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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Help test some 2 player variants I have been toying with rss

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JonnyRotten
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*Edit 10.26.2014

Please help to test this two player variant for Dead of Winter. When you are done, please fill out the feedback form linked in the document so that I can track the results.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fYAkm-SE_9BV3cXI19h4h2Yx...

Thank you!!

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Matt
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Will give this a go with my wife (my primary gaming partner).

They sound like good ideas, and might spice up the 2-player version quite a bit!
 
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David Chien
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Ooo. Variant 2 sounds interesting.

I do believe my wife and I will need to give these a try.
 
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Nathan Woll
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The first 3 times I played two-player we didn't realize the rules were different.

We played with secret objectives, (no betrayal) 2 survivors each, 5 starting cards, non-hardcore side and we got crushed every time.

One of the scenarios was the one where you have to kill a bunch of zeds(not samples)
I don't remember the other two.
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Artemus Maximus
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I will help test these out and report back asap. 2 & 3 sound particularly interesting to me; 2 as each player has the option to break bad if things start going wrong and can be interesting if both choose to do so, and 3 because of the Schrödinger's Cat aspect from multiplayer it retains. I'm concerned about using total influence though as certain secret objectives reward/are easier with fewer followers, creating a conflict. Maybe Exile can only happen if your group leader has highest influence is better? Will pay close attention to the influence part when playing.

 
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Brad Shelton
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What about using a dummy player that has a stack of each card type with 1 or 2 random "other" cards.

Each round the dummy player is controlled by the 1st player. They have to spend at least 1 card to the crisis with a cap at 2 or 3. This may or may not be helpful. This could allow for the betrayer to be used in 2 player.

or 2 dummy players where control alternates between the 2. Cards removed from the game can be used to restore their draw decks and could be placed in secret to add even more bad draws.
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Tyler
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nswoll wrote:
The first 3 times I played two-player we didn't realize the rules were different.

We played with secret objectives, (no betrayal) 2 survivors each, 5 starting cards, non-hardcore side and we got crushed every time.

One of the scenarios was the one where you have to kill a bunch of zeds(not samples)
I don't remember the other two.
My wife and I have played this way, but hardcore side and with the possible betrayer... Basically just standard rules only with two players. A couple of missions are impossibly hard this way, but we found most of them fun and challenging (but winnable).
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John N

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jgilmour wrote:

Variant 2:
Deal 1 non-betrayal, and 1 betrayal objective to each player. Play would go similar to normal (but no exiling). Both players would have the opportunity to stab the other in the back and end the game early.
I like the idea behind Variant 2, but I'm trying to think through how you would play this. Would each player have to complete both secret objectives and then just ignore the main objective (except obviously it would serve as sand timer to determine when the game ended)? Or would you just pick one of the 2 secret objectives and decide whether to complete or tank the main objective based on which you choose?
 
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Dan Licata
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jnecamp wrote:

I like the idea behind Variant 2, but I'm trying to think through how you would play this. Would each player have to complete both secret objectives and then just ignore the main objective (except obviously it would serve as sand timer to determine when the game ended)? Or would you just pick one of the 2 secret objectives and decide whether to complete or tank the main objective based on which you choose?
I read it as, both would be trying one or both of the secret objectives and try to tank/not tank the morale track depending on what they have to complete.

For example you are trying to meet the requirements for both objectives but finish the betrayer one first, then you try to drop morale so you can win (not caring if the other player has finished their betrayer objective or not). If you succeed they may or may not win depending on their betrayer secret objective.

Or you could finish you non-betrayer secret objective first, then try to stop the morale track from reaching 0 at the same time trying to finish you betrayer one just in case.

Not sure if meeting both objectives would be possible or not but I'm sure it would be difficult to do so. I'm guessin you'd be more likely to pick one over the other at some point depending on game conditions.
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JonnyRotten
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danlicata wrote:
jnecamp wrote:

I like the idea behind Variant 2, but I'm trying to think through how you would play this. Would each player have to complete both secret objectives and then just ignore the main objective (except obviously it would serve as sand timer to determine when the game ended)? Or would you just pick one of the 2 secret objectives and decide whether to complete or tank the main objective based on which you choose?
I read it as, both would be trying one or both of the secret objectives and try to tank/not tank the morale track depending on what they have to complete.

For example you are trying to meet the requirements for both objectives but finish the betrayer one first, then you try to drop morale so you can win (not caring if the other player has finished their betrayer objective or not). If you succeed they may or may not win depending on their betrayer secret objective.

Or you could finish you non-betrayer secret objective first, then try to stop the morale track from reaching 0 at the same time trying to finish you betrayer one just in case.

Not sure if meeting both objectives would be possible or not but I'm sure it would be difficult to do so. I'm guessin you'd be more likely to pick one over the other at some point depending on game conditions.
Yeah, this is what I was thinking of.

I'm not sure if it's possible either, it may need some additional tweaking. I haven't had a chance to test any of them my self, which is why I am throwing them out here.
 
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Dan Licata
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jgilmour wrote:
danlicata wrote:
jnecamp wrote:

I like the idea behind Variant 2, but I'm trying to think through how you would play this. Would each player have to complete both secret objectives and then just ignore the main objective (except obviously it would serve as sand timer to determine when the game ended)? Or would you just pick one of the 2 secret objectives and decide whether to complete or tank the main objective based on which you choose?
I read it as, both would be trying one or both of the secret objectives and try to tank/not tank the morale track depending on what they have to complete.

For example you are trying to meet the requirements for both objectives but finish the betrayer one first, then you try to drop morale so you can win (not caring if the other player has finished their betrayer objective or not). If you succeed they may or may not win depending on their betrayer secret objective.

Or you could finish you non-betrayer secret objective first, then try to stop the morale track from reaching 0 at the same time trying to finish you betrayer one just in case.

Not sure if meeting both objectives would be possible or not but I'm sure it would be difficult to do so. I'm guessin you'd be more likely to pick one over the other at some point depending on game conditions.
Yeah, this is what I was thinking of.

I'm not sure if it's possible either, it may need some additional tweaking. I haven't had a chance to test any of them my self, which is why I am throwing them out here.
I quite like the idea, it leads to some interesting situations where both players could win, both could lose, or one or the other could win. I'd love to try it but the few times I get to play are with a larger group so getting just 2 would be tough. Plus this one requires secret information so solo play wouldn't be an option.
 
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Artemus Maximus
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danlicata wrote:
jnecamp wrote:

I like the idea behind Variant 2, but I'm trying to think through how you would play this. Would each player have to complete both secret objectives and then just ignore the main objective (except obviously it would serve as sand timer to determine when the game ended)? Or would you just pick one of the 2 secret objectives and decide whether to complete or tank the main objective based on which you choose?
I read it as, both would be trying one or both of the secret objectives and try to tank/not tank the morale track depending on what they have to complete.

For example you are trying to meet the requirements for both objectives but finish the betrayer one first, then you try to drop morale so you can win (not caring if the other player has finished their betrayer objective or not). If you succeed they may or may not win depending on their betrayer secret objective.

Or you could finish you non-betrayer secret objective first, then try to stop the morale track from reaching 0 at the same time trying to finish you betrayer one just in case.

Not sure if meeting both objectives would be possible or not but I'm sure it would be difficult to do so. I'm guessin you'd be more likely to pick one over the other at some point depending on game conditions.
Johnny didn't explicitly say there would be a change in how the End of Game (EoG) triggers. So assuming it remains unchanged, the game still ends if A. one of the tracks reaches zero or B. Main Objective (MO) is accomplished. Since A + B mutually exclusive, and Secret Objectives (SO) are checked for completion only at EoG, you cannot have both completed at the same time when checked at EoG. Which means variant 2 is giving each player the option to take the betrayer route if the MO + non-betrayer SO route seems likely to fail, or just betray from the start. So if EoG trigger A occurs, betrayal SO cards give a possibility for each player to win still, and if B triggers, each player's betrayal SO cards are ignored and can win if the non-betrayal SO cards are accomplished. At least how i saw it...

that would make the betrayal option the easiest in that scenario for both players usually*, imo. BUT, like i said above, it's unique in that you now have COMPETING betrayers instead of just one, so it can become a race to be the quickest to 'betray' if both decide to go that route.

*but not in my test play below evidently!

I did play a 2-player game of this option 2 last night, summarized below:

SETUP
MO: We Need More Samples (Hardcore)
P1 SO: All I Need Are My Books
P1 SO Betrayal!: Gluttony
P1 Start Followers: Principal, Psychiatrist, Librarian
P2 SO: Junkie
P2 SO Betrayal!: All For One
P2 Start Followers: Woodsman, Ninja, Student
Exiling Allowed?: Yes

Followed normal setup for 2-player. Exceptions were of course the addition of Betrayal SOs, not removing the non-coop cards, and allowing Exiling because of the possible presence of a betrayer. What we decided to do was if a player wanted to Exile the other player on his turn, if the other player wanted to go willingly, he just gets Exiled. If not, the player whose Group Leader had the highest Influence decides.

GAME SUMMARY
Round 1
With my Booksmart group and their objective of finding more books(!), i felt it easiest to try to complete the MO. Principal went to school, got frostbit, Psychiatrist to Police and Librarian to Library. I found no books but found a lawyer. Kev said he'd attempt the MO for the good of the colony too, but it was too early to trust him. He sent all of his ppl to the Hospital, only got 1 normal wound. At the end of round, Crisis was averted w/ 2 extra foods; +1 morale, 2 Biter samples, and i was optimistic for a colony win.

Round 2
With my survivor's locations filled with biters, the Principal frostbit, and only 1 biter at the hospital where his guys were, I asked if he could send someone to one of my locations to help fight them off, and/or help heal my principal, as i had no medicine (assuming he HAD to have some out of 14 starting item cards between us and having searched at the hospital). He did send over Colby to the Library (because the librarian is "hotter than the other two bald fat guys" he said, but kept his other 2 at the hospital to search w/ noise and kill the one zombie there. On my turn i killed enough zombies to allow for minimal room, found 2 books, but still didnt have medicine for the principal. I requested but he said something like "sorry man, i still cant help you there". I considered using the lawyer's ability to make sure, but since we were halfway to completing the MO, my SO was good to go, i didn't want to press it. We avoided the Fuel Shortage crisis. Principal was about to die, but we were ok w/ morale and ALL of my survivors had higher influence than any of his, so i wasn't worried about being exiled for whatever reason. He was helping, just not with medicine, so i figured he needed medicine for his SO.

Round 3
My Principal died. My Psychiatrist attacked a zombie at the school but was bitten and died. The lawyer, with 2 wounds now thanks to a frostbite, attacked a biter at the colony and she also died. i got a "Dude!" from kev, but i said we were so close to completing the objective that we can win this round if we push. I didn't want to attack with my librarian so i wouldnt lose the books so i played a follower event to get the Fireman who went to the library to kill some more biters and steal Colby's girl away. With morale dropping from 7 -> 4 that turn but 6 total biter samples, kevin said he wasn't sure if i was "throwing the game" (betraying) or not. He said since he couldnt exile me anyway since i had higher influence still, he had to trust me so took out a couple biters with the ninja and then 2 more with Colby w/o wounds ("to impress the librarian" lol which was careless as we had enough samples already and a bite couldve lost the game for me!).
But we won that round anyway.

CONCLUSION

Using betrayer cards in 2-player is DEFINITELY more exciting! This test didn't present the situation where either (or Both) of us wanted to betray, so...you know...needs more testing of course. And it's probably the easiest scenario. Maybe a harder one with harder non-betrayer SOs and easier betrayer SOs would change things drastically. We probably had good luck of the draw in setup also.

I feel like a couple more things need to be defined with this variant, though:

- MO difficulty
- Special Exile rules
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Dan Licata
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Killer Spaceman wrote:

Johnny didn't explicitly say there would be a change in how the End of Game (EoG) triggers.
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I wasn't referring to wining the game off of both, I was referring to having all conditions for each of the agenda's completed so that if morale dropped to 0 or you completed the main objective you could win.

For example, say you had a secret objective to have 4 survivors total and morale at 0 (betrayer), and one that required you to have 2 wounds on any survivor and successfully complete the main objective(non-betrayer). Now I have no idea if these are actual objectives or not but lets say by the second to last round you have 3 survivors one with 2 wounds and you draw another survivor card. So you have completed both you objectives and are in a pretty good situation to win the game no matter what happens. If morale goes to 0 suddenly you win of the betrayer agenda. If the main objective is completed you win off the non-betrayer objective.

I would think that some of these combo's would be very hard or impossible to have both of the agenda's complete.
 
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Artemus Maximus
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Another option for voting to exile in 2p could be that # votes from each player = # of survivors they control currently. Ties broken by first player or highest group leader influence. In my example above, there would be no way for P2 to exile P1 if using total influence or how I handled it in the game. Still means that if you have a SO where fewer followers is better for you it creates a dilemma, but at least you have a feasible way to do it. Just a thought.
 
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Artemus Maximus
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danlicata wrote:
Killer Spaceman wrote:

Johnny didn't explicitly say there would be a change in how the End of Game (EoG) triggers.
I think you misunderstood what I was saying...
Tbh, I wasnt entirely sure what you meant, but we were on the same page it turns out
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JonnyRotten
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Killer Spaceman wrote:

I feel like a couple more things need to be defined with this variant, though:

- MO difficulty
- Special Exile rules
Excellent formatting, anyone else who is going to trial these, please try to follow this, as it worked great for grokking how everything went. The only thing I would request is add a Win/Lose section to the end in bold.

What I was hoping for with this setup is to get a bit of a "Prisoner's Dilemma" situation going on, which is seems kind of like what happened. It should be easier for both players to work together, but you have to watch out for the other one wanting to stab you in the back.

Next iteration:

- Keep MO difficulty the same (I don't want to tweak it until we get a large sample base). Let's focus on testing just this MO for now, so we can get a good cross section.
- Exile: Votes = the number of survivors controlled. Higher influence breaks ties?
 
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James
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I keep thinking how basing exiles on influence or character counts is random and probably benefits the betrayer more than the loyal player (since the betrayer could just kill off the other player's character, then call for a vote - dropping morale AND gaining voting control). To that end, I had thought "what if there were a downside for trying to exile and failing?" - How about some sort of bluffing-focused version with a stiff penalty? One version of this would be:

Player A calls for an exile vote
Player B says "I am not a traitor, you can't exile me"
Player A can either call the bluff, forcing player B to reveal his secret objective, or back down.

If the hand is revealed, and player B IS a betrayer, he takes some harsh penalty (losing cards from his hand, character dying, etc). If the hand is revealed and player B is NOT the betrayer, then player A takes the penalty. Either or both of these could still result in an exile.

Alternately, player B could say "yep, you got me", and get exiled without suffering the penalty.

This would incentivize table talk - in the case where player B is NOT a traitor, he would really want to talk player A out of calling his bluff. After all, if A does call the bluff, and suffers the penalty, it could hurt the colony, which non-betrayer player B certainly doesn't want.

At the same time, a player who IS a betrayer could use this exile bluff as a way to "fake out" the non-betrayer player by calling for an exile when he knows they aren't the traitor. Or, it could be a way to suffer the penalty himself, as a way to drop morale. Lots of interesting possibilities here...


Another variant of this would be that BOTH players reveal their objectives if the bluff is called. This might work in scenarios where both could actually be betrayers.
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James
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After more thought, here's my idea for a bluff variant:

Shuffle together four loyal and one betrayer card. Deal one secret objective to each player.

At any time on his or her turn, a player (the Accuser) may challenge the other player (the Defender), accusing that player of being a traitor. A player may only challenge once per game. Once a challenge has been issued, the Defender can do one of two things:

* Concede

The Defender concedes, and is exiled. The Defender reveals his secret objective card, and draws a second card following the standard exile rules in the rule book.

* Proclaim Innocence

The Defender proclaims that he is not, in fact, a traitor, and he doesn't trust the Accuser either. The decision now flips back to the Accuser - the Accuser may either Call for a Reveal or Back Down

If the Accuser chooses to Back Down, nothing happens and game play continues as before, with both players casting shifty glances at one another.

If the Accuser chooses to Call for a Reveal, both players reveal their secret objectives, and one of the following happens:

* If either player is a traitor: The traitor is exiled, and randomly loses half of the cards in his hand, rounded up.

* If neither player is a traitor: the Accuser loses half of his hand, rounded up. Nobody is exiled, but the falsely accused just might hold a grudge....

Once a Reveal has happened, no more challenges can occur.


Thoughts on what this might mean

* Why would you ever concede?

If you're the traitor, you might concede because you expect to get exiled anyway, and you'd rather not lose half your hand in the process. If you're NOT the traitor, you still might want to concede, because getting a new Exiled Objective might be a better option than staying in the colony after your 'partner' just accused you AND lost half his cards.

* Why would a traitor accuse the other player?

To throw the player off his trail. Since the traitor can choose to back down if the other player doesn't concede, there isn't a huge risk here. However, making that accusation when the other player hasn't done much to look traitory could tip that player off that the Accuser might actually be a traitor.

* What would this mean to table talk?

If you're a traitor and are accused, you can try to talk the other player into backing down, by bringing up how big of a penalty they could suffer. If you're an innocent player and are accused, you REALLY BADLY want to talk the other player into backing down if you think they aren't a traitor, because the colony will take a huge hit (the Accuser losing half his hand). This also gives a way for the traitor to gauge whether the accusing player suspects him or not.



I really think this variant has a LOT of potential, and I'd love to see people test it, or at least give thoughts on whether it's horribly imbalanced or I'm missing some very obvious strategy. Thoughts?

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eviljelloman wrote:
After more thought, here's my idea for a bluff variant:

Shuffle together four loyal and one betrayer card. Deal one secret objective to each player.

At any time on his or her turn, a player (the Accuser) may challenge the other player (the Defender), accusing that player of being a traitor. A player may only challenge once per game. Once a challenge has been issued, the Defender can do one of two things:

* Concede

The Defender concedes, and is exiled. The Defender reveals his secret objective card, and draws a second card following the standard exile rules in the rule book.

* Proclaim Innocence

The Defender proclaims that he is not, in fact, a traitor, and he doesn't trust the Accuser either. The decision now flips back to the Accuser - the Accuser may either Call for a Reveal or Back Down

If the Accuser chooses to Back Down, nothing happens and game play continues as before, with both players casting shifty glances at one another.

If the Accuser chooses to Call for a Reveal, both players reveal their secret objectives, and one of the following happens:

* If either player is a traitor: The traitor is exiled, and randomly loses half of the cards in his hand, rounded up.

* If neither player is a traitor: the Accuser loses half of his hand, rounded up. Nobody is exiled, but the falsely accused just might hold a grudge....

Once a Reveal has happened, no more challenges can occur.


Thoughts on what this might mean

* Why would you ever concede?

If you're the traitor, you might concede because you expect to get exiled anyway, and you'd rather not lose half your hand in the process. If you're NOT the traitor, you still might want to concede, because getting a new Exiled Objective might be a better option than staying in the colony after your 'partner' just accused you AND lost half his cards.

* Why would a traitor accuse the other player?

To throw the player off his trail. Since the traitor can choose to back down if the other player doesn't concede, there isn't a huge risk here. However, making that accusation when the other player hasn't done much to look traitory could tip that player off that the Accuser might actually be a traitor.

* What would this mean to table talk?

If you're a traitor and are accused, you can try to talk the other player into backing down, by bringing up how big of a penalty they could suffer. If you're an innocent player and are accused, you REALLY BADLY want to talk the other player into backing down if you think they aren't a traitor, because the colony will take a huge hit (the Accuser losing half his hand). This also gives a way for the traitor to gauge whether the accusing player suspects him or not.



I really think this variant has a LOT of potential, and I'd love to see people test it, or at least give thoughts on whether it's horribly imbalanced or I'm missing some very obvious strategy. Thoughts?

I like this idea quite a bit, but I'd wish that the number of survivors or the influence values would have an impact on this. As it is, it would be possible for a player with a single survivor to accuse the other player with a group of 4 survivors and if the exile is successful, he/she would be home alone.
Maybe a player has to have at least as many survivors in his group as the other one to perform this action?
 
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JonnyRotten
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I think the best fix is the prisoners dilemma Traitor.

Both players have a betrayer card, and a non-betrayer secret objective.

If both players complete the main objective, and their non-betrayer secret objective, they both win.

If one player takes morale to 0 and completes their betrayer secret objective, they win.

If Morale goes to 0, and both players have completed their betrayer secret objective, they both lose.

And then just eliminate the Exile option for this variant.

In my mind it would give the end game a feeling like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0qjK3TWZE8
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So today was the day. My first game of Dead of Winter. Sadly, two people had to cancel and we were forced to play a 2 player game. I decided to go with Jon’s prisoner dilemma variant because it sounded more interesting than a full coop game. Here are my findings but please remember that it was the first game so I don’t really know if some things just happen in all games and are quite useless to report…

First game: We need samples – Hardcore

Objectives:
Me: Masochist – Runaway (Betrayal)
Him: Safety – Gluttony (Betrayal)

As it was our first game we started off doing a little bit of everything. Killing zombies, searching, a few barricades, and so on. Interestingly there were no people at the colony a lot of the time and no helpless survivors so we didn’t need any food and maybe this is also the reason why we didn’t need to clean waste once in the game. By sheer luck nobody was killed by the exposure die ever and so in the penultimate round we were able to collect the last sample and fulfil our main objective. My friend had built 4 barricades at the colony which weren’t destroyed because basically nobody was there and two of my characters had 2 wounds on them so everybody won.

I think we both went for the normal non-betrayal objectives because they were quite easy to achieve and the main objective didn’t pose a great challenge.

At the end of the game morale hadn’t dropped at all, we were able to stop every crisis and we felt the game was a bit easy… Additionally only one crossroad card triggered and it was the “Lighthouse” which meant my friend didn’t even have to decide between two options… That was a little disappointing.

Still, we both liked the game because there was lots to do and so on but it was pretty clear to me that he had no plans to tank the game so there was not a lot of suspicion or something going on…



Second game: Two many mouths – Hardcore

Objectives:
Me: Loner – All for One (Betrayal)
Him: Revenge – Gluttony (Betrayal)

So the second game was also a little strange because the game ended while playing the third round by morale dropping at 0. From the start I knew I had to kill off my characters no matter what objective I chose to fulfil. So I started by moving around and searching because I thought it would be fun to actually achieve my betrayal objective. After the first round I had found 3 of the 5 necessary items just by searching and making noise like hell. My friend did exactly the same and so only the 2 helpless survivors were back at the colony. We forgot to give them food so morale sunk by 1.

In the second round I tried to kill off my characters and was lucky to lose Buddy through a bite while Bev went back to the colony and was sure to die there because it was going to be overrun. I acted as if I oversaw that little fact when she was indeed killed in the colony phase and so morale sunk again… I was also able to find one of the last two missing items for my objective. My friend lost one survivor to a bite and didn’t contribute any cards to the crisis so I was sure he went for the betrayal objective as well and so we lost not only another two morale but also any interest in completing the normal objective. I guess it was now clear that we both chose to do the betrayal objective and it was a simple race to finish the game first as morale was already at 2.

In the third round my friend lost another character because he was bitten and kept searching with his last character. In my turn I first found the weapon, the last item I still needed, and then I only needed to drop morale to zero. I thought it would be funny to kill my friend’s last character so I went there using gas to be on the safe side and attacked him. The look on his face was worth a lot, I can tell you and the best part was I only had to roll a 4 to actually kill him. I rolled a 3, morale dropped to zero and the game was over.
I was only worried that he had also achieved his betrayal objective goal and we both lose but he was short one food card.

In our second game no crossroad card triggered and I guess not once was it even possible because the cards always wanted to have specific characters in play which just weren’t. Meh.

I think it was far too easy once again so I would think about starting the game with less starting items or so. I really don’t know because I guess there was once again a lot of luck involved and the pieces just fitted together wonderfully.

I’m mightily looking forward to play the game with 3 or 4 players because I’d love to see more crossroad cards and I hope to see more tension arising by not knowing if there’s a betrayer or not.

A last thought about this variant. I like it and I guess it’s more interesting than full coop but I don’t think it’s that tense. If one player decides to tank the game you just have to go with it. There is no chance to fulfil the main objective now and it becomes a race. You of course could be more sublte – I guess we weren’t – but then if really all two players try to go for the betrayal objective subtlety doesn’t really help because morale drops fast and it’s just clear that it will be near impossible to achieve your normal goals now…
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John D. Parker
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UNREAL! My wife, Lori, wanted to just play the straight co-op, but (having spent many a March and April evening in a B&W Downwood) dutifully agreed to give this test a go. Here’s how it went. (I didn’t take notes while playing, so there may be some slop in my story).

SETUP
Variant: 2

MO: Raiding Party (Hardcore)
P1: Lori
P1 SO: Hope
P1 SO Betrayal: Serial Killers
P1 Start Followers: Brian Lee, Gabriel Diaz, Harmon Brooks
P2: John
P2 SO: All I Need Is My Books
P2 SO Betrayal: Runaway
P2 Start Followers: Janet Taylor, Talia Jones, Andrew Evans
Exiling Allowed?: No

GAME SUMMARY

Round 1:
Dang! There are a lot of zombies around here. Harman and Gabriel set out to the Police Station to search for some weapons. Ah, nice, a 1911. Since the Main Objective was to raid what we could (clear out 2 Location Decks), we figured the two survivors with extra search abilities were a great draw. So Andrew set out for the Grocery Store to search and never arrived. (John rolls Bite #1). Janet made it safely to the Hospital and started searching. Meanwhile all were doing their part to keep the zombies in check.

Round 2:
Janet found 2 survivors. Brandon Kane joined the ranks and held the fort at the colony; cleaning up the mess and zomboid masses. So Talia set out to search with Janet and… never arrived. (John rolls Bite #2). Brian gets off his duff and heads to the hospital, too. He arrives safely (of course). Meanwhile Harman and Gabriel are cleaning up at the Police Station – a Tactical Rifle.

Round 3:
Another Tactical Rifle for Harman and Gabriel. Those guys are cleaning up. Though, we will need to search more to get that Location cleaned out. Back at the Colony, Brandon has to keep those zombies from overrunning the first entrance and gets bit in the process. (John rolls Bite #3). Janet found 2 more survivors and Gray Beard joins the party. Good thing. We need searchers.

Round 4:
Fuel, Fuel, we need fuel or there will be another 10 zombies inundating the Colony. Janet searches her heart out at the hospital, making a bunch of noise in the process and has to bug out. She heads back to the Colony while Gray Beard heads to the Gas Station, where his chances of finding some fuel are better. Neither makes it to their destination. (John rolls Bites #4 and 5). Morale is lost and with 5 survivors unable to live up to their moniker, Lori wins!

What a route, but at least someone won; even though she is a lying betrayer.
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JonnyRotten
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Your wife is devious, and that is exactly what I wanted to happen.

Was it more satisfying than the pure-coop?
 
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John D. Parker
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Absolutely more fun. In the PH forum I mentioned that we had played with hidden objectives (no betrayer) and used them more like the Master Slayer in Castle Panic - more of a one-upmanship trophy. Scenario 2 here seems like an even better way to go. Though, one play is not enough to see what objectives may not work so well - maybe there are some that rely on more players. I don't know. We try to keep everything a surprise until revealed in game play.
Even though I lost, it was actually more fun to see her win than to see us both lose. At least someone got through the scenario with a win. The various win/lose conditions you have set out seem right. There is still plenty of opportunity for both of us to lose, which is fine.
It was especially fun because I had the Runaway objective which required that I end the game with a weapon. Lori's survivors were raking in all the weapons and I would say, "Hey, can you spare one of those? I need to kill zombies, too, and I'm getting slaughtered on these bite rolls." She would say, "These tactical weapons can hit any location so just tell me where you need a zombie killed and I'll take him out." When the game was over, she said, "I figured you needed those weapons for something." The hidden objectives added to the whole game and metagame.
Hopefully, we'll get another play in this weekend and report again.
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James
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I just finished a game of the Prisoner's Dilemma variant. Setup was as follows:

* Three starting characters each
* 7 Starter items
* Find a Cure secret objective, regular version (need 2 non-starter medicines for each player)

I (Evil Jello) had a loyal objective to gather two medicine cards, and a betrayer objective to erect four barricades at a non-colony location, equip a weapon, and have two fuel in my hand. My starting hand was six food cards and another (I think fuel)

My opponent/comrade (say, Neutral Good Pudding) had a loyal objective to have items equipped to each survivor, and a betrayer objective to have a weapon equipped, and gather two fuel and two food.



I drew characters that let me search well at the police station and library, and ended up drawing the hospital blueprints card so that I could search well there too.

Right from the start, this was an interesting dilemma - I knew that my loyal objective was going to be difficult, since we needed lots of medicine for the main objective too, so I was always hedging my bets, hoping I could have the option to tank morale instead. That meant holding back on contributing to crises, even when I could easily boost them. Early in the game, I did contribute two extra food to get a morale bump, and later regretted it. At one point, the round marker was at 3, and I spiked a two morale crisis, just to keep it from getting too high. I admitted outright that I was at least keeping my options open because my main objective was hard to complete. On the same turn, I also made a ton of noise at the hospital, trying desperately to find a second medicine (which I got!). The hospital was loaded with survivors, so this put us in a precarious position for characters to die off if our die rolls went badly.

We ended up rolling NO ZOMBIES on all four noise rolls, so our characters were safe. Since I completed my medicine objective, and my partner/opponent had enough medicine to end the game, I asked what they needed, and used the "hand off" to get the second item equipped. We ended up both winning the game, as loyalists - despite drawing a medicine-related crisis (and failing it) on our last turn.

If Pudding didn't have all four medicine we needed to complete the objective, I was trying to figure out how I could tank morale before the round counter went to zero. There was a very tense moment near the end of the game where I was waiting to find out whether I would be a dirty rotten betrayer or not. It was a LOT of fun.


After it was all finished, this particular game actually felt a bit too easy - next time, we might try it on the Hardcore side of the main objective, or maybe limit the survivors and/or starting hand. We DID draw pretty well in terms of characters - we had three two-card searchers, plus the blueprints in play to give us a fourth.
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