I'm on my bi-annual visit to my parents. Since my sister is here also with her boyfriend, and later some other acquaintances too, I wouldn't miss a chance to bring board games with me. Dead of Winter was my weapon of choice this time.
First we played a three player introductory "We Need More Samples" game.
Start of the game was devastating. First two rounds we lost three survivors to Bitten! result on the exposure dice. Game seemed to punish us just for trying to raise our follower count above 2... and still, one player was left with only one survivor. The sheriff, I think.
Zombie killing also didn't work as planned. Over ten killed zombies and only two successful samples. Helpless survivors started piling up at the colony with most of them being because of one particular player. That seemed rather suspicious, and on the brink of starvation I called for a vote to exile that player. I wasn't 100% certain she was a betrayer, but casting that player out from the colony saved the rest of us from starvation. Majority kicked her out, and yes. We had had a betrayer amongst us. However, betrayer had also dropped something like three helpless survivors to the colony... and they wouldn't be cast out.
Due to amazing turn of events (good sample rolls), completing the main objective started to look like a possibility. Exiled player also had a few turns of play time, so this was the very first time ever when a player was exiled without the game ending right away.
So. We got the nine samples, but morale was at 1. There was one starvation counter.
This was probably the closest game up to date.
Main objective was completed, as well as my personal objectives. The other good survivor also had his goals completed.
Yet... we lost to a dying survivor at Colony phase stage 4. We'd have won on stage 5.
Next day a second game was played. This time we had four players. Chances for at least one betrayer were high... and yup, that was me. Trigger happy victory condition.
Talia, the fortune teller was my initial survivor of choice, combined with the police dispatcher. The fortune teller is a wonderful survivor for a betrayer, as you'll be able to manipulate the worst crises to happen at the worst possible moment, and still keep an honest face - the second crisis might have been even worse!
Oh, and the game mode was "Eight weeks of darkness."
Fairly early in the game somebody made a crisis fail by giving in a completely wrong card. And that wasn't me. Did we have another betrayer in the game? Perfect! If I figured who it was and exiled him or her I'd have free reign to do as I please, as surely nobody would suspect that there was two betrayers?
I was confident enough to even succeed at one crisis doubly well and raise morale just to negate any doubts against me.
But my plans didn't come into fruition. I just couldn't figure who the other betrayer was. I had one reason or another to suspect any of the three other players - though one of them was, of course, my main suspect.
A crossroad card raised the morale yet again, which was a bit worrisome, as we were doing surprisingly fine. Food was a gigantic trouble, but we somehow managed to get enough supplies every turn. We didn't get starvation counters in this game, yet last game one came up.
I had three survivors, the Fortune Teller, Thomas the Soldier and the police dispatcher. I had shotgun on the soldier and a tactical rifle on fortune teller. I had two pistols in my hand of cards, so all was well. But to build up some trust towards me, I gave the police dispatcher on of the pistols and securely shot off a zombie somewhere. It was a little bit of a risk, since people had died and crises had been failed. The police dispatcher had only twenty two influence, so she'd be one of the first to die in case of zombie overflow.
Well... there was no zombie overflow, thankfully. But there was a bite epidemic. Actually there were two bite epidemics at locations where there were at least three survivors, and my police dispatcher was present in both. First time she rolled a blank, thus surviving. Second time, however... not so lucky. And there went my fourth weapon back to the deck, also. Morale had been been racing towards zero for a while now, which had looked good while I had four weapons to use.
I was last in turn order when morale was at 1. That's a perfect spot for a betrayer to be. But I still needed a weapon. I sent Thomas to scavenge Gas Station, as there was only two cards left in the police station deck.
Causing a lot of noise, he managed to find a switch blade, and we'd be losing already in many of the colony phase stages. However... it had to happen before "adding zombies" phase, because my own survivors were in locations where they'd most probably die.
But I did have some random cards to throw to crisis contributions, and there was a crisis lowering failure effect coming up.
Yet I somehow failed to notice that all of my careful planning had been for nought - there were ten cards in the waste pile.
So. We did have two betrayers, but he didn't have his personal objectives completed. But much to my surprise this betrayer was the player I had least suspected. So well played, there.
Even with two betrayers the colony survived six weeks of darkness. But six is less than the required eight.
I was supposed to write all Dead of Winter games of my visit here in this blog post. But we kind of got carried away and played three additional games, so it's probably best to write those later.