As we get ready for the grueling festive slog, us here in the den of geek like to look at nerdtastic games for the uninitiated.
Shuffling off the press just in time is the rather lovely The Walking Dead: All Out War Miniatures Game from the fine folk at Mantic games. Designed by industry legend Mark Latham (interview coming later this month), it features a host of iconic characters from the comic/show – Rick, Carl, Luke, Sandra, Derek, Patrick, Liam – all beautifully cast in decent, mould-line free plastic, along with cracking bunch of walkers, a 2×2 playmat for post-apocalyptic Georgia, and a host of tokens, game cards etc. on high quality stock, all for a very reasonable £35 (CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER A COPY).
Which is all well and good, but doesn’t address the important question… how does it play?
Really, really well, is the answer.
This is a remarkably accessible game, which will speak to fans of comic/show and general gamers alike. It’s pretty simple to wrap your head round, but is a little more complex than a basic, pick up and play, beer and pretzels type game. It’s definitely a bridge game, a transition between regular board games (well, regular geeky board games) and full-fledged ‘miniature gaming’.
The quick start rules are excellent, taking you through the process with increasing complexity in a step by step fashion, meaning that once you get into the full rules it doesn’t feel like a huge jump. It also lets you get a sense of the game as both a co-op and a versus game, both of which are differently fun.
Because the boxed game contains everything – counters, scenery, ruler, dice, templates – it feels like pretty good value for money. One of the biggest pros is that you do feel like you’re playing the series. The walkers are run by “AI” rules, responding believably to the various sound levels you make. And, because they’re AI driven, the game can be played solo. This is a major selling point to me for a game which is in direct competition with the likes of Dead of Winter.
On the other hand, there’s just one scenario. This is frustrating – yes, it’s part of how they sell the expansions, but it would have been easy enough, surely, to included at least one extra, alternative play mode, or even a download link, on top of what came in the box. And, at the end of the day, it’s a 2 (or 1) player game. I’d like the chance for more players out the box, really, though you could easily take one survivor each.
These minor niggles aside, this is a pick up and play game with real depth. I can play it with my kids, dedicated fellow gamers, or anything in between. It’ll go well post turkey dinner, especially in family teams, and I can likewise see myself getting hold of at least one of the scenario expansions (besides, who wouldn’t want the Governor’s tank?) Plus, as fellow BCP’er Hazel wisely said, what point is a board game if you’re bored by the time you’ve got through the rules? That definitely won’t happen here. So for some fast (but not too fast, or they’ll hear your) fun, and an accessible gateway into the wider hobby, this is a cracking buy.
Get yours when it comes out later this month (AGAIN, CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER A COPY)!