By June 16, 2008

I have no braaaains: Last Night on Earth revisited

I wrote a review about zombie board game Last Night on Earth this January. I praised the production value of the game, but disliked the ambiguity of the rules and felt that the humans were very over-powered. I found the humans to be unstoppable with their fast movement and higher combat rolls. Even if a zombie player could corner them, it was nearly impossible to hurt a human, let alone kill them.

The good thing about a blog is that people eventually find out when you bitch about stuff. A few people responded to my negative post about LNoE and suggested I was playing it wrong. Despite their efforts explain it, or say that the game was really slanted towards the zombies, I kept my nose pinched shut and shelved the game for about four months.

Luckily, my friend The Accountant™ was in town and we gave LNoE another try. We read the rules for EVERYTHING, even if we felt like we already had a grip on what to do.

Turns out I was wrong on a very fundamental but game-changing issue: humans roll, but do not add their 2D6 combat dice. They just choose the highest die. G Ramon Gomez tried to tell me, but it bounced off of my thick skull. Sorry Ramon, you were right.

Suddenly the game became a challenge. Humans weren’t wading into zombies unarmed or searching a two-space building while five zombies were knocking outside. That isn’t to say the humans were defenseless; The Accountant™ stumbled upon a nasty combo that allowed one of the characters to roll four combat dice: one for the chainsaw, and one for a hero event card that also killed zombies any time she won instead of when doubles were rolled. The headshot: she was also “lucky,” and could make a zombie player re-roll any one die. I attacked her with about ten zombies and she killed them all without a single bite.

The rules are still unclear in parts, particularly for some scenarios such as the Manor. We decided to draw a different scenario altogether after trying to discern a particular scenario rule. This game needs a real FAQ, forum, or examples of combat, none of which Flying Frog has readily available.

I liked playing LNoE so much that I am considering buying their Growing Hunger expansion. Now if I just had a large enough tabletop gaming group to play it consistently ….

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Posted in: games, review, zombies

4 Comments on "I have no braaaains: Last Night on Earth revisited"

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  1. Ed says:

    I am in, my wife has agreed to us coming down once a month. She has friends to see in the area while we play our games.

    That was an awesome combo wasn’t it.

  2. supervike says:

    I bought the game last month, but just got a chance to finally play it last night. I almost made the same rule mistake as you did. I caught it just as I began my first zombie fight. Oh man, how that changes the odds. Anyhow, we had a grand time playing, the zombies eventually cornered the heros in the gunshop. They proceeded to kill two heroes off to win the game, even though the zombie death count was already at 13. Damn their souless luck!

    Thanks for the initial and follow-up reviews. I’d be curious to see your review of the expansion.

  3. Gangrene says:

    I was very wary of this game from your initial review, but it showed up on Tanga and Pozy at the same time so I figured I’d buy it. So, now that I have it _and_ it meets your approval, I’m doubly happy. Time for it to hit the table!

    I suggest Mall of Horror if you haven’t tried it. If I get off my ass I will review it with nudies of the bits at Bunkerguts.

  4. Jimbob Jones says:

    I’ve got to give you credit for retracting your earlier game hating.

    There’s an excellent “Unofficial” FAQ on boardgamegeek.com (http://files.boardgamegeek.com/geekfile_view.php?fileid=30822) that has a LOT of questions answered on the boards by Jason Hill (the designer of the game). It should help clear up a lot of the stranger situations you’ll hit.

    And I’ve played the game enough now to have some games that end with zombie domination, some with player domination, but most are pretty darn close.

    And… now I want to play again. Thanks, Faulken! 😉