Dice sports are back on Kickstarter with their new product – Exodus. Exodus is a standalone prequel to the game Z War One Damnation. Damnation was one of the first games I covered when starting Tabletop Games UK. Thus, it was with great pleasure I was contacted to review the latest instalment.
Exodus is a one to five player game with a unique blend of tactical combat and shrewd resource management. All of this is backed up with a compelling set of comic book narratives.
Don’t Say The Z-Word!
The Z War One series is set in the United Kingdom after a major zombie outbreak. Damnation, the first game, takes part 6 months after Z-Day in Peterborough. Exodus is slightly before Damnation and set in Scotland. The two games share a good solid core of mechanics and movement. As such, they are easily interchangeable. I believe there will be some scenarios that use components from all the games. These wont be essential to the story of the game but are a nice little extra.
In Exodus there are a few core differences from its predecessor. The paper sheets from Damnation have been replaced by player dashboards. In truth both work, and the dash boards have a the perk of being infinitely reusable, I just preferred the paper record sheets. However, that’s just my personal preference.
As well as being a miniatures game, resource management features very heavily in the gameplay. There are only have so many bullets to go round, after all. This leads to some very tense decisions which furthers the excitement from the game. Unfortunately, you need to get both characters out to win, so if you are playing with a friend there is no option of sacrificing them. For the greater good…I suppose.
With three methods of play there is plenty of scope for replayability. The first is astory-driven campaign where you play through missions with an interlude of comic book reading for the backstory. This is actually great fun as the missions literally throw you into the story at important junctures. The second way of playing Exodus is to play the missions from the campaign as just simple stand alone games, great for a quick session.
The last is possibly the most-devious and potentially difficult method of play. Director Mode allows an extra player to play as the zombies. The Director uses cards and is able to stack the odds against the human players. Being able to manipulate spawning and the enemies’ behaviour, the zombies lose their predictability. Which, in honesty, has won me more than half my games to date.
Overall it’s either a great standalone game or if you’re a budding fan of the series an awesome expansion to Damnation. Coupled with being able to get the previous instalments as an add-on for the current Kickstarter now is really looking like a great time to jump on board.