I’m sitting next to a solitary rock on a beach with my one surviving buddy, waiting for a delivery of that sweet, sweet chicken dinner. And the anticipation is all the sweeter, not just because this run was my very first chicken dinner. It was also the result of a house rule mode that was accidentally invented* the previous night.
Folks, I bring you: Winters.
It all began when during a regular squad match @Jon told everyone to jump, and head west from the plane. Except that they meant to say east. Because @RezziDoke and I knew the location they had in mind, we correctly went east - all except for @Vivaldist who ended up going about as far west as possible.
In a short amount of time, us three got into a losing fight, leaving @Vivaldist as the last survivor on our team. They went on to get to #4 team rank, and as my ghost watched their relative success, I had an idea.
What if we all deliberately split up at the start of the game, and then played with the aim of eventually reuniting before the end?
We thought this would be a fun way of enhancing the kinds of stories that PUBG already excels at. But what we weren’t prepared for was what an exciting and viable strategy it is for playing as a squad of four.
A few minor embellishments were suggested. @Vivaldist thought of the name Winters after Major Winters in the Band of Brothers series. He gets separated from the rest of his squad behind enemy lines without any weapon (this is based on the true story of the real Major Winters)
I figure that we could do it by deliberately aiming to be as far away from each other as possible, but @Jon suggested the much easier way it ought to work, which is for everyone to secretly pick a spot, after the plane route becomes apparent. Once we’re ready, we then count down from three and all mark at once, with no taking it back.
It’s quite the feeling, being in a squad where we all start out with different stories, which gradually become more and more entwined until we are united again. It’s as if the storytelling potential of the game becomes multiplied. Perhaps someone gets in trouble and needs to hide while another attempts to mount a daring rescue from far further away than is comfortable. Or, perhaps only one person is anywhere near the circle, but they haven’t found any decent equipment. It’s hard to describe how alive with possiblity our Winters runs became.
But not only that, I’ve now played about ten Winters games - and the worst result so far was team rank #12. The majority were in the 4-8 range, and now we have proved it truly works with that chicken dinner.
The reason it is so viable as a strategy is that by splitting up at the start, you tend to go to places that full squads avoid early on - small groupings of houses, isolated warehouses and the like that aren’t going to have enough to equip a squad. If you get in trouble early on then it can be a big problem, but if you can take care of basic equipment and work towards meeting up, it can be glorious. Even though (and somewhat because) things frequently go south in the process of trying.
I wanted to write up this post to spread the word about this house mode we’ve come up with, and also to try to tell the story of that chicken dinner we won as a result.
So, the full guidelines for a Winters run as we’ve established so far:
- All players secretly choose a landing zone and during the flight, reveal on a count of 3.
- Any player who accidentally reveals early should pick a new spot before the reveal.
- If for some reason you mess up your launch then just coast along in the plane and wait to be kicked out, and pick a new spot from there.
- Once on the ground, there are no more rules - just use any means deemed appropriate to try to kit yourself out and meet up with the others.
For that chicken dinner run we had @Jon (Rude_Ghost on Discord community) @Rezzidoke and I along with Jess (CockatielCutie on the Discord community), someone without a forum account at the moment, but here’s her Twitter.
Jess kindly wrote up a moment-to-moment account of the run, which is sitting on a google doc here.
*Disclaimer: I understand it’s very likely that other teams have had the exact same idea, probably before we did even, and don’t want to claim we’ve done something incredibly unique - but this is the version of the idea that we came up with on the Waypoint discord