View Full Version : A more modern look at zombies

Strictly Commercial
08-12-2005, 03:10
What are the chances that when Vampire Counts (or some future undead equivalent) comes out the designers at GW will re-evaluate their image of zombies to be more in line with films like Dawn of the Dead (remake) or 28 Days Later where the zombies will be much more aggressive and fast moving cannibalistic killers? Of course if they do that, the six point per model cost will have to go but all things change with time, and zombies are rarely seen anymore as lumbering mindless corpses. Of course there are some advantages to the way they do things now and zombies work as they are, but it would be a refreshing break and put new life into the army (no pun intended). Either way is fine with me but I started with 6th ed and was wondering if veteran players have seen any dynamic changes like this.

08-12-2005, 03:54
They should use both - have fast ones be re-animated by forcing the spirit of a wolf or something into the corpse, and have the traditional zombie that is basically a puppet.

08-12-2005, 04:41
No, those are reanimated WOLVES. I'm suggesting we force a feral spirit into a HUMAN body. A quadruped in a bipedal body would just have on more thing to gripe about.
- BIG fan of the Dark Arts here.

08-12-2005, 04:52
Forget wolves, then.
We could use apes or bears or a number of other creatures that can walk like a man. The point is that zombies are slow because nobody's home.
I just think using a sentient would be like a rip-off of a vampire - Hi, I'm undead and enjoying every minute, please let me eat your brain so you can live forever too.

08-12-2005, 07:01
No. Zombies are zombies. Freshly killed people reanimated by the Necromancers magic. Unlike the "Modern day" Zombies, who are a byproduct of humankind fiddling with science. The necromancer only has so much will and energy, surely if he was powering hundreds of zombies, not just to their original human capabilities, but above and beyond them would exaust him in minutes.

08-12-2005, 08:15
The only good zombie is a shambling zombie.
The "modern take" might be a nice for the movies but I can't see a reanimated corpse suddenly gaining super speed, how can deteriorating muscles work better than when they were healthy. :)

Cpt. Drill
08-12-2005, 08:24
I am pretty sure they will stick with the traditional braindead zombies... because fast cannibalistic killers would be the Ghouls of the army!

08-12-2005, 16:11
A lot of this depends on which game system you are using, 40k Explains Zombies as Chaos created creatures, very much your reanimated corpses OR as some kind of Neurological virus (see necromunda's Zombie Plague). Whereas Fantasy Zombies are almost always the product of some Necromantic shenanigans.

I'll talk about 40K as it's what I know, To be honest in game terms Zombies should be poor at everything they should be Ws2 at the most and be "slow and purposeful", rather than having the EoT book's +1 save they should have "feel no pain" this will produce a slow moving had to kill wall of death tat you HAVE to kill.
As it stands these zombies are slow as hell and not really much of a threat (If you roll bad they might move 6" in the entire game) so what potential fixes are there? well I have a couple of Ideas:-
Give them Fleet of foot. I know it's not really in character for zombies to be fleet, but the game mechanic makes them a real threat, essentially this give them a move of between 2-12" per turn, definitely injecting a sense of urgency into getting rid of them, alternatively, just let them move normally.
Allow them to Infiltrate (corpses littering the battlefield, suddenly start getting up) or Deepstike (rising from the grave).
Rending Zombies, I know I know, but if you have to make the zombies more dangerous in combat, don't give them increased combat ability, just make it more dangerous to be in combat with them, the rending rule could easily be used to represent being dragged to the ground and eaten.
Increase the unit size. Allow them to be a true horde this is when zombies are their most dangerous (anyone near Caiger Mall last weekend knows what I mean ;)).
Give them We'll be back, Zombies invented this and it would represent downed zombies getting back up AND new "recruits".
Give them "Without Number" to represent more zombies being summoned to the sound of combat.

Obviously giving them all options would be ludicrously expensive but picking one or two could make a very fun unit (perhaps you could upgrade each mob of zombies with a couple of them).

08-12-2005, 17:32
Freshly killed people reanimated by the Necromancers magic.The necromancer only has so much will and energy...
That's my point. Zombies are brand new meat puppets.
TWB - your best bet is increasing unit size. I have had a Carnifex killed by the outnumbering rule when I tested some ideas with the latest 'dex. The conscripts couldn't hurt him, but he still took 3 wounds each round. It was a zombie scene with live people.

Strictly Commercial
09-12-2005, 08:21
I guess it makes sense that ghouls fill the niche of what modern zombies are like. What I was sort of wondering was if GW might actually rework the undead list to reflect the change of attitude. I personally like the VC list as is, however I am not resistant to change if the designers feel the old undead attitude has gone a bit stale. But the answer with the ghouls is probably about right, so I would leave it at that.

Moving on to the idea of the modern cannibalistic killer, perhaps a simple tweak to ghouls would make them more like the Dawn of the Dead zombies, such as a -1 to hit to represent the need to score a head shot. Mind you I'm not suggesting it be done or anything, just wondering what it would take to make an army of these guys if one were so inclined (much as I do like the VC list, a change to all the armies so they differ quite a bit would be a kind of refreshing surprise).

Hideous Loon
09-12-2005, 08:43
I have to agree with most people here (including no further views, move along if you will). Modern Day Zombies (such as portrayed in Dawn of the Dead or somesuch) is best represented by Ghouls. Have them if you will, but ruleswise they will be Ghouls. The main problem here, however, is that Ghouls are ALIVE, therefore they won't die if the General/PuppetMaster/whatever dies. (Okay, here comes some ideas...)

My solution here is, as far as I can tell, fairly simple. Give Ghouls the Undead special rule, not as a given, but as an option. Then, you can have both cannibals and fast running, clawing Zombies. What say you?

10-12-2005, 01:42
The main problem here, however, is that Ghouls are ALIVE, therefore they won't die if the General/PuppetMaster/whatever dies. (Okay, here comes some ideas...)
Not really a problem with the "modern zombie."
Look at Resident Evil - there is no controlling, animating force beyond the virus in the bodies. This seems common with what is laughably considered sci-fi zombie movies.
The real problem is that most these movies have a very quick infection rate. You would need some sort of rule to gain more ghouls when they kill-er, wound- other models.
I'm more interested in 40K, but if I remember right the necromancy spells in fantasy don't include creating ghouls.

10-12-2005, 02:43
The real problem is that most these movies have a very quick infection rate. You would need some sort of rule to gain more ghouls when they kill-er, wound- other models.

Isn't this where the WBB necron rule would serve well? rather than introduce new rules that make you try to resurect enemy models the WBB rule can easily represent the horde "regenerating" it's numbers by infection rather than JUST representing Zeds getting up

10-12-2005, 02:51
NO! They don't get to come back. The only way to get more is to infect more. And those shouldn't stand up until the other side has had a turn.
There's always a slight delay to build suspense. ;)

10-12-2005, 16:15
The point is that you can shoot 'em up, but if they get in and start killing it just gets worse.

Hideous Loon
11-12-2005, 13:50
But hey, as with most skirmishers, Ghouls die very easily from a good volley or magic missile.

11-12-2005, 18:23
That "to-wound of 6 turns target into ghoul" thing could make characters very hesitant to charge them...
I see a 500-point Hero on Monster charging a mass of ghouls, only to be turned.

bork da basher
11-12-2005, 20:32
im a huge fan of zombie movies.....well zombie movies that were good. none of this remake dawn of the dead 28 days later rubbish(they wernt zombies in that movie btw) i like the old fashioned huge horde of shambling slow braindead corpses. a wall of rotting flesh that just drowns its opponants in numbers.....and brains. the only zombie movie of the last 10 or so years that is any good is shaun of the dead. ace film and really funny but great zombies too. the vamp counts zombies are pretty much this. and i personnally dont think the counts need a super fast unit of unbreakable, fear causing, 6 pts a model troops that can be raised from the dead at 3 differant casting levels. keep em slow and shambly. the way zombies are supposed to be.

11-12-2005, 21:33
I'm sure somebody have said this allready, but the cannibalistic, fast, viscious undead are nicely covered by ghouls allready. Making zombies fast would just make them less zombie, which ain't fun at all.

He Who Laughs
12-12-2005, 11:49
The rules/stats in EoT for Zombies don't seem right (high Toughness, relatively high WS and a 4+ save) - and despite being "slow and purposeful", they just seem too hard. However, the alternate ones the appeared in WD a few months later have much better, "realistic" stats - WS1, "Slow and Purposeful", no armour, Feel No Pain. Unfortunately (correct me if I'm wrong) they don't have the "Sometimes they come back..." rule from the EoT battle report, which (as mentioned by TWB) has the potential to bring victims back as Zombies.
I have tried these rules in a Fun/Fast/Furious game I ran instore a while back - a team of Tau Pathfinders examining wreckage were set upon by a mob of shambling Zombies - it was great fun to see the Pathfinder team slowly diminish, all the while the Zombie mob got stronger... :evilgrin:

12-12-2005, 13:40
George A Romero is the only person ever to capture proper zombies on film.
The idea that zombies should be anything other than drunken townies is one that abhors me.
You should all be ashamed of yourselves!