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Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead - Board Game Box Shot

Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead

, | Published: 2010

Zombie State takes the zombie challenge from a first person experience to a global challenge the way no other game has! In this exciting and challenging game players act as the leader of an entire territory.

Players are rapidly overwhelmed by the spread of zombies and by random outbreaks within their territory. Each player must move fast to successfully test technologies that will help him or her combat the spread of the infection. Players may utilize technologies in military advancements, medical breakthroughs, and in physics and science.

Each player harnesses these technologies individually or in combinations that will help them stave off the walking dead and ultimately halt the spread of the disease. If players can’t stop the progression, they are forced to try and maintain some corner of civilization within their territory, in hopes that they can hang on long enough to reclaim and rebuild their territory at a later time.

Players do not compete directly in military combat, but will struggle along their borders where they try to reinforce them or redirect the spread of the walking dead to try and keep the zombies out of their territory. The most powerful technologies and combinations thereof will lead to a player’s supreme victory.

images © Zombie State Games

User Reviews (3)

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Miniature Painter
Stone of the Sun
I'm Completely Obsessed
Novice Advisor
73 of 80 gamers found this helpful
“I wanted to love this game, but like the game itself, I wasn't up for the challenge.”

My husband and I love the zombie theme – it is a bit of an obsession in the Moore household. And we both love gaming, so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this treasure at our FLGS. The game states its objective as, “You have been overrun by multiple outbreaks of Moaning Virus 1 (MV1) and the outlook is bleak. You must retro-fit your largely symbolic military quickly to turn back the tide of rotting corpses. At the same time, you must optimize your quickly dwindling resources to fund crucial medical and scientific breakthroughs to save your civilians…” Woo hoo – I know how I’m spending my afternoon – saving the planet from MV1! As soon as we got home, we opened the box, unpacked all the bits and boards – you do get quite a lot with this game – and after reading over the instructions, we started playing (or attempted to anyway). The sparkle quickly faded from our eyes as we realized this game where zombies are taking over the world just wasn’t going to be as fun as we’d thought it would be.

What I liked

1. You do get a lot in the game – lots of counters, adorable military units (representing tanks), freedom point pawns, technology counters, technology sheets, a leader card, technology sheets, mutation markers, resource cards (food, oil, ore – that sort of thing), resource counters, lots o’ dice, a large game board, and zombie tokens. So you are getting a lot of stuff in the box.

2. It had intentions of being a zombie game, so I do want to give it points for that. I really like the concept of it – the scope of doing a large-scale zombie disaster recovery game. Trying to manage resources and fight against this tide of the dead is such an awesome concept. And the board even makes sense – the way it is set up as a giant map of the Earth, with borders indicated.

3. I agree with the reviewer who said that it allows for strong strategic gameplay and provides the feeling of impending doom – no doubt about that. Though I would suggest that the feeling of impending doom almost overwhelms the desire to play, as it is not a case of who will win, but who will lose last. (As I can see I’m shading into what I didn’t like, I’ll just move on…)

What I didn’t like

1.WHERE ARE THE ZOMBIES? For a zombie-themed game, it seemed like this game could have been about anything else. I tended to forget at times that these were zombies attacking instead of an outbreak of polio or bird flu or giant hamsters attacking and overrunning villages. Yes, there were zombie tokens, but they were tiny, and could have just been guys with some flesh-eating bacteria problem or maybe severe acne. The zombie theme just fell flat as this was ultimately about resource management.

2. The game became very complicated to play. To be fair, I haven’t played similar games before (I saw it compared to Pandemic and Settlers of Catan), so it could be my lack of familiarity with the experience made me predisposed to resist it. Regardless, there were lots of phases to go through, complex rules, different actions on the board, different tiers to go through.

3. For me, I really would have liked the game to have come with miniatures to paint, rather than so many little cardboard tokens. That would have helped with the theme of zombies, and helped enhance the quality of the game. Having the little plastic tanks were nice, so having other resources made out of plastic would have really been an improvement.

4. The movement on the board seemed a bit lacking – it felt like a game of Risk to me, which I’ve never really gotten into.
All-in-all, it felt like work, like a challenge – and without a clear zombie theme it wasn’t worth it. Game after game was played in attempt to love this game – and with each game, it became clear that it just wasn’t for us.

Player Avatar
Critic - Level 1
71 of 78 gamers found this helpful
“The Dead Are Walking on a Global Scale”

Or this could be called Settlers of the Zombie Pandemic. There’s no way around it, Pandemic and Settlers of Catan will be the games most people will associate with Zombie State, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead, the world is being overrun by decomposing reanimated corpses. No longer do we try to survive on the intersections of streets or in a single town or in an area like Atlanta. No! Now we’re looking at controlling the outbreak on a global scale. Now we’re seeing those undead invading and expanding in each country around the world. We see how the epidemic plays out and how survivors are quickly overwhelmed. And I mean Quickly! There is no mincing words here, this game is designed to kill you! If there was ever a case to have some blood pressure medication at the ready when playing a game, Zombie State is it.

In this game, you are basically playing the leader of defenders on a particular continent. The population of each country or state within a continent is shown and modified using a d6. So, one region might start off with a population of 6, but each round, as zombies eat the survivors, you rotate the dice to reflect the loss of life. Each round a zombie remains in your area, one survivor will die and the d6 will change to reflect the new population. Plus, with each death, new zombies are spawned. As the zombies overtake an area by eating all the survivors there, they migrate to the next most densely populated region adjacent to the one they are in. Suffice it to say, zombies multiply quickly.

You’re not defenseless, though. Remember I said there was a Catan-like mechanic to the game? During each round, you collect resources. Those resources are generated via the map, as a few regions of each continent produce specific resources such as food, ore, oil, etc. At the start of each round, you collect a resource for each resource region that still has survivors. By trading in resources, you can use the gigantic player’s guide each player gets (see the bottom-most photo in the game’s description above) to research different actions such as building tanks or walls or finding cures. After turning in the cards, you roll a dice to see if you successfully gained that ability. If so, you can begin using it; if not, you get a +3 to your next d12 die roll.

That is the game. Gain resources, research to be able to use more powerful technology to eradicate the expanding horde, get eaten, watch zombies spawn, watch them migrate across the map, try to get more resources to gain more knowledge to fight the flesh eaters, get eaten, and try to stay alive. The winner of the game: The one with the most survivors at the end (you count the pips on any dice remaining on your continent).

This is a tense, highly interactive game that will grab you from the first round and not let go until the final play of the game.

– Highly thematic and gives a feeling of impending doom
– Strong strategic gameplay
– Really nice components for the most part, although the next time I play I might break out a Bag o’ Zombies!!! babes and glow-in-the-dark zombies and use plastic minis rather than cardboard zombie chits.
– Your population is going to dwindle. No…it’s going to get eaten. Nom! Nom!

– Cardboard zombie chits.
– The resource management cards are EXTREMELY large. You better have plenty of table space to lay those puppies on.

There are so many strategic options to work with, this game has a lot of replayability. I have played three times and have tried different strategies in each session, one with pretty good success.

One other thing. You would think there would be a semi-cooperative mechanic to this game; I mean, each of us is trying to survive the outbreak. But, each player is also trying to save more of his people than the others, so it’s really a game about manipulating numbers and building defenses that force the horde to invade other countries and give the competition new headaches.

If you’re looking for a Pandemic variant, if you love the idea of zombies taking over the world, if you enjoy resource management games, Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead cannot be more recommended. This is a really, really fun game for three to five players. If you see this one at your FLGS, pick it up.

Player Avatar
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader
72 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Worst game I ever bought”

My wife and I thought this game would rock. After all, how can you go wrong with saving the world from zombies?

Well, start with no zombies. The theme couldn’t matter less in this game. It is resource management for the sake of managing resources – yay! Add to that a steep learning curve and the depression that I wasn’t fighting zombies, but a plague outbreak and I have to warn everyone to avoid this game.

As for difficulty, this game is VERY hard to win. Most of the time we played to see who lost last. 🙂

All said, I sold mine on eBay and I feel guilty for passing it on to someone else to be honest. But it was like new.


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