The Zombie Clutch!

May 3rd, 2013

You’ve seen it in every zombie flick: a zombie latches on to a hapless Survivor who can do nothing but try to shake the undead thing off. This was cleverly done in a finale episode of the Walking Dead; Andrea backs up against a stand of trees to hide from the Governor, suddenly a zombie reaches through and pins her there. Meanwhile, more zombies close in for din-din!

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The zombie clutch is a classic move and one that builds dread for its victim. It’s the same in Pittsburgh 68 with  the Clutch card (which has the appropriate tag line “Get it off of me!”). And just like in a zombie flick, bystanders can help you escape – if they desire. In game terms, this “help” comes in the way of spoints (Survivor Points) that other players can give you to help you with your FLAIL roll.

But just like in a zombie movie, maybe the other Survivors don’t want to get that close to the zombie… Or maybe your character deserves it… Or maybe, you are just not worth the spoint!

In the game, the Survivor is trapped until they succeed a FLAIL  test (roll two dice and get their Speed score or less). Spoints are spent to increase your Speed, so using them can put the odds of escape in your favor. But there’s that rub again - is it worth the spoint?

These are some of the tough decisions you will face in a real Zombie Apocalypse, friends!

Luckily in the game, the Survivor is in no real danger. They are not being attacked, just clutched. It’s the other zombies they need to worry about – but that’s everyone’s problem in Pittsburgh 68. Some options for the player who falls victim to this are:

–If the player has multiple Survivors in play, they can still act with their other Survivors. This lets the player attack with their non-clutched Survivors, while still flailing with their clutched Survivor.

–If a player does not have multiple Survivors, being clutched gives them a good reason to REVEAL another Survivor in their hand (instead of wasting a turn to potentially fail their flail).

The good news (and this is important to remember): the Clutch card disappears at the end of every reel. It does not last the entire game! Like Power Play cards (good cards the Survivors take), the Clutch card is shuffled back into the Dead Pile (discard pile).  It may show up again. It may not.

–Determining a Random Victim: When the Clutch card appears, it is the Zombie Master’s job to determine who is clutched. The best way to do this is to assign each in-play Survivor a number, and then roll a die to see who the lucky victim is. Do not roll two dice for a larger group, as a single die gives everybody an even chance.

–As noted in the Pittsburgh 68 rulebook, if there are more than 6 Survivors in play, separate them first into two smaller groups (one is odds, the other is evens). Then roll a die to determine from which group (odds or evens) that the victim will be selected. Finish by rolling a die to see who in that group is clutched.

The best news is that there’s only one Clutch card in the deck. Because of the random nature of the game, Clutch may never show up at all - so, appreciate when it does…

The Zombie Master sure will!

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