"No More Room In Hell" House rules: Zombies (and the use there of)

One thing I am not a huge fan of the the way zombies are controlled in "No More Room In Hell".

 Unless determined by a scenario, the general spawning of zombies can mean you they appear on the table at all directions at once (assuming you have some bad dice rolls that is), and they always do the same thing which leads to little room for manoeuver or, to a degree, tactics.

My house rules for zombie control are as follows:

Spawn Points - unless laid out in a scenario set up I have a random number of spawn points, based on the Zombie Threat Level for the game:

I have 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 random spawn points for low to high level threats respectively. Oddly enough, these also match dice you can get for wargaming.

Thus in NMRIH game terms:

Threat Level 3 = 4 spawn points
Threat Level 4 = 6 spawn points
Threat Level 5 = 8 spawn points
Threat Level 6 = 10 spawn points
Threat Level 7 = 12 spawn points

Rather than place a zombie at each spawn point as per the rule book, roll 1d matching the spawn points to see where all the zombies appear for that turn.

Example: I am playing a game set at Threat Level 5, and have placed 8 spawn points out. I roll the dice in the Dice Grave yard and 3 zombies will appear this turn. Rolling 1d8 I get a result of 7. Those 3 zombies will appear at spawn point 7 for this turn.

Zombie Actions: in NMRIH all zombies react the same way - they move towards the closest survivor or group of survivors. Ho hum. This doesn't allow for tactics - unless you count sacrificing a low level survivor by putting him or her near a spawn point so the zombies leave every one else alone.

By changing the rules a little I think they become a bit more interesting, and bring an element of tactics into the game.

  • If a zombie is knocked down it must spend a turn regaining its feet before it can move (unless it is a legless crawler). Standing up is regarded as its action for that turn.
  • Zombies can only see 'dinner' within 12 inches - any human outside this range is ignored. Any survivor within Line of Sight becomes the target of the zombie(s). Any human within 12" but concealed will not become such a target as the zombie does not have LOS and the survivor either doesn't move or makes a sneak move.
  • Any survivor running during their fearful footing phase will attract the attention of a zombie within 12" even if the survivor is not in the zombie's LOS.

  • Unless a zombie has spotted a human it will either move towards the nearest sounding gun fire or explosion. If there isn't a human or sound to move towards, the zombies will move forward in the direction they are facing, moving around obstacles they walk into via the shortest route.
  •   For each zombie/ group of zombies with out a target (i.e. no human or sound to move towards) roll 1d10. On a 10 they stand still for that turn and just 'mingle' where they are.
  • Any zombie that loses LOS to a tasty morsel that it can't get to, will move to something more interesting (like a gun shot) after two turns of trying to figure out where it's dinner went to.

Unless the house rules contradict those above any other rules stated in the rule book still apply.

What I have tried to do with these house rules is to allow a level of tactics in the game: it allows for survivors to sneak around, to hide, to attract attention of zombies to other areas and so on.
 It stops a potential "Mexican Standoff", and actually gives the survivors a bit more of a chance of meeting the scenario requirements once hoards of zombies flood the gaming area.

 I would be interested to see what others think if they try these rules, or if they have any ideas of there own that could improve the way the zombies react in the game.

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