Welcome to our weekly previews for Dead of Winter: The Long Night, the stand-alone, fully compatible expansion to Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. Click here to pre-order Dead of Winter: The Long Night from the PlaidHatGames.com store - get 20% off and the Rich Sommer exclusive character and crossroads card for free! Click here to explore MyRaxxon.com.

Why is the new Dead of Winter expansion, titled The Long Night, both stand-alone and fully compatible with the original Dead of Winter?

One big reason to make the new game stand-alone is to open it up to the widest range of players.  Whether someone is brand new to Dead of Winter, or they’re a die hard Doug, they’ll be able to pick up Dead of Winter: The Long Night, take it home, and start playing right out of the box.  Sometimes between print runs a person might only have access to the new expansion. We don’t want these players to be left out in the cold. Some players who may have passed on the original might be intrigued by the direction the game is heading.  There’s so much new stuff here that there’s a lot to like for existing fans as well.

One of the most fun parts of Dead of Winter was choosing your characters and finding additional ones along the way.  There are twenty new survivors, each with new special abilities and backstories.

Lily Mae

Wait, what’s an explosive trap?! It’s something new that you’ll find on the back of every barricade in The Long Night.  They trigger before normal barricades when it’s time to place a zombie at a full location. Not only do they prevent that zombie from being placed, but they destroy all of the other zombies at that location or colony entrance as well! And the barricade isn’t the only token that comes double-sided.  New noise tokens can be flipped to let you know whether an additional zombie gets placed or not during the Add Zombies step of the Colony phase. Helpless tokens can turn unruly! I’ll say more on that another week.

When people first see the return of the original six locations (now on sturdy punchboard) and starter items, they might think we reprinted all of those cards. There are 8 new item decks - all six original locations and even the starter items are updated. While certain essential cards are repeated (such as Food 2 and Food 3), some cards gain additional utility.

Fuel or Fire

Most of the other items have been replaced with shiny new things, and that’s to say nothing of the trove of experimental technology hidden in the vaults of Raxxon Pharmaceuticals.

I said I was going to say nothing… Okay, fine!

Pulse Cannon

With these new items and survivors, players will be able to construct lasting improvements to the colony. Many of them will provide new ways for players to spend their action dice or provide other persistent benefits.

With explosive traps, improvements, and new items come new threats. Raxxon is home to some grotesque experimental creatures that are more frightening and more difficult to deal with than normal zombies. Plus, a rival group of bandits is working against the colony, taking items from locations and storing them away at the bandit hideout.

There are 70 new story-packed Crossroads cards included in The Long Night. In addition to crossroads cards related to traditional triggers, there are many using the new survivors and modules. They’re also a great place to weave some story in through the new mechanics, such as despair and unruly helpless survivors.

There are new versions of all of the other groups of cards and standees as well: 5 new main objectives plus 2 special scenarios, 5 new exiled secret objectives, 10 new betrayal secret objectives, 24 new non-betrayal secret objectives, 22 new crisis cards, 30 new zombie standees in 3 new versions of art, and 100 plastic standees (to allow extras for exclusives).

So after that, all that's left to make this expansion stand-alone is the board, a few tokens, and dice. And who doesn’t love more dice?

Come back next Wednesday for our next The Long Night preview, on the Raxxon module. Click here to pre-order Dead of Winter: The Long Night from the PlaidHatGames.com store - get 20% off and the Rich Sommer exclusive character and crossroads card for free!