Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons Game Expansion Review

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The Basics:

  • For ages 10 and up (publisher suggests 12+)
  • For 2 to 4 players
  • Approximately 45 minutes to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Reading
  • Pattern/Color Matching
  • Strategy & Tactics
  • Hand/Resource Management

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Better warfare through science!

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek mixed!
  • Parent Geek mixed!
  • Child Geek mixed!

Overview

Countless experiments and failures have finally resulted in success. You now have a weapon of incredible destructive power that will ensure your superiority in the skies. But what’s this? A message has arrived that states your nemesis has a new experimental weapon, too? How could this be? Spies! Yes, of course! You think it’s time to find this spy and conduct some “live fire” exercises with your new weapon.

Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons, designed by Eric B. Vogel and published by Evil Hat Productions, is comprised of 17 Fate cards, 3 Mercenary Attack cards, 4 Mercenary Defense cards, 5 Mercenary Operative cards, 2 Attack Zeppelin cards, 2 Operations Zeppelin cards, 10 Science Zeppelin cards, and 4 Experimental Attack cards. The cards are same quality as the base game, with the original illustrators, Daniel Solis and Christian N. St. Pierre, once again capturing the game’s pulp culture theme brilliantly.

Note: Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons requires the base game Zeppelin Attack! I will not be going over how to play the base game here. If you would like to learn how to play the base game, see the Zeppelin Attack! game review.

A New Approach

Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons can be added directly to the base game. A small icon that represents a beaker identifies which cards belong to the expansion if you should ever need to remove them. The majority of the expansion uses the same rules as the base game with the only difference being the new effects the cards provide.

When setting up the game, place the Mercenary cards in the appropriate piles according to their type. The Science Zeppelin cards will form a new draw pile bringing the total number of Mercenary draw piles to 6.

The only other difference to the base game set up are the Experimental Attack cards. There is one Experimental Attack card per player. Place these cards next to the character’s matching Experimental Zeppelin, face-up.

Super Science

Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons adds 3 new important game elements. Each are summarized here.

Science Zeppelins

These new airships provide the player with unique Special Effects and a lot of Victory Points, much like the player’s Experimental Zeppelin. The Science Zeppelins are not rigged for combat, however. Players can only play Defense cards to these airships, which they will most likely do often. Science Zeppelins can very quickly give the player the upper hand in the game, making them a likely target for attacks.

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Atomic Attacks and Defense

Players now have a fifth Attack and Defense type to use in battle. The “Atomic” Attack and Defense Action cards are played like the other cards of the same type, but there is one very significant difference. Attack and Defense cards that use the Atomic Attack type have Attack and Defense Effects that impact ALL the players. Think mushroom cloud in the sky.

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Experimental Attacks

All players now have a unique “Doomsday Weapon” they can purchase. Like the Experimental Zeppelins, the Experimental Weapons can only be purchased by the player who has the matching character. They are expensive (10 Fate Points) and provide a great deal of Victory Points (5 VP). Other than their unique effects, the Experimental Weapons have no other special rules.

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The End of Everything

The endgame is triggered when 2 of the Mercenary draw piles (not 3) are depleted. The round is finished and Victory Points are counted as normal. The player with the most Victory Points wins.

To learn more about Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons, visit the game’s web page.

Final Word

This is a small expansion, coming in under 50 cards, and the majority of the cards don’t provide much in the way that is new. One could easily dismiss this expansion if it weren’t for the fact that it includes the new Science Zeppelins. While the Experimental Weapons and new Atomic Attack and Defense types are interesting, they were not significantly unique enough to excite our players. Indeed, these cards were slipped into the game and little was said about them. Additionally, players tended to focus more on their Experimental Zeppelin, rather than their Experimental Attack.

Much fuss and discussion was had about the Science Zeppelins. Some thought they were too powerful while others thought they should list more Special Effects. On Parent Geek said, “These Science Zeppelins are like mini Experimental Zeppelins. I both like and loath that.” The Science Zeppelins became objects to both covet and blow out of the sky. Seldom did a player keep their Science Zeppelin afloat longer than a round.

Another change the expansion brought to the gaming table that all agreed was an excellent addition was the new endgame condition. At first, the reduced number of depleted decks from 3 to 2 had a few players concerned. One Gamer Geek said, “This rule change will most likely make the game end too soon, which may or may not be a bad thing.” Turns out it didn’t. With more cards being added to all the base game Mercenary draw piles and the new Science Zeppelin draw pile, players had more to purchase. The overall inventory was depleted in the same amount of time as it would be in the base game. This came as a surprised to all and one that everyone appreciated.

Unfortunately, the game still feels like it’s short on cards and lacks variety. Certainly, this expansion provides more for the players to use and to worry about, but not enough to make each game feel unique. Players are still drawing the cards and playing the game the same way. The only thing that changed is the subtle differences in effects. That’s not enough to make the game feel expanded. Added to, you bet, but not bigger or better.

As such, all our groups were mixed about the expansion. Everyone agreed it was “pretty much OK”. Not great, not bad, and not necessary, but worth playing with. “More of the same” was a phrase I heard often, despite the new airships and weapons. What little variety the expansion provided was lost in the shuffle of the cards.

This expansion fell short of satisfying our players who wanted more variety in their game. What they saw in the expansion gave them hope that the game designer will continue to add to the game and make it as epic as the battles it illustrates. I wish the same, but think we are a long ways off. Until then, the base game and this expansion are still fun to play and easy to teach. Adding the expansion might not have taken Zeppelin Attack! to the next level, but everyone agreed it was an expansion worth grabbing. If you are a fan of Zeppelin Attack!, do look into this expansion.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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One Response to Zeppelin Attack! Doomsday Weapons Game Expansion Review

  1. fredhicks says:

    Thanks for reviewing the game and the expansion! I enjoyed reading both & you keyed into a lot of what’s great (and different) about the game.

    I wish y’all had taken more of a run at the various new elements in the expansion — e.g., it doesn’t sound like anyone took advantage of the significant game-tilting effect that early acquisition of atomic attacks can create, since nobody starts with the ability to defend against those in their decks. It’s less “more-of-the-same” than you might think at first blush. 🙂

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