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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Easy mode tips rss

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Wade
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I was going to post a few tips in a different thread in reply to poster who thought the game was too hard, but it seemed like this deserved its own post.

I do consider this game easy now, and usually just play it to teach others. Obviously, these "tips" are based on my own experience, but I do have well over 50 plays with the base game (and five more with TLN), and I have played with perhaps 20 different groups, so the below advice is not specific to one play-style or scenario.

This game is essentially easy mode for 4-5 players. With five, it's slightly tougher as there are fewer spaces for survivors to move to, but that's 15 action dice every turn, which helps mitigate that. With three, as I've posted before, the potential for one Betrayer to bring the colony down is much higher. After all, they have 1/3 of the turns. Plus, there are fewer action dice overall, which can really affect certain Main Objectives.

Some basics to win:

- Do not roll the exposure die. Figure out a way to make that happen.
- Pick your initial survivors based on your personal objective. This may seem obvious, but plenty of people pick the Cook (or some other survivor they fancy) because that ability would be fantastic if the game were full co-op. However, if you give up an advantage that would have helped you better search for your objective cards, that is poor play.
- Keep Morale high. Early crises (except for food) are prime targets for adding two more cards.
- Know exactly what is in every location deck.
- Later in the game, skip crises if the bad effect is manageable (survivors taking wounds, adding zombies to only a few locations, etc...)
- The Police Station and Library (and, to a lesser extent, the Gas Station) should be searched ruthlessly. Weapons and books will make your game much easier.
- Don't take helpless survivors unless absolutely necessary. If someone plays more than one "2 Outsiders" or a single "3 Outsiders" card, I will vote to exile them (and I tell everyone that up front).
- Play selfishly. Don't always give the fuel for movement, medicine for wounds, etc..., especially if you have any suspicion at all that the player is the Betrayer.
- End the game (if you can) as soon as you meet your winning condition. Don't wait because some other player claims they need "one more thing".
- The Betrayer's main job is to get Morale to 0, regardless of whether or not they can win (it is not "tanking" - it's completing the #1 objective.) Make it hard for them to do that. Don't bunch up where multiple survivors can die due to an overrun, for example.
- If you are not 100% sure that the last player in a round is not the Betrayer, and that player could end the game by taking Morale to 0, vote to exile them. Life in a zombie apocalypse sucks, and you don't want to be caught with your neck exposed.
- Use Attract Zombies. You can use this to save a survivor, or just to manipulate how many zombies are where, for certain objectives.
- Also, do not roll the exposure die.

If you are the Betrayer:
- Play nice. Contribute early and as often as possible. By contribute, I mean everything that doesn't include your winning condition - crises, fuel for movement, food for the colony, even volunteer to stay behind and clean the waste! People can't possibly think you'e the betrayer if you're that nice. Note: I regard anyone who plays this way the first turn or two as almost certainly the Betrayer, because it's exactly how I would play it. Ironic that if I'm not the Betrayer, I act much more "Betrayerey".
- Figure out when your double turn is, and plan to win then. If it's not possible, make sure that you can get Morale to 0 in one turn. Overruns are usually key to this. Attracting zombies (a criminally underused action in virtually every game) to your location that has other survivors and then leaving is so satisfying.
- Be smart about intentionally failing a crisis. Do not use location-specific cards if you can help it.
- This is subtle, and won't work against new players, but just glance at your Secret Objective card when you first receive it and then look at the details later. Almost every Betrayer card has more than two objectives and takes longer to read. If you just take one or two seconds to look at yours, experienced players will file that away.

If I (or anyone else below) think of any more tips, I'll add them in this post.

Edit: Added Use Attract Zombies entry.
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Patrick Newman
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Good stuff here......thank you for posting it!

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Taylor H
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Thank you for taking the time to write this up!
 
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Kelly Bass
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Excellent suggestions.

We still disagree on whether the Traitor should try to win, but that's in many other threads.
 
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Wade
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chockle wrote:
We still disagree on whether the Traitor should try to win


OK, if nothing else, don't you want your opponents playing to their full potential? If the Betrayer just stops trying to achieve objectives, a win really isn't a win.

Regardless, many people play the way I do, so you have to watch for it.
 
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Fred Snertz
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braceletwinner wrote:
- If you are not 100% sure that the last player in a round is not the Betrayer, and that player could end the game by taking Morale to 0, vote to exile them. Life in a zombie apocalypse sucks, and you don't want to be caught with your neck exposed.

What are the chances of this exiled player meeting their objectives and winning the game? I haven't played enough to know. If they are low, and I figure out at the beginning of the game that I'm going to be last, then I'm probably not going to be too excited about playing knowing that my objective is going to change at the last minute.
 
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Wade
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shrimple wrote:
braceletwinner wrote:
- If you are not 100% sure that the last player in a round is not the Betrayer, and that player could end the game by taking Morale to 0, vote to exile them. Life in a zombie apocalypse sucks, and you don't want to be caught with your neck exposed.

What are the chances of this exiled player meeting their objectives and winning the game? I haven't played enough to know. If they are low, and I figure out at the beginning of the game that I'm going to be last, then I'm probably not going to be too excited about playing knowing that my objective is going to change at the last minute.


From the perspective of the players not going last, they shouldn't care about the last player if winning is the main goal. From the last player's perspective, it sucks, but that's the game. You can of course argue your way out of it - not every Exile vote passes. In reality, most groups play way too passively for this to be a concern.

As for the chances, I'm sure that they are low. However, I did see an Exile on the last turn turn a loss into a win. The new objective happened to match up perfectly with what the player had in his hands. Not common, to be sure, but being Exiled late is not always fatal.
 
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braceletwinner wrote:

- This is subtle, and won't work against new players, but just glance at your Secret Objective card when you first receive it and then look at the details later. Almost every Betrayer card has more than two objectives and takes longer to read. If you just take one or two seconds to look at yours, experienced players will file that away.


For this reason, which is true of virtually every hidden traitor game, we usually play with a house rule that everybody when receiving their secret objective card looks at it in silence for 30 seconds before putting it down. Not just in this game, but BSG, Shadows over Camelot, Resistance, etc.
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Wade
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bigfluffylemon wrote:
braceletwinner wrote:

- This is subtle, and won't work against new players, but just glance at your Secret Objective card when you first receive it and then look at the details later. Almost every Betrayer card has more than two objectives and takes longer to read. If you just take one or two seconds to look at yours, experienced players will file that away.


For this reason, which is true of virtually every hidden traitor game, we usually play with a house rule that everybody when receiving their secret objective card looks at it in silence for 30 seconds before putting it down. Not just in this game, but BSG, Shadows over Camelot, Resistance, etc.


Yeah, I almost always say this at the beginning, and have advocated others do the same in other threads. Depends on your group - some like the "meta" game.
 
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