Saturday 17 December 2016

The Walking Dead (Mantic) Review

The Starter Set
I have been a massive fan of The Walking Dead TV show from the beginning, drawn to it initially by Andrew Lincoln, whose acting I have always enjoyed since seeing him in Teachers years ago. The programme has grown and grown in popularity so a Miniatures game was inevitable.

I found this little treasure at the recent Recon show near my home in Leeds. I had only gone to the show at the last minute as the guy who was putting on our display game had fallen ill and I was filling in a with a spot of ad hoc SCW. The game had been on Kickstarter but but I don't pay that much attention to that and seeing the game at the show was the first time I was aware of it.

I bought the set for 30 of your English Pounds from Mighty Lancer Games. The box contains everything you need to get going with the game. Mantic have secured the licence for the game (thank God it wasn't Mongoose) and have some cool plans for the future. It looks like a great game to play with YG Jnr.

Rick and Carl
The box has 18 miniatures contained therein, 6 Survivors and 12 Walkers or undead / zombies if you like. The figures are best described as a "heroic" 32mm and are made from hard plastic. The sculpts / renders are good with plenty of detail and the Figs have been well cast with only minimal flash / mold lines on a couple of the minis. The painted examples in the rule book and on Mantics website look great and I am quite looking forward to getting the brushes on them myself.

They are based on the comic book version of the Walking Dead story rather than the TV series, so Rick looks like Rick Grimes from the comics and not Andrew Lincoln.

The Terrain 
Everything is catered for in the box including a glossy paper play mat and some card terrain, Including cars, barriers and supply dumps. The art work on the pieces is great and it allows you to get playing straight out of the box.

Survivor Cards (top) and Event Cards

Equipment and Supply Cards
The box contains a large selection of game cards to get you going. There are stat cards for each of the Survivor models giving you all the info that you need to play those characters. Next you have Event Cards which drive the walkers in the game. Finally there are Supply and Equipment cards to upgrade your Survivors as you play the game.

Dice and Counters
The game uses its own unique set of dice, which are also included along with various game counters to aid play. I like the dice system, each different colour has an increased chance of a hit so different characters have different die for shooting etc and better weapons add better dice to your rolls.

The above various templates are included, a handy "ruler" for movement and measurement, a Kill Zone template used to determine if a Walker attacks and a threat dial to keep track of the danger level.

3 more Survivors Sandra, Patrick and the Walker fodder.
I have managed to get a couple of games in with my lad and very enjoyable they were too. The turn is broken down into 4 phases and the game play is quite interesting as you are playing one group of Survivors vs another with the Walkers being a hindrance (or Weapon if you use them correctly). The Walkers are quite useful too especially in numbers, I have played a few Zombie type games in the past and found them too easy to kill with very little or no threat and got bored as a result, with this you need to plan out your moves more carefully. We managed to get the hero Rick bitten in one of our games !

The last Survivor fig and 4 Walkers
The first phase in a turn allows the players to activate and do two actions with their characters, standard fare, move, shoot, pick up stuff etc. You then draw an event cards and depending on the threat level you move the Walkers, as the threat gets higher the Walkers get more aggressive,  if they end up within the Kill Zone of a Survivor they will attack.

The last 8 Walkers
You then have a melee phase followed by an end turn administration type phase. The game flowed well for us, very enjoyable and highly recommended.

There are a number of expansions in the first batch of releases, I  have already got the Days Gone By set and will do a post on that after I have had a good look.

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