Can this ever work in town's favor?

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BuJaber
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:24 am

I'm bored. Let's have a good old-fashioned strategy discussion.

This is an idea I've been pondering. Problem is I'm stuck thinking with only my perspective. I need someone to play devil's advocate or straight up tell me why I'm wrong.

Here's a crazy idea:
Every day phase every player claims they will target someone (without claiming their role).

Is that super op for town or what?

Any setup with PRs.

I'm guessing there's a flaw I'm not seeing or else it would become standard practice. It sounds busted to me and it probably would get old quickly though.

The idea is loosely based on the concept of Hypo-inno's: Town has a cop and everyone knows they have a cop or suspects they have one, so every day phase everyone claims they got an innocent on someone. Some people will be outed as not cop immediately to scum if they claim innocent on a scum player, but statistically most on average will inno a townie. Scum will not know who is the real cop, and if they shoot someone else, odds are they were hunting the cop meaning the person their target hypo-inno'd gets inno'd for real. I probably explained it badly.

Let me be clear I have never actually been in a game where this has been done. I do not know how effective it is. But it sounds like a good idea and it is a valid strategy used by some mafia players.

My idea is not exactly the same but as long as the PRs are secret, hypothetically town will have more and better information once people begin to flip.

Let's say player A is a bodyguard. Day 2 he claims he will target player B (without claiming bodyguard). In day 3 we find out player A and player E died. Player B is very very likely to be scum if no vig claims, etc.

You make it harder for scum to NK optimally, without really giving them any major info. Sure sometimes it might be bad if say player A is doc who claims he targeted player B and scum shoot player B they will know player B was protected somehow. But because a) everyone is doing it and b) nobody is claiming an actual role, there is a layer of WIFOM that protects town from giving too much info to scum.

For what it's worth I don't think we should necessary do this.. part of the fun of mafia is that stupid and unexpected things happen, but I'm very interested in discussing the hypothetical pros and cons of this.

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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:28 am

In post 0, BuJaber wrote:Let's say player A is a bodyguard. Day 2 he claims he will target player B (without claiming bodyguard). In day 3 we find out player A and player E died. Player B is very very likely to be scum if no vig claims, etc.


I was thinking of weak not bodyguard. Ignore this.
Let's go with Player B very very likely to be TOWN if player A dies alone.

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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:24 pm

The strategy I believe is called hypoclaiming and is common offsite.
There are merits to it, but there are also drawbacks.

While it is a decent way to prevent scum from, in advance, figuring out night actions, the tradeoff is that, so much as after a single night, it makes it much, much easier for them to PR hunt. In other words, it has an upside for a single night, but past that night it will cause the town PRs to be manipulated and destroyed by the scum in record time.

The reason for this is, that if you know you are scum, and you know who else is scum, and you know who every player claims they targeted, even without them claiming the type of PR, you instantly are positioned such that based off of the town players' reactions come start of D2 (especially in comparison to D1!), they are revealing to you what they are and are not.

In particular, the latter is devastating on the town. You might think scum knowing what you aren't even if they don't know what you are isn't as bad as them knowing what you are, but the scum have more information than the town to start with (they know what roles THEY hold, and off of what roles THEY hold can reasonably setup spec what the town has fairly reliably) so knowing what you aren't helps them narrow in on what people ARE.
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:01 am

Trust Mastina to answer something like this!

Good answer.

What about PRs that are on specific nights. Wouldn't you gain some advantage? Say you are n3 vig. Day 1 and day 2 scum as you said will probably figure out you aren't anything but then n3 pow you vug them.
Specific night powers are too rare though.

Okay thank you this was short and sweet.

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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:53 pm

It strikes me that there's probably not much disadvantage to claiming the coming night's targets on the day before lylo. (That said, sometimes people just fullclaim then; it's a viable alternative to the more common lylo claim.)

Doing it with specific-night roles doesn't work because then everyone will know you're a specific-night role. (On the other hand, a non-investigative role, i.e. one whose role effect still works even if they're dead, typically has no reason not to fullclaim when they have one shot / night left, unless they fear a roleblock from scum.)
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:57 am

MS site meta is way to self-oriented right now to pull off hypoclaims

That sounds kind of cynical but I really don't have fun forwarding my wincon autonomously so I'll never bring it up as a problem

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:14 pm

To piggyback on Mastina's post...

You could also be giving scum an idea of your role simply by who you are choosing to target. For example, Player A claims cop Day 1. Player B says they are targeting Player A. Player C says they are targeting the lurker who almost got lynched and could be the Day 2 lynch. Player B has a much higher chance of being doc than Player C.

I'd be interested to see it in practice though.

And you'd think VTs would be smart enough to add themselves to a NK pool using this.
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:30 pm

Similar strategies are often used in Open/Semi-open setups where there is a known role like Hider. Mastina's analysis of the drawbacks is spot on, but in games with more known roles/setup that strategy can potentially be very strong, especially if you limit it down to one role. e.g. if you have a set-up that definitely has a Cop, having each player claim who they'd be copping each night if they were the Cop is potentially valuable. Of course, this does still allow the mafia to narrow it down, as if you claim you'd be copping them and then don't claim a guilty the next day, you probably are not the Cop.
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:13 pm

I'm not sure that this works out to be advantageous. Imagine a setup of Cop/Doc vs. RB in a standard 7/2 format. Mafia is can look at who is targeting whom, and make an educated guess of which players are softing doc and which are softing cop based on their target choices. They know whether they will be targeted at night and could plan to RB whomever may be investigating them. They know all potential targets for the doctor, and can choose their NK in such a way that the doc never blocks the kill. What does Town get? If the Cop flips, you can look at her target and guess that maybe scum was trying to prevent them from being investigated, but that has built in WIFOM because mafia can conceivably target players for the explicit purpose of setting this scenario up.

I think in this scenario, it might be better for everyone to say "If I was a cop, I'd target A, and if I was the doc, I'd target B". This makes it harder for scum to isolate the cop based on false positives from Townies.

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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:40 pm

Oh, I like the "hypotarget for each role" method. It'd be useful for scumhunting even beyond trying to make fakeclaiming harder, in that it'd give you a good view of people's reads.

One issue is that it might make it easier for scum to determine which players are least likely to be lynched (to aim the kill), but they can often do that anyway, especially in smaller games, and if the game does have a doctor they have to trade off between killing a universally townread player and running into the doctor.
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:14 pm

In post 9, callforjudgement wrote:Oh, I like the "hypotarget for each role" method. It'd be useful for scumhunting even beyond trying to make fakeclaiming harder, in that it'd give you a good view of people's reads.

One issue is that it might make it easier for scum to determine which players are least likely to be lynched (to aim the kill), but they can often do that anyway, especially in smaller games, and if the game does have a doctor they have to trade off between killing a universally townread player and running into the doctor.
The problem with hypoclaiming each role is that the strategy is only advantageous in a known setup, beit Open or Semiopen.

In a closed, even a Normal, the original problem still exists. Town doesn't know what roles/modifiers (the latter is especially important) are in the game, and it's literally impossible to list them all because there are millions of role combinations possible even on just the whitelist, with more added each time the list is expanded.

Neglecting to mention a specific detail, or mentioning a detail you shouldn't know, gives info on roles to the scum, who start with a better idea of what to look for.
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:50 pm

You can still break it down by category, "I think the best target for an investigative role would be A, for a protective role B, for a killing role C". If you act against that you'll get some weird looks at massclaim, and it helps clarify what your current views on the setup are.
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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:57 pm

In post 11, callforjudgement wrote:You can still break it down by category, "I think the best target for an investigative role would be A, for a protective role B, for a killing role C". If you act against that you'll get some weird looks at massclaim, and it helps clarify what your current views on the setup are.
Still runs into problems. What does a JOAT with a Cop, Doc, and Fruit Vend say?
How do you track all types of role?
If you are X-shot or Nonconsecutive, how do you tell people you're holstering without giving away that you're one of those two?

What if the scum have an Even-night role and you claim actions they're pretty sure would require you to be a role not suited for the setup? What if they have a N3 roleblocker? By claiming actions, you give away knowledge that they can use to pin PRS down.

This is not even close to a complete list. Closed games can't have it work without the associated downsides.
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:57 pm

Also: weak doctors are both a protective and an investigative. How do you tell the town which you are using it as?

Similarly so for jailkeeper. It's both a protective and a blocker. (Well, technically speaking, per Normal guidelines, its role type is "jailkeeper"; it has its own classification. But to MOST people, its role type would be both protective and blocking.) How do you tell the town if you are using it as a protect or a block?

Not all investigatives have the same targets. Sure, a tracker's target is similar enough to a cop, but what about a voyeur? Watcher? Both are investigatives, but have an entirely different optimal target pool. Vanilla Cops, too.

All have vastly different utility in spite of all being investigatives. So how do you not give away which you are with a target claim?

And back to a Joat, what do you do if all your powers are different investigatives? (Say, Voyeur/Watcher/Vanilla Cop.)

Like I said, endless number of examples; a complete list is impossible.
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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:15 pm

You do the best you can and then people judge your actions at lylo.

This doesn't have to be 100% objective.
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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:17 pm

I'd say it in some situations it would be useful, where the benefit of added scumhunting accuracy would outweigh the risk of losing PRs. Because in the end an all vanilla town who knows all scum wins all the time. That's why guilties are usually outed instantly for a 1:1 trade. So I guess if you could reasonably estimate that the collective info gained by everyone hypo claiming is about equal to 1 guilty for every 1 'exposed' PR, it would be worth it.

I mean one of the things that sparked this thought was seeing how in some games town ends up getting distracted and making false assumptions about NKs or setup spec and it leads to mislynches. Obviously people can simply try to improve in that regard but it could well be that some element of that will always happen because it's in our nature to want to explain what happened or solve the puzzle.

But thanks to the insight from you all I now know this is far from OP and in fact may be closer to negative EV for town. I was stuck thinking about it from one angle only.

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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:31 pm

I don't know if this would count as encryption but I could see a possible way in which it benefits town.

Someone would have to create an extremely comprehensive spreadsheet with every possible action and result.

for example if you are cop and you targeted the third player with a return of guilty, you would submit something like 3(target third player) 2 (guilty). But since some roles have more inputs and outputs than others like PGOs vs a JOAT vs multitasker, you would submit a string of numbers based on the spreadsheet like 3512 and thus if you die, by checking the spreadsheet, the 5 and 1 would be ultimately meaningless, but the spreadsheet would say only the first and fourth characters of the string of relevance for cops while it isn't worth it for scum to check out all the possible combinations for outputs because vanilla would just submit random strings etc. Ideally your string would be 100 characters long or more with numbers, symbols, and letters and then specific roles have unique locations that matter. Also in this ideal world, everyone thinks carefully about what they submit so they don't make it obvious with a string like 5AAAAAAAAAA4AAAAAAAA1 vs 5asd39x2nm5a4adm0321 if you know what I mean.

it might be a gray area because its another layer of hypoclaiming with an extra layer of obscurity and the "encryption key" would be your role. but really isnt hypoclaiming just an easier to solve level of encryption.

dont know if that was understandable

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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:35 pm

and if the above counts as encryption i have a way to bypass it.

someone would have to come up with a way to generate every single role's actions and results and shit.

then write a program in which you input what you actually did so for ex: I am Cop and I targeted Person A, getting the result of guilty.

Then the program would spit that out along with every single role in the game and a randomized actions with a randomized result, jumble up the order.

thus its no longer encryption i believe.

im not good at programming but i think is doable with normal game queue setups


edit: not random as in 50/50 for cop guilties either, it should be weighted

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:34 pm

In post 7, TehBrawlGuy wrote:Similar strategies are often used in Open/Semi-open setups where there is a known role like Hider. Mastina's analysis of the drawbacks is spot on, but in games with more known roles/setup that strategy can potentially be very strong, especially if you limit it down to one role. e.g. if you have a set-up that definitely has a Cop, having each player claim who they'd be copping each night if they were the Cop is potentially valuable. Of course, this does still allow the mafia to narrow it down, as if you claim you'd be copping them and then don't claim a guilty the next day, you probably are not the Cop.


TBF, there's a decent chance the Mafia will just kill the person targeting them unless there's a number of players that just happen to be targeting Mafia.

Idk about forum Mafia, but those kills tend to be WIFOMed away in the app version.
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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:38 pm

In post 10, mastina wrote:
In post 9, callforjudgement wrote:Oh, I like the "hypotarget for each role" method. It'd be useful for scumhunting even beyond trying to make fakeclaiming harder, in that it'd give you a good view of people's reads.

One issue is that it might make it easier for scum to determine which players are least likely to be lynched (to aim the kill), but they can often do that anyway, especially in smaller games, and if the game does have a doctor they have to trade off between killing a universally townread player and running into the doctor.
The problem with hypoclaiming each role is that the strategy is only advantageous in a known setup, beit Open or Semiopen.

In a closed, even a Normal, the original problem still exists. Town doesn't know what roles/modifiers (the latter is especially important) are in the game, and it's literally impossible to list them all because there are millions of role combinations possible even on just the whitelist, with more added each time the list is expanded.

Neglecting to mention a specific detail, or mentioning a detail you shouldn't know, gives info on roles to the scum, who start with a better idea of what to look for.


Building on call's idea, what about for games in the Newbie Queue, to hypoclaim like this:

If I'm protective, I'm targeting A
If I'm investigative, I'm targeting B

Would that be good town utility?
Does this post forward a scum win con, or do you just think I'm strange?

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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:50 pm

In post 19, shortaru wrote:Would that be good town utility?
The idea has potential. Newbies are a bit tricky on strategies and whether they work tho.
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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:25 am

In an open setup with cop and no scum blockers, hypo claiming is considered to be extremely strong. The reason for this is multiple

1) it ensures that after cop, there’s a surviving list of clears or guilties (this is stronger with a random n0 town check setup fwiw)

2) it forces scum to hypo claim, which can “pre-solve” cop guilty dipoles (wolf a claims town check on cop b who has a real guilty on a, ez), and more critically forces them to town check their buddies (which will eventually look bad AND can disqualify them as cop after a scum flip) or town check townies, which then shrinks the mechanical POE (and “lynch among the people who aren’t hypo green checked” is itself a powerful tool)

3) there is very little info bleed on hypo cop checks, whereas stuff like tracker and the like can get scum to narrow down PRs WITHOUT getting al8gnment-relevant useful info
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:27 am

Oh and if you’re in cop/doc/Roleblocker, “I’ll protect a if doc” makes it really easy for wolves to make sure that their targets will be unprotected, since if you really want player A dead you just block the only guy who’s gonna doc him.
Theoretically town can have EVERYONE say they’ll doc A, but then you’re leaving the actual cop out to dry potentially.
Etc.
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