So I fixed all the sideways image files.  Uploading from my phone tends to do that.  The good news is I figured out a workaround for future phone posting.  Even better news is that I carved out some time to wrap up my Walking Dead doings at Gen Con.

We started off with an eight-player event which had our whole crew involved. This was the Walker Challenge where each player had a survivor and started in a separate section of a 2 x 2 mat setup.

Even after ditching the 3rd round of the X-wing 2.0 tournament, I was still running late so my friends gave me Glenn so they could take Negan and sit him right near me.

We had to secure three supply tokens and make it off the map to win (separately).  This was more of a race to be the first rather than a free-for-all but we all ran in and tried to get the job done.  Glenn turned out to be a great choice as his ability to run silently kicked in several times and worked very well.

I was able to get my three supply tokens but Negan decided he wasn’t going to win so charged in at me.  My slippery ability made the attack moot as I just disengaged with a good roll and Negan took care of the walker that I got to join our little party.

The event was good but at one-hour, was way too short.  It probably would have been best as a 2 hour event and had a better was to force players to get into the center more to fight each other.  In any case, I’m glad my friends and I all got into the same event and it seemed like they had fun, even if we couldn’t finish it out.


Later in the Con, I went to the Mantic Game Night, held at the Hard Rock Cafe near the convention center. The event was held in a side room off the bar and seemed pretty well attended.  Ronnie Renton gave a short intro to the event and talked about how Gen Con was their first big event and they were excited to be back hosting a full game night as well.

While most of the speech was about their other products, Ronnie did go over the plans for Walking Dead again but this was basically a rehash of their blog content.  They did have a demo of Here’s Negan running so I jumped in on that to see it in action.

We were playing an abbreviated scenario where we needed to clear out a pre-setup building and get Negan to the end before we die, Negan dies, or the threat tracker times us out.  I was playing Dwight and we had two other players running John and Tara.

Dwight seemed like a solid choice with a good range option that didn’t draw attention with mayhem or noise and a mediocre attack/defense.  Tara was a defensive powerhouse with the ability to re-attack a walker that just attacked her if she beat its initial attack. John was a heavy melee bruiser and could take down walkers without needing a crit.

The party split up with Tara and John moving deeper into the building while I went to go take out the walker bothering Negan.  Things didn’t work out well and we botched some rules that made it a little more painful for us.  Negan works like a separate Event phase and has his own AI deck dictating how far he’ll move and what he’ll do.

In my attempt to save Negan, I ended up getting surrounded and couldn’t do anything to knock the walkers down and get away.  With the rules stripped down, several of the tactics you can do in All Out War don’t apply.  Getting stuck like this basically ends you as a player as you can’t do anything, can’t fight more than one walker and basically rely on the other players to bail you out. Being a competitive co-op, that likely isn’t going to happen.  There was a rule that could help but we didn’t learn about that until it was too late.

Dwight’s fate was inevitable given the circumstances. Apparently, there was a rule where I could “call Negan” for aid and he’d warp over to me and instantly kill walkers while lowering my rep (the scoring mechanism for the game). This also likely injures Negan and could risk us the mission but if my “friends” aren’t going to help me, calling Negan over to force them into action at least means there might be some way out of that jam.

close-up of first player marker, lucille

While other players were taking their turn, I thumbed through the rulebook and it has a lot of nice things in it with a 12 scenario campaign and options to play completely solo (or competive-less co-op).   I’ll be excited to pick this one up as the gameplay felt solid and the interplay was interesting. I’m not too fond of the way they are portraying Negan in this as it seems like the design team took the characteristics of Negan from one slice of his character appearance and amplified him into some psycho jerk for the game.  I could get behind this if they made a game based on the same time period where he was an murdering ass but this is supposedly right after the Here’s Negan storyline in the comics and that one-shot series isn’t about Negan, the psycho murderer, it’s about him actually liking people and wanting to do whatever he can to make sure they survive.  So it’s odd to me to see Negan playing everyone against each other for “rep points” and beating people to death in a psycho tantrum when that isn’t really him at all in that early series. Ah well.  The game still plays well and I’m excited to pick it up.

While at the game night event, I used it to get a bit more info on the future of the Walking Dead All Out War game.  I got shuffled around a little but finally found someone “in the know” and picked his brain on what to expect next.  Mainly, I wanted to know where they were going with the solo aspects of the game.

The source talked mainly about the new competitive direction the game was going to take in 2019 with the emphasis on becoming a competitive skirmish game.  Mantic seems excited to take the game into that direction, recognizing a lack of other “modern” skirmish games on the market.  The game will contain walkers still but will be more about building a squad of survivors and pitting them against another squad in one-on-one competitive games.

From the sounds of things, the revamping of the rules might as well be called “second edition” as they are going to need to redo a lot of the stats of the cards and survivors to get things balanced for skirmish play.  It doesn’t sound like they are actually calling it a new edition though so I don’t know what will happen with the existing card sets.  I’m not sure if it will just be a new ruleset, a whole new product, or just an expansion that puts all the new rules in place, leaving cards and everything else intact.

Regardless, this is where I will jump off the Walking Dead train.  I don’t need another skirmish game to build factions of and try to develop a competitive community over.  I disagree that this is the direction the community wanted to move in as Mantic’s only feedback is likely coming from only those players coming to their competitive game nights. I doubt that number is very high but even if it is, you’ll never see the solo/co-op players because they are having a blast at home. Hopefully the new material after wave 5 is compatible with the original product so I can pick an choose characters I like but the game is definitely moving in a direction I have no desire to follow so I’ll bow out and use the plethora of minis I have to work through the existing material and make my own.