10 September 2019

Last Days: Seasons - Expansion review

Just got my hands on the first expansion for Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse. Paid and pre-ordered myself, so Osprey is not involved in the review in any way.

The expansion book is called 'Seasons' and gives rules for a 12 game campaign taking the survivors through a year.

Having played a lot of Last Days through the last year, this is exactly what the game needed. The base mechanics and options are cool and it's really easy to come up with scenarios. But after playing a lot of games, our gangs have yet to see a single dead character and a refuge overrun.

On the other hand the use of medkits, and buying new kits when buying new crew members, have seen us get lots of extra experience points from rolling good on injury tables.

Refuge upgrades wasn't really a priority for us, neat to have - but not really essential.

So being a zombie horror game - the vanilla campaigning is a bit too soft on the players.

The new campaign
The idea of running a 12 game campaign, each representing a month, is great. And after my first read of the book, it sure seems like it will become tough.

Now you have to manage conditions of your crew members. Each season will have different challenges - warmth, food, water, sickness. And after the games you'll have to prioritize which ressources you are looking for.

There's new refuge upgrades (and new refuges) that will help you survive. But crew members can get supplies and build. So the entire ressource / worker management is upgraded a lot. There's some tough calls incoming.

When rolling for supplies, you can also choose new tables. This will not bring in as many weapons - but can get you those essential supplies instead.

If you fail to need the requirements for a healthy group, they will suffer debuffs during games - and potentially die if left in a bad shape.

So my initial thought after reading is: There's gonna be really tough calls and you will suffer at some point. The need to scavenge essential supplies, will hugely limit the amount of guys you can put on guard duty for the zombie attack.

New scenarios and weather
The book contains a few special scenarios for specific seasons, good to change things up a bit and they don't require special terrain. Another addition to regular game play is seasonal weather conditions - that can both impact the current scenario (low visibility for example) and/or your crew conditions (heat that causes more thirst to be managed).

Crew members and gear
There's a big host of new survivors to choose from, many of these survivors start with abilities that have practical implications when scavenging supplies between games. So these might be good to pick if starting a campaign fresh.

As for gear there's some neat small items, mostly gear for managing weather conditions and ressource management. There's only a few new weapons to chose from, but the standard ones pretty much covers all weapons - so that's okay.

Coop and solo
There's now rules for coop scenarios and some solo rules. This is an excellent addition to nay game and I'm a big fan of it. ... Though in reality I'm not in place where I get around to solo gaming yet - I know that one day I will.

The coop brings three scenarios to the pick, limiting the amount of models per side to a maximum level count (a fine way to roughly measure group power).  All scenarios are putting old enemies in situations where they must work together or die.

I'm looking forward to trying these games with my regular gaming buddy.

Solo rules are tough to do. I think The Walking Dead does it really well with the event deck. Last Days does something similar with a table of events, getting worse as the game progresses. I will be modding the rules for solo gaming - but it gives a good outline.

There's a rule that models armed with a ranged weapon, have to shoot and use all possible rate of fire. This I don't like. Because this will highly limit the possible ways to play - killing any options of playing stealthy. But I will use the written rules for choosing targets - when I shoot.

Instead I will try and play with sometimes reacting better to noise, moving towards noise tokens from farther away - even when not having line of sight. I also want to play with doors being broken making noise, breaking windows making noise and so on. Quickly getting into positions, where shooting is necessary but done by choice.

Last words
Osprey Games bring out some great product. This is a good sized expansion book and it's a nice hardback (would love to see Frostgrave books that way). The artwork is still top notch and there's around 20 full page paintings - a lot of art for 80 pages of book. Nice!

After playing Last Days for a year it felt like the game needing an expansion exactly like this. Ash suggest to start new groups for the campaign, but we'll try continuing with experienced survivors. If anything it'll be a harder challenge - because we haven't chosen smart skills or refuge upgrades.

With this expansion I think Last Days seems like a top survival campaign game. I love huge between-game sequences and there's a lot of it in the game now. And there will be dilemmas - that's fitting for a zombie game. Will you burn fuel during the summer to purify water - or save it for winter warmth and run a risk of sickness from unclean water. Lovely stuff.


  1. Great review! I'm looking forward to giving the new campaign a go, just waiting for mr.postman to bring the goodies :)

    1. I know that feeling - it can be a terrible long wait!