22 September 2013

September Board Games (Zombies! / Ticket To Ride Europe)

Once again today was time for Blokes & Boardgames. There were two games planned for the day - Dave supplied "Zombies!", and I brought along "Ticket To Ride: Europe".

Game 1: Zombies

First up this afternoon was Zombies! - starting out in an empty town square, each successive turn adds another tile to the city map, and adds to the zombie population.

There are steps to each player's turn.

1: Flip over a tile card, and place it in a valid spot to extend the growing city map.
2: If a zombie is on the same space as you, roll a die to fight it*.
3: Top up your hand (if necessary) to 3 cards. Cards range from weapons you can use, to events you can play on yourself or other players (similar to the interference stage in Munchkin).
4: Roll for your movement. If there are any zombies in your chosen path, you have to stop and fight each of them in turn*.
5: Roll for the zombies' turn. Zombies can only move one square at a time, with the die roll determining how many zombies move.

* Combat involves rolling a single die, with a 4 or more defeating the zombie. A limited number of bullet tokens can be cashed in to upgrade the die roll to a win. We also started with 3 lives each, which can be cashed in for a re-roll.

Stay back, Zombie Horde...

The winner is the first to cap 25 zombies, or get to the helipad - which we intentionally placed at the bottom of the tile deck to create a definite "endgame" to work towards.

If you guessed that the phrase "Get to da choppah!" was said at any time during the game...

...you're right.

More than once.

My last-minute all-or-nothing gamble came when I was 10 spaces from the helicopter. I had a card in hand allowing me to skip my movement phase and move up to 10 spaces. All I had to do was complete any combat rolls en route, and I'd be at the chopper and home free! I was down to one life, and there were 8 zombies in my way. First zombie: rolled a 5. Win! Second: rolled a 1, and died.

Dying isn't the end. No, you don't become a zombie yourself, but instead your token "re-spawns" with full health and bullet tokens in the town square - technically, a new character. With the helipad where it was on the map, I was out of the running.

Winner: Michael.

Game 2: Ticket To Ride Europe

Having had a lot of fun playing TTR here at home, I purchased the Europe edition of the game online some time ago. It has some interesting differences in gameplay to the original. Four of the five of us tonight had played TTR before (back at the June installment of B&BG) but I was the only one with any experience of the Europe rules.

I forgot to take a picture of our finished map at the end of the game, so here's a picture of the box instead.
In TTR, there's a mix of short and long route tickets that you can draw. This leads to the possibility (as has happened a few times in our household) where one player has a full hand of low-point routes, while the other has a few high-point routes, and does a full extra lap of the board at the end.

TTR: Europe levels this playing field a little bit, by having only 6 cross-continent routes that are dealt out at the beginning together with some shorter routes. Any routes discarded in the startup phase of the game are put back in the box, meaning there is no chance of drawing a 20-point route ticket later in the game. All tickets drawn during the game itself are all short-distance routes, worth between 5 and 10 points on average.

There are a few extra changes in this game as well:

Tunnels are routes marked with a dark outline. They require the player to first declare their intent to claim the route, but if any of the top 3 cards in the draw pile are a matching colour (or a wild), you need that number of extra colour cards to successfully complete the route.

Ferries are routes marked with 1 or more train symbols. They require a mix of wild cards and colours, rather than just a set number of colours.

Train Stations can be placed over a city. At the end of the game, they allow you to claim one section of an opponent's track in or out of that city, for purposes of completing a route. They do not act as a bridge for claiming the longest continuous route.

In descending order, from winner to loser: Peter, David, Michael, Jamie, Glenn. Yep, dead last.

Looking forward to October board games already!

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