View Full Version : Codex: Zombie Plague

28-08-2008, 17:20
The threads in the other section got me thinking, dagnabbit, and this is what came out. Note, this hasn't been playtested, everything has come right out of my head and onto the page.

Codex: Zombies
by Simon Gillen (aka DeviantApostle)

Special Rules

Without Number: Any unit with the Without Number rule that is destroyed may re-enter the battle at the beginning of the next turn from your table edge.

Mindless Predators: A Zombie army does not have to include a HQ choice from the army list.

Regeneration: At the end of your turn, make a roll for each wound any model with regeneration has lost during the battle. On a 5+, the model regains that wound.

Infectious: Any infantry or cavalry model killed in close combat by any model in the Zombie army will rise again as a regular zombie.

Rusty Autogun R:12” S:3 AP:6 Type: Assault 2

Old Autopistol R:12” S:3 AP:6 Type:Pistol


Zombie Master
Zombie Master Pts: 30 WS:3 BS:3 S:3 T:3 W:2 I:3 A:1 Ld:8 Sv.:5+

Some psykers who have been infected by the Zombie Plague retain their own minds and gain some ability to control other Zombies.

Weapons: Old Autopistol and Close Combat Weapon.
Special Rules:
The Master Commands: Psychic test in the shooting phase, target one unit of Zombies, unit gains Fleet of Foot until the end of the turn.


Ghoul Pts:8 WS:3 BS:2 S:3 T:3 W:1 I:3 A:1 Ld:10 Sv:5+

Ghouls, for some unknown reason, keep a small part of their brain as the Virus destroys their bodies. With a rudimentary sense of reason, these beings can perform simple actions like push buttons or point a gun at an enemy and pull the trigger or use crude bludgeoning weapons. They are also much faster than regular Zombies.

Number/Squad: 5-20
Weapons: One close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, Fleet of Foot.
Options: Ghouls may be given with a Rusty Autogun, Old Autopistol or a second close combat weapon at +2pts per model.


Zombie Pts:2 WS:2 BS:0 S:3 T:3 W:1 I:2 A:1 Ld:10 Sv:-

Individually, a Zombie isn’t much of a threat. They’re slow, cannot use weapons and don’t even have the cunning of a common animal. Collectively, however, there are few opponents that the swarm cannot eventually drag down.

Number/Squad: 20-100.
Weapons: Teeth, counts as having one close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, Rage, Slow and Purposeful, Without Number

Zombie Swarm
Zombie Swarm Pts:8 WS:2 BS:0 S:3 T:3 W:4 I:2 A:4 Ld:10 Sv:-

In close quarters, Zombies often form packs that are far more resilient than they are individually. However, this formation makes them more vulnerable to blast weapons.

Number/Squad: 5-25.
Weapons: Teeth, counts as having one close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, Rage, Slow and Purposeful, Swarm, Without Number

Fast Attack

Zombie Tunnels
Tunnel Mouth Pts:40 FA:12 SA:12 RA:12 BS:-

Zombies may be mindless but the crushing weight of the swarm’s numbers may force them into the most unlikely places in search of fresh meat. Enemy commanders often mistake Zombie ambushes as signs of tactical thought or animal cunning, when in reality all they do is follow their noses.

Special Rules:
Immobile: Zombie Tunnels are Immobile and have no armament. A Tunnel Mouth is destroyed by any penetrating hit but ignores glancing hits.
Zombie Tunnels are placed on the board in turn 1 as per the rules for Deep Strike. Units being brought back onto the table as per the ‘Without Number’ rule may deploy from the Tunnel Mouth as if disembarking from it. Any unit that is kept in reserve may deploy from the Tunnel Mouth in the same way.

Zombie Dogs
Zombie Swarm Pts:6 WS:3 BS:0 S:3 T:3 W:1 I:3 A:1 Ld:10 Sv:-

Animals infected by the Virus become vicious and aggressive to the point of madness. Fortunately, they have a tendency to gnaw on their own flesh and bones, destroying themselves quickly.

Number/Squad: 5-20.
Weapons: Fangs, counts as having one close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, Fleet of Foot, Furious Charge, Rage.

Heavy Support

Colossus Pts:40 WS:3 BS:0 S:6 T:6 W:3 I:2 A:1 Ld:10 Sv:-

Sometimes the Virus infects a large mutant, or may even cause spontaneous mutation in several hosts causing them to fuse together. These beings, known as Colossi, shamble after their smaller brethren; enabling the swarm to batter through obstacles they might otherwise be unable to access.

Number/Squad: 1-20
Weapons: None, counts as having one close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Eternal Warrior, Fearless, Feel No Pain, Monstrous Creature, Regeneration, Slow and Purposeful.
Wargear: Large Fists, counts as having one close combat weapon.

Comments, additions, etc. welcome.

The Guy
28-08-2008, 18:23
Looks good, although I'd make everything 4 toughness at least, zombies are supposed to be very hard to kill [I run mine at T5, but that might be pushing it if you want balance :D]

Can zombies make themselves into a zombie swarm and vice versa?

28-08-2008, 18:43
First of all, autoguns and autopistols have been the same as lasguns and laspistols for a long time. They should be R24 S3 AP- Rapid Fire and R12 S3 AP- Pistol respectively.

I would say "Any penetrating hit destroys a tunnel, while glancing hits do not effect them" for simplicity.

Your Number/Squad is representative of how many you field for the points paid, not how many can eventually show up during the game. Take away your "infinite" references and replace them with a number. It's the Without Number special rule that makes them Infinite, not the Number/Squad.

I would eliminate the Rage special rule from Zombies and Zombie Swarms. They're not angry, just hungry.

I would include a unit of sympathizers for ranged attacks and give the ghouls better hth weapons instead of guns. I would also give Ghouls Regeneration and increase their points to 10.

Sympathizers Pts:6 WS:2 BS:2 S:3 T:3 W:1 I:3 A:1 Ld:7 Sv:-

People are often driven mad by the constant moaning of zombies and they may have been holed up in isolation for a little while too long, or maybe the fact that they've seen their loved ones rise from the dead pushed them over the edge. In any event some people start to think that maybe they are zombies too. They have a similar ramshackle appearance but may carry weapons. (Which is about the only way to tell them apart!) To represent this you can take a unit of zombie sympathizers as an Elites choice.

Number/Squad: 5-10
Weapons: A single close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fleet of Foot, Rage.
Options: Sympathizers may choose to replace their close combat weapon with an Autogun or Autopistol or add a second close combat weapon at +1pts per model.

You're going to run into problems having Zombie Swarms and a Zombie entry. I would change the Zombie Swarms entry to something like an Ankle Biters entry. You know, so you can represent Zombies that have been blown in half but are still crawling around dragging people down by their legs. It would create a cool modeling possibility too.

Ankle Biters
Ankle Biters Pts:8 WS:2 BS:0 S:3 T:3 W:4 I:2 A:4 Ld:10 Sv:-

Zombies don't need to be whole to be dangerous. Often during battle or as the result of a horrible accident they have limbs blown off or become completely bisected. They are more dangerous this way because they're more difficult to spot. However, their debilitated state makes them more vulnerable to blast weapons. Ankle Biters are represented by a single large base with several bisected zombie bodies.

Number/Squad: 1
Weapons: Teeth, counts as having one close combat weapon.
Special Rules: Fearless, Feel No Pain, Slow and Purposeful, Swarm, Without Number

I fully intend on playtesting this Codex next week.

28-08-2008, 18:49
The zombies are way too cheap for what they are. I'd suggest giving them basic stats of toughness 2. I know that will mean that they lose feel no pain, but seeing as bolter rounds are explosive, there wont be much zombie left after being hit by one. If stats reduced to 2, then i think they will be much more fair. For the most part they currently stand as being insanely hard.

28-08-2008, 19:29
I think you should keep the autogun as it is, make it a bit better than the lasgun.

28-08-2008, 21:46
I've started my own discussion about this on another message board. (I didn't want you to think I was just stealing it.)


29-08-2008, 01:58
Ok, some thoughts.

RexTalon: The guns in the list aren't well maintained and Zombies don't use them like regular troops. They shamble forward and blast away almost at random. This is because I didn't want to make Zombies good at shooting in any way but I also didn't want to slow down the Zombie's advance. I'll probably do what I thought originally and re-name the guns to show that they're not normal Autoweapons.

I agree with the tunnel penetration rule and the squad sizes, will edit in a minute.

I think the Rage special rule represents the Zombie's insatiable hunger and mindlessness pretty much perfectly. I mean, think about the movies. You'd think they were sharks, the way they can track fresh meat for miles. Zombies don't have tactics, they just shamble forward with dreadful intent.

I don't see how Sympathizers really fit into a Zombie horde. I mean, the Zombies would eat and infect them all. I figured that if people wanted something like that, they could take a Nurgle dedicated Chaos Renegade squad from FW.

Ankle Biters are funny, and I see your point here with swarms supposed to be hordes of small creatures, but not too sure if I like them or not. Have to think about it.

BTW, describing me as 'some guy' is a little bit insulting. But thanks for giving me some credit.

The Guy: I thought about it, but figured that'd be a bit too complex... particularly considering the Pink Horror/Blue Horror thing was pretty unpopular.

robtheguru: Zombies are supposed to be extremely hard and numerous. You have to shoot them in the head for it to count, anything less and they just keep on coming. The average bolter shell will simply pass straight through them, taking a big chunk and maybe destroying them enough that the virus gives up, but not 100% likely. FNP pretty much represents that you have to shoot them in the head for it to count.

The bright side is, when they get into hand to hand, you get your full armour save. Zombies do not and should never get any special CCW. Also, you want heavy weapons, preferably with templates and tanks or walkers. The trick will be to control the flood, destroying the Zombie Tunnels and Colossi are imperative, and channeling the Zombie advance with a tank wall is a good idea.

29-08-2008, 09:36
Well I did name you by screen name and actual name.

I hadn't read the Rage rule before I posted that. You're right, the name of the rule is misleading. I thought it was the same as the rule for Chaos Dreds, where you have to roll to see if you can control them. Zombies should have Rage.

I Added the sympathizers unit because of the book World War Z, in which you find some people going crazy and trying to act like zombies. If there is a psyker leading them, he might be able to keep them from munching the sympathizers...

A friend of mine suggested another fast attack unit.
Busload of Zombies
A flaming Busload of 20 people became infected and is careening across the table!

This unit begins the turn in reserves. When it becomes available place it anywhere on the board edge of your deployment zone. Move it in a straight line 12 inches per turn until it impacts something, be that a terrain feature, unit friend or foe, or another vehicle. If it impacts another vehicle immediately perform a Ram attack. The bus has an AV of 10 on every side. After the impact the vehicle becomes a Wreck. Follow the rules for a Wrecked Vehicle on Page 62 of the 40k rulebook as the Zombies that were on board clamor out in search of fresh victims.

30-08-2008, 16:48
some more zombie types for you to consider.

Spitters - some zombies by some strange genetic fluke start to produce an enormous amount of digestive acid which they can reguritate and than vomit a great distance away.
(zombies with a flamer attack)

Howlers - some zombies are capable o letting out a mind shattering moan which can break the morale of even the bravest of souls.
(zombies with a pinning attack or something like that)

Stalkers - some zombies have retained the slightest glimmer of intelligence and are even known to employ stealth when closing with their chosen prey they gather in packs and roam ahead of the main mass of zombies.
(zombies with scout or infiltrate basically and perhaps stealth)

Alpha - the most rare of zombies infected with the virus yet retaining all of it's intelligence, yet it is twisted to the point where he has lost all reason and all it uses its mind for is to corner prey.
(HQ choice all zombie units with a zombie within 6" lose the "slow and purposeful" and "rage" special rules)

i hope you find them useful, maybe even like them. :p

31-08-2008, 01:45
Great stuff DeviantApostle.

As you've said here have been several discussions on Zeds in 40K before, I've taken part in more than one ;) here's a few ideas inspired by you're stuff here ....
Armed and (potentially) Dangerous Zombie hordes often contain recently dead members of the armed forces attempting to destroy them, these individuals lack the essential higher brain function to utilise the weaponry they cling on to in any real capacity, but sometimes the weapons happen to be pointing in the right direction when they go off
This upgrade is bought for units and can be bought at the rate of 1 upgrade for every 10 models in a squad:- Range 18" S D6 Ap D6 Assault D6

Patient Zero(for anyone who's read Stephen King's "Cell" just think the Raggedy Man :D) Sometimes a villain messing with things that are best left undisturbed, others an innocent victim with plain bad luck patient zero exhibits bizarre variations from the majority of his shabby army.
Ws 4| Bs 2| S 3| T 3| W 3| I 4| A 3| Ld 10| Sv 5+| Special: Feel No pain, Fearless. Poisoned attacks.

Patient Zero exhibits the apparent ability to control the Zombies, either that or he somehow embodies some kind of collective will of the horde. Zombies within 24" of the Zombie may re-roll their Slow and purposeful roll, in addition they may re-roll any run move they make.
Zombies within 12" of Patient zero may re-roll their Feel No Pain roll.

Zogryn Occasionally Ogryn will become infected whilst a force is attempting to suppress a plague a zombie plague, Ogryn aren't famed for their Mental powers and the Plague does little to help this although their famed resilience is seemingly enchanced
Ws 4| Bs 2| S 4| T 4| W 3| I 2| A 2| Ld 6| Sv 5+| Special: Feel No pain
The Zogryn are equipped with Huge pieces of detritus, some may even have their Ripperguns although the ammo will have been spent long ago.
All Zogryn attack @S6

Lurkers Sometimes zombies get trapped in places, either too badly mangled to leave or otherwise to dumb to work out how to open the door. These zombies pose a real threat as survivors hoping to outrun a horde can often stumble straight into them.
You may buy upto three lurkers in one FA choice.
Buildings often have lone zombies inside, somehow trapped or unable to escape, perhaps a newly dead body that's going to arise at any time.

For each "Lurker" you buy you may secretly nominate one building or ruin (yes that's right, even in the enemy deployment zone :evilgrin:!), Should an enemy unit be within a lurker building at the start of any turn you may choose to reveal it, the Lurker will automatically attack the unit with a single hit that wounds on a 4+, no armour saves allowed but Invulnerable saves are allowed. The squad must also take an immediate Ld test, if it fails it must spend it's next turn checking for any more.

Pile O' Bodies The paranoia and stress of an attack by Plague Zomies is a true test of a warrior, decaying cadavers lurch towards you eager to feast upon your flesh and make you one of their own, even friends and comrades turn on you as they fall, bodies pile up everywhere and you can never be sure that they are dead, or that they will stay so for long.....

You can buy upto three piles of bodies for each HS choice you buy, a pile of bodies is represented by a suitably gruesome marker, these are placed as if they have the infiltrators USR but they cannot ever move once placed.

"IT MOVED!!!!" If a unit moves within 6" of a marker or attempts to shoot anything that's further away than the marker it must make an immediate Ld test, if it fails one of the squad members thought he saw one of the corpses moving about and let's rip with all of his firepower, the squad react the same, resolve all of your firing at the pile, it has 6 wounds, a toughness of 4 and a 5+ invulnerable save once the firing is complete the squad will do nothing for the remainder of the turn as they eye the pile warily or desperately reload.
If the pile is reduced to 0 wounds it's removed from play and has no further effect.

Should make things a bit fun :D

31-08-2008, 08:51
I really like that Lurker rule. It's like a Lictor, but more frightening. The hit on a 4+ is nice, because it's supposed to represent them being caught by surprise. Very flavorful.

Simon Sez
31-08-2008, 15:33
I love the Lurker and the Pile o' bodies, nothing better then making your opponent terrified to move.

Instead of Without Number, how about snipping the Zombie unit size to something less insane (say, 40 maximum) and letting you use all Force Organisation slots to make another Zombie unit?

"Wow that collossus looks impressive, but I'd rather have MORE ZOMBIES!!"

"Blimey that Zombie master could come in handy, but then again MORE ZOMBIES"

Just have them enter through the Tunnels like Reserve units.

Actually speaking of the Tunnels, why not have a rule where Tunnels are linked up, and a Zombie unit can start its move in contact with one, and pop out the other side but not be allowed to shoot or charge. Enemy units can use them too but suffer a Dangerous Terrain test. Vehicles and Monstrous creatures can't use them.

How about this:
The Belcher
A massive bombard possessed of daemonic sentiece, hauled across the field by chained Undead, the Belcher froths and bubbles with rendered Zombie, which it throws into the air as a sickening rain of plague and horror.
The Belcher:80pts? (Heavy Support, 0-1)
WS:2 BS:0 S:3 FA:12 SA:11 RA:10 I:2 A:5*
Type: Open-topped Walker
Crew: 5 Zombies
Weapons: Belcher Cannon.
Range:G36" Str:3 AP:6 Type: Ordnance1, Barrage, Infectious.
Special Rules
Dropping like Flies: The belcher loses one Attack for each Crew Shaken or Stunned result.

Something to prompt your opponent to risk the Lurkers to avoid losing potentially masses of troops from Infection.

Are the Zombie Masters and Patient Zero's going to be able to buy Equipment? Fun things like a Nurgles Rot-alike, Still Not Dead from Kill Team or a special combat "Throws up his putrid guts" attack.

31-08-2008, 17:26
This is actually a nice list and nice variants.Thumbs up!!!

31-08-2008, 18:19
It would seem that everything is coming along nicely, we are getting a nice spread of units throughout the codex.
So far the following units have been suggested,

Zombie Master
Patient Zero
Alpha Zombie


Zombies (spitter & howler unit upgrades)
Zombie Swarm / Ankle Biters

Zombie Tunnels
Zombie Dogs
Busload of Zombies

Pile o’ Bodies
The Belcher

I thought it would be nice if we had all suggestions in one post, so maybe the OP could copy this list into his first post.

i must say that i'm really psyched about this, i believe it has alot of potential for a fun and truly enjoyable army.
(p.s. i'm also very excited about this because i was working on rules for a zombie rpg using the necromunda rules as a basis.)

Simon Sez
02-09-2008, 08:08
Hmm, 3 HQ choices seems a little crazy for a bunch of near mindless zombies, maybe if you switch Patient Zero (Loving that name) to a o-1 Elite Choice, or even make him a Special Character?

Otherwise its a nice spread of units considering, you know, they're Zombies. Depending on what you pick a very themed Cities of Death army could be made.

02-09-2008, 08:48
Great ideas guys. Here's a few of mine (no stats though):

Zombie Bats - as a side effect of the infection, the bats grow to a huge size (so they'd either be something like a flying Ripper Swarm or something like the fantasy giant Vampire bats).

Zombie Nurse - these still retain a bit of the skills they had in life, and zombies are easy to patch up. Independent character, but up to 3 may be taken as a single choice on the Force Organization Chart. A squad with a zombie nurse gets +1 to its regeneration roll.

Zombie Bomb - either a bloated zombie filled with explosive gases or a normal zombie who has managed to get a lot of explosives on him. When hit, the zombie bomb will explode. They'd form a unit in a similar way to Tyranid Spore Mines. Maybe it could also serve as an anti-tank weapon.

basic Zombie upgrades:
Armoured Zombies (these are former Guardsmen, riot police etc. and get a 5+ save)
Zombie Marines! (a 0-1 upgrade that gives them +1 S, +1T and rusty power armour (4+ save) - very expensive though)
Mutant Zombies (+1 S)
Ork Zombies (+1 T)
Tyranid Zombies (move at normal speed)

02-09-2008, 13:27
If you go with a traits system like the 4ed SM and IG dex then you run the possibility of people just taking the most effective units. (which is why they're taking that system away in 5ed)

03-09-2008, 09:58
The list seems to lack one thing, a good HQ. There are a bunch of ideas here i like such as the zombie that still retains intellect, and the screamer/exploding/acid zombies.

Really though i think that the best and easiest way to incorperate a HQ for a zombie Plague would be to have a Chaos Lord or Sorcerer (must have Mark of Nurgle) and a bodyguard of plague marines.

Makes sense to me fluff wise, after all the followers of Nurgle are the ones seeding the zombie plague.

A fun little rule to make players be cautious about how they use their lords would be to have the zombies take a leadership test at the beginning of each assault phase if the lord and his retinue are within 6" of them, and if they fail they assault the Lord!

just my 2 cents

03-09-2008, 15:03
OH MY GAWD! You mean... people should play Chaos the way it's supposed to be? With a squad or so of marines and a huge army of cultist types? (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Yea, they could do that, or they could just pump awesome psychic powers into the Master.

09-09-2008, 01:21
i playtested this today and boy was it great, cept we changed the collosus to allow for 3 per choice and it was surprisingly balanced