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How stubborn should you be with your reads?

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,337
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2/16/2013 4:01:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I am starting to think my scumhuting skills are getting a little rusty. When I first started playing, I'd never lead mislynches on townies and almost always be right about who the scum were. But then again, I didn't win a lot of games as town.

In more recent games, I am wrong more often than I used to be. I often second guess my reads when I shouldn't and persue leads when I shouldn't. Let me elaborate.

In Logic's last game, A Not so Quaint Town, I was pretty sure FT was scum and pushed a lynch despite having a few misgivings later on while the lynch was happenning (I could say Maxx as well but the lynch didn't actually happen while I was town and alive). In HvV Magicians, I was pretty sure Danielle was scum and in Philosophers (Spinko's last game), I was sure Daytona was scum. All 3 times I was wrong but the common element in them was that at some point or the other I second guessed myself. I considered the possibility that the lynch was probably on town and felt that at some point, it would have good to back off. In Quiant town, it was at the point where Caveat and Johnny added their votes with poor reasoning that I began to suspect mafia bandwagoning. In Philosophers, it was the quick votes from Knukle and Tulle that should have been a tip-off. In HvV, TUF's defense of Danielle should have been a tip-off that it was scum defending town because a lot of his arguments were debatable. So, overall seems like a good idea to back off when things don't seem right. Isn't it?

Another example that came to mind. IFLY and I tunnelled each other in Kingmaker mafia. I had fleeting thoughts that scum might be TUF and BH because of the way they both attacked IFLY but neither of us gave up our stubborn stance and kept arguing until the town lost.

Now consider the flip side: In Drafter's Epic Mafia game, I all but figured out Mestari was scum to a certainty but let him convince me otherwise by persuading me. It didn't help that no one else supported lynching him. In IShall's Harry Potter game, I suspected IFLY but backed off because I had second thoughts based on his frustration (which was contrived since he was scum). But I had the feeling that it was a potential scum lynch but didn't through with it. If we had, town would have pretty much won. I also had suspicions of Chicken due to a logical error that he made but basically just let it go. Oh, and the mother of all back-offs: I was SO sure Budda was scum in Horror mafia but backed off because (in my opinion), better targets presented themselves.

So, this leaves a question: when you are pushing a lynch on someone, when is it a good idea to back off? Do you generally back off and why? When do you get into a state of stubborn-ness from which you won't back off until you or the other player is lynched? Is it good to be stubborn or is it bad? Obviously, it depends on the circumstances but I want to explore what those circumstances are.

By the way, I am taking a break from mafia after Logic's game and my modded game (will probably be back during Spring break or at the end of the semester). I am interested in looking at my play from a different perspective and discuss mafia theory.
TUF
Posts: 21,929
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2/16/2013 7:29:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
@F-16, this is something I recently realized. Stubborness is the town's biggest failure, and the reason why they lose more than anything.

If you haven't noticed, this is what I've been trying to avoid lately. If I find a flaw in my evidence, I am not going to keep pushing that person. I've led plenty of mis-lynches because of that, so am trying to avoid that.

But you have to realize that this is a debate site, and people feel justified in their stubborness. It's more about accepting that you can be wrong, and backing off a potential townie (if you are town of course).
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tvellalott
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2/16/2013 8:23:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Reads should come second to evidence I always say.
I really, really try to avoid lynching purely on gut. Tunnelling can completely fvck you up.

Having said that, there is one thing this game has thought me and that's to always trust your gut. Always.
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FourTrouble
Posts: 15,454
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2/16/2013 8:26:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
F-16, I don't think your scumhunting skills are rusty at all. If you had asked me a few months ago whether I was afraid of you as mafia, I would have said no. Now, you are the townie I fear most, by far. I think your only weakness is not trusting your behavioral reads as much as you should. The doubt is what lets many a mafioso get away. I've had that experience myself too many times. If you lead a mislynch every now and then, that just means you are leading the Town more often.

Being stubborn isn't a good thing, but once you've concluded someone is scum, you have to follow through. I was 100% certain BV was mafia in your game a while back, but just the slightest bit of doubt caused me to hesitate and town lost. It happens as town because you're town and have no clue what's really going on. You can't always be right, but it's better to follow through with your gut reads than not. Sometimes you'll have a bad performance but other times you might be dead on and lead the Town to a convincing victory. I bet if you followed through on your gut more often, there would actually be more Town wins. If your gut reads change as the wagon is building, then you should definitely not be stubborn though.

If you think a townie is about to lynched, you should defend him. I dunno where people got the idea that defending townies is a scum-tell but it's not. If you think someone is town, you should be stubborn as fvck and defend them as much as you can.

Also, consider that mislynching on D1 is not awful, since you still get a lot of information to analyze. My lynch on D1 of A Quaint Town for example should have won the game for Town: BV, johnny, and caveat were 100% fully exposed. Unfortunately, no one followed through or were tricked by the role claims.
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FourTrouble
Posts: 15,454
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2/16/2013 8:28:15 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 2/16/2013 8:23:25 AM, tvellalott wrote:
Reads should come second to evidence I always say.

I'd say reads are evidence.
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BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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2/16/2013 4:21:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't think there's anything wrong with second-guessing yourself. I'm constantly doing it. I've pushed maybe, two or three lynches where I haven't had doubts about their guilt or been worried that the person might be town. Obviously, that doesn't necessarily show in the posts I make, but its there.

Second-guessing isn't inherently wrong because if you have doubts, you're obviously having them for a reason. Maybe you remembered a couple posts the person made earlier that you thought were townish. Maybe they have a good role claim. Maybe the dude is acting scummy, but other players you find suspicious are bandwagoning the lynch pretty comfortably. You'd be foolish to ignore these things. The key is if you're able to explain these things away, or if the evidence/analysis against them just outweighs the doubts you have.

But this only applies to people that you're ready to push a lynch against. If you have a suspicion against someone that isn't being lynched, by all means throw doubts to the wind and come out with it. See if the person can come up with a reasonable defense for their behavior, and be stubborn if you're not convinced. Even if you're wrong about a lot of these small FOS's, as long as you make the correct decision when its time to actually lynch someone, its all good. But when you're making a choice as to who to kill for the DP, I don't see a problem with analyzing all possibilities and being cautious.

I think you're just experiencing a cyclical period where you go through a rough stretch. If we assume that your lynch choices are correct 70% of the time, its statistically probable that at some point you'll lead a several mislynches, including a few in a row. But the law of averages states that you'll revert to dominant play eventually.

Its also possible that games are just getting more and more pro-mafia, which makes even the best players struggle. Maybe a combination of the two.
lannan13
Posts: 23,297
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2/16/2013 5:21:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Just don't play like Lannan.
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SarcasticIndeed
Posts: 3,202
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2/16/2013 6:45:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I generally dislike too agressively pushing for anyone's lynch and I only did it once here (calling Bull out for SK) and I turned out to be right. But unless I am 100% sure someone is maf, I won't pursue them strongly.
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