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Thread: Thoughts on Dead of Winter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default Thoughts on Dead of Winter

    My game arrived on last Friday. We could play 3 games on Sunday to try it out. We were waiting for guests who were up to boardgaming, so while they were coming we tried out the 2 player co-op variant with the "We need more samples" objective so we could learn the rules, and when they arrived we played 2 4-player games.

    Overall, I like the game a lot. Aesthetically it's awesome. It's very thematic and I like that. But in this post I would like to write about the things I didn't like or found strange.

    My biggest problem, where I feel the mechanics clash with the theme: what is the player? She doesn't just control a character, but a group. So when my secret objective is that I thirst for revenge, or I have some psychological problem like hoarding food, that really applies for my whole group of characters. And that's strange. Is everyone pathological the same way in my group? You can recruit new guys easily in Dead of Winter. So what about them? The ninja guy who just joined me, is he also a hero of justice like everyone else, out of sheer coincidence?

    About the waste mechanic. I don't get it. It's just so out of theme. If I use some fuel to get to the police station by car, why does the used up fuel leave waste in the colony?

    Gameplay wise these things are fine. But in a heavy theme based game like this, which wants you to be very into it (with the crossroads cards, the story elements with the objectives etc.), it's just hard for me to shift in and out between some very thematic, fitting mechanics and the more abstract ones like waste.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    8

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    The waste is an abstraction of the waste that is building up in the colony. It's not specifically fuel containers and food wrappers. It is "waste". It builds up because there are people there.

    As far as who you are, one way to think of it, is that you are the leader of your group (whoever you choose at the beginning of the game), and your followers are your close friends and family. No they do not have EXACTLY the same desires as you, but you are influential to them, and can convince them to help you with your plan.

  3. #3
    killercactus is offline SW App Champion Summer 2015, but still do what he says.
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    I mean, if you want to get literal about fuel waste, you either start at or have to stop at the colony to grab a container of fuel and fill up your car, and when it's empty you leave it there. Waste until someone cleans it up
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    The waste pile seems an abstraction of a function in a real system. To be a relevant one in game terms, it should evoke the same feeling that the real life situation does, and be useful in the game, as well. I feel it is successful; The game simulates the stresses of a group of people under high stress, thrown together not entirely by choice and compelled to live with each other's differences. I've had a lot of roommates and I immediately associate the trash pile with communal housework. Somebody is going to get stuck with those dishes, and if no one cleans the toilets once in a while I get to feeling like a squatter. It makes sense to me. It also cleverly suggests to the player that they should be watching what others play. Wait a minute, you said you had no medicine. Well, there's none in the waste pile but starters and you've been to the hospital the last three turns searching... (Oh you didn't eat my Snickers Ice Cream Bar... but wait, whats this wrapper doing in your room?)

    As to the sociology of the player's group I admit that I thought the same thing. Who are these people, and why do they serve to aid me in bringing the colony down? (In the case that I am a betrayer) I sure others imagine this differently, but leaders are leaders because they have the highest influence in their group. Influence is the extent to which you can get others on board with your personal goals, whether through manipulation or inspiration. There's really no thematic disconnect when imagined this way, to me. They help you because the want to, or feel compelled to. Whether or not they know the intentions behind your machinations and aspirations is entirely subject to the narrative you create.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Consumption creates waste
    Always the Mice Guy!

  6. #6

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    Overall I think this is a great game, i enjoy the play and look forward myself getting more accustom to the rules and play through.

  7. #7
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    All we need now is an actual FAQ.
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  8. #8
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    The first time I played Dead of Winter was with my lovely wife, who may be an experienced gamer, and mydad and cousin, and sister - these three of whom have played a number of "my games" during the past but require some encouragement to take a seat with the one which isn't Wagers and Wits or Telestrations. Just after we lost the 1st game, we started sharing the stories of our survivors, and everything we would do differently when you played again. We didn't have to wait long to find out, because we played again the very next day. And after losing a moment time, we set it up close to play again...twice. We had been up playing Dead of Winter well past 2 dying, laughing and AM horrible deaths.
    Bar chairs have become positively ubiquitous and for good reason. They allow family, friends and even strangers to join us in the kitchen. Every school night, my sons did their homework sitting on a bar stool at our counter, where they could finagle help whether it was needed or not. Many a night, dear friends would perch on those same stools, keeping us company while we cooked or celebrating with us after a touchdown.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2016
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    I always imagined the players as being like a council, something along the lines of Prison era Walking Dead. We're part of the helpless survivors pool but we've got a lot of influance at the colony, maybe as founding members, and our "group leaders" are our right hands. That's how I've always head canoned it, anyway.

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