Friday, September 7, 2018

Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse: Houseruling suggestions.

As you might have read in my review of LD:ZA I wasn't very happy with how the rules turned out. But they did have some very attractive points. 

So, like with a sexy sportscar that has quirky handling but looks oh so lovely I decided to collect, develop and test a number of houserules to solve the games most impactful (in my eyes at least) shortcomings.

Each houserule should provide a more interesting dilemma than the original rule and/or mitigate an effect that is undesirable for enjoyable gameplay (in my opinion at least). 


There are two types of cover:
  • Hard cover: -2 To Hit (most of the figure obscured by cover) or
  • Partial cover: -1 To Hit (most of the figure visible despite cover)

Desired effect: decrease effects of firepower. Enhance effects of tactical manoeuvring. Tested.


  • additional -1 To Hit (on top of existing cover modifiers) 
  • takes 1 AP to go Prone and 2 to get up. 
  • Prone Characters must spend 2 AP to crawl 1" . 
  • Going prone may obscure a character behind cover completely by laying down the figure.
  • Prone characters may fire and/or spend AP on other actions as normal.
Desired effect: decrease effects of firepower. Enhance effects of tactical manoeuvring. Tested. 


Dogs may Run. 
Dogs may learn from Experience. 
Dogs may pick and develop Skill types from the Athletic and CQC tables. 
Dogs may pick up and move loot after acquiring the Heavy Lifter skill. They may not use any other effects of that skill. 
Dogs may learn to walk or run silently after acquiring the Stalker Skill.  

Desired effect: get a dog and enjoy it! Untested. 

Lock & Load

When firing in Lock and Load modus during your opponent's Move you get a -1 additional To Hit modifier for each shot fired with that Action. 

The L&L counter is then not removed but flipped over and left on the table. The character may not fire again in either the Move-,  Shoot- or Menace Phase that follows.

Firing in L&L modus in the Shooting phase by a character with an unflipped L&L counter gains the character a +1 To Hit. Then Flip the counter and leave it on the table. The character may not fire again in the Menace phase. 

Firing in L&L modus in the Menace phase by a character with an unflipped L&L counter gains the character a +1 To Hit. Then remove the counter. 

Desired effect: Decrease effects of firepower. Tested. 

Use this rule instead of the zombie specifications in the scenarios. 

Zombies appear at the start of the game or during the game.

At the start of the game place 1 + D6 zombies per player on the table. Each player places one zombie alternately anywhere on the table until all are placed. They may not be placed in a deployment zone.

Noise counters generate zombies. Roll 1D6 per noise counter. On a 4+ a zombie appears 8" from the noise counter in a random direction. Use a scatter die of some sort and skip the noise counter modifiers. 

When Downed by a zombie, do not roll on the Injury Table but apply an automatic Infected Result (11). First Aid has no effect here. 

Zombies actions for (in that order)
·         Nearest survivor in LOS within 12"
·         Loudest noise within 12" (Closest when tied) 
·         Loudest noise (Closest when tied) 
·         5" in a random direction

Zombies do not block LOS to other zombies. If they can't reach a survivor due to other zombies in the way they simply queue up.  

Desired effect:
Make zombies a tactically relevant factor in the game. Create the need for tactical manoeuvring. Tested. 


Add to the miscellaneous Actions Table: Search a house or other closed piece of scenery. 

Searching costs 2AP. Then Roll 1D6: 
  • On a 1 there will be 2 zombies inside
  • On a 2 there will be 1 zombie inside
  • On a 5-6 there will be Loot. 
A piece of scenery may be Searched only once. 

The Loot counters found in pieces of scenery count against the total number of Loot counters for that scenario. So place some on the table and leave some out to be found through Search. Once all the Loot is picked up or found, none remains. 

Desired effect: More zombies or more Loot. It's a win-win! Tested. 


It has been a while since civilization stopped and the zombies took over. So most cars will not work anymore. However, some might. 

Starting and driving a car
When trying to start a car roll a D6 for present keys. On a 6 there are still keys present. If not, the car must be hotwired. 
  • Getting into a car takes 1 AP
  • Starting a car with keys takes 1 AP. 
  • Starting a car through hotwiring takes 4 AP. 
  • The car starts on a 5+. 
  • Only one character may try to start a car or drive one in any one turn. 
  • A starting car gets 3 noise tokens on the start location. 
  • A car with running engine gets 1 per turn which follows the car. 
Characters moving in cars may move 3" per AP. Drivers may drive-and-shoot if they choose but lose control of the car on any roll of 1 (either To Hit or for Damage). 

Cars offer Hard cover to passengers. Cars never Run and never get a -1 Run modifier due to their size. 

Out of control, collisions and crashes
All characters and zombies hit by a driving car suffer a Strength 5 CQC hit. On a Damage roll of 1 the car is out of control. 

A car hit causes 1 additional Noise counter at the collision location. 

Out-of control cars move 10" in a random direction and then stall (or crash into an object on the way). All characters in a crashing car suffer a Strength 3 CQC hit. 

A crashed car will not function again. A car crash causes 5 Noise counters. On a 6 the car alarm malfunctions and starts blaring. 1 Noise counter per turn. 

Any To Hit roll on a car and its passengers of an unmodified 6 does not hit a passenger or driver but a vital part of the car instead. The car hit this way then gets out of control and will not function again. 

Desired effect: Baby you can drive my car! Untested. 

EDIT September 14th 2018: 

Tested the house rules tonight. They worked very well. The numbers of zombies increased dramatically and put an end to any static tactics we might be inclined to. So no more time to gun down your opponents and pick up the loot. Not in the least because employing terrain for cover actually made sense now and groups of zombies would surround you and wear you down.  

The new L&L rules offered a nice choice between mobility, firepower and a fast shot in your opponents move or an aimed shot in the shooting phase. 

The faster dogs made great noisemakers and zombie-killers. 

In the course of the game small groups of zombies roamed the table, slowly increasing in numbers and forming a small horde, making the table look like a small zombie apocalypse at last! 

Searching houses produced as much loot as it did zombies. We didn't get to try out a car unfortunately. 


  1. Ahhh.. the middle road between Last Days and ATZ! I like it!
    Certainly something to try out.
    My additions:
    Shouldn't starting the car be an I test?
    I would be careful with making the dogs learn too easily. Maybe dogs will only gain an advancement on reaching an even numbered level (level 2, 4, etc). Otherwise you could restrict dogs to only gaining skills, not increasing stats.

    1. I never thought about making a car start an Intelligence test. It is a possibility. I think I see too many unintelligent driving all week :)

      But the intention was not to make it hard to start a car per se, but rather to make hot-wiring laborious and the chance for a succesful start not more than 1 in 3, representing empty fuel tanks and batteries.

    2. Why should you want to slow down development of dogs btw? They are still inferior to a human team member except for their speed. They can't handle ranged weapons or CQC weapons and are only really useful in a limited tactical role.

  2. I like the dog improvements, but would make the initial dog buy in more expensive. Maybe 1.5 or 2x, and call it a smart dog option.

    I'd like a small yappy useless dog option for less than cost of a normal dog. I would run it near my enemies making noise.

  3. Hahaha. I think that would arrange itself. Using a dog that will probably get it killed really soon.

  4. Don't have any experience with Last Days yet, but I really like your group of survivors!

  5. Very useful should I want to try the game out!
    Perhaps I'll buy the PDF.
    Thank you for all these suggestions.