Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak
Designer's note #24
Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak ranks among the major products Guillotine Games has in store for you in 2013.
This box holds even more content than the Zombicide core box (now known as Zombicide Season 1): 90 minis, 9 brand new tiles, 147 mini cards, and 110 tokens, among and other surprises!
Let’s have a tour!
1) Core Design
At first, we thought of Prison Outbreak as an expansion, like Toxic City Mall. As we added more and more cool material, however, we began to think of it as a major product, one that could even be split into two expansions. Then we had a better idea: make it into another Zombicide core game, expanding on the first one published last year!
Thus, new players could enter the Zombicide universe with Season 1 or Season 2, and Season 1 players could expand their gaming experience with a really big box. So Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak is designed both as a core game AND an expansion. This explains the sheer amount of content tightly packed in this box.
Getting some zombie action in a prison is now a classic in horror movies and TV shows. It fits the Zombicide theme of gloomy atmosphere, and favors close-quarter battles in a deadly modern dungeon that the survivors expect to turn into an XXL shelter. Many challenges await them on their trip. To this end, we designed Prison Outbreak’s missions as a series, in a storytelling way. Objectives are not simple red crosses spread across the board but switches to open doors and lock them again, items to take, or even checkpoints to reach.
We wanted the contents to be a balanced mix of known material and brand new stuff. Prison Outbreak has the core rules, allowing you to join the zombicide if you’re a rookie survivor, along with new rules about the dreaded berserker zombies, prison cells, and rotating security gate (among others). Miniatures include six new survivors, in their standard and zombivor versions, and zombie miniatures with the new berserker models. Equipment cards are no exception. Alongside our good old sawed-off, for example, are automatic shotguns, riot shields, and Wakizachis. Vicious and reliable gunblades join Ma’s Shotgun and the Evil Twins among the pimpmobile weapons. Last but not least are many new Skills for survivors and zombivors to enjoy!
2) ENVIRONMENT: ZOMBIE PRISON
The nine gaming tiles of Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak feature both large courtyards and narrow corridors filled with prison cells—environments not fully explored in Season 1. Combination of both introduces a new dimension in play, as zombies can be shot across barbwire fences or roam in confined rows of rooms. Mixing melee and ranged-oriented survivors is now a better idea than ever.
The environment is further enriched by interactive features:
- Two tiles feature security zones that slow survivors and zombies alike by preventing anyone from stopping on them. Sure, Walkers can’t pass, but Runners still do...and the new berserker Abomination.
- Observation towers are mini-tiles you set on normal tiles that create control points from which survivors can shoot across a large perimeter. On the other side of these giant tokens are extra rooms you can set anywhere to change a tile’s configuration. For example, they’re used in a mission to represent an isolated room holding an important welder you need to retrieve.
- Switches allow prison cells to open and lock again, allowing the survivors to battle sudden—but predicted—zombie swarms. Switches can also activate casual doors and spawn zones. The most spectacular use of switches comes with rotating security doors, mini-tiles that open new ways across the prison or block access to an incoming zombie horde. As always, team cooperation is the ideal weapon to use rotating security doors to best effect.
Of course, all these features can be used to create your own missions and surprise everyone with ideas no one had before. To this purpose, we optimized token use and production by adding colored objectives, colored spawn zones, and colored casual and giant-sized doors. They’re used in the rulebook missions, but we’re sure you’ll find new uses for them as well. Be sure that we will in future publications!
Ah, and if you think you’re safe behind barbwire fences, think again. We added torn barbwire fence tokens. Abominations can’t be stopped by such petty things as barbwire!
3) PROTAGONISTS: SURVIVORS AND ZOMBIES
Season 1 offered 71 miniatures. It was already a blast. Season 2 offers 90 miniatures.
Six new survivors enter the fray. Each of them comes with a standard miniature and its zombivor counterpart. Want a peek at their Blue level Skills?
Belle the captivating traceuse is an urban native with +1 free Move Action. Expect her to move around fast and shine in almost any situation.
Joshua is an average man turned into a hero thanks to his Lifesaver Skill. He can pull allied survivors in his own Zone to save them from a certain doom.
Grindlock is an impressive headbanger with the Taunt Skill. Choose a Zone in sight and all zombies in it gets an extra activation. Come over here, sweethearts!
Kim a.k.a. “Pokerface” is a pro poker player and underground bouncer with the Lucky Skill. If you are the “rotten hand” type of player, or if you love weapons such as chainsaw or sub-MGs, Kim is your best friend.
Shannon, a former soldier, is now a real urban warrior with the Point-blank Skill. Using ranged weapons, she can “snipe” zombies standing in her own zone...even berserkers!
The box includes 78 zombies to invade the board and chase survivors around. Season 1 players already know about the regular zombies: Walkers, Fatties, Runners, and Abominations. They’re back for more with new sculpts and will love to explore the prison at least as much as you do. This time, however, they brought friends: berserker zombies!
Berserker zombies are immune to ranged weapons (except the Molotov or shots executed at “point blank” by a survivor with that skill). This means Prison Outbreak is slightly more melee-oriented than Season 1. Indoor combat in prison corridors is tense and bloody. Outdoor fighting offers new strategies as well, as you can’t shoot berserkers from afar to clear a long, open path.
From this point of view, mixing standard zombies with their toxic counterparts from Toxic City Mall and berserker brethren from Prison Outbreak is a trip to a whole new game. Imagine a single zone mixing all three types. You can’t shoot berserkers, slicing down toxics will wound you, and they all keep on coming for you. If you can’t outrun them, you’ll have to carefully shoot the toxics then enter the fray to finish the job. Ask for backup or a survivor with Lifesaver! Or you can shoot the toxics, “taunt” the rest of them to come closer, and finish the job! As you can see, the more zombie there are, the more options open up.
The berserker superstar is, of course, an Abomination. This monster has all the berserker and abomination properties: It can’t be killed by ranged weapons, AND it requires a Damage 3 weapon to take it down. A Molotov still works, but it’s quite rare. Plus, the berserker Abomination benefits from an extra perk: it moves two Zones per activation. The threat will be upon you faster than you think.
4) EQUIPMENT AND ZOMBIE CARDS
Luckily, you have plenty of tools of the zombicide trade.
Prison Outbreak has many new equipment cards to enjoy. We won’t spill all the beans, but here’s a solid preview:
Your trusty pans are now replaced at the start of the game by nightsticks, weapons you can discard to avoid a wound. And they’re quite useful against berserker zombies in the early game, as they have a 4+ Accuracy for Damage 1!
Crowbars have been replaced by claw hammers, the melee cousins of sub-MGs. Your team starts the game with one of these fast-striking babies.
Sniper rifles are still here but are joined by nailbats, combined weapons made with a baseball bat and nails. Useful in all situations and very deadly, nailbats count amongst the best melee weapons around. And Watts already own half the recipe, as he starts with a baseball bat!
The Equipment pile holds many new surprises, including a single 3 Damage melee weapon to deal with fast-paced berserker Abominations. New weapons to take on new challenges!
Prison Outbreak’s 42 Zombie cards have been designed to fit the standard and berserker zombie population haunting the prison. They are, of course, numbered and include extra-activation and manhole cards.
These cards can be used as-is or toyed with to fit special themed games.
The 12 cards that exclusively feature berserker zombies can be extracted to fit berserker-oriented games. Mix them with toxic zombie cards, for example, and a few manhole cards to replay your previous missions with a whole new twist!
The other 24 cards introduce new ways to balance the Zombie pile, for example by expanding any soft-core game or allowing an increase in the Abomination population.
Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak is designed as a standalone game AND an expansion. It features many new ways to play new games, improve your gaming experience with pre-existing Zombicide products, and even use your imagination to build your own missions. Gather a team, grab some weapons, and meet the prison challenges!