The History of Zombicide Part 2: The Plague is Spreading

With the great success of the first three Seasons of Zombicide, the designers were looking to continue the brand. Throughout the years, they had been thinking about what Zombicide might look like in different settings. In the first three Seasons, they explored places like a prison, a mall, and a hospital. But what about different eras? What would it be like if a zombie plague happened in a medieval fantasy setting? How would Survivors fight back with those sorts of resources? Thus, the idea of Zombicide: Black Plague came about. As we continue our look back at the history of Zombicide, we head way, way, way back in time to a land of knights, dragons, and magic. Let’s take a look.

Thematically, Black Plague was more than just a move in terms of time and location. The zombie hordes in the original Seasons were a random force of chaos. As far as the population knew, they just showed up one day, with no greater scheme at play. However, in Black Plague, such was not the case. The zombie hordes weren’t just moving at random, searching for Survivors. They were a tool, an army for the nefarious Necromancers who unleashed them upon the world. For exactly what purpose, only they knew, but it changed the narrative from one of simply survival to one of trying to defeat agreater evil.

Mechanically, other things changed. Survivors went from having only two wounds to three. There was also armor around to potentially protect them from zombie attack. When wounded, Survivors didn’t lose equipment. This made it less a mere struggle for survival and more of heroics as Survivors could run into a fray and deal some real damage, confident of taking a few hits, but still coming out the other side (hopefully). The controversial ranged weapon attack rules were also revised, meaning that survivors were only hit if the attack missed. Fans of the original game welcomed this change and it drew in new players. Aesthetically, Black Plague also introduced the plastic dashboard holders, a vast improvement over the previous paper dashboards. Here, players could place their player card and keep track of their experience, equipment, and skills via sliders and little plastic pegs. These were a huge hit and would continue to be part of every future Zombicide game.

The Kickstarter for Zombicide: Black Plague outdid every other board game project at the time, once more giving the title of “most funded board game” to a Zombicide game. And, of course, with such success, there was bound to be more.

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