My group was itching to play this game again so we set up a spontaneous week night session. Unfortunately, an hour before the game was to start, one of the members had to back out turning this into a three player session. How will it hold up with a smaller group? Time to find out...
Players - Starting Characters
n107 - Nadia Rivers & Anita Wallace
Lolai - Chloe Larousse & Eric Parker
Dandelion - Fatima Maktabi & Gia Najjar
Now that we have the basic rules down, I added in the two simplest modules to add a little more flavor to the game.
Fix the Ship
We wanted to do a short objective and only had two remaining, so we randomly chose this one. The objective itself didn't seem like it would be impossible, just dangerous to go out and gather what we needed.
Like the main objective, not difficult but dangerous. Needing to get items from four different locations is extremely simple. Hanging on to those items is a different story.
Round 6 Crisis: Revolt
Having the highest influence character this time around, I got to go first. We needed food, thanks to the crisis, so I went to the Grocery Store in hopes of getting some. I sent Anita, as she's the fighter, and kept Nadia back at the colony as her ability is extremely useful so I'd rather keep her alive for as long as possible.
I did a couple of searches. The first pulled me a 3 Food card, which I used to feed the colony. The second was another food, so I put that in towards the crisis. Since starting cards couldn't help for the objective, I used tools to put a token on the Greenhouse Improvement. I thought food might come in handy in the future, if we could get our hands on it.
On Lolai's turn, the Crossroads triggered immediately. He discovered a tunnel and opted to keep it open to the Grocery Store. Of course that meant there was a chance zombies could wander in from the outside, but we felt it was a good choice.
Chloe went out to the Grocery Store through this safe passage and did some searching. Instead of gaining food, she found a survivor: Derek Yoshida, adding him to the group. A second search, while making noise, introduced her to another survivor: Kevin Jackson. In one go, Lolai's crew had doubled in size. This also gained us one helpless survivor. I warned him not to be greedy and to not risk overcrowding us, because of food worries. Kevin shot dead the Bandit at the school with his special action, as that was the only enemy on the board. He used his final Action Die to put a barricade at the Grocery Store. I asked if he had any food and he placed one into the crisis pool before ending the turn.
Dandelion went next and moved Fatima through the tunnel to continue the food search. She gained us more food for the crisis, or so she said, and put up another barricade at the Grocery Store to keep us safe.
With that, the turn was over. During the colony phase, we succeeded in passing the crisis and we successfully fed the survivors at the colony so all was well for our first round.
Round 5 Crisis: Powerful Winds
In addition to needing tools for the objective, we now needed three for the crisis or risk losing a chunk of all the items remaining in the world. Not a good choice.
Dandelion spent all of her actions searching the Grocery Store. She also helped to contribute to the crisis.
On my turn, Anita killed the lone zombie at the Grocery Store. I then moved her successfully to the School, ignored the Bandit there, and continued searching. I needed to get tools, tools and more tools. More importantly, I needed variety. I got a tool card from the School and opted to put it into the objective rather than crisis. I called for a food card from Dandelion, as she didn't use any, and I played her card to help feed the colony.
Lolai had Kevin snipe the Bandit at the Grocery Store again. He kept Chloe out to search, where she found yet another new member for his posse: Rocco Bellini, who at least could help keep the zombie numbers down at the colony. He put up a couple more barricades at the Grocery Store to help ensure no new zombies would appear there or get into the tunnel into the colony.
Even so, I was getting annoyed with his constant adding of people, saying it was eventually going to take its strain on our food supplies.
This colony phase, we passed the crisis again and we managed to feed the colony with a can of food to spare.
Round 4 Crisis: Migration
This time around, we needed three fuel cards to prevent an attack.
Lolai went first. He sent Chloe out to the Gas Station. He searched and used four noise tokens, claiming to have found nothing good. He knocked two tokens off and searched again, reusing those two empty noise token spaces. He said he only found one fuel after I continuously harassed him about his noise-making, fruitless searching. He used his other actions to barricade the Gas Station and, again, use Kevin for sniping.
As soon as his turn was over, I looked to Dandelion and said, "He's a traitor. Vote to exile him."
Lolai exclaimed in surprise that it was not true. I assured her that Lolai had to have found more than one Fuel card so he was purposefully deceiving us. He said that he searched and only found a lot of unimportant things and only came across one can of gas. Dandelion said she didn't think he was a traitor but I said it would be nearly impossible (maybe impossible, without knowing the exact makeup of the deck) that he searched through 8 cards in the Gas Station deck and only snagged one gas. Dandelion said in the previous game, she was at the School and couldn't get a book at all so she believed it was possible. Even though I argued that it was because Leanne had ransacked the School thoroughly but the Gas Station was untouched this game so there should be a ton of gas there. She didn't buy it, saying she trusted both of us to not be traitors.
Ok, so she wasn't going to help me exile Lolai. I know for sure he came across more gas, but I considered that he might have been playing to complete his Secret Objective and not betray us. Although that might be possible, I was sure we had a traitor in our midst.
Dandelion sent Fatima to the hospital to search. From her search, she was able to give another Tool towards the main objective, bringing us a third of the way to completion. She also was able to contribute a much needed Fuel card from her hand into the crisis.
On my turn, I took Anita, again safely, to join Fatima at the hospital and did my own search. Using my starting Fuel, I contributed to the crisis. I did what I could to keep the colony afloat, now that I was certain there was a force working against us. And what a force it was! His group was HUGE! I hoped that Dandelion was right because if that army was thinking about betraying us...
In the colony phase, we passed our crisis and fed the colony again.
Round 3 Crisis: Fuel Raids
Great. More fuel needed.
I was first player again, so I sent Anita to the Police Station. I got some Fuel for the crisis and I finally decided to use one of the Outsider cards I had been hanging onto to bring out Cole Winters. I really didn't want to add more people to the colony, but I needed more action dice if I was going to have a chance to counteract Lolai's evil group.
Lolai went next, under my watchful eye. Chloe actually found Fuel at the Gas Station this time (surprise!) and Eric Parker went out through the mysterious tunnel into the Grocery Store to search. The rest of the Lolai's crew stayed in the colony; Kevin to snipe and Rocco to keep the oncoming horde numbers down.
Dandelion had her go, continuing to search the Hospital with Fatima. Thanks to her, we got enough food to feed the colony and she added a third card to the crisis.
I was realizing that we were getting a LOT of zombie build up and it didn't help that Lolai searched a lot while making noise. To compound this, the number of bandits on the board had been increasing as no one could spare the moves to take out any. Fortunately the zombies would do it for us at one location at least.
In the colony phase we were safe again, all colony members fed and the crisis was averted.
Round 2 Crisis: Convoy
Needing three books or food to complete this made it seem like the easiest, though the consequences of failing were dire. If only we could spare the time to get what we needed. With only two rounds left, we had to focus on completing the main objective AND our own secret goals. Talking with the other members, Dandelion said she was good to go but Lolai still needed to get some things for his objective. I, too, was missing a couple items and hoped I could make up for that in this round.
Dandelion moved Fatima to the Library to search. She completed her searches and contributed what she could to the crisis and objective.
It was then that I noticed that, because of the Bandit being there and two zombies already on the location, Fatima would die at the end of the round. Lolai said not to worry, he'd have his sniper take out one of the zombies to buy the necessary space to survive.
It was my turn next, this time I sent Cole out to the Bandit Hideout and tried searching to no avail. So I decided to have the little man attack the Hideout, getting him hurt but also gaining one of the remaining Tools necessary to win. I also hand another Tool card in hand, but I didn't have enough to complete my objective. I had been too busy using my cards to help keep the colony alive that I wasn't ready to end the game yet. And you better believe I would have done so then and there if it meant only the ultra-suspicious Lolai would lose.
Alas, contributing the cards would just cause me to lose so I held on to them. I figured that even if Lolai was not a betrayer (highly unlikely), he would take the chance to end the game for a win and leave me out to die if he could. So I didn't bother to put any Tools into the objective, leaving us at 4 out of 6.
Finally, it was Lolai's turn. He started searching with Eric and, after making some noise, said he could complete his objective. But he was struggling with figuring out how to set up barricades, obviously for his secret objective. Finally, he figured out a way that would work. He sent Chloe back to the Grocery Store, and moved Eric out to the Gas Station, that was already full of zombies. He also brought out yet another survivor: Rosa Rodriguez. He now had a crew of six. I said that if he didn't move these people out, it was going to starve us all. So he took Rosa out to the Library and Derek to the School. Then he took Kevin, the sniper, and moved him to the Hospital.
Hmm, he didn't kill the zombie to protect Fatima. He...
"It's happening!" I announced to Dandelion. "He's the traitor! He's going to get us all killed!"
With a laugh, he finished moving all of his people from the colony into locations and searched noisily to ensure each area would overflow with the walking dead. Chloe used a card and two actions to completely barricade herself inside of the Grocery Store and then let his turn end.
We couldn't feed the colony, so a Starvation Token brought us down to 5 Morale. Then we failed the crisis, as Lolai had not contributed anything to it. The crisis then sent nine zombies into the colony, completely overrunning us five times, killing Nadia, Gia and the three helpless survivors inside.
Morale hit zero and the game ended.
Checking the objectives:
n107 - Explorer - Failed
Lolai - The Vault - Completed
Dandelion - Care - Failed
BETRAYED! Oh, and I knew it too! Dandelion was so shocked when it happened. Curse her and her Japanese sense of kindness, not believing me when Lolai all but announced he was a traitor through is actions. Narrative-wise it all made sense, as it was Chloe and Eric who found the suspicious tunnel in the beginning, seemingly the sign of some nefarious deeds going on in the colony. Then Chloe, his original group's leader, holed herself up in the Grocery Store at the end of the tunnel, safely behind the barricades as the zombies overran the colony and killed those that trusted her.
Had that zombie assault on the colony not killed us, ALL of the survivors at the non-colony locations would have been slaughtered. In the end, only Chloe and Cole, safely located at the Bandit Hideout, would have survived.
I felt that if there was at least one other player, I could have used that person to help convince Dandelion to vote in our favor to get Lolai out, but it was a standstill with just the three of us. I was holding onto the hope that it was just selfishness and not betrayal in Lolai's behavior, but that hoped died with the colony.
One other interesting point about this game was that we didn't roll a single bite on the Exposure Die. Quite the opposite of our first game.
If a player gains a new survivor with higher influence, does that character become the group leader automatically? If not, is there any importance to the role of "group leader" after the game begins?
When cards are played into the objective, are they played face up? We assumed so, as you check for objective completion in each Colony Phase. I'm also assuming you can't spike an Objective like you can with a crisis.
Game 01: Tooth Feary
Another great session! Sounds like you all had fun, even though some people won and some people lost. Great story!
Leader doesn't change when you gain new survivors. But there currently isn't much importance as to who the leader is -- it's not referred to in very many places.
Cards played for the Main Objective are face up -- no one can spike the Main Objective.