Zombies: they just keep on coming

by Ted Alspach September 14, 2020

Zombies: they just keep on coming

Zombies: they just keep on coming
by: Ted Alspach


In Silver Dagger, you’ll simultaneously love and fear Zombies, the new #4 card in the series. For this fourth entry into the Silver series, I wanted a card that changes gameplay just enough to make you rethink any existing Silver strategies; and the Zombie manages to do that, and more.

Zombies have two important attributes. First, they cannot be placed on top of the discard pile. This is a new “ability” which stops you from discarding Zombies the way other cards are discarded. In fact, if you blindly try to discard a Zombie, you’ll need to take it back into your village, turn it back over face down, and instead discard the card you drew in its place. If you draw a Zombie from the deck, you *have* to keep it,  because, well, you can’t put a Zombie on top of the discard pile.


Silver Dagger's Zombie artwork


Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of Zombies if you’re clever. The new #5 Approximator card allows you to get rid of any two cards. Silver rules say that the lowest value card always goes on top when you discard more than one card at a time, so if you have a 0, 1, 2, or 3, you can discard that along with the Zombie and get away with it…because the Zombie won’t be on top of the discard pile. You can also use switching cards, like the new #12 Master Thief, to exchange your Zombie for a card from another player. If you have other Silver games, you’ll be able to use other cards, such as the #1 Lycan from Silver Bullet, which allows you to add 1 to any card when you discard it, so you could discard a 3 and a Zombie (remember, it’s a 4) with a faceup Lycan in your village.


The new #5 Approximator card allows you to get rid of any two cards! 


But that’s not the best way to rid yourself of a Zombie. That’s reserved for the Zombie’s other attribute: when it is faceup in your village, you can use your entire turn to simply give that Zombie to the previous player, and turn it face down in the process. That’s an additive card, so the receiving player won’t be able to discard a card when the Zombie arrives. They just get an extra card (kind of like the #12 Gremlin from Silver Bullet, but with more attitude). Politely saying “Merry Christmas!” or “you looked lonely!” is a great way to make your gift seem even more friendly than it actually is. You get rid of one card, and that player gets a card. The Zombie gives new meaning to “it’s better to give than to receive.”

Because player order is so important with Silver Dagger, there’s a new mechanic available: the ability to reverse player order. The #11 Reverser can do just that, which is handy if the player who is going after you happens to have one or more faceup Zombies. In order to track what direction the game is going in, the Silver Dagger gets turned around each time the Reverser is used. Being able to change direction is incredibly helpful, so much so that the Silver Dagger’s ability, given to any player who successfully called for a vote the previous round, is able to change direction once, as long as it is their turn.


#11 Reverser, the ability to reverse player order 


What if you’re playing defense and just wish those nasty undead Zombies would just leave you alone so you can focus on other, more important things? Well, up until now, there was no defense against someone giving you a card. Gremlins run rampant (if you’ve even been in a war with other players who each have a #4 Mortician, you’ll know there’s no stopping them either). Zombies wander into your village like they belong there. But Silver Dagger has a new protection card: the #3 Sentinel, which prevents other players from taking any cards from you or giving you any cards, as long as it is faceup in your village. One of the most powerful protector cards in the game so far, the Sentinel can also protect your village from errant #12 Robbers, #11 Witches, #11 Troublemakers, and even those #12 Village Idiots. The Sentinel *doesn’t* prevent other players from flipping your cards over with the new #6 Flipper or peeking at them with the new #1 Spy, however.

#3's Sentinel is the toughest defense out there

So far, I’ve been railing against Zombies, suggesting that the only real joy they provide is when you send one along to a fellow player (and believe me, it’s a great feeling to see your old Zombie take up residence in a neighboring village). But sometimes you actually *want* Zombies. In fact, sometimes you want a lot of points. If you’re super clever, you can shoot the moon and try to get exactly 50 points, as long as 13 of those points are from a #13 Furry, which gives you 0 points and each of your opponents those 50 points!


Feeling a little devious? Take advantage of a faceup #0 Debt Collector, which gives you 1 negative point for each card in each of your opponents’ villages, which could result in a negative score for the round (in that case, we still advise getting rid of Zombies).


You’ll find all sorts of amazing combos and strategies in Silver Dagger, which is amazing as a stand-alone and even better once you start combining it with cards from Silver, Silver Bullet, and Silver Coin.



Use Silver Bullet's +1 Lycan to easily rid your village of Zombies!


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Ted Alspach
Ted Alspach