How To Play: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game – Setup, rule summary and strategy

In Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, survival is paramount as players navigate a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. By adhering to our strategic guidance, you'll gain a competitive edge in this intense cooperative-adversarial experience.

Master the art of resource management, ensuring your colony acquires necessary supplies while minimizing shortages and prioritizing crisis management. Make calculated decisions about when to scavenge, fight zombies, and optimize the survivors' unique abilities.

Align personal objectives with the overall group goal, skillfully navigating hidden agendas to maintain cooperation and trust within your team. But watch out for potential betrayals that can disrupt group harmony.

Analyze risks conscientiously, evaluate the potential consequences of each action, and balance the immediate and long-term benefits. Make use of the dynamic Crossroads Card system, capitalizing on its narrative choices to shape the outcome in your favor.

With strategic decision-making, effective survivor management, prudent resource allocation, and crisis management, you will maximize your chances of surviving and triumphing over the challenges that lie ahead. Adapt swiftly, communicate effectively, and keep an unwavering eye on the ultimate goal of survival.


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game! Whether you are a seasoned survivor or new to the post-apocalyptic landscape, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and tactics to increase your chances of victory.

In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Dead of Winter, examining the game rules and mechanics, while focusing on the most effective strategies for achieving success in this challenging cooperative-adversarial game.

Surviving in a world overrun by zombies and plagued by an unforgiving environment requires careful planning, difficult decisions, and unwavering resilience. By honing your abilities in resource management, strategic decision-making, colony management, and risk assessment, you will stack the odds in your favor and lead your group towards triumph.

Whether your objective is to accomplish the shared group goal or to excel at your own secret agenda, our guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the treacherous challenges that lie ahead.

Join us as we explore the intricate gameplay mechanics, immersive theme and storyline, dynamic player interaction, and strategic replayability of Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. Prepare yourself for a thrilling journey through a world fraught with danger, where the fate of your survivors and the evolution of the human civilization hang in the balance.

What’s in the box

  • 30 Survivor Standees
  • 20 Zombie Standees
  • 10 Exiled Standees
  • 30 Objective Cards
  • 30 Crossroads Cards
  • 80 Item Cards
  • 30 Secret Objective Cards
  • 20 Random Objective Cards
  • 25 Crisis Cards
  • 20 Betrayal Secret Objective Cards
  • 5 Bites Cards
  • 20 Wounds Cards
  • 6 Starting Survivor Cards
  • 6 Location Cards
  • 5 Player Reference Sheets
  • 12 Secret Tokens
  • 30 Zombie Tokens
  • 20 Wound Tokens
  • 20 Barricade Tokens
  • 20 Helpless Survivor Tokens
  • 20 Noise Tokens
  • 5 Track Markers
  • 50 Item Location Tokens
  • 30 Illness Tokens
  • 30 FrostBite Tokens
  • 300 Undead Standee Tokens
  • 30 Survivors’ Stash Cards
  • 20 Survivor Wound Tokens

How To Play Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game: Rules Summary

1. Game Setup

  1. Set up the modular game board, placing locations and supplies.
  2. Give each player a random secret objective card.
  3. Assign starting survivors to each player.
  4. Hand out player reference sheets, item decks, and any other necessary components.

2. Turn Sequence

  1. The active player takes all of their actions before play passes to the next player.
  2. Perform one or two actions from a list, such as moving survivors, searching locations, attacking zombies, or playing cards.
  3. Resolve the Crossroads Card if its trigger condition is met.
  4. Perform the colony phase by checking for starvation, generating zombies, and resolving crises.

3. Survivors and Objectives

  1. Survivors have specific abilities and actions that can benefit the colony. Use their abilities strategically.
  2. Each player has a secret objective; achieve it alongside the main objective to win.
  3. Balance personal objectives with the group’s objectives to ensure group cohesion.

4. Resource Management

  1. Scavenge resources from locations to meet the colony’s needs.
  2. Balance obtaining food, medicine, weapons, and other necessary items to keep survivors healthy and well-equipped.
  3. Manage resources efficiently to prevent shortages and stockpile for future crises.

5. Crisis Resolution and Morale

  1. Resolve crises by contributing the appropriate resources before the countdown reaches zero.
  2. Monitor morale, ensuring it remains high by managing crises, fulfilling objectives, and meeting the needs of survivors.
  3. Ensure survivors’ needs are met, avoiding frostbite and starvation, to maintain the overall morale of the colony.

6. Bite and Wound Mechanics

  1. Bite wounds turn a survivor into a potential threat. Manage bites carefully to prevent exponential outbreaks.
  2. Wounds decrease a survivor’s effectiveness. Healing is imperative to maximize survivor potential.
  3. Balance exposure risks while scavenging to prevent the spread of bites and wounds.

In Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, survival depends on effective decision-making, resource management, objective alignment, and dealing with the uncertainty of Crossroads Cards. By strategically navigating these rules, you can maximize your chances of leading your group to victory in the face of challenging post-apocalyptic conditions.

Best Dead Of Winter A Crossroads Game Strategies

Mastering Resource Management for Victory

In Dead of Winter, effective resource management is crucial for your survival and ultimate success. Striking the right balance between gathering supplies, managing food, and allocating resources strategically can mean the difference between prosperity and failure in the post-apocalyptic world.

1. Scavenging and Exploration

  1. Send out survivor teams to scavenge for resources, focusing on high-yield locations.
  2. Always prioritize essential supplies like food and medicine, but keep an eye out for valuable weapon upgrades and helpful tools too.
  3. Make calculated decisions about the costs and benefits of potential risks when exploring new locations.

2. Efficient Resource Distribution

  1. Establish a system for evenly distributing resources to avoid shortages and prioritizing critical needs.
  2. Create a storage plan to manage excess resources and ensure they are available when needed.
  3. Strategically allocate limited resources to survivors based on their abilities and strengths.

3. Colony Upgrades and Crisis Management

  1. Invest resources in fortifying the colony’s defenses to withstand attacks and minimize casualties.
  2. Balance resource allocation between crisis management, such as maintaining high morale and addressing crisis effects, and long-term survival.

An effective resource management strategy in Dead of Winter entails making calculated decisions, weighing risks, and prioritizing essential needs to keep your colony thriving. By mastering the art of resource allocation and distribution, you will greatly increase your chances of achieving victory in the face of post-apocalyptic challenges.

Harnessing Survivor Actions and Abilities for Victory

The survivors in Dead of Winter possess unique actions and abilities that can greatly impact your chances of winning the game. Understanding how to effectively utilize these abilities is crucial for maximizing your strategic advantage and increasing your chances of survival in the harsh post-apocalyptic world.

1. Matching Abilities to Tasks

  1. Assign survivors to tasks that align with their specific abilities to optimize their effectiveness and contribution.
  2. Take advantage of combat-focused survivors when engaging zombies or other threats, while utilizing support-oriented survivors for tasks such as protecting the colony or searching locations.
  3. Balance and coordinate survivor actions to streamline gameplay and ensure optimal productivity.

2. Exploration and Resource Collection

  1. Send survivors with abilities like Navigation or Looting to expedite exploration and resource gathering missions.
  2. Utilize survivors who excel at searching for valuable items or locating critical resources.

3. Cooperative Actions and Objective Alignment

  1. Coordinate actions among survivors to accomplish shared objectives efficiently.
  2. Utilize cooperative actions, like the “Follow Me” or “Trade” abilities, to enhance group viability and strengthen your chances of achieving goals.
  3. Ensure survivor objectives align with the broader group objective to maintain cooperation and avoid conflicts of interest.

By leveraging the diverse abilities of your survivors, efficiently coordinating their actions, and aligning their unique objectives with the overarching group objectives, you will gain a strategic edge and increase your odds of winning in Dead of Winter. Survivors are the backbone of your survival, so make sure to make the most of their capabilities on your journey to victory.

Mastery of Crossroads Card Strategy for Victory

In Dead of Winter, the dynamic Crossroads Cards add an element of unpredictability and tough decision-making to your gameplay. Understanding how to navigate and capitalize on these cards can greatly influence your chances of success in the post-apocalyptic world. A solid Crossroads Card strategy can mean the difference between triumph and failure.

1. Pay Close Attention

  1. When a player’s turn begins, pay close attention to trigger conditions specified on Crossroads Cards. These conditions can change the game-state.
  2. Avoid triggering the decisions of negative Crossroads Cards if it can harm your objectives or the well-being of the survivors.
  3. Consider when cards can trigger positive changes, allowing advantageous circumstances to benefit your survivors.

2. Assess the Risks and Payoffs

  1. Weigh the risks and potential outcomes of each decision presented by the Crossroads Cards carefully.
  2. Prioritize choices that align with your goals or offer advantages while considering potential consequences.
  3. Anticipate potential changes in game-state caused by Crossroads Cards and use that information to strategize effectively.

3. Influence and Manipulation

  1. Strategically coordinate actions and make decisions that trigger desired Crossroads Card effects to gain an edge.
  2. Utilize influence abilities of survivors to maximize positive outcomes or mitigate negative results.
  3. Employ diplomacy to persuade and sway other players’ choices during Crossroads Card events without compromising your objectives.

A successful Crossroads Card strategy demands careful observation, decisive risk-taking, and excellent contextual analysis. By staying alert, assessing risks and rewards, and skillfully manipulating the outcomes, you enhance your prospects of securing victory in Dead of Winter.

Optimizing Colony Management for Victory

In Dead of Winter, effective management of your colony is crucial for survival and achieving victory. A well-organized and fortified colony can withstand threat and provide the necessary support for your survivors. To excel in colony management, you must prioritize, plan, and make tough decisions that ensure the longevity of your group.

1. Essential Resources and Preservation

  1. Prioritize the collection and allocation of essential resources such as food and medicine to sustain the health and well-being of your survivors.
  2. Create a stockpile system and reserve resources for emergencies or critical situations.
  3. Invest in measures that bolster defenses, like barricades, to protect the colony from outside threats and minimize risk.

2. Crisis Prevention and Morale

  1. Anticipate crisis triggers and proactively implement measures to prevent negative events from occurring.
  2. Keep a close eye on the morale level of the colony and take actions to boost morale when needed, to maintain stability and group cohesion.
  3. Allocate resources for crisis management, balancing the need for short-term crisis response with long-term stability.

3. Survivor Efficiency and Assignments

  1. Optimize the assignment of survivor tasks to minimize resource waste and maximize productivity.
  2. Use survivor abilities strategically to enhance efficiency in tasks such as colony defense or resource gathering.
  3. Rotate survivor assignments to ensure fair workload distribution and prevent burnout.

By effectively managing your colony, prioritizing resources, maintaining morale, and optimizing survivor tasks, you greatly increase the chances of your group’s survival and overall success. A well-managed colony is the cornerstone of triumph in Dead of Winter.

Calculating Risks and Making Decisions for Victory

In Dead of Winter, assessing risks and making strategic decisions can make or break your chances of success. A sound understanding of risk assessment and wise decision-making is essential in navigating the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world. By carefully weighing the potential rewards and consequences, you can steer your group towards victory.

1. Evaluating Threats

  1. Analyze the potential threats, such as zombie hordes or crises, and their potential impact on the colony and your survivors.
  2. Assess the likelihood and severity of each threat, and prioritize your actions and resource allocation accordingly.
  3. Consider the long-term consequences of your decisions and how they may influence future risks and rewards.

2. Balancing Objectives

  1. Weigh the benefits of achieving your secret objective against the risks associated with diverting resources or conflicting with group goals.
  2. Evaluate the trade-offs of pursuing short-term versus long-term objectives, and make informed decisions that align with overall game objectives.
  3. Consider the potential impact of your actions on group morale and cooperation among players.

3. Handling Crossroads Events

  1. Anticipate the potential outcomes of Crossroads Cards, carefully analyzing the risks and rewards before making choices.
  2. Evaluate the immediate benefits versus potential long-term consequences of each decision presented by the Crossroads Cards.
  3. Optimize influence and manipulation strategies to shape the outcomes of Crossroads Events in your favor.

By mastering risk assessment, balancing objectives, and making thoughtful decisions, you can create a strategic advantage, mitigating risks and increasing your chances of triumph in Dead of Winter. Your keen judgment and calculated moves will secure the survival of your group in the tempestuous aftermath of the apocalypse.

Conclusion: Survive and Thrive in Dead of Winter

As you embark on your journey through the unforgiving post-apocalyptic world of Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, armed with our comprehensive strategy guide, you now possess the knowledge and tactics needed to stack the odds in your favor and secure victory.

By mastering the game setup, understanding the turn sequence, learning how to effectively manage survivors, and making astute decisions about resource allocation, crises, and morale, you will lead your colony towards success amidst the relentless zombie threat.

Remember to balance personal objectives with group goals, align key strategies amidst uncertainty, and carefully assess the risks associated with every choice you make. Keep your survivors healthy, motivated, and well-equipped, and protect the morale of your colony at all costs. With careful planning, collaborative teamwork, and shrewd decision-making, you can overcome the odds and emerge triumphant.

Whether you choose to fo

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Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.