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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: DoW: Undead Stories - Solo Play rss

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Jonas Van Maldeghem
Belgium
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I've been working on a variant for this game. Basically, it's a solo variant (but can be played with 2 players, too), with a certain story element in it.

This is a demo-version, but with some help and if people are interested, I plan to make more of these "story-plays", where the objectives and the set-up are a bit more layered than the original objectives in the game.

Reading the document, you will find:

It starts with a prologue, exploring some of the locations in the game, and introducing some of the characters used in this particular play.

Then the board set-up. This should be pretty straight forward.
What follows are some additional rules. If nothing stated, follow the rules of the usual game. Only a few tweaks are necessary for this play.

The objectives are next. There are objectives which can be failed, optional objectives and objectives which have to be completed.

At the end of the document, there are the "crossroad cards" of this play. They are certain elements in this play that trigger a special event.


I decided not to put too much focus on the story-writing, giving you room to fill in parts of the story yourself. But you will feel this play/game is more story-driven or guided, with more backstory, than the original game. Some characters might have history, find out yourself!

This is a demo version. I've tested parts of it myself and tweaked it a few times. However, I'm not a very experienced player and I'm definitely looking for some play-testers.

If you're interested, you can help me by testing this play and giving me feedback. You can comment on difficulty, specific crossroads, locations... Basically anything. It'd help me tremendously.

If there are several people interested in this project, I will make more of these "story-plays" in the future.

Link to the cloud file: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1seqv3Rw4LY2oVpWKqs2mfx8I...
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Alexandre Santos
Belgium
Brussels
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Great idea, I'll try it as soon as I can ^_^)b
 
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Jonas Van Maldeghem
Belgium
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Thanks, very much appreciated!

The entire script/story/play hasn't been tested yet for difficulty, only parts, so everyone helping with a play-test will be very helpful!

Also feel free to change minor things during the play if you feel the game is a bit unbalanced and let me know what you changed! (eg adding or removing 1 round, 1 die...).

The difficulty isn't supposed to be too hard, given it's story-driven and then (imo) it's more about the experience as a whole, and role-playing. With a too high level of difficulty, it might not be as interesting.
Contradict me if I'm wrong, of course, I'm new to the world of board games since a few months only.
 
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Jonas Van Maldeghem
Belgium
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Am currently working on a second story/play. It will be another solo variant and - without spoiling too much - will resolve around one particular character and will borrow quite a bit from a few classic sci-fi movies.

Hope to get a demo/first draft version of that one within the next few days.
 
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Nicolas Dujovne
Chile
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Nice! I just read your first scenario and im going to try it one of these days, will post my comments afterwards.

Great idea to make solo variants, at least for me its not easy to gather with friends to play this kind of games.
 
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Nicolas Dujovne
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Ok, i just played the solo variant. First of all, im not a very experienced player myself. I didn't finished the game, but got to round 5 in a very good shape (even though Thomas Heart died from a bite in the first round), here is my feedback / questions:

1. I liked the story a lot!
2. Can i use Gabriel Diaz ability to look for Carla Thompson at the police station? (I did use it, assuming that's why he was in the team in the first place).
3. I ended up with a lot of survivors in hand and didn't use most of them. Maybe you should remove all event cards from the locations to avoid adding more survivors or limit just 1 actions per survivor per turn.
4. If all event cards are removed, they can be replaced by more survivors hidden in the locations (like Carla Thompson in the Police Station).
5. The crisis wasn't really hard to accomplish since i had a lot of items in hand. Maybe to avoid the crisis you should gather 2 of the elements needed or limit the number of cards in hand (so you must discard if the limit is exceeded).

Hope it helps, i want to play it all the way to the end, but didn't had the time today.
 
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Jonas Van Maldeghem
Belgium
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Thanks Nicolas for testing this and the feedback!

In response to your observations:

1. Thanks a lot, appreciate it!
2. Yes, his ability is a big plus for this part of the story. As a fireman he has plenty of experience looking for survivors, so it makes sense you'd send him!
3. When creating the story I only had the original survivors (at the start of the story + hidden in the decks) on my mind. Haven't thought about adding outsider cards during this solo play but (especially in this story) I'll probably include a rule you can't. Only with the characters listed.
4. That is definitely an option. Or keep the outsider cards in the deck and them being useless things - slowing down the search.
5. Good idea. I can see how a crisis wouldn't be too hard with needing only one of a type.

I'd love to hear more feedback. My second story is currently on hold - awaiting this very helpful feedback of more people of the community.
 
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Nicolas Dujovne
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Thanks for the response. I'm going to try to play it again this week and finish it to give you more feedback, without changing anything unless you already have changes in mind.

Another thing i would try to improve is the Crossroad system, being only one player is difficult since you already know what to do to trigger one (except the ones when someone dies or you reach turn number 3). But have you considered using the Crossroads App for solo play? But looking the event at the end of the turn, so if the event did happen you resolve the crossroad at the end of the turn. This way i think solo-campaigns can keep the surprise factor.

Thanks again!
 
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Nicolas Dujovne
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Jonas, i played again last night and finish it. I barely won.

1. After all I didn't use much Gabriel Diaz's ability, since after looking at the top 4 cards you must re-shuffle the location cards and i didn't want more survivors since it meant more mouths to feed.
2. I ended up adding only 1 survivor, but i think that the scenario should be played only with the story and the hidden ones. And yes, i agree with you to keep the outsider cards to slow down the search.
3. After all the crisis wasn't always so easy to complete. Maybe you can add a hardcore version adding 2 cards instead of 1.

Hope it helps! Btw i enjoyed it a lot, thanks!
 
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Jerod S.
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Mount Vernon
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I'll give your scenario a look as soon as I can, but it is quite busy at the moment around here. Even though I have yet to read/play your variant I know it takes a lot of time and can be challenging by yourself. I have done it myself with my own variant for DoW:

A Mother's Love


Maybe that will give you some ideas. Also for those looking for other solo scenarios... enjoy!

I look forward to delving into your variant.

Cheers

 
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Nicolas Dujovne
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Ok, i played it again. Now with more time and playing it fixing some things i was doing wrong.

I still have doubts about Gabriel Diaz ability in this scenario. This time i used him to find at the hospital, since his ability says to shuffle cards after looking at the top 4 cards. So i could shuffle the survivors cards instead of looking them at the bottom. If that's not the idea you could specify not to shuffle does cards or something like that.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Looking at Andrew Evans ability at the hospital i realized that maybe you shouldn't use Gabriel Diaz ability like i did.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
By the way i lost at turn 3. Morale was at 4,i already managed to rescue all survivors and had 3 survivors (including) Andrew Evans at separate locations full with zombies. I didn't expect the crossroad to add 1 zombie to each location, so i lost the 3 of them and triggered Andrew Evans dead crossroads which made me lower the morale to 0.

Until that point it was more or less easy, i had a lot of cards at hand (i still think you should restrict the number of cards, maybe at a higher difficulty level.


Thanks again i enjoyed playing it! Can't wait for the next scenario.
 
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Delith Malistar
United States
Appleton
Wisconsin
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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Crossroad #5 clarification (search the grocery store)
I'll probably try this variant tonight so I'll tell you how it goes.

Is the player supposed to read all the Crossroads before the game starts? It's tough not to without some kind of Spoiler Alert in the document. Also they will know anyway on their second playthrough. So I'm assuming the Player does know and can prepare for the Crossroad ahead of time (like the extra zombies at Round 3).

Which then brings me to the question regarding Crossroad #5 (someone searches the grocery store). It triggers on the first search and there are already 4 zombies at the location. You would have to kill off 3 zombies before you search. Otherwise two get added from trigger and 1 from Colony Phase (provided the player only brought 1 survivor to clear out the zombies). Now unless we read the options before hand I foresee Option 2 not being an option as the player would find no reason not to clear out the zombies first. It forces the player to move back to the colony even though the description of the Option says "I'd better be careful or come back later." That actually isn't an Option but it could be!

So I have a suggestion with #5 since the player, knowing ahead of time the options, would never search until there is room for the additional zombies then bolt. Make Option 2 a little more enticing to pick or add an Option 3.

After all, not only do I lose the potential benefit of this crossroad, which is pretty darn sweet, but the character could get a bite on the forced move back to the colony. This could chain react at the colony and end the game on a cheap hit.

OPTION 2: It’s not worth the risk. I’d better be careful. I'llcome back later, when there are fewer zombies around. Move this character to any other location. Roll for exposure (you may use fuel and avoid rolling the exposure die). The next time this character moves to the grocery store (on a subsequent turn), remove all zombies from this location.


OPTION 3: There are a lot of zombies here but it's worth the risk. We need the food. Search the item deck for any 2 food cards and place them in your hand. This character cannot leave the grocery store until all zombies at this location are dead.


These options, known ahead of time, may influence when the player might search. Option 1 is clearly better to pick after making room for the added zombies so the player will kill before searching. Option 2 suggests the player search right away, effectively remove threats from the grocery store but doesn't get them the ability to pick any two items and take some risk by forcing a move. But hey, the grocery store is clear for now! Option three allows them to search right away (only for food which may or may not be a priority) but forces them to deal with the zombies there afterwards.

Just a thought but I wanted to at least address the notion that players are at some point going to know all the Crossroads. #5 can be circumvented as it is written. The player just won't search until they kill enough zombies.

Sorry for the long winded read but I am really looking forward to doing this tonight!
 
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Jonas Van Maldeghem
Belgium
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Thanks for your suggestion. The outcome are meant to be only revealed when triggered, though, so I've added a spoiler, should've done that before, thanks

Perhaps option 3 could enter the play later on, though, when I go over the entire variant again and potentially make some changes based on the feedback.


Also I want to let everyone know I'm still working on a second story. However, with work and whatnot, time is scarce so it's moving slowly. Already written up a big chunk of the story (2nd draft) but still need most of the game set-up completed.
I'll keep you updated.
 
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