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The Walking Dead: All Out War Review

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06 Feb 2017 00:06 #243619 by Matt Thrower

The phenomenal success of the X-Wing game has made it an irresistible model to follow. Grab a hot media franchise and slap a miniatures game on the top of it. The latest member of this herd is The Walking Dead: All Out War. The game art makes clear that it's based on the eponymous comics rather than the TV series. But it's all related enough to catch the eye of anyone with a passing interest in either.

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07 Feb 2017 15:21 #243620 by edulis
Thanks for the review.. now I am actually thinking of picking it up. I have a bunch of gaming terrain laying around from warhammer 40k and necromunda days and I am a fan of both the comic and the tv show.

But then I think I should see if I can find someone else who would be interested. Last summer I got some people to pick up Guildball stuff and then we played three times... never even got past the looking up rules mid-game stage and then it fizzled out. Lack of free time and too many games. Too many rule sets.
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07 Feb 2017 17:07 #243630 by Vlad
If this came out 5-6 years ago, I would already own a copy and at least one expansion.
But, right now it is the accumulation of zombies fatigue+walking dead fatigue + new board game fatigue + spoiled by GW minis.
How long does it take to play?
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08 Feb 2017 04:24 #243649 by Matt Thrower

Vlad wrote: How long does it take to play?


As long as you like, because it depends on the points value of figures you choose to bring. You can play a small solo game in less than a half hour. With the figures in the box you're unlikely to play any scenario that takes longer than 90-120 minutes. But there's no need to go that long unless you want to: smaller games are still lots of fun.
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08 Feb 2017 11:45 #243667 by Deleted
I can't believe I missed this review.

This game was built on the steel bones of Mars Attacks: TMG, which is a good thing. I, in fact, would rather play Mars Attack because of the vehicles, wackier heroes and setting, and the overall sense of humor the game has without trying to make it into a "comedy game" or some such tripe. I also like that there's a TON of scenarios with it. Had I not needed to remodel my house and pay some bills, I'd have never sold that.
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08 Feb 2017 12:14 #243668 by Matt Thrower

SuperflyTNT wrote: This game was built on the steel bones of Mars Attacks: TMG, which is a good thing.


Interesting, I had no idea it was a partial reskin of an existing system.

A quick read about Mars Attacks, though, suggests it's a straight up humans vs aliens fight without any equivalent to the AI zombies in All Out War. It's those walkers that make the game for me, because of the dilemmas they pose. Go quiet or go fast? Kill them off or use them against the opposition? Plus the solo rules are more fun than expected.
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08 Feb 2017 17:34 #243679 by Vlad
Exactly, having zombies as a 3rd faction is what makes this interesting to me. There is a miniature games system All Things Zombie (that I haven't played, but is kinda famous) which was distilled into a boardgame (which I have). The latter was focused on co-op, and pretty mediocre overall. It had one fun mission where you had a two opposed groups of survivors with zombies in between.
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09 Feb 2017 08:57 #243697 by charlest
All Things Zombie (the miniatures game, not sure about the BG) has many spiritually similar ideas to this design. It's probably the best comparison. All Out War is like a streamlined, professional version of ATZ.

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09 Feb 2017 09:00 #243699 by hotseatgames
I received the All Things Zombie board game as payment for a mini-expansion to House of Spirits from Lock 'n Load. They never ended up releasing the expansion. And I never played All Things Zombie.

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10 Feb 2017 16:42 #243771 by fightcitymayor
I'm kind of a mark for this game (check BGG for proof) but really what makes it stand out for me is that it's one of the few Mantic games (Kings Of War is another) that actually does what it says. After Mantic kinda botched the Dungeon Saga KS, and half-baked the Dungeon Saga solo rules, and killed Deadzone V1 in favor of V2, and went overboard with Dreadball to the point of nuking it for a Second Edition there as well, and birthing Mars Attacks only to slit its throat shortly after birth, and leaving a few of their earliest efforts (that weren't nerfed into second editions) to die on the vine... I sort of had my eyes closed for this Walking Dead product, assuming the worst.

Maybe it was my low expectations, but it's just so super SOLID that I can't find much to bitch about. It doesn't pretend to re-invent anything, but the zombie vibe is still there with the threat tracker and Nerve Tests, and independent zombie movement. And it's totally a minis game, not a boardgame, but the rules are so straightforward and solid (there's that word again) that you can't help but be charmed by how easy it is to play & teach. True, the expansions aren't cheap, and it's obvious they are milking the cash cow a bit with how boosters are priced, but Ronnie Renton has already said this is Mantic's best selling game ever already. I can't wait for Wave 2 to arrive in a few month's time.

And there is so much of the comics that hasn't even begun to be explored yet that Mantic can mine this vein for years.

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11 Feb 2017 22:49 #243802 by metalface13
Does it have a campaign mode? Do my guys move on to the next game with the resources they gathered in the scenario just played and gain experience from surviving another harrowing zombie encounter?

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13 Feb 2017 04:25 #243831 by Matt Thrower

metalface13 wrote: Does it have a campaign mode? Do my guys move on to the next game with the resources they gathered in the scenario just played and gain experience from surviving another harrowing zombie encounter?


Not in the base game, no. Would be a nice and thematic addition for an expansion, of course, and I'm sure that hasn't escaped Mantic's notice.
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14 Feb 2017 11:31 #243925 by Deleted
I still think Zpocalypse is the best 'Zombie Board Game'as far as campaign (or pseudocampaign) play goes. Or really, even as one offs.

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14 Feb 2017 11:49 #243930 by charlest
Zpocalypse is fine, I played it a few times. It's not in the same ballpark as Walking Dead IMO.

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