PlayDip Mafia Textbook

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PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 03 Jun 2012, 22:12

PlayDip Mafia Textbook: work in progress

In addition to the mafia glossary and etiquette sections, I am thinking it may be useful to put together a set of posts on "PlayDip Mafia Theory" or some such. There are many questions that seem to come up over-and-over that are not really mechanical question on how play works, but rather on how towns are trying to function. We often deal with these questions in-thread, in one game, with new players (like me!) and then go to the next game and answer the same questions.

So, a few topics on theory of play that come up that I know I was curious about when I started and people explained to me in-thread. I think we can make it clear that this is just "Some people's opinions, and not necessarily designed to cover all situations you will encounter" for a disclaimer or something.

  • Why do towns typically want to lynch on Day 1 (Alternatively: Why do some people hate No Lynching on Day 1)?
  • When is "No Lynch" a good idea?
  • Why do some players argue for "Consolidating the Lynch" on viable candidates?

If we could get mini articles written on these and sticky them as part of the n00b orientation, I think that would be cool. This may be something that emerges organically from the Harry Potter mafia game, and if so let's save some of that stuff.

Thoughts? Other topics that you see come up over and over again? Is this even a good idea?
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Constantine072 » 03 Jun 2012, 22:19

posting here so it is on view your posts
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby musashisamurai » 04 Jun 2012, 02:38

Zoomzip wrote:Is this even a good idea?


its a great idea Zoomzip. I think we should get some of our best players here (you, Crunkus, bkbkbk, Vindictus, Niakan, Alphatengoecho, and C4) to explain how they play and give advice to new players.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Niakan » 04 Jun 2012, 06:30

This could be interesting. But why only confine it to advice from the "best" players? I don't necessarily think I'm one of the best players here; I've just been around longer than many.


Hmm.. what do we think about evolving this into an idea for a "Strategy" section of the Mafia sub-forum? Much like how we have a "Strategy" section for the main Diplomacy forums?
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 04 Jun 2012, 15:38

As for "How to play" -- Less interested in that as explaining why some of the more common tactics are frequently used (Lynching on D1, The Popcorn Reveal, the Hypo-Cop, etc...). I think play style is individual, and I also, like Niakan, quibble with the list of good players (I would not put myself near that list, for instance). But if someone wants to put together their "Thoughts on how to scum hunt" or "Thought on how not be caught as scum" I'd be happy to compile them

On Lynching D1:
From BKBKBK when he lectured me about why we lynch D1. If anyone else remembers some good lectures from previous games on any of the topics, feel free to post them here! I'll see if I can start compiling a document together.

bkbkbk in Hotel Mafia wrote:But more importantly, you go on about the data we get from no lynching. If we set out without the aim of lynching, what weight do votes carry other than a little pressure? What meaning do they have then? We get no information from these votes, which have no intention of leading to a lynch. This attitude devalues votes and therefore devalues the information you intend to get from them....We take advantage of the lynch by lynching and looking at the records.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby connect4 » 04 Jun 2012, 16:15

Also add on that, mathematically, it's always better to lynch, especially if you have an odd number. Ignoring information gain, a random lynch has a better chance of hitting the Mafia than no lynch.

The only exception is if either the information you gain is huge (e.g. Fellowship with a known cop), or if you're at even numbers, to remove a townie from the equation to improve odds.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Crunkus » 04 Jun 2012, 16:31

Zoomzip wrote:
  • Why do towns typically want to lynch on Day 1 (Alternatively: Why do some people hate No Lynching on Day 1)?
  • When is "No Lynch" a good idea?
  • Why do some players argue for "Consolidating the Lynch" on viable candidates?


First off, I'll just say I think that even in a straight vanilla game, it is perfectly possible to generate a reasonable basis for a day one lynch. Even in cases where little hunting is going on and people are phoning it in, as bkbkbk was quoted as saying earlier, "data" is only useful later in the degree to which it has some context to understand it. When a no lynch is decided upon as a strategy, particularly early on, it essentially gives the scum little need or inadvertent opportunity to behave differently than townies. It's easy to say...let's wait for day two...but what are we waiting for? The voting data from day one is compromised in the context of no lynch being expected to occur. The night kill data is generally speaking the worst quality source of data, particularly on night one. So what have we really waited for by waiting until day two? Just a night action by the scum...which, unless the rules of the game specifically make it different, is unlikely to yield positive data for the town, certainly not enough to justify skipping an entire day.

A no lynch can be a reasonable idea when the town is in a situation of one bad lynch loses the game for them and a no lynch followed by a mafia kill does not lose the game for them. However, even these situations a town needs to be careful how to approach a no lynch situation, or risk setting that no lynch day in a confusing or unhelpful context. In many cases, particularly when all players are active, it is in my view better just to roll the dice and make your best call. The rules of the game you are playing however can impact this either way.

Consolidating the lynch is, generally speaking, an attempt to reduce the voice that the scum have in a vote and/or force every vote to actually be more unambiguously relevant in the outcome of the day. The more townies that vote on someone who they do not realistically expect to be lynched, generally speaking, the greater the potential swing power the scum's limited numbers have. It also means that the scum can get out of weighing in on a lynch (good/bad) by simply doing what they know other townies are doing for their own reasons, and just stay neutral.

Now timing plays a big part in this, and it is always about context. What makes a viable candidate? When do you start consolidating? What is the place of fighting against the grain when you feel the town is wrong? There's tons of grey area here. The bottom line is, any system can be manipulated, but some behaviours accepted by the town often make it easier for the scum to do their job. Ideally, when a townie is doing something that shouldn't be accepted the town pushes them in the correct direction and there is an influence at work and more comes from their participation. What often can happen is the townie just takes it personally, gets upset, and immediately distrusts anyone asking for more from them. Sometimes, they just are not able to, but attempt to compensate for that by a bit of deception. This deception often gets picked upon and leads to a bad lynch. This is why being clear and upfront about what you do not get and engaging with people you are suspicious of and are suspicious of you is important. Too often we seek to make excuses and leave it at that, which is precisely what a scum wants to be able to do. Offer a reasonable sounding excuse, and do what you want to do regardless of whether it is in the town's interest. If other townies do this, as they almost always do, the scum have that much more playing room and potential sources of bad lynches.

When I'm playing my number one priority is to try to understand the process of why people do things I do not understand. It's a process of assessment. It's more important than what they actually did in many cases.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 04 Jun 2012, 16:43

All of this stuff is Gold, Jerry, Gold...

I will set up a google doc later today to share, and start incorporating some of this stuff. An annotated guide to theory.
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby bkbkbk » 04 Jun 2012, 16:56

I might get around to writing something here at some point, since my name's been mentioned. Or at least grab a few links to some relevant posts.

musashisamurai wrote:
Zoomzip wrote:Is this even a good idea?


its a great idea Zoomzip. I think we should get some of our best players here (you, Crunkus, bkbkbk, Vindictus, Niakan, Alphatengoecho, and C4) to explain how they play and give advice to new players.

That's just a list of the mods!

Well, and Zoomzip...but you missed out a lot.

:lol:
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Re: PlayDip Mafia Textbook

Postby Zoomzip » 04 Jun 2012, 19:46

connect4 wrote:Also add on that, mathematically, it's always better to lynch, especially if you have an odd number. Ignoring information gain, a random lynch has a better chance of hitting the Mafia than no lynch.

The only exception is if either the information you gain is huge (e.g. Fellowship with a known cop), or if you're at even numbers, to remove a townie from the equation to improve odds.



C4, can you elaborate on this even/odd concept you have? What is the difference in a lynch/no-lynch scenario between 8-4 and 9-4?
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