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Subject: Which edition to buy? rss

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brian
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I saw this game recommended in a random BGG list and thought I would check it out. I suffered about 5 minutes of confusion trying to figure out why there were so many publishers and names for this game. Finally the light went on that it is public domain and different publishers have their own set of cards.

So my questions are these: Which version should I buy and why? Is it based on unique variants within the games? The best artwork? The most complete ruleset? The most true to the original game?

Based on 10 minutes of browsing (after the 5 minutes of confusion ), it looks to me that DaVinci's through Mayfair is probably the best. And I read through the arguments about printing your own cards or using a playong card deck. I have to agree with those that say the professional deck is much easier to gather, explain, and sell to those who I want to play. Once they get hooked, they may want variants and printed version. These are the same people who would never had been sold on Bang! if it weren't packaged so pretty but are willing to scour the internet now to find PDFs of the English version of High Noon and paste them on any cardstock they can find.

Thanks in advance for any input!!!
 
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Philip Thomas
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There is absolutely no need to buy this, you can play it with a standard deck of cards, or even scraps of paper at a pinch.
 
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marc lecours
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We often use the bohnanza cards.

The coffee bean is the "medium" since she stays up all night.

The red bean is "cupid" since it looks like its blushing.

The stink beans or chili beans are the werewolfs depending on our mood.

The villagers are whichever type of bean we sort out the fastest

etc
 
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Kent Landis
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I think he has already made the desicion to buy a professional copy. Although. the Bohnanza idea is good.
I had almost asked this question myself, but decided to go with The werewolves of miller hollow. I remembered there being a spiel de jahres award for it, so I went for it. I think some of it has to do with the art as well. I went for the adult card art opposed to davinci's family friendly version. Hope it helps a little.
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james napoli
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i'm def one to want to support the hobby...but there is absolutely no need to buy this game. its a public domain game...it would be like buying the 'tag' or 'hide and seek'...it's almost a shame that it's been packaged and people are paying money for it.

the same is true for time's up(aka celebrity)...
 
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C Lloyd
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Ugh. I could almost hear the replies before I even opened this thread. Yes -- we've all heard before that there's no need to buy this game. So what... There's no need to buy many games, but some people like the feel of a professionally done game. And, it's not the same as "Tag" or "Hide & Seek". Those games have no physical components, aside from the people.

What would have been more helpful would be to say "While there's no need to buy this game, my favorite version is..." Personally, I don't own the game, but I'd probably be inclined to buy a nicely done version -- if the price was right.

Sometimes, it's much easier to get people (especially non-gamers) to play a game with nice components. Sometimes even gamers prefer nice bits.

Good luck finding the right version Brian.
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Jeff Wolfe
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I've played two different versions of Werewolf, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Are You a Werewolf? by Looney Labs

Plus: Pictures are clear and supplemented by text. That makes it much easier to teach and also easier to play.

Minus: Only contains 2 werewolves and the Seer is the only special role card. If you want to have 3 werewolves in a large village, you can use the "Moderator" card as a third werewolf card (we select the moderator before we start rather than determining the role randomly, so we otherwise never use the card).

The Werewolves of Millers Hollow by Asmodee

Plus: Several special role cards are included, so you can have a more complicated game if you want.

Minus: The role cards are somewhat abstract and not labeled with text. You get used to it eventually, but I find it needlessly obscure. I suppose they don't add text so that it's language independent.



Since I don't play with the extra roles, I prefer the Looney Labs version. The Looney Labs version is also much less expensive than the other versions out there, if that's a consideration for you.
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Dwayne Pate
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I love Werewolves of Miller's Hollow because of the additional roles. It's a few dollars more than Are You a Werewolf, but well worth the price.
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brian
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For those of you who took the time to read the initial post and understand that I already dismissed the "you don't need to buy the game" argument, thank you very much. It seems more of you are leaning towards Miller Hollow with no mention of DaVicni's - I'll try to do a bit more research on that one. Thanks!

To everyone else, ........
 
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C.K. Au
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Hi Brian

I would recommend the Da Vinci version over the Millers Hollow, for the simple reason the Da Vinci images are far easier to decipher than the Miller Hollow's abstract art.

I believe images from both editions are in BGG. Take a look at them both and you'll und what I'm trying to say.

I've played both versions btw - the Millers Hollow edition at my mate's place while I own the Lupus in Tabula (DaVinci) edition.

Hope you enjoy the game as much as I do. I've some nice session reports on Werewolf posted here and also at my site www.boardgamecafe.net/community.
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james napoli
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sorry i replied...but my intention was to save you some money and not have you pay money for a game that has always been a campfire/sleep over activity for me that i dont think was really meant to be packaged and profited on.
 
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brian
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darlok wrote:
sorry i replied...but my intention was to save you some money and not have you pay money for a game that has always been a campfire/sleep over activity for me that i dont think was really meant to be packaged and profited on.

I think the hide and seek analogy takes it a bit too far. I guess what I liken it to is Canasta. It is a very simple game to learn with a simple deck of cards. However, there are Canasta decks put there withthe specific values and actions so you don't have to think.

Though this is the lazy man's way to play, it has helped me A) remeber the rules much quicker after a long time of not using it and B) brought others into the game more quickly. I fully understand that I can make this game up out of thin air, or print the PDFs of others' works. But to convince non-gamres to try this, they need something tangible and professional.

I didn't mean to come off as a jerk, but I spent some time reading the forums about why one doesn't need to buy this game. I can see that argument and my question was not whether I should buy this or not. My question was if I bought it, which edition is best and why. I didn't want to simply rehash arguments from another thread here about the merits of saving a few bucks. I was just hoping for some honest advice on how the different publishers handled the game and what they did to make it unique.

Thanks for contributing and I am sorry I didn't make my requests more clear.
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Mat Nowak
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I personally bought a set of reqular playing cards, printed off the Mafia of Kansas City cards (Under Werewolf in the files section on the geek), cut them out, and then glued them onto the playing cards. The quality is great, there are many special roles, and it's cheap to make.

I guess the only downside to them is that they are not in the same uniform artstyle as they are taken from stock images, and there is no supplementary text on any roles. However, after one or two games, the majority of players know what every role does anyway. Besides, the moderator is the only person that truely has to know the character's roles. For example, if a person can't remember what the Informant (Seer in the regular Werewolf) does, the Moderator only needs to wake up the Informant, tell them to point at someone to discover if they are a Citizen (Thumbs down) or Mafia (Thumbs up). Pretty simple and there's no need for someone to publically ask what a certain role does in the middle of the game.

I highly recommend just printing one of the versions on the geek, and glue them onto some regular cards. It's much more cost effective, and people probably won't be able to tell the difference between homemade cards and commercial ones. Even if they do, players will spend a grand total of maybe 3 seconds looking at a card. Is it really worth the extra cost in money for those few seconds?
 
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C.K. Au
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sigh, guys.. Brian has already made it clear that he has made the necessary effort to read this forum and understood fully the arguments and counter-arguments of buying vs not buying, and he has chosen to buy.

That's his decision. And I've to add - his money too.

So can we pls stick to the topic of "Which edition to buy" instead of whether he should buy or not. Keep those arguments to the thread that's discussing the merit of producing your own Werewolf cards. I'm sure they are much appreciated there.

But hijacking this thread into another "Why you can just make your own card" thread is not helping the threadstarter.

However if you have opinion over which edition is better, I'm sure Brian is all ears.

In case any of you wonder, no I'm not related to any of the Werewolf publishing company and neither do I plan to see this game to brian.
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Nick Fisk
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One thing that no-one has mentioned yet, which might sway you one way or another:

Asmodee have just recently (or are just about to) release an expansion for their version (Miller's Hollow), which includes a whole bunch of new villager roles.

It might make WoMH the better investment, cos if it goes down well, you can add to it!


N.
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Giles Schildt
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You may already have made your decision, but if you still want comments I've played and moderated with all three of the major sets available in the US, so I'll comment on all of them.

The easiest way is to list the major advantages and disadvantages, with the most important in italics:

Looney Labs (Are you a Werewolf?)
+ It's inexpensive
- Only three roles (Wolf, villager, seer)
- While it nominally supports 15 players, there are only enough Werewolf cards to have a balanced game up to 11 players.
- The text and B&W art can be read easily enough, but are hard to distinguish at a distance. This means that when teaching a large group to play you have to rely on the words rather than the pictures to explain the cards to people. This will become a larger problem if they create expansion packs with additional roles.

Asmodee (Werewolves of Miller's Hollow)
+ There is a reasonable selection of special roles, with more coming in the expansion.
+ Cards are easy to distinguish, therefore new people can be taught to recognize them quickly and easily. Especially handy in large groups or when you use a role that needs to see cards the moderator holds up at night (like a priest).
+ The Asmodee art does the best job of setting the mood for a werewolf game, and the rulebook provides useful moderator scripts and tables. This is probably the real reason you're buying a deck instead of making one. . .
+/- The cards aren't labeled with text, though the art is evocative of the role. While I find the art easy to remember, the occasional suggestion for text labels surfaces. On the plus side, minor role substitution is easy; if you'd prefer to play with a sorcerer instead of a thief you simply repurpose that card - with low risk of confusion unless you're switching back and forth between games (since most people won't have read the rules and know what that picture is "supposed" to be).

DaVinci (Lupus in Tabula)
+ Lots of special roles
- Hard to tell the cards apart - and impossible at a distance. Most of the card is flavor art that varies among cards of the same type, only a small symbol in the corner indicates the role. This cascades to a number of additional negative effects:
- There is more meta-data generated by these cards than either of the other sets, e.g. people who look longer at their cards, ask questions of the moderator, or describe the picture on their cards to "prove" they are a villager, etc.
- It is very time consuming to teach a large group, since you have to get each of the little symbols in the corner close to each of the new players a few at a time, repeating the explanations for each few that can see.
- It is very difficult (or at least time consuming) to conceal the identity of priests since the moderator must carry all the deceased players' cards right up to each priest every night.
- The art is cartoony, which detracts from the mood of the game and encourages silliness among the players (in my opinion).
- Several of the small symbols that identify the less common roles are not very memorable. This mitigates the only advantage this deck has over the other two.

As you can probably tell from these lists, I prefer the Asmodee edition, and it's the only one I use anymore.
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Jim Marshall
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As others have pointed out you could create your own set with some childrens' crayons and some old bus tickets, but my vote is for the Asmodee, Miller's Hollow edition. Artwork is fantastic, and while you may find a cheaper set, it still costs peanuts.
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M C
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There is a nice set made by the BGG user Luxo in the files section of Werewolf.

I think they look as good as a bought set.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/125568

That being said, I bought the Lupus in Tabula version.
 
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Hector Gonzalez
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I love Asmodee´s version.
The design is quite good, and matchs the horror atmosphere that you want to create.
I´ve played the game a thousand times and the best way to play is in several rounds, presenting a new special character in each one.
Nobody will have any problem about who does what in that way.
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Jeff Hobbs
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First off, with the fact that you can pick up a set of Looney Lab cards for $4 I think the "use a standard set of cards" argument without merit. How exciting can it be to look at your card and see a 3 of clubs, when you can look at it and see the word "werewolf".

Second, I will give you the argument from someone who prefers the Looney Lab set from any of the others.

Giles here uses the ease of teaching newbies how to play as a key argument for which set he recommends and I have to say that if you are teaching a group that speaks and reads english I just don't understand how it can be any easier then telling them if your card says "werewolf" you are a werewolf, if your card says "seer" you are the seer, and if it says "villager" you are fresh meat. You cannot get any easier then that.
I also think that in a 15 person game 2 wolves and 1 seer is the perfect set. I usually like to move to 3 wolves at about 20 players and 4 wolves and 2 seers at 30 (two full decks).
The only penalty that they Looney Labs cards have is the lack of special rolls. Special rolls can be fun, but overall they dilute the game and if you are teaching newbies it's best to keep it with the simple wolf, seer, villager rolls. If your group is experienced then they won't have any problem putting the moderator card in there as whatever extra roll you might want.

Personally, I find the Asmodee cards the hardest to tell the rolls apart especially for newbies. They have abstract art on the cards and you have to know what you are looking for. With the DaVinci cards you can look at the symbol in the upper left corner to see what you are. Still can be confusing for the newbie, but easier. But the easiest is the LL cards. You don't even have to show the cards to a newbie to tell them how to play you just tell them to read there card and what it says is what you are.

Now on a side note, the Asmodee cards do have an expansion coming out that add alot of new things to the game. I'd really like to get into a game with these to try it out.

Hope that helps.

giles wrote:
You may already have made your decision, but if you still want comments I've played and moderated with all three of the major sets available in the US, so I'll comment on all of them.

The easiest way is to list the major advantages and disadvantages, with the most important in italics:

Looney Labs (Are you a Werewolf?)
+ It's inexpensive
- Only three roles (Wolf, villager, seer)
- While it nominally supports 15 players, there are only enough Werewolf cards to have a balanced game up to 11 players.
- The text and B&W art can be read easily enough, but are hard to distinguish at a distance. This means that when teaching a large group to play you have to rely on the words rather than the pictures to explain the cards to people. This will become a larger problem if they create expansion packs with additional roles.

Asmodee (Werewolves of Miller's Hollow)
+ There is a reasonable selection of special roles, with more coming in the expansion.
+ Cards are easy to distinguish, therefore new people can be taught to recognize them quickly and easily. Especially handy in large groups or when you use a role that needs to see cards the moderator holds up at night (like a priest).
+ The Asmodee art does the best job of setting the mood for a werewolf game, and the rulebook provides useful moderator scripts and tables. This is probably the real reason you're buying a deck instead of making one. . .
+/- The cards aren't labeled with text, though the art is evocative of the role. While I find the art easy to remember, the occasional suggestion for text labels surfaces. On the plus side, minor role substitution is easy; if you'd prefer to play with a sorcerer instead of a thief you simply repurpose that card - with low risk of confusion unless you're switching back and forth between games (since most people won't have read the rules and know what that picture is "supposed" to be).

DaVinci (Lupus in Tabula)
+ Lots of special roles
- Hard to tell the cards apart - and impossible at a distance. Most of the card is flavor art that varies among cards of the same type, only a small symbol in the corner indicates the role. This cascades to a number of additional negative effects:
- There is more meta-data generated by these cards than either of the other sets, e.g. people who look longer at their cards, ask questions of the moderator, or describe the picture on their cards to "prove" they are a villager, etc.
- It is very time consuming to teach a large group, since you have to get each of the little symbols in the corner close to each of the new players a few at a time, repeating the explanations for each few that can see.
- It is very difficult (or at least time consuming) to conceal the identity of priests since the moderator must carry all the deceased players' cards right up to each priest every night.
- The art is cartoony, which detracts from the mood of the game and encourages silliness among the players (in my opinion).
- Several of the small symbols that identify the less common roles are not very memorable. This mitigates the only advantage this deck has over the other two.

As you can probably tell from these lists, I prefer the Asmodee edition, and it's the only one I use anymore.
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Ken K
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I bought the DaVinci Cards for the art. No one has yet complained about the cards being hard to discern... at least at a distance of 6 to 8 feet.

I personally think the roles are well-portrayed by the cartoons and the symbols in the corner are superfluous.

As for buying a game you can easily make yourself, my set cost me all of $5... easily worth it. I would imagine some new players would be more likely to play a "real" game than something drawn up on index cards.
 
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Nick Szegedi
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If you like the Arkham "universe"... try this version:


 
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