Werewolf Strategy Part 1: Villagers

Fellow Villagers,

You may wonder why I go by “Just a Good Villager”. It’s a reference to the game called Werewolf. For those of you familiar with Werewolf, I am talking about basic werewolf: one seer, villagers, and werewolves. I will talk about Ultimate Werewolf and variations in future posts.

Werewolf, if you’re not familiar is a game about social perception where you get your identity in secret. You are either a good guy or a bad guy based on what your card says. Good guys (villager and seer) try to figure out who the bad guys (werewolves) are by wildly accusing everyone and then “mobbing” someone when they’ve come to a decision. Bad guys have to keep their cool and pretend to be good villagers until night when they can eat the villagers. The seer is a villager who can wake up at night and try to figure out who the werewolves are.

People can claim to be whatever they want; they are not allowed to show their cards. Villagers win when they identify all of the werewolves. Werewolves win when they are equal in number to the villagers.

And if you’ve ever played Mafia, yes, this is almost the exact same game, but with different names.

Werewolf is one of my favorite games. When I started writing, I wanted to write just one article about strategies, but there was just SO MUCH to write about. So periodically I will be writing about different aspects of the game.

I wanted to start with strategies for villagers, especially for beginners, because frankly sometimes it’s rough when the werewolves have all of the information and you have none.
Also I love being the villager. I enjoy the excitement of not knowing who anyone is, working as a team, and figuring everything out.

Also, I’m a terrible liar.

In general being active and aware is the best defense when you are a villager. These are general things you want to be looking for as a villager:

Who is voting for who?

Who is commenting on what?

Who is talking to/not talking to whom? 

Who is accusing/not accusing who?

Who is the most/least involved?

Who died last night?

Some of these things can be really trivial in certain circumstances, like, sometimes who died at night could actually just be a random choice between some hungry werewolves thinking quickly on their feet. One of the things I love about werewolf is that it’s such a sandbox game. There are a small number of rules like “you can’t reveal your card” or “don’t wake up at night unless you’re called”, but for the most part, there’s not really a lot of limit on what you can say as long as it’s polite.

Anyways my point is that these strategies aren’t 100% effective all the time and sometimes they can even backfire. However, I find these strategies to be helpful to dig up some information you might not have known otherwise. This is why accusations are a great way to get the game started.

When I’m accusing someone of being the werewolf, I like to say something innocuous like “you seem particularly wolf-y… because I said so, DEFEND Yourself!!” To keep the game fun, I’d recommend staying away from anything too personal and stick to things that involve how people are behaving, who they are accusing, or what they are saying in regards to their accusations.

Here are a couple of other things to look out for that at least might get the conversation going:

– Late votes:
If someone is voting late or not voting at all, they may be doing it so that they can hang back and wait for others to decide. Sometimes werewolves do this so they can hop on the majority vote. They also sometimes vote late to determine what their partners are doing.

– Not having any suspicion: This is a big one for me personally because the only people who aren’t suspicious of other people are the people who know who everyone is (the werewolves). If they’ve got vague ideas about who’s acting fishy, or if they are just constantly agreeing with other people’s arguments, I get a little suspicious.

– “I trust you”: No you don’t. No one trusts each other in werewolf except the werewolves. But be careful on this one because it could be the seer trying to signal to you that they’re the seer.

– Chaos!: If a person is causing a lot of confusion within the village, they might be a werewolf. Werewolves sometimes like to create a lot of confusion and then sit back and watch the disaster.

Now there’s one more really cool thing that villagers can do. This one is pretty well known to most players, but new villagers aren’t always aware of this one. If the seer comes out to you and you alone (and you believe they are the seer) you can claim to be the seer. You can generally claim to be whatever you want as long as you don’t show your card.

This strategy is for the purpose of spreading information while giving the seer more time to find werewolves. Generally, the seer picks someone to their left or right to check the first two nights to make communication easy. This can be useful information even if you do not find the werewolves. By “clearing” villagers, you narrow down the possibilities and sometimes the village can win based on process of elimination.

Keeping your seer alive, working together as a team, and doing all of these strategies, while it doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly gives the game a lot more flavor. Other articles will include strategies for werewolves, how to moderate, and different versions of werewolf (or house rules).

– Good Villager

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