How To Play: Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Delving into 'Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition),' we've tackled the quintessential aspects from setting up the intense gameplay, the critical strategies revolving around resource management, character abilities utilization, and Zed threat mitigation, to the game's unique win conditions. This guide ensures a thorough comprehension for strategies tailored toward victory.


Hello fellow survivors! Embarking on the perilous journey through Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) can be daunting, but fear not. This guide not only briefs you on the game rules intuitively but also equips you with the best strategies to triumph over the relentless Zeds. From the importance of resource management, harnessing character abilities, to Zed threat mitigation—ensure your victory with every play. Take it from someone who’s been on the frontline; understanding these key aspects makes all the difference. Let’s dive in!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game board
  • 4 Player aids
  • 4 Player action cards
  • 1 Zeds player card
  • 1 Set of event cards
  • 27 Fate cards
  • 6 Special Fate cards for beginner game
  • 1 CD track
  • 100+ counters
  • 30+ wooden pieces
  • 1 Dai & Daily Farm/Refugee Camp Posture track
  • 2 Sheets of stickers for the wooden pieces
  • 6 Dice (two each of red, blue, green)
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Strategy Guide

How To Play Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition): Rules Summary

Setting Up the Battlefield

  1. Unfold the game board and place it centrally for all players to access.
  2. Gather and sort all the game pieces, cards, and resources.
  3. Assign characters to players and place the respective figures on their starting locations.
  4. Arrange Zeds on the game board as indicated by the scenario chosen.
  5. Shuffle the Event deck and place it face down within reach of all players.

Gameplay Mechanics

  1. Begin each turn by drawing an Event card, implementing its effects.
  2. Make decisions on character movement, combat, and the use of action points.
  3. Engage the Zeds in combat using dice to determine outcomes.
  4. Utilize action points for resource management, such as fortifying positions.
  5. React to the evolving Zeds threat, adapting your strategy to survive.

Charting a Path to Victory

  1. Control the spread of the Zeds across the board to protect the colony.
  2. Complete objectives specified in the chosen scenario for triumph.
  3. Maintain a balance between offense and defense to keep characters alive.

Understanding Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Familiarize yourself with Heroic abilities specific to individual characters for strategic leverage.
  2. Examine every Event card carefully; many contain specific rules that temporarily alter gameplay.
  3. Acknowledge special victory conditions and loss conditions unique to each scenario.

Best Dawn Of The Zeds Third Edition Strategies

Mastering the Art of Resource Allocation

Effectively managing resources in ‘How To Play Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition)’ goes a long way. Firstly, always balance your supplies. Prevention is key, so invest wisely in defenses. Secondly, manage your survivors; every action counts. Conserve their strengths for critical moments.

Breakdown of Supply Usage

  1. Track supplies meticulously; anticipate future needs.
  2. Allocate based on threat level priorities.

Efficient Use of Action Points

  1. Focus your actions on strategic positions.
  2. Adapt your offense to the shifting Zed waves.

Strategic Retreats and Advances

  1. Know when to fall back for longer-term gains.
  2. Push forward when you have sustainable advantage.

Mastering the Battlefield with Character Abilities

In ‘How To Play Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition),’ leveraging character abilities can tip the scales in your favor. Initially, get familiar with your heroes’ unique skills. Next, strategically position your characters where they’ll maximize their impact. For example, place ranged attackers on high ground.

Optimizing Abilities

  1. Match abilities with mission demands.
  2. Adapt as threats evolve.
  3. Reserve activations for critical moments.

Synergizing Team Dynamics

  1. Pair characters enhancing each other’s strengths.
  2. Combine defense with aggressive tactics.

Conserving Abilities

  1. Utilize abilities to prevent being overwhelmed.
  2. Avoid unnecessary ability overuse.

Mastering Zed Threat Control in Dawn of the Zeds

Surviving the relentless Zed onslaught demands strategic foresight and efficient use of your defenses. Starting with recognising the power of barricades — an early physical barrier can heavily curtail the advance of a Zed group. Moreover, initiating engagements on favorable grounds proves advantageous. Selecting characters that excel in combat for hot zones will likely tip the scales. In addition, measured fallbacks can draw Zeds into traps or more defensible positions, as retreating isn’t always losing ground but luring the Zeds into a fatal misstep. Finally, strategic use of the Heroic Action option can save the day during unexpected surges, adding an extra vital action where it counts most.

    Fortify Wisely

  1. Use barricades; delay Zed progress.
  2. Engage with Advantage

  3. Pick combat-strong characters for hot spots.
  4. Strategic Retreats

  5. Fallback to lure Zeds into prepared defenses.
  6. Heroic Measures

  7. Deploy Heroic Actions during critical moments.

Mastering the Apocalypse

There you have it, sworn defenders of Farmingdale! Remember, survival in Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) hinges on your ability to manage resources efficiently, utilize your character abilities wisely, and mitigate the relentless Zed threat. This guide, interwoven with illustrations from our nail-biting playthroughs, provides a strategy skeleton—fortify it with your play style, adapt, and improvise. Each game carves a narrative of triumphs and setbacks; learning from them is at the heart of mastering this vigorous and challenging experience. Stand firm, conserve your ammo, and let your strategic acumen lead you to victory!

Want to know what we think of Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition)? Read our detailed review of Dawn of the Zeds (Third Edition) here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.