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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: [Testing] Solo Variant rss

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Zen
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Disclaimer: I understand that playing co-op by yourself is technically solo mode. I'm talking about a pure solo mode where you only have your team to manage and worry about.




Hello! I'm testing a solo variant for Dead of Winter and the changes aren't too drastic. I would like to know, if you have some time, if you'd like to test the variant and make some notes and help me flesh out the details needed for it.

I have some starting notes already and we shall make changes along the way.

Solo Variant

- 9 Cards to start.
-- 4 food. 2 fuel. 2 med. 1 junk.

- 7 Cards to start.
-- predetermined set.
-- 3 food. 2 fuel. 1 med. 1 junk.

- 4 survivors.
-- draw 6 and pick 4.
-- player starts with 6 dice (2 for the player. 1 for each survivor)


- Hardcore mode.
- Victory condition minimum for 2 players.

- No Secret Objective

- No Crossroad Cards



Thanks in advance if you do decide to help. I'll be working on it as well and will make changes to this post.



Notes:

Changes made.

8/14 1452pm.
-- Might be too difficult now. Needs testing.
8/15 1258pm
-- hmm. it was. more changes.
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J P
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Okay, so I just gave it a play. Here's how it went down:

I wanted a relatively short game, and something I hadn't done before, so I picked "Leave It All Behind" and played the Hardcore side.

I drew a secret objective card, Hypochondriac (must have at least 2 medicine cards in hand).

I gave myself the 9 starting cards as per instructions (4 food, 2 fuel, 2 med, 1 junk).

I drew 5 survivor cards, and picked Carla Thompson, Edward White, and Sparky (3 survivors total).

Start of the game, first crisis card was "They're Watching Us," which required me to place a medicine/tool card in the crisis contribution. I put the 1 Junk card in.

I used a fuel card to move Carla to the police station, and used her special ability to draw 2 cards. Both were weapons (Colt .45).

I moved sparky to the grocery store, and the Crossroads card that I had drawn (Horde) made me choose to either roll the exposure die 3 more times, or leave him where he was at the colony. I left him at the colony.

I moved Edward White to the grocery store, since that's where the most food cards are, and that's what I needed for the main objective. I used my remaining 3 action dice to do searches, each time placing noise tokens if I didn't draw food right away. After 3 searches and 3 noise tokens total, I had the 3 food for the main objective.

At that point, I used one of the starter food cards to put a food token at the colony to feed Sparky. I equipped Sparky and Carla each with a gun. Then I ended my turn.

Not surprisingly, Edward White got overrun and died, -1 morale. Crisis was averted, the 3 food for the main objective had been placed under the objective card, and my two remaining survivors were both equipped with weapons. AND, I still had the two starting medicine cards, so my secret objective was also complete.

Soooooo, thanks to a little bit of luck searching at the police station, I won the game on the first round. It wouldn't always be so simple, but I think the win conditions for solo play should be equivalent to a 2-player game, at the very least. Also, using the Crossroads cards in a solo game is kind of tricky. I drew it early in my turn, so I knew what the trigger would be. I only triggered it because I knew it wouldn't be too detrimental to my turn.

Hope my experience helps you to further develop your variant!
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itsjreal wrote:


Hope my experience helps you to further develop your variant!

Thanks for testing! I shall make some changes and notes.

As for the crossroad cards, do try the change where the card triggers regardless of what happens on your turn. Remove the character cards first though.
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zenxacred wrote:
itsjreal wrote:


Hope my experience helps you to further develop your variant!

Thanks for testing! I shall make some changes and notes.

As for the crossroad cards, do try the change where the card triggers regardless of what happens on your turn. Remove the character cards first though.

When would the Crossroad card be triggered? If you wait until the end of your turn to trigger it, the card could likely cause damage that would be impossible to mitigate for the current round. So it seems it would be less punishing (and, frankly, more fair and balanced) to trigger it at the beginning of your turn.

Also, I understand that character cards are removed first, but, for example, the card I pulled last night was triggered by a move (any move by any character); I was forced me to choose between completing the move and rolling for exposure 3 times, OR not moving at all. If I drew that card and hadn't planned on moving any survivors, would the variant compel me to trigger it anyway by attempting to move a survivor? I assume not, but then the Crossroads cards wouldn't necessarily auto-trigger every turn.
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Gave it another go with the changes you made.

I did a different main objective this time – have 14 barricades at the colony and one at each non-colony location.

"Secret" Objective #1 - all survivors must be equipped with an item

"Secret" Objective #2 - must have (I can't remember the actual numbers here) food, fuel, meds, weapons, etc in hand. I think it was the Hoarder objective.

It was hard. I may just not have enough experience with the game yet, but I think it may have been impossible, at least with only 3 survivors. I only managed to get 2 of the 20 barricades up by the end of the last round. One of my survivors died during the last Add Zombie phase, and my remaining two survivors were both equipped with weapons. So that secret objective was complete. But I had no cards left in my hand. For the crisis cards, I only required myself to put one card in the crisis contribution.

The main objective wasn't specific to any number of players (as opposed to needing 4 samples/player, or 3 food/player, etc); I just don't think it's possible for one player with 3 (or even 4) survivors to cumulatively kill enough zombies AND place the required number of barriers within the span of only a few rounds.

I should have done the same main objective as I did last time, for a better comparison, but I really wanted to try something new. Sorry!
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itsjreal wrote:


When would the Crossroad card be triggered? If you wait until the end of your turn to trigger it, the card could likely cause damage that would be impossible to mitigate for the current round. So it seems it would be less punishing (and, frankly, more fair and balanced) to trigger it at the beginning of your turn.

Also, I understand that character cards are removed first, but, for example, the card I pulled last night was triggered by a move (any move by any character); I was forced me to choose between completing the move and rolling for exposure 3 times, OR not moving at all. If I drew that card and hadn't planned on moving any survivors, would the variant compel me to trigger it anyway by attempting to move a survivor? I assume not, but then the Crossroads cards wouldn't necessarily auto-trigger every turn.

This is why initially, I had no crossroad cards. After reading some of the cards, It seems that triggering it regardless is either impossible or just makes the game extremely difficult. And triggering it only when you can knowing the results, makes it easy and near pointless.

I'll change it back to no xroad cards. Slight benefit: you won't spoil many cards when playing with others



itsjreal wrote:


I should have done the same main objective as I did last time, for a better comparison, but I really wanted to try something new. Sorry!

No, it's good to use the other scenarios. It's good to find out which ones are impossible to do with the conditions set.

On initial testing (before I made notes and all), I had 4 survivors but 6 dice (2 for the player). So that even if I had 1 survivor left, I would still have 3 dice. i found that I had too much to do and it made the game easy. Then again, I didn't have a secret objective -- let alone two. So how about trying that?

- 4 Survivors. 6 Dice. (2 for the player, 1 for each survivor)

 
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Kevin Taylor
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Wasn't there supposed to be an app on the way to allow the creation of custom crossroads cards? I think when this happens it 'might' be a bit easier to build a solo variant.

When playing solo, you'll start, or end up, having quite a large colony to handle (in theory) but there could be a few crossroads cards that force a handful of survivors (in a determined location) to become a splinter group for some reason. You could then have an AI (of sorts) that kicks in to control them. And make your life even more difficult.
I don't really know how this would work but its something that I've been thinking about just to get the game on a table 'between' proper games.

For a game that really shouldn't be playable solo - the whole idea of just protecting and surviving the colony should lend itself quite well to solo play. It's just fitting in the crossroads cards that seems an issue - and the secret objectives of course, but you don't use these co-op anyway.
 
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Enon Sci
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Vistathon wrote:
Wasn't there supposed to be an app on the way to allow the creation of custom crossroads cards?

The app and the generator are different beasts. The generator already exists: http://www.plaidhatgames.com/ajax/dowcrossroadscreator.php

The app will just be an easy way of getting them into the game. Currently, I suspect you'll have to print them out, or something to that effect.
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Chris Street
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Hi Zen,

I've just run through the "Ten Weeks of Darkness" hardcore objective. I began with Maria Lopez, Sophie Robinson, Buddy Davis, and Ashley Ross - two good searchers, two good attackers.

The objective requires surviving 10 weeks and having 6 spare food in the supply. I just about made it and completed the objective - I had 7 spare tokens. My secret objective was fairly easy - get two books in hand. I ended up with three.

I enjoyed playing it, and it was nice not having to deal with multiple player sheets and secret objectives. Initially I felt I was screwed, but by about round 5 of 10 I thought I might have it in the bag. There were definitely still some decisions that I weren't sure about as things went on, and it wasn't until the last round - and even the last few actions of that round - that I thought "yeah, I've got this for sure".

I hope that helps. I'm playing with the rules that were posted as of 10/Feb/17

Best
C
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david
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Thanks so much, i´ll to probe that mode
 
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I was using combined base games with NO bandits or Raxxon. I tested scenario "The night is dark" where you have to survive 10 rounds and get a frost wound for each time you attack a zombie. I needed no wounds on survivors for secret objective. I only failed one crisis after needing the same type of item three times in a row mid game.

I think the two extra dice makes this too easy. If you move all survivors out of the base to start, you can keep building barricades. Any ability to kill a zombie (without an attack), to make barricades for free, etc... means an extra dice.

Looking through other objectives, others that would have been challenging: having only medicine in hand would have been more challenging, just for the need to spend more dice to empty the trash. I'd likely have to search a location with noise, then move away, clear a zombie the next turn with sniper rifle or Rosa, and then move back to be more selective about what items I got.
Having more survivors on the board than zombies would have been challenging. I had enough outsider cards for 19, starting with 24 zombies...I'd have an easier time with the healing abilities I had (but didn't even have to use) than if I hadn't found any.

To make this scenario harder I'd suggest raising the die needed to 2, possibly more? Removing the extra die would be too much of a handicap if the right characters/searches didn't come up early.

There are a few other mission


PS.
You need a list of cards to take out. Character cards with abilities that have no effect (like taking other player's cards), changing other's dice rolls, objectives like most survivors, etc...

PPS.
This is my favorite game, but I will say when searching at x location charters take two and keep two once per round are too essential. I've been toying with the idea of house ruling that you can only keep two and need to make noise or some other means to search for two (same with books). The other issue I have is in a game with more players, some of the secret objectives become next to impossible without these cards (like guns, books, or outsiders.)
 
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Britt Rosendahl Hansen
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I played a solo game tonight with (almost) the rules, you made. I didn't register that the "No secret objective cards" was stricken out, so I didn't play with those.

I played this:
- 7 Cards to start.
-- predetermined set.
-- 3 food. 2 fuel. 1 med. 1 junk.

- 4 survivors.
-- draw 6 and pick 4.
-- player starts with 6 dice (2 for the player. 1 for each survivor)

- Hardcore mode.
- Victory condition minimum for 2 players.

- No Secret Objective

- No Crossroad Cards

My main objective was "Stockpile", where I had to have a barricade at each colony entrance, 2 medicine, 2 items and 2 fuel cards under the objective (no starter item cards) and 3 food tokens in the food supply for each non-exiled player, i.e. 6 food tokens.

It worked really well and I enjoyed the game very much.

I didn't find that it was too easy without the secret objective. I lost because I needed ONE more food token and I think I had OK good people for this objective (Ashley Ross, David Garcia, Olivia Brown, Jenny Clark, Thomas Heart), so it came down to a bad roll of the dice in the last round, where I had two 2s left and no one who could do a search on a 2. I pulled in a new survivor, hoping to get one that could search on a 2, but no such luck (4 survivor cards out of 22 left).

So:
- Stockpiled items, barricades at every entrance and FIVE food tokens in the food supply.
- Morale at 3.
- Empty waste pile (had to do something with the 2s )

Lost, but had fun Will do it again.
 
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Britt Rosendahl Hansen
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Played another solo game tonight using the same rules as last time.

This time the main objective was "Winter has come". I had to place a fuel card underneath the objective card during every colony phase and there were two zombies at each location to begin with (and some in the colony, but all survivors left the colony immediately so those didn't matter).

The gameplay worked well again and I did enjoy myself, so my only grudge was that it was too easy this time.

I was lucky enough to get the principal and the librarian from the start and they both draw and keep an extra card when searching at the school and library, respectively (once per round). I also had the fortune teller, who searches on a 1, so she went straight to the gas station.

About halfway through the 10 rounds, I had all the fuel I needed, so then it was just a matter of getting cards for the crisis and that was no problem either.

I picked up two extra survivors, avoided helpless survivors, got lots of weapons and blueprints (I ended up having blueprints for all locations).

Still fun. I may try this main objective again and then add a secret objective card to make it harder. (And maybe if I don't get as lucky with my survivors it'll be plenty difficult )
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Britt Rosendahl Hansen
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I played another game tonight.

This time it was really hard.

The main objective was "Leave it all behind": 3 zombies at all locations outside of the colony (and some in the colony, but those didn't matter), must have a weapon equipped to a survivor and place 6 non-starter food cards under the objective. Turns: 5, Morale: 5.

With only 5 rounds, I immediately got my survivors out to the police station and school (because I had the teacher) and started searching. Even though I got the blueprints for the school, I only got 3 food cards placed under the main objective. I did have a weapon equipped, so it was just getting the food that was a problem. Just not enough time and/or luck.

Still fun. Very quick game this one.
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Tom Stevenson
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Tonight I just played the same scenario ("Leave it all behind") as Britt Rosendahl Hansen, except I had much better luck. My Secret Objective was to have weapons on two characters, which was also part of the victory conditions for the scenario.

I used the rules for solo in the OP's thread, but, using a great little app from Nazca Games ($0.99 USD at Google Play Store), I did use the Crossroads cards. Since the app only displays each part of the CrossRoads cards one "segment" at a time, I can control what I see and the decisions I make. I played one CrossRoads card before each of my turns. Great little app and highly recommended for solo ops.

I had the Teacher, the Police Dispatcher, the Nurse, and the Mom (talk about lucky draws!). I refused the first Crossroads (busload of survivors) and I sent the PD and Teacher out right away, got weapons fairly quickly and beat the first (2 food) crisis. Turn 2 I got some gas and sent the Nurse out to Hospital. By this time, all had superior weapons and could easily defend their locations. Beat the crisis on this turn also (needed 2 meds). On turn 3, the crisis was not achievable (need lots of gas I didn't have) so I abandoned the Colony to its fate, sent Mom to the grocery store (gotta love it when Mom goes to the grocery store) and pulled food until I had 6 (non-starter) food in hand, meeting all the objectives on turn 3.

Using the CrossRoads Cards Companion App, I think this solo works well with them. The app provides options to include/exclude non-coop CrossRoads cards, add Long Night (all, some or none) or Promo cards (individually) as options and add or remove "Mature Content" cards.

It was a good play-through esp since this was my first solo attempt on the game (I have played before with my son & daughter in law using his game, but this solo was the first time with my own copy of the game). Very helpful to learn rules and strategies, and it was fun. I like the OP's proposed solo rules, but with CrossRoads cardplay using the app. Nicely done!

R/
TC2
 
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Hi,

after some intensive testing and discussion and based on your comments and ideas, I have developed a solo variant which takes all elements from the 2p variant, with some slight changes.

The variant is similar to yours but adds more survivors (with your current variant I found impossible to reach some objectives)and is more intuitive (so many survivors as in 2p variant 2x3).

In this variant you take 10 Cards (double as much as in normal modus, 2x7 from 2p Modus would be too many), which I personally find better than predefined cards.

The idea to receive 2 standard dice instead of one makes sense, but as mentioned 4 survivors is from my point of view not enough. In this variant you take some many dice at once as in the 2p variant (2x4), and same with the survivors (2x3), which is much more intuitive for the set up.

Here my proposal:


Solo variant

Follow the same rules as the Co-op variant, but adding one non-betrayal secret objective (randomly). The objective is to achieve both the main and the secret objective.

Treat main objective and crisis cards as for two players (two conditions per round)

During setup, the player receives 10 starting item cards and chooses 6 survivors out of 8 survivor cards. Use 2 action dice, plus 1 additional action die for each survivor (8 at the beginning)

Crossroad cards are not being used in this variant (skip this step during the player turn phase)

Additionally, it is possible to add an additional non-betrayal secret objective (providing they don't contradict each other)



I would be thankful for your feedback.

Regards
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Clint Nickoles

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I just tested the SOLO variant you laid out and I didn’t hate it! I say didn’t hate it because I actually won without too much difficulty. I think I just got lucky with dice rolls and character abilities.

I had the NEED MORE SAMPLES Main Objective HARDCORE MODE. Needed 8 obtained 10.

The Secret Objective where I needed to have at least 3 characters removed from the game. I drew the Forest Plum which made this easy to obtain. I was able to get all 3.

I did use the starting hand of 7 cards - 3 Food, 2 Fuel, 1 Med, 1 Junk

This game goes like that sometimes where it is just easy or impossible and that’s why I like it. I do like saving the surprise of crossroads cards for multiplayer set-ups.

I’ll try it again with different objectives and see what it’s like but all in all great set-up! Thank you for taking the time to make this game enjoyable no matter what number of players there are.
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