A board game where a zombie apocolypse overruns a Monopoly game, saving it from traditional end-game tedium
Where is the line between "house rules" of a game, and "new game" anyway?
Playable with a regular monopoly set (though additional dice will help - a pair of D4, and an extra D6 (or more, if human teams are played))
3-8 (or more?) players
"Zombies care not for your mindless capitalism"
note: This game is in slow development. The rules here are not yet perfected, and as-yet untested combination of proposed rules may be a far better game than what's already here, so please test the untested, and come up with new variants! Feedback is welcome... nay, encouraged, either direct to me (find me on facebook - see links below) or the Discussion tab to this page, or this page direct!)
The game is divided into three distinct stages.
Stage One: Capitalism (Monopoly)
Being where all players are "human"
- This is played as per normal monopoly rules (with minor houserule tweaks). Basically a capitalism microcosm.
- Players tactics may differ due to knowledge of later Outbreak and Apocalypse stages, but the game *mechanism* at this stage remains essentially unchanged. Common house rules (once around board before purchase, tax->free parking, and so on) are discouraged in favour of genuine Monopoly rules.
Alterations to Monopoly pure are as follows
- House contruction does not require the ownership of an entire colour group. However, the requirement that development must be even, remains. Thus the first owner of the first property can immediately build one house, even if the bank owns the rest, but they cannot build a second house till all other properties in the group are owned and have a house also.
- Bankruptcy - homelessness
- Players who become bankrupt (by normal Monopoly methods) remain in the game as homeless. They now play as follows:
- They travel at the speed of 1D4, and still adhere to clockwise motion.
- If they land on an unowned property square, it immediately goes to auction.
- If they land on an owned property, they do not pay rent. Instead, their next move when the owner of that property has their next move. (prior to the owner rolling their own move - repeating as necessary to no longer be on any property by that owner)
- If they are on a non-property square, their turn occurs when any other player lands on the same square, or moves past them.
- (ie, their position in the turn rotation may change)
- They can collect money via Chance/Chest cards, and passing Go - at which point they're no longer homeless and resume playing normally. (ie, pay rent instead of being force to move on. However, it's expected that a player once homeless, will become homeless again soon)
Becoming a Zombie
- Should a player roll a double-one (ie, total of 2) for any reason (normal roll, escape from jail attempt, as instructed by card), then that player becomes a zombie (due to moving too slowly!). For the purposes of human/zombie interactions, it is considered that they are human at the start of their movement, and arrive (two squares on) as a zombie.
- "Go directly to Jail" Community Chest/Chance cards are instead interpreted as "Stay where you are, but become a zombie"
- "Get out of Jail Free" card are instead interpreted as "Infinite strength immunity to future zombie conversion, single use only" (ie, hold onto card to nullify a single future zombie conversion)
- Each player is immune to zombie conversions (by any method) until they have traveled around the board once.
- On the first time around the board, normal Monopoly rules regarding double-1 and jail cards apply.
- immunity ends at the players first arrival at 'Go' space, and thus can become a zombie when they land on "Go", if other zombies are there already
- Because homeless only roll 1D4, they can never roll a double1 to become a zombie. (logic: homeless are adept at living on the streets and being invisible. Thus, they dodge zombies. However, they can become zombies by all other methods (jail square/card, and sharing a space with a player zombie in outbreak mode. (player zombies should be able to hunt homeless humans relatively easily). A player zombie overtaking a homeless on a non-property square, triggers the homeless to move on.
The game enters "Stage Two: Outbreak" upon the first conversion.
Stage Two: Outbreak
Being where some players have been converted to zombies, but a majority are still human.
Human players (including the homeless) still play as per Stage One: Capitalism, however zombies operate by new rules, which increase the chances of a human being converted.
- Zombies continue to take their turn as before, however, their operate under new movement principles:
- Instead of 2D6 dice, zombies move according to 2D4 dice (simulate from D6 with re-rolls as needed if you have only monopoly dice)
- Zombies may move in either direction around the board, as per the players choosing each roll.
- Human players continue to do commerce with each other and the bank as per usual, but the zombie cares not for your mindless capitalism and do not participate in any normal commerse. Thus, the following apply:
- Zombies check chance/chest cards, but ignore them.
- Zombies do not follow "teleport" movement (go to nearest railway, go to jail, etc)
- Zombies do not get another go on a double dice result
- If a zombie lands on an unowned property it immediately goes to auction
- Properties owned by zombies (ie, purchased prior to player conversion) are considered infection grounds. Should a human player land on a zombie property with no improvement, they are converted. (This includes mortgaged properties)
- However, all improvements are safe for humans. So if the zombie property has improvement, the human survives, but at the expense of one level of improvement when the building becomes unoccupied - so over time zombie properties will reduce to being unsafe. Property demolition occurs at the end of a continuous run of human player occupation. (if multiple players occupy the same property at once, then only one demolition occurs, when the property is vacated)
- "free parking" remains as a rest space - humans can never be turned to zombie there
- "in jail" and "just visiting jail" are separate. (Zombies cannot go "in jail", humans can, but only on their first time around the board)
- If a zombie finds themselves on an vacant player property with improvements, then one level of improvement is demolished then the zombie ARRIVES there.
- note: If a zombie arrives on a property with a human and a property, then the human survives to move on. A house will be demolished only when the zombie has no human opposition protecting it. If another human has arrived at the property in the meantime, it may survive till the zombie leaves.
- Zombie player landing on an improved zombie property = no demolition. Demolition only occurs on the conflict of human player and zombie house, or zombie player and human house.
- If zombies share a space with humans, then the humans will turn into zombies if the number of zombies is equal or higher than the number of humans
- Players may pre-pay for a bodyguard. $100/bodyguard/turn. Each bodyguard acts as an extra human for the purposes of counting human/zombie interactions. Bodyguard(s) remain active with the player (protecting them from zombie arrivals) till the players next roll. If they choose to continue with bodyguard, there is no break in guarding.
The game enters Stage Three: Apocalypse, when zombies are one conversion away from equal or outnumbering human players. (2 zombies in a 4 or 5 player game. 3 zombies in a 6 or 7 player game, etc)
Stage Three: Apocalypse
Being where the economy collapses, and remaining humans move to survival mode.
- All commerce and economic-based activity halts. This includes the building of properties (or demolishing for monopoly-rule reasons. Demolition now only occurs for zombie-based reasons), and bodyguard purchasing.
- Mortgages are ignored - they're just normal unimproved land now.
- Zombies continue as before.
- Humans now move with increased agility - by rolling three 3D6, and choosing two according to their tactical needs, and also choosing direction of movement per roll.
- this increases the chances that a human can 'choose' a double and get a second roll
- this also allows for increased chance for a human to 'choose' a double-1 and become zombie
- humans no longer follow monopoly 'teleport' rules either. "Doubles = another go" can continue without penalty for as long as doubles are rolled.
- Homeless humans choose two from a 3D4 roll
- Winning conditions for a human: be the last human alive, then land on your own property with a house, and have no zombies also on that location
- Homeless humans (homeless at the time of apocalypse stage) have by definition no homes of their own, and instead can win by being last human and landing on ANY remaining house (zombie owned by definition), but no zombies also on that location.
- Winning conditions for zombies: all players are zombies, and be the first to land in 'jail' (justification: the last source of human brains, zombies finally break in)
- Play normal monopoly first time around the board.
- Become a zombie on snake eyes or go-to-jail, sharing a square with a zombie, or unimproved zombie "owned" property.
- Zombies roll 2D4 and move either direction, and destroy improvements to properties.
- When zombies nearly outnumber humans, no more commerce. Humans now move by choose 2 from 3D6.
- Win by:
- last human and on own IMPROVED property
- all zombies, and be first zombie to 'jail' square.
These are ideas from after-testing discussions, and need their own testing before considered good or not. Most promising ideas first.
- Roll for zombie conversion
- Modify the conversion rules so each conversion opportunity is played as a dice roll. Each human/bodyguard/property earns the defence on D6. Each zombie/infection ground earns the attack a D6. Each side rolls, largest wins. re-roll ties.
- note: new battle between all humans and zombies occur on any *arrival* to a property, but not on departures. (humans sneak out, zombies mindlessly shamble away)
- I don't think this should include snakeeye/jail conversions. (they are already governed by chance)
- Should stations/utilities by default provide safe shelter? Existing safe shelters are:
- Free Parking
- What about GO?
- What about Chance/Chest?
- What about Just Visiting Jail?
- In apocalypse mode: humans that land on their own multi-house property, may then "carry" a house with them, and deposit it on the first empty zombie-land they encounter - the player then claims that property (with the house), meaning it can no longer 'turn' a human. It will nonetheless get demolished should a zombie visit it.
- Justification: provides a reason for players to build multiple houses in capitalism mode - however the 'demolition' rules added should also provide that motive, so this may just be unneeded complexity
The following ideas have yet to be playtested
- Once in apocalypse mode, remaining humans can choose to team up. They can only do this IF they happen to share a space. They do this by pooling their dice rolls and then sharing them between members of the team, per round. (2 players = 6 dice. 3 players = 9 dice). This increases the chances that a team can continue to move together to outnumber zombies (or more likely be able to split up and make it to safe houses). (formerly homeless humans contribute a 3D4)
- Play mechanic problem: means all human players need to effectively have a collective turn - which means a change in player order from the original table order. This could be messy.
- Tactical problem: you only win by being the last human. There needs to be a "team of humans win" condition.
- Also: what if dice rolls cannot be shared. eg, 2 humans, 6 die with values 2,2,2,2,2,1 - and the ONLY safe square is 3 away... Team decision nightmare!
- Should houses/hotels be fortified as an enhancement beyond the standard monopoly building code?
- 2018 Feb 10 - Playtest with 3 people. Alter threshold for apocalypse mode (zombie count set at half total players, rounding down - so we had no outbreak mode. Capitalism direct to apocalypse), and played with new house building rules. A success (and possibly the first time a human has won?)
- 2017 Nov 25 - Novemberfest game with... 7 people? Generally enjoyed. Speculation about altering house building rules, and roll for zombie conversions - https://www.facebook.com/nemothorx/posts/10156002726323216
- 2016 Dec 25 - Second round of play testing
- 2016 Aug 23 - First play testing (3 person group) - https://www.facebook.com/nemothorx/posts/10154489150088216
- 2014 Jul 02 - Initial writeup - https://www.facebook.com/nemothorx/posts/10152542793653216
- Let the record show that the very first roll in the very first playtest was a double-1 and so the game inventor became a zombie. (and so the second game introduced the "once around before zombie possible" rule)