Thursday, September 15, 2005

7 Player, 3 team Werewolf!

My final post about Werewolf (at least for a while), is going to be about a 7 player variant with three teams. Each game, only one of the three teams can win, so each team is trying to kill off the critical players of the other two teams. Of course, no one knows who their teammates are at the beginning of the game, they have to figure it out, and there will be constant bluffing about roles.

The result is that the game tends to be shorter, simply because people are more willing to band together to lynch someone.

Roles are NOT revealed upon death.

The roles are:

Werewolf team:
1 Werewolf
1 Sorcerer

Demon team:
1 Demon
1 Cultist

Village team:
1 Seer
1 Cleric
1 Hunter (aka Buffy)

No player knows the role of another player at game start. No hand signaling during the night is allowed.

Night powers:

During the night, the Seer looks to find the Werewolf (only sees Werewolf or non-Werewolf), the Sorcerer looks for the Seer. The Cleric looks for the Demon, and the Cultist looks for the Cleric.

During nights 2 and 3, the Werewolf and Demon each choose a victim. (Night 1 occurs before day 1, and only involves looking powers). However, only 1 player is killed. If only one of them is still alive, that player automatically gets the kill. If both are alive, and it is the first kill of the game, it is chosen at random. If both are alive and it is not the first kill of the game, then whoever did not get the kill last time, gets it this time.

Note that the Werewolf and Demon are able to kill one another during the night, and they are actively trying to find the other in order to do this.

Game end conditions:

The game ends when both the Werewolf and Demon are dead, or if only two players remain.

If the Werewolf and Demon are both dead, the village team wins.
If the Werewolf and Demon are the only two players left alive, they kill each other and no one wins (this prevents evil teaming up, which is necessary).
If the Werewolf and Hunter or Demon and Hunter are the last two player, the village team wins.
If the Werewolf and someone other than the Hunter or Demon are the last two players, then the Werewolf team wins.
If the Demon and someone other than the Hunter or Werewolf are the last two players, then the Demon team wins.

Thus, each team needs to kill each of the other two teams killer/hunter players.

I have found the game to be won roughly in proportion to the number of player per team. that is, about 3/7 the village wins, 2/7 the werewolf team, and 2/7 the demon team.

We use the following cards for each role:

(Demon group / major suits)
Demon: Jack of Spades
Cultist: Ace of Spades
Cleric: Ace of Hearts

(Werewolf group / Minor suits)
Werewolf: Jack of Clubs
Sorcerer: Ace of Clubs
Seer: Ace of Diamonds

Hunter: Red king

Red is village, Club is Werewolf team, Spade is Demon team. Ace is a looker, non-ace is a killer. (You could change Hunter to red jack for consistency).
You can use whatever you want, but be consistent, as it is confusing. Early on in your playing, you may have a time when players get confused, and do something like think they are the Cultist when they are the Sorcerer, and open their eyes at the wrong time.
It can help to go over which card is what role right before night 1.


Strategy:

In general, on the first day, it is only safe to be thought of as a looker of some sort. If you are thought by most to be the Werewolf, Demon or Hunter, then more than 50% of the players will want to kill you. If you claim to be a specific looker role, then about half of the players will want you dead, but only with low priority. For example, if you claim to be the Seer, and are believed, then the Werewolf and Sorcerer need you dead, but the Demon and Cultist probably like you alive, since you are powerless against them and could help them identify their opponent.

Thus, the most common day 1 claims are: 'I am a looker', 'I am a good looker', or 'I am '. Claims of being an evil looker can also work, but are quite risky, as the players may decide to lynch you if they cannot figure out someone more critical to kill. For example, if you claim to be the Cultist, then each player thinks the following of you:

Hunter, Seer: want you dead with low priority.

Cleric (who the Cultist can look for): want you dead with low to moderate priority.

Werewolf and Sorcerer: want you dead with low priority. This is because they want the Cleric to be successful, and find the Demon, and the Cultist can try to get the Cleric killed first.

Demon: wants you alive.

As you can see, this is risky, unless there is a bigger target out there. Claiming to be one of the evil lookers but not saying which one will mean that the other evil looker will want you dead, but both evil killers will not, since they don't know which you are.
Coming out with the info 'I am the Cultist and that player is the Cleric' is better, but not necessarily safe. Your killer only gets the kill 50% of the time, and wants to take out the other killer/hunter foremost. And the group might decide to kill you, since the evil roles wont necessarily want to band together to kill the Cleric you have identified, since then they have shown the two evil killers to be among a group of 4, instead of a group of 7, which is much more risky.

It is probably better in that case to claim you are the Seer/Cleric, and the player you found is the Werewolf/Demon. Of course, this often leads to several Seer or Cleric claims. 'Group flipping', which is when you are in the Werewolf/Sorcerer/Seer grouping or the Demon/Cultist/Cleric grouping, but claim to be in the other, and finger someone as your target, can be quite interesting and strong. It also leads to many contradictory role claims (which is fun) :)


Because it is safe to be seen as 'a looker' but not safe to be seen as 'a killer' (Hunter is a killer), the game will often begin with each player saying who they looked at during the night, and possibly whether they got a thumbs up or thumbs down. Some might qualify themselves as a specific looker, or a good or evil looker.


Many times, the game will have a lot of discussion about one grouping, but not the other. Players in these cases may gain more information by trying to draw out info about the other grouping.


On day 2, claiming to be an evil looker becomes quite safe. People no longer have time to kill you, they have to be going after the killers/hunter.

I have shown some of the beginning strategy, but I will leave it up to you to figure out more!


The only problem I have found in the game is that it is possible for a Sorcerer or Cleric to have their teammate killed, and know it, and thus to have no win condition, and be aware of that. This is not common, but it occasionally happens, and I don't have an adequate solution to it. If anyone has ideas, let me know! Of course, most of the time, the player will not be aware that their partner has died.


In conclusion, 7 player 3 team Werewolf is my favorite variant, goes quickly, and has a ton of role claiming/deduction. Also, each player has a special, unique role, and four players have the power to find another player, so there is quite a bit of information in the game.


Up next week, by request, I will discuss Tichu. Stay tuned. :)

3 comments:

Coldfoot said...

3 teams.

I hadn't even thought of that.

mdp said...

Alex, you should run this at BGG, I would join.

Bluebehir said...

MDP, you could run it at BGG, maybe Alex would join!

:D

How many people, minimum, do you think you'd need to balance four teams? (it played well with 21 players, online, but I wonder how small I could make it.)