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Thread: #16: Optimal Hider Play (by shortaru)

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    #16: Optimal Hider Play (by shortaru)

    Article #16: Optimal Hider Play
    - written by shortaru

    Hider is a powerful investigational role full of pitfalls and nuance. In order to play it effectively, it is important to first understand how it works, so please refer to the wiki to better understand the unique mechanics involved with this role.

    Since targeting scum kills the Hider, the role is typically best utilized to confirm town because surviving the night means the Hider's target MUST be town.

    For this reason, Hiders should target the highest non-confirmed townread. That way, town will know where to look if the Hider dies at night which could out a deep wolf.

    There is some nuance required in building your reads list and determining your target as a Hider, because Hiders also die if the player they are hiding behind is killed.

    For this reason, a claimed power role (whether that claim was countered or not) should be avoided the night after the claim occurs as they are a likely target for the night kill. In an open setup, treat uncountered power role claims as if they are mod-confirmed town.

    If the Hider is townreading correctly and lasts until late game, their town pool can PoE the scum team even if they die before claiming their results.

    For example, D1 townreads might be:

    Sue <- visit
    Bob
    Bill

    D2, Sue is confirmed town if the Hider is still alive, and suspect if they die. If an Innocent Child (mod-confirmed town) is revealed on D2:

    John (Innocent Child)
    Sue (confirmed town via Hider surviving N1)
    Bob (n2 Target)
    Bill

    D3, Bob would likewise either be confirmed or incriminated.

    If you suspect a deep wolf as a Hider, you should elevate their position to the top of your non-confirmed townreads and check them the following night. That way, your death will point to that wolf as long as town understands optimal Hider play. Or if you're wrong, you have removed a suspect from your lynch pool.

    As long as the Hider can avoid claiming, they have the potential to decimate a scum team via PoE as long as town knows how to interpret their crumbed results after they die.

    Interpreting Hider Results

    Once the Hider is dead, it is important to understand how to determine their results. If the Hider has used their role optimally, that is, according to the recommendations of this article, their results will be easy to determine.

    As mentioned above, the Hider's top non-confirmed townread from the previous day should be their target for the following night. For this reason, confirmed town such as Innocent Child and uncountered power role claims in open setup games should not be considered a Hider Target and ignored when determining where the Hider went.

    For example, if an Innocent Child and a Jailkeeper are outed on Day 1 in an open setup with no counterclaim and the Hider's town reads are:

    John (IC)
    Mark (Jailkeeper)
    Sue
    Bob
    Bill

    Sue should be the Hider's target, not John or Mark.

    On D2, the Hider may suspect Terry of being a deep wolf, so his reads would change to:

    John (Innocent Child)
    Mark (Jailkeeper)
    Sue (n1 clear)
    Terry (deep wolf suspect)
    Bob
    Bill

    If the Hider dies N2 (and it's clear that the Hider's death is not the scum night kill), you will know to lynch Terry.


    Cliffs Notes:

    • Hider is best suited for town hunting.
    • Visit your top non-confirmed townread to confirm them as town.
    • Innocent Child (in any setup) and uncountered power role claims (in open setups only) should be treated as confirmed town for the purpose of interpreting Hider results.
    • If you suspect a deep wolf, list them as your top non-confirmed town and check them the following night.
    • Look to the Hider's last list of townreads to determine likely scum if they die before their role is outed.
    Lenny - Today at 10:08 AM
    Atpg sometimes the paragraphs you write are pretty good

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    Straight White Male wiggles1993's Avatar
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    I do not like this way, I want my reads lists to act as a legacy, I prefer to give what I actually think.

    Also I don't think I always want to peek my highest confidence town read, I respect myself enough that these are the people that I don't want to peek.

    I think context matters as to whether mafia KNOW there's a hider in the game too, if it's a mash you can simply leave a clue as to what you'll be doing for the night in a near EOD post that shouldn't be hard to disguise.

    How are we to know when a hider dies that they will play this specific way? I think they'll have to indicate in their posts as to what they did or how they're leaving their info, not everyone is gonna read this and those that do may not agree with or want to play it this way.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    If you want to play the role suboptimally, you have nobody to blame but yourself when town lets the wolf you hid behind skate.

    And if confirmed town doesn't go at the top of your reads list, idk what to tell you.

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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Hider results can't be framed by a simple night kill.

    Mafia shooting at the hider will only result in a failed kill.

    The only way to mess with a hider is to redirect it.

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    Straight White Male wiggles1993's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#3)
    If you want to play the role suboptimally, you have nobody to blame but yourself when town lets the wolf you hid behind skate.

    And if confirmed town doesn't go at the top of your reads list, idk what to tell you.
    I don't put confirmed people on my reads lists most of the time no.

    I will make it very clear who I'm gonna hide behind when I'm a hider, without it being obvious.

    I don't think restricting yourself to having to treat them as your top town read for the day is optimal.

    It's certainly a way to play hider but I don't think I'll adopt it.

    Also I'm detecting some slight hurtness in your post because you're lashing out slightly, I'm just responding to/discussing the post, not trying to be provocative.
    Last edited by wiggles1993; November 29th, 2018 at 02:12 PM.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggles1993 (#5)
    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#3)
    If you want to play the role suboptimally, you have nobody to blame but yourself when town lets the wolf you hid behind skate.

    And if confirmed town doesn't go at the top of your reads list, idk what to tell you.
    I don't put confirmed people on my reads lists most of the time no.

    I will make it very clear who I'm gonna hide behind when I'm a hider, without it being obvious.

    I don't think restricting yourself to having to treat them as your top town read for the day is optimal.

    It's certainly a way to play hider but I don't think I'll adopt it.

    Also I'm detecting some slight hurtness in your post because you're lashing out slightly, I'm just responding to/discussing the post, not trying to be provocative.
    I'm not hurt at all, I just don't understand your perspective.

    Your lack of clarity just comes across as being contrarian.

    Obviously if confirmed town aren't in your reads list, they are assumed to be at the top, so idk what your point even is, there?

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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggles1993 (#5)
    I will make it very clear who I'm gonna hide behind when I'm a hider, without it being obvious.
    How?

    Also, the point of this article is to provide guidance for those who do not have a firm grasp of the role. Objectively speaking, it is the mechanically optimal play.

    Deviating from that is advanced strategy that I would not recommend to anyone needing to refer to an article.

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    How would you suggest making your choices easy to decipher after you died without tipping the Mafia off to who they should shoot to get a double kill?
    Last edited by Makaze; November 30th, 2018 at 11:04 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makaze (#8)
    How would you suggest making your choices easy to decipher after you died without tipping the Mafia off to who they should shoot to get a double kill?
    That's not really the right question.

    A better question would be to ask how to avoid being suspected as the Hider, because it takes a few days to pick up the Hider readslist pattern (notably, the static top town list), longer if the player is able to provide reasonable explanations for their shifts. One good way to explain a static top town list is to periodically question your confirmed town as to why they think something and accept their reasoning (which you should easily be able to do because they're town), or quote an occasional post by them with a comment of affirmation.

    That way, the read looks reinforced by content and not results.

    As long as the Hider is being transparent about their townreads (insomuch as it fits within their town meta), the only real issue is if they decide to inspect a suspected deep wolf, because they may have to manufacture a townread there which may ping town (into suspecting the Hider is scum) and scum (into suspecting the Hider's role).
    Last edited by shortaru; November 30th, 2018 at 01:56 PM.

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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Oh... and Hider should NEVER crumb or soft claim.

    Ever.

    It's self-sufficient aside from its weakness (dying if their target is killed), and nothing can prevent that from happening anyway, so there is no reason in the vast majority of games to ever hint at having the role.

    (IMHO)

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#9)
    Quote Originally Posted by Makaze (#8)
    How would you suggest making your choices easy to decipher after you died without tipping the Mafia off to who they should shoot to get a double kill?
    That's not really the right question.

    A better question would be to ask how to avoid being suspected as the Hider, because it takes a few days to pick up the Hider readslist pattern (notably, the static top town list), longer if the player is able to provide reasonable explanations for their shifts. One good way to explain a static top town list is to periodically question your confirmed town as to why they think something and accept their reasoning (which you should easily be able to do because they're town), or quote an occasional post by them with a comment of affirmation.

    That way, the read looks reinforced by content and not results.

    As long as the Hider is being transparent about their townreads (insomuch as it fits within their town meta), the only real issue is if they decide to inspect a suspected deep wolf, because they may have to manufacture a townread there which may ping town (into suspecting the Hider is scum) and scum (into suspecting the Hider's role).
    Doesn't this only work if others know your selection process due to OGI/personal meta?

    Put the opposite way: Doesn't this not work if people don't already know how you choose your targets?
    Last edited by Makaze; November 30th, 2018 at 03:56 PM.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makaze (#11)
    Doesn't this only work if others know your selection process due to OGI/personal meta?

    Put the opposite way: Doesn't this not work if people don't already know how you choose your targets?
    It works as long as you consider optimal play for the Hider to make their reads known if they die before claiming, which is the point of the article.

    By utilizing the reads list to crumb results, the player doesn't have to make posts that can potentially out their role to scum prematurely and town can look back on their latest reads list after they die in order to determine who is confirmed town and who is likely scum if the Hider died at night.

    If you have an alternative theory for how to play Hider which allows the Hider to share their results in a way that isn't immediately obvious (which compromises the Hider's effectiveness) but crystal clear after the Hider flips, I'm certainly open to reading about it.

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#12)
    Quote Originally Posted by Makaze (#11)
    Doesn't this only work if others know your selection process due to OGI/personal meta?

    Put the opposite way: Doesn't this not work if people don't already know how you choose your targets?
    It works as long as you consider optimal play for the Hider to make their reads known if they die before claiming, which is the point of the article.

    By utilizing the reads list to crumb results, the player doesn't have to make posts that can potentially out their role to scum prematurely and town can look back on their latest reads list after they die in order to determine who is confirmed town and who is likely scum if the Hider died at night.

    If you have an alternative theory for how to play Hider which allows the Hider to share their results in a way that isn't immediately obvious (which compromises the Hider's effectiveness) but crystal clear after the Hider flips, I'm certainly open to reading about it.
    I'm more remarking on the paradox of requiring a meta for optimal play to exist for this to be optimal. It's somewhat similar to the "proper cop cover" and "seer hunt clear" based optimal plays.

    I agree that if Hider becomes a common role, this will be the optimal strategy, but it's difficult to determine which read on your list you would check, and in what order.

    One way around this might be a standard game start post that has the "If I am X, then I will do Z." lists for cop and other claims.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    As you noted, the same can be said regarding the mechanically optimal play for any role, but that doesn't invalidate developing and sharing theories on optimal play.

    Tearing down optimal play theorizing seems inconsistent with the interest of this section of the site, which appears to be intended to help players better understand the game.

    If players deviate from the mechanically optimal play, that *should* be something worth noting (along with the context of why they're deviating, whether it be from ignorance of best practice or whether they simply hold a different theory).

    After all, meta and theory changes over time, and what may be valid today won't necessarily always remain valid.

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    My intentions in asking were to figure out how you would deal with people who had never encountered the role before, or how you figured this optimal method would become the standard when it's a pretty rare role.
    Last edited by Makaze; December 1st, 2018 at 05:51 PM.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    I'd... point them to this article.

    The frequency of the use of the role (or lack thereof) doesn't invalidate discussion about best practices.

    Also, while this site may not see many Hiders, that doesn't mean members who play here never see the role elsewhere. As an example, the group I played f2f mafia with for the past few years had Hider pop up several times (though it was meta to use the role to stay alive at night more than anything else, in that group).

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#16)
    I'd... point them to this article.

    The frequency of the use of the role (or lack thereof) doesn't invalidate discussion about best practices.

    Also, while this site may not see many Hiders, that doesn't mean members who play here never see the role elsewhere. As an example, the group I played f2f mafia with for the past few years had Hider pop up several times (though it was meta to use the role to stay alive at night more than anything else, in that group).
    That's kind of how I know it to be used. Self-protective. Never would have thought to use it for investigation before this thread.
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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    I would argue that pure self-preservation is suboptimal play as a Hider.

    To be fair, I never thought much of the role until I watched Titus provide a list of confirmed town that decimated the scum team on MS a couple years ago.
    Last edited by shortaru; December 2nd, 2018 at 12:56 AM.

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#18)
    I would argue that pure self-preservation is suboptimal play as a Hider.

    To be fair, I never thought much of the role until I watched Titus provide a list of confirmed town that decimated the scum team on MS a couple years ago.
    That's why I said stating what you would do as each special role as a standard first post seems like a good idea.
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    The danger with that is the risk of inadvertantly sharing too much, or sharing the right info the wrong way, that pings the scum team into thinking you are that role.

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    Soul Reader shortaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makaze (#19)
    That's why I said stating what you would do as each special role as a standard first post seems like a good idea.
    The only way I can think of to make this work is to ask everyone in the thread to state whether the Hider (if it exists) should be played as an investigative role or self-protective role, and have players limit their answer to those two options to prevent giving too many hints to scum as to who the Hider might be, but that's taking a lot on faith.

    Random players tend not to trust each other and would turn that simple question into a point of debate that would wind up undermining the point of asking the question.

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    τη καλλίστη Makaze's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortaru (#20)
    The danger with that is the risk of inadvertantly sharing too much, or sharing the right info the wrong way, that pings the scum team into thinking you are that role.
    Not if it's just a stock post you make in every game. i.e. don't write it in your own words each time. Write it before the rand.
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