Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Run, Fight, or Die

Product– Run, Fight, or Die

Producer-Grey Fox Games

Price– ~$35 here http://boardgamegeek.com/geekads/click/361282?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coolstuffinc.com%2Fp%2F205940

Set-Up/Play/Clean-Up– 10 min per player 1-6 players

TL; DR-Zombies!!! without the annoying length/Yahtzee with Zombies! 90%

 

Basics– Zombies!!! meat Yahtzee!  In Run Fight or Die, you play several different survivors trying to flee the zombie apocalypse while gathering up different survivors in town.  Each turn, you roll the main five dice and an event die.  The event die has random occurrences ranging from a sneak attack from a zombie (lose health) to an all clear night with no more zombies spawning this turn.  After that you have your main dice which can be rerolled two more times after the first roll.  These dice have faces ranging from running, melee attacks, range attacks, finding people, the “book of the dead”, and the zombie symbol which can’t be rerolled normally.  Each player has a board with three ranges on it (close, medium, and far).  Melee kills two close zombies, ranged attacks kill one at any range, and running moves one zombie back one range or off the player’s board.  The “book of the dead” and the finding people sides have different effects ranging from finding locations, healing, killing all zombies in one range, events, or finding gear depending on the number of matching symbols.  The zombie symbol causes one more zombie to spawn on your turn during the end of turn steps.  You can reroll a zombie symbol if you take a fleeing card-these are never good events!  After you attack zombies and get followers/locations/gear, you move all zombies one space closer.  If a zombie moves on to your character (from close range onto you), you lose health.  Then, you spawn three zombies with more for every zombie die side you have at far range, and the next player takes his or her turn.  The game continues until someone dies, someone finds the town line card with enough followers or someone gets the last zombie boss victory point.  Then, its the player with the most points wins!

 

Mechanics– This game is pretty simple and pretty fun.  Make no mistake; this is NOT a brain buster of a game.  It’s a simplified run and gun game.  You run around killing an unlimited hoard of zombies while trying to find people, locations, and gear.  The dice rule this game, and if your dice run cold, you will have a phenomenally bad time.  Each character is enough different from one another because their powers really do separate them from one another.  Each character has a different dice combo that will trigger something amazing if it happens, but it’s usually really hard to pull off, so I’ve never seen it actually happen.  The best description of this game is the old Zombies!!! game mixed with Yahtzee.  You move around town waiting for an end condition card to occur or enough point to happen to end the game.  Most often though, the game will end when someone dies.  It’s not a bad mechanic, but don’t expect any surprises or extreme complexity from this game.  4/5

 

Theme – I like this theme.  It’s zombies, so I know some people think that theme is played out.  But, the way the theme of advancing undead is implemented is a fun one.  The zombies fall down your player board almost like Tetris pieces at an unstoppable pace.  It’s rather tense as you try to stay alive but know that your continued survival is all dependent on the dice rolls.  It’s a very tense game that plays out in less than 30 minutes sometimes.  The different stories from each survivor do make an interesting story for how the world’s ending, and the fact that some followers are detrimental is another interesting way to represent how hard it is to deal with some people under pressure.  This game has a lot of style that really help emerge you in the world. 5/5

 

Instructions-So funny story-When I got my kickstarter copy of the game, it came with the rules, but was missing the middle pages of the rules.  The rules were not on board game geek either.  After emailing the creator, they now posted them there.  With the rules, the game isn’t hard to play.  It’s not horribly organized, but I think it could be better laid out.  Also, some questions like how often I can flee from zombie dice have come up, and the rules don’t specifically answer that question.  The rules are not bad, and the game is playable even with these questions, but a bit more would have helped make this game a bit better. 4.5/5

 

Execution-This game is pretty well set up.  The zombie pieces are well done miniatures, and you get a ton of them.  The cards all look cool.  The different characters have great art, layout, and story.  The player aids and zombie range boards are all done well.  The dice are nice and chunky with easy to read pictures.  The one thing I don’t like is the zombie boss.  It’s a giant zombie, but for most people who buy the game, it’s a cardboard token.  I would have liked to pay a bit more and ensure that everyone gets an awesome zombie boss mini that was part of the kickstarter.  You can buy your own boss mini, but that seems off to me.  I hate paying to make my games a bit better-it feels a bit like pay to win for me.  Like all my other minor problems with the game, the problems I have are not major, but a little bit more would really rocket this one to the top. 4.5/5

 

Summary- This is a fun game.  It’s not the kind of game I’d solely invite people over to play for a weekend, but it’s a great game to bring out late game day as a quicker game to get a bunch of people playing some last minute games.  This game has elements of games like Zombies!!!, but really cuts down on the length of the game.  And, the game has Yahtzee elements as you will try to roll for combinations of different effects to make it to the next turn or find different things.  The game isn’t perfect, but it’s a great way to get your zombie fix without having to spend hours spinning your wheels. 90%

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