Finishing of our four day gaming streak (to make up for missing out on International Tabletop Day every previous year...) I argued for a game of Dead of Winter. I had re-read the rules several times by now, so maybe we could actually get them right this time around.
We decided to go for “We Need More Samples” as it is the suggested starting scenario, and we are essentially still beginners. Actually, Morgan was just that, so we did go through a rules explanation. I actually think we got things right this time. Third time's a charm.
Now for the important bit; I became the traitor.
My mission was to have only one survivor, be armed with a weapon and have medicine, tools, fuel, and food still in my hand. None of those cards could be starting cards. Harsh.
My starting survivors where Rod Miller, the Truck Driver with his ability to travel safely, and Janet Taylor, the Nurse with the ability to search the hospital more effectively.
My brothers group started of with the Student and the Soldier, while Morgan played as the Chemist and the Sheriff.
I decided to keep a very low profile as traitor, helping with both of the two first crises and offering some sound tactical advice a few times.
However, I also kept my mouth shut when I realized that Morgan sent his Chemist to kill some zombies when the Soldier could’ve done a much better job.
Also, around mid-game, I argued that we could ignore crises a few times. The other players obviously thought I did so to save resources, but the plan was of course to get the Morale down. This worked rather well.
Some odd occurrences that need mentioning:
The first 12 noise tokens all generated a zombie each. The chances of that happening are 0,02%, or 1 in 4096…
Also, the Exposure Die had close to no effect on this game. The few injuries suffered were quickly handled with medicine.
This of course meant that things were going rather well for the colony. There were plenty of zombies around to kill, and no one suffering any ill effects.
This, obviously, was not to the liking of a certain traitor. I honestly didn’t think I would stand a chance to win, but a well timed Crossroads card gave me hope.
We had to spend a turn putting up barricades at every location, or suffer -1 Morale. This took a lot of time away from killing zombies. Then again, it also took time away from finding gear, and I needed a lot of that.
In the end, the others still managed to kill the eighth zombie during the fifth turn, so one more was needed on the last turn. With everyone being well armed by now, this was guaranteed to happen.
Morale was still at 3, but during the last turn there was a mad scramble for gear from everyone, so any shenanigans from me would be covered by that. During all of this, Morgan got one of his survivors killed, and since we were going to fail the last crisis, the Morale would drop to 1.
I managed to get the last gear I needed on my very last search, so all I had to do in order to win was to get Janet Taylor to bite the dust. I didn’t. Damn you Exposure die!
Looking back, it’s possible that I could’ve won by sending her to a location that would be overrun due to all the noise tokens. Oh well...
So in the end, Morgan won by having nothing but a medicine card in hand as the game ended, while my brother got half a victory for at least being part in completing the colonies main objective. He was one piece of equipment away from an actual victory.
Thoughts on being the traitor:
I’m really torn. On the one hand, trying to sabotage the mission and gathering a bunch of gear without anyone figuring out I was doing so was a really interesting problem. I liked trying to solve the problem.
On the other hand, I like teamwork, and really wanted to try and save the colony. I don’t think I would’ve felt much joy if I had managed to kill Janet on the last turn to steal the win.
With chances of becoming the traitor being so slim, I’ll still give it a few more goes vanilla style, but Hardcore mode and full co-op does sound like an option.
Anyway, great fun! My two previous attempts at Dead of Winter had been with the rules messed up one way or another, so it was nice to finally see the game in all its (correct) glory!