- The zero round in Mafia
The zero round in Mafia
The zero circle in Mafia is basically the first round happening in the game, when all players are still present and there were no night checks and murders yet. At this point, it is difficult to make any assumptions, and many players prefer to pass or skip the discussion. During the next round, nobody knows how to vote; the Sheriff does not have any hints for the night check and chooses a player at random. In this scenario the Citizens lose one round to spot the Blacks. In this article, you will learn how to make the zero circle more informative and beneficial.
First and second players
In many clubs, the first player, unlike the rest, is allowed to pass or talk about an abstract topic. What the first player can do in the zero circle is to pay attention to postures, gestures and facial expressions of others.
Also, the first player can try to provoke someone. For example, ask a question whether a person is happy with a black card. Everyone can see the reaction to this provocation and make a conclusion. It also gives an opportunity to evaluate the first player, depending on who and how he provokes. This bold move sets a dynamic tone for the whole game. If the first player chooses to discuss facial expressions and gestures, then the second player can arrange a provocation.
Third and subsequent players
The following players evaluate speeches of others and make assumptions about their roles. It is already clear who is attacking whom, and who protects whom. At the end of the round, participants can suggest who belongs to the Mafia and whose role is still incomprehensible. The last player sums up everything, expresses his opinion and "closes the table".
During their speeches, players can ask the Sheriff to check suspicious characters. If the checked person turns out to be black, the Sheriff can be sure that the player suggested it is most likely to be a Citizen. And vice versa, if the checked player has a red card, maybe the person who suggested that action is the Mafia.
You can often hear from beginners: "I do not suspect anyone yet, the first player did not talk very clear, the second is likely to be gray, the third one acted normal". Some experienced players use this blurry tactic during the zero circle too, so that they do not expose themselves and do not make enemies at such an early stage.
Pay attention to suspicious statements like "I prefer this player, I completely agree with this opinion." During the zero round, it is not necessary to join a team and be completely sure of all the roles. At this stage, only the Mafia players know each other. Strong statements like "you are 100% black, and you are red because your eyes seem kind" will only alert others.
Say something like this:
During this round, I will play with…because...
I believe this argument because...
I assume those people belong to...
This player's speech seemed to me logical…
The behavior of this player is suspicious because...
Among all of you, I would choose to play with this...because…
Do not take the zero circle too seriously. All suspicions and sympathies at this moment are caused by your emotions, not logic. Even experienced players make mistakes in their guesses. Your task is to express your thoughts clearly and try not to spoil your reputation for the game.
Strategy for the Blacks
The zero circle can be useful not only for the Red team, but also for the Blacks. The Mafia can understand who takes the leadership between the Citizens, and develop the most effective plan for the night "murders".
If a player from your team is suspected, try to protect him without making yourself seem suspicious. You can find arguments why he does not look like Mafia, or even confirm the guesses and say: "Yes, he definitely belongs to it! It is not even necessary to check it, we will just vote for him the next round." Most likely, others will forget it if your friend will redeem himself.
At this point, there is nothing to be afraid of, because no one else knows to which team Mafia players belong. However, you should be very careful so the Sheriff will not want to check you. You can spot the Sheriff in players who act atypical or who take the lead.
A player who does this is rarely the Sheriff:
1. A suspicious player, when seem like he needs to be checked.
2. A player with an aggressive behavior.
3. A player who says: "I would check..." The real Sheriff will be afraid of this phrase, because it clearly points to his role, and would rather say: "I would advise the Sheriff to check ..."
4. A player who wishes the Blacks a good game and hopes for a difficult situation with two Sheriffs, etc.
More often, the Sheriff is:
1. A player who is actively asking the opinion of others about who should be checked.
2. A player who asks the Reds to stand together against the Mafia.
3. A player who does not give any clear statement.
Be active on the zero circle, despite your role in the game. Speak out, evaluate others, but do not be too serious. Everything can change during the game, and then it will be even more interesting to compare the information from the zero circle to how it turned out at the end.