The idea of the game is to build up the neighborhood in which zombies chase you and the other players in the style of old zombies movies. I think the right length of time for each game should be about 30-45 minutes. That’s about right to get into the theme without it lasting long enough to drag.
This is a setup variant that works with the original rules and the Quick Play Rules. Doing this will both shorten the game and add a little variety to each game, especially when you add the Zombie Corps(e) expansion or the Mall Walkers expansion.
Note: these rules don’t work well combining all the expansions with the original game because you’ll remove too many tiles. Either pick one of them to use as a stand-alone game, or pick, at most, two of them. Either way, use the zombies, life and ammo counters and dice from the original game.
I’ll refer to three piles in this setup:
Pile A, called the remaining tiles (which will be put into play.)
Pile B, called the set-aside tiles.
Pile C, called the removed-from-game tiles.
Do this before following the rules for setting up the game:
Pile A contains all the tiles for the game. From Pile A, set aside (as Pile B) each unique named tiles, the town square and the helipad. This also means, if you have the Zombie Corps(e) expansion (in Pile A), set aside (onto Pile B) each unique named tile, the front gate and the helipad from the expansion.
If you have the Zombie Corps(e) expansion: Of the remaining tiles (Pile A), randomly pick tiles and remove them from the game (onto Pile C) without revealing them, until the number of tiles set aside and the number of remaining tiles (Piles A & B) totals 30.
Of the remaining tiles (Pile A), randomly pick two tiles per player and remove them from the game (onto Pile C) without revealing them. If you’re playing with the Zombie Corps(e) expansion, pick only one tile per player for this step.
The remaining tiles and the set aside tiles (Piles A & B) will be the draw pile(s) of tiles for the game.
As the winning condition, depending on the number of players, a player needs the number of zombies in the following table to win. This will both shorten the game and allows for having enough zombies to play the game out of the box. Also, this allows for the possibility of winning the game by way of zombies rather than by the more common way of helipad.
Players Zombies Needed to Win
If using the quick play rules, and you find you’re missing tiles needed for the last ten tiles in the draw pile, then just leave them out.
When a turn ends with no zombies on board, then the player whose turn ended gets to place ten zombies, as though the “We’re Screwed!” card was just played.
As an additional variant, set aside the named tiles that dead-end into the pile of remaining tiles for removing from the game (Pile C.) These tiles really interrupt the flow of the game. It’s no fun to back-track through empty streets. Also separate out the cards associated with buildings, and set them aside face-up. Then, when a player enters a building, they can automatically obtain the item for that building. This will prevent players from holding disappointing dead cards in their hands for buildings that were removed from the game.
As another variant, allow tiles to be placed adjacent to any other tile as long as it connects to at least one existing road. If you create a dead-end, make sure there is at least one open road out of the tile. I.e., newly placed tiles must be accessible, but they don’t have to match road-for-road. This will hopefully allow for more possibilites in placing T-intersection and crossroad tiles.
As another variant, if you have the Zombie Corps(e) expansion and the Glow-in-the-Dark Bag O’ Zombies, make all the zombies placed on army base tiles government enhanced zombies (killed on a roll of 5 and 6, double movement.)
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