So this is going to be an odd review, mainly because this is a product that is unavailable to anyone but the 152 people who backed Band of Zombies on Kickstarter almost a year ago. So it’s a bit strange reviewing something most of you reading this will never see or own. Still, it’s in my hands and as a big fan of All Flesh Must be Eaten (It’s one of the few zombie related products I enjoy, and not because I used to write for the line…)I wanted to give readers a slight preview of the first new release for the series in roughly three years (two if you count the free Quick Start Rules as a full-fledged release), and what better way to do it than by showcasing the Zombiekeeper Screen? Just because you didn’t back Band of Zombies, a WWII themed zombie sourcebook, doesn’t mean you can’t pick it up when it’s released to the general public!
Now let’s talk the Zombiemaster screen. The front of is extremely striking. You have a group of zombified (zombiefied? Who knows? There’s no official spelling of the “word!”) soldiers. The one in the dead center holds a ravaged (possibly partially eaten) torso in his outstretched arms while other undead soldiers gather around him. You can also see many arms reaching out from the ground, implying a platoon of zombies is about to form. Now the art is very drab and the colours are muted, but that is perfect for the theme of the game and doubly so when you consider the 1940s time frame this sourcebook revolves around. You see the Kickstarter logo in the lower left hand piece of the screen (facing gamers, not the ZM) and the Band of Zombies logo in the upper right. The artwork alone wonderfully captures the pathos and horror of All Flesh Must be Eaten and also gives players something unnerving to look at, helping to set the mood of the game. The art is a bit intense for younger gamers so obviously, I wouldn’t advise using this screen while running a game of say, Toon orPokemon Jr., even if it’s the only screen you have.
The backside of the screen, which faces the Zombiemaster, is where all the crunch (statistics and rules) lives. Much of what is on the back of the screen specifically relates to Band of Zombies. There are things like a Shell Shock Table, an Explosive Damage table, a Ranged Weapon chart for WWII era weapons and so on. There are also charts and info on the ZM screen that are universal for any version of All Flesh Must Be Eaten. The Fear table, the Armor Value list, Ranged Combat Modifiers, The Roll of Luck table, the Outcome table, and of course a table for the flow of combat. Really, this screen has all the important rules you need to run a game of All Flesh Must be Eaten, be it Band of Zombies or something else. I’m extremely happy with the PDF version of the product and to be honest, I wish I had purchased a physical copy now because it’s that snazzy. The good news is that, as always, All Flesh Must Be Eaten delivers a solid product. I do have a preview version of the core Band of Zombies book in my possession and it’s shaping up to be an excellent read. I’ll have a full review of Band of Zombies once it is officially released. Until then, here’s hoping this whets your appetite for the actual book…and I’m hoping that said appetite is not the same as the zombies in this game. Eek!
Tags: All Flesh Must Be Eaten