” Right, is hannah back from the hospital yet?”
“She is, but she’s wounded”
“Did she get the medicine?”
“Nope, she did manage to find 3 more people we need to feed and find room for though”
“Great, what else has happened while I’ve been away”
” Forrest Plum has been collecting all the knives in the colony”
” WHY?! In fact forget it, don’t tell me, I’d rather not know.”
” Oh wait, there is something new, Jenny found a horse wondering around the streets. She suggested we could use it for safe travel”
“Horse ah? Well we could use it for travel, or…”
“How’s our food supply looking?”
At Lost Lighthouse HQ we’ve all had the zombie apocalypse discussion. What we would, or even could do if the circumstances forced our hands. Well Dead of Winter simulates this, and it does this very well indeed.
In the game each player (1-5) controls a small group of survivors living together in an old warehouse. This is the colony, your “safe house”. This is also the main board of the game. You also have 6 other location cards including zombie fiction favourites of a school, hospital, police station etc.
Each game you, as a group, will have a main objective. This can range from collecting medicine to, well, collecting zombie parts. This is the objective everyone is working towards, unless of course there’s a betrayer! Each player draws a personnel objective. So you might succeed the main objective but still fail your follows. Or you could draw the betrayer card and basically try and fuck it up for everyone, while keeping your deceit to yourself of course. I love the fact that there’s a chance someone will draw the betrayer card but it’s not for certain, so you may think someone is out for themselves because they are holding out on tools but, in fact, it’s just their personnel objective to collect tools.
You could argue that Dead Of Winter is just a collection game. Go from A to B, back to A, then to C and from C to E, but that’s not the case. That may be one of the core mechanics but it’s not the focus, like in game like Firefly.
You have to move in this game to achieve anything, but anyone knows that moving about a zombie infested town is dangerous. That’s where the “encounter die” comes into play. Possibly the most terrifying die you’ll ever bear witness to. This D12 has several blank sides (you like these), a few “wound” symbols (not great but not the worst), a couple have the frostbite symbol (pretty bad but your still be alive for a bit) and the worst result of all, the “bitten” symbol. A bitten result means your character is dead, plain and simple but it does not stop there. If there are anyone else’s character is on the same space as your’s, your zombified character may try and take a bite out of them as well! Such an awesome mechanic.
Then last thing that want to touch on is the crossroad mechanic. This is simply superb. All that happens is when it’s your go, the person to your right draws a crossroad card. There’s always a scenario on the card and if you encounter that scenario the card activates. Plain and simple. I don’t want to ruin any of the cards as they are all great, but the story above is inspired by one of the cards. I love them!
All in all, this is has become my favourite game. Is it perfect? No, of course not but it’s SO GOOD. Id advise you to get it ASAP.
My verdict: 9/10.