Tag Archives: Ultimate Werewolf

Compare and Contrast: Ultimate Werewolf and Blood on the Clocktower

Ultimate Werewolf and Blood on the Clocktower (BOTC) are two social deduction games that we have played over the last semester that share quite a bit in common mechanically. However, both have distinct differences that set them apart in many ways. Both games utilize a day and night cycle in which two teams attempt to meet the necessary criteria to bring their team to victory. For Ultimate Werewolf, the townsfolk try to catch and kill the werewolves before they can kill the whole town. Similarly, BOTC has the town attempting to catch a demon and its minions before they can murder the whole town. During the day, the town votes to execute one person in an attempt to kill a member of the evil team. During the night cycle of both games, the werewolf/demon faction chooses one townsperson to kill. Each game utilizes unique hidden roles to give players an edge for their team.

            While these two games are both similar, each presents itself differently and provides unique experiences for its players. For example, while both Ultimate Werewolf and BOTC use hidden roles, BOTC makes sure that each role is unique and has an ability of its own. In Ultimate Werewolf, many of the players are simply townspeople with no addition abilites. I see this as both a positive and a negative. For one, I believe the lack of an ability could make the game less exciting for players. However, I also think this requires players to then utilize other skills in the game to make up for that. On the flip side, everyone having an ability makes things very interesting in BOTC. This is especially the case because of how BOTC works. What roles are in play is unknown, unlike in Werewolf. It is harder to tell if someone is lying about their role. Not even to mention that the demon gets to see what roles are not in use. Another difference between Ultimate Werewolf and Blood on the Clocktower is that BOTC relies on private conversations before each day’s execution. This feature I really enjoyed. It allowed you to secretly communicate and construct alliances way better than you could in Ultimate Werewolf. For Werewolf, you are largely limited to communicating with those near you, if not to the entire group at large. Another difference that I was particularly fond of in BOTC was how death was handled in the game. Unlike in Ultimate Werewolf, you don’t just sit around once you die. You can still communicate and participate just as you had when you were alive. The only caveat was that you could no longer use your ability. Additionally, you were allowed to vote one more time during the course of the game. A vote beyond the grave. One thing that I also felt made a distinct difference between these two games was the hidden special mechanics that BOTC had (the red herring and the drunk). Both added some nuance and intrigue to roles, making it harder for the townsfolk to win. Ultimate Werewolf does not have special conditions like this. Finally, the biggest difference I noticed in the games was the role of the Gamemaster. While Ultimate Werewolf largely only had the gamemaster playing a passive role, the gamemaster of BOTC was an active participant in the story of the game. They’re role is to make the game as interesting as possible and to try to get it to come down to the wire in the last few rounds. I really liked this, as it made the game feel more alive.

            Overall, I really like both games. The social deduction genre has been a favorite of mine for years, and while my experience with these specific iterations has been limited, I found myself enjoying them both while playing with the class. I like the differing roles, especially those of BOTC. Each time you play will result in a vastly different experience from the last. I feel like this game is good for large groups of people. I did find Werewolf easier to pick up, but that is largely because there are some more complex mechanics in BOTC. From what I have seen, the the game is evenly balanced from round to round, with one side never really being too far above the opposing team just by default. Additionally, I really enjoy games where I can act both cooperatively and competitively. Working as a team in a game is just so satisfying.

I didn’t find many negatives in either game, though I did feel that BOTC had more replayability compared to Ultimate Werewolf. It expanded on and filled in any of the gaps that I felt Werewolf had. Not only did every player get a unique ability with their role, but the game felt a lot more secretive and strategic. Every person had a role to play. I also really liked the role of the GM and dead players. The GM felt more like an active participant who had an effect on the outcome of the game as opposed  to just a neutral party who facilitated it. Additionally, players were still important throughout the game, even after dying. This meant that unlike Ultimate Werewolf, there was still an incentive to remain tuned in to the game. While this didn’t have much of an effect on our gameplay, I also thought I should add that BOTC has additional role sheets to spice things up if it began to feel stale. Overall, both games were a lot of fun – but for me BOTC simply did it better.

GOTW Reflection #1: Ultimate Werewolf

During the first week, we played a game called Ultimate Werewolf. It is a social deduction-based game where every player is given a hidden role based on the card dealt to them at the beginning. In Ultimate Werewolf, you either play on the side of the werewolves or the side of the townspeople. 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 townspeople is to find and kill all the werewolves. On the other hand, the goal of the werewolves is to kill townspeople until there is an equal amount of townspeople and werewolves. The game moves in a day-and-night cycle, where werewolves as well as certain other roles kill townsfolk at night. It is also during the nighttime that townsfolk with special abilities get to choose how they would like to use those abilities. During the day, all players debate the execution of another player who may or may not be a werewolf. In a usual game of Ultimate Werewolf, there doesn’t necessarily need to be an execution every day. However, for how we played it in class, due to the time restriction this rule was in place.

            The session we played in class was one of the biggest games of Ultimate Werewolf I have ever played. There were three werewolves and a witch. The townspeople were, of course, the vast majority. The role I received for this game session was Cupid. On the first night, I woke up and chose two individuals (or rather victims), to be lovers. The Lovers know who they are, and their fate is tied together. If one of the lovers dies, so does the other as a result of heartbreak. After the first night, I basically became a normal townsperson, who has no special abilities attached. Rather unfortunately, one of the Lovers was chosen to be executed during the first day, resulting in two townsfolk deaths. Following that day, each night the werewolves would choose someone to kill. Each day, we decided who to execute based on a majority vote. Throughout the session, the townsfolk found one werewolf and the witch. Many people were silenced and many people chose to stay silent. In the end, the werewolves won.

            The hardest part of the game was determining who to execute. There wasn’t solid evidence for many of the executions that actually occurred. Until we got closer to the end, many executions were on a whim or simply because we had to choose someone. There were also some individuals who had never played Ultimate Werewolf before, likely taking more passive roles as a result. However, when it came to execution, it often only took one person taking the initiative to make a decision for an execution to occur. Considering we all didn’t really know much about each other, we similarly had very little to go off of to point to one individual over another. Which leads me to how risk was taken during the game.

            I saw risk taken in several ways. Firstly, in how we executed people in the game. Every time someone was executed, there was a risk that it was a townsperson. With that risk in mind, no one wanted to point fingers – both because it could make them look guilty, and because no one wants to vote out people they don’t know. For the werewolves, leading the charge would put them at risk of being suspicious to the townspeople, so often they left that risk to them as they had more reason to search for the werewolves. They helped just enough to keep the target off their back while staying quiet enough to not be in the spotlight. One thing that really defined this game in particular, was the domino-effect-like pattern seen in the voting. When more than one individual proposed a vote, it was rarely challenged, and often quickly accepted by the majority. The more people who agreed to a vote, the less risk there was in also choosing that decision. One moment I saw a huge risk taken was when the witch tried to vote out the apprentice seer. By doing so, the witch would complete the task they needed to win. However, they also ended up being executed the following day when the apprentice seer was forced to reveal their role after execution. Those who spoke up often could take the lead in the vote and execute someone within reason. I believe that the ones who started votes were leaders in this situation, starting the chain to lead to an execution. However, without a bit of reason to it, and without followers, the execution would not go through. That being said, it was those who were willing to make a splash that were able to form a ripple.

            I have played many games like Ultimate Werewolf before. This was the first time I played with so many people – especially those whom I didn’t know. For that reason, being on the townspeople’s side, I played pretty aggressively when it came to voicing my opinion on votes. I personally didn’t like taking risks, even if we were inevitably forced to execute every night. Though I understood that it was necessary, I knew that doing an execution everyday cycle without evidence would result in us losing far more townspeople than werewolves statistically. Unfortunately, having the role of Cupid only seemed to make this fact a lot worse for this game in particular. One risk I did take was speaking up as much as I did. From my experience, that can be a double-edged sword in games like Ultimate Werewolf. Speaking up is necessary when not a lot of people are talking. However, talking too much can make you a target for werewolves who want to shut your mouth. On the flip side, townsfolk who see you speaking up and pointing the finger a bunch might think that you are a werewolf attempting to act like a townsperson. This actually did happen near the end of the game. I couldn’t think of a good defense for myself and ended up executed. On reflection, I should have tried revealing my role to defend myself. Either way, it was still a fun game. 

When it came to this game, I took the risk of being outspoken but often played it a bit safer when it came to voting for people. I would say this is fairly on point for how I approach leadership. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but often find myself filling in the gaps when I notice it is necessary. This game didn’t have many active speakers, which resulted in me speaking out more than I normally would in a game like this. At the same time, I wasn’t too keen on voting for someone without any reason behind it and often opposed a vote if I didn’t feel it held enough ground. On that note, I do believe that my friend Arden would enjoy this game. They are a very social person, and I get the feeling they would find the hidden roles fascinating. I’ll definitely have to invite them to play a game of Ultimate Werewolf with me sometime.

Ultimate Werewolf Reflection

Last week we played the game Ultimate Werewolf. To play this game each person in the group is given a card that assigns them a certain role that they will be playing. Each of these characters has a special ability, except for the townspeople who don’t have an ability. There are two groups that people can be a part of, the evil team (werewolves and the sorceress in our case) or the good team (everyone else). Both teams are trying to win; the evil team is trying to keep the werewolves alive long enough to have equal numbers with the good team, and the good team is trying to kill the werewolves.

One of the hardest parts of this game for me was the town meetings. I think this was because we had to kill someone each night, but we had little evidence of anyone. Due to this lack of evidence, I often didn’t know what to say or felt a little bad killing anyone for random reasons. I think another generally difficult part of this game is remembering what each role does. During the meetings I often found myself forgetting what roles were even in the game and what each of the roles did.

In terms of leadership, I think this game is a good example of leadership because each day someone had to take charge to begin accusations. It also shows the importance of the first follower, as we discussed in the video we watched. Without that first follower the leader could’ve looked a little crazy, but as soon as someone else joined in more and more people would follow the leader, which eventually led to a decision.

I did enjoy this game, and I know my sister would enjoy it as well because she likes the game Mafia, which is very similar. However, I was a little nervous at first because I was the werewolf. When the game was being described I really wanted to be a townsperson because I wouldn’t have to make random decisions. I often let the other werewolves take charge because I didn’t always know who to kill. I do think this game would be way more fun with people I’m more comfortable with, because I wouldn’t feel as bad taking people I knew out of the game compared to people I had never spoken to.

Ultimate Werewolf Review-EDL290T

A couple weeks ago in class, we played a round of Ultimate Werewolf. This is primarily an asymmetrical hidden role game where each character gets a different team and ability, and the primary objective is either to obfuscate your role and outlast the other team, or find the members of the other team, convince your team they are guilty, and vote them out. The most difficult part of Ultimate Werewolf for me is figuring out who is on which team when I am good. There are not that many information roles, and all the powerful ones will be secretive about their ability, which makes a defined solve very tough to achieve.

The aspects of the game that relate most to leadership include times when you are on the good team and must garner trust among fellow players to prevent yourself from being voted out and vote out those not on your team. When you are on the bad team, you must similarly lead the town, but in the opposite direction, perhaps creating false information that will lead others to your point of view, and into your following. The best ways to do this in both cases will usually be to find sentiments that others are agreeing with that fit your desired world, and agree with these sentiments, taking apparent agency away from yourself and giving it to another, while still controlling the game state.

I think some of my friends from high school would like this style of game; I might introduce them to something similar when I go home for Thanksgiving. During the play session we had, I was the bodyguard, and successfully protected my cupid pair on a night I thought he was likely to be killed. My team did not win the game as we were not able to figure out who all was on the other team. I liked this play session and thought it went well, though whenever I play werewolf I wish there was more information available to solve through. Many risks are taken in Werewolf in when and who you share information with, but I did not take those risks in this particular session. When I am in a leadership position I usually take a more active role than I did in this game, as I didn’t know the people I was playing with too well and did not want to be too aggressive in my playstyle.