House ruling Zombicide Ranged Attacks

One of the critisms of Zombicide, if not the main one, was the ranged weapon rule below:

What is so bad about that rule? It's that survivors get shot first when you fire with a ranged weapon into a zone with zombies and survivors in. And that held true unless you had the scope on the rifle. I played it as it was, but I know others chose to ignore it. It certainly for some detracted from the game.
In the later half of last year Cool Mini Or Not ran a rather successful Kickstarter for a spin off Zombicide game called Zombicide: Black Plaque. This took Zombicide from its modern day zombie apocalypse setting and placed it smack damn into a medieval setting.
Now I didn't back this new version of Zombicide, which I think would be fair to call it Zombicide 2.0. Mainly because I had a lot of the original version and was happy with the modern setting. Which for me why I like it. I love the way it invokes the Romero zombie movies, like Dawn of the Dead. One of the expansions Toxic City Mall is set in a mall. While Prison Outbreak you could pretend you are the Walking Dead survivors holed up in the prison they hole up in. I just love that theming.
However in my travels on the interweb I did come across that in Black Plague the ranged weapon rule had been modified. It “fixed” the main complaint players had of the original game. Not only that, but some players were using this new rule in their games instead of the original rule.

The ruling had been changed that if you rolled a hit, you hit the zombies and not the survivors in your target zone. If however you rolled a miss, you hit the survivor. That to me is a brilliant fix. It gives a bit of tension to the roll of the dice, and doesn't break the theme. Missing has repercussions, brilliant. I can hear the banter now about if only a survivor was a better shot.

I'd like to think that we will see Cool Mini Or Not update the rules both online and in the physical copy of the game to take this “fix” into account.

In the meantime let me know how you have handled this issue with the game, have you tried playing it with this rule change?


7 thoughts on “House ruling Zombicide Ranged Attacks

  1. The vast majority of complaints about the ranged attack rules in the original Zombicide came during the first KS.

    I.e, *before* anyone had ever played the game.

    Before I fell out of love with Guillotine Games and Zombicide, I used the rules as written.

    They worked just fine. And didn’t need changing.

    In my opinion, Guilotine Games should have stuck with their original rules.

    This, in my opinion, shows a weakness that will not be good for the long-term health of the franchise.

    Players, en masse, are not good judges of a good rule set. They succum to crowd think.

    1. In RPGs, just saying that there’s a chance of hitting a PC if you miss is enough to make players think carefully.

      Nothing in the world says you have to accept rule changes if you don’t like them. My Wargames folders have house rule sheets that we had discussed and circulate before play.

      If the aim of a games set is to recreate familiar settings, real or fictional, then players should be able to behave like their genre counterparts. If Rick had to shoot a Survivor instead of a Walker, the comics and TV show wouldn’t have lasted long.

      I agree with your comment about changing rules, it is down to the writer/publisher to decide having heard the reasons, and to explain why they have changed rules. I’ve played in a wargame where one player had persuaded the writer to make a change, and that had consequences unforeseen to the author. A lot just gave up after that. Would that happen in your Zombicide games? I hope not, and that players are more reasonable and open to discussion about what they see the game world to be.

  2. I’d like to see The Walking Dead to show remade with that original rule in place!

    Glad they’ve dropped it for Black Plague

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