We’re big fans of the zombie survival board game Dead of Winter, but you probably guessed that. We’ve already been covering some of the spoilers Plaid Hat Games has released about its upcoming standalone expansion. Now that they’ve dropped the final info, we thought we’d do a full roundup on what you can expect when it hits shelves later this year. Put on your winter hats and grab your crossbows, here we go!
SO MANY MODULES
Dead of Winter: The Long Night will come with 3 “modules” that add additional locations and mechanics to the game. It looks like each module also comes with characters, crossroad cards, and items you can’t otherwise play with, so they all add their own flavor to the game. You can even blend those flavors and play with as many or as few modeules as you like, or none at all.
The Bandit Module adds another competing colony of survivors to your frozen, zombie infested town. As far as you’re concerned, they are just “bandits,” which is not very empathetic, but in your defense, they do keep shooting at you. There’s a “Bandit Hideout” location and each turn more bandits move to other locations on the map where they take up space, attract zombies, and steal stuff. Oh, I guess they don’t attack you unless you attack them… well, there goes your moral high ground survivors. It looks like you can go to the Bandit Hideout to try and steal back your stuff, which is as dangerous as it sounds. Also, and this is the coolest part, if you exile someone from the colony and they are not the betrayer, they become the Bandit King and start controlling the bandit faction. Isn’t that how it always goes?
The Improvements Module adds a selectable track of potential improvements to the colony. You can build these improvements with “improvement tokens,” which are generated from certain characters and gear or converted from scrap. Some improvements give you options for survivors to use every round while others have a static effect. This is the one module that doesn’t seem to come with additional things that try and kill you. Speaking of which..
The Roxxon Module adds the Roxxon Labs location, which may not have been the source of the zombie virus but it’s very, very close. Each round, regardless of anyone being in the laboratory, one of the experiments tries to break free. This adds a bunch of special, powerful undead to random locations. To prevent this, you need someone at the lab spending their dice to punch in the code to keep the doors locked. Yeah, this one takes it up to 11. Of course you can also search Roxxon, which causes you to roll on the exposure die. If you do search, you’re bound to turn up some amazing super science loot, or even more terrible things. Yay, science!!!
A VERY GRAVE SITUATION
Regardless of the number of modules you attach to the game, you also get the new Graveyard location. Plaid Hat Games is being a little mysterious about this one, as it mostly seems to keep track of how many survivors died so far this game. It might do more.. I mean it’s a graveyard in a zombie game, but they aren’t telling us yet.
Speaking of “grave,” the new “despair” mechanic adds a level of psychology to the game where survivors can start losing the will to live along with their lives. Despair Tokens can be added to survivors for any number of reasons and count as a wound. Only a limited number of characters or abilities can cure these special mental wounds, so be careful. The unnamed “Helpless Survivors” can go a little mad sometimes too. Card effects can turn over the “Helpless Survivor” tokens to reveal their “unruly helpless survivor” sides, which double their negative effects on the colony.
While we are talking about survivors, we should meet the new survivors revealed from the new expansion. Remember, though, that they can all go crazy, die, and end up in the graveyard. Just saying. It’s that type of game.
SCENARIOS, CROSSROADS, CRISES, AND THE REST
Dead of Winter: The Long Night is a standalone expansion. That means it can be used with all the fun stuff from the original and whatever new stuff you want to sprinkle in. Along with all the new modules are new crossroads, scenarios, and crises to spice things up. Plaid Hat reveals more about their new crises in this post, but can we just focus on this card for a second?
Now the game is making me tell the other players a secret? Watch out, you’re crossing a line.
Some of the new scenarios are designed to introduce the new modules or even be played as a longer story. All in all, this adds a whole bunch to an already great game. The whole big box of zombie fun is available for preorder now on the Plaid Hat Games website and comes with the Rich Sommer promo card.
Let us know what you think of the expansion and just how excited you are to play it in the comments. You are excited right? Or are you the traitor…
All images (including header image) credit: Plaid Hat Games