Why does town do so badly with the White Flag mechanic?

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callforjudgement
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:05 pm

Results from Opens actually run on mafiascum.net:

White Flag (Open Setup): 8 scum wins, 2 town wins, EV 47.8%, observed win rate 20%
Lovers Mafia: 11 scum wins, 6 town wins, EV 60%, observed win rate 35.3%
Grey Flag Nightless: 5 scum wins, 0 town wins, EV 45.9%, observed win rate 0%

I've been considering the long string of scum wins in Grey Flag Nightless to be something of an anomaly – it's clearly reasonable that it could happen by chance – but when we combine all the "one scum left = town win" setups that have been played often enough to give reasonable statistics, there's a clear pattern here. OK, so White Flag itself is a long-duration setup with a regular scum nightkill, and scum doing substantially better than EV there is possibly not too surprising as a result. But Lovers Mafia and Grey Flag Nightless are very limited in scum nightkills, something that in practice normally gives a huge advantage to town, and yet scum is doing considerably better than EV.

It's possible that all this is a coincidence, but I've now seen enough to suspect that there's something of a pattern here. It'd be useful from the setup-balancing point of view to figure out what's going on here, in order to help make future setups more balanced.

Some theories I have:
  • The White Flag mechanic is typically used to allow more scum to fit into a vanilla game than normal, and with no power roles to centralise discussion, the large scumteams have a lot of control over the lynch vote, making it hard for town to get in early lynches on scum;
  • The White Flag mechanic reduces the number of scum flips observed in a typical game (regardless of who wins), and towns are generally particularly reliant on scum flips;
  • The White Flag mechanic discourages bussing-to-kill, helping scum in one of the two following ways:
    • Bussing-to-kill is typically a bad strategy but is nonetheless commonly attempted, and discouraging scum from it therefore causes them to play better; OR
    • Bussing-to-kill is a component in a WIFOM matrix that town have got used to allowing for, and thus a reduction in scum's WIFOM opportunities isn't hurting them as much as mathematics would predict.

Of course, this might all be completely wrong! Does anyone have their own ideas about this phenomenon? Can anyone think of ways to test any of the above theories (e.g. a setup that would interact with some theories but not others)?
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implosion
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:51 pm

Is this trend distinct from other mountainous setups?

BulletNLynchproof
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:40 am

Probably due to the scumteam being larger than normal means that they have larger influence over the game
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:15 am

Didn't "epic duel" have a white flag mechanic?

I think the main thing is that white flag setups usually opens, and open mountainous setups probably have high town burnout rates as people realize their dayplay will never be corrected by night actions. If anything I'd say get a group willing to run one a few times in blitz and see if the winrate stabilizes there.
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:20 pm

I think it's not the white flag

Its mountainous plus generally it's easy to sweep as wolf anyway
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:48 pm

In post 2, BulletNLynchproof wrote:Probably due to the scumteam being larger than normal means that they have larger influence over the game

In post 4, RadiantCowbells wrote:I think it's not the white flag

Its mountainous plus generally it's easy to sweep as wolf anyway

I think it’s halfway between these answers

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:02 am

I think that on MS, a lot of scum teams can crush games barring a lot of town PR help. In white flag type games, town's edge is that it's easier to put away scum teams that are struggling, but the scum teams that are doing well aren't really affected by the mechanic at all (barring there being a slightly higher cost to early bussing, but even that isn't huge).
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:50 am

does this phenomena occur on other mafia sites?

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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:18 pm

Update - Open 761 just concluded with a first-ever town win for Grey Flag, raising its observed win rate to 16.67%.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:31 pm

i think white flag is batshit scumsided

gray flag i'm surprised town hasn't won yet but i look at the playerlists of the most recent 2 at least and i'm not surprised scum won.
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:31 pm

The more scums there is the less it's like "Informed minority fighting uninformed majority"
"Let us say that you are right and there are two worlds. How much, then, is this 'other world' worth to you? What do you have there that you do not have here? Money? Power? Something worth causing the prince so much pain for?'"
"Well, I..."
"What? Nothing? You would make the prince suffer over... nothing?"

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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:32 pm

honestly i think the opposite. especially in a setup like white flag where scum have to protect each other to some extent. you can associative hunt very very effectively.
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:39 pm

grey flag is townsided.

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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:41 pm

you just have to find one scum out of 3 to win.

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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:45 pm

Yeah but more of those associations have to be preflip
"Let us say that you are right and there are two worlds. How much, then, is this 'other world' worth to you? What do you have there that you do not have here? Money? Power? Something worth causing the prince so much pain for?'"
"Well, I..."
"What? Nothing? You would make the prince suffer over... nothing?"

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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:46 pm

people who say pre-flip associative hunting is bad are the same kind of people who usually struggle and lose when the scumteam doens't bus.
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:47 pm

gotta add HALF MAST NIGHTLESS

i think scum are 2-0 including a marathon

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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:47 pm

scum spew themselves a lot.

it's just up to town to find it

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:09 am

My opinion on this has changed

White flag increases the scum concentration, which makes it more likely that there’s a powerwolf on the team.
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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:16 am

That's why you need to make sure town's leading the game

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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:34 am

having setups that encourage scum not to bus are heavily scumsided because towns tend to struggle with coming together without scum help, and usually town can manage it better after there's concrete information in the thread via scum deaths.
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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:35 am

And yes this is amplified by the general higher scum concentration of these setups

Nightless setups are different in that they can't really ever get rid of problem town, so it's a bit more evened out with that
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:45 pm

In post 20, Ankamius wrote:having setups that encourage scum not to bus are heavily scumsided because towns tend to struggle with coming together without scum help, and usually town can manage it better after there's concrete information in the thread via scum deaths.

Doesn't that mean that scum could scumside more normal setups via simply not bussing?

(This might be true, of course, but if so it's a sad indictment of our current site meta.)
scum · scam · seam · team · term · tern · torn · town

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:47 pm

i think 20 is probably wrong and that it's more because the games are mountainous and still allow scum to remove town's best player(s)

grey flag could legitimately have been lost for town if they had ignored my scumread on buj after I died.
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:48 pm

i think the problem is moreso scum distancing very poorly when not intending to lynch their partner rather than scum bussing in situations they shouldn't
If you're Macho and someone tries to rolestop you, you never realise you're being targeted for a kill, so your machismo never gets challenged

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