Game Notes: Zombie
There is probably a different way to play and run Zombie than the way I do it. I've heard of lots of people running Zombie games but lacking any rules, I created my own. The tips below should work for just about any game of Zombie. A short summary of the way I play it is on the Videogames page. If you want full details just e-mail.
The humans start out with the most players, which would tend to discourage troop discipline, but need to maintain as much awareness and discipline as they can. It's really important that the humans set up a perimeter early on.
If the humans scatter they'll have a really hard time figuring out who's who. On our field we don't give the zombies a different color headband or anything. (Our zombies are even meaner than the 28 Days Later zombies!) One thing that makes it easy to tell humans apart from zombies is the fully automatic fire. Another is that zombies tend to just fire at you and let you respawn (becuase either way you'll be a zombie after the respawn) while humans will hold you at gunpoint and make you shoot the sky so they can hear whether your gun is on bolt-action.
It's hard to find a location where the humans can form a perimeter both when the game starts and hold it even when they're down to 3 or 4 players. The preferable option is to initially establish a perimeter somewhere close to a location that the survivors can fall back to once their teammates have been killed and there aren't many of them left.
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The game gets moving faster when better players start out as the zombie. The humans survive longer when there's at least one player on the human team who can lead the humans well in establishing a perimeter in a favorable location and in the ever-changing defense of the human forces.
Don't be afraid to step in and play on the human team if they're constantly getting pounded. Also, since you really only need one ref for the game, feel free to put some of your refs in on this one, too. By contrast, there's no reason not to start with more than one zombie if your zombies tend to get killed constantly.
Usually we let the last surviving human pick whether they want to be the first zombie in the next game. Most take advantage of the opportunity.
The really short variant on this game is to set it up like a normal zombie game but to have one human who's secretly a zombie. Let the players know that there's an "infected" human but don't tell them who. Paranoia reigns high in this variant and the humans probably won't stick together, which makes them easier pickin's for the zombies.
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How do you run your Zombie games? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.