Against the stream, a Mafia Townplayers Diary

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Against the stream, a Mafia Townplayers Diary

#1 Post by brainbomb » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:25 am

Mafia is an educated game of deduction, in which players attempt to solve a mystery.

There are many ways to solve a mafia game from the town perspective.
Here are some principles I use in my own play style which help me to stay alive. I may not be the best player on webdiplomacy but there are some principles that I feel pretty strongly about in practice.

Activity, aggressiveness, passion for the game, ideas, and research.

Being active in a mafia game does not mean you must post 100 times a phase. It means you are reading the game and following along. It means that as things come to you, you share them. If you have many thoughts but fail to share them, the game is already hindered. As town, nothing you say is deliberately evil. Everything you do and think should be geniune and geared towards three common things: fun for the sake of fun, solving by identifying bad guys, or establishing a network of people you trust.

Being aggressive means you vote people the moment you suspect them. It means you put weight onto them by force.
It takes on the form of actions that even the bravest of scum players generally are afraid to do. Your vote is your voice, and use that voice often and persistently.

- Passion for the game means you do want to be heard, and you do care about what happens. Simply staying alive is not good enough, and simply just being townread isn't either.

- Having ideas about what happened, what will happen, and who would have motive is a huge part of mafia. As town you can get yourself into hot water by having too many ideas about night kills and motives. However, there is no harm in sharing how you think and why. You should always be honest with yourself and honest with the game if you think something. The risk of being scum read is minimal compared to the risk of doing nothing.

- Research is my favorite part of mafia. Looking back at peoples reads lists, and vote counts. Studying the bare bones facts of the game is a great way to dispense with players who might be pulling a fast one on the town. You have to do this research after early phases to keep yourself honest. Your reads should grow with the game and with new information. Never be ashamed of the reads you had, and never apologize. Just work to use new information rapidly and properly.

2. How to project yourself as town
Tone, attitude, aggressiveness, making a big splash, high octane, tinfoil, and promptness.

People love a player who just has no agenda. They love the ability to read someone's posts and see a certain degree of innocence and casualness.
Attitude in a game plays a big role in how people respect you. If you have a shitty attitude, self vote, scream, curse, and lose your cool people generally just likely want you to die even if you are town. Attitude is also reflected in how you react to being voted. Do you omgus, do you fold, do you let it go. There's a ton of ways to project attitude in a game that avoids frustration. Best idea is to walk away, but once you are invested and passionate, and want to be aggressive that can be hard.

Making a big splash means your posts are like punches with boxing gloves. You have a talking point you firmly believe in. You should pull those gloves off and really land a powerful punch. This doesn't mean you are right. It just means you aren't questioning yourself and you want to push someone in a way that if they are scum they freeze up and boom you just knocked out a bad guy cold. Powerful pushes in mafia, from town onto scum can change the course of a game. A compelling and aggressive push can be very altering to a gamestate. Look for the signs of this happening.

It is also okay to go at someone powerful, someone respected, someone outspoken. You can push anyone and do anything. But make sure your arguments are coherent and rooted in analysis, rooted in motive, and land that argument.

-high octane means that you play the game in a way that is loaded with energy, you are fueled and motivated to write a lot, post a lot, or to push a lot. And if you don't like any of those things, you can be succinct, detailed, and confident. Those are also ways to be high octane.

- Tinfoil is not the healthiest option, but it is definitely a part of mafia. Theories are what makes mafia enjoyable. Even bad theories, or silly ones. Did mafia self kill? Did the vig and mafia both shoot the same person? Is the vig faking? Did this guy bus day 1 and day 2?

Tinfoil is a huge part of the process of elimination.

Here's some great quotes by Sherlock Holmes, the master of deduction
It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
“If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Sherlock is correct. There are many mistakes to be had in theories. Theories are great, and should be shared. But theories shouldn't become your only compass. Theory without reasoning, without evidence and without any reconsiderations are pitfalls.

And of course, the greatest sherlock/spock quote ever, truly sums up why you should have lots of tinfoil theory and ideas.

You need lots of mistakes and lots of false truths so you can cross them off. You want to start narrowing the likelihoods of scenarios, but you can't narrow them until you've grown them to their fullest deepest tinfoil boundaries. Once you've reached the truly most preposterous possibilities, you should bounce them off others, and start crossing those options off the table.

If you have a tinfoil theory that feels true, and nobody thinks its possible, challenge yourself to find out why everyone thinks its impossible.

3. Do not assume everyone is stupid, but always assume someone is watching
Never play the game thinking everyone else in it is naïve and witless. There is always going to be someone with a better POE, a better read, or a better idea than you. You can never be god, and never know everything there is to know. Learn from others by seeing how they respond to your wildest theories. Amazing things can happen. Sometimes the more preposterous the theory, the more reactions you get. Theories make wolves reply. Bad tunnels make wolves take sides or play middleman. Everything you do in a game is a playground where scum may or may not try to start playing in. If you have a theory that isn't right about the night kills, scum may have no choice but to react.
Someone is always watching. There is always a player reading, watching, waiting, and thinking. Someone is always waiting to make a move. Scum are almost always looking for opportunities. They need pathways to win, and town poor judgments are the way they navigate.

In sum, consider that these are playstyle options. And for the most part any playstyle can be unhealthy or poor. It depends on how the player uses tools. But for people who don't know how to play, this should be some considerations for how to be braver and boost ones potential.

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Re: Against the stream, a Mafia Townplayers Diary

#2 Post by Durga » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:02 am

"Theory without reasoning, without evidence and without any reconsiderations are pitfalls."

But bb this is your forte

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Re: Against the stream, a Mafia Townplayers Diary

#3 Post by brainbomb » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:50 am

Durga wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:02 am
"Theory without reasoning, without evidence and without any reconsiderations are pitfalls."

But bb this is your forte
I have the self awareness to notice my own shortcomings. in the heat of the moment its hard not to tunnel and not to tailor the evidence to suit ones own bias. If theres a big takeaway from writing this id say its that im aware of my own flaws as a player but fixing them is not easy. hopefully this will be a guide for myself too.

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Re: Against the stream, a Mafia Townplayers Diary

#4 Post by Vecna » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

"When we encounter coincidence, we often see conspiracy".

Pretty applicable to certain people in mafia.

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