GTM #206 - Project Z
Reviewed by Thomas Riccardi

When you first heard the news you thought it was something out of a bad horror movie. The dead are returning to life? Impossible! But then the news wasn’t just on the television or in the newspaper — it was right outside your door! Soon society, as a whole, began to break down and now people are scavenging for things that were readily available. Will you adapt to this new world or become one of the zombies that now claim it as their own? This is the setting of Project Z, a miniature boxed set from Warlord Games.

The game comes complete with rules, dice, counters, and a playmat. But, the biggest star of Project Z are the miniatures, with two factions represented. There are 10 male survivors, each equipped with a variety of weapons ranging from assault rifles to crowbars, and a biker gang with six miniatures (two straddling motorcycles)! The remaining 23 miniatures are the zombies, which come in a gruesome medley of poses, genders, and decomposition. There’s even some crawling zombies included looking for someone to munch on. Each of the miniatures is rendered in great detail, and will paint up nice and look amazing on your tabletop.

There are also two sourcebooks enclosed in the Project Z starter set. The first is a 12-page rulebook that lays the foundation on how the game is played. To determine initiative, each player rolls five combat dice. The player that scores the most number of bullet holes goes first and any ties are re-rolled. Each of the characters has a corresponding card which shows how far they can move, resistance to damage, and melee and shooting scores. During the movement phase, each player can move their characters a number of spaces up to their movement scores (calculated in inches). After which, the zombies instinctively shamble four-inches towards of the closest player. This can come in handy when you’re trying to get your opponent to move closer to them to attract more attention.

The shooting phase comes next. As you mark your targets, make certain you have line of sight and they’re within range, then roll the amount of dice according to the weapon's value while subtracting dice due to various modifiers, such as obstacles and distance. The defender rolls dice to counter and can negate some of the incoming attacks. Depending on the results, the character can either receive a flesh wound (no effect), is shocked (model is stunned and lies down), or slain (removed from play). Melee combat is resolved in exactly the same way, however, there are some modifiers that work with you instead of against you in ranged combat. These are the basic rules, but there are additional rules for using combat cards, grit tokens, and ammo control. While these rules are completely optional, they make for a grittier experience.

The other sourcebook is the ‘Survivor's Guide for Dummies’. This gives you nine scenarios, including some multiplayer and a solo encounter. Each of the scenarios show you how to set up the playfield, where the markers are placed, and define the victory conditions of each game.

What I love about Project Z is that it’s suitable for up to three players, so you can have players not only in charge of the two warring groups, but commanding the undead, as well. However, if you wanted to leap into the mayhem straight away and there’s no one to play with, the game features solitaire rules. Yes, you heard correctly - solo play! That’s awesome!

With an easy-to-learn, fast paced combat system, and packed with a slew of miniatures, Project Z is a great game to get started in the world of tabletop gaming. For more information on this and other products head over to www.warlordgames.com and prepare to fight hordes of the undead!

  • Number of Players: 1-3
  • Age: 12+
  • Time: 30-90 minutes
When not writing or playing games, Thomas Riccardi can be found in Sacramento preparing for the day when zombies, vampires, or aliens invade.