How To Play: This War of Mine: The Board Game – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

In summary, This War of Mine: The Board Game presents players with a deeply immersive and challenging experience set in a war-torn world. Through thoughtful decision-making, effective resource management, and strategic exploration, players navigate the harrowing challenges of survival.

By employing optimal survival tactics, players can attain better health and security while maximizing economic efficiency. Meanwhile, understanding and utilizing the unique abilities and roles of each character is essential for success. Whether it's crafting essential items, negotiating trades, or guarding the shelter, each task contributes to the group's survival. The game's exploration mechanics offer unexpected encounters, valuable resources, and moral dilemmas that strongly influence the overall narrative.

This War of Mine: The Board Game provides memorable gaming experiences by evoking emotional connections to the characters' plights, challenging players to make ethically difficult choices, and emphasizing the consequences of their actions. The exceptional replayability further enhances the game's value, ensuring continuous engagement and allowing players to explore different strategies and storylines.

Overall, This War of Mine: The Board Game successfully captures the bleakness and complexity of surviving in a warzone. With its gripping theme, strategic gameplay, and intricate mechanics, it stands out as an extraordinary tabletop experience for those seeking a deeply immersive and thought-provoking game.


Welcome to the comprehensive strategy guide for This War of Mine: The Board Game. In this guide, we will delve into the intricate details of the game and provide you with the best strategies to increase your chances of survival and victory in the war-torn city.

This guide is designed to help both new and experienced players master the game. We will not only outline the game rules but also provide insights into the optimal strategies for making sound decisions, managing resources, utilizing character abilities, and navigating the challenges of exploration. From the moment you start playing, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and tactics needed to triumph in this dark and complex world.

This War of Mine: The Board Game is a cooperative experience where your choices and actions determine the fate of your group of survivors. As you juggle scarcity, difficult moral dilemmas, and the constant need for survival, having a clear understanding of how to effectively navigate the game becomes vital.

Whether you’re playing to make the world a better place or simply striving for the safety and well-being of your group, this guide will equip you with the thoughtful strategies needed to overcome the challenges and achieve victory in This War of Mine: The Board Game.

What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 28 Character Sheets
  • 4 Starting Characters
  • 4 Shelters
  • 70 Miniatures
  • 234 Cards
  • 4 Survivor Decks
  • 30 Tactics Cards
  • 118 Exploration Cards
  • 30 Event Cards
  • 22 Factions Cards
  • 1 Book of Scripts
  • 1 Map of the City Board
  • 120 Tokens
  • 14 Wooden Tokens
  • 20 Starting Items
  • 100 Tier 1 Items
  • soles>50 Tier 2 Items
  • 8 Upgraded Goods
  • 4 Trading Tokens
  • 1 Refrigerator Token
  • 7 Loan Tokens
  • </ul

    How To Play This War of Mine: The Board Game: Rules Summary

    Objective of the Game
    1. The objective of This War of Mine: The Board Game is to survive the war-torn city by accomplishing specific goals and fulfilling the scenario’s objectives before the game ends.
    2. The game can end in victory if the group fulfills the scenario conditions. However, it can end in defeat if all the survivors die, critical shelters get demolished, or specific triggers occur.
    1. Assemble the game board, placing the required locations and tokens as indicated.
    2. Each player chooses a survivor group and takes their corresponding character sheets, item cards, and action tokens.
    3. Shuffle the event cards, exploration cards, and each survivor’s individual deck separately.
    4. Create the resource and wound decks.
    Game Rounds and Phases
    1. The game is played over a series of rounds, representing a day and night cycle.
    2. Each round consists of a Day Phase and a Night Phase.
    3. In the Day Phase, players take turns performing actions such as searching for resources, crafting items, and trading.
    4. In the Night Phase, players assign survivors to guard the shelter, rest, or venture out for scavenging.
    5. Action tokens are used to perform actions, and each character has a limited number of them.
    Exploration and Events
    1. Exploration is a critical aspect of the game, allowing players to discover new locations and encounter events.
    2. When exploring, players draw and resolve Exploration cards.
    3. Events may trigger new quests, encounters with non-player characters, or provide valuable resources.
    4. Some Exploration cards may introduce moral dilemmas, forcing players to make difficult decisions that impact the narrative and the emotional state of the survivors.
    Dealing with Challenges and Scarcity
    1. Throughout the game, players deal with scarcity and challenges, such as limited resources, health issues, and conflicts with other factions or survivors.
    2. Managing resources including food, water, and materials is crucial to sustain the group’s needs.
    3. Characters can get wounded or fall ill, requiring medical attention and rest to recover.
    End of the Game
    1. The game can end by achieving the scenario objectives, resulting in victory for the group.
    2. Alternatively, the game ends in defeat if certain conditions are met, such as the death of all survivors, the destruction of the critical shelter, or triggering specific end-game events.
    3. After completing a scenario, players can replay the game with different scenarios or continue with the campaign mode.

    These rules serve as a summary of how to play This War of Mine: The Board Game. As you venture into the war-torn city, keep in mind that every decision matters, and survival requires careful planning, resource management, and tough choices that push the boundaries of morality.

    Best This War Of Mine The Board Game Strategies

    Resource Management

    Mastering resource management is a crucial aspect of This War of Mine: The Board Game. Effectively allocating resources and making the most of limited supplies will greatly increase your chances of survival. Here are some strategies to help you make the most of your resources:

    Prioritize Essential Needs
    1. Ration your food supply: Allocate food rations wisely and avoid unnecessary consumption.
    2. Secure shelter: Invest in building or fortifying your shelter to provide protection against the elements and potential raids.
    3. Allocate medicine wisely: Reserve medicine for severe injuries or illnesses.
    Plan for Efficiency
    1. Optimize crafting: Focus on crafting essential items, such as tools, weapons, and upgrading essential utilities.
    2. Maximize each action: Consider the action’s cost and potential benefits before committing to it, ensuring each action serves a vital purpose.
    3. Trade strategically: Evaluate the value of traded items and negotiate with other survivors to your advantage.
    Scavenge Carefully
    1. Plan scavenging routes: Gather information from other survivors, scrutinize locations, and plan efficient routes to maximize resource yield.
    2. Minimize risk: Only scavenge in safe areas when necessary, while remaining prepared for encounters and danger.
    3. Focus on high-yield locations: Prioritize areas likely to yield valuable resources based on the current scenario’s goals and situation.

    By implementing effective resource management strategies, you can enhance your group’s chances of survival, protect against hardships, and optimize your abilities to navigate the challenges of war.

    Decision-Making Strategies

    Effective decision-making is crucial for success in This War of Mine: The Board Game. Your choices will have far-reaching consequences that impact the outcome of your group’s survival. Consider these strategies to make sound decisions throughout the game:

    Evaluate Risk vs Reward
    1. Weigh the potential benefits against the risks and consequences of each decision.
    2. Prioritize actions with higher chances of success and lower potential drawbacks.
    3. Consider the long-term impact of your decisions on resources, morale, and relationships with other survivors.
    Adapt to Changing Circumstances
    1. Reassess priorities and strategies as the situation evolves and new challenges arise.
    2. React swiftly to unforeseen events and adjust your plans accordingly.
    3. Stay aware of the dynamic nature of the game and be prepared to make quick decisions when circumstances change.
    Moral Dilemmas and Ethical Choices
    1. Consider the ethical implications of your decisions and the potential consequences on the mental well-being of your characters.
    2. Weigh the moral dilemmas that arise when faced with decisions involving the lives of others.
    3. Strive to maintain a balance between survival necessities and preserving your humanity in a war-torn world.
    Collaborate and Communicate
    1. Engage in open communication with your fellow players, sharing information and ideas to make informed decisions.
    2. Debate and discuss options collectively to leverage diverse perspectives.
    3. Ensure each decision aligns with the group’s overarching objectives and the well-being of all survivors.

    By implementing effective decision-making strategies, you can navigate the challenges of This War of Mine: The Board Game with purpose and sound judgment, increasing your chances of achieving your goals and ensuring survival.

    Survival Tactics

    In This War of Mine: The Board Game, survival is not guaranteed, but with the right tactics in place, you can increase your chances of weathering the storm and emerging victorious. Consider these strategies to enhance your group’s survival:

    Maintaining Health and Wellness
    1. Ensure your survivors get enough rest to recover from injuries and illnesses.
    2. Prioritize treatment and care for wounded or sick characters.
    3. Allocate resources wisely to maintain food, clean water, and medicine supplies.
    Strengthening Defense and Security
    1. Assign characters for guard duty during the night to protect against possible raids.
    2. Upgrade and fortify your shelter to improve security and thwart potential threats.
    3. Obtain and craft necessary weapons to defend your group and deter potential attacks.
    Economic Efficiency
    1. Diversify your resource gathering activities and avoid overemphasis on a single aspect.
    2. Invest in crafting items and upgrading utilities to maximize your efficiency and productivity.
    3. Make use of trade opportunities to acquire valuable resources and negotiate favorable deals.
    Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
    1. Keep morale high by providing comforting activities and interactions among survivors.
    2. Carefully consider the potential psychological impact of your decisions and prioritize the mental health of your characters.
    3. Maintain positive relationships with other survivors by offering assistance and cooperation.

    By implementing effective survival tactics, you can strengthen your group’s resilience, adapt to the challenges of the war-torn city, and increase your chances of surviving until the end.

    Character Abilities and Roles

    The unique abilities and roles of each character in This War of Mine: The Board Game can greatly influence your group’s chances of success. Understanding and utilizing these abilities effectively is essential for victory. Consider these strategies to optimize your characters’ abilities and roles:

    Strengths and Weaknesses
    1. Identify and capitalize on each character’s individual strengths, such as combat prowess or resource management skills.
    2. Adapt your strategies to compensate for the weaknesses or limitations of certain characters.
    3. Create a balanced group that covers essential roles, including fighters, scavengers, craftsmen, and negotiators.
    Assigning Roles
    1. Play to each character’s strengths by assigning them tasks that align with their abilities.
    2. Assign guards for night duty from those with combat skills or heightened perception.
    3. Utilize characters with charisma or persuasive abilities to negotiate trades or defuse tense situations.
    Skill Development
    1. Foster skill development by ensuring characters have access to resources needed to master their roles.
    2. Focus skill upgrades to maximize relevant abilities, such as improving scavenging or crafting proficiency.
    3. Encourage cross-training to expand the versatility of characters and cope with potential losses.
    Interaction and Synergy
    1. Promote cooperation and interaction among characters to enhance teamwork and increase synergy.
    2. Utilize complementary abilities of multiple characters to tackle complex challenges more effectively.
    3. Develop relationships between characters to improve morale and overall group dynamics.

    By harnessing the unique abilities and roles of each character, you can create a well-rounded group capable of maximizing their potential and increasing your chances of survival in the face of adversity.

    Optimal Exploration Strategies

    Exploration is a key component of This War of Mine: The Board Game, providing opportunities for acquiring valuable resources and encounters with other survivors. Developing optimal exploration strategies can significantly improve your chances of success. Consider these strategies to navigate the precarious exploration phases:

    Evaluating Risks and Rewards
    1. Assess the potential risks and rewards of each location before venturing out.
    2. Prioritize visits to areas with higher chances of yielding valuable resources or fulfilling specific objectives.
    3. Weigh the likelihood of confronting hostile encounters against the potential gains.
    Planning and Efficiency
    1. Plan ahead and define your exploration objectives based on your current needs and scenario goals.
    2. Create a route that optimizes time and resource expenditure to cover more ground efficiently.
    3. Coordinate exploration efforts with other actions to minimize wastefulness and maximize productivity.
    Gathering Information and Intel
    1. Interact with other survivors to gather information about valuable resources and risks associated with different locations.
    2. Prioritize exploration of areas marked or indicated as potential sources of important information or critical resources.
    3. Maintain updated knowledge on changing conditions and potential loot at various places.
    Trade Opportunities and Negotiation
    1. Scout locations for potential trade opportunities and lucrative exchanges with fellow survivors.
    2. Assess the trade value associated with items you possess and leverage negotiations for fair or advantageous deals.
    3. Consider diplomacy and mutual benefit to create long-lasting trade relationships for future explorations.

    By implementing optimal exploration strategies, you can navigate the city’s dangers, seize valuable resources, and establish connections with other survivors to increase your group’s chances of survival in this war-torn world.


    Congratulations! You have now familiarized yourself with the rules and strategies of This War of Mine: The Board Game. Armed with this knowledge, you are better prepared to navigate the treacherous and challenging world of war-torn survival. Remember, the key to success lies in strategic decision-making, thoughtful resource management, leveraging character abilities, and making wise exploratory choices.

    This guide has provided an overview of the game’s objective, setup process, gameplay structure, exploration mechanics, dealing with challenges, and endgame conditions. By mastering these elements and implementing the strategies suggested, you can increase your chances of achieving victory and leading your group toward a brighter future despite the grim circumstances.

    Always keep in mind the impact of your choices on your characters’ well-being, the consequences your actions might have on the overarching narrative, and the importance of collaborating with fellow players to maximize your chances of survival.

    With practice, experience, and a deep understanding of the intricate dynamics of This War of Mine: The Board Game, you will become a formidable force, capable of guiding your survivors through the chaos and hardships of war.

    Now, go forth and let your resilience, courage, and determination shape the outcome of this harrowing journey. Good luck!

    Want to know what we think of This War of Mine: The Board Game? Read our detailed review of This War of Mine: The Board Game here

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.