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Subject: 9/12/2009 Milwaukee Meetup Werewolf session rss

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Eric Jome
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Franklin
Wisconsin
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This past weekend at the Metro-Milwaukee Board Game Meetup Group ( www.meetup.com/mmbgmu ) we played, as we often do, several rounds of Werewolf at the end of a great day of gaming. Sadly, I did not take copious notes, so I'm going to try to remember the details as best I can. If anyone from the meetup could fill in details, I'm sure that would be helpful and I'd welcome the multiple perspectives.

Let's start by saying I've played and run a lot of Werewolf. Dozens and dozens of games. Hours on end in the hallways of big conventions or late into the night at little conventions. So, I'm pretty good at this game. Especially if I play with the same group over and over - people are, by and large, terrible liars. Which is good overall, but tough when stuck with a red card. So, I was looking forward to playing, which I don't often get to do... because let's face it. This game is not fun when played badly. The real game is in really trying to figure it out - use your head, use the information you know and do your best. Many games just degenerate into goofing off and random lynching - that's silly, not even a game at all. But the meetup group crew is very good at the game and has some of the best players I've had the pleasure of playing with, so it's a welcome event at the session in my book.

In our first round, we had 11 people. The Moderator opted for 5 Villagers, 2 Werewolves, 1 Seer, 1 Sorcerer, 1 Priest, and 2 Masons. I was dealt a Werewolf card. Having played with many of these people before, I knew it might be pretty tricky to do well, so I felt I had to establish a strong alibi immediately. By being reticent and pretending to try hard to figure out who is a Werewolf, you begin to establish a reputation in the minds of the other players that you are playing for the blue team. And that's what I did... and it worked. In the end, the Werewolves won by reaching parity, largely by just establishing a good (if undeserved) reputation early. But a big help too was in the choice to not reveal roles on death - without this crucial bit of extra information, the villagers are, in my opinion, at a serious disadvantage. We continued with role revelation on death for our other games because it is so hard without it.

In the second game, I was again dealt a Werewolf card; this is with some groups a good thing and with some not so good. Good if people believe it is unlikely you'll get it two times in a row (which is true) and bad if people believe "once a wolf, always a wolf" - hardly true, but frustratingly common. Pleasantly, I didn't have to resort to this defense though. In the end, it was down to Nathan, Chris, and I ... and I had been dealt a trump card earlier by Nathan's dad, Kevin. Kevin had been the Seer and had strongly suggested we off Nathan, so it was relatively simple to make a case that if the Seer names you, you must be a wolf... poor Chris got to see my red card after reluctantly, but inevitably voting to lynch Nathan! Two wins for my team.

I ran a game at this point and we also had some new additions, but it went fairly smoothly. I like to ham it up as the moderator, but it had been a long day and I didn't put on the show I usually do... sorry, friends. A tight alliance of James, Joe, and Jaime pulled together to have faith in one another and root out the red team members.

In a following game, I was in again and, surprisingly, was dealt a Werewolf card again. I smirked at my luck and thought I could make hay out of the odds if needed, but very quickly expert player Colleen jumped on my case. Pete, a frequent agitator, was making noise like he might be the Seer, so I confronted him about it and Colleen tried to spin that into asking why I was going to out the Seer... which I hadn't really done. Karl to my right, a shifty player who likes quiet hints, seemed to imply to me he was the Sorcerer, sotto voce, but I couldn't believe him. He rallied to my case, but fellow Werewolf Francois was willing to sell me up the river to establish a good reputation for himself. Selfishly, I turned the tables on him instead of taking my burning at the stake like a man and we voted him out - this was a mistake on my part. I should have believed Karl and realized it wasn’t Pete the Seer... it was Colleen and she'd already made me. Things went downhill fast when the remaining Werewolf, sitting across the group that night, killed Colleen and I couldn't think of a way to dissuade him. I held off accusations for a little while by having voted for Francois, but in the end, the good guys caught wise and strung me up... and my fellow in darkness followed soon after. If only I'd let her get me, my pack brothers might have stood a better chance...

At this point, a few players left and we settled into a somewhat smaller game with some new roles. In addition to the Villagers, Werewolves, Seer, and Sorcerer, we added Cupid, the Tough Guy, and the Hunter. I drew the Tough Guy and quickly decided on a strategy I only rarely use - I immediately and convincingly tell everyone what I am. The Tough Guy has a lot to lose during the day, but if he can be believed he can stay in the game a long time - it's wasteful of the wolves to kill him at night. And it worked! People suspects I might be a Seer covering myself, but either way, it worked out. The blue team, with extra information and some unaccountable trust pulled together and got the job done. Oddly enough, the Seer and the Sorcerer turned out to be the lovers! What a star crossed match that was.

And immediately after this game again I was dealt the Tough Guy. It seemed like it couldn't possibly work, but I tried the strategy again of immediately announcing it. And, old habits die hard, they let me live again... for a while. In the end, I could tell that poor old Karl was sweating in his seat a bit too much and called him on his hairy palms on the day I was to die, having been picked that night.

Finally, in one of our last games, I drew Cupid. Across the room, I tried to name Joe and Jaime as the lovers, but the Moderator missed my indication, picking instead Joe and Kevin. During the game, this blew my mind when Joe, who turned out to be the Seer, revealed the last Werewolf and Jaime quickly denounced it, voting Joe off instead - an illegal play? The blue team did get the poor reds this time, but it was only after the game I found out the mix up. In the moment I couldn't quite get where the wires had crossed.

So, overall, we had another fantastic set of games of Werewolf. My hat is off to some of the regulars in the Milwaukee meetup Werewolf crew who really shine as great players;

Jaime
Colleen
Karl
Joe
and a special thanks to our Moderators and to Chris, for believing in my wolfy lynching of Nathan... you were delicious, mate!

By fang or by fire, I trust we'll sort it all out again real soon.
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Joe Hill
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Milwaukee
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Thanks for the mention!

It was indeed a really fun set of werewolf games. It keeps getting better and better with this group.
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Jamey Philipp
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Muskego
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Thanks for the write up Eric! This is a great group to wolf with for sure.

I am hoping for the October Game-a-thon we can start a bit earlier than usual (sundown,? mwahahahah!) to have enough players to add the Vampires to the mix as well.

Oh yeah, this last time was the first and only time I've seen the parity Hunter able to kill the last werewolf for a village win!
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Scott G
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Sounds like an awesome game! I like hearing the play by play. I too have hosted dozens upon dozens of games. Sadly, when I am just a player everyone thinks because I normally moderate I must know some secret to winning. They always lynch me.

My group has started a facebook group. We've started playing Werewolves every full moon. Lots of fun!
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Jamey Philipp
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colleens wrote:
Nice write up! I will say that the round where I was the seer and viewed you in the first night (because you are too good of a player to not view immediately), I nearly pulled off the lynch without revealing that I was the seer. But when the village saw that I had been killed and I was the seer, they should have lynched you as the one of the fundamental laws of werewolf: kill all those the seer accused as being werewolves the turn before dying.


Yeah, I was stunnded Eric made it as long as he did - he did a great job of diverting attention away and clouding the fact that you were the seer. At one point when someone pointed out that you were the seer he pointed out that you never revealed yourself so what you had to say wasn't really trustable - AND IT WORKED. un-bee-leeev-able!

I'll take this time to also mention the round where a single remaining wolf managed to pull off a clean victory with something like 6 or 7 villagers, including the seer, remaining - that was awesome as well.

I am sure we will have some more epic games in a couple weeks at the Oct Game-a-thon!!!!!!
 
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