Last Night on Earth was the board game that really got me into board games, but Invasion From Outer Space was the first modern board game that I owned. And after playing my first few IFOS games, I’ve been wanting to try that Earth Overrun scenario that pits Zombies, Martians, and the Heroes against each other. Unfortunately, things never panned out. For starters, that scenario needs at least three players that know how to play both games, and the modified board layout required a bigger table than what we have at home. So I never really got the chance to see which evil Flying Frog Productions faction is better.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend offered to purchase games for us in the U.S. as his parents were visiting, and I took the opportunity – I ordered the web exclusive Cloaked Martian Scouts supplement for IFOS. With the new Martian reinforcements, my interest in the game was revived and my nephew and I are now planning on trying out a custom-made Zombies vs Martians scenario. I’m very excited about this, primarily because the Zombies are fundamentally very similar with the Martians, and I’ve always wanted to show that the Martians are as threatening as the Zombies (maybe even more so). And I can’t help but try and anticipate how our game is going to go, and which side is going to win. Let me compare the advantages and disadvantages of both factions:
- Zombies win on ties.
- Zombies are hard to kill in Fights (melee combat) – not only do they have to get beaten in a Fight, but doubles need to be rolled to kill them.
- Zombies can walk through walls.
- In LNOE/IFOS cross overs, Zombies have the Auto Spawn rule. This means that new Zombies will enter the game on EVERY turn.
- Zombies can “zombify” the Martian Champions.
- Zombies, at least in my games, have more cards in the Zombie deck. This is because I already have the Growing Hunger LNOE expansion.
- Despite having a lower maximum limit of Zombies in play (14 compared to the Martian’s 18 plus the Champions), Zombies attack individually and can essentially outnumber the Martians.
- Zombies replenish their hand to 4 cards every turn.
- Zombies are limited to playing one Fight card per Fight.
- Zombies have no Range attacks.
- Zombies have Zombie Hunger – they are forced to move toward nearby Heroes/Martians.
- Zombies only roll 1 die in Fights.
- Zombies have less control over where they spawn, and have immobile Spawning Pits.
- Martians have a 1 square range attack that can kill Zombies if they fail to dodge on successful hits.
- Aside from having the Martian Soldiers, they have the Martian Leader, the Zard Beast, and the Martian Scouts on their side.
- The Martians have Martian Tech that can upgrade their abilities or serve as special attacks.
- The Martian Landing Sites are mobile.
- Martians fight in Packs of three – each Martian in a Pack equates to 1 die in a Fight. A Full Martian Pack (three Soldiers) means they’ll be rolling 3 dice against the Zombies’ 1 die.
- Martians die upon losing a Fight.
- Killed Martians turn into Zombies, including the Champions.
- There are fewer Martian cards in the Martian deck.
- Martians can’t walk through walls, so they are easier to corner.
- Martian Packs are forced to Fight each and every Zombie in the same square (except the newly-Zombified Martians).
Just by comparing the two sides, it looks like the Zombies have an advantage. I’m playing as the Zombie player for our first match, and my plan is to just go at the Martians using brute force and be hyper aggressive all game. It’s very dangerous for the Martians to get caught up in Fights as each time they lose, they lose one of their numbers and add to the Zombies. I’m not sure if my nephew has already considered his strategies, but if I were him, I’d play defensively and wait until I get the right upgrades before launching an offensive.
Yes, I think I know how the games are going to go. I can’t wait to see if it actually plays out the way I imagined it to go. Personally, I’ve always been rooting for the Martians, but even with the new Scouts I think they’re the underdogs. I predict a landslide victory for the Zombies, at least for the first game, especially since I’ll be controlling them.