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Subject: How close is play to The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 rss

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Kim Cluthe
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I was hoping to get feedback on how similar this is to The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/226634/thing-infection-o...

At first glance these games seem very alike. I haven't played either game.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Nobody Business
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I don't think it's out yet but there is a playthrough on the designer's youtube channel.

Here is a features highlight video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSJcuMKpQ9A&t=95s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2quqo-BWwjI&list=PLxoHBLbIvY...
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Nick
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Hey Kim.

I played Outpost recently. While there are some similarities I don’t think WGT a will be entirely the same. I’ve preordered it and believe the in game mechanics act little differently to what the previous game does.
 
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Kim Cluthe
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Thank you both for your responses! I will have to check out the video and compare it to the Thing once I have a chance to play it.
 
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Steven Becker
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Apart from the theme (obviously, since both are based on the same franchise, one on the novella WHO GOES THERE?; which the The Thing movie is based on) and partially the paranoia aspect, looking at gameplay, visuals and all that, both games are very, very different if you ask me!


In The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, first one Infection card will randomly be handed to each player, determining who is Human or Thing.
How many Things are in the game depends on player count and there is a chance that nobody draws any.

Players then go on missions which they try to succeed with a team they put together, or try to fail if a Thing (through sabotaging those, if even necessary). They do those missions in 1 of 6 rooms, beginning in Sector 1, then Sector 2 and 3 later on; after they've found what they need in the given previous Sector's rooms.

If they fail too many missions, all humans loose and the Things win.
If they succeed in Sector 3, Players try to get away with the Helicopter, though Humans have to make sure they don't let any Thing on board. Boarding is done through discussions and the players decide who will be allowed to board the helicopter, while the Captain has the last word. If the Humans let any Thing on board, they loose, if they leave too many Humans behind, they also loose.

Now, those missions are basically cards that will be drawn at the beginning of each round, and the Captain of the current round (changes clockwise) puts together a team based on the team requirements of the mission, usually 4-5 players and 1 or 2 from certain Departments (there are 3, each player is representing one of those). Which players he is putting in that team is up to the Captain, based on the information he has about their cards in their hands and who they trust.
When the team is put together they choose a room in the available sector. Each room has a random token out of 6 for each Sector. 2-3 of these tokens are what they are looking for to proceed.
Missions always require the Captain to collect one card from each player in the team, usually to hopefully get a certain item card the mission asks for, or cards with high dice values, since the Captain is required to roll a certain number or higher to succeed some missions. All missions are either looking for a specific item or to reach a certain roll value...
Things can play Sabotage cards on these missions to make them fail or just play cards useless for the current mission in hope it will fail; less obvious that a Thing caused it since it could have also been just the result of a Human not having a better card in hand.
If missions fail, rooms might have power outage, smoke, fire or be destroyed eventually.
When Sector 2 and later Sector 3 is unlocked, again cards from a second Infection deck will be distributed between the players, determining if new players join the Things.


In WHO GOES THERE?, all players are Human at the beginning of the game and might even be at the end of the game (based on playthroughs and such, it's difficult to accomplish though). In certain events the group or individual players have failed, they must draw 1 card from the Vulnerable Deck. This deck includes 11 "Clean" cards and 1 "Infection".
So, unless all Vulnerable cards are drawn, there is still a chance nobody is infected, but the more cards a player has, the more suspicious that player will be to the others.

Now, the goal is to survive 15/18 rounds to then at the end get away with the Helicopter in the Helicopter Round. Though to successfully get away they have to search for Helicopter bonuses outside the camp.
Each Human (dead or alive) will count as 6 Helicopter points at the end of the game, which is the number Humans have to reach. So in a game of 4, assuming 3 are still Human at the end, 18 Helicopter bonuses (3 Humans x 6 points) have to be reached, plus x (its Helicopter Bonuses and Bonus Roll) for each Thing that was let on the Helicopter. Each player who has boarded the Helicopter (This will also be determined through discussions and such) will get a Bonus Roll, which will be added to the throughout the game collected Helicopter Bonuses (the Thing gets that Bonus Roll as well, but that result will be added to the number the Humans have to reach).
If the Humans make sure they have collected enough Helicopter Bonuses during the game and didn't let a Thing on, they might not even need the Bonus roll.

Now, to get those Helicopter Bonuses, as said, they have to search in the Phase decks outside the camp (Phase 1, Phase 2 available after 1/3 of the rounds are completed, Phase 3 after 2/3 of the rounds are completed). Players also collect XP for each Search in those Phase decks to unlock character abilities. They may also find helpful items to equip.
Problem, there are not only Helicopter Bonuses, XP and items to be found, there are also Thing attacks waiting for the players they then have to defend against, or events which cause Door Damage in the camp and other things. Too much door damage and it breaks, causing each player inside the camp having to draw from that Vulnerable deck. Also, players outside are affected by Temperature Drops (loosing 1-3 stamina at the beginning of each round, based on the Phase the game is in); and if the door is broken, players inside are also affected by this, until someone repairs the Door until it has less than 3 strikes again. If a player is affected by a Temperature Drop at the beginning of the round and does not have at least 1 Stamina, he will get a strike; 3 strikes and a player is dead.
Stamina also determines how many natural dice a player has available in case they have to defend themselves against an event. So, Stamina is crucial to survive. Players can find consumable cards to get back Stamina, which they can find in the Storage deck or probably Specialty deck (different for each character) inside the camp.
They can also roll for Stamina inside the camp with a 50/50 chance, as long as the Boiler is not broken (less than 3 strikes), which also can take damage through certain events (Camp Event which happens each round). If the Boiler is broken, no more Stamina roll.
Players can also discard cards face down on the camp fire, which can be lit with a Matches card or Lighter item if there are at least 5 cards on that camp fire spot, to refill some Stamina for all players inside the camp.

And if all that wouldn't be enough, the last 2 rounds of each Phase are Food and Sleep rounds.

At the beginning of a Food round, players need to play a Canned Food card. If they can't, they have to draw a Vulnerable card.
Food can be found in the Storage and probably Specialty deck inside the camp, beside other consumables, items or buildables (those you can play in certain combinations to get certain items which help you to survive); those buildables can also be found in the Workshop deck inside the camp.

Players can also trade with other players to get any cards, like Food someone else might have in the hand. But if the player giving cards has at least 1 Vulnerable card, that player has a change to infect the other player (if the player giving the cards has the actual "Infected" card or got infected by someone else earlier). The player can defend himself against having to take that Infection Clicker (which when taken will show if the other one infects or does not, obviously not visible to other players) with a roll (50/50). In case he failed to defend, instead of having to take the clicker, the player can decide to spend additional Actions (if still available) to try to defend (roll) again until he succeeds, runs out of Actions or just decides to look at the clicker.

Then, at the beginning of a Sleep round, players have to bunk together, in pairs. If someone has to sleep alone (either because there is nobody else or they actually don't want to sleep with someone else they don't trust), they have to draw a Vulnerable card (unless they have one of the very few options to help them not having to draw or at least to roll with a 50/50 chance).
If any of those bunking together have at least 1 Vulnerable card, those players can decide to infect the bunk partner. Different to the trading mentioned above, this one can not be defended, so be careful who you sleep/bunk with...

All that above, moving from space to space (Storage, Workshop inside, Phase 1, 2 or 3 outside) in a location, or moving to a different location (inside, outside; but only once per turn), searching, trading, building does cost Actions, each 1 Action, apart from Searching which does cost 2 (unless you have built a certain coat for either inside or outside searching to reduce it to 1 Action per search) and Repair that costs 2 as well if the player doesn't want to rely on a 50/50 roll. Each player has 5 Actions to begin with, with a 6th to unlock with gained XP during the game.
There also is a Camp Event at the beginning of each round, which depending on the event, needs each player to defend against during their turn and/or results in a lockdown, meaning players can't move from inside to outside or the other way around.

There is more than all this and probably nobody will actually read this wall of text... or probably won't understand... you can then blame me for that!

If you want more and see how the game looks like, they actually uploaded the rulebook recently: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/160955/who-goes-there-rul...
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Kim Cluthe
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That's definitely a lot of information lol!

I appreciate you taking the time to write that post to answer my question and it did provide me more insight on the differences between the games.
 
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Steven Becker
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I hope helpful information!

I played "The Thing" twice so far, Who Goes There? not yet, but I've seen enough and together with the final rulebook (got finalized and uploaded yesterday - waiting to be approved here on BGG I think) it's clear to me that those are 2 very different games.

And while "The Thing" is fun because of the social component alone, I don't feel like there is tons of gameplay in. You have your deck of cards, which you solely rely on during the game for the limited things you can do (go on mission an fight the thing on mission, take out smoke/fire...), and that's it mostly. Also, the thing mechanic is kind of random in the sense of that the infected player has no control on who else might be infected and all that.

As said, I still enjoy(ed) "The Thing", but to me it stands no chance against Who Goes There?, which will have deeper gameplay, more options, more interaction, more paranoia (because of how the infection part works) when the Vulnerable deck starts to shrink...
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Steven Becker
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Since my previous post I've played Who Goes There? now 5 times I think, on Steams Tabletop Simulator (it's not a public mod yet, but probably will at some point in the future). Even though such a game works not best in the digital world (which was initially the reasons they didn't want to have something on TTS for WGT?), it was tons of fun already.

All these games were with 3-5 players and all involved enjoyed all of those. Based on that it makes a huge different for a game in that genre if you can look in someones eyes or not, how they act if they look at their Vulnerable cards or the clickers they had to look at and all that stuff, it still was very enjoyable and I would (and will) play it again, no question about it. My excitement for the actual game didn't suffer at all after those games, rather the other way around... I really will be disappointed if my gaming group won't like this, for whatever reason... I might have to quit and search for a new group...

It didn't feel like that for anyone at the (digital) table; and the way things work in the digital world certainly supported a more lengthy playtime (plus with all at the table not used to the game just yet); but with 4+ players we were playing up to 4 hours. With more experience and taking out the TTS controls factor, this might be able to be taken down an additional 1-2 hours, but it's not a quick game by any means. If you have the time and don't mind that (none of us did), and probably have/want to only go with one of those games: Who Goes There? is the way to go if you ask me... thumbsup
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bruno kowalski
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I wonder if there is many possibilities for The Thing to sabotage other players (like in the film when someone break the blood bags).
In Dead of Winter there is an option to put wrong card into crisis deck or bury needed items when searching an outside location.
Battlestar Galactica also have many options to sabotage.

It would be nice if in WGT? has that aspect too. For example to players have oportunity to put some bad events into the deck, like boiler explode or door take damage. I really like paranoia aspect of this game and that possibilities would increase level of psychosis.
 
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Steven Becker
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@bruno555

There are ways... They can't put bad events into the deck, but when they search outside in the Phase decks, there are door damage cards in there, which result in a strike on the door. After the 3rd strike, the door is damaged and everyone inside has to draw a vulnerable card (if all are already drawn, they get 1 strike instead) and are affected by the temperature drops (which usually only affects people outside)... This is not the sneakiest way, but since sometimes you get away with "I didn't realize there were 2 strikes on", or "how big were the chances there would come up another door damage" and such, its a valid option. Less obvious ways are if you just aren't as honest about the cards you have drawn. Precious food required for the food round, or medkit cards people may need to get rid of strikes for example, instead of trading those, adding them to the bonfire face-down (like your DoW example with burrying needed items).
Or making other people suspicious to the rest of the group so they might end up alone during sleep rounds (which results in them drawing a vulnerable card...) and such.
 
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bruno kowalski
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Some nice variant came into my mind in reference to repairing door or boiler .
You have to roll dice secretly or behind the screen when you repair. And you can lie if you had success and declare failure(but you cant declare success if you failed).

So you can take for example 3 bad attempts to repair and say "i tried to do my best" (with 3 successes)
 
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Bryan K
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You really need 7 or 8 players for the Thing(6 is just ok coming from about six plays), this appears to be better at smaller play counts.
 
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Steven Becker
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The Thing definitely needs more players to be enjoyable I think too, yeah. Since the missions 80% of the time require at least 4-5 people, there is not much negotiation happening if you only have 4-5 people actually playing the game.

WGT? works already great with 3 players and even the not official 2 player game is fun based on what I've played, just because the mechanics are involving and fun enough in itself already. The game does not solely rely on the paranoia/suspicion factor, that is just the icing on the cake. Without that, it still is a really fun survival game basically I would say...
I think The Thing relies more on that suspicion factor and there is less actual game mechanics in the game, which I say results in the game not being that enjoyable without the right amount of players, since it looses it's main part so to speak.

There is no official 7-8 player version for WGT? and while possible in theory (there are 8 characters available), I guess alone the playtime would increase so much, it might not be reasonable to go for.
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Chris S
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Did the Tabletop Simulator version ever get released? I'm not seeing it in the Steam workshop. I'd really like to try the game out before buying.
 
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Steven Becker
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It's not out there (yet), but if you want to play, come join us on the Discord here: https://discord.gg/kZcSRqE

We have different time zones there, anything from GTM-7 to GMT+8... We usually try to get a few games in per week, depending on availability of people with fitting time zone.

I know a few US/Canada guys want to get a game going their evening today (9pm GMT or so) , while a few EU people want to get another one going today too, like 4-5pm GMT. Maybe you get a chance to play with us right there! 🙂

Just be aware of that TTS adds quite some playtime and obviously the "reading other players" part is lacking compared to at an actual table with people you likely know... We still enjoy it a lot, no question about it, but we all expect it to be even better when we play for real.
 
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