News for May 2014
Deeper into the Story
Preview the Advanced Rules and Download the Rulebook for Winter Tales
Winter Tales | Published 27 May 2014

Today seemed warmer than yesterday, at least to Candlewick. The sunlight was watery, casting a soft white light and blurring the horizon between snowy ground and sky. Candlewick slouched against the wall, watching Dorothy’s mansion. No one had entered or exited all day, but Candlewick was not discouraged. He was the winter regime’s most trusted spy. His patience was a fearsome weapon. Rebels were squatting in that old mansion, and it was past time to crush their sedition.

In every game of Winter Tales, you and up to six other players enter the world of Wintertown, caught in the midst of the struggle between the tyrannical regime of winter and the brave spring rebels. Using the game system of Winter Tales, you tell a dramatic story, as each faction’s characters engage in feats of desperate heroism or dastardly wickedness. Throughout the course of the game, both winter and spring factions attempt to complete quests, claiming them as memories and expanding the story with their efforts.

In past previews, we’ve looked at character movement and quests, battles and traps, and the epilogue that concludes the struggle for Wintertown. Today, however, we’ll take a closer look at various advanced rules you can incorporate into a game of Winter Tales, adding increased strategy and strengthening your story. In addition, you can now download the introduction booklet (pdf, 1.6 MB) and the rules (pdf, 5.7 MB) for Winter Tales from the support page!

Untold Powers

The first set of advanced rules that can be used with Winter Tales brings strange powers to reward a faction for successfully completing a quest. Powers are gained when either winter or spring completes one of their quests. The power reward is different for every quest, but they all share one thing in common: they offer their owner a definite advantage.

For example, if the rebels successfully complete The Safe House quest, you can reap the tangible benefits of creating a safe house, when playing with powers. The Safe House power establishes a safe house in the location where the quest took place, and from this point on, your characters cannot be incapacitated by losing a battle with a winter soldier. Rather, your character will simply be placed in the location with the safe house, allowing you to continue the fight for the return of spring.

On the other hand, the winter soldiers have access to punishing powers of their own. By successfully completing the Armed Retaliation quest, you have the opportunity to immediately crush a rebel power or a rebel character beneath the armed might of the winter regime. If you destroy a power, not only is the power removed from the game, the memory of the associated quest is changed from spring to winter, influencing the final outcome of the story in the epilogue! If you choose to destroy a character, however, that character is eliminated from the game, leaving the rebels to fight on short-handed.

Know Your Objectives

The ongoing battle for the fate of Wintertown does not only consist of great deeds and mighty battles. Even daily struggles and skirmishes can become important in the long term. The second set of advanced rules offers you the opportunity to use objectives. One objective is dealt to each player at the beginning of the game. A completed objective becomes a memory on the memory track, although it can be overwritten by memories of completed quests.

The kinds of objectives you may encounter vary between the two factions. For example, a spring rebel may have The Connection objective. To complete this objective, you must establish a connection between the two locations shown on the card, whether by transporting a secret message, delivering a new weapon, or relaying important information. If you move your character between the two locations on the objective in one turn, you claim the objective as a memory and place it on the memory track in a space marked with the objective icon.

A winter player, however, may receive an objective like The Spy. This objective is completed by tailing members of the spring rebels, conducting covert espionage, or stealing secrets. This objective is revealed when a rebel enters a space containing one of your soldiers. The second time any rebel enters a space with one of your soldiers, you may claim the objective as an objective memory. If you have this objective and place your soldiers well, you can put the spring rebels in an undesirable situation, forcing them to choose between granting you an objective or taking a longer path to their destination.

Hone Your Skills

In the battle for Wintertown, every soldier and rebel has abilities that make him uniquely suited for certain tasks. The final option for advanced rules in Winter Tales allows you to take advantage of your characters’ innate skills. Every character has a skill, shown in the lower right corner of its character card, and by using them at the opportune moment, you can seize control of the game.

For example, Tin Man and Wolf have the Battle skill, reflecting their formidable skills in combat. Whenever one of these characters is engaged in a battle, they do not need to play a story card during the first round of the battle. Since the winner of a battle is the player who plays the last story card, this skill gives Tin Man and Wolf a natural advantage.

Other characters can use their skills to travel quickly or escape an ambush. Grandma Dorothy and Mad Hatter possess the Secret Passage skill, meaning that after the character activates, it may use a secret passage to immediately relocate to a certain locations – Dorothy’s Mansion for Grandma Dorothy, and Mad Hatter’s Asylum for the Mad Hatter. Since using a secret passage doesn’t count as movement, you can then continue along your journey, if necessary.

Twist the Plot

Whether you prefer to play Winter Tales without advanced rules, or with any combination of powers, objectives, and skills, one thing is certain: you’ll be telling an unforgettable story! Download the rules from the support page, and preorder your copy of Winter Tales at your local retailer today.

Winter Tales is a narrative board game of storytelling and fairy tale adventures for three to seven players, set in the grim chill of Wintertown. Players control the lives of their favorite fairy tale characters as they seek to complete quests, creating a new fable. In the course of the tale, players tell the story of soldiers battling in the streets and plazas, and rebels laying cunning traps. Can Spring return, or will Winter reign eternally? Craft a new story in Winter Tales!

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