Start Collecting The Walking Dead All Out War Starter Sets Review

the walking dead all out war (1)

Review

Start Collecting The Walking Dead All Out War Starter Sets Review

November 20, 2018

By: Adam Potts

 
 

The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game is a wargame by Mantic Games based on The Walking Dead comics. It was first released in 2016 and is currently on Wave 5 of its releases. While there are a few products currently available for it, picking it up is still extremely simple and that's what this article is going to focus on. The two easiest ways to start collecting The Walking Dead All Out War are through one of the two Starter Sets, either with the 2-player starter set or the Prelude to Woodbury Solo Starter Set.

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The 2-Player Starter Set contains:

  • 6 Survivor Miniatures (Rick, Carl, Derek, Patrick, Liam and Sandra)
  • 12 Walker Miniatures
  • The full rulebook and a quick-start rulebook
  • Several pieces of card scenery and a play mat
  • Range ruler, Kill Zone Template, Threat Tracker and all the required counters
  • Reference cards for the survivors and walkers, Equipment, Supply and Event cards
  • 5 Different specialist dice
The Prelude to Woodbury Solo Starter Set contains:
  • 1 Survivor Miniature (Brian 'the Governor' Blake)
  • 5 Walker Miniatures
  • Solo Starter Set quick-start rulebook
  • Several pieces of terrain
  • Range ruler, Kill Zone Template, Threat Tracker and all the required counters
  • Reference cards for Brian, the walkers, Equipment, Supply and a Solo Event deck
  • 5 Different specialist dice
The main difference between the sets are the miniatures and the cards. You get half as many equipment and supply cards in the solo set as the 2-player starter, and only the quick-start rules in the solo set. Which means that if you start with the Solo Set, your next purchase after should be the 2-Player starter set. If you have the 2-Player starter set, the only reason to buy the Solo Starter Set would be if you wanted the Solo Event deck, or Brian Blake. Buying both sets is a reasonable purchase though. The extra cards, miniatures and dice won't go to waste.

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Games of The Walking Dead All Out War are split into four phases. During the Action Phase, players alternate activating their characters. Each character gets two actions and can't preform the same one twice. Actions include moving (fast and loud or slow and stealthy), shooting, hiding, searching and making noise. A noise action, or any action that causes noise (like running or using a firearm) draws the nearest walker straight towards the character who makes it. The walkers move in a straight line and stop when they hit scenery, so herding them into positions away from other characters can be very helpful. Some weapons also cause mayhem, which means that all walkers within a certain distance will move towards you. The double-sided movement rulers provided in both starter sets have run/sneak distances marked on them, and also Noise/Mayhem and the Walkers shamble distance marked on the other side.

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Both sides of the double sided movement template and Kill Zone/Blast Marker.

After the action phase is the Event phase, where any characters within the Kill Zone template of walkers are automatically engaged by that walker, followed by the drawing of an event card. Event cards have an effect based on the current Threat Level which increases through various effects. The Threat Level increases when a weapon with Mayhem is used or if characters start the melee phase engaged. The threat level has a additional effect of possibly causing panic amongst characters. When the Threat Level increase above a characters Nerve value, there's a chance they might panic and make noise, or go berserk and charging straight into the enemy. The event cards also dictate other walkers movement and each player will get to move an equal amount of walkers, taking it in turns to do so.

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The Solo and Standard Event decks, along with the Threat Level Tracker and an example of an Event Card from the Walking Dead All Out War Starter Sets.

During the melee phase, all characters that are engaged with walkers or enemy characters must decide to attack or defend, a player choice affected by the melee and defense characteristics of the character engaged. Defending means that you won't deal damage in combat, but if the character has a high defense characteristic, it might be better to win the combat than deal damage.

Melee and shooting is a roll off between opponents, using red, white and blue The Walking Dead All Out War dice. The dice have a number of splat symbols, and the winner is the unit that rolls the most. When shooting, or attacking in melee, the difference between the attack and defense characteristic is the damage done. Walkers are only taken out with headshots, which require a roll of an !. Otherwise the Walkers are just knocked over, and may get up during the End phase. For Walkers, if they roll the ! during combat, they have bitten the character and there's a chance that the character might become infected.

 
 

The End Phase is a clean up phase, where Walkers may stand up and end of turn effects take place. Characters who have been bitten also roll to see if the infection causes any additional damage or if they shrug it off until the test next turn.

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Examples of the Character and Walker stat cards and the Equipment and Supply cards from the Walking Dead All Out War starter sets.

Games of The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game really capture the feel of The Walking Dead. Single walkers by themselves aren't a real threat, but as they begin to react to your actions, and your characters are swamped by more and more of them, their threat increases dramatically. The Threat Dial does a great job of building the tension throughout the game and as it gets out of control, so will your characters.

Games always start out slow, measured and controlled, but almost always end up as a scramble to survive, a battle over supplies and a constant chess battle of positioning walkers so they threaten your opponent more than you. Solo games are also very enjoyable, and follow the same pattern of stealth then scramble.

 

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The different dice in The Walking Dead All Out War. The Red, White and Blue dice are used for combat actions, the Yellow dice is the Panic dice and the Black dice is Action dice.

Because the miniatures are single piece and ready to play and the quick-play rulebook is very well set out in terms of getting new players into the game, The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game is incredibly beginner friendly. The full rules are very straight-forward and logical, and the character stats are minimal and based entirely around the dice that are rolled. Even the Threat Level is entirely matched across the rules so it keeps the pace and simultaneously, the tension going. The supply and event deck also help to keep games fresh. Games can be set up and played quickly, giving it a great 'to table' speed, and can last as long as you want to make the scenario complex. 

Veteran gamers won't be disappointed, because even though the depth of the rules is light, the tactical depth of the game is high and the Walkers provide a ever growing threat to both players. Although the actions of the Walkers is very predictable, they provide a great amount of longevity to a scenario as it allows the same scenario to be approached in several different ways and if you want the difficulted increased, add more walkers. Some very interesting scenarios can be set up and with the huge catalogue of loved (and loathed) characters from the comics, players can set up and play their favorite scenes from the comics and tv show.

 

The Bottom Line:

The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game is very quick and simple to set up and begin playing. Games are fast paced and full of growing tension. The Walkers add a very interesting third party threat and add a great solo option for the game. The rules are light, as are the individual character stats, but that keeps game moving and focused. The two different starter box options are great value and have a lot of replayability out of the box. If you are looking to play purely solo, your next purchase should be the 2-player starter set after the solo starter set, if only for the depth of options you will get with the miniatures. Don't be put off by the size of the current product line, the game is very easy to get into and you can add the packs that take your interest, or add them wave by wave.

Get this game if:

You want a game that's full of growing tension (and zombies).

You want a game that's very quick to set up and play.

You want a great solo war game.

You want a game with simple rules, but tactical depth during gameplay.

Avoid this game if:

You don’t want a game focused around zombies.

You want a game with a huge amount of character stats.

These copies of The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game 2-Player and Solo Starter Sets were provided by Asmodee UK.

 

Have you played The Walking Dead All Out War? Who's your favorite character to use? Which Wave are you current with? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Review Summary

Review Summary

8.5

The Walking Dead All Out War Miniatures Game is quick to set up and play. Games are fast paced and full of tension. The rules are light, but the gameplay is deep. The solo option is great and the Walkers add an extra curve in the gameplay, keeping it fresh through multiple games. The two starter set options are great value and a great way into the game and also extremely beginner friendly.

A Potts TechRaptor
Tabletop Specialist

Adam is a tabletop specialist for TechRaptor. He's been involved in the video game and tabletop industry since 1997, including managing communities, flavor text writing for CCGs, game development, and design, and has played physical and digital card games at a high competitive level.

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