Enon Sci
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I'm in the unlucky majority of posters that hasn't had the opportunity to play Dead of Winter just yet. I've read the reviews, watched the videos and even slated my pre-order, but the game's first wave of releases was unfortunately timed to a Thailand sabbatical I had planned, so I canceled it. However, now that I'm back on board the DoW train (pre-order re-established), I had some questions after a fine reading of the rules:

1) Secret Objective with Two:

I've seen the commentaries floating around that the game works fairly well with the secret objectives in a two player. I haven't had the opportunity to test it myself, but I can already imagine how it could lend a little tension even without the possibility of a traitor.

My question, to anybody close to the development of this game, is why were they removed? Was there some negative association, or diminishing quality that relegated secret objectives to the waste bin? If anything, it helps lend a players faction a sense of personality (a quirk of obsession, perhaps).

2) The one rule that surprised me when reading the rules is how Food Shortages are handled. Coming as one who hasn't gathered first hand experience in this matter, it seems a little soft -- why not dispose of all the food as an additional penalty to before the moral hit? Does it simply not work realistically if the food gets tossed in this manner? Seemed a bit like a slap on the wrist, but I come from a Ghost Stories/Robinson Crusoe co-op background.

Would this be a workably realistic variant, or -- again -- is the penalty of disposing of all the remaining food just a recipe for digging holes one can never escape?

Anyhoo, thanks.

 
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Jim Bobson
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Anarchosyn wrote:
I'm in the unlucky majority of posters that hasn't had the opportunity to play Dead of Winter just yet. I've read the reviews, watched the videos and even slated my pre-order, but the game's first wave of releases was unfortunately timed to a Thailand sabbatical I had planned, so I canceled it. However, now that I'm back on board the DoW train (pre-order re-established), I had some questions after a fine reading of the rules:

1) Secret Objective with Two:

I've seen the commentaries floating around that the game works fairly well with the secret objectives in a two player. I haven't had the opportunity to test it myself, but I can already imagine how it could lend a little tension even without the possibility of a traitor.

My question, to anybody close to the development of this game, is why were they removed? Was there some negative association, or diminishing quality that relegated secret objectives to the waste bin? If anything, it helps lend a players faction a sense of personality (a quirk of obsession, perhaps).

2) The one rule that surprised me when reading the rules is how Food Shortages are handled. Coming as one who hasn't gathered first hand experience in this matter, it seems a little soft -- why not dispose of all the food as an additional penalty to before the moral hit? Does it simply not work realistically if the food gets tossed in this manner? Seemed a bit like a slap on the wrist, but I come from a Ghost Stories/Robinson Crusoe co-op background.

Would this be a workably realistic variant, or -- again -- is the penalty of disposing of all the remaining food just a recipe for digging holes one can never escape?

Anyhoo, thanks.



1. I think it's down to the simple fact that there is no traitor in the game, so any player doing something suboptimal in a 2p game is obviously doing it for their secret objective. Also, with no traitor in the game, there's nothing stopping players simply sharing their secret objectives. I think saying don't use secret objectives in 2p but leaving people the option to house rule it in was ultimately the right one to make.

2. There is a finite supply of food in the game. Besides that, it's not the food supply that is the concerning thing, it's the morale loss. Starvation tokens are cumulative, so the first time we don't have enough food we lose 1 morale. The next time we don't have enough, we lose 2 morale, etc. You may well only have 6-7 morale to start the game; Every one counts.
 
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Nathan Woll
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This game is extremely hard. No need to make it more difficult. Definitely on par with Ghost Stories if not harder. (I haven't played Robinson Crusoe).
 
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nswoll wrote:
This game is extremely hard. No need to make it more difficult. Definitely on par with Ghost Stories if not harder. (I haven't played Robinson Crusoe).


I've heard it was easy, especially with two.

For example:

not_a_cylon wrote:
I've played the 2player version twice now with my fiance, and I must say that it loses a lot of it's charm. It's just too easy and lacks the tension and decision making that comes along with a 4 player game. You would think that playing with the hard-mode version of the scenario would make a difference, but it still felt entirely too easy.


http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16631920#16631920

or

jnecamp wrote:
I've played 2 player hardcore mode 4 times now, and agree that it has been too easy and it doesn't have the tension that the 3-5 player game will have.


'Course, if these impressions were off the mark (or representative of only a subset of the scenarios) I couldn't say. I trust you, and am happy to see you're not in agreement with these other posters.

Mangoose wrote:



2. There is a finite supply of food in the game. Besides that, it's not the food supply that is the concerning thing, it's the morale loss. Starvation tokens are cumulative, so the first time we don't have enough food we lose 1 morale. The next time we don't have enough, we lose 2 morale, etc. You may well only have 6-7 morale to start the game; Every one counts.


Oh, I get that its the morale. The starvation token is just a middle step towards penalizing the group through moral loss. It just seems easy for the colony to turn the situation around if they keep all the tokens, thus making it a lighter penalty.

For example, currently: if Ted, Cindy, Travis, Bob and Sue have are all at the colony, they'd have to expend 3 food tokens to cover their needs, If they had only 2, they'd keep the 2 and merely take a -1 morale loss via a token (assuming it was their first).

What I expect was the 2 food they had in their posession would be consumed in addition to the moral loss. So, in the following round they'd have to acquire 3 food from the ground up opposed to the singular unit of food the rules currently demand they find.


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David
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I have found two-player to be absurdly easy with the basic objectives, even playing with secret objectives. I haven't played hardcore two-player yet, but I have played a couple of "ramped up" basic objectives. On the one hand, the secret objectives were the things that made the game a challenge, on the other there is an element of farce in going "I can finish the game, but I won't because my parnter is giving me 'I haven't finished my objectives yet' vibe."
 
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Neil Sorenson
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Anarchosyn wrote:

I've heard it was easy, especially with two.


Yeah... try playing the KILL THEM scenario with two players (hardcore mode) and get back to me about how easy things were for you.
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Neil Sorenson
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bayushi_david wrote:
I have found two-player to be absurdly easy with the basic objectives, even playing with secret objectives. I haven't played hardcore two-player yet...


I was under the impression that for two-player games, you ALWAYS use the difficult/hardcore side of the scenario card.
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oldschoolgamr
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I have played 4 2P games and YES - they should be HARDCORE versions of the objectives. Even so, we won all but the last... well sort of.

For the last one we used Jon (designers) Prisoner's Dilemma Variant (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fYAkm-SE_9BV3cXI19h4h2Yx...).

It was beyond amazing - look for my session report soon (pending approval)...

OSG
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Tim P.
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Secret objectives arre my favorite part of the game, but I don't think they're given enough weight in Dead of Winter. I made a similar game to this last year, and the "weight of effort needed" was about 50% public objective and 50% personal objective. In DoW, it seems more like 80% public objective and 20% personal objective.

One harder variant I'd consider playing with is 2 secret objectives per player. To win, you must fulfull both of them. Or getting 3 and having to fulfill 2. I think I'd prefer this method of ramping up the difficulty, rather than just using the "hardcore" public objective. It's also interesting to imagine people purposely sabotaging the public objective, just because they haven't met one of their secret goals yet.
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Enon Sci
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
I have played 4 2P games and YES - they should be HARDCORE versions of the objectives. Even so, we won all but the last... well sort of.

For the last one we used Jon (designers) Prisoner's Dilemma Variant (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fYAkm-SE_9BV3cXI19h4h2Yx...).

It was beyond amazing - look for my session report soon (pending approval)...

OSG


What was your take on the two player rules as written? I presume you found the experience somewhat lacking if you tried Jon's variant, though perhaps you were merely curious.

 
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oldschoolgamr
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Anarchosyn wrote:
oldschoolgamr wrote:
I have played 4 2P games and YES - they should be HARDCORE versions of the objectives. Even so, we won all but the last... well sort of.

For the last one we used Jon (designers) Prisoner's Dilemma Variant (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fYAkm-SE_9BV3cXI19h4h2Yx...).

It was beyond amazing - look for my session report soon (pending approval)...

OSG


What was your take on the two player rules as written? I presume you found the experience somewhat lacking if you tried Jon's variant, though perhaps you were merely curious.


I love the stories that come up in co-op mode, but it likely isn't enough for most. My wife was kinda bored as she wasn't invested in the game's plot and the theme nearly as much as I was.

We had such killer ability and item combos that it was just too simple to win - even on hardcore mode. The story was still good - for example: Too Many Mouths 2P.

However, Jon's Prisoner's Dilemma Variant totally changed the whole experience. Check out the session report - it's a doozy - and find out how: Leave It All Behind 2P

OSG
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