Frantically you turn the corner and lunge at the door. Locked. Hope escapes you in a sob as you fall to the ground, eyes clenched shut. You know what comes next… Nothing? After a few moments you open your eyes to the sight of a lone figure, surrounded by headless corpses, wiping down a blade and heading your way…
Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies provides new ways to play and expand upon Dead of Winter and Dead of Winter: The Long Night. Last week we looked at the latest characters and items, and before that we examined the gameplay features and accompanying objectives of the Warring Colonies variant for 4-11 players. Today we will be previewing one final aspect of Warring Colonies: the Lone Wolf.
The Road Less Travelled
The Lone Wolf is added when playing the Warring Colonies variant with an odd number of players. The Lone Wolf player belongs to neither colony and is equipped with her own unique objectives and set of mission cards, as well as a home: the Lone Wolf Den. The Lone Wolf Den acts as a simplified version of a colony where the Lone Wolf must store her food, manage the waste pile, and keep morale in check.
The Lone Wolf player’s turn takes place first each round, before other players take their simultaneous turns, and follows most normal rules for player actions. While the Lone Wolf player is not directly tied to the immediate conflicts and concerns of the two colonies, she is allowed to contribute towards the joint crisis and participate in combats as best suits her interests. When a Lone Wolf player controls a survivor at a location where a combat is about to take place, she has a choice. She can run away or participate in the combat, choosing a side to support.
The Power of Solitude
The Lone Wolf starts each game by randomly selecting one of the eight different Lone Wolf secret objectives. This secret objective serves as the driving force behind the Lone Wolf’s decisions, and its completion is the only way for the Lone Wolf to win. These objectives run the gamut from benevolent to malicious. Some, like Equal Opportunist, encourage the support of the losing colony. Others, like Conclave of the Ash and Villain generate a force of chaos that both colonies must find ways to work around.
The greatest impact the Lone Wolf can have on the game is through the completion of the Lone Wolf mission cards. The Lone Wolf player starts each game with three mission cards (as instructed by the secret objective) and uses them as tools towards the completion of her main objective. Each mission card has a trigger condition. Once this trigger condition is met, the Lone Wolf may reveal the card to complete the mission and implement its effect.
Like the secret objectives, these mission cards range from kindly to crazy. But also like the secret objectives, these mission cards act as a force of balance in the game, with many encouraging the Lone Wolf to assist the weaker colony. Whether serving to aid a colony that finds itself in dire straights, or simply satisfying the Lone Wolf’s twisted desire for entertainment, mission cards change the landscape of each game of Dead of Winter in unpredictable ways. As you complete more mission, you'll draw new ones to replace them. And as any Lone Wolf will tell you, flipping over that mission card to looks of either thrill or dismay never gets old.
War Is Upon Us
Though working in solitude, the Lone Wolf does not play a game of solitaire. The choices and actions made by the Lone Wolf will impact each game of Warring Colonies in exciting and unexpected ways. Whether fighting for colony or an isolated den you call home, Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies brings new threats and challenges to chilling world of Dead of Winter. We are excited to bring it to your tables this August.
Dead of Winter Warring Colonies requires a Dead of Winter base set to play, and requires both Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game and Dead of Winter: The Long Night to play the warring colonies variant and the lone wolf module.
Also, don't forget to check out Dead of Winter, the new comic from Oni Press arriving this August!