Friday, July 17, 2015

Winter continues

These are all the rest Dead of Winter games I played in Kuhmo. All of them were played with four players.

Game 1: Winter Has Come

Winter Has Come main objective is cleverly designed. At first I thought that damn... we're all really screwed if there is even one betrayer. But on second reading... even the betrayers need to pile in fuel during every colony phase. Failure in adding fuel doesn't drop morale to 0, after all. It just ends the game in loss. Only exiled players might benefit from this ending.

My secret was something like "have books equipped to survivors", so that's what I proceeded to look into right at the start. I made a mistake though when I entered school and not the library, because there might have been fuel in library. My survivors were the doctor and the janitor, and doctor found a "beginner's martial arts" book for the janitor.

Situation at the colony was nightmarish. Two of the first crises were no other than "use fuel or a legion of zombies appear." We failed both, but lost no survivors. For the record I think this was the first game where there was game-making-or-breaking, meaningful use of "attract zombies" player action. Also, it helped immensely that the mother survivor and a helpless survivor came to the colony to clean up the zombieful situation there. And a pilot with a shotgun.

Other players had been voicing quite a lot of suspicion about betrayal towards me. And I can't really blame them. I had been scavenging through library and police station like crazy, and caused tons of noise and attracted zombies to non-colony locations - yet I never added an fuel to main objective, or the crises for that matter. Well, except for one where I added three cards to make for an extraordinary success.

But my intentions were honest and true, but luck was not on my or our side. I had been spending most of my action dice into searching, and the doctor had already found library blueprints and police station blueprints. Imagine how it looks to other players when you draw something like eight cards in a turn and yet "sorry guys, I just don't have anything to help the colony." But the truth was that I really did found nothing of use.

Well. I wasn't voted out at least. Nobody was.

I wasn't the only one suffering from the fuel shortage. We survived till fourth round I think, when we had to face the fact that nobody had a fuel card to spend.

Turned out there were no betrayers at all.

A bit of an annoying loss. We were doing pretty well, all things considered. It was mostly because of amazingly poor luck that we lost. Mostly.

So the game was a loss for everybody.

Game 2: Leave It All Behind
So. The colony required a lot of food, and every player needed at least one equipped gun.

Very early in the game a crossroad card made moving around even more dangerous than it already was - we were chased by well armed cannibals. But that was a choice - a choice that one of the players had to make. They were something like "roll exposure few times" and "from now on when a survivor moves, roll a normal die. On a result of 1-2 the survivor takes a wound."

Then next turn somebody sabotaged a crisis and caused loss of two morale. I had contributed two cards, and one other player contributed only one. So the crisis would fail anyway - but at the "resolve crisis" step of the colony phase it turned out somebody had contributed junk instead of medicine. I knew for sure that I had contributed only medicine...

So once it was my turn I called for a vote to exile that player, and betrayer he was, as suspected.

But. Then one of the most characterful little stories within Dead of Winter happened.

Price, the student (exiled player's survivor) was at the school with the bald principal (my survivor.) A crossroads card triggered, and caused a mugging. I had to give all but one cards from my hand to the exiled player or take one (or two?) wounds. There were enough wounds on the principal that the crossroads would kill him, so there really was no option for me. The student mugged the principal at the school. I guess he wasn't in good terms with the principal. What a troubled youth.

To me that was a serious blow as I had "The Hoarder" secret.

The colony didn't survive for long after this. The exiled player started to attack survivors, and morale fell in rapid succession. The student even went to kill the principal. What a troubled youth.

After the loss all of us revealed our secrets. There were three ordinary secrets and Serial Killers betrayal objective... what a troubled youth indeed.

Game 3: Raiding Party
2x betrayers wins, gluttony + all for one

Last game we played Dead of Winter was about scavenging. Two location decks needed to be completely emptied of cards.

I had the Gluttony secret betrayer objective. Fortunately for me, I got the student (Price something... surely not Vincent?) and Andrew Evans, the Farmer. That meant I'd be able to drain four cards from the Grocery Store location per turn with just two dice.

Or so I thought. Two rounds in a row I rolled only one 3+ for my three dice. But I wouldn't give up, no! I needed food! So I ate our supplies to raise action dice results. I tried to mitigate any suspicion towards me by playing enough food to the supply to not cause any problems with my... heh. Gluttony.

My first truly suspicious act was to not play food to one of the crises that came up. After all I had been digging the grocery store for quite a while. But I was the last player before colony phase, and there was only one contribution. I'd have needed to contribute three cards, which is quite a lot. It might be possible that I didn't have all three even if I wasn't a betrayer...

Well. I wasn't voted off at least. I guess it was believable enough that I was draining the grocery store pretty fast.

Major setback for the colony was when a third survivor entered the hospital and rolled a bitten result from the exposure die. Second player decided to roll the die hoping for a blank instead of any other result, yet it was a wound. Last survivor did roll a blank, but that was two dead survivors in one go.

Otherwise everybody was playing well and making good choices. Zombies were masterfully manipulated and destroyed, and even food wasn't a problem once the cook survivor entered colony.

But all the hardships had lowered morale down to 1, which is a good place for betrayers to thrive.

However. Gluttony required six non-started food cards in my hand, and I only had four. And there was only one card left in grocery store - and I knew for sure it wasn't a food.

By then I had grown my following with the pilot and the park ranger.

Stretching my luck, the Pilot searched at the gas station like crazy (found two food cards), and then entered grocery store to deplete it. It had four zombies there, though.

Current crisis required junk to complete, and generously I contributed three cards when there was already two contributions. One more, and colony would gain a morale bonus! Well. Except that I added two medicine cards and an outsider card.

Last two remaining players managed to bring the hospital to just one card remaining. But at least five survivors would die to the failure of the upcoming crisis.

So, a victory for me! The grand betrayer! The unsuspected master planner, who sneaked one more victory under the radar of vigilant watchers that were the three other followings in the game!

... right?

well. Almost.

There was one even more cunning master player at the table who also won the game as a betrayer. She had All for one betrayer secret, and got everything she needed for victory.

People had at least been voicing some questions about my true intentions... but nobody suspected her. Not even me. I was absolutely certain I was the only betrayer.

Oh well.

The more the merrier!

And as a side note... only my park ranger survived the last zombie additions, and he had entered my following during the very same turn. A beautiful story there. While the whole colony is trying to stave off a horde of zombies, a completely random dude entered through the back door and ate all the food.

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