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Dead Of Winter

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Nefaro
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Dead Of Winter

Post by Nefaro on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:53 am

My recent purchases in action, a pair of 3'x3' black game mats under a solitaire game of Dead Of Winter:




Dead Of Winter is pretty light on rules, more so for the solitaire variant.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing if you want some light survival & resource management type of game.

Where it really shines is in it's pseudo-Coop multiplayer.  Everyone has a secret objective in order to win.  One of the players can even get a traitor objective card which basically makes them sabotage the group efforts and try to not get caught while doing so.  I think that's one of the biggest reasons DofW is so popular.  The "Crossroads Card" mechanic is also a fun but simple way of having some random story events that require hard decisions to be made.  

I've only played a pair of solo games thus far but hopefully I can eventually get a group of victims players to join in because it looks like it could be easy enough to teach but still tense.
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Dukely
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Dukely on Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:10 am

I saw this game last year, I was very interested. Have you seen Tabletop Simulator on steam? It has tons of add ons via the workshop that let you play lots of games. I think I saw this on there.

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Nefaro
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Nefaro on Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:04 pm

Dukely wrote:I saw this game last year, I was very interested. Have you seen Tabletop Simulator on steam? It has tons of add ons via the workshop that let you play lots of games. I think I saw this on there.

I was curious about Tabletop Simulator, after seeing it.  But the physics based part looked like it could cause some issues during gameplay.  Especially since it had that table-flipping option that reportedly couldn't be disabled by the host.  There were reports of assholes joining games and wiping the whole thing by using that, or just knocking the pieces over, without anyone else being able to do anything about it.  I believe part of the problem was not being able to password protect servers, kick such trolls, and other such issues.  So I didn't look any further.

It's also troublesome scheduling set play times, all other issues aside.  I'd purchase stuff like Tabletop Simulator if I knew that I could get some regular games going but I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of it.  At least Vassal is free, so there's no risk up front.
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Dukely
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Dukely on Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:26 am

You can password protect servers and you can disable the table flip and stuff. The physics work pretty well. We played a few games with it.

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Nefaro
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Nefaro on Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:25 am

Dukely wrote:You can password protect servers and you can disable the table flip and stuff. The physics work pretty well. We played a few games with it.

O rly?  I may have to check out what games are available for it.


Edit: Shit. It's on sale right now. Looks like I'll have to do it.

I suspect if they have a module for Dead Of Winter, there will be some for other games I own.

Does this mean a Dead Of Winter multi-player game may be in the wings? It's generally easy enough to to learn from what I've gathered.
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Nefaro
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Nefaro on Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:49 am

Well.. thus far I see it has the following ones I own:

Dead Of Winter** (multiple versions)
Chaos In The Old World**
Mage Wars *
Super Dungeon Explore**/*
Descent 2nd Ed.
Shadows Of Brimstone
Robinson Crusoe
Smash Up**
Netrunner
M:TG
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards
Zombies!!!
Last Night On Earth
Command & Colors: Ancients
D&D Board Game Series
WH40K: Relic


** = Good candidates for competitive 3+ players
* = Good 2-player


....and probably many others...



Not sure what condition any of these are in regarding bugs.
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Nefaro
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Re: Dead Of Winter

Post by Nefaro on Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:03 am

A first impression of Dead Of Winter's mechanics:


It's one of the simpler 'designer' games I've played lately, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The solo variant played fairly quickly and there wasn't a ton of fidgety crap to remember. The available actions and turn order drive the gameplay and those are listed on each player's card.

It is primarily focused on resource/hand management, risk vs reward searches for those resources, and utilizing those resources for your own (randomly dealt) personal goal. I think they call it semi-cooperative since there is not only a main group goal but each player also gets their own secret goal. Usually the secret one says "complete the main goal, plus this extra stuff to win" but there is also a Betrayer card normally seeded into these cards. Which means that player will need to sabotage the overall group effort but still accomplish their own, in order to win. That person will have to be sneaky for as long as possible because the group can vote to banish a player from the colony, which means they are then running solo in the outside locations. The default setup for these secret objectives means that not every game will have a betrayer so it keeps the tension on as to whether you may be banishing an innocent who could've helped the colony survive.


There are no blind die rolls for actions, such as combat. You roll your allotted action dice at the beginning of the turn and then you must plan how you want to use them, as you will already know how many successes you could possibly have at specific actions (such as combat). It expands the resource management & planning style of gameplay even further, to your actions and what you can accomplish every turn. I believe this also helps the game flow more smoothly since players will already be able to formulate their plans during other players' actions, and plan ahead as a team (it is primarily co-op).

I can see why this is so popular for multi-player games, between the possible Betrayer mechanic and the Crossroads cards that can trigger tough (and sometimes morally questionable) thematic decisions, as both individual and group votes. Yet it seems easy to teach & remember, and probably moves along at a decent clip without getting bogged down too much at certain points.

The solitaire game is light fun that seemed to flow easily without referencing a lot of rules. Although you must make some adjustments on the Crossroads card triggers, as each is supposed to be secret until the condition is met that turn. I just planned my turn's actions out beforehand, then drew the card to see if it would happen. Thankfully, the game can still be challenging in solitaire play. I went 1-1 in the two scenarios I tried.

The game is very elegant & streamlined in it's relative simplicity, yet retains a good amount of co-op decision making.

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Re: Dead Of Winter

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