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Tips & Strategies (18)

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8
Canada
El Dorado
Professional Advisor
Senior
23 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Playing solo”

Soloing Dead of Winter is not as good as playing with others but I’ve seen worst and I still enjoing it.

I play the 2 players coop variant (No traitor, no hidden objective and the difficult group objective.

For the Crossroad card, before looking at the card I say what I will do. If the Crossroad card meets the actual status of the survivors or the status of my planned actions, I apply the card like it’s suppose to be.

If the cards have a different trigger conditions that what I have planned I dont use it.

If for any reasons I feel that the crossroad cards could have an influence on my current actions or decisions, I roll a die to choose the Crossroad options

The key is to not cheating youself 🙂

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5
I Love Playin' Games
Explorer - Level 3
23 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Character Standees”

A tip I saw online, that we quickly implemented, is to give each player a different color of the little rubber bands that come with the rubber band looms popular for children these days. As each player adds characters to their group, they slip a rubber band of their color onto the base of the standees they are playing. This makes it possible to quickly tell which standees are yours and where they are at on the game board as play progresses. The rubber bands are cheap, and one package of mixed colors should last quite a while! We have found them in the craft supplies, toy sections and hair departments in various big box stores.

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5
I Love Playin' Games
Explorer - Level 3
22 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Start Slow”

My eldest son bought Dead of Winter for our family of boardgamers. Being new to board gaming, we played the first game and found it very challenging, but the game mechanics are fascinating! So for our second and third games, we decided that as we got used to the turn and round mechanics, we would play the game as a pure co-op (no betrayer!) and leave out the crisis cards. This left us with regular game play, but a little less difficulty as we ironed out our understanding of the rules. Now that we are sure we have the game mechanics down, we are ready to resume play with the betrayer and crisis cards! If your group of gamers is having a little difficulty getting the hang of Dead of Winter, you might try ramping the difficulty down a notch as well.

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4
Critic - Level 1
21 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Crisis Resolution: Keeping Track of Item's Source/Location”

In my handful of play-throughs, I’ve found paying attention to where items come from during the Crisis Resolution can give some insight into who is holding back/possibly lying, which can inform you of a possible traitor in your midst.

For instance, if a player announces that he/she does not have an item to help with the crisis, but later adds after searching, then you expect to see at least one card coming from that location. If the Crisis Resolution cards are all “Starter Items” then you know that player was lying and was finding an excuse to search the particular location or at least relocate to that location. This information alone probably isn’t enough to justify an exile vote, but it’s an additional data point that may help.

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7
Baseball Fan
Book Lover
Plaid Hat Games fan
Comic Book Fan
21 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Avoid exposure as much as possible”

Try to reduce exposure. Of course you’ll need to move and slay zombies, but find ways to minimize those actions (without losing your focus on the objective – ain’t supposed to be a cakewalk). For example, keep an adept fighter in the colony and a skilled searcher on a non-colony location. And use your character traits!

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9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
21 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Choose the Search Expert Survivors!”

During set-up each player is dealt 4 survivor cards and chooses 2 survivors to play. Always pick the survivors which grant an extra card drawn during searches. These survivors will help you find other survivors much quicker, granting you more dice and thusly granting you more actions. Make sure you keep these survivors at places they can search too!

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7
Intermediate Reviewer
Champion
Mask of Agamemnon
Novice Advisor
27 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“More Likely Traitor”

A traitor in the group adds a hidden nemesis to the game, and when one is revealed it escalates the excitement level.

By the rules as written, There should be two Secret Missions per player and one Betrayal card to select from during set up. Change this to one Secret Mission per player and one Betrayal card for a much more likely possibility of there being a traitor in your midst!

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5
Canada
53 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“Prisoner's Dilemma Variant for 2 player game”

I have seen discussions of this variant on reddit and boardgamegeek so I don’t know who came up with it, but it makes a 2 player game very good. Below is the setup as stated on this thread.

Follow the typical setup for 2 players in the rule book, except for the following:
– Deal each player 1 non-betrayal, and 1 betrayal secret objective.
– The “Exile a player” action is not available.

The three ways the game can end are:
1) Both players have achieved the main objective, and their non-betrayer secret objective. In this case, they both win.
2) Morale is at 0, and one player has completed his Betrayer secret objective. In this case, the single betrayer wins.
3) Morale is at 0, and both players have completed their Betrayer secret objective. In this case, both players lose.

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6
The Silver Heart
Video Game Fan
Australia
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Crossroad Cards”

Be careful when reading out crossroad cards. You can sometimes unknowingly reveal the consequences of the choices. Although knowing the choices would help you as a group (unless you are the betrayer), I think it makes it much more fun to see what people choose without knowing the consequences. So if the words in the italics are realised then read through the rest of the card before reading aloud.

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7
Baseball Fan
Book Lover
Plaid Hat Games fan
Comic Book Fan
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Sniper rifle”

Go fetch this from the cop shop, arm a colony survivor with it, and have that survivor keep the zombie hoard at bay.

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7
Baseball Fan
Book Lover
Plaid Hat Games fan
Comic Book Fan
21 of 22 gamers found this helpful
“Feeding the colony”

Don’t keep everyone in the colony. More mouths to feed and food can be hard to come by, especially if you’re trying to complete other actions or objectives.

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5
Check Out My Favorites
23 of 25 gamers found this helpful
“Stop the Traitor !”

What some people don’t like is the ‘double turn’, in which a betrayer can reveal himself in his last turn on one round, and then become the first player in the next round (causing a lot of damage in 2 turns without any possibility to stop it). To fix this, you can use my House Rule so that players can vote to exile someone at the end of someone’s turn, even if its not their own turn. I think this is a nice compromise. A betrayer can still cause a lot of damage in one turn or play more cautious, while the other players are able to stop him before getting his second turn. This also makes sense thematically. Since this is a House Rule, be sure that everyone you play with agrees upon it.

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4
Gamer - Level 4
Treasure Map
21 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“Keep track of your wins...”

Dead of Winter is an amazing game! It is one of my favorites, I’ve also lost 2/3 of the games I’ve played. I know that because of a cool app that I bought (though its free online) called Scoregeek. You can keep track of all your games. I also keep track of the scenarios so I know which ones are more likely to succeed. I also keep track of the betrayer, so I can see how many times we’ve lost because of a betrayer. It also uploads the games to BGG for you if you have an account. Its an incredible app. You can get the online version here: http://www.rebrandsoftware.com/ScoreGeekApp/ or you can buy it on ios and Android. I should also explain that I, in now way, am affiliated with the company, I just really love the app.

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7
I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Canada
Advanced Reviewer
6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“The Art of Communication”

This is part tip, part strategy. Dead of Winter, in my experience, is a game where there is usually a fair bit of table talk and discussion. Whether your group talks strategy, or whether they like to get right into it and actually role-play their part in the colony during conversations, communication is a valuable asset in this game. There are two reasons for this:

1) The obvious advantage is that the group (assuming no one is a traitor) will be most effective if everyone coordinates their efforts a bit. Also, some wheeling and dealing can help with the completion of secret goals.

2) The other advantage to paying attention to the conversation at the table is when there is a betrayer in the mix. If you think someone might be the betrayer, you might catch them by keeping the conversation going. Since the betrayer will probably have to lie to keep up appearances, being mindful of what has been said (and of body language, if you have an eye for that sort of thing) might let you catch some minor slip. And if [i]you[/i] are the Betrayer, then conversation can help you keep suspicions low, or redirect them.

Keep everybody talking–it’s more fun, more sociable, and you never know what you can learn from a little slip of the tongue.

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4
I Am What I Am
Comic Book Fan
Basketball Fan
Pet Lover
6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“Designate roles based on who's which character”

Some characters are better at searching, killing zombies, etc. It’s a co-op game w/ a POSSIBLE hidden traitor, but it’s always good to discuss player roles if they want to focus on one thing or another. Whether it be helping get food, contribute to the crisis, defend the colony, etc.

Plus, you can agree to a specific role and still achieve your secret objective right under their noses!

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10
Gamer - Level 8
Explorer - Level 5
Critic - Level 3
Junior
53 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Wonder who is traitor?”

Then keep track of the number of cards in player hands as well as how much everyone is helping to fight crisis.

My experience is that betrayers will often search but they will not help with a whole lot to defeat crisis resulting in a large hand size. So if anyone is trying to conceal their cards is an indication they could be a betrayer.

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4
Critic - Level 1
21 of 25 gamers found this helpful
“More Likely Traitor - @Paladin”

Among veteran players of Dead of Winter, we definitely practice this house rule. In the secret missions draw pile, there is 1 Secret Mission per player and 1 Betrayal card. It doesn’t guarantee a traitor, but it dramatically increases the odds.

I would say, first-time or new players, should stick to the rules as written, but after a couple of play-throughs, I strongly suggest this house rule to keep things interesting.

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7
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader
8 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“Make it an 8-player game for parties”

Instead of a player controlling two characters, a two-player team working together decide what their controlled people do and each act out the various roles as people are used and decisions are made. The team of two people share the cards and such, but when it comes to rolling and moving, each player moves his own people giving them limited autonomy within the pair of players.

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