Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eat the Germans!

Yesterday we (me, Scrabblette, the kid, and Sammy the puppy dog) went to visit our friends Marianne and Ronja, because it was Marianne's birthday. At the left is a photo of Sammy greeting Ronja at my front gate when she came to visit once. Sammy and Ronja like to hang out together, complaining that we won't let them inside. When we do let them inside they get very excited and run around knocking things (like people) over.

Anyway, Marianne has a lot of German friends, so the party roughly consisted of two groups - the English-speaking gamers, and the game-speaking Germans. In the afternoon we united for a game of Werewolf, capably moderated and explained by CyberKev (who deserves a medal for always moderating and rarely getting to play). There were 15 of us all up, making it the biggest game of Werewolf I've played, and the maximum size supported by my deck. We had two werewolves, a seer, and 12 villagers.

Of course, I got to be a werewolf. I was kinda looking forward to relaxing on the deck, eventually being eaten and having a quiet afternoon, but the luck of the cards meant I'd be prowling the streets all night and having to shave twice in the morning.

On the first night the werewolves awoke, and my co-lupine was Nina, one of the German people. I knew from experience that killing someone I knew to be a threat was bad, for example, my kid usually makes life difficult for me in Werewolf, but killing him would throw suspicion on me, so he had to live. I didn't know who Nina knew, so we couldn't easily choose a German person for the same reason. However there was a guy who was neither a gamer nor German, so we killed him. Poor guy.

Morning came, and I instantly adopted my villager attitude. Working on the same theory that I'd used to avoid killing the kid, I asked who knew the guy who had been killed. Wolfgang immediately jumped on me, saying "you're asking a lot of questions, maybe you're the werewolf!" which of course was very true. I think though if I'd been a villager I would have done the same thing. Luckily, though, the rest of the group responded with "you're very quick to accuse, maybe YOU'RE the werewolf!". I decided to keep my mouth shut and see what happened.

Eventually the group had 8 votes to lynch Wolfgang (an unfortunate name for this game - it means "he who goes (hunts) like the wolf"), including Nina but not including me - I didn't need to be seen to be murderous, and they strung him up. Night came, and when Nina and I opened our eyes she suggested one of the German guys, so I agreed. Morning came, and I just quietly watched. Nigel and Marianne were leading the discussion, and was working on theories involving the people sitting near the dead people - Lucia, Hubertus and Nina. Again the tall poppy syndrome struck, and Nigel was lynched. It was dangerous to say anything in this game! It's not really like me to be quiet in Werewolf, but I might have been even if I was a villager, with this crowd.

Hubertus suggested Nina may be a werewolf. I wasn't clear where he'd got that idea from - maybe he was the seer? I kept him in mind. Hubertus is easy to trust, and was a potentially dangerous adversary. I didn't want to speak out against him though, so I had to see which way the village was leaning. I think they lynched Lucia next (this time, because she was too quiet). As Marianne had been throwing some accusations in the completely wrong direction, Nina and I ate her that night - best to give those suspicions some sustenance :-). Sorry, birthday girl! For some reason though, the crowd turned against Nina again. Hubertus pointed out that she had been quick to jump in on some of the bandwagon votes, which I'd noticed was true, so maybe she'd been a little careless. I'd been very careful about that - only voting to lynch Nigel when the day was really dragging on and we had to lynch someone to progress the game. Anyway, on the second and final vote to lynch Nina, I voted with the villagers. Sorry, partner! I even joined in with the cheering when we discovered she was a werewolf.

That was just in time for the village - I think we were down to 8 players now, and if two of them had been werewolves that would have been terribly difficult. The village was still in with a chance, with only me standing between them and victory.

I was still trying to figure out who the seer was. Hubertus didn't obviously have any information he shouldn't have. Someone did ask what the seer knew, and Scrabblette gave an awkward answer, so I suspected her as well. However I thought if Scrabblette was the seer she would have checked me out, and she hadn't been speaking against me, so I wasn't sure. I did have the feeling though that the seer was in the group of three to my right - Scrabblette, the kid, and Newman - so I killed the kid. It wasn't him.

With the noisy people out of the game the quiet people were forced to talk more. DrAnnalog is always very quiet, Miss Jane started to speak up, Werner started to speak up. Suspicion was still aimed at the German end of the table though, and the villagers chose to lynch Lucia who'd been under suspicion for a while. She was not a werewolf. Overnight, I killed Scrabblette who was indeed the seer, and had only checked out innocent people, most of whom were dead now.

With only 6 of us left, the argument boiled down to "who voted to lynch Nina?" and "who didn't vote to lynch Lucia?". I was on the villager side of both of those votes, so there was still no suspicion on me. At this point I was working with DrAnnalog and Hubertus to figure out which of Werner, Jane and Newman was the remaining werewolf. That was a good position for me to be in. It was clear that all of us were on the right side of one of those votes, which didn't help at all. In the end we decided to kill Werner. There was no good reason to, but that certainly didn't worry me! It was someone else's idea so I went with it!

Overnight, I killed Hubertus, leaving DrAnnalog, Newman and Miss Jane in the game. I completely trusted DrAnnalog, but I was suspicious of Miss Jane and not sure about Newman. At this point I was playing a fairly active role as a villager, which is of course what a werewolf needs to do. DrAnnalog was looking at Miss Jane, and that was whom I was hoping to lynch as well, so when Newman indicated he would agree, we strung her up.

With Miss Jane died the last hope for the village. Overnight I ate one of the remaining villagers, and woke the other up in the morning and ate them as well because I'd run out of cereal. A glorious victory to the werewolves!

Nina, despite dying played a fundamental part in the wolf victory. She helped some of the early bandwagons get rolling, and my betrayal of her was an important factor in the victory. For example, when Miss Jane was defending herself, her argument was "I voted to lynch Nina, so I'm not a werewolf", to which I responded "I voted to lynch Nina too, so you have to die."

The closest I felt I came to being caught was right at the very beginning, when Wolfgang accused me. Good work to Wolfgang, but I was luckily able to retreat and let him become an example to others. It was an excellent game, though stressful and tiring. BTW, Germans are crunchy.

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