In our first entry of what will be an ongoing series, This or That, I’ll be comparing Zombicide to Zombicide: Black Plague. Both of these cooperative games are from CMON and are about surviving and slaughtering hordes of zombies.
The immediate difference between the two is the setting. Zombicide is set in a modern post-apocalyptic world. Black Plague is set in medieval a fantasy world.
Both games have a ton of weapons to find and use against the zombie masses. The modern setting for Zombicide provides what you would typically expect to find in a game about murdering zombies left and right. You’ll have access to handguns, shotguns, crowbars, bats, assault rifles, chainsaws, and much more. In Black Plague, the weapon selection appears to be more limited as you usually come across just different swords, axes, and bows. However, you’ll also find spells, such as fireballs and lightning, to reduce those zombies to ash.
While you might come across a goalie mask to help prevent a bit of damage from the zombies attacking in the modern Zombicide; you’ll find multiple shields and armor to help stave off an injury in Black Plague. You might even get a healing enchantment to get rid of any injuries you’ve taken.
The other big difference is targeting when performing a ranged attack. In Zombicide, any ranged attack would first hit other survivors before you would hit zombies. This one rule turned off some people from the game. It even led to people coming up with house rules to try and balance out shooting without making melee weapons pointless.
Black Plague changed this rule. Now you only hit survivors on die roll misses. Otherwise, you’ll hit the zombie(s) you were aiming at. This slight change was praised by fans of the series and even brought people back into the series who were turned off by the original rule.
Black Plague has better organization of the items you get with the inclusion of plastic trays. These are used to track hit points, organize your items, track what skills you’ve unlocked, and hold your character’s portrait and abilities card. Zombicide only has a character sheet that you stick the cards on. While this takes up a little less room on the table, you do run the risk of knocking your item cards off your sheet.
Which One should I get?
That brings us to the most important question. Which one should I get? While there are some other minor differences on top of the major differences listed above, both games overall are the same. That means it comes down to the setting.
Zombicide makes you feel like you’re in a big budget blockbuster movie shredding zombies with all sorts of weapons. You can even run over zombies with a car. Black Plague lacks some of that bombast due to being a fantasy setting and lacking some weapon variety but makes up for it with cool spells and armor, along with an additional enemy called the Necromancer. This guy adds a whole new spawn point to the board that can become permanent if he escapes.
I personally prefer Zombicide over Zombicide: Black Plague. I just love that feeling of taking out a bunch of zombies with a chainsaw or seeing them become hood ornaments on the front of the police car I used to mow them down. I also prefer a modern post-apocalyptic setting over fantasy.
That being said, I recommend Black Plague over the original Zombicide to anyone that hasn’t played either. While the trays keeping your cards organized and tracking wounds are nice to have, the change to the shooting rule is a big deal. Yes, you can always house rule it into the original, but I prefer to play games the way they were made. Also, most people just want to be able to play and not have to come up with their own rules for playing a game, and I know that one rule turns off a lot of people.
Interested in Zombicide: Black Plague? Check out my review of Zombicide: No Rest for the Wicked, an expansion for Black Plague.