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Compare/Contrast: Werewolf and Blood on the clocktower

  • Similarities
  • Night and day phases
  • Central person who operates the whole game and knows everything
  • Secret things happen at night when everyone has their eyes closed
  • Evil people find out who their partners are in the night (with the exception of the Imp in BOTC)
  • Seer players that can look at other player’s cards or otherwise find out other player’s roles
  • Roles that copy other roles- Doppelgänger in werewolf copies another card they look at, and the Drunk in BOTC believes that they are a different role than they are.
  • The drunk role!!
  • Differences
  • Voting mechanism (pointing vs center person turning and raised hands)
  • BOTC has many more roles, and is more complicated in general.
  • BOTC can, and is supposed to take much longer than Werewolf
  • In werewolf, when you are killed, your card is revealed. In BOTC your role stays hidden even after death
  • When you are dead in werewolf you are essentially no longer in the game. When you are dead in BOTC you are still very much an active player (including dead votes)

I really like both of these games! I like that BOTC has much more fun mechanics, exciting new roles, cool art, and has a lot more different ways it can play out because of all the different roles. Werewolf, on the other hand, is much simpler and easy to manage. I like that it’s a lot more accessible than BOTC, I was very very confused the first time I played BOTC. I have fond memories of playing Werewolf when I was little, and I remember (and still do) thinking that the pointing mechanic is super fun, because in real life people aren’t so fond of the pointing.

I have to say, I think BOTC is my favorite, even if I am still learning the ins and outs of it. I think its much more playable for experienced players, and I think it would get even more fun every time you play. It has so many outcomes without the expansion packs needed for Werewolf! And I think the whole concept of the clocktower and all the clocktower mechanics are much cooler and more mature than Werewolf.

Compare and Contrast: Werewolf & Blood on the Clocktower

As an avid fan of social deduction games, Werewolf and Blood on the Clocktower were two of my favorite games that we played this semester. They’re both similar in some respects, but although some might consider Blood on the Clocktower to be a better version of Werewolf, I think that they both have their strengths and weaknesses. To start off with, they’re both hidden role social deduction games, that both have a day/night cycle, that both have different roles assigned to each player, and that both have a “good” and “evil” team. However, the main differences come from how Blood on the Clocktower’s Storyteller has an active role in keeping things “interesting”, how Blood on the Clocktower has everyone have a role that does something (as opposed to Werewolf’s villagers that don’t have abilities) and there isn’t a hard elimination; dead players in Blood on the Clocktower can still participate and influence the outcome of the game. 

While these elements for Blood on the Clocktower do make it more fun and engaging for the average player, since unlike in Werewolf there aren’t periods where you don’t have an ability and can’t do anything or are just dead and can’t do anything but spectate, I think the additional roles and the role of the Storyteller take away from the pure social deduction aspect. Both games focus a lot on deception and trying to find out people’s real roles, but Werewolf is very pure about this – people are who they claim they are, and there aren’t any neutral or muddy roles to confuse things. Blood on the Clocktower, however, has roles like the Poisoner or the Drunk where they might not even be aware that they’re not who they think they are, and while this element of obfuscation does make games more interesting, it does also put a hard cap on how much social role deduction one can do.

I also think that while the roles being able to interact past death and vote is really fun, it does also make it harder for certain victory conditions to be met because you can’t just eliminate someone who you suspect has problematic information. It causes the game to have less of a hard player elimination than Werewolf, which all comes down to the main difference between the two games: complexity. Werewolf (and Mafia and its derivatives) are really easy to play, and really just require some basic understanding and a bunch of people. Blood on the Clocktower has much more advanced and in-depth mechanics, and thus is more difficult to work through, and also does lean on the Storyteller being good at their jobs. I think they both cater to different audiences in the same niche, and while I think Blood on the Clocktower is the better game because you can do more with its more advanced roles and deeper mechanics, sometimes you do just want to play a quick fun game without having to set a bunch of things up for it.

Reflection on a campus leadership event

Rosalind Wiseman: Respect Is Earned, and Dignity Is a Given

Rosalind Wiseman works with youth for a living, and is deemed an expert on the subject. Youth all over the world inspired her lecture I attended, about mean girl culture, its roots, its effects on our society and all of us individually, and how this all applies to our lives. Rosalind also advises us that youth and children need our own advocation and empathy, especially those in crisis but definitely also every single other kid- every one of us deserves to have a social emotional life, and struggles, and to talk to trusted adults about them!

Something Wiseman said that really stuck out to me was “People learn early that maintaining a relationship is more important than how you are treated in a relationship”. I was definitely sitting in the auditorium thinking about how I’ve lived my whole life thinking this way, to a certain degree. And hey, this might be my conditioning, but I do think maintaining relationships is important in most situations, but I also recognize and absolutely believe that if you are not receiving respect or being treated well in a relationship, you have every right to leave that relationship and maybe you should!!

Another key point in Wiseman’s lecture, talked about as well in the Q&A portion, was conflict resolution. Most of the time, when you’re attempting to maintain a relationship, or you are required to, you need to have conflict resolution skills. You need to be able to “acknowledge that conflicts are difficult, but normal, and can be worked through”. You can’t just walk around hurting your friends, coworkers, family members, any of their feelings, you need to make them feel valued and dignify them even in times of conflict. “Identify key moments to support them” even if you’re not on the same side of the issue yet, or even if you part ways on the opposing side. 

As this was a lecture titled “Mean girls”, a lot of Rosalind Wiseman’s advice mainly applied to how to work with women and girls, and how to deal with issues as a woman or a girl. Something she leveled with us about is that a lot of women act the way they do because they’re scared of what other people will think of them. Specifically other women and girls, their peers. This is a huge problem because “women showing anger and frustration are worried people will label them as mean”, so we are taught to be docile, and bottle all of our frustrations up. This goes hand in hand with the maintaining relationships aspect of Wiseman’s talk. Both of these issues teach people to avoid conflict at all costs, and not how to handle it properly.

The most important thing Wiseman talked about, and mentioned over and over again, was that every person deserves dignity. Young girls, old women, everyone, even the person you might have conflict with. She said “Respect is earned, dignity is a given. Dignity is non-negotiable”. As long as we live according to that principle, we are off to a good start in keeping long, healthy relationships in all aspects of our lives.

GOTW: T.I.M.E. Stories

This week, we played a narrative mystery game called T.I.M.E. Stories. In the game you play the part of a team of time travelers sent by an organization to stop a temporal fault from occurring. Our team consisted of four players, each of which took over a receptacle (a host body) in order to explore a specific moment in time and space to stop the fault from forming. The hosts you can play as all have different strengths and weaknesses as well as abilities that can come in handy throughout a run. As a team you explore several locations across a map, fighting off enemies and solving puzzles. However, time is limited, as the organization that sent you there can only hold the link for so long before you are forced back into reality. Many roles have special abilities that can be used throughout the game to gain the upper hand for a player’s given team. The goal of the game is to successfully complete the mission in as few runs as possible, by solving the many puzzles found throughout the map.

Our story started right before we were to be connected to our hosts, and we were briefed on what we needed to do. Our team is sent back to a mental health asylum in 1921. My character was Marie Bertholet. The other characters we had were Felix Bonnunfant, Edith Jolibois, and Mademoiselle Doume. So, we set out to explore the asylum, finding keys, breaking into lockers, and trying (failing) to steal the key off a doctor in the kitchen. Playing as Marie gave me some advantages, especially when it came to the speech skill. I was able to turn any speech roll I made into a minor success. Using her to speak proved very useful in many situations throughout the asylum. However, there was one scenario with a particular orderly that was not so successful. Overall, our team seemed to move quite well, cooperating with each other, and noting down anything we found important as we went. None of us lost any health during the first part of the game, more so having issues with time as we often rolled high on the time lost dice. Our team actually worked quite well together, collectively coming to decisions, and helping each other out as much as possible. We found the secret passageway after murdering Dr. Hyacinth. By the end of the session, we had gathered two pages of a book. Unfortunately, we are near the end of our time loop, and likely will lose everything next week. However, with the knowledge we gained this week, our team should be able to proceed quite easily. I am excited to see what happens.

The hardest part of the game was deciding which options were important with the time we had remaining. While our group was very good at gathering and using information and items, we often ran into issues that cost us precious time points. Our team actually did really well with working together and sharing authority. Our abilities were actually spread pretty evenly, allowing us to prioritize where each of us should go ahead of time so that we worked as efficiently in a new location as we could. I actually believe that that is a way each of us showed leadership. While each of us took on the Time Captain role at least once, we each collaborated and based our decisions on where our strengths lie. The only time other than that that I saw leadership come into effect was deciding where to travel next. Typically, one person would propose moving locations, and then we would all agree on a location.

I loved this game so far. I love games that dig deep into lore, and this one definitely dug deep. I also thought that the mechanics really complimented it well. I loved the exploration aspect as well as the collaborative play. We all had the same goal, which I have not seen much in games I have played recently. I liked the risks we all took, as we all were curious to discover every little secret in the game. This both lead us to learn a lot in our first run, while also being something that cost us a lot of time (I am looking at you moon step man). This being said, this game definitely feels like a game you can only play once. I know there are other decks out there as well, so that makes me a bit tempted to purchase it for myself and play it with my friends. I think my friends Xavier, Katie, Korben, and Roai would love this type of game. They love narrative based games just as much as I do.

GOTW Reflection: Blood on the Clocktower

Ooooh whee Blood on the clocktower was pretty fun. My first time playing it was at Meeples the Tuesday before we played it in class, and to be honest, I was almost completely lost the first time. Alyssa and I talked about it afterwards and agreed that playing with so many skilled players at hyper speed was definitely a trial by fire and I burnt (I was killed the first night and never even got to use my power- gravedigger lol). It was still fun watching everyone work things out thought!

Playing in class with mostly beginners was a lot more fun. I was the Baron, and while I did not win, I got a lot closer to it! The evil team, ring-lead by Logan (though Logan was not the imp) did a pretty decent job of convincing the villagers of our side, or at least confusing them at times. I think unfortunately our other two red team, as newbies, gave some things away or didn’t have the strategies to employ, which is NOT their fault and I still had a great time! The hardest part of this game was, as the evil team, deciding what narrative you were going to push and what story you need to make come to life, because you have to decide that pretty early on so you can all get your story straight and confuse the good team!

This game is alllll about teamwork and working together cohesively. I think leaders usually emerge, like Logan was a leader for my evil team as the rest of us had less experience, but they’re not necessary- in my Meeples game I think almost everyone was running their own agenda! Blood on the clocktower encourages all styles of teamwork.

I’m 0-2 on this game, but I would absolutely play it again! I think it would get better the more I play it, and gain an understanding on more of the characters and possible situations and everything else. I think it would probably be too complicated to introduce to my family, but maybe some of my friends. Those friends being Logan, Aaron, and Alyssa, and I know already that they like it. But yeah.

GOTW Reflection: Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen was very fun! I was a lady, and I had a great time getting into character with my fellow ladies, Logan and Aaron. My gentleman and I kind of blew everyone out of the water with our secret hack: the servants!!! Logan and Aaron at the end were like HOW DID YOU GET SO MANY SERVANTS, Aaron definitely thought he was going to win and was surprised that Charlotte and I came out on top.

I didn’t really find any part of the game “hard” per se, but I suppose the most difficult part was choosing which category was going to be available in my storefront, that was the least straightforward for me.

As for leadership, this game is definitely about teamwork between each lady and their gentleman! Charlotte made it incredibly easy for me from her stock success, she bought almost everything I asked for, and we excelled. I tried to pick and choose which items/servants to ask for to accommodate money, and valued the ones I thought would end up with the most victory points at the end.

I think my family might enjoy this game- I’ll consider bringing it into the foray! The partner mechanic is definitely a favorite of ours, switching up the whole game is easy by just switching partners. I think Alyssa’s comment in class about it maybe getting boring after a few plays is valid- but you can always switch sides and partners to keep it interesting! I liked this game 🙂

Ladies & Gentlemen

This week in class we played “Ladies & Gentlemen”, this was my first time playing this game and it was a very good experience. This game is designed for 4-10 players and was designed around high society where players will be a couple with their teammates. The game is very straightforward and strategic as you try and collect the most stars at the end of the game.
The hardest part about this game was collecting the correct tokens if you played the role of a gentleman. You had to be quick and notice what tokens you need in order to gather money and resources to buy items for your significant other. Another flaw in the game was picking a token with a number on it. If you did not receive a low number then other players will purchase resources before you had the chance.
“Ladies & Gentlemen” showcases a variety of leadership skills such as persuasion, influence, and making important decisions under pressure. Leaders in the game have to make crucial decisions each round on what clothing to buy for their significant other and what pieces will allow them to gather the most stars. Overall, this game was very fun to play and I think my friend Jake would love this game as he is very interested in competitive games and environments.

Two Rooms and a Boom

This week we played “Two Rooms and a Boom”, this was my first time playing this game and I enjoyed it. This game is focused on challenging your communication skills, strategic thinking, and reading others’ minds. This game is focused primarily on two teams, the Red and Blue teams each team has a president and a bomber. As the Red team tries to get the president and the bomber in the same room, the Blue team must prevent this.
The hardest part about this game was reading people’s minds and strategic thinking throughout every round. Switching rooms throughout each round made it very hard as information was shared in each room in a secretive manner. The limited time clock also made this game very difficult as you have to be quick with your actions and what clues to find in each round.
“Two Rooms and a Boom” showcases a variety of leadership skills such as persuasion, influence, and making important decisions under pressure. Leaders in the game have to make crucial decisions each round on who to send into the other room to gather important information. Leaders are different each round which makes the focus of leadership very important in this game, adapting each round is very important. Overall, this game was very fun to play and I think my friend Jack would love this game as he is very interested in competitive games and environments.

Ultimate Werewolf

In the first week of class, we played Ultimate Werewolf. I have never played this board game so it was a very difficult experience at first. The majority of my classmates knew how to play the game and seemed very experienced. There were a lot of ups and downs to this game but I finally got the hang of it.
The hardest part about this game was how much people and characters had a role in the game. There were a lot of scenarios where there were so many different scenarios to choose from so we had to just arbitrarily choose people to “kill”. My first time playing the game I didn’t know what roles were more important to others so I was very confused about why there were so many different characters.
This game ties into leadership in a way where the Werewolves can control most of the game if played correctly. The werewolves are always seeking to take people out of the game so having that authority and leadership is a key part for them.
I think my little cousins would love this game as it is a game that many people can play together and team up against each other to make it a better experience. Our gameplay as a class was very quick as we didn’t have much time to take our time. Overall, I am not the biggest fan of this game as I prefer different style of board games but it was still a fun experience.

GOTW Reflection: Two Rooms and a Boom

Two Rooms and a Boom was a very fun party game! I really enjoyed how many different roles there were and how much the game changed for each player based on their role. For example, when I was the bomber, I took much more of a backseat on the strategizing as I was an important role, and I let my team make all the decisions for me.

I don’t always enjoy being in a leadership role, though I have been in multiple facets of my life and I will step in if I need to, but I enjoy the teamwork element much more. In this game, as we discussed in class, even though there is a literal ‘leader’ role, we decided that the leader doesn’t actually have all of the power, and it’s very much a team game, making team decisions and coming to team consensus. It was more about making sure that your team was in power, not a specific leader as a dictator. I think the hardest part of the game, for me, was remembering who was which team/role between the rounds. After 2 or 3 everything started to blur together, and trying to remember who’s on my team this round, even if they weren’t last round. The worst part was when they were on your team last round but this round they are an enemy.

I thought it was weird how there is almost no incentive NOT to share your color/card with the gray roles. Unless you have a personal vendetta against that person, of course. I was then informed that there are some gray roles that we weren’t playing with, where you definitely DON’T want to share your role with them, because they could kill you or otherwise screw with your team. I found that the ambassador roles played a huge role in communication between rooms within a team, specifically to share between rooms which team is in power in each room, which absolutely influences your team decisions. Also, they are very helpful in connecting the Doctor-President and Engineer-Bomber. I can see how they would be helpful with all of the other role cards we didn’t play with as well.

I enjoyed playing with 12 or 13 people as we did in class, I feel like if you added much more the game would change and involve less teamwork. Which could be fun to play an almost entirely different game, but I think I would prefer to keep the numbers around what we had. I definitely enjoyed connecting with and learning more about some of my classmates that I hadn’t interacted with before!