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Thread: #2: Seers/Cops and Keeping Good Cover (by Yates)

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    #2: Seers/Cops and Keeping Good Cover (by Yates)

    Article #2: Seers/Cops and Keeping Good Cover
    - written by Yates

    “A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.”
    ― Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n, “The Shadow of the Wind”


    This is a guide on understanding the basic principles of being a seer, providing seer cover, and the information generated by the scum team’s seer hunt.

    What is a seer?
    A seer [also known as a cop] is a basic Town power role with the ability to investigate one person per night in order to determine their alignment. The game mod then sends these investigation results to the seer/cop at the beginning of each new day. These investigation results are called "peeks."

    In basic games, there are three things that are always going to happen:

    1. A seer has to "drop peeks." This means that they have to find a way to post their results in the thread for the Town to see.
    2. The Town needs to provide "seer cover" [also known as "hypo cop'ing"]. This means that the rest of the Town should be providing fake peeks in order to confuse the scum team and hide the real seer results until it is safe for the real seer to claim or the real seer is killed.
    3. The scum has to "seer hunt." In basic games, the scum team does not have a lot of time to find the seer. In a typical standard game if the scum team doesn't find the seer by day 3 and the seer has 3 live peeks or 2 live peeks and a scum peek the game is mechanically locked and the Town always wins.

    Seer Hunt Clear
    Let's talk about "seer hunt clear" [SHC]:
    Seer hunt clear is when a person is "cleared" as Town because the scum team killed the person with a fake peek on them.

    Example:
    Yates fakes a Town peek on Thingy.
    That night Yates is killed by the scum team.
    Thingy is considered seer hunt cleared.

    Why? Look at point 3 above. The scum team has a limited amount of time to find the seer. They are very unlikely to kill someone who has a fake peek on scum. The reason they are very unlikely to kill someone with a fake peek on scum is because the "peek" is inaccurate which means that person can't be the real seer.

    To continue the example:
    Yates fakes a Town peek on Thingy.
    Thingy is actually scum.
    Thingy and his scum team now know that Yates is NOT the seer and will usually night kill someone else in an effort to find the real seer.

    How to provide cover
    The trick with providing cover is in figuring out accurate fake peeks and maintaining those peeks as the day progresses. As you saw above, once you fake a peek on scum the scum team knows you are not the real seer and that limits the pool of potential people who can be the real seer. This being the case, it is almost always advisable to fake your "peek" on someone you are Town reading. In order to do this, it makes the most sense for everyone to hold off on dropping their fake peeks [and for the seer to hold off on dropping their real peek] until there is enough information in the thread to give everyone actual reads. It is always easier to maintain a fake peek on someone you are Town reading anyway.

    Some people think it's a good idea to drop their peek in their first post. While this might seem like a good idea, since statistically you are more likely to randomly choose a villager, you make it harder for the real seer to pretend their read could also be fake. This method also relies 100% on luck. While luck is certainly involved to a certain extent, we also like to think of this as a game of skill. So why not use your skills by waiting longer in order to improve your luck?

    Make your peeks clear. Some people like to hide their fake peeks. This is a bad idea. If you get killed at night, you want your peeks to be OBVIOUS to the rest of the Town. This is especially true in Turbo games where every second counts. The less time the village has to spend figuring out your peeks, the easier it will be to soft clear Townies. Also, you will want your real seer to make their peeks obvious so you want to try to emulate that clarity. Using phrases like “if I’m the seer I peeked playerX Town n0” or simply “I peeked player Town last night” leave no doubt.

    Once you have committed to a fake peek, you have to stick with that peek. If I call Thingy my n0 peek and I suddenly start suspecting him [even though the scum team knows he is Town], it becomes pretty clear to the scum team that I am not the real seer because I "dropped cover." So if I call Thingy my n0 peek, he has to always be the "Towniest" person in all future reads lists.

    The hardest time to maintain cover is when someone claims to be the real seer. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and evaluate the authenticity of that claim before you just drop your cover [by unvoting or high fiving or something like that]. Scum will often fake claim seer when caught to see how people react so their team mates might be able to find the real seer.

    How to drop peeks as the seer
    Hopefully, everyone in the Town is savvy enough to know how to properly fake peek. [If they don’t? Refer them to this article post game!] One of the best ways to do this is to “disguise” your peek as a read. As you read above, the players who are better at providing seer cover drop their peeks based on reads. If they are doing this, it will make things a lot easier on you. If not, then it doesn’t matter too much because the scum will see your peeks and hopefully assume that your peek is “too easy” of a target because it is clearly based off of a read.

    The trick to providing the Town with your peeks is to make them indistinguishable from fake peeks but also clear. If you are the seer you want there to be no doubts about who your peeks are. This is especially true in Turbo games where every second counts. Using phrases like “if I’m the seer I peeked playerX Town n0” or simply “I peeked player Town last night” leave no doubt. If you bury your peeks in long reads lists or rambling posts, there’s always a danger they will not be seen.

    The biggest challenge you will face is when someone fake claims being the real seer. A good Town will evaluate all claims and will not immediately drop seer cover. If they do? You may be forced to unvote or vote for someone in order to appear to be a regular Townie. Even if you change your vote back, the hope is that your flinch will make the scum team think you are not the real seer because the real seer will know not to flinch. Ideally, you will have a Town hero who does NOT flinch at all and will eat the bullet for you at night. Knowing when to counter claim is an art and a whole topic of its own that I will leave up to you.

    Cliffs:

    • EVERYONE should provide seer cover.
    • Peeks should be clear.
    • Seer cover based on reads is usually more accurate than random luck.
    • Don’t drop cover.
    • Seer hunt clear is a real thing.

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    Thread Analyst Alchemist21's Avatar
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    Wish I could have read this before the 17'er; it defintely would have made things clearer for me. I come from a meta where standard practice is for everyone to just keep silent re: cops and wait for the real cop to claim (either they'll have a guilty or a string of innocents). This way might be better in general since you know who's cleared if the Cop dies before claiming (a cop in a silent meta could leave peeks behind in the form of reads, but it would be more obvious that they're the Cop without the cover from other Townies).

    Just realized this was by Yates, not thingyman.
    @Yates; Get in here so I can give you the thanks you deserve.

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    This is great, thanks.

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    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    This is a splendid article. Good job, Yates

    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    Cliffs:

    • EVERYONE should provide seer cover.
    • Peeks should be clear.
    I will first comment on these two things.

    I agree with these 100% if you are talking turbos. They are fast paced and you don't have time to be thoroughly rereading people for peeks.

    I don't necessarily agree when it comes to normal length games though. For one, it might be a very viable strategy in bigger games to not leave any peeks for the first 1-2 days (as both cop and VT). There can be several reasons for this and it all depends on the situation and how you feel about the general cover. I know that cops have sometimes been very wise to not leave any peeks or even try to blatantly seem like they aren't a cop either because they want to live longer that way or because they felt that the VT's in general were leaving very weak peeks and therefore didn't want to make themselves obvious. And as VT, you might even feel that you're more likely to attract a kill by not leaving a peek, either because you are usually bad about keeping up your cover (or even doing correct cover in the first place) or because the scum will treasure the opportunity to take you out without it resulting in a SHC. I did this latter thing all the time on my Danish forum because I knew the scum would always take me out Night 1 as long as I didn't give them a reason not to.

    Re: peeks having to be clear. Again, I agree when it comes to turbos.

    ... But I have a caveat when it comes to regular length games. I think it's very poor play in regular length games to be doing the mafia's job for them by making every peek super clear and very easy to find. Instead, I think you should aim to make your peek unambiguous and clear UPON THOROUGH REREADING. In other words, you should not be making a post that says "X is my peek".

    Instead, if you have 50 posts during a day phase, you should be aiming to include your peek somewhere in one of those posts in a way that isn't immediately noticeable, but once you reread all of that person's posts it should be apparent what the peek is. The rule here is then that you must only speak in certain terms about the alignments of your peeks and never any other players. I.e. in your 50 posts there should be a lot of "this person is wolfy", "man, he's gotta be a wolf, I think, no?", "Y seems like his typical villa game" etc., but only once should you say "X is villager", "Y is doing all these things, let's lock him in as villager", "Z is at the top of my villa list" etc.

    This used to be the seer cover meta on 2+2 in 2009-2010, but it has since been phased out with the new generations unfortunately, which I think is a crying shame. The idea behind is that if everyone makes it so that you must read all of a person's posts in order to know the peek, then the wolves need to spend A LOT OF TIME each night trying to find the cop. This is huge. Wheras for villagers, it's not that much extra work, because they only need to reread one person every day.

    The problem with this is of course that it's need to be a prevalent meta that everyone is sort of onboard with. I took a break from 2+2 and returned to finally become cop for the first time after 5 years of playing the game and I left my peeks as we usually did in 2009-2010... Except the meta had changed and people thought that I hadn't left any peeks, even though I had very unequivocally called certain people "villagers" (I just hadn't said "they are my peek").

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    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    The scum has to "seer hunt." In basic games, the scum team does not have a lot of time to find the seer. In a typical standard game if the scum team doesn't find the seer by day 3 and the seer has 3 live peeks or 2 live peeks and a scum peek the game is mechanically locked and the Town always wins.
    I am confused by this. It's very vague.

    I want to make the rule super clear to everyone:

    In a vanilla game, you should ALWAYS (literally, always) be aiming to peek a person of the same alignment as your other peeks. I.e. if you have a n0 villager peek (and that person is still alive come Night 1), then you should peek for another villager on Night 1.

    This is a mathematical fact. The reason is that villager peeks and wolf peeks do NOT overlap when it comes to locking the game.

    To make this very apparent imagine a final 5 scenario with 2 scum alive where you claim with one scum peek and one townie peek. You know the roles of 3 out of 5 people, but you haven't locked the game. Instead you should have been trying to get to this final 5 with either 2 townie peeks or 2 scum peeks, either of which would've locked the game.

    I hope I explained it well.

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    Thread Analyst Alchemist21's Avatar
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    What size game is considered standard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist21 View Post
    Wish I could have read this before the 17'er; it defintely would have made things clearer for me. I come from a meta where standard practice is for everyone to just keep silent re: cops and wait for the real cop to claim (either they'll have a guilty or a string of innocents). This way might be better in general since you know who's cleared if the Cop dies before claiming (a cop in a silent meta could leave peeks behind in the form of reads, but it would be more obvious that they're the Cop without the cover from other Townies).

    Just realized this was by Yates, not thingyman.
    @Yates; Get in here so I can give you the thanks you deserve.
    This is how we do it where I come from too. In addition to other reasons,
    I wonder if the godfather role has something to with with it also, as turbos do not have investigation proof roles.

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    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist21 View Post
    What size game is considered standard?
    Across the entire forum mafia world, I would say 9-13 is a standard sized game. And for most communities, anything with 20+ players is considered large or very large. Ofc, on this site, we don't consider it large until you hit at least 30+ players.

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    Thread Analyst Alchemist21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist21 View Post
    What size game is considered standard?
    Across the entire forum mafia world, I would say 9-13 is a standard sized game. And for most communities, anything with 20+ players is considered large or very large. Ofc, on this site, we don't consider it large until you hit at least 30+ players.
    Ok, I thought Yates might be referring to a specific size that was considered standard here.
    In a 13-player game (with a N0 peek), 3 live peeks on D3 clears 4/9 players; if there are 3 scum, then there are still 3 scum in a pool of 5.

    Cleared/living each Day:
    4/9 > 3/7 > 2/5 > 1/3

    Scum/PoE pool each Day:
    3/5 > 3/4 > 3/3

    Assuming all mislynches, scum can still win after D4 in this case, so the game isn't actually locked for Town (although the probability does seem favorable.

    Also, even with scum lynches, until the scum win there is always at least 1 Townie still in the PoE pool making a win still possible for scum.

    I think the simplest and most accurate way to put what Yates was trying to get at is that if a seer can clear half the game as Town, then the game is locked.

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    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist21 View Post
    I think the simplest and most accurate way to put what Yates was trying to get at is that if a seer can clear half the game as Town, then the game is locked.
    Indeed. This also happens to be what I focus on achieving as Vanilla Townie in games (through reads).

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    Thread Analyst Alchemist21's Avatar
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    3/9 > 2/7 > 1/5 > 0/3

    3/6 > 2/5 > 2/4 > 2/3

    These are the numbers for 13-p with 2 clears and a guilty.

    Scum's odds are actually a little better here because there are more mislynch options, although it takes getting through D5 to win.

    Edit: Punched the numbers in:

    Assuming no scum lynch aside from the guilty result-

    odds of a scum win with the 3 innocents are 10%

    odds with 2 innocents and a guilty are about 30%


    Allowing for any number of scum lynches that will still allow a scum win and counting any lynch as random chance (bar the guilty)-

    Case 1 odds are still 10% (6 different ways to play out; each has a 10% chance)

    Case 2 odds are 23% (3 different ways to play out; 1 has 30% chance and 2 have a 20% chance)
    Last edited by Alchemist21; November 6th, 2015 at 01:23 AM.

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    The hardest time to maintain cover is when someone claims to be the real seer. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and evaluate the authenticity of that claim before you just drop your cover
    @Lissa

    This is useful for you

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    Also, imo people should stop FAKE hard-claiming cop...for exactly this reason

    Most of the time it confuses town, but not scum. If you want to eat the NK, just soft-claim harder than everyone else.


    You destroy cop cover "for reactions" on a single player...not worth it imo.
    Last edited by Apoc; November 6th, 2015 at 06:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    In a vanilla game, you should ALWAYS (literally, always) be aiming to peek a person of the same alignment as your other peeks. I.e. if you have a n0 villager peek (and that person is still alive come Night 1), then you should peek for another villager on Night 1.

    This is a mathematical fact. The reason is that villager peeks and wolf peeks do NOT overlap when it comes to locking the game.

    To make this very apparent imagine a final 5 scenario with 2 scum alive where you claim with one scum peek and one townie peek. You know the roles of 3 out of 5 people, but you haven't locked the game. Instead you should have been trying to get to this final 5 with either 2 townie peeks or 2 scum peeks, either of which would've locked the game.

    I hope I explained it well.
    This is really cool and not something I've read/seen before

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    Also, good stuff Yates. Thanks for writing this!


    In future, I think the author should just post the article, to avoid confusion (especially when that author is also an admin!)

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    @Alchemist21

    I believe Yates' numbers were for a 9 player turbo

    EDIT: No...that doesn't make sense, does it?
    @Yates please clarify
    Last edited by Apoc; November 6th, 2015 at 08:01 AM.

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    Here's a thought, someone with more experience tell me the answer:


    Day 3 of a 9 player turbo

    - 5 players alive, 2 scum both alive.
    - Game is in MYLO
    - BB raises 1/3 the pot, you hold... (i feel like i'm describing a poker hand...lol)
    - Cop outs with 1 inno & a 1 guilty. No CC.
    - That leaves 2 clears, 1 lock scum, and 2 unknowns.


    In my head, you have two options:
    A - Lynch the scum at f5. At f3 the clear has to choose for the win.
    B - Lynch between the unknowns at f5. The clear & cop can discuss who to lynch.



    B makes more sense to me, you have to lynch between them anyway, why not do it when you have more people to give input?



    EDIT:
    I assume the guilty report should almost always CC in that F5 situation...

    So let's assume they have 0 cop equity and the town is flat out ignoring them.
    Last edited by Apoc; November 6th, 2015 at 08:12 AM.

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    I'm here and reviewing my criticism now. :cantlook

  19. ISO #19
    #1 - math is hard.

  20. ISO #20
    im teh seer
    xxx is yyy
    just kidding, im not the seer

    everybody make same post (different xxx and yyy)
    problems solved.

  21. ISO #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    I don't necessarily agree when it comes to normal length games though. For one, it might be a very viable strategy in bigger games to not leave any peeks for the first 1-2 days (as both cop and VT).
    Debateable. But this article is written as a basic guide. You are getting into much more advanced play here. This article was really written for Turbos and what we are categorizing as Standard games here [the ones run by the modbot]. Large and Custom games are, by definition, non-standard and it is literally impossible to cover "best practices" for all conceivable permutations of game sizes and roles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    ... But I have a caveat when it comes to regular length games. I think it's very poor play in regular length games to be doing the mafia's job for them by making every peek super clear and very easy to find. Instead, I think you should aim to make your peek unambiguous and clear UPON THOROUGH REREADING. In other words, you should not be making a post that says "X is my peek".
    While I agree with what you are saying here, again this is outside the scope of basic strategy. This article is intended as Seer 101. The dillema here is how each person defines "unambiguous." And we can get deeper into this in a later article that discusses advanced strategies, I think. So stay tuned for a 300 level Seer course?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    In a vanilla game, you should ALWAYS (literally, always) be aiming to peek a person of the same alignment as your other peeks.
    I am not arguing this point. It is possible to be AIMING for all vanillas but to find a wolf among your top Town reads. Wolves are sneaky. You also have to be careful with regards to this strategy in that wolves are also looking to NK the Towniest Townies. So when you are looking for clearing a Townie that isn't likely to be NKed your odds of hitting a wolf increase.

    I think Cobalt's recent performance as Town Cop in 11/2 Vigilante Mafia is a perfect example of what you are saying in a perfect world, though. I just linked to Cobalt's reveal which ultimately lead to the scum team conceding.

  22. ISO #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    I don't necessarily agree when it comes to normal length games though. For one, it might be a very viable strategy in bigger games to not leave any peeks for the first 1-2 days (as both cop and VT).
    this should be considered. in games with 23/5 for example, if nobody left any peeks at all seer has over 80% chance of surviving to d4 with random nks (if my math is right)

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    80% sounds like a lot. i hope my math is right

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Howard View Post
    80% sounds like a lot. i hope my math is right
    Odds of cop surviving 3 random NKs = 87% (alive on day 4)
    Odds of cop surviving 4 random NKs = 82.5% (alive on day 5)


    If we assume random lynches (which is even dumber than random NKs).

    Odds of surviving to D4 = 73%


    So no fakepeeks and just playing "UTR" or "lolwrong on purpose" seems optimal for cop in a big setup.

    ???


    EDIT: I did the wrong numbers, the above is for a 28 player game with 5 scum...woops
    Last edited by Apoc; November 6th, 2015 at 12:45 PM.

  25. ISO #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Apoc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Howard View Post
    80% sounds like a lot. i hope my math is right
    Odds of cop surviving 3 random NKs = 87% (alive on day 4)
    Odds of cop surviving 4 random NKs = 82.5% (alive on day 5)


    If we assume random lynches (which is even dumber than random NKs).

    Odds of surviving to D4 = 73%


    So no fakepeeks and just playing "UTR" or "lolwrong on purpose" seems optimal for cop in a big setup.

    ???
    youre using 23/5?

    as far as random nks being dumb, if nobody leaves hints, the chance of finding seer is random, no? (meta aside)

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    Well...it is dumb, but it's also just for the math. It's not a bad thing.


    I think I may mistunderstood your notation and done 28/5

    will re-do quickly

  27. ISO #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Apoc View Post
    Well...it is dumb, but it's also just for the math. It's not a bad thing.


    I think I may mistunderstood your notation and done 28/5

    will re-do quickly
    i think youre saying its dumb to think the wolves would rand a kill, which isnt what im suggesting.

    yeah, i meant 23 players 5 wolves

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    23 players with 5 scum.

    Surviving 3 NKs = 83% alive on Day 4
    Surviving 4 NKs = 77% alive on Day 5


    including lynches
    Alive on Day 3 = 77%
    Alive on Day 4 = 66%
    Alive on Day 5 = 55%

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    I'm not suggesting you think scum rand their kills.
    I'm saying scum randing a kill is a dumb/simplifed representation...but works for the purposes of the math.

    It was an off-hand remark. Don't worry about it

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    Wants It Most Apoc's Avatar Game Manager
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    btw Yates

    “A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept.”
    this quote is awesome!

  31. ISO #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Apoc View Post
    I'm not suggesting you think scum rand their kills.
    I'm saying scum randing a kill is a dumb/simplifed representation...but works for the purposes of the math.

    It was an off-hand remark. Don't worry about it
    not worried, just chatting.
    the wolves arent randing the kill, but the chances of them hitting seer are rand.
    thats all im saying.

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    The Self Narrator Owner Of A Lonely Heart's Avatar
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    Oh I thought SHC was @Scott Howard clear; I guess that's not the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Oh I thought SHC was Scott Howard clear;
    i like it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Howard View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Oh I thought SHC was Scott Howard clear;
    i like it
    I mean what else am I suppose to think it is when I mostly play with cops not seers. Scott Howard Cop? But the cop already died so that's not it.

  35. ISO #35
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Oh I thought SHC was @Scott Howard clear; I guess that's not the case.
    I lolled

    and @ Yates

    Yeah, no, I know the article was just meant as a basic guide, and I think that was the best way to write the article. My post wasn't meant as a criticism, just as a natural discussion point since some people will probably wonder if your post is what they should do in any and all situations. And I also just wanted to talk about optimal cop cover meta for regular games, since that hasn't been a thing for several years unfortunately :P

  36. ISO #36
    The Self Narrator Owner Of A Lonely Heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Oh I thought SHC was @Scott Howard clear; I guess that's not the case.
    I lolled

    and @ Yates

    Yeah, no, I know the article was just meant as a basic guide, and I think that was the best way to write the article. My post wasn't meant as a criticism, just as a natural discussion point since some people will probably wonder if your post is what they should do in any and all situations. And I also just wanted to talk about optimal cop cover meta for regular games, since that hasn't been a thing for several years unfortunately :P
    I would like people to explain their abbreviations or acronyms for things so I can understand what they are saying better.

  37. ISO #37
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Owner Of A Lonely Heart View Post
    Oh I thought SHC was @Scott Howard clear; I guess that's not the case.
    I lolled

    and @ Yates

    Yeah, no, I know the article was just meant as a basic guide, and I think that was the best way to write the article. My post wasn't meant as a criticism, just as a natural discussion point since some people will probably wonder if your post is what they should do in any and all situations. And I also just wanted to talk about optimal cop cover meta for regular games, since that hasn't been a thing for several years unfortunately :P
    I would like people to explain their abbreviations or acronyms for things so I can understand what they are saying better.
    Yeah, of course. We're also gonna have a list of all abbreviations at some point.

  38. ISO #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Apoc View Post
    btw Yates


    "A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept."
    this quote is awesome!
    1. I'm really smart.
    2. Google is my friend.

    Pick one.

  39. ISO #39
    The One True Hero soah's Avatar
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    I agree fully with both the article and with Thingyman's post.

    Seer cover is important, but as game sizes get larger it starts to become worse and worse to leave peeks and fake peeks too early. Each night that the seer survives adds a lot more leverage to the next kill. What I see happening a lot is that the village invests everything into seer cover on Day 1, and few of them can keep up the act even through the end of Day 2. A lot will have gotten one of their first two peeks wrong, some will explicitly abandon cover because they've lost confidence in their peeks, and others will unintentionally out themselves as vanilla in other ways. It just makes it way too easy for the wolves. If the seer dies on Night 1, the village is in similarly bad shape regardless of whether his peek was made clear or not.* Absence of cover on Day 1 minimizes the chances of the seer dying, and the loss of information is an acceptable tradeoff. (Seer-hunt cleared players are of course useful as well, but in practice the village doesn't trust a Night 1 SHC very much, and there's a mountain of difference between players who are 100% confirmed and players who are sorta spewed clear by an action controlled by the wolves in a somewhat lower-leverage spot.)

    Waiting until late in Day 2 to establish your seer cover gives you a much better chance to actually choose peeks which are correct, and makes it MUCH easier for you to sell the act believably. Your Day 1 posting should leave you many options for who your Night 0 peek could have been, and you can now choose the one that you feel most confident about. You have the option of using the Night 1 kill as either one of your peeks, so that you can be 100% sure you're right and never have to talk about it again. If you were lucky enough to have helped lead a wolf lynch on Day 1, you can claim that that was your peek, but without the risk of having to announce a wolf peek of a living player.

    One thing that I think a lot of people overlook is that it's a lot easier for one person to pretend to be uncertain about something he's certain of than it is for a big group of people to pretend to be certain of things they're uncertain of. You can wait a long time to drop clear peeks and the wolves will have to consider that all of the genuine uncertainty that you showed previously was just part of your efforts to disguise yourself as the seer.

    The key is to make sure that you have the most compelling cover available on the nights where the seer needs it the most. The most important night is never the first one, because that is the point in the game where there are the most vanilla players alive, and when the wolves have the least information about who the seer might be. The village can literally do nothing and be completely effective at hiding the seer. But when Night 3 or 4 rolls around, you really want there to be multiple compelling claims that the wolves have to choose between. The result of that kill can sometimes determine the game.



    * Even if the seer has not left a clear peek, you can - and MUST - attempt to find one anyway. You can narrow it down a lot by process of elimination, by looking at who he did not clear, etc. And then you try to determine which player appears to be most likely to have been the peek. And then, no matter how farfetched your theory is, you must act like you believe it 100%. It does not matter whatsoever if you are correct or not. What matters is that the village collectively agrees upon a theory and dares the wolves to call their bluff. If the wolves have killed the seer on Night 1 then they are in a good position in the game and they will nearly always kill the player who people are claiming to be clear. It doesn't matter if that player was actually peeked. What matters is that the wolves had to make a kill not of their choosing. The village has leveraged the existence of the peek in order to derive its benefits. If the wolves do not kill the cleared player, then the village makes a decision on whether they should actually lynch that player. In theory, the wolves probably have an advantage in this little game within the game. In practice, I think the wolves almost always take the safer route and just kill the consensus-cleared player when the cleared player is a villager. It's a big gamble to try to convince a villager at endgame that he should lynch the player who seems most likely to be the seer's peek, and it's a big gamble which is usually completely unnecessary.

  40. ISO #40
    Low Hanging Fruit Zuras's Avatar
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    General question before I comment the article:

    do you play here with post-mortal wills/testaments?

  41. ISO #41
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    General question before I comment the article:

    do you play here with post-mortal wills/testaments?
    We do not. Very, very few forum mafia communities do this. I only know of it from Town of Salem (a 3d chat mafia game) and some live game variants.

  42. ISO #42
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    General question before I comment the article:

    do you play here with post-mortal wills/testaments?
    @Zuras

    Would you by any chance be interested in writing an article for the university? If you want, it could be focused on "live mafia" - it doesn't have to be about forum mafia at all.

  43. ISO #43
    Low Hanging Fruit Zuras's Avatar
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    Hm, no testaments is a big surprise. In Poland we always play with testaments - just sometimes we change the rules and discuss if in particular games the testaments are pre-mortal or post-portal*. No testaments totally changes the strategy for role-players.

    * in post-mortal verision you have one day after your death (by lynch or nk) to post your last message to the city; this shall be only one post after your death - you can't discuss after // in pre-mortal verision you keep sending your testaments to the MG, so that he can paste it to the game thread after your death as your testament (MG is posting the last testament that the player have sent to him before his death)

    As for your question Thingyman, I'm more into online mafia, but of course I have big expirience in live game also (about 6-7 years of experience both ways). But ok, I presume that we might have no possibility to ever compete in the live game, so I can prepare for you an article about my biggest mafia-killer trick for the live verision. Stay tuned

  44. ISO #44
    Oh, nvm, I just for some reason assumed you were a live mafia player, never mind then, an article about anything at all would be cool from a fellow enthusiast

    /Thingyman here

  45. ISO #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    Hm, no testaments is a big surprise. In Poland we always play with testaments - just sometimes we change the rules and discuss if in particular games the testaments are pre-mortal or post-portal*. No testaments totally changes the strategy for role-players.

    * in post-mortal verision you have one day after your death (by lynch or nk) to post your last message to the city; this shall be only one post after your death - you can't discuss after // in pre-mortal verision you keep sending your testaments to the MG, so that he can paste it to the game thread after your death as your testament (MG is posting the last testament that the player have sent to him before his death)

    As for your question Thingyman, I'm more into online mafia, but of course I have big expirience in live game also (about 6-7 years of experience both ways). But ok, I presume that we might have no possibility to ever compete in the live game, so I can prepare for you an article about my biggest mafia-killer trick for the live verision. Stay tuned
    Also, it should be said that this site is a place for cross-community games and that players here are from many, many different places, which means that rules and standards can easily vary from game to game. I bet there would be people interested in playing a game of the kind you're describing

  46. ISO #46
    Low Hanging Fruit Zuras's Avatar
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    Of course I'm aware of that (cross-community and it's consequences), that's why I came here fully respectful and humble, not willing to push my ideas.

    Getting back to the article, if anyone would be ever interested in playing with testaments... If that is so, there should be no paragraph about droping peeks. Or maybe one sentcence: drop wrong peeks If you play with testaments, your main and almost only goal is to live. No hero-game, let others win the game for the town, you just need to keep alive, play almost-retard and that's all. No peeks, end of story

  47. ISO #47
    @Alchemist21
    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist21 View Post
    Ok, I thought Yates might be referring to a specific size that was considered standard here.
    In a 13-player game (with a N0 peek), 3 live peeks on D3 clears 4/9 players; if there are 3 scum, then there are still 3 scum in a pool of 5.
    Sorry. I probably should have posted this earlier. I'm assuming a 13 player game. I'll show you the real math because you are missing something:

    13 players

    Day 1:
    11 Unknown
    1 Cop
    1 Peek

    [mislynch - 12]

    10 Unknown Town
    1 Cop
    1 Peek

    [NK - 11]

    Day 2:
    9 Unknown
    1 Cop
    2 Peeks
    1 SHC

    [mislynch - 10]

    8 Unknown
    1 Cop
    2 Peeks
    1 SHC

    [NK - 9]

    Day 3 option 1:
    4 Unknown [5 known]
    1 Cop
    3 Peeks
    1 SHC

    Day 3 option 2:
    3 Unknown [6 known]
    1 Cop
    3 Peeks
    2 SHC

  48. ISO #48
    Bandwagoner Nimbus's Avatar
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    I have a question.

    Would this only be applicable in vanilla games or does peeking, seer hunt clear, etc. work in Role Madness games as well?

  49. ISO #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
    I have a question.

    Would this only be applicable in vanilla games or does peeking, seer hunt clear, etc. work in Role Madness games as well?
    The problem with role madness games is that there are so many other moving parts. Like, the scum team could be trying to neutralize a doc first, for example. So it doesn't really work outside of vanilla. You can always hint at stuff as a VT or 1 shot bulletproof in a role madness game to try to draw a shot, but that's about where its utility ends.

  50. ISO #50
    In general in role madness and mish mash style games, it is better to leave your peeks more clearly than in a vanilla game, because there will be more posts to sift through.

    Another good tip for role madeness and mishmashes is to not just leave one layer of cover, you can leave cover for multiple roles at once, for example:

    If i received a random peek on n0, it was Yates V
    If i chose my peek, it was nimbus W
    If i get only even peeks, it was zuras v
    Just by doing this you leave slightly more layers of cover in case one of your covers is wrong, the others can still be right.

    If many people are doing this, including the actual roles, it is much more difficult for the wolves to sift through and you will have more success in leaving cover that is accurate, while still being very easy to work out in the event that you do die and flip as a role, or need to claim.

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