I never did an unboxing of The Walking Dead All Out War Core set and it’s a bit late now as it’s, well, unboxed. So, I’m starting here with the first of my recently acquired stash, the Prelude to Woodbury expansion.
Prelude to Woodbury is actually a stand-alone expansion, a solo starter set, and features a narrative, single-player adventure starring Brian ‘The Governor’ Blake. Let’s take a look…
The box is in the usual ‘The Walking Dead All Out War’ style, featuring some thematically dark artwork on the front cover, as well as a glimpse of the contents, in this case The Governor and a couple of walkers.
Opening up there’s a nice plastic insert holding 6-miniatures, 11-dice, deck of event cards, a deck of equipment cards, and the arrow for the threat marker. Underneath the inlay I find the character card for Brian Blake and a sealed pack containing the token boards and rules.
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
The miniatures are pre-assembled, so you can get playing in the quickest possible time. They’re also pretty well detailed with minimum clean up needed for painting. The walker minis are all different, which is nice to see, as they could have limited the poses for these. The scale is supposedly 28mm but they actually stand closer to 35mm head to toe, make of that what you will.
I really like these miniatures. They’re dramatically posed and well defined. There’s enough detail to make painting interesting, but not so much as to make it time consuming – they should look great once done and in play.
The dice are all custom made d6 – red, white, and blue for attack/defence rolls, a black action die and a yellow panic die. This is a duplication of what’s in the core set.
The event deck has 15-cards designed for solo play. These can be substituted into the game when playing any scenario, not just the ones in this expansion. At a quick glance, the solo aspect of these cards in centred around the movement of the walkers, but I’ll know more when I get it to the table and compare it to the one from the core.
In the same pack I also found the Walker character card…
The smaller deck of cards contains both supplies and equipment. There are plenty of bandages to be had (maybe a hint there?) and a selection of weapons, but I particularly like the Leather Jacket, which can be discarded to prevent all damage from a single round of melee. With only one character to play with here, there’s enough to give you a few choices, but not much more.
The cards in both decks are linen finished, though they are quite thin and flimsy. The artwork is limited, with the cards focusing on being functional rather than pretty to look at.
Brian Blake, before Woodbury, is the character you’ll be playing from this set. In comparison to the core set he’s pretty good, coming in at 35-points, which puts him some way behind Rick (50) and equal with Derek. His Melee and Shoot both get a white die, which is reasonable, but interestingly he gets 2-red die in defence. This gives him a reasonable success average with a wider spread, just like Patrick from the core.
He has 5 Health, again tying him with Derek just behind Ricks 6. Tenacious is his special rule, giving him a chance to cling onto life when he loses that last health point – a good trait to have in a single character solo game me thinks! He also has 3-pack slots enabling him to lug plenty of stuff around with him.
On the token board we find everything required for a simple game. The Threat tracker, which, once you fit the plastic arrow to it, tracks, guess what? Yep, the threat. Again, this, as well as the range ruler and Kill Zone template, is a duplicate of the one in the core set and does exactly what it says.
There are also a few cars and barriers, 5-supply counters, a health counter, and 4 captured walker counters. The latter are interesting because they don’t appear in the core set and play a part in the third and final part of the narrative adventure.
All the cardboard tokens/counters are really good quality, being thick and chunky as well as linen finished.
Finally, there is the rulebook. It’s 16-pages in all and the whole is an introduction to the game. It’s broken down into three adventures, each one introducing new rules, and sees Brian scavenging for food, exploring the streets, and finally trying to fill his arena with captured walkers.
I’ve read it through and think it’s a wonderful introduction to the Walking Dead All Out War game, building the rules at a steady enough pace for a complete novice to grasp in one swoop. It’s also easy enough for someone more familiar with this type of game to dive straight in and pick up as they go, especially as there is a story to create as you play – one of things that drew me to the game in the first place.
Unlike the core set, there are only the basic rules here, enough to get a handle on the game, after all, it is only a starter set and that brings me to my final thoughts…
There are lots of reasons to buy this. If you’re looking for a miniatures skirmish game that has a solo aspect, then this is the place to start in the AOW range. You’ll get a feel for how the game plays, and yes, it is just a feel, but you’re not spending a great deal of your hard-earned dosh and so, if it isn’t for you, you haven’t lost too much.
If you already have the core set or more and want to experience solo play using a unique solo event deck rather than adapting the multiplayer one, then this is where you’ll find it. On top of that, you’ll get more dice, another range ruler and kill zone template, and we all know that with these kinds of things it’s the more the merrier, and is therefore an attractive addition to the collection.
Okay, I wrote all this just after Christmas, but then what went and happened? Mantic announced that they were discontinuing The Walking Dead range, that’s what. As of March 31st all The Walking Dead lines will be removed form their site, so grab it while you can. For me, I have enough now to sate my thirst, but in terms of unboxing, this was going to be the first of several posts, only now I don’t see too much point in continuing with them. I will put together my first thoughts on the game as a whole but I doubt I’ll do a full review, though there’ll probably be battle reports in the future, we shall see.