June 2015 Minutes

  1. Call to order
  2. Minutes
  3. Treasurer's report
  4. Convention reports Read More »
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Game Review: Dead of Winter

DeadOfWinterDead of Winter
PlaidHat Games, 2014

Dead of Winter made a big splash in the game world in 2014. It was nominated for a bunch of awards, including 2015 Origins Best Board Game. It was featured on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, and everyone, everywhere seemed to be talking about it. What they seemed to be saying is "Hey, there is a great new game called Dead of Winter! It's a Zombie themed game, which isn't really about Zombies. It's really a survivor game with zombies in it."

And that is about the size of it. Players are a colony of survivors trying to live through the winter after the [insert disaster here, which just happens to be a zombie plague] has decimated the population. The game is semi-cooperative and may have an element of betrayal.

The game comes with 10 double sided main objective cards (10 regular and 10 hardcore objectives), so it has a lot of replay value. There are also 24 secret objectives and 10 betrayal objectives which may or may not be used, depending on the type of game you wish to play.  There are also crisis cards which give an immediate crisis that much be faced each round. Each player will control 2 survivors during the game. There is a colony board, and 6 locations. There are item cards which the players must acquire, and allocate to best fulfill the main objective, their own personal objective, and stave off each crisis as it happens.

Each round happens in 2 phases. Phase one,  the player turns, consist of revealing a crisis, rolling action dice and taking player turns. Players may attack, search, barricade, clean waste, attract (move zombies), or use their survivor's abilities which use action dice. They may also play cards, add cards to the crisis (face down), move their survivors, spend food tokens, request items from other players, hand off cards, or (if playing with a betrayer) vote to exile a player. Phase two is the colony phase. This is where you resolve various actions. Making sure there is enough food to feed the colony, checking how much waste has been created and reducing moral if there is too much, resolving the current crisis, add zombies, check the main objective to see if it has been met, move the round tracker and pass the first player token. There is a lot of detail in each of these actions so I'm going to skip over a lot of it. I don't want to re-write the rulebook here.

During the course of these phases you can become exposed to winter elements or get bitten by zombies. Neither is a good thing. Like most cooperative games, there are several ways to lose the game. You win if you meet your individual goal at game end. Consolation if you lose but the group met the main objective. The game ends when the morale track hits zero, or the main objective has been completed.

This is a complicated game with lots going on and a myriad number of things to keep track of. It can be very intense. I see why it has garnered so much attention. It captures the imagination with interesting characters and objectives, great art, and great gameplay. It is well balanced, and gives all players a chance to role-play and immerse themselves in the game. The rulebook also comes with several variants, making it fully cooperative, 2 player, hardcore, or player elimination. I can see this having a LOT of replay ability. It's got a lot of strategy and if you play with the betrayer, lots of second guessing and suspicion. Recommended

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2015 Annual Meeting Minutes

  1. Treasurer report: Listed convention and MB balances
  2. All Computers ordered are here except for one.
  3. Tech gear is ordered.
  4. AnimeIowa Read More »
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Game Review: Redneck Life

RedneckLifeRedneck Life
Gut Bustin' Games, 2003

Remember "The Game of Life". We all played it as kids. Get an education, get a job, marry, have kids, make money and try to end the game with the most money. Redneck Life is a hilarious twist on that old favorite. You get an education (2nd to 12th grade), get a job (anything from taxidermist to clerk at the Ciggy Shack), get married, have lots of kids (mostly named Darrell, Darryl, Darrel, etc.) borrow money from "Uncle Clem", and try to end the game with the most teeth.

Game play is easy-peasy. Roll 2 dice, move your token and do what the space says. If it says "Go Redneckin", then you draw a "Go Redneckin" card and see what happens. If the space says stop, then you stop and find the chart that tells you step by step what to do.

The game comes with great sets of vehicles from "Uncle Clem's Rodeo". You have to purchase enough vehicle space to tote your young'ens around. It also has homes which you have to purchase when you marry. The great thing about both of these is that they are *acutal* real life, no we ain't lyin', places and vehicles.

As to actual game play. It's like life. You roll the dice & do what it says to do. No strategy. HOWEVER, it is a hilarious game. Break out your best redneck accent and role-play your way through this one folks. We have found that as you do this, you'll find things crop up for people again and again giving them a "theme". You might be the bass fishing guide, and pick up the trout painted station wagon, and suddenly you'll find your "Go Rednecking" cards will go with your theme. I know this is random, but it does seem to happen a lot as we play. The last game we played, my 13 year old daughter ended up stealing her first vehicle, drew a card which said she had stolen a bunch of beer from the back of a truck, then she snatched someone else's vehicle when she lost hers, and drew another card which said she picked up a hitchhiker and robbed him! At the very end of the game, she drew a card where she would have gained $200. Someone took that card from her, so she drew another, and ended up stealing wheelchairs and selling them, making $300. Another player landed on all the moonshine spaces, and every card they drew had something to do with alcohol. Obviously, the town drunk!

So, you may have gathered... This game isn't PC... REALLY isn't PC. This game might offend you. It might offend your friends. It probably isn't good for kids. It might offend your family. But if you aren't easily offended, pick this one up. It isn't one you'll replay with the same people over and over, and the game even comes with an optional rule to roll 3 dice to speed up play. It can run a bit long after awhile. But still, if you get into the role-playing and like to let loose, and aren't easily offended, give this a go.

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