Blacjak

Howl on the Ranch

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I guess I didn't moooove fast enough. :(
Outfoxed by Cel too. I can hear the fnorps laughing at me all the way from Mars.

 

EDIT: I take it this little piggy said "Weee, Weee, Weee" all the way home? :P

 

EDIT2: Ghosts can apparently take pictures still...

uePP4dR.jpg

Farmer Blac was all he was quacked up to be after all...

Edited by InuyashaOhki

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Roles, Awards, and Logs tomorrow. Check the first post in the game thread for role names and winning team, but read the last post first.

 

Roles:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eHbV5DSgte-mqx_XyUXKkqujOCBvtkIZ-D3YzuWn3l8/edit?usp=sharing

 

Log:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aTKmO_n1L4O9tBk2XZbLK-84uXiWvH0NXan0ZCjff1w/edit?usp=sharing

 

Awards:

In Construction...

Edited by Blacjak

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Before I give my full thoughts, I want you to know that I really appreciate the time you put into this game, Blac. The Farm was a fun and whimsical setting and the roles were quirky and cute. I loved the fun plots and the creativity behind the roles. While it wasn't standard, having an NPC with nightly attacks was a pretty intriguing concept. I know you've had NPCs before, but I didn't manage to play your last couple games, so it was a new concept to me and I liked the thought behind it.

 

My full thoughts can be summed up in two sentences. This was not a standard game. My role was bizarre. 

 

I would strongly request that you not make major last-minute adjustments on the scale of adding an extra player four days in. Between that and the added clarifications that kept coming about my role, it was very difficult to create an overall strategy and feel like I deserved the win in the slightest. Aside from collecting eggs (which was driven mostly by luck - everyone I went after had one at the time...) I didn't really do much at all. I mean, yeah, I had to talk them out of executing me, but I suspected that I had some form of execution protection based on my role description.

 

All through the game, it wasn't clear to me if I was neutral or OMT. But the win-con of Survive made neutral sound more likely, so that is how I played. Basically, my role was too evil sounding for a true neutral and too weak for an OMT. I could "deal damage" but not kill on a nightly basis. And only if there wasn't an egg in the possession of my target. Since we didn't have health, I'm not sure how this played into anything. 

 

Then, I was told a few days in, after I had collected 2 eggs, that if I got a third, my kill would be a day kill. Later, I was told I could have killed the wolf, thereby becoming a pure neutral. I would have played the game very differently if I'd known that. I probably should have asked for that to be clarified, so that one rests equally on us both. Once I did earn my kill (before you told me I could use it on Wolf), suddenly weee was added to the mix, adding a completely unknown variable. At the time, I had a plan in place to win the game. If I'd won through execution of my plan, I would have felt much more proud than I do in this case. The last day was down largely to luck and players reacting to unknown variables. It doesn't feel like much of a win.

 

In short, while I think your concept was clever and enjoyable, the execution was sloppy and frustrating. And this coming from the winner. I'm curious to know what the others thought. 

 

However, I would love to see a similar game later after you've cleaned it up for smoother play. I especially liked my role - if I had known more from the start. There have been a few neutrals with a twist recently and I think it's fun. But my role was too unclear to allow it to reach it's full potential. Keep working on the concept and try it again later. This time it really wasn't great, but I can see how much potential is there. 

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The story was well done. I'm surprised at one of the choices, but Cel said she already conveyed that to you. I actually liked Weee's late intro as something unusual, and as often as I saw her looking at the thread beforehand, I had to remind myself several times that she wasn't playing. After she joined the game, I began wondering about how often I saw Kirby looking at the thread. I'm still curious how that was arranged. Did you talk to her privately during signups?

 

With this in response to NPM's call for a conventional game, though, it threw me off to discover it was not. The Fox-Wolf aspect, hatching a new player, and the villain team powers were far from conventional.

 

The Fox-Wolf relationship was extremely powerful. 50% chance of survival meant there was a 25% chance that she could survive two executions with innocents never knowing why. On top of that, the Wolf was a red herring target that was inevitably going to waste an execution for the innocents. We only had 2 wrong execution choices otherwise, which shouldn't be enough to doom us, especially since we were doomed even with a lucky villain kill the first night.

 

My dream power was also too strong for a game this size. In two nights I had the game narrowed down to two pairs that had to contain the villains. Had the Fox-Wolf relationship not included both the red herring and the execution protection, it would have been a win for us with too little effort. The two do balance out, but they make it very swingy from factors neither side could control (killing me early, lucky execution result on the fox).

 

The Moofia, on the other hoof, were underpowered. They could impede players a little, but it was hard to get a kill, with very little protection from being killed. They also had no real way to stop me in a timely manner, while I was almost guaranteed to find them quickly. Their only hope was that the Fox killed me quickly. I do like that you gave them a power boost that scaled with when they lost a member, but it wasn't balanced with the dreamer power or the Fox.

 

The eggs were a really good nonstandard shield mechanism. I would personally have told the player what they were capable of in this case, but I can see why you might not have.

 

The rest of the innocent roles were, while buried under good writing, more or less standard, and seemed to be a good balance for the Moofia team. Again, Weee's was unique, and sort of a "person-as-shield" role once hatched. 

 

The Wolf as a visible kill mechanism controlled by an invisible paw was a good story touch, though it did obfuscate more than I think you intended.

 

My issues with balance are all tied to the size of the game, so I'm guessing you had planned on a larger farm when you wrote it. With a 15 player (not counting the Ugly Duckling) game and a 3 member Moofia, there is enough hiding room that the 3x dream works out and the Fox-Wolf relationship has time to be undone. It's a very novel game and took some creativity and daring on your part to run it the way you did.

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I have no clue what happened at the end... Thought I had this game under my control but a ridiculous amount of unforseen aspects rendered by planning obsolete!!!

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I have no clue what happened at the end... Thought I had this game under my control but a ridiculous amount of unforseen aspects rendered by planning obsolete!!!

 

Your power use saved you from execution, but Cel used a daykill on you, which hit after your power use wore off and ended the game because there weren't enough voting innocents left.

 

If you thought you had it under control, though, that's on you. You were at a disadvantage, but the innocents gave you a huge window by not voting effectively the first two days. You squandered that and you sunk yourself by going after NPM instead of Cel. Cel was a confirmed "not innocent", and she'd just survived the previous execution which is always a huge red flag for likely OMTs. You could have capitalized on that.

 

You also took my bait hook line and sinker. I knew my power was probably useless when I made my "I'm probably dead" post. And, sure enough, every villain targeted me that night. That both reduced the number of innocent kills AND made everything I had just posted confirmed as the word of an innocent with an info role. You could have seen through this - 1. you knew I dreamed in sets of three, and every set of three left would either include you or Cel, so my power was useless anyway, and I even said it openly knowing other people could work that out; and 2. you knew I was the one claiming dreamer, meaning no one else could verify what I'd said. Your smart move would have been to kill someone else and then come up with an excuse to accuse me of being a villain controlling the vote. I can't blame you too much on taking the bait because Cel fell for it too, but I had also baited her for two days and was doing some private message villain taunting to make sure of it in her case.

 

I'm actually really surprised anyone falls for the "I'm probably dead" trick anymore. I abuse the heck out of that one...

 

EDIT: Grammar fix.

Edited by InuyashaOhki

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Inu, I actually felt really underpowered the whole game. At least, if I were to consider myself an OMT. I had no idea what my odds of surviving execution were. I suspected I had a chance from the way my role was worded, but nothing certain. I also had no control over kills. Knowing that now, I do agree. For a neutral, I was overpowered. For an OMT in a game this size, I was overpowered. But not absurdly so. 

 

I was honestly surprised I didn't get voted a second day in a row. I have no idea how that happened, but I suspect weee's arrival was in part to blame.

 

Inu, I didn't go after you the night you posted that in the hopes of killing you. I hoped you had an egg I could steal before you died. And you did!

 

Zodiac, neither of us could have had full control when weee hatched. I also thought I had the game in the bag at that point. I made the choice not to use my kill until I saw what she did to the game, which in the end is what gave me the win by not wasting it when you were invincible. It's an easy rule to forget in WW. Even when you think you have complete control, there is almost always something to throw you off. And we both neglected that and assumed we'd won too early.

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The night I had the egg was the previous night. I figured you were a villain from the way you approached me about my pointing at Spree, that's why I changed my mind and investigated you instead of NPM, but I dropped a subtle hint to NPM after I got your message that I was talking to you so she'd know to go after you if I died. You did target me again the night I died, according to Blac's log, which is why I thought you took my bait.

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Nah, after I got your egg, I targeted Dream. She had an egg too, so I was able to get hers.

Ah, I misread the log apparently. So Zodiac was the only one to take my bait.

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I only now, after the game is done, realize that I think I could have directed the Wolf kills if I hadn't kept getting eggs... Which would then be pretty dang powerful with the 50% execution protect. And the fact that the Wolf never night attacked me.... 

 

I was so confused by my role. That probably doesn't help my enjoyment at all. :P And is partly my own fault.

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I PMed Blacjak after I got back from New Zealand saying that I could fill in as a replacement if he needed one, so I assume that's why I became the Ugly Duckling. I'm not sure what would have happened if I hadn't initially sat this game out - Blac probably had some other people he could have called on.

 

I pulled for a zodiac vote instead of a Cel vote because Cel couldn't be the last cow and I had no reason to think zodiac was invincible. I figured it would give the innocents 2nd place at the worst. My bad, NPM.

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I pulled for a zodiac vote instead of a Cel vote because Cel couldn't be the last cow and I had no reason to think zodiac was invincible. I figured it would give the innocents 2nd place at the worst. My bad, NPM.

You made the right call. If Cel's 50% had succeeded again, the outcome would be unchanged. If it had failed, she and NPM would be dead, and it would be Dream vs Zodiac, which was Zodiac's only chance of winning. 

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No, actually, Zodiac attacked me that night. So if Cel had been successfully executed, NPM would have survived the night and she and Dream could have taken out thezodiac.

 

That said, Dream never voted, my vote didn't count, and zodiac was voting for NPM. So if I'd pushed for Cel's execution, NPM would have gotten executed.

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I thought the game was fun and had great story.  I absolutely loved the whole thing of my hatching an egg.  I honestly had no clue what would happen when I gave away eggs, but was a little concerned when I found that Cel was saying she could use them to get a kill.  I figured there had to be something useful about them for innocents.  But, every one I gave away and one that I kept was stolen.  I guess it acted as a bit of a protect.  Still, it kind of felt bad at the time.

 

When I had the idea to sit on the egg and hatch it I didn't know what would happen.  I was told it would hatch by morning and I would lay no more eggs.  I wish I had had a choice there that I could have made whether to hatch the egg or keep laying.  However, I would have hatched the egg as it looked like laying didn't do anything.

 

I thought bringing Weee in when I hatched her was a cool mechanic, one I haven't seen before.  I think, though, that since I couldn't lay any more eggs she should have been able to vote.  I have no problem with her being a PI but felt she should have been able to vote.

 

At the end there, I debated whether to vote for Zodiac or Cel.  At the time, Zodiac seemed the most dangerous and clearly evil.  And, yes, having Zodiac be executed rather than me was preferable.

 

Anyway, my role was fun and unique so I enjoyed it.  I agree that Cel's role was quite powerful and I think the Moofia was a bit underpowered.

 

So -- on the one had -- I enjoyed the game quite a bit.

 

On the other hand:

 

Blacjak -- This was not a standard WW game.

 

I like to alternate the standard and the non-standard (ideally 1:1, although occasionally 2 non-standard for 1 standard is fine) and this was meant to be a standard game.  I think that Blacjak and I have different views on what is standard.

 

A standard game is one like I tend to do.   Steev's game a few months ago was a standard game.  Qanda's game was a standard game.

 

This game was fun, but not standard.

 

Standard games do not have an NPC doing the killing.  Standard games have 1 or more villains doing the killing.  Night exists.  Bad guys kill the innocents (this is why Inu's last game was not a standard game, although it was a highly enjoyable game).  The innocents main tool is execution.  That is not to say, by the way, that innocents can't also have vigi powers or be able to kill.  It is just that most killing is from the evil players and the innocents' main weapon is execution.  Even standard games can have new and inventive roles for innocents or for neutrals.  Powers that are traditionally innocent can be held by evil players.  Other game mechanics can be used that are different so long as the basic framework remains the same.  Standard games generally don't have too much guesswork required for players to understand their own roles.  It is OK to have a role or two with guesswork (like mine in this game).  But if there is too much guesswork involved then it is not a standard game (think Inu's amnesia game).

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I still don't understand why you consider SISK a 'non-standard' game. The baddies kill the innocents at night. The innocents can only eliminate baddies via execution. There aren't any unfamiliar roles. The only difference between SISK and a vanilla WW game is that the Killer(s) write the kills instead of the MC. If SISK counted as a standard game, Blacjak's non-standard game fit into the preferred schedule just fine. Complaining that he billed it as a standard game makes sense, but complaining that we'd just had a non-standard game does not.

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I don't think I would agree with that as a definition for a "standard game". When NPM said it (particularly back when she mentioned it being to give an entry point to new players) I thought she meant all established roles and established mechanics.

 

What made my Howlingcrad and Weee's SISK not normal was the need to exercise skillsets outside the normal expectation for a Werewolf game.

 

In a normal game, you're analyzing behavior, using the parameters established by abilities to gain information and protect against the enemy, and using psychology to manipulate the situation to your team's advantage. Adding in the complexity of figuring out new mechanics as in this game or Frequency 317, post analysis as in SISK, resource management as in the 2014 All Stars, or RPG skill trees and leveling as in Howlingcrad, etc. make it non-standard.

 

I feel the basic game is important to play periodically because it keeps the baseline fresh, giving the spring-off point for the more unusual games we come up with here, and it's a commonality that new players should be able to share. 

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Obviously there are gradations between standard and non-standard.  I basically agree with what Inu said.  There is nothing wrong with a non-standard game.  I enjoy a lot of them quite a bit.  In truth, I have 4 mental categories I sort of use and I agree that where that line is drawn would be different for different people.  I would put them as:

 

1.  Not Werewolf - This would be a game that varies so much from werewolf that it isn't werewolf at all.  It might be a good game, but it just isn't werewolf.  We debated on a couple of Inu's games whether they were or were not werewolf.  Some people argued that nightless werewolf wasn't werewolf.  I think a good argument can be made either way.

 

2.  Werewolf, but with changes in mechanics such that it falls well outside the expectations of most experienced werewolf players.  If you just signed up for the game, there is something so knew that it might throw you even if you are an experienced players (new players are thrown by everything).  The game requires you do things that your typical WW playing skills wouldn't prepare you to play.

 

My sense is that most people who host here like to run these kinds of games.  Some people think these games aren't WW.  I have a pretty flexible definition of WW so I think they are WW.  Inu's recent game is an example of this.  It is, in my opinion, a particularly well done example of this.  It is just that if every game is of this type, it crowds out the more standard WW games.  And we need those games because (1) some people prefer playing in them, (2) some people prefer hosting them, and (3) new players need to play them to learn how to move to the other types of games.

 

I would put the SISK games (which I also quite like) in this category.  Having the killer write the death scene is a big deal.  It entirely changes the strategy and play of the game.  Everything is based upon analysis of the writing of the kill.  There isn't investigation in the traditional sense.  This changes the game play sufficiently that I put it in this category.

 

3.  Werewolf, advanced standard.  That is, this is what I see as an advanced version of a standard game.  It can have new types of roles and new mechanics.  They just tend to be roles and mechanics that use the same skills that players who have played other werewolf games can adjust to and play.  I tend to host games in this category. I would argue that 2014 All Stars did fall in this sphere, but I can see the argument for putting it in category 2 and wouldn't quarrel with that verdict.  These are usually games with a lot of roles, a fair amount of complexity and the differences in mechanics do not become the absolute driver of all gameplay.

 

4.  Werewolf, basic.  We don't often do those games here, although I've toyed with the idea of doing one if I thought I could get enough sign ups.  This could be the most basic of games -- werewolves and townfolk who are all PIs.  Or, it could be a game with a lot of PIs but a few key innocent roles and maybe some complexity in the evil roles (for example, having a traitor).

 

Basically type 3 and 4 are what I consider standard games.

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I would put the SISK games (which I also quite like) in [category 2].  Having the killer write the death scene is a big deal.  It entirely changes the strategy and play of the game.  Everything is based upon analysis of the writing of the kill.  There isn't investigation in the traditional sense.  This changes the game play sufficiently that I put it in this category.

 

[...]

 

4.  Werewolf, basic.  We don't often do those games here, although I've toyed with the idea of doing one if I thought I could get enough sign ups.  This could be the most basic of games -- werewolves and townfolk who are all PIs.

 

And here's where I disagree with your categorization. SISK isn't all about kill analysis. It's about kill analysis and behavior analysis, with fairly equal weight. I'd argue that WW games that are all about the investigative roles getting a positive hit (something people started complaining about recently) are less traditional than SISK, due to the behavior analysis being dropped from the investigation-heavy games. Remember, completely basic WW has no investigative results to rely on.

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The difference as I see it in the SISK game is the focus on the writing rather than the focus on what the player is doing (or not doing) in the thread.  In purely classic werewolf, there are no (or few) innocent roles other than PIs.  Maybe a dreamer and protector.  But, you are basing your analysis on the voting behavior and on thread behavior of players plus (if allowed) what happens in private communication (more important in the games with a dreamer and possible protector).  The SISK games are different.  The overwhelming subject of the analysis in the game is directed to trying to figure out who would have written the kill scene.  And, of course, playing as a killer is different because you do have to employ different strategy.  You have to figure out how you will write the kill scene so you don't get caught and someone else will get executed instead of you.  I think both for innocents and the killer the play of the game is extremely different. 

 

This is not meant as a knock against the SISK games.  I think they are fun and I like (a lot) how they can scale in size.  I just think that they are non-standard.  They are perhaps  closer to group 3 than the other games I put in group 2.

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Quite frankly, if you think the games are solely about kill analysis, you're playing them wrong. There's usually not enough information in the kills alone to figure out who to lynch, especially early on, so you need to pair it with behavior analysis to actually succeed. There are exceptions (you can always land a lucky lynch), but in general...

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In that case, we're all playing SISK wrong. I agree that, should players use behavior analysis, it is just as standard as some of the investigator heavy games. However, it's so easy to tunnel vision on the writing and our expertise writing the kills hasn't advanced enough to force us out of that mindset. SISK 1 was won entirely based on writing analysis. SISK 2 was mostly based on that. So the approach of the players puts it into category 2 rather than 3, where it may end up.

All that said, my sign ups for a level 3 standard game will be going up shortly.

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Behavior analysis requires a catalyst to invoke behavior. Most of us know how to fake innocent behavior at this point when not pressured. If you notice, whenever people start to think they have figured out how someone plays, it usually backfires. MrH used this against NPM by feigning disinterest while innocent. During SISK, she claimed I try to control the game with analysis when evil, and of course turned out innocent. I found out the hard way over several games that I can't read Blac or Nell because their behavior is consistently that of a really obvious villain, even when innocent. Sinical is legendary for being misread. It's certainly possible to read someone's behavior, but you need something to break their pattern. In a normal game, this can be watching how they react to their teammates being voted for, responding to information being revealed (whether real or fake), responding to fake behavioral analysis, or trying to manipulate vote results. In SISK, there was no information role, the teammate was a non-issue, and there was nothing to bluff behavioral analysis off of. Kill post analysis wasn't the only tool we had, but it was the branching off point for everything else.

 

It's easy as an MC to point at behavioral clues you think should have tipped off the innocent team, but that comes from you watching them knowing they're villains. You read things into their behavior as "tells" that often are aspects of their regular play style that you didn't notice before or that they've changed about their regular play style. You also get metagamed too, as a good player can give you false tells.

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Okay I was a little drunk when posting my first message here :)

I did enjoy this game and here was my thinking once I used my Muscle milk:

I knew for certain that Cel was evil. She then contacted me to vote along with her and I played along. I was certain shed double cross me and she duly obliged. Not that I blame her as I was going to do the same thing. Once I knew I would survive the next two executions and night attacks, the only hope I thought I had of winning was in keeping Cel alive and hopefully she would kill an innocent or two for me. There were two main reasons for this.

1. Cel was the only player at that time that I had a milk hit on so I felt I needed to keep her until near the end and I would hit two other innocents with my double milk hit and then go for Cel. I couldn't see any other way of winning. Because...

2. Wee entered the game. I then needed Cel alive for a while for sure to kill one or two innocents for me. So it didn't really matter who I killed that first night with my double milk hit. What I needed to have happen was Cel not attack me. To be honest I didn't think she would that night. But she did.

I was going to kill Dreamcard the night I killed Inu but I thought I could persuade her to vote with me on Neo that day so I PMed her... But she never came back online that day, doh.

A couple of things that stumped myself and Killers progress was obviously killer being killed night 1 but then lilbear not voting the following day when he was hit with the strawberry milk, which removed it so hitting him with the chocolate milk the following night didn't kill him. I was unaware that would happen.

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