Helltank's Guide to Gambits

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This guide exists to help Mafia newbies understand how to properly gambit(that is, how to properly execute a gambit) in the game of Mafia.

I have seen many, many newbies try and fail to execute gambits.

Hopefully, this guide will slash that statistic.

Definition of Terms:

Hammer:The vote that causes a player to get lynched. This isn’t used

very often because most mafias run like this:after 48 hours, whoever

has the most votes dies. Hammer can only be used in games where

lynching is based on "whoever gets the majority of votes instantly

dies".

Quickhammer:Someone who hammers the moment hammering is possible. Can

also be used for the act of trying to lynch a player as fast as

possible before he can convince the others that he is innocent.

L-X:X is not part of the actual term. X stands for a number; any

number. It refers to the amount of votes needed before the player gets

lynched. At L-2, two votes are needed to lynch. L-1 means the next

playerwho votes hammers. This is only used in “majority lynch” games,

instead of “time lynch” games.

Gambit:A gambit is a trick or deception intended to secure an advantage for the person executing the gambit.

PM Conspiracy:A system in which players PM each other secret plans to be carried out. Usually, conspirers know, or believe, that they are all on the same side. An example of a PM Conspiracy is Ghost Town, in which I managed to find the identities of the killers and “passed it on”.

RNG Vote:A vote on Day 1. Unless someone is acting a lot like a mafia member, usually votes on Day 1 are random, designed to get dicussion started.

Scum:Term for mafia member.

Jokevote/Joke:A sarcastic or mocking post made on Day 1 and not to be taken seriously. For example, you might say “I am a mafia member and therfore I vote Jack as he is not a mafia member.” Naturally, real scum wouldn’t do that, so it’s obviously a joke.

FoS:Finger of Suspicion. FoSing somebody has no actual effect on the votecount, it simply means that you find him or her suspicious.

Policy Lynch:Lynching a player whose playstyle is noobish or disliked. For example, lynching someone who tried to lynch a jokevoter for his jokevoting. Or an inactive player.

Bandwagon:A noun used to describe all or most of the players voting for one single person. It can be nasty to be on the wrong end of a bandwagon as there is a real chance you will be lynched.
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Three is a Magic Number
For a gambit to be successful, it has to fulfill three criteria.

One, it must benefit the executor of the gambit in some form or manner. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many “mind games for the heck of it” are carried out.

Two, there must be a way to squirm out of a lynch if your deception is revealed. Have a backup excuse, an allibi, a fakeclaim, heck, claim a mistype if you want. As long as you have an excuse that you think will convince others.

Three, the gambit must involve some personal loss on your part if it fails. If there is no loss on your part, it is a maneuver, not a gambit. Maneuvers are perfectly fine, but there are ways to counter them and they don’t have as high a return rate as gambits.

An example of a successful gambit would be my gambit in Fantasy Mafia. I was the Dragon, the head of the mafia team and the only role in the game that can NK. A Saulus role(ie. a role that switches sides from scum to town after it’s lynched) was lynched, and promptly revealed the identities of the mafia.

However, by muddying the evidence and dragging up pseudoproof(proof that looks convincing but falls apart under closer examination), I was able to drag on the game for a while longer, during which I rapidly nightkilled the leaders of the bandwagon against me.

I achieved my goal of confusing everyone and stalling for time. Unfortunately, I was careless and fell victim to a last ditch effort by the town to lynch me.

This is an example of a succesful gambit. It’s only too bad I lost the game in the end.

An example of a failed gambit would be in AdeebNafees’ very old game, Werewolf. I was the Blacksmith(a powerful role), but tried to fakeclaim(claim a role falsely) Farmer(a weak role) to avoid the Werewolf killing me. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong role to fakeclaim. Both Farmers knew each other as part of their ability and ousted me. I managed to convince everyone it was a gambit(this is where criteria 2 is important!), but my reputation suffered and the Werewolf won the game.
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Copying the Greats
Here are some examples of gambits famously pulled off or gambits that are so effective they are part of every mafia player’s toolbox.

Disciple’s Gambit:Disciple Slayer played incredibly scummily for the first five pages of the game. A bandwagon formed and, of course, all the mafia members were tripping over themselves to join it, thereby working towards a quickhammer and an “easy” mislynch of a townie. The gambit was designed to lure the mafia members onto the bandwagon.

Knoob’s Conspiracy:Knoob of FGF rigged the Black Diamond Mafia by forcing everyone to claim or be lynched. Because each role in that mafia was unique, whatever role the scum claimed they would have a counterclaimant. They would then lynch both claimants and win the game. Note that this does involve personal loss; if nobody wanted to participate in the massclaim he would be lynched for trying to find out roles from townies.

BBB’s Gambit:BBB acted like a fool and declared early in the game that “His stupid mafia teammates had ruined the game for him”. The other players, thinking that nobody would be so stupid as to roleclaim mafia, deduced that he must be the Jester, a role that wins when he gets lynched. From then on, they ignored him and he eventually won the game. (He was scum.)

Chainsaw Defense:To pull off the Chainsaw Defense, you claim to be a cop and then, when your fake investigations are proven false, you declare that you must be “insane”(a cop that always gets guilty if innocent and innocent if guilty) or that Godfathers(roles that always investigate as innocent) or Millers(roles that always investigate as guilty) exist in the game.

Beach Ball Gambit:Named for the game in which the gambit was pulled off, which had a beach theme. A scum player claimed Miller on Day 1 so he could fob off a cop’s guilty investigations on that.

Bussing:The term used to describe a situation in which mafia members vote each other. That way, if one of the members is revealed as mafia later on, the other member will be cleared of suspicion because “the mafia do not vote each other”. A close relation is distancing, in which scum FoS and verbally accuse each other but do not vote each other.

Decoy Wagoning:A strategy in which a mafia member acts scummily, while his teammate then accuses one of the people who vote him of being excessively eager to bandwagon somebody, a sure sign of a mafia member knowing that the bandwagonee is innocent. He is hoping to shift the bandwagon from his teammate to the guy he attacked. This can also be used by Masons(townies that can communicate) to bandwagon a player they find scummy.

Quickhammer Gambit:A rather recent invention, in which a player jumps onto the bandwagon for a player he believes is innocent to encourage scum to quickhammer. He then targets the quickhammerers.

Helltank’s Gambit:All right! This is a pretty cool gambit from Super Werewolf that I made up. My role was the Vigilante, which means that I have to lynch the first voter of a lynch of an innocent townie. As it happened, I was the first voter of a lynch of an innocent townie. Therefore, my new goal was to kill myself, which basically turned me into a Jester. I then proceeded to claim a power role, got counterclaimed, then said it was a gambit(a gambit within a gambit?) and claimed an even bigger power role. I also acted like a scumfest and dropped several(gazilion) scumtells. I got quickly quickhammered and won.

Simple Jester:Created by Cowfriend, this gambit involves voting yourself and accusing yourself of being mafia repeatedly. It hopes to achieve the same results as BBB’s gambit(ie. people think you’re Jester and won’t vote you).

Jaume’s Jester:Created by JaumeBG, who accused another player of being scummy and suspicious based on a joke he(the other player) made on Day 1. Most FGFers wil agree that attempting to lynch someone because of a joke is grounds for a lynch, so they hammered him. It turned out he was a Jester and he won.
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Toeing the Line
Many games outright forbid PM conspiracies altogether. Why? It’s because of the power of PM Conspiracies. One of the mafia’s main advantages is their ability to communicate and plot maneuvers together. If the Townies can get in on that as well, then who knows what might happen?

As mentioned before, Black Diamond Mafia(also known as Black Diamond:Espionage) was rigged by Knoob through a PM Conspiracy. The all-or-nothing, game-on-a-knife-edge struggle in Ghost Town was set off by a PM Conspiracy.

If the game you’re in allows a PM Conspiracy, pull one off immediately!

Finis
Well, that’s the end of it. Happy Lynching!

-Helltank

 
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I know that I’m great and all, but a better name would be Knoob’s Conspiracy.

 
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This is pretty cool, and I would be able to comment better if I wasn’t getting off Kong right now. This should definitely get a MFGFT listing.

Not very complete, though. I am pretty sure some of these aren’t as much as a gambit as a very safe strategy (a gambit is supposed to have massive risk involved. Follow the Cop, in the right setting, is an east win for town). Some of them have been used too many times to be attributed to someone in particular.

I’d also suggest adding some more gambit examples, such as your own from Super Werewolf and CF’s Simple Jester (all of them situational, like all good gambits are). And also, to keep this thread open if possible for more listings as and when valid.

 
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Wait a minute.. I mixed up Woon and Knoob!

EDIT:Edited the guide to fix the Woon/Knoob thing, included Simple Jester and Helltank’s Gambit, removed Follow the Cop.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:

Wait a minute.. I mixed up Woon and Knoob!

Facepalm

 
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Also, for reference:

Breaking Strategy
Lynch All Liars

These two articles provide info on how some things are not gambits, and why some things shouldn’t be gambits.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:

Wait a minute.. I mixed up Woon and Knoob!

I know. I didn’t even play in Black Diamond, but I’m flattered that you would take so long to realize I’m too dumb to pull off something like that. (wait, I would’ve done it in that Microsoft mafia if I wasn’t the mafia :|)

 
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Originally posted by Jaskaran2000:
Originally posted by helltank:

Wait a minute.. I mixed up Woon and Knoob!

Facepalm

If you want to know, it’s because I have a classmate named Wee Boon, who I have come to associaet with Woon for obvious reasons. It also happens that Knoob has an avatar that looks like said classmate. Therefore, Knoob→Classmate→Woon.

 
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Note for all aspiring Gambiteers:FGF rarely lynches all liars if you’re smooth-tongued enough. This does not go the same way on mafiascum, so treat them differently. If I had tried Helltank’s Gambit on mafiascum, they would have assumed Jester, and I would have unwittingly achieved the same results as a BBB gambit, which I definitely do not want since I am actually a real Jester!

 
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Good guide btw, just saying. Has some formatting flaws here and there though.

 
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I wrote the whole thing in notepad, copypasted it into gmail, sent it to myself, then went to my grandma’s house, copypasted it from gmail, finished up the rest of the guide and posted on Kong. Formatting errors will happen.

 
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I submit my meta game strategy as a gambit. Of the ultimate respect. (Bad for me is that you people policy lynch me as unreadable(This has actually been carried outas an FoS in a more recent mafia))
Link

AN’s gigantic post.
The guy in the shadows.
ME!!!!!

 
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Add the “Guilty By Past Actions” Gambit, where you vote for one person in all the mafias on the basis that they’re always anti-Town in previous mafias. Textbook example: KNOOB.

 
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And add a sidenote to the Guilty By Past Actions Gambit that especially you should go for those people in games where you get to choose your own role.

 
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I got the best gambit, peasants.

 
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What about my gambit, sign for the mafia, do stuff for the 1st day of the mafia and then be inactive?

 
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There was another Jester gambit I remember, a first turn win by JaumeBG. He accused Firespread I think of being scummy and suspicious when he made a joke. We all quickly lynched him and lost.

 
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BCLEGENDS, the GBPA doesn’t work because someone being mafia in most of his games does not affect the probability that he’ll be mafia in this game.

myhome, are you saying that your strategy is to post just after a text wall to avoid scrutinization? Beacuse that’s not a gambit, that’s a maneuver. There’s no loss.

CowFriend, elaborate on your peasant gambit.

T6salt, that gambit has no quantifiable advantage and usually laeds to Lynch All Lurkers gutting your ass.

Zzip, Jaume’s Jester has been added.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:

BCLEGENDS, the GBPA doesn’t work because someone being mafia in most of his games does not affect the probability that he’ll be mafia in this game.

No, it totally does work, on the basis that probability.

 
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Originally posted by BCLEGENDS:
Originally posted by helltank:

BCLEGENDS, the GBPA doesn’t work because someone being mafia in most of his games does not affect the probability that he’ll be mafia in this game.

No, it totally does work, on the basis that probability.

What does that mean?

 
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Originally posted by helltank:
Originally posted by BCLEGENDS:
Originally posted by helltank:

BCLEGENDS, the GBPA doesn’t work because someone being mafia in most of his games does not affect the probability that he’ll be mafia in this game.

No, it totally does work, on the basis that probability.

What does that mean?

It means that GMs will see that a certain player has been assigned certain alignments frequently in the past, and will think to themselves “this guy is a good member of that alignment, so I should give him that alignment again”. Effectively, the player’s probability of being a given alignment increases as he becomes that alignment in more games, resulting in what starts as a vicious circle, but rapidly becomes a whirlwind.

Have you been experiencing vicious whirlwinds? Leave a note for yourself next time.

 
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That’s irresponsible GM play. I always use Random.org to determine roles in my mafias.

 
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I always use Random.org to determine roles in my mafias.

As does every Mafia hoster I know. BC, I suggest that you stop spinning your conspiracies. Not using randomization destroys the balance of a game.

 
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Noob mafia hosts don’t use random. I suppose that gambit could be used against noob mafia hosts, but…

 
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Originally posted by helltank:

Noob mafia hosts don’t use random. I suppose that gambit could be used against noob mafia hosts, but…

There’s the point though that noob Mafia hosts wouldn’t know the players well enough to distribute the roles with bias.