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Since a Traitor might help you, to avoid making it obvious they are a Traitor, is it better to wait to reveal them? The advantage of accusing early, is that if no White Swords are on the board, you don't get a Black Sword if you make a false accusation. You also prevent Special Cards being played by the Traitor (if they decide to reveal themselves) that can hurt everyone.

Does the strategy of when to Accuse change with the number of players? Why?

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2 Answers

We generally wait until latter in the game for 2 reasons. First is the unrevealed traitor seems to be less damaging as aramis points out.

The second reason is because we normally don't meet the requirement of 6 siege engines or 6 swords until a good portion into the game.

I don't think I've ever played in a game where there were 6 siege engines and no swords on the table to answer that particular part.

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It only requires 6 turns (1.5 round in 4 player), if everyone chooses to put out a siege engine. Quite easy to accomplish if you intend to accuse early. –  user1873 Jan 21 '12 at 2:32
    
It's fun when you know someone's a traitor, and they want to kill siege engines to keep you from pointing them out. Just keep on adding them right at the edge so they keep on it while you do useful stuff ;) –  Travis Feb 15 '12 at 1:15
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My experience is that a known but unrevealed traitor is less damaging than a revealed traitor. Moreover, an unrevealed traitor who doesn't know for certain he's been ID'd may be of some minor benefit, especially if the solo-quests are not his to lose.

An unrevealed traitor, however, can truly sabotage the single-time solo quests something fierce...

If the game is close to 12 swords, say 9+, and a quest is close it's time to gank the traitor to prevent 2 swords from flipping.

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But, there is the rub. If you wait until you start getting White Swords on the board, if you aren't 100% certain who the traitor is, you flip a White Sword to a Black Sword. In a 4P game, that might result in 2 Black Swords (the Traitor can accuse on purpose incorrectly). If the Traitor has been helping, how do you know who he is? There is also the issue of allowing the traitor to gain Lancelot's Armor. If you allow that, you are in serious trouble. If you don't get your Siege Engine count up, how can you remove the Traitor from the board before he claims the armor? –  user1873 Jan 21 '12 at 6:58
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Most traitor players tend to be "ineffective" in play, rather than outright saboteurs. We always shuffle with an extra loyal card, so we don't even know if we have a traitor in play. And the traitor can only accuse each player once... if he's accused everyone but himself and you, go ahead and ding him, because he's in a hurry to grab swords... –  aramis Jan 21 '12 at 8:52
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Actually, every player can only make an accusation once, period. If there is no traitor in the game (50% in 4P), since you shuffle all 8 loyalty cards and only use 4, you could end up having a net -4 Black Swords (if you wait till the end of game, and you have 4 White Swords), that is a pretty difficult deficit to overcome. If you happen to be right, and a Traitor is in the game, you can still have a net -2 Black Swords (I forget if it is flip a Black Sword if one is available, or just gain a White Sword). If you accuse early, you get to gain a White Sword even if no swords are on the board. –  user1873 Jan 21 '12 at 12:23
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