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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » General

Subject: Teaching this game to non-gamers rss

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Elliot
United Kingdom
West Yorkshire
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Hi all,

I am hosting a board game night soon for some of my friends who aren't gamers. They have played one or two games, including Catan and (for two out of three of them) Lords of Waterdeep, which they enjoyed. I am thinking of introducing them to this game (or, more specifically, Dead of Winter: The Long Night but without any expansions) - do you think it may be too much of a step-up? I've only played Dead of Winter twice myself and both times were with people who have played a decent number of games. Also, if you feel the game is not too much of a step-up for them, would you have any pointers on how to teach it in a way that works best for people who aren't familiar with gaming?

Thanks!
 
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John Mackenzie
Australia
Newcastle
New South Wales
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I'd suggest that you play co-op mode for the first game, until everyone gets a handle on player actions and the flow of the rounds. Clearly, you'll miss out on the pivotal dynamic of the game without a betrayer, but if one of your new friends lands the betrayer role, it won't be fun for anyone. I'd say try "We Need More Samples" on easy mode as a coop with individual objectives - and you'd likely have time for a game with a betrayer included.
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Confusing Manifestation
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It might be a bit of a stretch, but you're welcome to try. I would suggest maybe starting with no betrayal objectives (or maybe no objectives at all). Make sure they understand the thematic tone of the game (it's more like "The Walking Dead" than "Resident Evil" in the sense that it's more about trying to avoid and manage the zombie threat than grabbing guns and shooting everything - usually). Probably most importantly, assuming that they are eager to participate, always tell them (a) what they can do, and (b) why they might want to do particular things, rather than (c) what they *should* do. Telling them (a) and (b) means they can make informed decisions about their actions, telling them (c) is essentially giving them instructions and that can be a massive turn-off.
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Anne Skelding
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It depends entirely on your friends. I played with two non-gamer friends (one had played Catan and Magic, the other hadn't really played any board game since Omega Virus when we were kids) and we had a blast. I definitely would hesitate before playing with certain other people, though.
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Wade
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Decatur
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Ell131 wrote:
Hi all,

I am hosting a board game night soon for some of my friends who aren't gamers. They have played one or two games, including Catan and (for two out of three of them) Lords of Waterdeep, which they enjoyed. I am thinking of introducing them to this game (or, more specifically, Dead of Winter: The Long Night but without any expansions) - do you think it may be too much of a step-up? I've only played Dead of Winter twice myself and both times were with people who have played a decent number of games. Also, if you feel the game is not too much of a step-up for them, would you have any pointers on how to teach it in a way that works best for people who aren't familiar with gaming?

Thanks!


I disagree that teaching the game by playing without a Betrayer is best. The game is meant to be played with one, so why teach it without? I know there are rules for pure co-op, but these games are almost never fun because they are too easy (yes, even in hardcore mode) and there is rarely any tension.

There are several good videos that teach the game. I would recommend showing them one of the videos before you start, or even sending it to them ahead of time to watch. That way they can ask questions before the session.
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