This guide is specifically about the power station, since it's the easiest way to either make or break a game of Project Winter.
Introduction: Why You Should Guard the Power Station
The power station needs anywhere from 14-19 components to repair, of varying types and amounts. A single survivor can only hold up to 4 stacks of items, each stack containing up to 3 items max, for a total of 12 components.
You cannot do his alone. A traitor can and will take the parts out and scatter them in the time it takes you to get the last handful of parts no matter how diligent you are. Usually you've got a weapon, which means you can only actually hold 9 components, so...
Either you've gotta find one or two other survivors to help carry stuff, or you've gotta guard the power station.
Guarding the power station is boring. Guarding the power station requires a no-nonsense jerk. Guarding the power station is a great traitor play. You should still guard the power station. Here's how.
Stand Outside the Power Station, or How to Fail at Guarding the Power Station
Obviously you don't trust anyone else this early on to guard the power station, or else you'd just trust them to carry stuff and come with you. Chances are good, though, that you've got a good team going and they just need to craft the last few bits. If you go with them, you could get it done faster, but you'd come back to an empty station. So you're guarding.
You stand by the console, ready to count parts after each survivor enters and interacts. A survivor named Nick approaches, saying they've got six fuel or whatever. Sweet, that means you only need 1 more after this! You check it after, and it's got zero. You yell that Nick is the traitor, but you're inside the station, so nobody can hear you very well, and Nick already has a headstart on you. They're off to the nearest traitor hatch to dump your fuel in a crate where you're never going to see it again, and maybe hit the airdrop on the way back while they're at it. You suck.
Stand outside the station. Make them show you the fuel, or drop it in front of you. Hit them if they enter the station.
You stand by the console, counting parts diligently after each survivor. A mob of them come in saying "WE'VE GOT IT WE'VE GOT IT WE'VE GOT IT". A half dozen survivors mob the console. One by one they float away, saying they're going to make landmines or get some food or warm up. You don't hear the sweet sound of repairs. There's 1 mechanical and 2 electronics left, and the last person in goes 'I thought we had it...?' Maybe that poor sap took everything, but more likely they're a survivor and everyone else is long gone. Maybe they're still there, and they start bickering because nobody knows who put how many in. It's chaos, and traitors love chaos. You suck.
Stand outside the station. Wind up a full strike to show them you mean business and yell ONE AT A TIME in your best station guard voice. Smack them until they figure it out- the traitors are most likely to rush in, and will defend each other. Once the smacking is done, pick someone you trust to go in, and ask them to give a count after. Everyone else can drop the parts at the entrance and the person you trust can drop them in.
You stand by the console, ready to count parts. A survivor approaches, stands in the entrance, and shoots you with a tranq. They hack you to death inside the station as you scream for help but nobody can hear you. They take the fuel out of the station, put it in your corpse, and drag the corpse behind the station. Maybe they swap clothes just to rub it in, and stand guard in your place waiting for the next fuel so they can steal that too. You suck.
OK, standing outside the station kinda sucks for this one. But if you stand outside, you can usually see them coming way easier, and you can say: "HEY! NICK! SHOW ME THE FUEL OR GET OUT OF HERE NICK I NEED TO SEE FUEL OR ELSE NICK", and just keep talking so that when they tranq you it's obvious you've been tranq'd. But for everything else, being outside the station will ensure that A) your battle is heard by anyone near the cabin and B) you'll be in a better position to be rescued when the energy-drinking traitor downs you.
Don't Let People Inside the Power Station, or How to Identify Traitors
So you figured out how to stand outside the power station. Good for you. Now to figure out who to let in, and who to smack with an axe.
Anyone who runs in to 'check what we need' is probably a traitor. If someone trusts you to guard it, they trust you to know what it needs. Someone did agree for you to guard the station, right? You didn't just post up and start hacking at anyone who tries to get in? Smack em.
Anyone who runs in empty-handed is probably a traitor. If they have stuff to put in, they can show you. If they don't want to show you, it's because they have empty inventory slots they want to fill with the stuff in the station. Smack em.
Anyone who tries to run past you is probably a traitor, unless it's like 10 seconds left till airdrop. At that point it's a Hail Mary anyhow, so let em.
Anyone who has the exact components you need to repair it is not a traitor... or a very stupid traitor. Let em in, and if they don't repair it, destroy them utterly and without mercy.
Here's the jerk part about being a guard: If someone doesn't have authorization to be in the station, hit em. See, they can't interact with the station if they're getting hit, which means they can't steal anything. Yell at em when they're coming into the station so others can hear, smack em as they enter, and keep smacking em until they leave the station. If they go down, explain what you're doing and why, tell them to leave the station, and revive them once they're outside again. Don't put up with any crap, but don't kill any survivors, either. At least, don't kill any smart survivors. Smart survivors will pick up on what you're doing and leave you alone. Dumb survivors... well, you can't really afford the luxury of dumb survivors.
Health comes back. Warmth and hunger comes back. Components, though... once they're gone, they're gone, and you can only make so more before you have to go far afield to find or craft extras.
Hit People If They Try to Enter the Station, or Advanced Tactics
So let's say things are going real smooth, like the traitors both decided to go hunt crates rather than interfere with your repairs. Bad move, traitors- you need that airdrop. Here's a few advanced tricks you can try:
- Instead of letting people in the station, ask them to drop the stuff outside. That way you're the only one transporting stuff. Obviously, if you're stashing components on your person to reduce potential theft, this doesn't work, but if you've got at least one spot open, why not?
- Maybe you've got someone who doesn't super trust you to guard the station. Great! You can both guard the station! If they stay inside, they can count the parts, and call out to you when the count is off. This is particularly helpful at the hydro power station, where it's a long way down the stairs.
- If you suspect you're gonna be there awhile, ask someone to bring you a campfire, or bring one with you. There's usually trees and a berry bush or two near the station, and you can make yourself useful harvesting the odd bit of stuff while you wait. You did build an axe to chop wood faster, right?
- While you're asking for stuff, ask for a radio. Sure a lone guard is no match for a traitor with even one traitor crate, but a guard with a radio can identify traitors and wreck the rest of their day.
- If you find a vial of poison in your travels, hang onto it. Once you power station is repaired, you can poison the console to foil any traitors who try to sabotage. Sure, if it's remotely sabo'd you're gonna have to puke a bit, but that's the breaks.
- If you've got super helpful survivors and multiple components, ask an individual survivor to be responsible for a specific type of component. If Nick's on fuel and Tessa's on mechanical scraps, you won't have two people bringing you eight fuel each and no cogs to speak of. You know what it needs, don't be afraid to let people know how they can help!
What If You Have to Go to the Outhouse? (Or When to Leave the Power Station)
- If you haven't heard anyone in awhile, there's nobody to hear you if you get attacked. That might be an OK time to leave and get the last few scraps, or stash the scraps you do have somewhere safe. If the traitor shows up when nobody else is around, you're not gonna be able to do much about it anyhow.
- If you're starting to get cold and you have no campfire, knock a few trees down before it gets bad and make a dash for the cabin when nobody is looking. Make a campfire, run back out, and keep yourself at full health. If a traitor (or a dumb survivor) wants to try something, you want to be at full capacity.
- Same goes for hunger, except you can sustain yourself on the two berry bushes near the station. Sure, you'll have to roam near the station instead of right at the entrance, but anyone going in without your say so also has to get out, which means there's plenty of time to smack em with your axe.
- If there's nine mechanical scraps in the station and you've only got your axe, get out of the station. Go help someone open bunkers, chop down some trees, help the objective along. If the traitor mines up the station before you repair it, it's completely whatever- it's only a problem if they get at the precious components.
The Fox in the Henhouse, or Why the Traitor Should Guard the Power Station
OK, all your traitors out there:
So clearly, if I'm writing this guide and I'm standing guard at the power station, you're not going to be able to just walk in, grab stuff, and waltz away. Be pretty sweet if you did, though- even if you plan to just chug energy drinks all game with no real intention of pretending to be a survivor, at least do your traitor buddy this one big favor if nobody's watching the power station. At least go poison it and claim you were checking it or something. As long as you've had at least one energy drink before pulling this stunt, you'll probably survive, or at least lead survivors on a 15-minute wild goose chase.
Your next best bet, once the survivors decide they need to guard the power station, is to be the primary candidate for guarding. If you're guarding the station solo, just imagine what kind of stupid tricks you can pull! Taking the stuff and running is just the obvious option.
- You could stash stuff behind the station- risky, but hilarious if successful! If you do this, make sure to allow at least one trusted survivor inside the station so that you can sow doubt when they find out it's short.
- Let your traitor buddy in- after all, you've seen their credentials! When the other survivors hear about it, claim you saw Nick the survivor put them in and tried to chase him but he ran off. Of course he won't have the stuff, he stashed it somewhere! It's a great alibi, as long as Nick is legitimately not off bunker busting with the people you're lying to. Still got a pretty good shot, especially if you throw your traitor buddy under the bus (Maybe wait until after they get exiled to pull that stunt).
- If the survivors are not traveling in packs, maybe you've got some poison you can apply to the console! When you let someone put in some scraps, they get poisoned, and you can go in for the kill. Drag their body behind the power station, and if anyone runs behind there and says 'hey, there's a body here...' you know it's your time to grab your last few scraps and book it!
- In a similar vein, setting bear traps down next to the entrance gives you a ready in to murder a survivor. If multiple survivors approach, you can warn them that you set a bear trap by the entrance to catch traitors who might assault you! Can't be too careful when it comes to those traitors.
- Smoke Grenades. For best results, identify the nearest escape hatch. Pop smoke from the south, run behind the power station. When they leave to go check where you ran off to or what you did, pop more smoke, run in, and grab what you can! In a perfect world, you've got a third smoke to pop on the way out so they never see you. Make sure you run in the direction of your traitor hatch!
- Tranquilizer guns are your best friend when breaking into the power station the hard way. Tranqs and melee hits make a lot less noise than survivors yelling over the radio and proximity chat, and if you've got energy drinks you're already at an advantage. Remember to come from the south so they never see you coming.
- Heck, maybe just guard the station like a good puppy! Hold onto scraps, hit survivors for free, and don't tell people you've got em until after the airdrop timer expires. You look like a hero for repairing the station, your traitor buddy gets an airdrop to continue the fun, and you get first look at where the traps and mines will be since you can claim to be 'making sure mines and bear traps go down'!
- If you're really lucky they'll let you put the traps down yourself, since you'll want to coordinate it. Remember that for traitors, bear traps go on the outside and landmines go inside, because if you hit a big boom and then get stuck for six seconds you'll basically be a trussed-up turkey for any survivors who come running. Nobody will execute you for doing it backwards. Maybe.
Conclusion: How to Guard the Power Station After It's Been Completed
So the station is repaired, it's poisoned, bear trapped, and mined to bejesus, and there's just one little problem... all eight players are still at cabin, eagerly milling about and bickering over whether you should kill someone for stealing a stone in the beginning. You've got absolutely no clue who the traitors are, and everyone just ran off in different directions.
Your bonus objective, naturally, is 'Ensure the first objective is not sabotaged'.
So let's say you do this at all costs. You get that campfire going, and you put it in front of the station. Once it's out, you run behind the cabin. Make sure your shadow isn't poking out, or your name. Grab a couple cooked berries for the trip.
Then, you're gonna wait. It's gonna be excruciating. You're gonna get cold. You're gonna get hungry. You can grab some berries, or knock down a tree and keep yourself warm and your health up. But I promise you, eventually a traitor will try it. The first mine is your cue to start moving. If they hit the bear trap, you've got plenty of time to run round the bend and smack them to death with your axe. Be proud, because you worked hard for that kill, and it won't matter how much health you have left because traitors can't fight back from bear traps. The nice thing about this plan is that nobody will know you're there after the snow trail disappears, so traitors high on energy drinks often feel pretty invincible.
If you're at the hydro station, you can either hide behind the pipes (if your name is petite and not a mouthful like Amphiprison) or all the way around the corner (if your name is as huge as your love of cheeseburgers, like me). The nice thing about the hydro station is you can set up plenty of mines and wait to see if they've got extra medkits or whatever, plus you can usually fire a gun right up that ramp, so placing a bear trap at the corner will guarantee you a sitting duck without having to charge all the way up the ramp.