“Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game” review

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

You feel someone’s breath behind your back? Don’t look behind because there is a zombie crowd! And all they want is your brains…

Yes, today we have very special board game – it’s the «Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game»! It’s the survival-horror which is very popular nowadays. This game was published by «Plaid Hat Games» and developed by the team of developers and designers. They are Jonathan Gilmour and Isaac Vega.

Jonathan Gilmour is a great game designer in «Plaid Hat Games». Also, he has a full-time job in automotive parts factory programming robots.

Isaac Vega also works in «Plaid Hat Games» and he has made «Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn».

Also, this board game has a team of outstanding artists – David Richards, Fernanda Suarez, Peter Wocken.

David Richards is a full-time artist and he works for «Plaid Hat Games».

Fernanda Suarez is famous for her interior art in «Mythic Origins» and «Dead of Winter».

Peter Wocken is a freelance game graphics designer and artist. He has work in such remarkable companies as «Plaid Hat Games», «Fantasy Flight Games», «Floodgate Games», «Best Buy», «Motorola» and «Polaris».

Inside the Box

  • Ten Dual-Sided Main Objective Cards
  • Twenty four secret Objective Cards
  • Ten betrayal Secret Objective Cards
  • Ten exiled Secret Objective Cards
  • Thirty Survivor Cards
  • Five Player Reference Sheets
  • One First Player Token
  • Twenty five Starting Item Cards
  • Twenty Police Station Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty Grocery Store Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty School Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty Gas Station Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty Library Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty Hospital Item Deck Cards
  • Twenty Crisis Cards
  • Eighty Crossroads Cards
  • Twenty five Wound Tokens
  • Twenty Helpless Survivor Tokens
  • Twenty Food Tokens
  • Twenty Noise Tokens
  • Twenty Barricade Tokens
  • Six Starvation Tokens
  • Two Track Markers
  • Thirty Zombie Standees
  • Thirty Zombie Tokens
  • Thirty Survivor Standees
  • Sixty Plastic Standee Stands
  • One Colony Board
  • Six Location Cards
  • One Rulebook
  • Thirty Action Dice
  • One Exposure Die

Dead Of Winter Inside The Box


«Dead of Winter» is the first game in new series of «Plaid Hat Games», which was designed by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour. This game requires 2-5 players to lead the factions of survivors in a world where the most of humanity are dead or diseased with virus and they became flesh-eating monsters.

“Dead of Winter” is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means the players are working together toward one common victory condition. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that’s fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or worst of all: vengeance against the colony!

Dead of Winter Gameplay


In this section we are going to take a look at the basic points such as round order, winning and losing the game and how to play this game.

Round Order

«Dead of Winter» is played over a series of rounds. Each round is divided into 2 phases that must be played in order.

  1. Player Turns Phase
  2. Colony Phase

Player Phase

During the player turns phase resolve the following 3 effects in order.

  1. Reveal Crisis: Reveal the top card of the crisis deck. This card’s effect will take place during the colony phase if it is not prevented. Crisis cards can be prevented if players contribute enough of the correct type of cards to that crisis.
  2. Roll Action Dice: At this time each player removes any action dice remaining in her used and unused action dice pool. Then each player receives 1 action die, plus 1 additional action die for each survivor she controls (so players will start the game with 3 action dice).
  3. Player Turns: During the player turn phase, each player starting with the first player will take a turn. At the beginning of a player’s turn the player to her right draws a crossroads card (applying its effects to the player taking the turn if, at anytime during that turn, they meet the trigger requirement).

Dead of Winter Gameplay 3

During the colony phase, resolve the following 7 effects in order.

  1. Pay Food: Remove 1 food token from the food supply for every 2 survivors in the colony (rounded up). Remember that helpless survivor tokens count as survivors for this purpose.
  2. Check Waste: Count the cards in the waste pile. For every 10 cards (rounded down), decrease morale by 1.
  3. Resolve Crisis: Shuffle the cards that were added face-down to the crisis during the player turns phase. Reveal them one at a time. Each item card added that has a symbol matching a symbol in the prevent section of the crisis is worth 1 point. Each card that doesn’t have a symbol matching a symbol in the prevent section of the crisis subtracts 1 point.
  4. Add Zombies: Add 1 zombie to the colony for every 2 survivors (including helpless survivors) present there (rounded up). Add 1 zombie to each non-colony location for every 1 survivor present at that location. One at a time remove each noise token at a location and roll an action die for each. Add a zombie to that location on each roll of 3 or lower (see Adding Zombies on next page for details on adding zombies to the colony).
  5. Check Main Objective: Check to see if the goal on the main objective has been achieved. If it has been achieved the game immediately ends.

Adding Zombies

Whenever adding zombies, they are added 1 at a time until all zombies that need to be added have been added.

When adding zombies to the colony, always place the first zombie on any empty space in entrance 1, the second zombie on any empty space in entrance 2, the third zombie on any empty space in entrance 3, etc. until all of the zombies that need to be added have been placed.

Winning and Losing the Game

When the game ends for any reason, if a player has completed his secret objective he wins. If he has not, he loses. Some players may win in a game that other players lost; there can be multiple winners. It is also possible for everyone to lose if no one has completed his secret objective when the game ends.

The game can end in a variety of ways:

  • If the morale track reaches 0 the game ends immediately. Do not check to see if the main objective has been completed.
  • If the round track reaches 0 the game ends immediately. Do not check to see if the main objective has been completed.
  • The main objective is completed.

Dead of Winter Gameplay 2


In this game there are a lot of characters. They are all different and they have their own abilities. The Abilities are marked on character’s card.

  • GRAY BEARD – Pirate. White-haired man holding an uzi.
  • HARMAN BROOKS – Park Ranger. Black-haired man in a green coat.
  • OLIVIA BROWN – Doctor. Redheaded woman in a long black coat.
  • ANNALEIGH CHAN – Lawyer. Black-haired woman in a black coat.
  • MIKE CHO – Ninja. Man dressed all in black.
  • JENNY CLARK – Waitress. Blonde woman in an off-white jacket, wielding a knife.
  • LORETTA CLAY – Cook. Silver-haired woman in a black jacket.
  • KODIAK COLBY – Woodsman. Man in a fuzzy hat and a red plaid shirt. A special pre-order character.
  • BUDDY DAVIS – Fitness Trainer. Blond man in a striped shirt.
  • GABRIEL DIAZ – Fireman. Dark-haired man in a fireman’s uniform, carrying an ax.
  • ANDREW EVANS – Farmer. Man in ball cap and dark blue jacket.
  • DAVID GARCIA – Accountant. Black-haired man in a gray jacket.
  • ALEXIS GREY – Librarian. Blonde woman in a black jacket.
  • THOMAS HEART – Soldier. Man in camo-jacket holding a gun.
  • BRANDON KANE – Janitor. Gray-haired man wielding a mop.
  • TALIA JONES – Fortune-Teller. Woman with dreadlocks and a red hooded jacket.
  • BRIAN LEE – Mayor. Black-haired man in a black jacket.
  • MARIA LOPEZ – Teacher. Dark-haired woman in a red jacket, crouching.
  • JAMES MEYERS – Psychiatrist. Balding man in a tan jacket.
  • ROD MILLER – Truck Driver. Man in a reflective vest sitting on a chair.
  • MALL SANTA – White-haired man in a Santa suit.
  • JOHN PRICE – Student. Dark-haired boy in dark jacket.
  • SOPHIE ROBINSON – Pilot. Blonde woman in a pilot jacket.
  • ASHLEY ROSS – Construction Worker. Brunette woman in a white jacket.
  • BEV RUSSELL – Mother. Blonde woman in a red jacket.
  • DANIEL SMITH – Sheriff. Man in cowboy hat with a brown jacket, taking a swing at a zombie.
  • SPARKY – Stunt Dog. A yellow dog with remnants of a red cape.
  • JANET TAYLOR – Nurse. Redheaded woman in a green parka.
  • CARLA THOMPSON – Police Dispatcher. Dark-haired woman in a yellow coat.
  • ARTHUR THURSTON – Principal. Balding man in a tan jacket holding a flashlight.
  • EDWARD WHITE – Chemist. Dark-haired man with a beard in a red jacket.
  • HELPLESS SURVIVORS – They live at the colony, consume food, and attract zombies, but cannot do anything else.

Similar games

You probably would like this game if you’re a fan of such board games as “Zombie Dice”, “Zombie state”, “Dead Panic” and “Zombicide“. These games also have survival and co-op elements which will be cool for zombie-games fans.

Dead of Winter Action Dice


Dead of Winter: The Long Night

Dead of Winter The Long Night
Dead of Winter: The Long Night is a stand-alone expansion pack for the original Dead of Winter: Crossroads game. It provides two new scenarios and completely new characters which will make the struggle for survival more entertaining.

Promo Cards

This game also has expansion pack introduced by special characters cards. They are – Dead of Winter: Felicia Day; Dead of Winter: Kodiak Colby; Dead of Winter: Lucky Luke Smith

Dead of Winter: Felicia Day

Dead of Winter Felicia Day

Felicia Day is pretty cool. Check her ability: For the purpose of triggering and resolving Crossroads cards, in addition to her own name, Felicia is considered to have the name of every survivor not currently in play.

Dead of Winter: Kodiak Colby

Dead of Winter Kodiak Colby

Kodiak Colby is certified amazing. His ability: Kodiak does not count towards the number of total survivors when determining how much food the colony needs or when placing zombies. When performing a search with Kodiak, you cannot use noise tokens. (Meaning, you can only search for one card per turn with Kodiak Colby.)

Dead of Winter: Lucky Luke Smith

Dead of Winter Lucky Luke Smith

This promo was available as a reward from Rodney’s yearly fundraising campaign. The card is a fun card for people who are fans of Rodney’s show, and who wish to support Rodney.

Each card sells for $5.95. One additional promo card, the Luke Smith Dead of Winter Card, is not currently available on the store. It was part of the Watch It Played Indiegogo campaign.


Q: How do I add cards to the Main Objective?

A: Place the cards you are adding to the Main Objective face up under the Main Objective card (or next to it if you prefer). You can only add cards to the Main Objective that are required. You can add as many cards to the Main Objective as you like during your turn unless the Main Objective says differently.

Q: When using the Attract action, can I move zombies to a location with no spaces available for zombies?

A: No. Zombies can only be attracted and placed in empty spots. They do not cause an area to become over run nor do they break down barricades. The same is also true when using the Microphone item card.

Q: Can I request a card to use for ability?

A: Yes. Requested cards must be played immediately, either for their ability, or towards the ability that requires the item.

Q: Can I spend food tokens to increase my action die result by one if I have no unused action dice left?

A: No. You may also not spend a food token to increase a die if the die is at 6.

Q: When do I add and remove survivors that are killed and gained when adding zombies?

A: Here a simple breakdown of the adding zombies part of the Colony Phase:

  1. Add all zombies at the colony.
  2. Check Morale.
  3. Add all Zombies at all non-colony locations. (In location order)
  4. Check Morale
  5. Resolve all Noise tokens. (In location order)
  6. Check morale

Dead of Winter Zombies



Zombies are coming and you are the only one who can save humanity! This game is a very cool post-apocalyptic story about zombies and survivors. So, it’s up to you – to survive in this world or not. Try it now with this board game and buy it on Amazon.

4 comments on ““Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game” review

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