Oh, me as well! And that’s part of why I love Dawn of the Zeds. Hermann Luttman, being a wargame designer, has all the meticulousness of a wargame designer, and it shows in the early editions. I mean, just the fact that @justaguy2 popped into the thread to remind someone about combat shifts! Who even knows what combat shifts are anymore, right?
The problem – this is a theory I have and it’s not based on any actual information – is that Alan Emrich’s “development” in the later editions seems to get more aggressive, introducing little tweaks and add-ons and “wouldn’t it be cool ifs…?” that ultimately weaken the original design. It turns into a messier game, a goofier game, a more pandering game, and in the process, the wargamey meticulousness gets muddied. My feeling is that the third edition is the reaction of a company trying to cash in on the popularity of zombies because, whoa!, it turns out lots of people bought the last edition, so they figured they’d make it easier to play, and think up some paid expansions, and fold in lots of extra pop culture references, and then maybe even more people will buy it! I feel the same thing happened with Chris Taylor’s Nemo’s War, by the way.
I like the third edition of Dawn of the Zeds, and I’m glad it’s a hit. But I feel like the supposed course correction it was trying to make from the second edition was mostly a mistake.