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Do you prefer slow zombies, fast zombies or a mix of both in a single setting?
I prefer slow zombies.
I prefer fast zombies.
I prefer a mix of both in a single setting.
Other (please explain in the comments)

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Made in de
FOW Player






I am a big fan of slow zombies both in my gaming as well as in the various mediums of fiction. Not that fast zombies (ghouls/feral vampires/whatever) do not have a place… I like them too just for different reasons, for a different atmosphere in a game or movie.

What do you think?

Which do you prefer?

Which game or rules best typifies relentless plodding doom rather than manic frenzy?

You can read more of my thoughts on this topic on my blog…

https://thegrumpygnome.home.blog/2022/01/07/walking-dead-world-beyond-really-irked-me-warning-rant-with-spoilers/

… but really here I am curious about your ideas on the gaming specifics of zombie post-apoc and how I might best get the gaming experience I want.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/07 10:43:36


Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

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Made in fi
5th God of Chaos (O'rly?)





Slow zombies. For me ghoul btw isn't zombie. Nor is feral vampire.

Incidentally that's one thing I'm not fan of zombies in new soulblight book in AOS. It's weird that the zombies are actually one of the fastest infantries in the game.

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Made in ca
Skink Chief with Poisoned Javelins




Michigan

I don't mind fast zombies, but when I think of the word "zombie" it's definitely the slow plodders who come to mind.

And in wargames in particular, they're the ones I prefer.
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Slow for me. Part of the appeal is your minis gunning down slow moving zombie hordes, but the dread of being surrounded, pulled down to the ground (and devoured! ) by a group of them etc. Although a fast-moving 28-days-later type scenario might be fun too.

There was a really great player-made set of rules that a guy on the Infinity forums had made some years ago. We played an event in a store that covered a campaign of events, of how this memetic 'cyber virus' (think the Strain from Sedition Wars, or perhaps even the effects of the proto-molecule from the Expanse). Players controlled teams of mercenaries that had to go into a built up area and extract civilian survivors, but the cyber-zombie horde was coming in from all directions, and could ambush you. Teams also had to decide whether to work together (as they were opposite factions, so a few did take cheeky shots at each other, which was fun!) One highlight I remember was a Ninja taking out a cyber-zombie with her molecular sword, but then being covered in the virus material and taken out. Or an HMG operator who sacrificed himself, remaining on a building top gunning down zombies until the extraction vehicle arrived and his team could escape.

It's definitely a great way of creating some cool narrative ideas, and I think the best thing is I can think of almost no games where introducing some sort of 'zombie' wouldn't work!

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Mighty Vampire Count






UK

Happy with one or both depending on the setting, thesource of the infaction and narrative.



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Made in de
FOW Player






tneva82 wrote:
Slow zombies. For me ghoul btw isn't zombie. Nor is feral vampire.

Incidentally that's one thing I'm not fan of zombies in new soulblight book in AOS. It's weird that the zombies are actually one of the fastest infantries in the game.


No, a ghoul is not technically a zombie or a feral vampire. But fast zombies seem to me to be very similar to ghouls, cannibalistic mutants, feral vampires and so become less distinctively zombies. Hence why I tend to think of all these fast moving, frantically bestial monsters as “ghouls” in order to have an easy classification to bundle them under.

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Made in pl
Huge Hierodule





Slow for me, otherwise they are not zombies.
   
Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin






 Shadow Walker wrote:
Slow for me, otherwise they are not zombies.


So the zombies from world war z weren’t zombies?

Great topic!

28 days later fast zombies are not zombies.

This is tough… lol

I think i prefer slow too

Fast are cool but seem off as well.

I will admit i think fast are scarier though. :p
   
Made in de
Terrifying Doombull






Nuremberg

I prefer fast zombies in more action orientated movies and stuff. The idea that slow moving zombies could overwhelm a modern country is a bit of a stretch. But in fantasy settings or horror settings the slow zombie is better.

   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Definitely prefer slow. Fast zombies are replaceable with literally any monster out there. They could be aliens or demons or literally anything. They mostly exist to give zombies an excuse for lazy jump scares that are the hallmark of unimaginative horror.

Slow zombies really mean something. They're this embodiment of existential horror. The best zombie stories don't spook you but rattle you with that feeling that death is ever approaching. That it can't really be stopped and honestly doesn't really care if you escape or try to stop it. It just keeps growing taking your loved ones for itself and advancing day and night with no real moment to rest. That's the kind of horror that makes zombies really terrifying, but when they're grossly overused you're not going to get this kind of terror very often.
   
Made in gb
Leader of the Sept







I quite like a balance of having most zombies normal shufflers, but with a few magical special types that can change the pace as required. Left4dead and state of decay do this quite well.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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Made in ca
Enigmatic Chaos Sorcerer





British Columbia

I prefer the shambling dead thematically.

I accept the faster kind in tabletop games as it's difficult to capture the encroaching doom element without having to flood the table with minis.

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Made in de
FOW Player






 LunarSol wrote:
Definitely prefer slow. Fast zombies are replaceable with literally any monster out there. They could be aliens or demons or literally anything. They mostly exist to give zombies an excuse for lazy jump scares that are the hallmark of unimaginative horror.

Slow zombies really mean something. They're this embodiment of existential horror. The best zombie stories don't spook you but rattle you with that feeling that death is ever approaching. That it can't really be stopped and honestly doesn't really care if you escape or try to stop it. It just keeps growing taking your loved ones for itself and advancing day and night with no real moment to rest. That's the kind of horror that makes zombies really terrifying, but when they're grossly overused you're not going to get this kind of terror very often.


I quite like your points.

Rick, the Grumpy Gnome

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Made in ca
Sureshot Kroot Hunter





I don't hate fast zombies, but I love slow zombies.

There's something about a last stand against this endless tide of bodies that you know will eventually overwhelm you no matter how hard you fight that really gets me. Honestly, I'd field an all Poxwalker army if I could.

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[DCM]
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Generally i'd say slow for Zombies,

but having the occasional fast one (or something else that looks like a Zombie until it sees you and puts on the rocket boosters) is good too

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/07 21:11:39


 
   
Made in gb
Stalwart Space Marine





Terra

I'm not a fan of zombies in any way however of all the zombie films, games, series and comics that I've encountered I think I like the zombies in the computer game State of Decay 2: mostly slow with a few fast ones and the odd dreadnought... I mean Juggernaut.
28 Days later and Doomsday weren't zombies, they were "infected"
World War Z were only fast when they were hunting (I think- I can't remember)
Army of the Dead were both fast and slow zombies
Walking Dead (I didn't watch it all) were traditionally slow I think... as with Dawn of the Dead and Night of the living Dead

I just realised... for someone who hates Zombies I've seen a lot of Zombie crap

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/07 21:58:09


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Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

I prefer a mix of Zombie types, even beyond fast/slow in wargames. It keeps you on your toes and having to make decisions.

I like a wide variety of zombies to keep things "fresh" and unknown. Some that explode, some that are crawlers, some that hide, others that have ranged attacks, etc.

That way, I can't take any of them for granted, because who knows what they can do?


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Leader of the Sept







 Capt. wrote:

World War Z were only fast when they were hunting (I think- I can't remember)



No no no… Pitt War Z had fast zombies… World War Z had slow zombies and was infinitely better than the trash they tossed out on screen… *breathes deeply into paper bag* I’m good… I’m good now… all better… yeeessssssss all better

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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Made in gb
Stalwart Space Marine





Terra

 Flinty wrote:
 Capt. wrote:

World War Z were only fast when they were hunting (I think- I can't remember)



No no no… Pitt War Z had fast zombies… World War Z had slow zombies and was infinitely better than the trash they tossed out on screen… *breathes deeply into paper bag* I’m good… I’m good now… all better… yeeessssssss all better




Thanks- I couldn't remember... I just remember the Pitt flick was the pits and I found myself both laughing and yelling at the screen.

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Made in us
Focused Fire Warrior




Les Etats Unis

 Flinty wrote:
I quite like a balance of having most zombies normal shufflers, but with a few magical special types that can change the pace as required. Left4dead and state of decay do this quite well.


Left 4 Dead has fast zombies, though.



I personally prefer slow zombies when the zombies can convert the main characters into zombies by biting them/etc., and fast zombies when they cannot (whether due to natural immunity or the zombies simply not working that way).

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If you want to get existential, life for some.
 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





Zombies are slow.

There are other undead that are fast - ghouls, vampiires, etc.

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Malicious Mandrake




Slow every time. Also, pretty much what LunarSol and Capt. said.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





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Made in us
Colonel






Chicago

Slow or average speed zombies for sure. It just fits what I think are the most iconic representations of the genre.

In gaming terms, it's a great chance to up the drama and the heroic aspects of a scenario with few heroes facing off against hordes of zombies. It's a different tactical puzzle compared to similar sized forces facing off and offers especially good narrative possibilities when a gamemaster or a good reaction system for the zombies is involved. A well-executed scenario involving tides of zombies that the players will likely never be able to defeat is such a good change from most games. It completely shifts the emphasis away from stand-and-shoot, towards goals and actions like achieve the objective, hide, survive, escape, and fight-when-necessary.

In our club we've almost always used slow zombies. Particularly in some big Halloween games:
https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/?s=halloween

...and a really cool GM'd Walking Dead campaign.
https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/?s=walking+dead

but also in alot of other Zombie themed games.
https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/?s=zombies

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/01/09 16:34:43


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 Flinty wrote:
 Capt. wrote:

World War Z were only fast when they were hunting (I think- I can't remember)



No no no… Pitt War Z had fast zombies… World War Z had slow zombies and was infinitely better than the trash they tossed out on screen… *breathes deeply into paper bag* I’m good… I’m good now… all better… yeeessssssss all better


I'm going to be getting mad there right with you!

Wow was not following the source material a wasted opportunity with that film.

I would have loved a series, with each episode following one character and chapter of the book.

Brad Pitt could have named the film absolutely anything else ("Zombies attack raagghh!") because it had so little in common with the book.

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Executing Exarch





I'm going with Slow, lost far too many games of zombicide getting done in with the Runners / Zombies get another go card ( and a mentalist online chumette who's idea of "fun" in L4D was provoking Witchs)

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Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

I don't see them as directly comparable. They support different narratives.

Romero zombies were written to support narratives of survival. They're not individually very threatening, but they force you to hole up somewhere defensible and carefully plan your activity while under siege. The primary threat in those films comes from other people, rather than the zombies- they're closer stylistically to disaster movies than action movies.

28 Days Later sprinting 'infected' were meant to be a more direct and immediate threat; something you have to sneak around and fight directly. Even when the protagonists can band together and cooperate, the threat is so great that it might not be enough. It's less of a siege and more of an assault.

No More Room In Hell is a fun PC game because you are constantly in a logistical battle. The zombies are slow, but your ammo is very limited and noise attracts more, so you have to gauge which ones you can slip past and which ones you need to fight. And despite the slow zombies, it's a very difficult game.

Left 4 Dead is a fun PC game because of its high-intensity action, mediated by a smart AI system to ensure appropriate peaks and valleys to the experience. Ammo is plentiful but zombies are dangerous, particularly the 'special infected'.

In terms of tabletop, I'd approach the distinction the same way: You can always outrun a slow zombie, but the danger is when you're surrounded or otherwise need to get past them. The zombies are like slow-moving but predictable obstacles that you need to outwit while managing resources. In contrast, I'd use fast zombies for a military-themed game where the action/combat is the core of the experience.

My hot take is that I don't like settings that mix the two- to me it suggests they don't quite know what they're going for.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/01/10 15:51:17


   
Made in us
Winged Kroot Vulture






I tried to do a mix in an RPG. My explanation:

Fast zombies are newly dead zombies who haven't had their bodies succumb to the natural process of death.

Slow zombies have been dead for a while so their body has lost mobility due to blood pooling, muscle degradation, and rigor mortis.

Eventually what you get is kind of like what you see in 28 Days Later. Zombies just laying there, little movement, still struggling to eat.

Persistence is the only thing they have going for them.

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Mighty Vampire Count






UK

Z nation had the stoned slow Zombies

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Inquisitor Amberley Vail, Ordo Xenos

"I will admit that some Primachs like Russ or Horus could have a chance against an unarmed 12 year old novice but, a full Battle Sister??!! One to one? In close combat? Perhaps three Primarchs fighting together... but just one Primarch?" da001

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Made in gb
Ridin' on a Snotling Pump Wagon






Give me my slow and shambling zombies any day. They’re relentless, but uncoordinated. They never tire, but provided you think it through, they’re pretty manageable.

The horror lies in them inverting our own preference as being persistence hunters. Sure, on the scale of animals, us Humans are pretty slow. Our top speed is nothing to shout about, and even a hunting pace is somewhat plodding. But we can keep it up (fnarr) far longer than anything we might predate. And being a social species, we can outmanoeuvre prey.

Do you see the similarities?

This is why I’ve always enjoyed The Walking Dead. Pretty quickly, we see the survivors earn their stripes. Circle the wagons. Keep your head. Small to medium sized groups of zombies can be dealt with fairly efficiently. Larger groups require specialist tools (finale of season 10 is a particularly good example) or tactics (see the Whisperers, who blend into and lead colossal hordes of the dead).

Fast Zombies just aren’t as interesting. Sure there’s shock value in the Dawn of the Dead remake, but I still find speedy zombies inherently boring.

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