The residents of PK-L7 didn’t all show up at the same time. They trickled in to the small, barren planet on transport ships over the last few months. Some were scientists and miners, just there for a job, looking to explore the planet and extract the powerful fuel called Xenium as efficiently as possible. Others were soldiers that had been hand-picked or volunteered for the mission, to protect the Xenium fields, the facilities, and investments.
The Civilians and the Soldiers didn’t mix much… in the beginning. They regarded each other with the natural distrust that comes with groups of people that rarely come in contact with one-another. The Civilians considered the army folk to be meatheads, ticking time bombs ready to go off at the slightest provocation. The Soldiers felt their judging glances, secure in the knowledge that if stuff really hit the fan, the Civilians wouldn’t stand a chance without them. Little did they know that their theory was about to be tested, and these two groups were going to have to come together if they hope to get off the planet alive.
In Zombicide: Invader, 1 to 6 players take control of the Survivors of PK-L7 and fight their way through a series of Missions, working cooperatively to complete their objectives. Each Survivor is classed as either a Soldier or a Civilian and has their own starting strengths and abilities.
Civilians are not trained or equipped for a war. They are more vulnerable to Xeno attacks, having only two Armor points. However, they have an intimate knowledge of the base and are able to Search any room Zone in it. This allows them to get their hands on Equipment and Weapons much faster. Soldiers have the most advanced armor money can buy. Their protective suits grant them three Armor points. This makes engaging with Xenos a little more manageable. However, these military personnel are less effective at Searching, only able to perform that action in Security Rooms. Situationally, both of these types of Survivors have helpful skills, but only by working as a team will they be able to complete their objectives. In Zombicide: Invader, each Survivor is important, and each one has a story to tell.
Baraka grew up rich. She didn’t join the military out of necessity. It was more like a calling. She was unsatisfied with the life of luxury that had been thrust upon her and she longed for the challenges, obstacles, and dangers that only a life in the army could provide. Maybe it’s because she chose this life, or maybe she’s just damn good at her job, but when the Xenos attacked, she saw it as the fulfillment of her higher purpose. She wades into the battle like someone taking their predestined place in the universe. As a Soldier, she’s found sometimes you have to rely on a little luck. She starts with the Lucky Skill, which allows her to reroll the dice results of any action. Baraka is also a deadeye with a weapon, and with enough experience, she’ll unlock the Sniper Skill. This allows her to freely choose the targets of her Ranged actions and her misses don’t hit fellow Survivors.
Not everyone embraces their calling so readily. Cole grew up knowing he was smarter than average… quite a bit smarter. However, his intelligence didn’t translate into work ethic. Content to slide by, all Cole really wanted from life was to be left alone, have a little fun, and make an honest day’s pay. The Xeno attack quickly changed his laid-back attitude. Through his quick-thinking, Cole has already saved a number of his co-workers, and now he’s looking to help find a way out of this mess. He’s slowly becoming the hero he’s tried to hide his whole life. Cole is a Civilian and a jack of all trades, starting the game with a free Search Action. As he gains experience, he’ll gain extra actions, and dice rolls for Ranged and Combat actions.
Jared hasn’t had the same conflict with his role in life. He grew up a tough kid, but a nice one, looking after those weaker than him on the schoolyard. His larger-than-average size and strength made him a natural jock, but his inclination for helping people out never went away. His career led him to become a firefighter, a security guard, and eventually a Soldier. Jared is calm, collected, and charismatic, even when blasting a nest of Xenos. As the assault continues, the other Survivors are going to have to rely on Jared’s relaxed demeanor. It can be easy to freak out and break ranks on the front line, but when you look to your left and see a man with a full smile on his face as he pumps hot lead into Xeno flesh, it’s enough to make you think you might just make it after all. Jared likes to get his hands dirty in combat. He starts with Shove, which allows him to, well, shove Xenos one Zone in a straight line. With enough experience, he’ll unlock Charge, which gives him the ability to move up to two Zones for free into a Zone containing at least one Xeno.
Magnus is a brute. There’s no two ways of looking at it. This career Soldier may seem like a gentle giant, until you hear the first string of provocative and inventive profanities spew forth from his mouth. Magnus uses his size to impose his will. Fortunately, he’s usually looking out for the greater good. He will put his life on the line again and again if it means saving the life of another Survivor. It takes more than Xenos to bother Magnus, but Mold is a different story. When there’s Mold in the station, it turns him a bit green. Magnus can’t be slowed down, even by Xenos, and starts the game with twice the Armor as other Soldiers. As he gets more experienced, he’ll gain the Unstoppable Skill, allowing him to move out of spaces containing enemies without spending extra actions.
Mitsuki is another Survivor who is good at keeping her distance, although hers is emotional rather than physical. In her Civilian life, she has always felt more at home with machines rather than humans, a skill which has come in handy at different times. The Xeno attack has thrown her for a bit of a loop, as she now has to rely on people to live. Mitsuki is having a tough time deciding whether human interaction or Xeno vivisection is the scarier thought. At least her abilities with machines are aiding her. She starts with the Remote Control Bot Skill, allowing her to take immediate control of the Peacekeeper Bot and use it during Missions and with enough experience, she'll gain the Sprint Skill, allowing her to move around the base a lot faster.
Vivian always bought into the idea of being a part of the machine. She played by the rules, did what she was told, and never questioned authority. But when the artificial rules of society crumbled after the Xeno attack, a different part of Vivian awoke, and she became the warrior she’d always been just below the surface. She’s a Civilian, but Vivian is embracing the war with the Xenos more than some of the Soldiers. She has the Taunt Skill, which allows her to draw Xenos towards her, regardless of any other Survivors in the area. They’ll rush her with the blind desire to rip her flesh to pieces. With enough experience, she’ll gain the Shove Skill.
Luckily, the fleshy Survivors of PK-L7 have some metallic assistance at their disposal in the form of the Peacekeeper Bot and the Falchion Sentry Gun. The Survivors will be able to spend actions to control these machines remotely if they have the corresponding Skills, or they have acquired the corresponding Remote token. The Peacekeeper Bot can be moved, perform a Melee or Ranged action, or simply make noise to draw Xenos away from Survivors. The Falchion Sentry Gun can perform a Ranged action or make noise, and a Survivor standing on the same Zone can control it as if they had a Remote token. Any Xeno kills executed by a Survivor with one of these machines earns them the corresponding Experience points, but technology is fragile and they will be destroyed if they suffer any Damage.
The odds are stacked against this ragtag gang of Survivors. Relentless, mindless killers are fighting to get into the mining base, corrosive Mold is eating away at their defences, and if that’s not bad enough, they have to get over their own social awkwardness and mistrust to come together. In Zombicide: Invader, Survivors have to fight for their lives as a team if they hope to leave this planet in one piece.
Zombicide: Invader is coming to Kickstarter on April 10, at 3PM EST.
Read our Zombicide: Invader Design and Development article here.
Read our Zombicide: Invader Gameplay article here.
Read our Zombicide: Invader Equipment article here.
Read our Zombicide: Invader Xenos article here.
Read our Zombicide: Invader Environments article here.