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Designing A.R.C.: Shadow Wars Corrupted Zombie Infection

ARC: War in the Shadows Design Studio Zombies

Our Covert Intervention Games studio team and trusted staff have been hard at work developing our core rules layers for A.R.C.: Shadow Wars and several factions fighting in a gritty dark world all around us -if you know where to look.

Part of the fun is creating a variety of factions for players to use... and lately that has a lot to do with ZOMBIES! So we thought we would share a little bit about what has gone on creatively to get our Corrupted Zombie Infection ready for prime time thus far.

(We love that the Center for Disease Control have a sense of Humor.)

CDC Zombie Infection Warning

Setting the Vision and Background

First we focused on what we envisioned in the Zombie genre to be and passed it around the background development and rules development teams to get their own ideas and feed back. We wanted our Zombies to be both scary and funny as they have been portrayed in books, movies and graphic novels. We asked for initial tone boxes from the background teams to see how they thought some of the infection could be explained. 

Some of our best ideas which have already made it into the book were initial concepts on the physiology of the Zombie infection and how the infection progressed in an infected human until they 'turn' into a raging h'angry Zombie. Also of note was how we further developed why and how some of the various factions were trying to quietly identify the source of the infections and eliminate them.


Zombies units are varied by infection phase and other factors.

After a few rounds of creative discussion we realized some challenges of creating Zombies without making them seem either boring shambling hordes or limited in their options tactically.

We were able to further refine our Zombies into units based on different phases of the infection in the poor unfortunate host. the background matches well with specific rules to each phase and creating different tactical options the other factions will have to counter or become "food". Zombies are indeed scary!

We have a good mix of units already released or in development based on fast and slow zombies and some mutations in the infection based on pre-existing conditions within the zombie host. Like what would happen to someone with cancer/radiation treatments? what if they had certain genetic or personality traits? or what if they were a PsykWytch?

(Colorized concept art of the phases of infection in an average zombie)

 "May your God help you if you make noise and Zombies are around the corner." - overheard at a games test between two players playing Reluctant Hero SWAT Teams as the Zombies got closer.

Amazing Artwork and Graphics are Critical


As a game company we know our games and our products hinge on our ability to create an immersive gaming experience for you. If the art work doesn't speak to you as gamers you are unlikely to try the game. We brought aboard concept artists after a chance encounter at a local coffee shop where after seeing some work in a different comic book.

A graphic novel style was exactly what we were looking for. You will see a lot more  as we continue development. We are showing some of the artwork they helped to produce for our books as well.

Initial Concept Art

(Initial Concept Sketch)

A.R.C. Corrupted Zombie Infection Game Play

We have been testing Zombies against the other Factions in A.R.C.: Shadow Wars and in every environment possible with both seasoned gamers and people completely new who have never played a tabletop war game in their lives.

The work put in over months has been fantastic as we tried scenarios on small 2'x4' in dense urban terrain which will fit easily on a dining room or coffee table, standard 4'x6' tables with a wide variety of terrain, and even did  extended 12'x 4' tables to see if it continued to scale well;and if you are wondering -it did!


Some things to look forward to from our Corrupted Infection Zombie faction:

  • - Agile, terribly resilient, and brutally vicious Zombies in the early infection phase.
  • - Our Zombies are H'Angry all the time... like really. Rage angry, and ravenously hungry make for a terrible mix.
  • - Entertaining gaming mechanics like "zombies can't turn door knobs" which reflects zombies "brain dead" status and makes them persistent as hell to an opponent.
  • - Stealth and avoiding making noise may be just as important as firepower for any opponent.
  • - They. Just. Don't. Die. Zombies are not going to be easy to kill, and they will keep coming after you, if they can just get past that door knob.
  • - Sometimes, like in the movies Zombies catch others unaware in ambush style mechanics. Opponents should be wary and always watch their backs!
  • - Advanced Zombies with various mutations are also being tested... faster, meaner, stronger, more resilient zombies with some other terrible secrets.
  • And of course the Zombie Miniatures!

    Our Corrupted Infected Zombie Packs start with our characterful range of Force20 Zombies in two packs to allow players to get their hordes on the table:

    Zombie Group 1

    Zombie Group 2

    Zombies from either group are full of character and paint up really easy.

    We are adding more Zombies to the mix over time to fill out the ranks for those who love large hordes of zombies terrorizing the village on their local game table. We have planned for multiple poses and heads so you can pose them more than one way to get the most out of the models.  If you have ideas for new zombie models we would love to hear feedback and we definitely read our feedback.

    In Closing

    We can't get enough Zombie stuff going and think zombies should be fun and funny at times as well.

    This song from Jonathan Coulton is worth the listen if you like zombies too. Have an awesome day!



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    • James-CIG Dev Team on

      Its been a fantastic build up over the past couple months on the CIG Team and I get excited over how our zombies are constantly evolving. From initial gameplay to what they are capable of on the last play test, leaves more room for improvement. From the Zombie perspective, the shambling may be unfortunate at times, but can pay off big at the eight moment. From the Omega side, getting through without a sound (and crossed fingers on noise checks!) to let the nuke do the eradication for you brings a new level of excitement, to what we hope will be an amazing set of games with an even more amazing fan base!

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