Co-Optimus - Editorial - Tabletop Co-Op: Zombies Keep Out

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Tabletop Co-Op: Zombies Keep Out
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Tabletop Co-Op: Zombies Keep Out

Goblins Vs. Zombies

So it turns out zombies are pretty popular. There are lots of movies, TV shows, book, and comics based on everyone's favorite undead shamblers. Video games have seen a whole host of zombie themes, and the same is also true with games of the tabletop variety. In this column alone, we've covered two zombie-themed games already: Zombicide and Dead Panic. We're going to take a look at another game featuring zombies today, Zombies Keep Out, which is different enough from other similarly themed games that I believe it's worthy of consideration.

Zombies Keep Out comes from publisher Privateer Press. This company is best known for their very successful Warmachine/Hordes tabletop miniatures wargame. Privateer Press has expanded into more traditional board game territory with a line of simpler, light-hearted titles. Known as the Bodgers line, these games involve a group of colorful goblin inventors and their zany, often dangerous creations. In Zombies Keep Out, the goblins' workshop is being invaded by, you guessed it, zombies. The goal is to create enough defensive mechanisms before the undead hordes overrun the workshop.

There are four different types of zombies, differentiated by color. The zombies shamble from one end of the workshop to the other down a series of lanes, very similar to Plants Vs. Zombies. At the end of each lane are barriers protecting the door, windows, and other areas of the workshop. Each zombie color prefers one lane, and will move to it using the handy directional arrows on the map. If a blue leaper zombie ends up in the balcony lane, for example, it will bash away two wooden barricades (represented by tokens). If the central door, or three total locations, are destroyed in this way, the game is over and the goblins are presumably eaten by the undead.

Luckily, these goblins are smart enough to "bodge" together various parts into weapons that can be used to defend the workshop. Gears, levers, and pistons are represented by cards drawn from the parts deck. Blueprint cards show what designs for defensive measures are available. By collectively playing the parts cards in the order prescribed on the different blueprints, players work together to build these fantastic contraptions. Once three defenses have been assembled, the goblins have enough firepower to defeat the zombies and win the game.