GTM #203 - The Walking Dead: All Out War Miniatures Game
Reviewed by Thomas Riccardi

The world as you know it is gone. The living dead now outnumber humans by at least ten to one. No one is coming to save you as society crashes down around you. Do you have what it takes to survive? This is the question that has been asked multiple times on one of the most popular franchises to date: The Walking Dead. Starting off with a comic book series, it branched out into a critically acclaimed AMC TV show, video games, board games, and other markets. Now Mantic Games has released its crowning masterpiece — a miniatures game entitled The Walking Dead: All-out War.

Within the base set are two rulebooks (including a quick start guide for those who want to play straight out of the box), six survivors (Rick, Carl, Derek, Patrick, Liam, and Sandra), twelve zombies, dice, counters, cards, and a play mat. This box is jam-packed with everything you need to play and experience the universe of overrun by the walking dead. Designed for two players, All-out War can be played solo, as well. Yes, you heard right! You can actually battle against the Walkers on your own, controlling the survivors as they explore the ruins of Atlanta.

The game is split into phases, with four phases per turn:

  • Action Phase: Players can move, shoot, search, hide, stand up, make noise, hold your nerve, or a special action that can be played from your card
  • Event Phase: Which means moving the walkers that are closest to your models. Also, you draw an event card which may increase the threat level. If a threat level exceeds a character’s nerve, then they’re panicking and must roll a die against a table.
  • Melee: If the zombies are in melee range, the threat level is increased by 1. Then the players resolve which characters attack which zombies.
  • End Phase:  Roll for prone Walkers (whether they rise up, or not), bitten miniatures (inflicting damage, or not), resolve any end of turn effects, check to see if victory conditions are met, and, if not, start a new turn.

One of the neat things about this game is when you inflict ranged damage (either zombie or human targets). When rolling a die that corresponds to your weapon card, the characters also roll a defense check and the results are tallied to see how much health is lost. For example: If a character made three successes in their attack roll and one success in defense, then that model would take 2 damage. However, when attacking zombies, if you were to roll a critical success (which is denoted by a “!” symbol on the die), then you would remove that model from play. These critical successes are headshots and they also inflict 1 damage to human players, as well.

Noise is also another important part of the game, as the faster you move and the more times you shoot both generate noise. This will bring Walkers closer to your location where you would have to engage them in melee. Also, if the zombies actually kill any of your party, they come back onto the battlefield as a prone Walker! So, you will need to plan out your attacks and make sure not to make too much noise, or else you might find yourself surrounded by hungry undead.

The components in the game are absolutely amazing — from the cards that sport art from the comic book to the miniatures, themselves. Each of these minis are highly detailed and are ready for painting right out of the box. Mantic Games did an awesome job of capturing the likenesses of Carl, Rick, Michonne, and the other survivors from the comic series. The zombies are also amazing, as they look tattered and ravenous, craving your flesh! And, if you track down issue #201 of Game Trade Magazine, you’ll find an exclusive figure that can be used with All-out War. And the game is priced right, ‘cause you get all this cool swag for under $50!

If you are a fan of either the comic book or the television series, you need to check out this game. With fast-paced rules, detailed miniatures, and a box full of great stuff you’ll not be disappointed. For more information on this and other games head over to http://www.manticgames.com and get ready to fight against the walking dead.

  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Age: 12+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
When not writing or playing games, Thomas Riccardi can be found in Sacramento preparing for the day when zombies, vampires, or aliens invade.