It’s been a busy few weeks! But in between regular stints at work, I’ve been doing weekend trips to various HvZ Invitationals. What follows is a brief summary of the games, some video (more to be uploaded later), and some thoughts on the blasters I’ve been testing and seeing.
Le Moyne College – Rick And Morty
This invitational wasn’t originally on my radar, given various car issues. But with some luck, I was able to drive all the way to Syracuse, NY. Seeing as New York State has a rather strong HvZ community, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had.
The day consisted of missions themed around various elements of Rick and Morty, including retrieving the dog Snowball’s testicles and bringing back Jerry from Jerry Care. The day ended with a battle to take down Unity, where naturally all the remaining humans died. It was also a different experience in game play; zombies simply respawned thirty seconds after being hit. My Ohio-based experience in HvZ means zombies respawning on the fives, or with the help of a special. The constant reappearance of zombies kept me on my toes the entire day.
In addition, I did get the chance to try some other blasters. Mission one split groups into revolvers only and bananas. Yes, bananas are totally great tools for fighting zombies 😛 As such, the first mission was run with a Buzz Bee Zenith/Adventure Force Exact Attack. It performed admirably, as expected.
Later missions I used the Zuru Xshot Turbo Advance, which I reviewed about a month ago. It really is a starter kit for HvZ games, especially the $25, 148 dart package. It doesn’t shoot as far or as accurately as I like, but that’s not a completely fair assessment. As a longtime modder, I usually use or make things that have range and accuracy above what I’d buy in store. Adjusting my expectations and shooting much closer led to the Turbo Advance performing just fine.
Youngstown State University – Also Rick and Morty
Two similarly themed events, two weekends in a row? That’s called having zero coordination for themes 😛
YSU ended up being a smaller invitational, not least of which was because of scheduling issues. The only free weekend was also at the same time as the Athens weeklong game. Even so, it was a fun game, with lots of creative ways to keep the players occupied. From specials we had to find ways to kill (or avoid, only to have them come back and bite us at the finale), to a special Jerry escort mission involving areas going boom, it was a great game. Myself and one other friend ran the Boomco Halo Blaze of Glory, to great success. It’s essentially the perfect HvZ springer, especially with a supply of 40 dart clips.
Ithaca College HvZ
I’m still editing footage from this game, but it was a great one. With a nice wedding theme, it brought the idea of “escort mission” to the extreme. In all cases, though, the escort part made sense, and the NPCs could generally fight back. It also helped that I had a sock ninja copilot for the entire journey – most of my drives are solo, so it was a nice change of pace.
After spending one mission going socks only, and another with the Dart Zone Ballistix Power Ball (which worked splendidly as an HvZ primary), I did something incredibly stupid and got myself killed. Remember, regardless of your interest, if if looks and smells like a trap, it’s probably a trap 😛
After that, though, I spend the rest of the time doing my best zombie impression. After spending part of one mission as a tank (NY style tanks are simply dart immune) and the finale with a sword, I ended up with ten kills out of a total attendance of at least sixty. Not too shabby, for someone who doesn’t like playing zombie. The game itself had some issues as the day went on, but nothing that can’t be solved simply by more experience in balancing the game.
It should be noted that Boomco has a huge following in Ithaca for HvZ, and the Blaze of Glory was everywhere, along with several Flipbows. Games like this make me upset that Mattel didn’t work to bring “normal” blasters out sooner for the Boomco line.
It’s been a great season for Humans v Zombies. All three of these games were great, and it’s been fun seeing how other regions do their games. In addition, it was a nice change of pace at Ithaca playing zombie most of the day. Just because you don’t like doing it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be the best zombie you possibly can be!