Mafia Strategy

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The goals of each alignment are based on their win conditions. Town wins when the mafia have been eliminated and mafia wins if they're even numbers with town.

Goals of a town aligned player[edit]

  1. find scum
  2. allow other players to get a read on you
  3. pay attention, don't divert discussion with lots of unrelated crap, don't ask others to summarize what's happened when you could scroll up and read for yourself

How do you achieve #1? Generate information: ask questions, make accusations based on anything, look for scummy behavior.

Goals of a town aligned power role[edit]

  1. pretend to be vanilla town, avoid being outed as PR
  2. if you can get away with being slightly scummy, that's possibly a good idea if scum will avoid killing you because of it, but don't do this if it means you'll be lynched
  3. if you survive to night, use your power in the most beneficial way to the town

Typically the best way to use your power is to clear someone. Town usually wins by having lots of cleared players.

Goals of a mafia aligned player[edit]

  1. avoid being lynched, create doubt and confusion, find and kill power roles/clear players/obviously protown players
  2. avoid leaving information about who's your scumbuddy (this doesn't mean ignoring them)
  3. blend in with the town
  4. mislead the town into lynching town

So, in general, putting in effort to legitimately find scum is a good way to appear to be town. Note that the slightly scummy players are more likely to be investigated (or roleblocked) and well known players are likely to be protected.

If you find and report all scummy behavior that you see, then you'll sometimes end up reporting scummy behavior by your scumbuddy, that's fine but avoid:

  1. building a case and then suddenly switching focus to someone else
  2. stating that your scumbuddy is scummy without stating any reasons

How to find scum[edit]

In the early game, generate discussion.

Things to try: Say or do something controversial and see how people react. If you randomly pick someone and accuse them of being scum for saying "lol" then some players will fall on the side that it's meaningless and you're scummy for pushing bad logic and others will agree with you.

If you need 5 votes to lynch someone and your bad case attracts 4 votes very quickly, then you should probably start to examine the players who joined the wagon. For example, the 2nd person may see that you're trying to pressure the person you voted for, but they may also be scum who's just trying to appear to be applying pressure. When a wagon hits L-1 if the 2nd voter isn't nervous at all and doesn't suspect you, then it's likely they're scum.

Remember that scum doesn't care who is lynched as long as it's not them. The flip side of the coin is that overly cautious players who didn't jump on the wagon may also be scum, or a player who hops on as the 2nd vote and unvotes when a 3rd vote appears. There are often differences between actual caution and scum feigning caution. Scum typically doesn't want to stand out, but if someone's calling attention to the fact that they're being careful, they might be scum trying to get "town points".

Along those lines, if someone else is pushing a ridiculous or silly reason to lynch someone, it's OK to hop on the bandwagon as a townie. It's also OK to defend the potential lynch target, but note that reducing pressure on someone else hurts the town overall because you will get better reactions from someone at L-1 or L-2 than someone with 1 vote on them.

In later days, you should have a lot of information, things to look at:

  • Who voted to lynch who and when
  • Did someone silently jump on a wagon when it looked like that player's lynch was assured?
  • Did they hammer with no deliberation (and the player they lynched was scum)?
  • Did they provide good or bad reasons for their views? Note that even a bad reason is useful later on because the player asserting it is at least taking a stand.
  • If a deadline is involved, were they behaving counter to their stated beliefs as the deadline approached? If they've stated that player X must be scum, but they're not voting for that player as time runs out, why?

In general, if someone has done something that you consider weird or annoying or absurd, the thing to ask is, "what is their motivation for doing this?" If the logic is flawed but the motivation is to help town, then their vote to lynch a certainly cleared player might not be a sign that they're mafia. Note that someone doing something that really stands out is unlikely to be mafia simply because mafia wants to blend in.

See also[edit]

Foonetic's Mafia Channel Wiki

Commonly Asked Questions on Mafia Theory