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Dead of Winter: The Long Night» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Long Night in Japan Game 01: Tooth Feary rss

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Angry Augury
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Having been fortunate enough to snag this game for $16 on Amazon, I was eager to give it a try now that it's in my hands. I received it two days ago, read the rules as fast as I could and the next day I gathered some of the game group to try it out. Usually I like to spend a few nights mulling over rule books then doing a dry run, but there was no time for that in this instance. I had no choice but to jump right in. Although I knew in general what the game was about I had no idea what we'd encounter in the Dead of Winter...

Players - Starting Characters

n107 - Kumar Sen & Eric Parker
Lolai - Rosa Rodriguez & Cole Winters
Leanne - Chloe Larousse & Emma Han
Dandelion - Gia Najjar & Lily Mae



Although I initially thought I'd add in the Bandit and Improvement modules, at the very end I cut them out as I wanted us to get a hang of the basics of the game without me having to remember even more rules.



We opted to go with the rule book's suggestion of using this as the starting objective. It didn't look too hard but we were a bit concerned about having only four rounds to complete the objective.

Secret Objective

Prepared for Anything

My secret objective didn't seem that difficult. I just needed to end the game with four different card icons in my hand. Gotta be prepared for anything.


Round 4 Crisis: The Vault

Lolai's group leader had the highest influence out of our group so the turn order was Lolai, Leanne, Dandelion and myself. I was a little sad to be last in the rotation because I was so eager to start exploring this fascinating game.

Knowing we only had four rounds to get what we needed in addition to collecting four Junk cards for the Crisis, Lolai started by sending Cole out to the police station. I had the Crossroads card in my hand and saw it triggered if Lolai moves a character, as he just did. However, Cole rolled for exposure and got a Bite, ending his adventure immediately.

We were all shocked. The first action on the first turn of the first game and a character is killed effortlessly. Being the newbie that I am to this game, I mistakenly read the Crossroads card. As the only option that could work now that Cole was dead was the first one, Lolai had to take it and a wave of zombies came to the colony. Now we know that the Crossroads would not have triggered due to the death of Cole but, live and learn. Or not.

Next, Rosa went out to the Police Station to pick up where Cole never left off. Amazingly, she came across a new survivor who entered her group. It was Jamie Gilmour, Private Investigator.

As Leanne took her turn, Chloe went out into the wild--safely--and also discovered a new survivor for the group: Kevin Jackson, the sniper. She decided to make use of his ability to snipe a zombie for free and, miraculously, that was exactly what was needed to trigger the Crossroads card!

According to the Crossroads card:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Kevin spots another sniper, a man in black, and has to decide on whether to try to take him out with a risk of being shot by the man in black OR running away, which leaves the card in play and ready to trigger again every time Kevin uses his ability.

Kevin chose to run for now, so the threat would remain for the future.

Dandelion sent Lily out searching in the school and nothing eventful happened. She helped contribute food to the colony and items to the crisis but we weren't doing too well in passing the current threat.

On my turn, I kept Kumar at the Colony as he's not really great at fighting or searching but I used his ability to try to stop our Morale loss from early. I failed. The reason why I tried so late was because we were debating on when the ability could actually be used. Finally we decided it wouldn't make much sense if it could only happen during my player turn, so we retroactively tried to regain the loss of morale from Cole's death.

I sent Eric to search the Police Station with Rosa. I'm not sure why I chose that spot, but likely I wanted a weapon. And I got what I wanted: I found a pistol and a rocket launcher. Eric equipped both and gave the launcher to Rosa. I asked if she wanted both as she's more of a combatant but she said she'll just take one.

I finished contributing to the food stores in the colony but I had nothing to help the crisis.

As my turn ended, we failed the crisis and we had to each reveal a secret or two zombies would appear at the colony for each unrevealed secret.

This turned out to be the hardest part of the game. We struggled for I'd say nearly 30 minutes trying to think of a secret that no one at the table already knew. Finally we were all able to come up with something and avoid the onslaught of the undead.

At the end Lolai called for a vote to keep the first player token with him. Only Leanne voted against the idea. Although I was sad to be last in the batting order at the start, I realized it was an advantageous position to see what desperately needed to be done before the round ended so I thought it was a good spot for me.

Round 3 Crisis: Commanders of the Dead

This time we needed at least four medicine to keep a flood of zombies from reaching us.

Rosa started this round by searching again at the Police Station before heading off safely, thanks to Eric's ability, to another location. Jamie then came to the Police Station with Eric and searched my hand. I thought it was an odd thing to do, but I'm sure he had his reasons.

Leanne's turn came around and she sent Chloe out into the cold night to try to get some items. Unfortunately she was never heard from again, likely bitten by a zombie en route to her destination. Fortunately the calm, soothing words of Kumar Sen were able to keep the morale of the colony from dropping.

Emma joined Lily at the school and suddenly the Crossroads were triggered!

According to the Crossroads:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Emma ended up snuggling under a blanket with Lily for warmth. As their hands brushed, something in Emma made her long for more than just a friend on the cold dark night. She made her feelings be known to Lily but Lily rejected them, angrily storming away from the young girl. Emma was devastated.

Emma took a despair token because of the severe incident that wounded her deeply.

Kevin finally faced down the looming threat of his previous Crossroads card and successfully passed it, eliminating the threat forever.

On Dandelion's turn, Lily decided to take her mind off the night by trying to barricade the School from more zombies. As she did so, she saw one of the undead trying to break in. She took her bat to the creature's head, but in her distraction from the previous encounter, she was careless and got bit!

After the traumatic event that happened not moments earlier, now the distraught Emma watched Lily bitten and infected by a zombie! Cornered, she had no choice but to defend herself. With luck, she managed to put down her all-too-brief companion and avoid the infection spreading to herself.

Now there were three bodies in our Graveyard.

Dandelion sent Gia out to scavent and finished her turn by adding more medicine and food to the contributions already provided by the other players.

For my turn, I kept Kumar at the Colony, where I felt he could do the most good and I moved Eric to the Gas Station. While Eric searched, Kumar took out the trash and we finished contributing medicine to the crisis. Eric came across Derek Yoshida, the nutritionist, at the Gas Station, increasing my group by one.

This time the crisis was averted so we didn't have to face the zombie hoard but we came up short on the food for the suivors, earning us a Starvation token.

At the end of the turn, yet again Lolai requested to keep the first player token and we all agreed.

Round 2 Crisis: Migration

Not a bad crisis, needed either tools or medicine. I thought we would be able to handle that.

Lolai contributed a lot to the crisis, but nothing on the food. The Crossroads card came back to bite Jamie in the butt for using her ability earlier and I benefitted slightly from that by gaining one of Lolai's cards. Rosa and Jamie continued searching and Rosa got herself armed with a lot of equipment. She also managed to take out a few zombies with the firepower she was wielding.

Leanne's searching found her a new survivor, Elijah Jordan. She was thinking about whether she would send him to search as well.

It was at this point that I brought up the fact we had yet to contribute anything towards the objective. We took a look at what cards we were holding and realized that, with the remaining actions left, it would be possible for us to complete the objective this turn! (In hindsight, I was actually wrong, but I caught the mistake later.)

But then I realized I couldn't remember what my secret objective was. Checking it, I noticed that if we DID complete the objective this turn, I'd lose. I wouldn't have enough of the correct items in my hand to satisfy my objective. Lolai said he had what he needed and said it's fine to end it, but I said I wasn't going to go in with my Gas Station and, soon to get, Grocery Store items until I found a way to get what I needed to win. He scolded me for acting selfish but that's the name of the game.

Dandelion and Leanne were also coming up short on their objectives. Leanne was confident that she could get what she needed without much trouble but Dandelion said she didn't think she'd be able to get her necessary items, especially with only one survivor remaining.

Leanne then finished up her turn moving Elijah out and searching to complete her secret objective and she said she should be good. Dandelion had Gia as the only person searcing the Hospital and she was clinging on to hope of completing her objective. She wasn't filled with confidence by the end of her two actions.

I moved Eric to the Grocery Store to get the items for the Objective and I sent Derek back to the Gas Station. Although I was doing ok on items for the Main Objective, I was still coming up short on items for my personal objective, particularly because I wanted to save Gasoline to safely get back to the Colony in the final round.

During the colony phase of this round we managed to both feed the colonists and complete the Crisis with two cards extra which returned one Morale to the Colony.

Yet again the first player marker stayed with Lolai.

Round 1 Crisis: Powerful Winds

This was the perfect crisis for the final round as all it would do is deplete the search decks if failed. As this was the end of the game, that was not an issue so we didn't have to worry about passing the crisis at all.

Lolai finished her searching with Jamie, brought in Rosa and gave items from the Police Station as Tribute for the main objective.

Leanna pushed her searching at the Library and Hospital with Emma and Elijah respectively, then used her gas to get Emma back. From all her efforts she contriubted cards for the School, Library and Hospital. She took over getting the Hospital cards from Dandelion as she was now too focused on trying to complete her own goal and we could not depend on her to be able to bring the Hospital cards to us as she needed her only survivor out in the wild to find items to help her complete her goal.

Dandelion went to the School, desperately trying to find the last of what she needed to survive. Her first search gained her nothing, even with making noise four times. Her second search was equally unproductive and she said she had definitely lost now.

For my final attempt, Eric searched the Grocery Store twice, needing to make noise twice but finally gained enough of what I needed to win. I spent my spare Gasoline to allow Derek to return to the Colony and drop off the items from the Grocery Store and the Gas Station to our Tribute pile.

The Player Turns were finished; it was now time for our final Colony Phase.

Yet again we failed to feed the Colony gaining us a second Starvation Token. This was something we overlooked, forgetting we would lose two Morale because of this. This brought us down from 4 Morale to 2. Uh oh...

The Waste was fine, with eight cards in the pile.

We failed the Crisis, as expected, but it had no negative effect on our efforts.

Now came time for the Add Zombies phase. This was going to be close.

As the zombies dragged their rotting carcasses closer to each location, Jamie and Eric at the Police Station and Grocery Store respectively had no trouble staying safe. At the School, with four noise tokens, the zombies overran the location and Gia, Dandelion's final character, was devoured by the hungry dead.

Our Morale dropped yet again. Only one Morale left.

There was just one more location to check: the Hospital with Elijah. Four zombies were now on the location and there was one noise token to resolve. Lolai realized that Elijah forgot to use his special ability and told Leanne she could have moved that nose token away. But it was too late now. If the noise brought a zombie, Elijah would be devoured and we would all lose the game. Leanne picked up the token and flipped it. All eyes were fixed on the table to see it land ear side up. Cheers erupted as we avoided a last minute loss!

Checking the main objective, we confirmed that we had all the cards necessary to win. Going around the table, we all revealed our secret objectives and the results.

Lolai – Ultimate Survivor – Completed

Leanne – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Completed

Dandelion – Memoir – Failed

n107 – Prepared for Anything – Completed


Final Thoughts:

Though we made a few mistakes here and there, our first game was a success! Everyone really loved the game and we spent a lot of time just talking about it afterward. The players liked how there are so many fires to put out and that there is a "meta" element to the game. The thing that was really impressive was the fact that each player has to cooperate AND be selfish to win. Everyone has their own goal so just the colony succeeding isn't enough to win; you have to play selfishly to guarantee that you'll be standing victorious at the end. It's a very nice mechanic that keeps people on the same team and potentially working against each other, even without a traitor.

It was sad that Dandelion was the only one who lost but thematic in that all her characters were killed in the end. We are all thinking about the next time we can try this one again. Definitely happy to have this in my collection.
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Davy Ashleydale
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Sounds like a great session!

One quick thing, just in case you didn't know -- you don't have to play the new survivors cards immediately. You can save them for later, or never play them at all. You can even give them to another player if they request them on their turn, in case they are getting low on survivors like Dandelion. Keeping new survivors out of play is also good if you are running low on food and can't afford to feed everyone, which it sounds like you did have some starvation problems.

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Angry Augury
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randomlife wrote:
Sounds like a great session!

One quick thing, just in case you didn't know -- you don't have to play the new survivors cards immediately. You can save them for later, or never play them at all. You can even give them to another player if they request them on their turn, in case they are getting low on survivors like Dandelion. Keeping new survivors out of play is also good if you are running low on food and can't afford to feed everyone, which it sounds like you did have some starvation problems.

Thank you for the information.

We didn't know that fact but I learned it in another thread while asking some questions about our first game. But thanks for the reminder. We are planning our second game today and that tip had already slipped my mind in the list of mistaken rules I wanted to mention to my group.

Edit: Just went back to the other thread and saw that you were the one who told me about the survivors the first time. So double thanks!
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