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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Coop Variant rss

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Bernhard Scheuringer
Austria
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Hi all,

i'm thinking about purchasing this game, but am not sure if my gaming group will like a betrayer mechanism.
However the theme looks pretty interesting.
Who have tried the "Coop Variant" (which also have no secret objectives)?

Can you recommend this Gameplay Variant?
Is the game than too easy/hard?
How "fun" is the Coop Variant compared to a "normal" game, in your opinion.

Thanks!
 
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Andrew Kapish
United States
Brunswick
Ohio
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Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:
Can you recommend this Gameplay Variant?

Nope.

Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:
How "fun" is the Coop Variant compared to a "normal" game, in your opinion.

Less fun …much less fun.

Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:
Thanks!

Don't mention it.


Tension is what makes this game great. Take that away, and you're really left with just half a game.
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Chris Lear
United Kingdom
Lewes
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Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:
Hi all,
Who have tried the "Coop Variant" (which also have no secret objectives)?


I have

Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:

Can you recommend this Gameplay Variant?


To be honest, no.

Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:

Is the game than too easy/hard?


Too easy

Bernhard Scheuringer wrote:

How "fun" is the Coop Variant compared to a "normal" game, in your opinion.


Less fun.

But the people I play with don't really like pure co-ops, and we really like the betrayer mechanism.
 
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Andrea R
Italy
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I would suggest the coop only for the learning purpose (the very first time). And even then might not be best.

One thing to mention, the game will shine only as soon as you have the Traitor hitting hard for the first time.

As Andrew mentioned, the tension makes much of the game.
 
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Grignard
Sweden
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I agree with previous replies. I have friends who dislikes the betrayer concept but I find the game pointless without it.
 
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Michael
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Yes, you can do it although the betrayer mechanic is one of my favorite parts of the game. The betrayer is not present in every game. It is fun trying to read people's actions and determine their intent. Are they a betrayer? Are they just hording objects for their own personal victory condition? Or are they just making horrible choices? You CAN play without the betrayer. My wife hates it so we play that way sometimes. Each scenario has a 'difficult' version to make the game harder. Just leave the betrayer out and play the harder version. I, personally, do not enjoy it near as much without the betrayer but it can be done.
 
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Bernhard Scheuringer
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Thank you for your thoughts.

Then I think this game is not suited for my gaming group.
I will probably look into it again, if i find the people for it.
 
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Chris
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Just stumbled across this. Tiny Epic Zombies might be worth looking out for your group. The kickstarter campaign just ended but it'll almost certainly hit general release by xmas this year
 
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Jay Gledhill
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There are multiple variants you can play

If 2P, it's recommended you follow the co-op variant outlined in the rulebook (available for download here: https://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/dead-of-winter/ru...)

The TL;DR version is that you play without secret objectives & with the main objective variant on Hardcore, you also start with more survivors and cards in hand) It's also recommended playing this variant on your first playthrough, and whenever you play the game with new people.

There are non-betrayal secret objectives as well, so you can a play pseudo co-op variant, where everyone has the main objective, but also their own secret objective (not requiring betrayal)Players will often forgo the main objective because their personal secret objective needs to be completed first because the game ends when the main objective check in the colony phase is a pass.

For context, My partner and I played a 2p co-op variant where we played with the main objective on hardcore & each player draws 2 secret objectives (no betrayal) This was the funnest game both of us had ever played. we won, barely. and we were on the verge of losing in every possible way at all times. But I am very familiar with the game. I also rigged the crossroads deck to be as punishing as possible.

2 other variants that involve betrayers are:
Chance for a betrayer: this involves having (number of players *2) secret objectives and 1 betrayal objective, shuffle, deal out randomly.
The chance is enough to make everyone paranoid. the paranoia factor causes redundant / wasteful moves to "play it safe" or adds a risk factor
Another variant i designed but is simple enough to set up.
Guaranteed betrayal: (number of players -1) secret objectives + 1 betrayal objective. Shuffle, deal out at random. Paranoia becomes pressure. Everyone knows someone at the table is working against them, but doesn't know their agenda (what they need to do before sinking the ship) so the race is on, everyone suspects the other
This is harder for the betrayer and will require a level of deception to remain undetected until the timing is right. The betrayer must be careful to not sabotage the crisis with cards that have a locator that would identify them, therefore starter items are the best, or items that come from a location that has survivors controlled by multiple people at them. But this can also be used to your advantage to frame others if you have your survivor move away, and after time, someone elses survivor moves to that place. For the non betrayer players, it puts not only paranoia but also pressure. The exiled mechanic will actually get used. (the group i play with pretty much never exiles, cause we mainly play with chance betrayer.


Final synopsis: The game is as difficult or as hard as you wish to make it. Definitely recommend ramping the difficulty up as the person/group you're playing with is more familiar with it. The game is meant to be difficult, with a less than 50% win rate. If you're winning more than or even half your games, you need to kick off the training wheels. Play the hardcore variant. Or give each player a second secret objective. Add the betrayer element if you normally don. Even if there's only a chance and even if there actually isn't... You'll find it makes the game so much more exhilarating.

If you own the expansion, the Raxxon or bandits module can add even more difficulty.
but you can also modify the base game to be more difficult as well.

You can remove Alexis Grey, Carla Thompson, Andrew Evans& Arthur Thurston from the survivor deck before play. And you can rig the crossroads deck to trigger more often by removing all crossroads cards that reference a survivor that isn't in play. Furthermore, you can actually create your own crossroads cards on the Plaidhatgames website. If you want them to look authentic, You might need to print them off through artscow.com or makplayingcards.com if you don't have access to those services in your local area.

Dead of Winter is by far my favourite game, my second favourite being Pandemic. The people I play with are more so co-operatively inclined as opposed to competitive games like risk or small world. But Dead of winter is the favoured game of the entire group.
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