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Subject: How to be the best Betrayer rss

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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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First game and I'm the betrayer. I decide to wait a round, since we have 6, before revealing there's a betrayer and ruining a Crisis. By the end of the game despite having morale down to 2 and a gazillion zombies on the table, the group has won, I've failed my personal objectives and I'm wondering.... how to be the best betrayer?

I had two characters and kept one at the colony killing zombies and being really helpful while Mike Cho went around trying to secretly fulfill my objectives. Should I have said to the other players "I understand you need me to do X (clear waste) I really need to leave and go and do something else (search for fuel)? Or would that be too obvious? Was I too nice? Should a Betrayer start seeing chaos from turn 1? Do you generally need to have at least two characters trying to fulfill objectives or can you succeed with just one? Or does it depend on the secret objectives?

I think my biggest concern was that I didn't want to say "Sod you lot, I have something else to do" because the other three players already all suspected me.

Thoughts?
 
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Pixxel Wizzard
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Tusken Raider wrote:
Should a Betrayer start seeing chaos from turn 1?


That is a bad idea. That happened in our group last night and we exiled the player in the third round of the game.
 
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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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pinkled5 wrote:
Tusken Raider wrote:
Should a Betrayer start seeing chaos from turn 1?


That is a bad idea. That happened in our group last night and we exiled the player in the third round of the game.


Sewing chaos! Bloody autocorrect.

So that's what I thought, so I guess the first couple of turns you just pursue your own agenda and then start ruining each crisis?
 
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Wade
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Tusken Raider wrote:
Should a Betrayer start seeing chaos from turn 1?


Yes, but you should not be the cause of it. This game brings the chaos all on its own, so you don't need to help it along until you're ready to win. I've won once as Betrayer and came one card short of winning as Betrayer. In the first instance, I was the most helpful player there: helping with crises, giving food, fuel, and blueprints to others. No one had any idea that I would be betraying them at the first good opportunity, and I did when I had the cards that I needed and was last to go in the round; Morale was at three and it took some work to get it to zero, but it was very satisfying. In the second instance, I was similarly helpful, but bad things kept happening to everyone and I couldn't help enough to stop morale hitting zero one round before I could have won.

In both instances I was extremely helpful, so no one suspected a thing and therefore I was never a candidate for exile. That's key - you do not want anyone even considering you as a betrayer because exile changes your objective. If it comes early enough, you may be able to recover, but it just doesn't seem worth it unless your personal objective is so far out of reach that you know you'll never achieve it.
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Wade
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Tusken Raider wrote:
Sewing chaos! Bloody autocorrect.


You mean 'sowing'?
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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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braceletwinner wrote:
Tusken Raider wrote:
Should a Betrayer start seeing chaos from turn 1?


Yes, but you should not be the cause of it. This game brings the chaos all on its own, so you don't need to help it along until you're ready to win. I've won once as Betrayer and came one card short of winning as Betrayer. In the first instance, I was the most helpful player there: helping with crises, giving food, fuel, and blueprints to others. No one had any idea that I would be betraying them at the first good opportunity, and I did when I had the cards that I needed and was last to go in the round; Morale was at three and it took some work to get it to zero, but it was very satisfying. In the second instance, I was similarly helpful, but bad things kept happening to everyone and I couldn't help enough to stop morale hitting zero one round before I could have won.

In both instances I was extremely helpful, so no one suspected a thing and therefore I was never a candidate for exile. That's key - you do not want anyone even considering you as a betrayer because exile changes your objective. If it comes early enough, you may be able to recover, but it just doesn't seem worth it unless your personal objective is so far out of reach that you know you'll never achieve it.


Thanks. That's really helpful. I guess focussing on morale isn't essential because that can drop quickly by itself. I just didn't know how to say "I know you need my double-zombie killing character here at the colony but I need him elsewhere" without arousing huge suspicion.
 
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Wade
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Tusken Raider wrote:
I just didn't know how to say "I know you need my double-zombie killing character here at the colony but I need him elsewhere" without arousing huge suspicion.


In this case, you probably should have picked a different survivor. When I am the betrayer, I like to pick survivors that can be useful outside the colony (especially those that can get two cards in a search) so that leaving the colony isn't suspicious, and/or survivors who have a low search/high attack value so I'm not expected to fight. It's rare that three or four of the survivors you have to pick from have colony-specific or double-killing abilities.
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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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braceletwinner wrote:
Tusken Raider wrote:
I just didn't know how to say "I know you need my double-zombie killing character here at the colony but I need him elsewhere" without arousing huge suspicion.


In this case, you probably should have picked a different survivor. When I am the betrayer, I like to pick survivors that can be useful outside the colony (especially those that can get two cards in a search) so that leaving the colony isn't suspicious, and/or survivors who have a low search/high attack value so I'm not expected to fight. It's rare that three or four of the survivors you have to pick from have colony-specific or double-killing abilities.


Yes, this being my first game I think that was definitely a mistake. Tailoring the characters to my secret objective more would have helped. I just went for raw attack power in case I needed it for later.

Good point, thank you.
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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It gets easier to figure out how to be a good betrayer the more games you play. You have to be able to convince the other players that what you want to do is actually for the good of the colony.

If they all say that they want your zombie-killing machine to stay at the colony, tell them that sending him to the Police Station will help clear the way for him and for others to raid the station for more weapons. Etc.
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Tyler DeLisle
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Tusken Raider wrote:
By the end of the game despite having morale down to 2 and a gazillion zombies on the table, the group has won, I've failed my personal objectives and I'm wondering.... how to be the best betrayer?


That's surprising to me, I've played the game over 6 times, I think we've only won 2 of those times, and it was by the skin of our teeth. Every game I've had with a Betrayer they've easily managed to tank the game in the final 2 rounds, usually all it takes is bombing one crisis and knocking the morale down twice.

I know one mechanism built into the game is due to the counter-clockwise rotation of the first player token. It's set like this on purpose so that the Betrayer can capitalize on having a double turn, you can effectively ruin two rounds before your teammates can do anything about it.
 
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Todd France
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Yes, effectively the best way to be a good Betrayer is simply to go last in one of the later turns of the game. Even spiking a check is high risk. It immediately tips off the players that there is a traitor, AND that it's one of the players who contributed (often not all players contribute) AND once players start throwing in non-starter cards they tend to be exculpatory, narrowing down the list of candidates quickly. Once that list is down to two, the colony can exile both of them, just to be safe. So, sit back, pretend you're helping, then when you go last you can probably tank about a half dozen morale between starvation, waste, the crisis, and overruns. Note that the only one of these that you can even really control with a high degree of influence if you're not the last player is the crisis, and we already discussed how that tends to go. But even if you could force those other things to failure, if you're not the last player you'll just get exiled before the payoff.
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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TyDeL wrote:
Tusken Raider wrote:
By the end of the game despite having morale down to 2 and a gazillion zombies on the table, the group has won, I've failed my personal objectives and I'm wondering.... how to be the best betrayer?


That's surprising to me, I've played the game over 6 times, I think we've only won 2 of those times, and it was by the skin of our teeth. Every game I've had with a Betrayer they've easily managed to tank the game in the final 2 rounds, usually all it takes is bombing one crisis and knocking the morale down twice.

I know one mechanism built into the game is due to the counter-clockwise rotation of the first player token. It's set like this on purpose so that the Betrayer can capitalize on having a double turn, you can effectively ruin two rounds before your teammates can do anything about it.


Actually, I believe they stated that the reason the counter-clockwise rotation was built into the game was to decrease downtime between player turns. So I think the double betrayer turn was just an unfortunate side effect of that.

Since my group never has a problem with downtime, we decided to pass the starting player marker clockwise.
 
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Todd France
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randomlife wrote:
Since my group never has a problem with downtime, we decided to pass the starting player marker clockwise.

Have you found that it makes a real difference? I'm not sure how often the double turn is a big deal. If the Betrayer didn't win on his last-of-round turn, he's reduced to physically assaulting the other Survivors to complete the Morale loss before he is exiled.
 
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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We haven't played this way too many times yet, so it's inconclusive.
 
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Allen Michaels
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Our betrayer was second to last to go, with morale at 7. If had went last, I think he would have won the game (due to the betrayer hammer!). But he did his thing, an got Morale down to 2. Not enough.

What you also you need to make clear to betrayers is that the Exile objectives do NOT have Morale = 0 as a win condition. So our guy was caught in the middle a bit. Didn't win, got exiled...and then didn't win again!

FYI...Morale is never safe. Betrayer can easily swing 5-6 without even trying. So keep it high!
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Wade
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al_fredo wrote:
FYI...Morale is never safe. Betrayer can easily swing 5-6 without even trying. So keep it high!


The colonists need to prepare better than this. In our games, the betrayer can usually only get a 2-3 morale loss (4 if the crisis causes two morale loss or if waste is near 10). Everyone should always be thinking about how much the last player can drop morale and act accordingly. Hint: Barricades are your friend.
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Allen Michaels
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How only 2-3? It's 2-3 if you're not even trying!

Eat all the food: -1
Spike the crisis: -1
Create waste: -1
Move all survivors to create another overrun, maybe get a bite: -1, maybe -3
Attract to cause an overrun: ?
Create Max noise on any location to create overrun:?

The last two need dice, that's it. -5 is extremely easy to pull off. And if there is a 'double turn', we've seen -9.

Our last game, betrayer was next to last. Morale was at 7. Eat food, spike crisis, move survivor, got bit, another survivor dies (that's -4, no dice spent yet). Double attract at the colony. Waste was at 9, and I think he didn't have a card to play - or forgot. Even though we had one turn, it was a wash, since we'd add one to the waste to save someone. So, we stood pat, he drained us -5 - almost 6 if he had a junk card. Since it was a three player game, there we're enough survivors on the board to kill. If this were a 5p, he'd easily get -7.

The last player's turn, he obviously got exiled. Or maybe not obvious. His condition changes, but he couldn't satisfy the new one. Maybe we should not have done that (few drinks in). At any rate, Colony wins even after a death at the colony (which the betrayer caused). -5 all told, and as I said, 4 or 5 player, and that probably goes to -7. In hindsight, the betrayer was kinda screwed. He couldn't get it down to 0, and didn't have a turn when he saw a new objective. It's almost like he should have asked to be exiled...but that has hurt us before!
 
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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You can only get -1 for waste if you can get the waste pile up to 10. If the survivors have been diligent about keeping the waste pile low, a betrayer can't lower morale with this method.

And all of the ones that have to do with overruns depend on having a lot of zombies on the board and no barricades. If the survivors keep the zombie population low and put up lots of barricades, a betrayer can't lower morale with this method.

And relying on moving survivors to get them bitten has a very low chance of working. 1 in 12, to be exact.

I agree that it's pretty easy for a betrayer to lower morale by 5 or more if they are playing with new players. But if you start playing with the same group over and over again, you'll see that the betrayer will have a very hard time lowering morale a lot because of all the preparations that the survivors start doing to prevent that.
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Joel Carson
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randomlife wrote:
You can only get -1 for waste if you can get the waste pile up to 10. If the survivors have been diligent about keeping the waste pile low, a betrayer can't lower morale with this method.

And all of the ones that have to do with overruns depend on having a lot of zombies on the board and no barricades. If the survivors keep the zombie population low and put up lots of barricades, a betrayer can't lower morale with this method.

And relying on moving survivors to get them bitten has a very low chance of working. 1 in 12, to be exact.

I agree that it's pretty easy for a betrayer to lower morale by 5 or more if they are playing with new players. But if you start playing with the same group over and over again, you'll see that the betrayer will have a very hard time lowering morale a lot because of all the preparations that the survivors start doing to prevent that.


Agreed. If waste is at 9 and food is perfectly at the amount you need to survive the round, the colonists are scraping by and basically asking a betrayer to blow their fragile plan up. Plan a little more ahead and build a few barricades in the right spots and you'll calm down the power of the betrayer. Yeah, they can still get lucky with getting bites on exposure rolls while moving, but that's 1/12 gamble, so that's a big risk if you're relying on that for the killing blow to morale.
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Todd France
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randomlife wrote:
And all of the ones that have to do with overruns depend on having a lot of zombies on the board and no barricades. If the survivors keep the zombie population low and put up lots of barricades, a betrayer can't lower morale with this method.

This sounds like a promising theory, but I don't see a lot of evidence of this being much more than wishful thinking. I took a look at the 5 Play by Forum games on this site, as well as a few I found on another site, and I found literally 2 rounds (not counting turn 1) where the last player in the round could not drive Morale to zero, and that's not taking into account cards in their hand. I don't have detailed records of in-person games, but my impression has been that they've borne out similarly. It's one thing to shore up a location or two, but from my experience you're not likely to be able to protect every location. Considering that the Betrayer can also play Outsiders cards to bolster his numbers, and kill off his own followers to drop Morale it is difficult to imagine the board state you claim to keep your games in.

You could perhaps say that the forum games are not representative of "good play", but I'd think they should at least represent average, if not above average play, based on the interest level of the participants, and the capacity for analysis that a slower game allows. Do you happen to have any counter-examples to demonstrate a "well played" game? Do they players still have enough time to accomplish the objectives while keeping their defenses so shored up? When the Colony does win, what percentage of the non-betrayers usually win along with it?
 
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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pseudotheist wrote:
Considering that the Betrayer can also play Outsiders cards to bolster his numbers, and kill off his own followers to drop Morale it is difficult to imagine the board state you claim to keep your games in.


Whenever we see someone playing lots of Outsiders cards, we immediately begin to talk about exile. We usually all agree at the beginning of the game that we won't do that because a betrayer with lots of survivors is too dangerous.

Also, a betrayer cannot simply kill off their own survivors. Sure, they can try to move without fuel, but there's only a 1 in 12 chance that it will kill them. They can't even attack each other. They could stick them in an outside location and then make lots of noise, but again, that won't really work unless the place is already nearly full of zombies.

pseudotheist wrote:
Do you happen to have any counter-examples to demonstrate a "well played" game? Do they players still have enough time to accomplish the objectives while keeping their defenses so shored up? When the Colony does win, what percentage of the non-betrayers usually win along with it?


I haven't been keeping records, but I do know that the more we play, the better the colonists are getting. It's still tough, but betrayers being able to lower morale by 5 points in one turn is happening less and less often. There have definitely been times where the game ended and the betrayer said that they just couldn't lower the morale all the way to zero for the win.
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Hans Moleman
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I'm not too sure exposing betrayer in the 1st rd isn't such a bad idea.

It's definitely situation. The one time someone in my group did it, we exiled him the very next round, but we were SO far into a hole that we couldn't recover. If I can knock 4 morale down in one turn, it might be worth getting an Exile card as now you have the entire game to fulfill your objectives. [And for the most part, not be bother with the food/crisis situation]. Could even form some alliances with colony members for zombie control AND item swap/requests.


ESSENTIALLY I wouldn't discredit early sabotage -- just make it count. Especially if the crisis is a lose 2 morale and you can make the colony starve.
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Todd France
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KingD21 wrote:
I'm not too sure exposing betrayer in the 1st rd isn't such a bad idea.
...
ESSENTIALLY I wouldn't discredit early sabotage -- just make it count. Especially if the crisis is a lose 2 morale and you can make the colony starve.

Tactically, it can be a great idea, but why make it a big hit? If you're the Betrayer, you already know that when you get exiled you're not going to want the Main Objective to fail, so just make a mild but obvious tank on round 1. If you go last, make a big deal about eating just enough Food so they starve, and put it into a die to make a barricade or something. Or ask, "What's waste at, 9?" Then play a Fuel to move your last guy out of the Colony. They'll get the message,exile you, and everyone will be happier. Except they'll likely forget that an exiled Betrayer is no longer hostile, and try to ruin your life, even though you did them a favor.

Of course, it's horrible from a thematic standpoint...
 
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Allen Michaels
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I feel like you guys are playing with way more dice!

Kill zombies, put up barricades, clean waste, cook food (btw, having MORE food in the supply is begging the betrayer to eat it all). Ok, that is before dealing with a crisis, your own objective..and the main objective. We just don't seem to have the actions to spare that you seem to have.

There is likely always going to be a location or two that are unprotected. Betrayer saves some of his outsiders till the end, so you can't react and starts moving them. Yes, it's 1/12. But it might be 1/12 Four times. All of a suddenly there is a 33% of at least 2 deaths. If he moves all his survivors (that he doesn't mind losing) to an unprotected location, attracts zombies, or makes max noise...man, that is a lot of carnage.

This isn't about spotting the betrayer. Obviously if someone keeps playing outsiders they need to be exiled. This is about playing 100% "good", then taking Morale down -5 with barely any luck. That's my #1 problem in this game, and although we have fun, it is still a problem. I stand by my original statement. Morale is never Safe. If it's a 4 or less, and there is a betrayer, it's pretty much game over. Games that start at morale =5 or 6 are actually incredibly hard. And this also contributes to the "Let's just exile the last person, to be safe"...which is basically saying, hope you had fun for 90-120 minutes, but now your objective changed, and you lost....because you were last in the round.

 
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Joel Carson
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al_fredo wrote:
I feel like you guys are playing with way more dice!

There is likely always going to be a location or two that are unprotected. Betrayer saves some of his outsiders till the end, so you can't react and starts moving them. Yes, it's 1/12. But it might be 1/12 Four times. All of a suddenly there is a 33% of at least 2 deaths.


You realize in your rolling for tooth example to move four people would mean that player has five dice. So, is only one person stockpiling characters? Exile them. If not, then everyone has this many character and dice and the solutions mentioned should be feasible.

Also, it would be a (11/12)^4 chance that none of those characters roll a tooth, or 70.6%. So about 30% chance one or more of them dies. It's a feasible gamble, so, as the colonists, don't let someone boost up to four players. Limit the power of all players to ensure no one can pull this sort of stunt.
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