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  #871  
Old 05-13-2017, 04:55 PM
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  #872  
Old 05-14-2017, 09:25 AM
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#18 - Mafia / [One Night] [Ultimate] Werewolf
J'accuse!

Points: 201 Mentions: 7
# of players: 6+



And here we have it, the poster child for the lying to your friends genre! A pure distillation of the basic concepts of lying, hidden roles, and social deduction, Mafia/Werewolf (which are just basic thematic skins for the same game) is a party game for large groups where some subset of the group is chosen in secret to be the bad guys. They know the identity of the rest of their team, and are able to collectively remove one innocent player from the game each turn, or "night". During each "day", everyone in the game engages in open debate and then ultimately votes one player to be removed from the game, in hopes of catching one of the liars. Play continues in this fashion until the hidden team is eliminated or they outnumber the number of innocent players remaining. There are, of course, many many variants to this core game that alter some or all of the basic principles laid out above, usually with hidden roles that possess unique game-breaking abilities, but they all stem from this rule set.

So what we have here is a game about arguing with your friends. The hidden team has perfect information, and are thus tasked with steering the town conversation away from voting for them without being too transparent in that effort. The innocent players are left to flounder in the dark and fling out baseless accusations, until other players start leaving the game and the remaining players can make use of voting histories and behaviour to try and discern who's been lying. It can make for a pretty entertaining puzzle, but like The Resistance earlier, people who don't enjoy lying to or arguing with their friends need not apply. It's definitely not for everyone!

For those who like it, though, it can indeed be a great deal of fun! Other points in its favour are the simplicity and the scalability, making it an ideal party game, as you can play it with any group of sufficient size with a minimum of explanation or preparation. Unfortunately, it does require one or more people to run the game, and thus at least one player is left to sit out and observe the fun, but that can be its own kind of fun too if you're the sort of person who enjoys knowing all of the hidden information and watching how people behave in that context. It kind of shares appeal with televised Poker in that respect.

Finally, just to get this out of the way, as it's probably the most controversial ranking decision that I made and I know that I'll get questions about it otherwise: yes, I combined the votes for Mafia, Werewolf, Ultimate Werewolf, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Yes, I know that ONUW in particular feels very different to play than more traditional Mafia/Werewolf (it's a much faster/looser/sillier game where many rounds are played in rapid succession), but it's still the same basic game. Also, notably, none of these would have ranked if counted separately, which I think would have been a misrepresentation of the will of the electorate. For the curious, the vote counts for the basic game, UW, and ONUW were 3/1/3 respectively.

Talking Time clearly has some fans of this game, as there's a forum game being played right now, and 40+ forum games have preceded it! So what do ya'll like about it?
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  #873  
Old 05-14-2017, 10:31 AM
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Mafia is the best and it is the worst. I only gave myself a few "casual" games though and Mafia lost out to ones that are more fun or don't have as much butt hurt in them.
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  #874  
Old 05-14-2017, 01:44 PM
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One Night Ultimate Werewolf was my #10 pick. I'm okay with it being combined with normal mafia if neither made it in alone.

It's a fun, if somewhat absurdly random, variant of the game. The 5 minute time limit and lack of need for a GM are great. Over a few dozen games the possibility space will be explored pretty thoroughly, though, and there are some games where someone will just loose.
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  #875  
Old 05-14-2017, 02:43 PM
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Definitely an outlier on this list. I blame a lack of close players.
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  #876  
Old 05-14-2017, 03:44 PM
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Missed it yesterday, but Go was my number 1 despite rarely getting to play it in person with others. It is the epitome of a game you can always learn more about, and a game where learning more will always improve your play. When we live in an Ian M Banks inspired utopia, I will probably he spending a significant portion of my near endless life mastering this game. For now I've got a daughter to raise to be old enough to learn the game with me.
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  #877  
Old 05-14-2017, 06:13 PM
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Every time I see Betrayal at House on the Hill I'm disappointed it's not "at the House". I've played a few times and had fun, though as others have said it's often not been very balanced.

Go I know more through tsumego than actual play, sadly.
Once at work (just after AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol, so lots of people were excited) we just set out a board for a public game, with everyone nearby invited to make a move if they walked by and felt like it. We ended up with about 90% well-matched (beginner) play combined with 10% random moves, which Go really punishes. In short, I wouldn't suggest that format.

Mafia and most of its variants aren't my cup of tea.
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  #878  
Old 05-14-2017, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear
Unfortunately, it does require one or more people to run the game, and thus at least one player is left to sit out and observe the fun
False, in most setups you can have the person who first dies stand in for the GM. This doesn't counter the fact that people do have to die and sit out when they die, so if that turns you off I understand, but I do enjoy watching the game continue after I die.

I'll write up something more, because I think I put this as my number 1, maybe my number 2 (mafia specifically), but mafia holds a very special spot in my life. It's the reason I stopped lurking and finally joined the forum for Mafia 1 (yes, the first Talking Time Mafia). I unfortunately enjoy mafia with no roles at all because I've played so many games that I really only want the social deduction part of it and none of the "wacky cool interactions!" which honestly just get in the way of what I want out of the game.

Last edited by Umby; 05-14-2017 at 07:49 PM.
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  #879  
Old 05-14-2017, 07:43 PM
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observing the fun is fun. the games that i ran were as much fun for me as playing, on the whole, since it goes from "trying to figure it out" to making guesses about what people will do and being amused by their wrong and right assumptions. of course i also set up stuff that let me have an unusually high amount of private conversations to spy on, which contributed a lot
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  #880  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:23 PM
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Voted for ONUW. It's a ton of fun! And fast. No problem classifying it as Just Mafia.
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  #881  
Old 05-15-2017, 04:42 AM
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I played a very slight amount of Go when one guy at the local game store (back when this town actually had one) started bringing in his board on the off chance someone would play with him. It was interesting and I would have liked to practice more but then the store shut down and I never saw the guy again.

I also find Go to be a far more interesting metaphor for warfare than Chess, as the entire point is to take territory without having to stand your armies upon it. I guess it's more of a strategic feel than a tactical feel, is what I'm getting at.
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  #882  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:30 AM
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I vote for Go a little below the middle of my list. It gets compared to chess a lot, but I love the fact that it is super easy to understand in comparison (I don't have to explain how each piece moves).

Mafia wasn't on my list because I've never played it in person and so its not a game I think of as a "board game". I have really enjoyed playing mafia here on the forum and reading the old games. I would agree that watching a game of mafia, knowing or not knowing the actual roles is probably almost more fun than actually playing. Its definitely a spectator-friendly game. In our most recent game, I think we've got more spectators than players.
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  #883  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:15 AM
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I feel like One Night Ultimate Werewolf is the ultimate distillation of this concept. There's enough role variety that everyone gets something to do, and having it all happen in one round keeps resentments from building and players from feeling left out after elimination.
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  #884  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:24 AM
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Regarding Go, that's a game I've always wanted to learn but just haven't yet. There's a guy at one of our LGSs who for years has shown up there every Tuesday night with his Go board to teach people how to play. I feel like if Go guy ever disappears, it would be a sign of the end times.

Fun fact, a variation of Go - really, a different game, but using the Go pieces and board - was one of the two first original (IE, not arcade port) games released on the Famicom.

I've never really seen the appeal of Werewolf et. al.
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  #885  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:53 AM
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I've had a ton of fun with Werewolf in real life but playing online had always been a little disappointing to me.
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  #886  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
I've had a ton of fun with Werewolf in real life but playing online had always been a little disappointing to me.
Is that because you are not getting progressively more drunk when playing online? Do I play Mafia/Werewolf wrong? Am I an alcoholic?
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  #887  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:05 AM
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#17 - Coup
Assassination never came so cheap.

Points: 201 Mentions: 8
# of players: 3 - 6

"I assassinate you."

"You don't have an Assassin."

"I assassinate you."

"I block with my Contessa."

"You don't have a Contessa."

If Mafia and The Resistance are games about lying to your friends, then Coup is a game about bullshitting your friends, and that distinction is important! The earlier can lead to high emotions, or hurt feelings, but that just doesn't happen here. I've mentioned before that lying to friends isn't for everyone, but I'd still advise people who are wary of that to give Coup a try, because this is more about telling obvious lies to your friends that are either proven or disproven almost immediately. It's also a game that you can win without ever lying at all! It almost has more in common with the card games Bullshit/Cheat or Poker than it does those other games. Also, it's pretty fun!

In Coup, you and your friends play important figures looking to manipulate the government behind the scenes. You do this be exercising influence with various members of the court in order to collect money, and using that money to eliminate the influence of your competitors. Each player starts with influence over two different members of the court, and players are removed from the game when that number reaches zero. The last remaining player with at least one influence card is the winner!

These face-down influence cards aren't just points, though: each has a specific role printed on it, and those roles grant the players various powers. For instance, the Assassin will remove any one influence card from the game for 3 coins, but can be blocked if the targeted player has a Contessa. The Captain can steal 2 coins from any one other player, but can be blocked by either another Captain or by an Ambassador, who in turn allows players to draw new influence cards from the deck and exchange them. Or there's the Duke, who can just tax every turn to draw 3 coins, and can block any other player claiming foreign aid. There are 5 of these roles in total, and you've just read most of what they can do. Any player can have at most two of them at a time, but, and here's the important part: players can declare that they are doing any of these things, regardless of which cards are in front of them, but if another player calls them on it, then they need to prove that they have the appropriate card. If they don't, then they sacrifice one of their influence cards, but if they do, then the player that called them out loses one instead.

So, this is a game where players are lying early and often, and one that can go very quickly. Games of Coup should last no more than 5 minutes, at which point you shuffle back up and deal out another hand. It's just fast and loose, and kind of stupid fun. It has a very similar feel to One Night Ultimate Werewolf in that respect. This is a game where, despite there being only 3 Dukes in the deck, a table of 6 players might all tax in succession, but no one calls anyone's bluff and the whole table just laughs. It's obvious that fully half of the table (or more, if someone is sitting on a pair of Dukes) just lied through their teeth, but which half? And will they all be brazen enough to do it again? That's Coup!

In some ways, Coup is Love Letter's more complicated cousin, but you chuckleheads already spoke about the difference between the two games at length back when Love Letter came up. For my money, I enjoy Coup more, and think that it's much funnier, but Love Letter has broader appeal. They are both simple and fast games that are quick to learn, but there are some groups for which Coup just won't click (in fact, I played in one just this past Friday night!). You can judge that pretty quickly, though, and I'd advise you to shelve it and pull out something else if it looks like no one is having fun after a few hands.

OH, and I almost forgot: we got a single vote for Coup Rebellion G54, which I added to Coup's total. G54 is a later edition of Coup that uses the same basic rule set but which adds a ton of different role cards. For each game, the group agrees on 5 of those role cards to play with, and each different set of roles leads to a very different game. Besides just adding variety, this allows groups to fine-tune the game to emphasize the mechanics that they most enjoy. It's an easy recommendation for groups that enjoy Coup but have played a ton of it and found that it's grown a bit stale, and I suspect the person who nominated it might come along later to sing its virtues.

What does the rest of Talking Time think about Coup? You can make a run at me, but I'm warning you right now that I'm sitting on a Contessa. Would I lie? Yes. Yes I would.

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  #888  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:21 AM
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One time at BGG.con, we couldn't find one of our friends because she'd been shut in a board room playing Coup with its developers for something like 8 hours.

So I guess if it's fun enough to spend that kind of time on it, there must be something to it!
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  #889  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:22 AM
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Individual Coup games can and do fall flat pretty regularly, but taken on the whole, Coup has a much higher density of "that was absolutely awesome" moments than almost any other game. Any game that reaches the ten-minute mark is going to have a nailbiting endgame.

For my money, Coup is best near the high end of its play count, but it's also a perfectly fine way for two players to spend a half hour -- you can get through ten games in that time.
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  #890  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:24 AM
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Didn't we already do this game?

The pictures today are mysterious! I wonder if it's the start of a running THING.
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  #891  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:25 AM
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Now that I take another look, you left the money on the table.
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  #892  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
Didn't we already do this game?
No, Resistance and this game simply take place in the same Coup-niverse.
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  #893  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:29 AM
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oh okay! I see now.

Don't make similar looking boxes, game makers.
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  #894  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Now that I take another look, you left the money on the table.
RainierWolfcastleThat'sTheJoke.jpg

($3 is a pretty low payment for assassination.)

I wonder if I should do a wrap-up post when we're done that talks about each photo. After all, nothing funnier than explaining a joke... >_<
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  #895  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:42 AM
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My tastes have moved away from Coup (and bluffing games in general) but I still prefer it to games like ONUW or The Resistance. I like being able to play the odds in games like this, and it gives you enough to think about if you just want to play the odds.
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  #896  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:53 AM
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I enjoy lying to and bullshitting my friends and family quite a bit. This game's a blast. (My sister, otoh, does not; for her, it is not)

Don't like playing this on an app. All the frustration when you lose; none of the fun when you lie. (Regardless of whether or not you lose)
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  #897  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:03 AM
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It's weird how there are always as many Dukes in the deck as there are players.
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  #898  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:06 AM
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Coup rules.

I normally play it straight, but sometimes the right lie is a lot of fun. No rush like getting away with an assassination without having an assassin.
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  #899  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrenaline View Post
Coup rules.

I normally play it straight, but sometimes the right lie is a lot of fun. No rush like getting away with an assassination without having an assassin.
Huh. Short rule set.
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  #900  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:17 AM
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Huh. Short rule set.
What?
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