Player Elimination: Fun or Annoying?

Brent | May 18, 2016

What's a game that has stood the test of time? The one that has numerous incarnations, while being completely viable with just a standard deck of cards? Werewolf (or Mafia as some may know it by) is a social deduction party game that has become a staple for its simplicity in its rules and the hilarity that can insue. 

Fast forward to the present day and there are so many versions of the game, notably the difference in the Bezier produced versions from Ted Alspach and this raises the question, "Player Elimination, is it more fun or just plain annoying?"

I'm personally on the fence about the whole thing, on one hand there is always the first casualty that more or less involves one person essentially being out for the entire game, which I can understand the frustration, expecially if your 'that guy/girl' that everyone seems to pick on every single game! But for me the constant fear of 'oh know, im not going to be able to do anything next round if they kill me' really adds to the paranoia and gamesmenship.

On the other hand after playing the One Night versions of the game, which does away with the concept of player eliminations and multiple rounds, I could easily be convinced that player elimantion really isn't needed. The one night games employ similar mechanics to the other versions of werewolf, Be it the individual player powers or the multiple win conditions, however the flow and theming behind the game tends to differ quite a lot. With the smaller game you don't find yourself using your strategic mind as the werewolf, instead you are relying mostly on misdirection and hysteria to keep people guessing until the final vote is cast. With the original, there is more of natural progression, or story if you like, to the game and I would say the longer version of werewolf actually has more satisfaction to it, that is, If you are still in the game (but hey, you can always watch.... right?)

Whats your thoughts? Does the Player Elimination mechanic make or break the game of werewolf for you?


Brent is the founder of OzBoardGamer, he has a passion for the hobby and especially loves games for 2 to 5 players

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