October 29th, 2015
Quick tip for Shuffling Horror play!
Use the box as a trophy wall to hold Zombie or Familiar Face cards eliminated with a headshot. This is a good place to stick Plot Device and Sanctuary cards after they are played out, too. This is what we do at our convention games; players love seeing the box fill. It also allows the Director and players to assess how much zombie power is still left in the deck.
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October 27th, 2015
Every Shuffling Horror director brings their own personal touch to the game. Zombo-matic is a trademark move of Director Don Purcell. It’s an option he applies to a very specific circumstance: when a player’s last survivor is eliminated with a snake eyes roll.
As per standard rules, if a zombie rolls snake eyes on its attack roll, the attacked survivor is immediately infected and turns into a zombie. The zombie player who attacked takes this survivor card and places it in their hand as a Familiar Face.
Purcell’s twist is that, if losing this Survivor card causes the player to join the Zombie Team, he allows the player to keep it as a Familiar Face in their own hand. This lets that player start their next turn with a zombie already in play (and quite a powerful zombie at that). This is a strategic benefit for the zombie team, but such a play might also immediately trigger the Turning Point; normally a player waits until their next turn to draw their first zombie card. A Director must strategically think out the value of this gift before it is given.
Due to the double qualifier that applies to this play (rolling snake eyes, last survivor) Zombo-matic is not something that will happen very often. When it does, it is terrifying: without any warning, someone you trusted in the party is suddenly a zombie in your midst.
It is something that happens in almost every zombie film and perfect for Pittsburgh 68 play!
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June 30th, 2013
As per the normal rules of Pittsburgh 68, a reel immediately ends when the final card of the Reel Pile is eliminated or taken. The current turn is over and no other player action may be taken. This is important, because the next reel resets the turn sequence to the first payer to the right of the Zombie Master.
For this reason, it is to the players’ advantage to delay the end of a reel to allow as many Survivors to act as possible, while assuring that the Zombie Master does not get a final action.
In games with a large number of Survivor players (4+), the Continuity rule is encouraged. This rule simply resumes the action with the player whose turn was next, but was cut short by the end of the reel. This also gives the game a sense of film continuity, as opposed to a choppy non-sequitar grindhouse-style cut of a grainy, gritty B movie!
The Continuity rule also allows the Zombie Master’s turn comes up that much earlier during the round, too.
Keep in mind, that Reel 4 always plays around to the Zombie Masters turn.
The final reel is never over until it’s over!
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June 30th, 2013
Experienced players know that the flow of Pittsburgh 68 can change in a heartbeat: the turn of one card can trigger an avalanche of zombies and immediately ruin the Survivors’ best laid plans. Then there are those odd games where the Zombie Master just can’t get their footing. What’s a ZM to do?
As per the rules for the Opening Scene of Reel 1, any zombie that appears in the first three cards automatically “stumbles” into the Zombie Master’s hand as lone zombies. This is not done for the start of the subsequent reels: Reels 2 through 4 have no Opening Scene stumble. However, if there are no in-play zombies at the start of a subsequent reel, the ZM can try to introduce some Background Zombies to get things started.
To do so, the ZM starts the reel as normal, shuffling the Dead Pile and dealing the requisite number of cards for the reel. The ZM then secretly draws a number of cards from the Dead Pile. The number of cards drawn is equal to the current reel number (two cards for Reel 2, three cards for Reel 3, and four cards for Reel 4). Just as the rules for the Opening Scene, any zombie that is drawn is immediately placed as a lone zombie. Non-zombie cards are returned to the Dead Pile.
At the start of a reel, there can be no zombies in any Zombie Player’s hand.
After the shuffling and counting of the Reel Pile, the ZM draws a number of cards equal to the reel number from the Dead Pile. Two cards for Reel 2, three cards for Reel 3, and four cards for Reel 4.
Any zombies that are drawn may be placed in the ZM’s hand. All other cards are ignored and returned to the Dead Pile.
Drawn zombies cannot be used to create throngs, and must be placed as lone zombies in the ZM’s hand. The exception to this is Reel 4 if all four cards are zombies. The fourth card can be placed to create a throng or given to another Zombie Player’s hand.
The reel then begins as normal.
An advantage of the ZM secretly previewing the bonus cards is that they will get a sense of what cards are NOT in the Reel Pile. While drawing zero zombies is a bummer, the knowledge that The Cellar or Killing Machine won’t be coming into play can be very gratifying…
As with all other Alt Rules, at the start of the game, players should be told which Alt Rules are in play. For Background Zombies, wily Survivors can strategically thwart the ZM’s bonus by leaving a zombie in play.
But who really wants to leave one of those things around… Always leads to trouble… Remember Bub?
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June 7th, 2013
To put a little more tension in the game, try using The Backseat Zombie rules when The Car appears. When it does, the Zombie Master buries a random card from The Dead Pile (discard pile) underneath it. This mystery card is only revealed when a Survivor enters the car.
When the card is revealed, the following applies:
If it is an ITEM card, the Survivor may automatically take it (free action) or they may leave it there for anther Survivor (who must move to The Car to get it)
If it is a ZOMBIE card, it gets an immediate attack on the Survivor. The zombie stays at the Car until the zombie is destroyed. Until then, there is no resting bonus in the Car…
If it’s a PLOT DEVICE or SHUFFLING HORROR card, it is played immediately. There is also a slight chance that The Cellar is revealed; in such a case it is immediately put into play.
This rule only can occur if The Car appears (and so might never be triggered). It should not be used for The Cellar. This way there is at least one Sanctuary card that is completely safe for the Survivors to enter during play. This rule also forces the Survivors to explore The Car early, to clear it of any zombies should they want to make use of the sanctuary later in the game.
Besides, we’re working on some special Alt Rule for The Cellar…
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