Dead and Loving It >> Games You Can Win Posthumously
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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I really enjoyed Alex Bove/Montu's "Die, Die, Die My Darling" GeekList (you can read that excellent GL here http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi... ), detailing games in which your character or main role might be killed. It got me thinking of a subset of games in which you or your characters might die -- those games that you can still win despite being eliminated or killed!

First things first, I'm not looking for games where you have tons of units or numerous combats like most wargames, or Blue Moon, the Challenge or any of the clicky games. I'm also not looking for games you can win by virtue of a mutal annihilation and then have to fall back on some other sort of tiebreaker.

So that leaves us with games where your main in-game representation can die, but that won't prevent you from winning. Many games simply declare you "out if it" if you're eliminated, but not always. Also looking for interesting quirks or spins on this idea.


What games can you win, even after you've been eliminated or destroyed?
How does this wrinkle impact gameplay? Is it neat or just a nuisance?


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1. Board Game: Castle of Magic [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5628]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Castle of Magic is one of my all-time favorite games, hands down. Every game, each player assumes the role of a mage trying to manipulate the forces of magic to cast a specific ritual. There are 8 possible ritual results, which have wide and varied impact on the outcome -- from empowering those who control a certain country to ravaging the wizards by releasing a monster. Several rituals can result in the untimely death of your wizard.

However, a few of the wizards can still win, despite being eaten, if they score enough points by virtue of their other objectives. Better yet, one of the wizards cares little for what happens as long as the monster is released and can kill as many of the other wizards as possible.
 
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2. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:698]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Lord of the Rings features a group win system, as many cooperative games do. However, it's very, very difficult to achieve a group win without a few brave hobbits sacrificing themselves along the way. So long as the ringbearer avoids being corrupted to the point where Sauron destroys him, the group can still win as a whole if the One Ring is cast into the lava and destroyed. Often this means that several hobbit ghosts share in the celebration.
 
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3. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:596]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Vinci is a pseudo-wargame, but fits the bill here since you aren't technically out of the game, even if you've been completely wiped off the board. In fact, over the course of the game, your empires will frequently rise and fall. Since victory is determined by VPs gained along the way, it's quite possible that a player who benefited from strong play early on is hammered relentlessly toward the endgame.

We've had a few games where a player was removed completely from the board, but ended up winning by amassing a sizable VP lead and milking it despite having no active presence when the game ended (only dead civs).

Theoretically, History of the World could work much the same way, but I think it'd be far, far more difficult to eliminate one player completely from the board and still give them a realistic chance of winning.
 
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4. Board Game: BANG! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1016]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Bang! is a forced-cooperation game, since the distribution of roles will indicate which players will actually be working together. However, it's possible for Deputies and Outlaws to win the game, even if they've moved on to Boot Hill, as long as the game end conditions are favorable to their role. The game ends under one of two conditions:

1) the Sheriff is killed. If the Renegade is the only one alive, then he wins. Otherwise, Outlaws (as a group - alive or dead) win.
2) all the Outlaws and the Renegade are killed. The Sheriff and his Deputies (as a group - alive or dead) win.
 
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5. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:422]
Jay Little
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Betrayal at House on the Hill is another forced cooperation game, but results in one-on-many instead of even teams. However, much like Bang!, the game can still be won even if players end up dead.

The errata indicates that the Traitor can still win the game, even if his character has been killed, by fulfilling the Haunt objectives with his other minions. And the Survivors can gain a group win by fulfilling the Survival Haunt Objectives, regardless of how many of their fellow survivors may not have, well... survived.
 
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6. Board Game: Dark Cults [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:5484]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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Dark Cults is a team-based storytelling game of Lovecraftian-inspired horror. One team plays "Life" and tries to protect the story's protagonist. The other team plays "Death" and predictably enough, is trying to kill off the hero. By playing cards to represent locations, encounters and various hazards, the teams push the story -- and the protagonist -- along until there's a risk the hero may die.

While Life is trying desperately to save the hero, there may come a time where it's in their best interest to kill off the hero and suffer a reduced penalty than allowing Death to kill him and gain a sizable advantage. Even if the protagonist dies, the Life players still have a chance to claim victory, but it's seldom easy.
 
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7. Board Game: Circus Maximus [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1585]
Jay Little
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One of my favorite racing and season style games, driver death is a real possibility. Generally played as a campaign, it's possible to win the entire campaign, even if your driver and team are killed late in the season, if you've accumulated a significant "lead" over the course of a season. However, aside from just being able to win an entire linked season, you can even win an individual race after dying!

It doesn't happen often, but I recall one race where an opponent and I were neck and neck heading into the final stretch, vying for first place. I rammed his cart, destroying it completely, but was unable to reach the finish line myself. The plucky driver I rammed was able to hold onto the reins and get dragged across the finish line for the win... But it was a "short lived" victory, so to speak -- the damage he took being dragged the final length killed him!
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8. Board Game: Clash of the Gladiators [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:4540]
Jay Little
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Eden Prairie
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You start the game with several "teams" of gladiators fighting in the arena, but they start to drop like flies very quickly. Once all of your gladiators are dead, you're still actively in the game. Now, however, you're able to activate and fight with the group-controlled wild animals, and any gladiators you kill off with the beasts still get added to the kills you gained earlier.

It's a tough way to go, but sometimes being able to control an especially powerful beast can give you the ability to rack up a few extra kills to supplement your score.
 
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9. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:756]
John Mitchell
United Kingdom
Enfield
Middlesex
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Evo - you can in fact only win when you are dead. The scoring takes place once the meteor has arrived and wiped out all players/species.
 
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10. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:597]
Trevor Smith
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
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History of the World fits your requirements...same sort of thing as vinci, you build up empires, then you move on to the next one. You can play as rome and get a lot of points during that epoch, and get totally smashed during the next turn, but still win.
 
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11. Board Game: Gloom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:1443] [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Brian Robson
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Gloom is a game which you win by having most of your family members die as miserably as possible - and by cheering up your opponents and keeping them hanging on to life. The being happy in misery aspect suits us Scots perfectly ... "wu'r all doomed"!
 
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12. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:949]
Grant Johnson
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Cedar Park
Texas
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Always a favorite in high school. Cart off the foreign aid money to your own private Swiss account. You may be dead at game's end, from the hangman's noose for betraying His Excellency El Presidente or caught unaware by a psycho assasin. But if you snuck enough cash out of the country beforehand, you still win!
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13. Board Game: Outdoor Survival [Average Rating:4.64 Overall Rank:15275]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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In Scenario 2, Survival, the winner is the one who makes it off the west edge of the map. If no one makes it, then the winner is the one that got closest to the edge before dying.

It's not much of a consolation prize. You get crowned the best survivor by dying closest to civilization.
 
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14. Board Game: Red Empire [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:8983]
Scott Forster
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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One of my all-time favorite "warm-up" games for when a member of the gaming group is running late, Red Empire is a cut-throat game of political assassinations. It's possible to have accumulated enough VPs that you can still win even if your entire faction succumbs to the "Soviet flu", especially if you manage to stay President for a while.
 
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15. Board Game: Divine Right [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2483]
robin goblin
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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In Divine Right if your player monarch gets killed you have the choice of giving up your victory points and picking a new nation or sitting out the rest of the game and keeping your victory points....if you have the most at the end of the game mr dead guy, you win!
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16. Board Game: Homeworlds [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:2909]
Ava Jarvis
United States
Bainbridge Island
Washington
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In Homeworlds, you have good players and you have evil players (unknown roles. Some amount of diplomacy is involved here). The good players win if they, as a team, eliminate all the evil players. An evil player wins if they eliminate a good player.

It's entirely possible for a good player to be eliminated by another good player through the misdirections and deceptions of evil...
 
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17. Board Game: Gladiator [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3498]
Jason Russ
United States
Marshall
North Carolina
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In Gladiator, it's fairly common to suffer a "mortal wound" during the fight, yet still go on to win it. Too bad for you, you're dead immediately after...
 
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18. Board Game: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:952] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
 
Chance Folmar II
United States
broomfield
Colorado
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Figured this one fit the list. For every player killed, you get a point. If your the last player in the game, you get one additional point. I've seen it happen twice that the winner was taken out, but no one else could beat their score.
 
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19. Board Game: Imperator [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:13580]
Elliot Wilen
United States
Unspecified
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In this empire-building/management 'lite' wargame, the game ends the second time a monarch dies. If your monarch is the first to die, you have the option of totaling your victory points and leaving the game (your empire continues in 'non-player' mode) or losing your accomplishments and continuing as your heir.
 
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20. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1164]
Gilles Duchesne
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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"No no, see, it works perfectly! If you really are the Hunter, as you're claiming, let us lynch you anyway, and then use your power to kill Tim, and we still win!"
 
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21. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:317]
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
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You can win as a dead traitor or as a dead knight.
 
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22. Board Game: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1526]
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
VA
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Well, it may be a pyrrhic victory, but if you consider a win eliminating your opponent this game can give you a fun win (well, tie). If you get in a good gut shot into your enemy, they will have to draw damage after they kill you and it may just eliminate your enemy after you are pushing up the daisies.
 
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23. Board Game: Hawaiian Punch [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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Its not exactly what you're talking about...but in Hawaiian Punch your token (a clay pineapple) can get completely smashed...yet you can still advance it along the track and win the game, despite that everyone else's are still well-formed fruit. Its kind of a posthumous win for the pineapple, anyway.
 
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24. Board Game: Runebound (First Edition) [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2938]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Under the recommended "Doom Track" variant, the Endgame confrontation begins after the Doom Track fills up. During the Endgame, players may win after they die if they have more dragon runes than the other players after everyone has died, or if they win the other tie-breaker conditions.

For instance, once the Endgame confrontation begins, the highest-level hero might win two red challenges but die in the third battle. If the other two players aren't able to win three red challenges or defeat High Lord Margath, then the first player wins despite having died earlier in the game.
 
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25. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Dan Alban
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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Since this is a cooperative game, all of the players win if any number of the players are able to defeat the Ancient One in the final battle. There are other win conditions, of course, but it's possible to win this game posthumously.

Also, it's possible for investigators to be devoured earlier in the game. If this happens, Players must forfeit their investigator and draw a new one, but can continue playing.
 
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