Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: Dead of Winter  (Read 9576 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Dead of Winter
« on: October 13, 2014, 11:43:59 pm »
+3

Played my first game of Dead of Winter today, with 3 players total.  It was fun!

We did the recommended main scenario ("We Need More Samples").  My secret objective was "Germophobe" -- to not take any wounds on any of my characters.  My group leader was Sparky the stunt dog and my first follower was Bev Tyler, mother.

The player to my left (I'll call him K) had a doctor as his group leader.  I forget who his first follower was because she died on the first turn.  His secret objective was "Masochist" -- one of his characters had to have at least 2 wound tokens at the end of the game.

The player to my right (will call him L) had Kodiak (the promo character), who is self sufficient (doesn't count towards food needs and zombie additions), and Buddy, who takes 4 wounds to kill instead of 3.  IIRC, his goal was to have at least 4 cards in hand at the end of the game.

(Our objectives were indeed kept secret.  Nobody ended up as a betrayer though.)

In the first round, one of K's characters went to the grocery store to search for food.  A zombie there bit her.  She got a sample though.  On the same turn he pulled a new character, a Janitor.

L sent Buddy out to the police station, but it immediately triggered a Crossroads card.  No spoilers, but the end result was that Buddy became a cold-blooded warrior who was able to attack once per round without rolling for exposure.

Since I was trying to have no wounds, I immediately sent Sparky out to the hospital.  I used fuel to keep him safe from exposure.  I got an event card to add one character to my following as well as a helpless survivor, which was great because it would allow Bev Tyler to shine.  My new follower was Talia, a fortune teller.  Her special ability wasn't that helpful but she was amazing at searching for stuff.  I also sent her out to the hospital, using another fuel.

Subsequent rounds were surprisingly breezy.  Bev Tyler was a zombie killing machine thanks to her special ability.  Sparky was a decent fighter and every roll of the exposure die went well for me.  Buddy was also good at taking out zombies, and Kodiak got better as well when he was equipped with a pistol.

IIRC, we managed to fulfill the main objective on the third round thanks to L's powerful fighters.  At this point, K's doctor character had joined Sparky and Talia at the hospital.  4 zombies were there now, so I planned to run back to the colony and leave the doctor to fend for herself.  I spent most of my actions searching for medicine, eventually adding all 4 noise tokens to the spot.  Anybody still there was in serious trouble.

On Sparky's way home, he ran into a pirate who ended up usurping the dog's place as faction leader.  C'est la vie.  He also got a wound from exposure, but some medicine fixed that up nicely.  Talia got bitten on her way home.  I opted to let another of my characters die rather than risk the bite spreading further.

K spent his last turn gambling on getting the doctor out of the infested hospital and getting the correct amount of wounds on his doctor to fulfill his secret objective.

We won in the end, pretty easily.  In retrospect, it would have been easier for me to leave all my characters at the hospital.  Even if one of them died, my objective would still be met.  I think it may be worth trying a variant that makes a betrayer more probable.  I'm excited to play again!
Logged

Archetype

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 985
  • Suffers from Fancy Play Syndrom
  • Respect: +685
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 12:09:08 am »
0

Plaid Hat Games is my favorite board game publisher. I've been following this game's development for awhile and really love the personal vs group objective mechanic and crossroads mechanics. I'm hoping to actually purchase the game once the cost goes down a little, so it's nice to read another positive review on it. Did the game have enough tension between personal/group objectives? Because that's what I'm most worried about.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 01:05:46 am »
0

After only one play, I can't say.  We were all pretty relaxed.  I imagine it's more tense with more players, and I think it'll be more interesting to play a variant that makes betrayers more likely.  We also got pretty lucky in a few different places.  Speaking to myself, my personal goal was to have no wounds, and I got lucky in that I pretty much never rolled a wound to exposure.  There was one point where I debated contributing medicine to the Crisis or keeping it as backup for myself, but failing the crisis would have hurt me more.  Also, it would have been tougher if more of our personal goals had to do with hoarding certain items.

As far as cost, I managed to get it for pre-order at $45 CAD.
Logged

D3Games

  • Pearl Diver
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • Respect: +1
    • View Profile
    • D3 Games: Tabletop Gaming Store
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 09:44:21 am »
0

How do you think the game would play with only two players? I assume its not possible to win solely on your personal objective, that the group objective still needs to be completed? 

The Walking Dead: Best Defense has a mechanic called "ulterior motive" which allows for victory even if the group fails. Needless to say, it is kind of unplayable for two player only games.

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 05:31:24 pm »
0

The official rules for the 2 player variant are:

Quote
Follow the same rules as the Co-Op Variant. When setting up each player receives 7 starting item cards instead of 5 and receives 4 survivors and keeps 3 of them instead of keeping only 2 of them.

And the rules for the Co-Op variant are:

Quote
Players may choose to play the game cooperatively. Use the hardcore side of the main objective card and do not assign secret objectives. Each player’s only objective is to complete the main objective. Players cannot vote to exile a player. During setup, remove from the game every card showing the non co-op symbol on the bottom right corner of the card.

So, officially, there aren't secret (personal) objectives for 2 players.  Adding in secret objectives would probably work fine, but it would only increase the difficulty. The real purpose of the secret objectives is to give everybody a selfish goal which can help obfuscate the presence and identify of a potential betrayer.  That's just not a thing in full co-op play though.

What I'm interested in is a 2p variant that somehow includes the possibility of a betrayer without breaking the game.  I think there are lots of fans trying out different ideas.  I'm sure the game works fine with 2, but I expect DoW to be more fun the more people you get involved.
Logged

tripwire

  • Apprentice
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 297
  • Respect: +209
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 02:13:10 pm »
0

Did the game have enough tension between personal/group objectives? Because that's what I'm most worried about.

I've played this game a couple times now (each time has been really fun, different, and interesting) and in each of those playthroughs there have been no traitor. But each time someone's personal objective has forced them to behave like a betrayer, making other players suspicious.

For example, one player had to end the game with only medicine in their hand. This led them to play a ton of cards even though our trash pile was already threatening our morale. We all assumed they were deliberately trying to drop morale and we exiled them.

In another, we all worked together to figure out how to successfully meet our objective that round. We were all confident that we were going to win. The last player in the round only needed to kill one more zombie and we'd win. But, when it got to their turn, they didn't follow through with the plan because they hadn't met their personal objective yet. If they ended the game then, they would lose. As a result, we went from a sure thing to everybody losing.

In other words, yes, there's enough tension (at least in my experience so far). Even when there's no traitor, personal objectives often make it seem like there is one. It also prevents the game from being controlled by any one player even if everyone is on the same side.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 02:44:33 am »
0

For anyone curious, there is another 2 player variant in testing, from the designer.

It's based on the Prisoner's Dilemma.  Each player gets one regular secret objective and one Betrayal secret objective.  You cannot Exile.

If the Main Objective is completed, the players who completed their secret objective win.
If Morale goes to 0 and one player has completed the Betrayal objective, that player wins.
If Morale goes to 0 and both have completed their Betrayal objectives, neither wins.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 02:43:25 am »
0

Played 2 games of this tonight, both with 4 players.

In the first game, the colony started under a heavier-than-usual load of zombies.  The main objective was to get every player armed (at least one survivor with a weapon for each player) and to stash away food.  It was tight the whole game but everybody chipped in and we were all set to win on the very last turn... and then it turned out one of us was a traitor.  On his turn, Sparky the dog sent one of his followers out to get people killed.  Morale was right at the brink, and that put us over the edge.  Traitor won.

The story was hilarious because that traitor was Sparky the Dog.  Man's best friend engineered the downfall of our colony.

Caveat: checking back, I think he might have misread his objective slightly.  I think he thought he had to have only one (armed) survivor, but he actually needed exactly one follower as well (as well as the leader).  Even if that were the case, I'm pretty sure he could have easily won just by sabotaging the crisis on that last turn.

In the second game, locations were relatively light on zombies but the main objective sounded very difficult -- we needed to empty two item decks.  Two of my starting character options were especially good at drawing many items... but I was the traitor.  Instead, I took the Fireman (who was still somewhat useful to the objective, by potentially emptying an item pile of Outsiders cards) and a somewhat useless hanger-on (truck driver).  My secret objective: have 4 barricades at a non-colony location, have 2 fuel in hand, and have a weapon attached to a character.

I immediately sent the fireman to the police station to look for weapons and fuel.  I chose it over the Gas Station (which was about as good for weapons and fuel) because the latter did not have 3 spaces for barricades, which I would eventually need to build.  I got my needed items pretty quickly.

But to avoid suspicion, I helped out a lot.  Too much, I am certain.  I actually chipped in heavily on early crises, even enabling us to gain Morale.  I handed off many weapons to others.  And on the second last turn, I actually helped to drain the Police Station item pile with 3 card draws.  The Hospital was also almost empty, and could have been emptied that turn.  However, several of the players still had the secret objective uncompleted, and we whined enough that the one who could have emptied the pile let us have a chance by leaving the last card at the Hospital untouched.

On the last turn, I killed the last zombie at the Police Station and build 4 barricades (partially helped by a Pad Lock I'd picked up early on), sabotaged the crisis (which players had given up on anyway; I just wanted to be certain) and wasted the rest of my actions on needless searches instead of doing something productive, blowing it off as just being ready for the game to end.  And I was -- we still had 5 morale that I did not think we would lose.

But I had underestimated the danger of the crisis.  It cost one morale immediately but also added a whopping 8 zombies to the colony, which filled up entrances and broke barricades.  When we added the zombies from the regular end-of-round upkeep, it killed off enough characters to completely drain the morale.

These were the first times I've seen the traitor win.  Previous 3 games were 1 victory (no traitor) and 2 total losses (both with traitor, also lost).

Great game.
Logged

D3Games

  • Pearl Diver
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
  • Respect: +1
    • View Profile
    • D3 Games: Tabletop Gaming Store
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 02:22:05 pm »
0

Thanks for the recap. I need to add this to my shelf. What are your thoughts on the learning curve for newbies. I find co-op games to be easier to teach and pull in new gamers. Pandemic is relatively easy to teach and contains a lot of basic mechanics the players can build on. Would DOW be another good entry level game night selection?

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 02:43:05 pm »
0

I am not great at judging learning curve (I pick up the basics of most games pretty easily), but I think DoW works well.  The player aide lays most things out pretty cleanly, and the semi-cooperative nature means that more experienced players can give advice.  Depending on the comfort of the players, you could even switch to a full co-op version just by leaving out betrayal objectives, or secret objectives altogether.  I think you just need to clear up some of the trickier things on secret objective cards, like the fact that your "following" does not include your leader (which made a difference in the betrayal objective in that first game I just recapped).  Everything else is pretty clear.

Last night I played another game of Dead of Winter with 3 players.  We decided not to use any betrayal objectives (the two betrayals from the games I recapped were kind of stressful, haha) but still included secret objectives.  We played the scenario Too Many Mouths (you start off with a whole bunch of helpless survivors and you have to survive X rounds).  We tried the hard side first but we ran into a bunch of early bad luck.  One of my characters died to a Bite in the first round, and in the second round another player's character got taken out of action by a crossroads card.  After a few other terrible Crossroads cards, we gave up and tried it again on the normal side of the scenario.

That one went much better, especially because I got to start with the Cook and the Farmer, both good for accumulating food (a pressing concern with so many helpless survivors).  Another player had the Ninja, which made him really good for safely clearing zombies at home.  An early Crossroads card got us a couple of free weapons, and my Farmer found the hammer at the Grocery Store early on which allowed us to build barricades like crazy.
Logged

rrenaud

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 987
  • Uncivilized Barbarian of Statistics
  • Respect: +1177
    • View Profile
    • CouncilRoom
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 03:23:50 pm »
0

In my 8 games of experience, the problem I have with dead of winter is that the presence of a betrayer strongly determines the outcome of the game.  I've never won a game with a betrayer present.   I frequently win when there are none present.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Dead of Winter
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 05:21:59 pm »
0

In my 8 games of experience, the problem I have with dead of winter is that the presence of a betrayer strongly determines the outcome of the game.  I've never won a game with a betrayer present.   I frequently win when there are none present.

In one game with a betrayer, we almost won because we caught and exiled the betrayer really early.  Our loss was due to an unrelated miscalculation.

In the first game in my recent recap, we (non-betrayers) could have won if we'd been more selfish.  One player had already insinuated that she needed to kill off some of her survivors to meet her secret objective, and we accepted it as genuine.  Another player said that he had a similar requirement, and so we accepted that too.  We were then very worried about raising our morale enough to tank the morale hits from dying survivors.  It turned out that the second player was the betrayer. 

But if we had been more selfish, we would have won.  On the last turn, that player was still planning on killing off his survivors.  We could have exiled him immediately.  He probably would have lost, but the rest of us would win.  The problem was that we trusted him and were being altruistic, trying to make it so that his actions would lose us the game.  Even if he weren't a betrayer, we could have exiled him to keep ourselves safe through to the win.

Likewise, in the second game where I was the betrayer, the others could have won if they'd just been selfish and ended the game.  Instead, they took pity when I begged them to give me one more round to complete my secret objective.
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.174 seconds with 22 queries.