Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Casa Nostra

Sometimes you see a movie and there is a character in the movie who talks in a really cool or unique way, and after you leave the movie you find yourself talking like him/her for several hours. Just me?
Okay, well there's also the game "Mafia". And after you play it with a group of people, you find yourself thinking about the perfect strategy to win it for several days. That's what I've been doing.
If you don't know how to play Mafia, here is a pretty decent explanation from Wikihow. It has some variations I don't use often, especially that if the "Sheriff" is right about who the Mafia is, the Mafia is immediately dead. Go ahead and read it if you're not familiar because I can't really explain the whole thing in the blog.

Ah, you know how to play now? Good. Here are my thoughts:

Everyone who is Mafia has a tendency to be very quiet. This is why I tend to be a dead giveaway when it's me, unless I'm playing around people who haven't played with me before or don't know me very well. It takes an incredible amount of restraint when you're a Civilian (an "innocent" in the Wikihow explanation) to keep quiet. You know it's not you, so you want to do everything to find out who it is, meaning you're probably very loud and exuberant.

Knowing that this is the main giveaway when you ARE the Mafia (acting differently than you normally do), the key may be to act exactly the same no matter what. Just sit there stone-faced. Of course, this isn't exactly a strategy. It doesn't do anything to convince people that you aren't the Mafia. It just suggests that you act the same way every time and are therefore just as suspicious as anyone else. There has to be a better strategy.

I've come up with it. A brilliant strategy that will make you lose at first, but if you're playing long enough, will give you a remarkable victory. By the way, if anyone reads this whom I will be playing with soon, forget everything I'm about to say. I totally won't be doing it.

Here it is: You're likely to be an Innocent for a round or two. This is good. Act however you normally would as an Innocent. Yell, jump around, whatever. But, remember what you're doing and how you're acting.
Then, when you finally become Mafia, be a dead giveaway. Sit quiet, shift your eyes, act totally suspicious. If they pick you and you lose, no big deal. Everyone will have a good laugh. Whatever. Keep playing the game.
The next time you're Mafia, don't be a dead giveaway. Jump around, yell, whatever you do every time you're an Innocent. But you have to sell it. Don't hold back. If your usual tactic is to accuse the same person, accuse that person. Everyone has already seen what you do when you're Mafia, so nobody will suspect you. It's all about being a good actor, but only after you've made everyone think you're terrible.

Game, set, and match.

And...just to show you all I haven't lost my touch...


Lelah said...

I also think a good strategy is to see if people form alliances--since the mafia don't want each other to be killed, they won't vote for another mafia person. Also, if you're too vocal, you're a threat to the mafia and you'll get killed...my strategy (having never been mafia in all my three times of playing this game) is to be less vocal than the most vocal person (ie: Rupak/Jonathan) and more vocal that the least vocal person (EvanD, Dean) and try stay alive for as long as possible. Brilliant, I know.

. . . said...

can we plan a mafia game when i come visit? please oh please oh please?

Jonathan said...

That alliance thing is tricky. I've never actually formed one in the game, and I've never seen one really work out, because there's no way both parties can be sure that the other one is not Mafia. I will attempt to incorporate your strategy (of being less vocal than me and more vocal than Dean) into my game plan and we'll see how it goes. It's hard not to be yourself.

It's Mom said...

Just because I don't post all the time doesn't mean I'm not reading the blog. I do and I especially enjoy the picture of you carrying out the trash. I don't know why.