Zombicide: Black Plague is a cooperative game where one to six players face hordes of Zombies controlled by the game itself. Each player controls one to six Survivors in a fantasy world invaded by Zombies. The goal is simply to complete the Quest objectives, survive, and kill as many Zombies as possible!

Zombies are slow and predictable, but there are a lot of them. Watch out for their Abomination and Necromancer bosses, too! Survivors use whatever they can get their hands on to kill Zombies. The better the weapon, the higher the body count, and the more Zombies appear, attracted by the onslaught!

Survivors can trade equipment, and players can share tactics. Only through cooperation can you achieve the Quest objectives and survive. Battling Zombies is fun, but you will also need to rescue other Survivors, find food and weapons, uncover the Necromancers' secrets, and much more.

After experiencing Zombicide: Black Plague, your gaming group will be the ultimate monster hunters!


Components

  • Zombie Miniatures (65)
  • Survivor Miniatures and ID Cards (6)
  • Survivor Dashboards (6)
  • Survivor Color Bases (6)
  • Standard D6 Dice (6)
  • Dashboard Trackers (48)
  • Tokens (68)
  • Mini Cards (125)
  • Game Tiles (9)
  • Rules and Quest Manual

Setup

A Zombicide: Black Plague game usually features 6 Survivors, distributed in any way you see fit among players. We recommend new players to join the game with a single Survivor, to get a quick grasp on the game mechanics.

A veteran player can easily control a whole team of 6 Survivors and clean Zombie pests on his own!

  1. Choose a Quest.

  2. Place the tiles.

  3. Place the doors, Objectives, and all tokens as indicated by the Quest.

  4. Each player gathers 1 to 6 Survivors for him to play. Players sit around the table in any order they choose. As they cooperate against the game, all players form a single team.

  5. Players take one Dashboard for each of their Survivors, placing the Survivor's ID Card on it. They take a colored plastic base and attach it to the Survivor's miniature to help identify it. They also take the 5 plastic trackers in the same color.

  6. Put aside all Equipment cards with the "Starting Equipment" keyword: a Hammer, a Mana Blast, a Short Bow and three Short Swords. These cards are identified



    These are your team's Starting Equipment cards.

    Also set aside the Equipment cards with the "Vault" keyword: Inferno and Orcish Crossbow. These cards are identified by a blue back.



    The potent Vault cards are usually hidden on the board as treasures.

  7. Deal the Starting Equipment as you see fit amongst Survivors. Zombicide: Black Plague is a cooperative game, so decide as a team. Each Survivor starts the game with at least one card. If a Survivor's starting Skill lists any starting weapons, he receives those cards now, independent of the starting Equipment you've just distributed.

  8. Shuffle the Zombie cards into one deck and the Equipment cards into another. Place both decks face down close to the board.

  9. Place the miniatures representing the chosen Survivors on the starting Zone(s) indicated by the Quest.

  10. Each player places his Survivors' Dashboard(s) in front of him. He makes sure the sliding arrow is on the "0" space in the blue area of the Danger Bar. He then places a tracker in the "0" slot of the Wound Bar and another tracker in the slot for the first (blue) Skill. Place 3 more trackers in the reserve slots on the top of the Dashboard.



  11. Decide who will be the first player, and give him the first player token.





Game Elements


Useful Definitions

Actor: A Survivor or Zombie.

Zone: Inside a building, a Zone is a room. On a street, a Zone is the area between two linear markings (or a linear marking and a tile's edge) and the walls of buildings along the street.



Line Of Sight

How do I know if a Zombie sees me or if I see it?

On the streets, Actors see in straight lines that run parallel to the edges of the board. Actors cannot see diagonally. Their Line of Sight covers as many Zones as the line can pass through before reaching a wall or the edge of the board.

Inside a building, an Actor sees into all Zones that share an opening with the Zone the Actor currently occupies. If there is an opening, the walls do not block Line of Sight between two Zones. An Actor's Line of Sight, however, is limited to the distance of one Zone.

NOTE: If the Survivor is looking out into the street, or from the street into a building, the Line of Sight can go through any number of street Zones in a straight line, but only one Zone into the building.




Movement

Actors can move from one Zone to the next as long as the first Zone shares at least one edge with the destination Zone. Corners do not count. This means Actors cannot make diagonal movements.

On streets, the movement from one Zone to another has no restrictions. However, Actors must go through a door (or opening) to move from a building to the street and vice-versa. Inside a building, Actors may move from one Zone to another as long as these Zones are linked by an opening. The position of a miniature in the Zone and the layout of the walls do not matter as long as the Zones share an opening.




Reading An Equipment Card

Weapons And Combat Spells

Zombicide: Black Plague features many Equipment cards. The ones your Survivors use to blast Zombies fall in three categories: Melee weapons, Ranged weapons or Combat spells.

  • Melee weapons display a "0" Range value and thus can only be used in the same Zone as the Survivor. They are used with Melee Actions.

  • Ranged weapons have a maximum Range value of "1" (or more). They are used with Ranged Actions. Attacking at Range 0 with a Ranged weapon is still a Ranged Action.



  • Combat spells have a distinctive scroll appearance and a maximum Range value of "1" (or more). They are used with Magic Actions. Attacking at Range 0 with a Combat spell is still a Magic Action.



Some Equipment cards can belong to several types at once.



Door-breaching, Zombie-killing, And Noisy Equipment

Equipment that allows you to open doors but requires a dice roll to do it has this symbol. The die indicates the minimum roll needed to open the door.


Equipment that allows you to open doors without any dice roll has this symbol.


Equipment that allows you to kill Zombies has Combat characteristics displayed at the bottom.


Each of these symbols is accompanied by a second symbol related to noise. It defines if the Action is noisy or not. Noise attracts Zombies!

This Action is noisy and produces a Noise token.


This Action isn't noisy and does not produce a Noise token.


Combat Characteristics

Melee weapons, Ranged weapons and Combat spells display Combat characteristics used to maim, shoot or disintegrate Zombies in many ways.

DUAL: If you have Dual weapons with the same name in each hand, you may use them both in a single Action (dual Ranged weapons and Combat spells must be aimed at the same Zone).



These gems indicate at what Danger Level a Survivor needs to be to be able to use this card. All cards in this box display all four gems, so Survivors can use them at any level. Expansions will contain cards with some of these gems removed, indicating the card can't be used while the Survivor is at those Danger Levels (but can be stored in any eligible slot).







Noise



Casting a spell or smashing through a door makes noise, and noise attracts Zombies. Each Action that opens a door with a noisy Equipment or attacks with a noisy Equipment produces a Noise token.

  • Place this token in the Zone where the Survivor resolved the Action. It stays in the Zone where it was produced, even if the Survivor moves.

  • A single Action can only produce a single Noise token, no matter how many dice are rolled, how many hits are obtained, or if Dual weapons are used.

  • Noise tokens are removed from the board in the End Phase.

NOTE: Each Survivor miniature also counts as a Noise token. Zombies have acute hearing, and Survivors can't stay quiet anyway!

EXAMPLE: Clovis spends an Action to open a door with an Axe. It's a noisy way to open a door. This produces a Noise token. He then attacks a Zombie in his Zone, knocking it down after two Melee Actions. The Axe is a silent killing weapon, so these Melee Actions produce no noise. Two "noises" remain in this Zone: the Noise token produced by opening the door and Clovis' miniature itself.

In another Zone, Baldric executes two Magic Actions with his Fireball. Although he rolled three dice for each Magic Action, he gets only two Noise tokens in his Zone, one for each Magic Action. The Noise tokens remain on the Zone where Baldric produced them; they don't follow him when he moves.


Experience, Danger Level, And Skills

For each Zombie killed, a Survivor gains one experience point and moves up a notch on his Danger Bar. Some Quest objectives provide more experience, as does eliminating Abominations.

There are four Danger Levels on the Danger Bar: Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red. These represent everything from a light drizzle of Zombies to a flash flood.

At each Danger Level, the Survivor gains one new Skill to help him on his Quest. Skills add to each other across Danger Levels: at Red Level, your Survivor will have four Skills. As new Skills are unlocked, place new markers on the Survivor Dashboard to indicate it.

  • When a Survivor reaches 7 experience points, his Danger Level moves to Yellow. He gains a fourth Action.

  • When a Survivor gets 19 experience points, his Danger Level moves to Orange. He gains one of the two Skills indicated on his ID Card, your choice.

  • At 43 experience points, his Danger Level moves to Red. Choose one of the three Skills indicated on his ID Card.

This experience has a side effect, however. When you draw a Zombie card to spawn Zombies, read the line that corresponds to the Survivor still in play with the highest Danger Level (see Zombie Spawn, page 25). The stronger your Survivor is, the more Zombies appear.





Inventory

Each Survivor can carry up to eight Equipment cards, divided into three types of Equipment slots on his Dashboard: Two Hands, a Body and five Backpack slots. You may discard cards from your inventory to make room for new cards at any time, for free (even during another player's Turn).

Hands



  • Both Hand slots are reserved exclusively for Equipment cards bearing the Hand symbol.

  • An Equipment card bearing the Hand symbol can only be used when equipped in Hand.

Body



  • The Body slot is reserved for Equipment cards bearing the Body symbol.

  • Alternatively, it can hold the specific Equipment card that is listed on it. It is then considered to be equipped in Hand, representing a special piece of Equipment that this Survivor can draw and use in the blink of an eye.

  • An Equipment card bearing the Body symbol can only be used when put over the Body.

Backpack

  • Up to five Equipment cards of any type can fit in the Backpack slots.

  • Equipment cards bearing the Body or Hand symbol can be stored in the Backpack, but while there they are not in use. Any text on them will not be in effect until they are moved to their appropriate inventory slots.

  • An Equipment card bearing the Backpack symbol can only be stored in the Backpack, and while there is always considered to be in use.






The Zombies

Zombicide: Black Plague features five types of Zombies. A good Survivor quickly learns their strengths and weaknesses! Most Zombies have a single Action to spend each time they activate (Runners have two).

A Zombie is eliminated as soon as it is successfully hit with an attack that has the minimum required Damage value. Its assailant then immediately earns the listed experience points.


Walker

Once peasants, craftsmen, merchants, or townsfolk, these poor unfortunates were taken unawares. These were everyday people, with their own hopes and dreams, now just zombies all with a singular purpose.

We call them Walkers, the dumbest and most numerous of the lot. But never underestimate them. In numbers, they're very dangerous, and they certainly have numbers.

Min. Damage to destroy: Damage 1 Experience provided: 1 point


Fatty

Fatties are what we call, the well, fat ones. But there's more to that blubber than just a dead rich merchant or noble. They ignore pain, just like most dead men. You need a strong arm to finish these. Or a powerful weapon. Or a wizard. Fire works, of course. Use it well to send them to their eternal rest.

Min. Damage to destroy: Damage 2 Experience provided: 1 point


Runner

Runners are fast. Faster than anything on two legs should be. I've seen 'em outrun a galloping horse, though only barely. But still, the poor cavalryman didn't stand a chance.

Min. Damage to destroy: Damage 1 Experience provided: 1 point

Special rule: Each Runner has two Actions per Activation.


Abomination

Haven't seen an Abomination yet? Count yourself lucky, neighbor. You'll recognize one as soon as you see it. Weapons don't work. Armor don't work. Running well, it might work if you're really fast. But these are relentless. Fire is what you need. A good hot fire. It's the only thing that works.

Min. Damage to destroy: Damage 3 Experience provided: 5 points

Special rules:

  • Wounds inflicted by Abominations can't be prevented by Armor rolls.
  • A Damage 3 weapon is required to kill an Abomination. There is no such weapon in Zombicide: Black Plague's core box. To slay the monster, your team needs to throw Dragon Bile in its Zone and ignite it with a Torch, creating a Dragon Fire. Samson can also achieve this at Red Level, using a Damage 2 Melee weapon in conjunction with his +1 Damage: Melee Skill.

Necromancer

Everyone's heard the children's stories, of the necromancers that live in the woods, that'll steal little children that wander too far. The stories worked, and kept most kids close to home.

No one thought they were real, not in this day and age. We don't know where they came from, or what they want... Maybe to just destroy every living thing except themselves. They're immune to the plague somehow, but that figures since they control the hordes. Kill them on sight, and burn the corpses. It's the only way to be sure.

Min. Damage to destroy: Damage 1 Experience provided: 1 point

Special rules: Necromancers' special rules are explained in depth here.





Game Play

Zombicide: Black Plague is played over a series of Game Rounds, which go as follows:


I. Players' Phase

The player with the first player token takes his Turn, activating his Survivors one at a time, in the order of his choice. Each Survivor can initially perform three Actions per Turn, though Skills may allow him to perform extra Actions as the game progresses.

The Survivor uses his Actions to kill Zombies, move around the board, and performs other tasks to accomplish the various Quest objectives. Some Actions make noise, and noise attracts Zombies!

Once a player has activated all his Survivors, the player to his left takes his Turn, activating his Survivors in the same manner.

When all the players have completed their Turns, the Players' Phase ends.

The Players' Phase is explained in depth here.


II. Zombies' Phase

All Zombies on the board activate and spend one Action either attacking a Survivor next to them or, if they have nobody to attack, moving toward the Survivors or noisy Zones. Some Zombies, called Runners, get two Actions, so they can attack twice, attack and move, move and attack, or move twice.

Once all Zombies have performed their Actions, new Zombies appear in all active Spawn Zones on the board.

The Zombies' Phase is explained in depth here.


End Phase

All Noise tokens are removed from the board, and the first player hands the first player token to the player to his left. Another Game Round then begins.


End of the Game

The game is lost when all Survivors have been eliminated or if too many Necromancers escape. Some Missions can be lost when certain conditions are met (losing a single Survivor, for example).

The game is won immediately when all of the Quest objectives have been accomplished. Zombicide: Black Plague is a cooperative game, so all players win if the Quest objectives are fulfilled.




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