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The upcoming Axis & Allies and Zombies is set to come out this year for $40. The board game is taking a very different kind of approach to the traditional tabletop concept, and the designers are implementing the undead to the traditional World War II board game.
But, don't worry, this isn't just a standard zombie makeover just to force the undead stragglers into the tabletop board game experience. According to co-designer Scott Van Essen, they've been working hard on the whole zombie concept so that it ties into the Axis & Allies core experience in a natural way, much like the Zombies mode in the Call of Duty games.
How it works is that players will still have the traditional Axis & Allies experience, where they'll play as either the Axis (such as Japan or Germany) or the Allies (such as Russia, U.S., or Britain). The objective will be to overthrow your opponent, just like in the standard board game setup.
You'll have to tactically maneuver your pieces in order to thwart enemy advancements, rout flanking maneuvers, and cut off opposition supplies. This is all handled on the board game with dice and plenty of maneuverable pieces.
However, to throw a wrench in things are the random appearance of zombies. These zombies will pop up across the board as players draw cards from the deck and roll the dice. The appearance of the zombies become detrimental toward plans of conquest and success. They also inhibit players from making good on the IPCs, a new currency setup that's called Industrial Production Certificates. This is money that each team earns that can be used to purchase more troops, increase production supplies, and bring in more reinforcements. The IPCs are allocated from controlling countries on the board, and if a zombie appears in that country then you're no longer going to be accruing funds from that region. Thus, the way the game is designed, players will have to travel across the board to regions they typically wouldn't go to in order to clear out the zombies and gain control of the IPCs.
The ebb and flow creates a very dynamic feel from the typical Dungeons & Dragons experience, and this is what Avalon Hill is counting on.
Of course, it wouldn't be an Axis & Allies game without scientific advancements. The team has changed what kind of research you can unlock, though. Instead of just having basic missile attacks and bomb drops at your disposal, you can unlock sexier scientific research, such as mind-controlled zombies, or bite-resistant armor for your troops.
Tabletop games have been on a huge surge in the last few years, especially thanks to Kickstarter, and given that this upcoming Axis & Allies and Zombies is being published by the Wizards of the Coast, expect the board game to sell to a sizable audience. While the release date is still a mystery, the samples for some of the game pieces will be on display at the Origins Game Fair starting June 13th in Columbus, Ohio.