Dead of Winter

I'll take a look at Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat, in this review the german translation by Heidelberger Spieleverlag is used.

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

It is a cooperative survival boardgame in a colony, in the icy grip of winter. So you have to fight dropping moral, food scarcity and threats from the outside. And that is hadled by 2-5 players for the group and themselves.

The game is 59,95 USD or 59,95 EUR for the german translation.

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

If you want to take a look at the rules beforehand, you can do so over here: Dead of Winter - Rules.

The box is properly filled. There aren't any miniatures like for example with Zombicide, but 30 double-sided cardboard with base. The markers are nicely designed and punched clean. It could make sense to handle the edges with PVA to prevent fraying.

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

The game board is compact, with an overview of all the important stats like the survivors, food, moral- and turn counter. The dice are cast properly and have a good feel. Not up to Chessex level but solid. Another good thing are the plenty zip bags that are part of the game, so you can neatly store and seperate all of the tokens and markers.

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

The game cards are ornate and six different locations with a card deck of 20 cards each, 10 main goals, 25 secret goals, 10 betrayal cards, 10 exile cards, character cards for each of the 30 survivors, 25 start items, 20 crisis cards and 80 crossroad cards.

Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter Winter der Toten / Dead of Winter

So far, so good. A solid amount of content and a rule set, that it not that easy to get into. I'd suggest one of the Let's Plays or YouTube videos, that cover the game, to be ease the start.

Aim of the gme is to reach the mission goal before the the remaining rounds or moral drops to 0. The players have a group goal, and their own personal goal, that may or may not be arrangable. To reach those goals, the players have a pool of active survivors, and a few helpless survivors, that are more or less living burden for the group.

Winter der Toten

The turns are seperated into players- and colony phase, and they have to avoid an open crisis or to deal with the consequences. The characters interact on the board, attack zombies or other survivors, search for items, barricade their location, dispose the waste deck, attract zombies or use their special skills. The interaction with zombies are dangerous as each fight has the risk of a bite / infection. But to gain the ressources that you need to survive, you have to put effort into it.

The game can be played in several different settings, like cooperative, with two players, with a betrayer and/or two additional levels of difficulty. The regular game with 4 players without betrayal was already challenging. Interesting side note, the missions / group goals are part of a story arc that can be read at the end of the rules.

The game brought us an evening filled with an entertaining gaming experience and along with the load of different characters, missions and optional betrayal offers a lot of variety and replayablity.

Plaid Hat Games announced a stand-alone extension, by the name of The Long Night. It covers new survivors, missions and items, along with rules for bandits from other colonies, improvements and the new location of Raxxon Pharmaceutical.

In addition; Shut up & Sit down has a nice introduction incl. video.

Dead of Winter is a game by Plaid Hat Games and available in german at Heidelberger Spieleverlag.

Posted by Dennis B.

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