Live Action Mafia

A game of sneakiness and paranoia
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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:50 pm
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Location: Epsilon Theta
jakob wrote:
Seriously, Gay Knights OP.


Oh yes!

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:27 pm 

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sammyluo wrote:
lilychen wrote:
An investigator tells me that the press was manipulated on this kill, since no clues were found.

Interesting. The only explanation I can find for this is that Daniel claimed as such to Lily to gain credibility as an "investigative role."

It doesn't look like ARod1993 is going to become active :/ Though this probably helps Daniel's chances since it means Josh is the only current investigation source. We'll see what happens.


I had already committed to being an investigative role, and after tsims died, my previous plan to claim desperado went out the window. I decided to just go with being an investigator, and I had to make an investigation.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:32 pm 

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jakob wrote:
So... DGrazian just tried to kill Lucy, and they killed each other at the same time. Town has been *very* efficient about killing mafia this game.


I believe this is a significant issue with the rules. Tsims and I had no plausible way to kill Lucy without getting killed in return. I don't know how we could have ever approached her without either giving her time to text somebody or obviously reaching to kill her (in which case she has an equal opportunity to kill us!) Or at least it would have been way to hard, and killing is extremely hard.

I can go into more detail about this later.

Jakob + Sammy, do not feel bad about this. This is not a new issue, and I'm probably more guilty than anybody for letting it stay in the game for so long.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:33 pm 

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lilychen wrote:
Nice job, Daniel. I didn't read you as mafia at all, even though I immediately picked out tsims as being sketchy.

A bit disappointing that the game was so short! Good job Sammy and Jakob, and thanks so much for running these games!


++ Thanks Sammy! Thanks Jakob!

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Gah, when I take time to type posts there are like 5 posts there already when I click submit.

Anyway, town won for reasons almost completely independent of starting power; texting a name before death and counterkill reaction time before death. The only town power that meant anything at all this game was the ability to individually kill mafia. Investigations, invulnerability, and items all meant absolutely nothing. I think people are very biased to decide game balance of a game based on the outcome of the game, which is really a very tiny bit of evidence.

Consider how game would have went if you removed the texting and counterkill factors:
Tsims kills fmajluf7. Asjm has only a 1/4 chance of investigating tsims, plus Josh's 1/8 chance.
With a 5/8 chance, no one gets lynched. Then the next day tsims can kill Lucy, and if you manage to get anyone at all who isn't mafia lynched (via framing, claiming to have a positive investigation, whatever), then the next day you can double kill and then overpower the lynch vote (2 mafia vs 2 townies is definitely a mafia win, plus ARod1993 was inactive.)
With a 3/8 chance, tsims gets lynched. Again, if you can make a single kill and manage to get anyone else at all lynched, then you can vote for a tiebreak, double kill the next day, and win the lynch vote the next day via tiebreak (given an inactive townsperson; making no assumptions for an inactive you could single kill that day, have some chance of getting lynched / going no lynch, and then double kill to victory the next day).

Basically, if town no-lynch and lynch a townie at any point in the game (without compensating via vigilante/gay knight kills), they lose. Objectively, that's a pretty tough standard. Especially given mafia has a frame and 3 chances to guess roles via set-a-trap. A town that was worse at soft suspicions + quick reaction time could have easily lost this setup.

That said, there may be a case for starting to count "quick reaction" town strategies in game setup, even though they haven't historically been included in balance.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:55 pm 
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lilychen wrote:
Daniel Grazian wrote:
I emphatically disagree with anyone claiming that the town was not too strong. I think they had enough power relative to the mafia to roll game.

However, I also think that the town played extraordinarily well and would probably have won even if the parameters had been significantly worse for them. That was a well-deserved victory.

Yeah, right off the bat I thought mafia was under-powered with respect to town. In particular, mayor and police officer are really strong, and so they don't really scale well for smaller games. Town just had too much investigative power and mafia had too few investigation-thwarting powers.


The mayor/police officer scalability is a good point. I haven't been able to get them working for my game simulations, and my mental model of a summer game (Summer 2 last year, which had 16 players, 3 mafia, roughly the same number of mafia powers, and a mafia steamroll victory) didn't have a police officer. I also think that general town skill level has gone up since then.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:02 pm 
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I definitely don't think mafia needs more investigation thwarting powers though. MtP, Frame, and 1/3 of a hitman is a lot for this size of game. I think decreasing gay knight investigations to 1 and cutting police officer would be reasonable though.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on game
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:50 pm
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A few things :-)

1. Though it is tough, I know I make a substantial effort not to be too biased by the game result. As a supportive example I believe the last game was very pro-mafia, even though town won.

2. You're underestimating the chance of tsims being caught. Suppose one person had a rock-solid alibi (1-2 rock solid alibis are pretty typical.) And suppose that a townie was elected police officer. I'll even count the the gay knight partner in the denominator. Then, the town has a 4/8 chance of immediately catching the mafia. And I think that's reasonably generous to the mafia.

3. Lucy wasn't a fluke. I'd say that there was an 80% chance that the mafia who attempted to kill Lucy would die in the attempt.

But I agree that the game is very sensitive to parameter changes. It took what felt like pretty small changes to (in my opinion) shift from mafia op to town op.

And I definitely agree that the town didn't win because of their starting power. But I think that their starting power was sufficient to win with high probability. They would also probably have won with significantly less power because of how well they played.

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