almost forgot about the two games. We played in Challenge Mode and lost both games to a sudden overrun during a shamble. (In one game, we had no available options and were forced to shamble; in the other, the Stinkers shambled, and we were done.) We're going to try it again in normal mode tomorrow or Friday.

    I also almost forgot one of my favorite features of the expansion: packing the game becomes dead easy! Just put both sets of rules in the bottom of the original box and put the zombies on top of them, along with a plastic sandwich bag to hold your tokens. You can then use your expansion box to hold all three sets of cards. The game becomes much easier to pack, and you won't be worried about crushing your zombies.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Destroyer of Worlds sebbo6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    I managed to get a game in at my local store yesterday. I think its great. It does add a huge level of difficulty to the game. I think that the new contraptions are amazing and really help with all the management of all the zombies. Such a good game.

  6. #6
    Destroyer of Worlds sebbo6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    Also thanks for the write up

  7. #7
    Retailer Support and Development PPS_Agel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    851

    Default

    So, you would say that you are enjoying the game Sebbo? Would you venture so far as to say that your students might enjoy it?

  8. #8
    Destroyer of Worlds sebbo6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,927

    Default

    They will. In fact in going to play it in the first and last week of every term with them. I want to get into Warmachine with them but it will be good for communication and team playing. I have six kids so it will be perfect. And when they forget their models as they do it will be there as a back up.

  9. #9
    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Mucking about in the swamps of western Immoren
    Posts
    4,853

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sebbo6 View Post
    Also thanks for the write up
    You're quite welcome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •