The Walking Dead: All Out War playtest rules are now available!!
Head over to Mantic Digital now to download them for free. This is an open beta, so the feedback that you provide will go on to shape the game that we’ll release. We will read any and all feedback, but in order to keep it organised, please post it to our dedicated thread on the Mantic Forum.
Just before we released the rules, Stewart (Mantic Studio Manager) headed over to the Kickstarter to answer backers’ questions. This was very informative, so we’ve posted many of the questions and answers below. If you’re curious about the game – why not check out The Walking Dead: All Out War Kickstarter?
Q: When you say that the game will include rules for character generation, does that mean what it sounds like? That is, does that really mean we’ll be able to create our own group of survivors not related to TWD IP?
A: Yes, pretty much. A big draw for a lot of people has been the ability to put themselves (or their RPG characters) into the game to fight alongside Rick et al. There are only 4 stats so the creation rules won’t be too complicated (don’t expect D&D levels of character generation :-P), but it’ll be all you need to get going. You can then customise the characters further with equipment cards of course.
Q: Will the cards in this game be one of the industry standard sizes so we can get card sleeves to fit?
A: Yes, they are standard industry sizes – 3.5″ x 2.5″ for event cards, and half that size for equipment.
Q: So what are the different dice types included in the game and what are their faces?
A: The red dice are (blank, blank, 1, 1, 1, 2), then the white dice are (blank, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2!), and then the blues are (1, 1, 2, 2, 2!, 3!). The exclamation points are headshots. There is an action dice with 3 stars and 3 blanks which is used for all the 50/50 decisions and lots of other special rules.
Q: In melee do both sides get an attack?
A: Melee works similar to Deadzone, if you’re familiar with that, i.e. both sides have the option of attacking or defending, and will roll the dice for their melee or defence stat respectively. Almost everyone attacks, but there are times where it’s better to defend (or if you have to defend for any reason). Multiple figures on one side combine their dice.
Q: Can you tell us more about the character types eg leader,bruiser etc
A: The character types don’t have any rules of their own, but are used for synergy between group members. For example, when you pick Shane as your leader he has an ability that benefits all Bruisers. Dale has an ability to benefit Tacticians. Leaders can also give orders (essentially giving free actions to other models) which is easier to do with characters of the same type.
Q: Is the survival points on the character card the hit points as it were?
A: Survival Points are hit points, yes – you have a counter that you move along the track as you take damage. Things like bandages can heal you, but being bitten can cause extra damage at the end of each turn.
Q: What can you tell us about player death and reanimation?
A: Reanimation – when a survivor is killed, they are replaced with a prone Walker. At the end of every turn, you roll the action dice for every prone walker (whether they were just knocked over by an attack or whether they used to be Carl (it’s always Carl :-P) and on a star they get back up again. If you attack prone walkers in melee you can just stomp on their heads to prevent it happening.
Q: What about equipment cards and their modifiers on the players eg weapons
A: Equipment and Modifiers – most equipment adds dice to the survivors’ rolls, so for example Rick has a Shoot stat of 1 blue die, and he could use a 9mm pistol which gives him an extra white die, so he would roll both for a shooting attack. Some equipment has extra rules, such as re-rolling dice, ignoring headshots, and so on.
Q: How is ammunition handled?
A: Ammo – this works in a similar way to Necromunda, for those who are familiar. If you ever roll a blank on any of the dice while shooting, you must roll the action dice. On a blank you are out of ammo – turn the card over as a reminder. Nice and simple, with no tracking required. You can purchase ammo reloads (or find them in the supply stashes) which take an action and allow you to reload a weapon.
Q: What sort of range is there between points costs? How much is the cheapest type of gang member and how much is the more expensive, and what does the difference get you, just better stats, or more equipment slots/extra rules etc.
A: Currently we have Liam as the cheapest down at 10 points and then tougher characters like Tyreese up at around 55 points. However, we’re still quite early in the story – I reckon once we meet people like the Governor we’ll have characters at the 75 point level or so. The difference is a combination of stats, special rules, item slots, faction – everything really.
Q: What about the zombies, do they just have a flat rate cost, or will some be better/stronger (like a fresh zombie compared to a 1 year old decayed zombie missing a limb or two) and therefore cost more?
A: Zombies are 15 points, so in a 150pt game you will start with 10 on the table. When we hit the prison we will add in some slightly more expensive zombies in riot gear…
Q: I bet there’s an equipment card for a crossbow in a future stretch goal for the shows fans.
A: Yes, we have a crossbow planned 🙂
Q: What penalty’s will come into play if you sacrifice one of your gang for the greater good ( non voluntary, of course ).
A: There are no direct penalties as such for sacrificing someone – in fact, Rick becomes stronger if Carl dies – clear incentive there… ;-). However, you will have lost a survivor, and there is safety in numbers. Remember that the objective is to collect supplies, and even if you are only using someone for their backpack space that’s still valuable.
Q: I know you currently don’t have rules for inside buildings but are considering it. Obviously most of the rules will be the same as outside for moving, melee, etc. But a couple rules for buildings will be needed.
A: Yes, we are adding rules for being inside buildings. Mark Latham (the designer) is over at Beasts of War today and I told him to use his train and plane journey to come up with them – should have something back on that soon :-). We will be keeping them very simple so as not to detract from the key mechanics of the game, but I agree they need to be there.
Q: How many scenarios will be developed for the game?
A: The core game will have a single scenario – a multi-purpose player vs player setup. We will follow that up with the narrative expansions, which will have as many scenarios as are required to tell the story from the comics. Atlanta currently has 6, and we’re planning roughly the same number again to tell the next part of the story, from leaving Atlanta, to the farm, to reaching the prison. There will be more as we go through the story.
Q: Will there be multiple copies of equipment cards – in case each player wants similar equipment?
A: There will be multiple copies of equipment cards. Anything that is needed frequently (ammo reloads, bandages, basic weapons, gory clothing…) you will get a few copies of, but only one of the rarer stuff.
Q: I noticed the beta feedback thread in the forums. Is the plan to do a full beta, like KOW & warpath, where all of the stats, equipment, etc. will be tested for problems publically, or is the beta more of a “check out the rules and see if you like them” sort of thing?
A: We will get as much stuff out for testing as possible – the more feedback we get, the better the game will be. We’ll post it on the Mantic forums as and when it becomes available. We’ve done a lot of testing for the core set, but it’s impossible to test all the combinations that come through building your own groups, so we’ll need the public for that :-).
Q: I’m a little confused about the expansions. (Atlanta, Farm, Prison, Woodbury)
Are they going to be available to all backers as part of the pledge by the end of the campaign (like Atlanta currently is) or are they going to be obtained one by one as unlockable stretch goals?
A: The plan isn’t fully finalised yet – we do like to take feedback into account, but currently we expect to at least give the next expansion (the farm) to you as part of the pledge, when we get far enough. The other will most likely be unlocked as add-on bundles.
Q: I know we’re not seeing the full rules, but Rick shoots with a blue dice (no blanks) if he gets a pistol, he gains an extra white dice (which has a blank on it). That gives him a 1 in 6 chance (followed by a 50/50 roll) for running out of ammo. Can he shoot with just the blue dice – ie. his character has an inbuilt weapon?
A: No Rick can’t shoot with an inbuilt weapon… He’s not a Terminator :-P.
Q: Can you tell us more about the rules for scenery eg trees, cars, barricades et al
A: Currently we’ve only finalised the core game scenery, the cars and barricades. The cars are impassable, but you can see over them, and the barricades can be jumped over (by rolling the action dice) but will still block walker movement. We’ve got the initial draft of Atlanta finished too, which includes the RV (you can climb on top for an elevated position and ignore cover penalties) forests (areas of terrain with slow movement that block line of sight), and tents (like cars, but flammable…).
Q: What can you tell us about deployment of both players and zombies?
A: Deployment – survivors are deployed on the board edges, and walkers are placed within 5″ of the centre line. Narrative games will have more specific model placement.
Q: How tough could I theoretically equip Carl to be?
A: We haven’t designed the super duper weapons and armour yet so it’s hard to answer just yet, but he is limited by his small pack size so he can’t carry much gear that he’s not wearing at the start, and he is also limited by the fact that nobody likes him so he draws everyone’s firepower anyway.
Q: What is your favourite character and why?
A: Favourite character – has to be Carl.
Sorry, couldn’t keep a straight face. Nobody likes Carl :-P. I think Tyreese is really cool early on, and then later in the story there are some great villains. Negan and Alpha of course, and Gregory’s a sneaky bastard too.
Q: How does the threat dial affect scalability of the game? If you want to play on a 4×4 or 6×4 surface, will the level go up too quickly and cause games to end before objectives/goals are achieved?
A: We need to get some more testing in for bigger games, but so far we’ve found that it scales fairly well with game size. More models do tend to make more noise and push it up, but they also have more chances to bring it back down. If we need to, we’ll make it double sided, with a different scale on the back for larger games.
Try the free rules out, let us know what you think and stay tuned for more content throughout February as we look at other aspects of the game! What do you think? Are there any other questions you have? Does any one really like Carl?
The Walking Dead: All Out War miniature skirmish game is now on Kickstarter. It closes midnight (GMT) 29th February.