TL towns have of late been getting rolled by inactive mafias or been self-imploding.
Some of these reasons include a few of the following core issues
Placing all their trust in one player
Placing too much importance on blues performing
Not enough behavioural analysis
(In the case of clue games and behavioural games) Too much tunneling of targets.
Talking about issues that allow mafia to easily blend in
These are a few core issues. Now, before I go into detail of how I believe it can be fixed and make a few summaries on games towns’ steamrolled mafia in I will say this. I do not blame you guys for the current trend of things as I honestly do see a lot of us experienced players as a reason for a few of these mistakes. I will say this as when the amount of us playing diminished rapidly and a game would have 1-3 of us total we would force our own will on the game, usually preventing you guys from performing the way we believe you should.
As for how you guys can improve, that is what I am going to try and help accomplish.
I will start by breaking down the points I have listed above.
This has been a problem in many games. One player in thread or in PM’s is solidified as the primary leader of the town. It somehow falls on them to do almost all the heavy lifting in the game. This causes multiple issues. If they are red, town instantly loses. If they are not careful and information is leaked to mafia, town will lose. If they are not confident in their decisions the town will become confused and you will typically lose. If you die, town is thrown into chaos and usually implodes.
This can be solved by not centralizing leadership on one person. In PM games smaller 2-5 member groups thinking as small cells and analyzing/pushing beliefs, etc… are more effective than one single leader. Multiple strong personalities in a thread (see L, Ace, etc.) Multiple players like that in a thread will argue, clash and ultimately things will get done. It also lets town get a better idea of alignment on players as the more aggressive they are the more analysis you can perform on them.
Anyone can learn the thread presence that the bigger named players possess and all it requires is confidence in your own abilities, and learning to not back down. Sometimes you will be wrong, but if multiple people do this in a game you get essentially an in game thought circle. People will toss ideas at each other and ultimately stronger analysis is usually accomplished. If you notice only one player is stepping up and you feel you have an important point to add, push it through. Your opinion may be disagreed with but that doesn’t make it any less valid.
Trust in one’s blues
People have also been recently putting too much stake in blue performance. This is a bad idea as with recent games role counts of blues are hidden. You wait for days for a detective to come out with their information only to find out at the end there was no detective. This is a fundamental problem that can only be fixed if people assume there are no blues in the game. Assume its just vanilla green vs. vanilla mafia. Analysis is key. If you have blue roles, awesome, but just assume you don’t and play accordingly.
It’s also a bad reason to assume blues will do amazingly as not everyone has experience as said blue role they have. Vigilantes and mad hatters have stress on performance to aim at mafia, detectives have the stress of keeping alive while checking accurately, and so on. These players have added stress, and may or may not perform well because of it. Too much pressure on them and they will most likely perform badly or give themselves up too early.
Lack of Analysis and Tunneling
There is an overwhelming lack of analysis in games and far to many fluff posts. People seem to get bandwagoned off 1 or 2 posts they make that may or may not give any information on their alignment. Faulty logic gets used a lot, which results in many town, sided deaths. Remember, if everyone playing pretty well concurs someone is red and there is next to no kickback from anyone there may be a reason for that. Analysis should be done based on daily trends. Was player an active day 1, did he vanish day 2 and 3 then suddenly reappear when active players died to “lead” the town. Etc…
One or two posts may give them away on any given day but long term trends on someone’s posting will give you a better idea of their alignment. Behavioural analysis should also be used at all times, not just as an excuse to tunnel your suspect. If you think someone is red and cannot find a large set of posts that prove your point well, don’t make the case, sit on it till you have a stronger case. It will only discredit you if he slips up later, or if your analysis lynches a tunnel visioned townie.
Gut shots are awesome sometimes, but they are not reliable, do not base your analysis just on those.
Towns lately talk too many generalities, and not enough specifics. People will open day 1 with discussion of how their blues could or could not perform that game. While this isn’t a bad place to start, as specifics are never mentioned it lets the mafia easily blend in. Every player roughly knows what the players should be doing with x blue role.
However, if you instead bring in specifics:
Make watch lists of players
These sort of topics put names down. As soon as a name hits a list discussion should ultimately start on “why is x there, why isn’t y?” “If I’m on a detective check list or watch list does that mean I’m suspected of being red?” etc…
It means people have to get personally involved and risk giving up their alignment. Does someone soft defend or hard defend someone being put on a watch list or the like is something to watch for.
The more discussion you can generate via lists like this the more likely reds will slip up. If everyone but player x is talking about these topics, player x could be a) red b) inactive.
Either or he’s not helping and voila day 1 lynch.
I will now point out some things that happen occasionally that the town should start doing or realize.
Inactivity / Stupidity
I am lumping this issue together as the response from town should be very similar. If someone is inactive it lets mafia hide there if so desired, which happens in most games. Stupidity allows mafia to hide in the background and “appear” active from time to time while hiding behind this person or people. IF people are routinely inactive, or exceptionally spammy/stupid. Town is not wasting lynches if they lynch them, nor are vigilante’s wasting hits on them. These are players that hurt the town as much if not worse than mafia.
*note – By stupid I mean people who are consistently pushing bad lynches, or spamming away decent posts. It does not matter if everyone recognizes they are town, if they are still being a negative force, or bulldogging bad views they should be ignored or removed. Town needs a clear head to play, discussion is good if its productive, if its not it only wastes daytime.
This feature has been in a fair number of TL games. It is also an amazing tool if used properly. However, if it is not used properly, the mafia will abuse it and potentially win. They are also a function if used improperly will cause people to feel left out and like they don’t matter as players. Pm’s can and do make people elitist in games. IF Pm’s are allowed in a game they should be used properly. Role fishing, small analysis groups, alignment testing.
Role fishing is straightforward so I will not go into it at this time.
Small analysis groups. These groups need not be large, as you only need a few heads to flesh out analysis on people. It also means that if a red is in your group, it is easier to catch them, and it keeps the other groups safe from infiltration.
Alignment testing. This is posting in a way to let you carefully analyze reactions. Townies are more inclined to answer in one way and mafia/blues another. Sometimes this will be obvious such as catching someone lying to you in pm’s or lying in thread. Other times this will be noticing subtle word choices.
Regardless of how you opt to use the tool, if you do not feel comfortable in your ability to use them properly do not use them and play the game via the thread. Ask for detail from Ace on this, as he dislikes the PM feature.
Do not lie as town period. Town has such a very small amount of reasons in which lying is appropriate that there is next to no point in doing so. Mafia have more reason to lie than town, if town starts to lie frequently the mafia have room to hide. There is a reason Lynch all Liars is a policy some players hold in high regard. It typically offs more mafia than town, and the town it does off are typically unhelpful or destructive towards the town.
Now, these are some of the issues that are prominent in games. I have outlined some ways to avoid them but I don’t believe that this is necessarily enough. Instead I will also reference and analyze a few games where the town performed exceptionally well.
Chuiu’s Mafia III
Chuiu’s third game. His first game without elected roles. This game had what was at the time an allstar cast of players. Pm’s were allowed, and clues were included.
Mafia list was as followed
At the time, Ace, plexa, MTF were all considered to be the top three players of TL mafia by some, and if nothing else were three of the top players. All mafia.
Day 1 opened with folca dt checking ace (we could day check) and calling him out. Ace pointed out that in the case of day 1 with literally no analysis to be done on someone, you lynch the accuser. This is true even to this point (if you can’t prove your role except in the death of yourself). Folca is lynched, flips dt, we now know 100% ace is red.
Night 1 mafia hits some players none are saved. Also during night 1 town circles begin to be created.
Day 2 ace is lynched. He flips red.
Night 2 decaf is vigi’d and flips red, bumatlarge was vigi’d flips town. Red kill more players, although one hit was blocked. Nemy suicide bombs mynock.
3 red are dead at this point of 10. This is a good start. DT checks fantasist during day, flips red and is lynched. 4 down.
Vig shoots infundibulum (same one that shot decaf. He is also part of a 3 man circle which analyzed both). Midnightgladius is shot and flips town. Mafia shoot a medic, jack and town.
Mafia are down to half their team. Dt information bout a vote list (dts could check them at the time) and found a list of 5 names, 2 of which were red. Zbir was on this list and lynched, flipped town. List now down to 4 names 2 red, 1 of which helped lead town to two kills, 2 names 3 players.
Town vigi’s lenwe and hero’s)pink (both were on the list of 5). This cleared two town, dropped mafia numbers to 3.
Mafia shoot medic, dt and town.
Town analyzes plexa and mtf. Plexa bus’ mtf. Mtf is lynched, mafia is now down to 2. During this day analysis is placed on plexa that pins him of red.
Jack is primed to shoot plexa and mafia concedes knowing that 1 member cannot kill the remaining town.
In 5 game days town won. It successfully lynched 3 of the 5 days, and successfully vig hit 4 times. All the lynches that netted mafia were based either on analysis (behavioural or clues) or on a dt check. 2 vig shots were based on clue analysis and 2 were based on behavioural analysis junctioned with a dt vote list. Suicide bomber killed himself. Last jack hit would have netted a red and was based off behavioural and clues.
I chose this game as one of the games as the town worked as a unified whole. There were multiple small groups that all managed to do their part successfully. Greens and blues worked in tandem. Small circles instead of one large. Pm’s used for analysis (this helped guide blue moves but analysis was done first). People not in circles doing analysis to help. Town lost a lot of members to mafia hits, but still had a clear win.
Cons of this game was town required blues to kill a fair number of reds. However, vigi’s shot accurately for the most part.
Chuiu’s mafia V
This game is a clear town win from the getgo.
Mafia team was relatively inexperienced with only a few experienced players.
Two town elected to elected roles. BC as Sheriff, and Semioldguy (detective) as mayor. 3 bodyguards were randomized.
RoL was analyzed behaviourally by one town member getting him lynched day 1.
Sog checks mandalor, sees red.
Mafia trip stack ver and kill 3 others
Mandalor is lynched
Kennigit rc’s scooter who flips red
Fishball shoots tricode who flips red
Town uses double lynch and kills scooter and leperkhan (both flip red)
Its day 3 and 5 red are dead, half the mafia number.
Kennigit rc’s humbug who flips red
Humbug is lynched and is red
3 lions and kennigit clue check master of chaos and get a hit
Masterofchaos is lynched flips gf
Semioldguy checks snet who flips red
This game is an exceptional case where the only active players in the game were town. The dt’s were in contact early, and slowly but surely the main body of the town was functioning in tandom. Some mafia were caught on behavioural/clue analysis however dt’s played a critical role in this setup. Most mafia checked however did have suspicion on them based on clues or behavioural.
This game had many people working in smaller groups some groups interconnected on a few members but most were operating in smaller groups. Displayed why a really active town will be an incredibly inactive mafia if each key element is used correctly (this being analysis/pms/roles).
I would recommend everyone goes and actually reads both these games to see an example of how active towns will win a game. They are two of the older games but both will offer an insight hopefully to those who are unsure what to do and see the examples of how to perform.
There are a few other games that will clearly display solid town play, however they also show negative qualities as well.
One such game is Flamewheels mafia XX where 1 circle did most of the heavy lifting all game. The town steamrolled the mafia, however this led to what I see as the beginning of towns being more complacent (three vets and a few people included into the circle directed the game from lynch to lynch). Interesting game to read if you would like to see how vets perform and how they win, but you will have to ignore the complacency of most players. Mafia was also very inactive in this game.
Each of the games referenced can be found
IF anyone has any comments, concerns, or would like anything edited in let me know and I shall do my best to respond to each case appropriately. I also honestly hopes this helps in some way. If anyone believes that we are also in need of a more constructed post of how to play as mafia let me know and I shall try to get that created as well.