As announced recently, we (Skybound Entertainment) have joined forces with Mantic Games to bring The Walking Dead to the tabletop.
For many Walking Dead fans, this will be their first experience of a tabletop miniatures game, so we sat down with the folks at Mantic Games to explain more about the basics.
Skybound: Hi Ronnie! For those that don’t know, what can you tell us about Mantic Games?
Ronnie Renton, CEO Mantic Games: Mantic Games is a gaming and hobby company that was set-up in 2009. We produce fantasy and science fiction miniature kits that can be collected, painted and gamed with, and easy-to-learn games that you can play with family or friends.
Skybound: What is The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game?
RR: At its simplest, The Walking Dead: All Out War is a tabletop game played with plastic miniature figurines and dice – where everything and everyone is trying to kill you!
Like a board game, you will set-up the board and components on a table or flat surface and, players take turns to move their pieces. In this case, those pieces are a group of 1.5”/30mm tall miniatures depicting your favorite characters from The Walking Dead comics!
Unlike a board game, instead of squares, you will use something called a range ruler to navigate the terrain and outmaneuver your opponent to try and claim resources for your group.
In the standard head-to-head game, the player that collects the most resources is the winner. You can also play the game by yourself against the walkers or you can play through narrative scenarios that place you in the same events as the comics.
Skybound: Given it’s a Walking Dead game and has ‘war’ in the title, capturing objectives doesn’t sound as straight forward as it seems…
RR: No – danger lurks around every corner! Your opponent’s survivors are also hunting the same supplies you are, bringing them into bloody conflict with your group. As we know from the comics and the TV show, this usually has pretty dire consequences!
Worse still, set-up in different parts of the playing area are walkers, who are not controlled by either player (we call those NPCs, or “non-player characters”). Instead, walkers are drawn to every noise you make, adding a difficult challenge and plenty of stealth action and strategical decision-making. Do you go into the game all guns blazing and risk attracting the herd to you, or do you try and sneak yourself past the walkers, leaving the supplies at the mercy of your opponent? These are the sorts of decisions Rick Grimes has to make to keep the gang alive, and now fans will get a chance to see if they can do better!
To resolve conflicts with opposing survivors and defend yourself from the walkers, you will engage in combat. Combat in this game is determined using colored dice, and depending on which survivor you use depends on which color dice you use, and how many you get.
Rick for example is better at shooting than Carl is, and therefore gets better dice, giving him a greater chance of killing his opponent.
Skybound: You mentioned that you don’t control just one miniature, but a gang?
RR: Yes, you will be able to pick and choose characters from The Walking Dead comics and put them into your own gang.
Each of these survivors has unique abilities and can be upgraded with different equipment. As well as the miniature that you move around the table, each survivor also has a character card listing which dice they use and any abilities that they have.
There are also slots to give them different equipment and upgrades, represented by the game cards. Your choice of survivor and the weapon you have equipped them with will determine how good they are in hand-to-hand combat, firing guns or simply how good they are at surviving.
Rick for example can be given a pistol and axe, or later in the game may find a pump-action shotgun – all the better for slaying walkers!
You will have to devise a strategy and rely on solid tactics to achieve victory.
Skybound: What can you tell us about the miniatures?
RR: A lot of care and attention has gone into creating a range of highly detailed figures that faithfully recreate the characters from The Walking Dead comic.
Each figure is made of durable plastic and no assembly is required – they are ready to use right out of the box.
Should you want to, one of the most exciting things about the hobby is the ability to paint your miniatures, and the figures have been painstakingly designed to be easy to do so. With some basic techniques and a steady hand, you can achieve similar results to the beautiful promotional miniatures you see in our game photos.
Skybound: Lots of The Walking Dead fans may never have played a tabletop miniatures game before. How have you helped them ease into the game?
RR: We’ve put a lot of effort into creating a simple starter set. This set contains the mat, cards, and counters, as well as the rulebook.
The rules for the game are clearly laid out and there is a simple Quick Start Guide to get you playing right out of the box – all you need to do is pop out some counters!
Then there are the miniatures: the starter set comes with 12 Walker figures, Rick and Carl Grimes and an opposing group of survivors in Derek, Patrick, Sandra and Liam, who you may recognize from their attack on Alexandria.
This gives you everything you need to get started – though there is plenty more to come.
Skybound: OK, so I have Rick and Carl. How do I go about getting hold of the likes of Shane, Tyreese and Michonne?
RR: In addition to the core game, there is a range of small Game Boosters, as well as larger expansion packs to take you to new locations like Atlanta Camp and the Greene Family Farm. We have plans to create characters and expansions as far as the Prison and Woodbury initially, but with enough support we can keep creating characters for as long as players want them.
These expansion and game boosters each feature new survivors like Michonne and Tyreese, new walker figures, alternate character cards to depict characters at different stages of the story (in the case of Rick, with and without hand for example!), supplies, and more powerful weapons for killing each other with.
For example, you may find that an automatic rifle is a better match for the Governor than Rick’s hand axe.
As you start playing The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game, you will want to collect some of these game boosters and expansions to continue playing through the story, and grow your gang so that it stays competitive.
Of course, whether you play the game or not, it might be that you just want to pick up your favorite character (like Michonne) to have on your shelf or to paint.
The great thing about a miniatures game is how it combines a fun, exciting adventure with high quality, collectible figurines. The game is more than just matching numbers and the figures are more detailed and better sculpted than fans may be used to.
Is there anything you want to know about The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game? Let us know in the comments below! The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game is coming to stores in late 2016.