Hello, TechRaptor readers. Today we’ll be taking a look at the brand-new boxed game from Mantic Games set in the gritty, zombie-infested world of The Walking Dead comic book series. The game was funded via Kickstarter last year and recently shipped out to backers. I backed the game in February at the “All Out War” level, which contains the retail version of the game as well as the Scenery Booster, Roamer Booster, wave 1 stretch goals, and the Kickstarter exclusive Michonne miniature. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the game itself!
Just as a quick note: I’m much more familiar with the TV version of The Walking Dead than the comic, so I won’t be going into a lot of detail regarding comic version specifics.
The artstyle of the game overall matches the comic with heavy use of black-and-white artwork for the characters interspersed with spots and smears of red blood to break up the monotony. The box features a small plastic window showing off the main survivors of the game. The miniatures themselves are well-done for board games, but don’t quite match the detail quality most miniature gamers are used to. They have a more realistic and grounded style compared to something like Zombicide but lack the sharpness of detail found in most miniature games. That being said, the miniatures from The Walking Dead: All Out War do show a major improvement in miniature design and casting when compared to most of the miniature lines from Kings of War. Hopefully this skill jump will move over to Mantic’s other offerings in the near future as well.
The game comes with several cards as well. The larger cards are for player characters, containing all the various stats and rules needed for them in-game. The player cards also have several areas for quickly and easily organizing the smaller equipment and weapon cards. The smaller cards contain weapons, equipment, and various in-game events such as the appearance of walkers.
The game also comes with several cardboard tokens for scenery (assuming you decide not to use the plastic scenery), additional stat measurement, and templates for determining various in-game events. The only item here I’m not sold on is the cardboard ruler, which I can easily see getting warped, bent, or otherwise worn down rather quickly. Anyone picking up (or interested in) this game would do well to buy a simple plastic or metal ruler to use instead and marking the Sneak and Run distances on it yourself.
The Walking Dead: All Out War also includes a 24” x 24” urban paper play mat. While the surface is functional in and of itself, the decision to use a paper mat seems questionable. It makes sense from a financial perspective, as a paper playing surface is cheaper to produce and ship compared to a traditional cardboard surface. Playing on a paper mat has issues of its own, however. The biggest issue is simply flattening it out enough to ensure the minis and terrain won’t fall over. The other major issue is its durability, or lack thereof. Paper mats tear very easily and won’t withstand any drinks accidentally spilled on it. This can be mitigated by using laminate sheets, but doing so will exacerbate the crease issues throughout the lifespan of the game itself.
The scenery booster comes with four wrecked vehicles (perfect if you decide you want in-game Lori to be as worthless and asinine as TV show Lori), six makeshift barricades that would work very well with other games like Warhammer 40,000 or Wild West Exodus, and a collection of supply caches and objectives, including the famous Big Bag O’ Guns. If you decide to play bigger games and need more objectives, you also have the option of using the cardboard markers, though you will run into the flat surface issue I mentioned earlier.
All in all, while it’s obvious Mantic Games cut some corners to save on cost, the game overall is a high-quality product with a great deal of professional skill and care put into creating it. Check back in the near future for a gameplay overview of Mantic Games’ The Walking Dead: All Out War to see if the game mechanics are as well-crafted as the components.
The copy of The Walking Dead: All Out War used in this article was funded via Kickstarter by the author.