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In Zombicide - Black Plague, survivors have a body slot, which can also be used to equip other equipment which should normally be equipped in hands. For example, Samson can equip a shield in his body slot.

And here is the shield card mentioned on Samson's survivor card:

Now: is this body slot strictly reserved for this exact shield or could any shield be equipped in it, like the Shield of Ages? I am looking for "rules-as-written" answers, because I already house rule this as any shield can be equipped.

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You can only use the indicated piece of equipment in the body slot, not any similar piece of gear.

From page 17 of the rulebook under Inventory > Body:

Alternatively, it can hold the specific Equipment card that is listed on it.

So rules-as-written it is quite clear that you can only equip that item, and not a similar item instead.

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    I really missed the "specific" word when reading though the rules.. thanks !
    – Yotus
    Dec 2 '20 at 15:10
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The rules have this to say about the body slot:

  • The Body slot is reserved for Equipment cards bearing the Body symbol.
  • Alternatively, it can hold the specific Equipment card that is listed on it. It is then considered to be equipped in Hand, representing a special piece of Equipment that this Survivor can draw and use in the blink of an eye.

Different interpretations of that wording could lead different people to understand it differently, and the base game doesn't have that much in the way of different equipment, and all of the base game heroes had low tier body slot item options, so the answer becomes more clear when looking at some of the expansion heros and kickstarter packs.

Clovis

Clovis here can hold a shield in his body slot, it shows the image for a basic shield, but it's understandable to think that means he can hold any shield.

Billy

Billy makes it a lot more clear, when his body slot item is specifically a Norse Shield, not just the ability to hold a shield.

Daggers

Looking at these three, each able to hold a different kind of dagger in their body slot helps clarify it even more. The most clear way to see this is looking at mage heroes that can hold spells in their body slot - there is no spell that's name can be confused for a category, and every mage hero has a specific named spell, like mana blast, healing, or speed, that can be put into that slot, when the game says shield it means only the basic shield, no other kinds of shields can be used in the body slot.

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