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"Best Zombie Ruleset?" Topic

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Action Log

21 Jun 2010 6:42 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

3,468 hits since 19 Oct 2009
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Oct 2009 11:57 a.m. PST

Which ruleset do you prefer for your zombie gaming?

tchristney Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 12:02 p.m. PST


fairoaks024 Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 12:05 p.m. PST




John Leahy19 Oct 2009 12:05 p.m. PST

I'm leaning towards Ambush Z.



Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 12:10 p.m. PST

Ambush Z currently.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 12:13 p.m. PST

I mostly use Warhammer Fantasy Battle. But might do a bit with warmaster eventually.

Dr Mathias Fezian19 Oct 2009 12:17 p.m. PST

ATZ here as well, going to try Combat Zone and Necromunda also and see what we like best.

lugal hdan19 Oct 2009 12:19 p.m. PST

ATZ for sure.

The zombies are all run by the system and generated by gunfire or exploring a new area. Once you learn how to "lead them around" you can usually stay out of trouble. Usually. (A few bad initiative rolls and you could find yourself surrounded.)

The real fun in ATZ is playing multi-player games where each team has conflicting goals but are not overtly hostile to each other. At least to begin with.

Every ATZ convention game I've played in runs exactly like a Zombie movie – at first a few people get eaten while you figure out how to survive, but in the end the other Humans are more dangerous that the Zeds!

Ijumpajav Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 12:19 p.m. PST

Owning both Ambush z and ATZ, I must give the nudge to ATZ.

XRaysVision Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 12:31 p.m. PST

Fortunately, I will see Ed Texi…err…Texy…err..'T' at Millennium in November. I plan on picking up a copy of ATZ there (hold one for me Ed). The question, for me, is: what scale, and which miniatures?

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 12:45 p.m. PST

lugal's description is the big reason why I don't really care for ATZ: the zombies don't seem that dangerous once you learn the "trick". I'm also not fond of the charts and modifiers. There are some clever mechanics in there to be sure, however, so I see why it's popular.

Plus it's way *WAY* better than the abomination that is "ZOMBIES!!!" That's a truly awful game.

Ambush Z is pretty nifty, too.

Zombie Plague is good for mindless (har har!) zombie boardgame fun, as is Last Night on Earth.

Mahon the painter Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 12:49 p.m. PST

The new version of ATZ for sure :)

@darthfozzywig – if you find it too easy to avoid zombies, you must need a few more of them. you may use this rule: whenever activation dice score a total of 7 (eg. 3+4 or 6+1) use the higher number as the number of zombie generation dice to roll.
("some zombies have just wandered onto the table")
this makes it more hardcore…

Captain Apathy Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:01 p.m. PST

I really enjoy both Ambush Z and ATZ. But, if I have to decide between the two then Ambush Z it is.

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:12 p.m. PST

Ive played ATZ and its a very fun game.
have not played Ambush Z but I have played Ambush ally
and that is a very fun game.

Stoelzels Structures Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:21 p.m. PST

Not published yet, still in play-testing, but I would still go with Audreys Forsaken rules on this. Hopefully, she'll find a little more time to finish them up.

Kampfgruppe Cottrell Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:22 p.m. PST

Mod for BGWWII.



Stoelzels Structures Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:26 p.m. PST

Also, I heard good things about the "Nightmare on Froth Street" rules that were developed for a Con (Salute 09). Sadly, I didn't download these when they were available.

CmdrKiley Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:27 p.m. PST

We've had lots of fun playing with Toxic Zombies in Rezolution.

camelspider Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:28 p.m. PST

The best zombie rules set? Warhammer 40k is definitely the way to go. Wait, maybe that's not what you meant ….

Terrement Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:29 p.m. PST


Goldwyrm Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:29 p.m. PST

If this is destined for a poll, add in house rules.

I do own ATZ, Ambush Z, and Apocalypse Z but haven't had time to try them out yet.

I currently use house rules for the multi-player (8 or more player) game store and convention games I run. They're a homebrew version of 1st edition Starship Troopers, jointly worked out with another local GM and initially inspired by a third party's zombie mod that appeared on either the Mongoose forum or an offshoot forum a few years back. A third GM I know has taken the original house rules and made even more changes, so these rules continue to evolve.

SquidLord Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 1:52 p.m. PST

I have to go with ATZ, myself. While others might be finding the zombies a little "light," it sounds like they're just going to in to do a bang-bang and out raid. Things get infinitely more complicated if the things your characters need to do aren't so kind as to let you stay that mobile.

Add in some things that require you to hold ground for a number of Activations and you'll find yourself wishing the zeds were slightly less crunchy.

nazrat19 Oct 2009 2:10 p.m. PST

I'd go with Forsaken even though it hasn't been published yet. Blows all the others out of the water, er… graveyard.

lugal hdan19 Oct 2009 2:27 p.m. PST

The ATZ zombies are the classic shamblers, who are most dangerous when you first enter a room or get cornered by a mob of them. They also have an annoying tendency to appear in just the wrong place, making you choose between fighting your way through them or finding another way around. (Like most THW games, ATZ plays best with fairly dense terrain, like an urban "block" setting.) I find that to be true to the Zombie/Ghoul genre, but others may disagree.

I understand Ed has some "Rager" style zeds in the works which will be considerably more hard-core if they're at all like the Xenos(Aliens) and Bugs from his scifi games.

harbaugh87 Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 2:31 p.m. PST

ATZ by far. Zombies! is fun but more of the board game feel of course.

Deadmans Click Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 2:47 p.m. PST

ATZ Better Dead Than Zed gets my vote as the Zombie game I keep coming back to again and again. IMHO it flows well quickly becomes intuitive and is always fun whether playing solo or with friends.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 3:02 p.m. PST

A set of RDGC house rules.

I just ordered ATZ and Ambush Z. I have not read either one yet…

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART19 Oct 2009 3:13 p.m. PST

ATZ for sure. As for 'easy' Zombies…my personal house rule from day 1 was, Zeds move at 4" not 6". OK I'm a Romero purist but still, 'compression' occurs similar to Space Hulk, where there are more Zombies than things to do with them. The lack of speed makes it even worse as they 'Mob' up as opposed to croaking in penny packets.
This is especially apparent when the player(s) have to do something more time demanding than go from point A to B. The new melee rules help by making combat more challenging, especially when placed against multiple foes. It often forces the player to fire more and attract even more Zombies.
Couple that with all the non zombie encounters and you have scenarios that are hard to duplicate. Good stuff and cash not wasted.

beshkno Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 3:15 p.m. PST


Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 3:40 p.m. PST

ATZ – very nice for solo to multi player. Does get tricky with multiple groups, smaller boards and lotsa zeds.

McBane Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 3:42 p.m. PST

to continue the broken record…

ATZ, great set of rules and very well done in the new edition, can not be recommended enough…and a GREAT yahoo group for any support you may need…

Ratbone Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 3:49 p.m. PST

All Things Zombie! Better Dead Than Zed.

Flashcove Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 4:24 p.m. PST

All Things Zombie! Better Dead Than Zed.

Cpt Arexu Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 4:34 p.m. PST

ATZ (either the original or BDTZ)

XRaysVision Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 4:43 p.m. PST

How many zombies are needed for a moderate sized game? Say, four players on a 4x4 or 4x6 table.

alien BLOODY HELL surfer Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 4:52 p.m. PST

Genji4 'Also, I heard good things about the "Nightmare on Froth Street" rules that were developed for a Con (Salute 09). Sadly, I didn't download these when they were available.'

Pop over, pretty sure one of the guys will have a set. Failing that, remind me and I'll ask. Good set of rules as well, game was very popular on the day with some very different and effective scenery.

Stryderg19 Oct 2009 7:18 p.m. PST

@ XRaysVision

From what I understand, Ed uses 15mm on a 3x3 board. (see RebelMinis sale) Other group members have used 28mm on a 4x4. (The Wargames Factory horde is fairly popular here: link

For 4 players, 40-ish should be a good start. Depends on how many you meet up with indoors, how many shots you fire, and location (more are generated in the urban settings).

egoodlander Inactive Member19 Oct 2009 7:37 p.m. PST

I like ATZ but I have to agree with Nazrat, once Forsaken is out, that is likely going to be the one I play the most.

Lowtardog Inactive Member20 Oct 2009 2:33 a.m. PST

Try them all :0)

ATZ better dead than zed with Haven is very good, only played the first version but these are a lovely set of rules and the beauty I find with all sets is you can get inspiration and ideas to use with others

Ambush Zed again very nice set of rules and you can scale up to do a battle of Yonkers.

Apocalypse Zed another Battle of Yonkers style game where you can play hordes of Zombies including specials (think Resident Evil) against survivors – however only army lists and special rules you will need World at War or Battlefield Evolution Modern Combat (or at a pinch as Goldwrym says Starship Troopers)

Nightmare on froth street has been up dated will dig out the link

Dead Walk again – a nice free set which has elemnets of ATZ and Combat Zone

Combat zone nice set of skirmish rules and free adaptations for zombies on their webpage Co-zone

Stoelzels Structures Inactive Member20 Oct 2009 7:50 a.m. PST

Nightmare on froth street has been up dated will dig out the link

Was just about to pop over to Froth as per alien BLOODY HELL surfers' suggestion. But would appreciate if you posted the update. I had heard of an "enhancement" to the rules.

sneakgun20 Oct 2009 9:13 a.m. PST

ATZ Better Dead Than Zed!!!!

Turbo Pig Fezian Inactive Member20 Oct 2009 12:27 p.m. PST

Having both ATZ and Ambush Z, they both have their high points. I like ATZ's campaign cababilities more, though. One house rule I have that increases the amount of Zeds quickly is the "Hoarde" rule. If 5 or more zombies are within 1 in of each other, their moaning will act exactly like a gunshot, drawing more zombies. The numbers tend to increase exponentially, if the players don't manage things well.

I'd do both in 15mm, or 20mm, as you get more bang for your buck on minis and terrain. The Zombies plastic undead make great filler for your horde in 20mm/ 1/72nd scale.

Scorpio Inactive Member21 Oct 2009 12:07 p.m. PST

Fear & Faith

Warrenss2 Inactive Member21 Oct 2009 2:06 p.m. PST

2nd Fear & Faith good set of rules.

Might also want to take a look at the "Skank Rules"

Main site link

Examples of Z-Games – link

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2009 7:01 p.m. PST

ATZ pretty much seems to be leading over Ambush Z in second. I have both but have not been able to bring myself to read ATZ yet, perhaps because of its size and its disjointed style of production.

That said, for those who have played both, whats so great about ATZ. I'm curious to find out and maybe get motivated to sit down and read/play it. Cheers.

vampifan Inactive Member24 Oct 2009 3:47 a.m. PST

ATZ:Better Dead Than Zed. Haven is a very worthwhile supplement and I'm really looking forward to the Lazarus Project coming out.
I have to agree with Lowtardog, though – try them all! People have different tastes. I've tried quite a few different rule sets and they all had their good points.

HerrODadog Inactive Member21 Jun 2010 11:28 a.m. PST

ATZ bar none

DAWGIE Inactive Member21 Jun 2010 11:37 a.m. PST

DAWGIE is an ATZ fan! i love this game! it s even more unpredictable than the other THW.

DAWGIE, zombie et and pooed more than once . . .

Rogzombie Fezian21 Jun 2010 7:00 p.m. PST

ATZ is the clear winner but how about some runners up just so we can compare?

Deuxlames Inactive Member22 Jun 2010 2:56 a.m. PST

Ambush Z is a blast

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