Beginner’s look at first days in EpicMafia
Hello guys and gals ... or simply players. As you probably guessed from the title, I am a newbie. I started playing EpicMafia about 14 days ago, so I can say I have suitably fresh memories of how it feels to be a newbie. I can pretty much tell how hard is to start playing without people calling you a troll, idiot, retard or similar names. However don't take this article as a 100% guide as I am still in the process of learning too. I just wanted to write this down while it's fresh and shiny.
Quick note here, I am not native English speaking guy, so this will probably contain some grammar or spelling issues. I would be glad if someone can correct those. <Edit - Just done so - Bob. >
So what’s the purpose of this?
I think there is never enough learning material for such a complex game as EpicMafia. Each person is an individual and his or her learning capabilities differ. However I am not rewriting the already existing Beginners Guide which is fine enough, but frankly it didn’t help me much in my first days. It’s mostly describing the game interface, which is something I can personally understand pretty fast. Howeever I really suggest you read that before continuing here.
I am going more in deep into gameplay and shall describe some basics when you start playing your first game, what is expected from you and what you should most definitely not be doing. Most of this stuff is things I have learned from my own mistakes.
This is the most convenient game setup you should definitely start playing with. It presents pretty basic roles like Doctor, Cop, Mafia and Villager. This setup is played mostly in Training lobby. Be careful there and watch for the red heart symbol next to a game, as that’s a ranked game and people are usually more tense there and can be pretty harsh sometimes, when you do something stupid or newbish. You can easily identify this setup with the following picture:
If you don’t see any open games with this setup in there, you can easily create your own. Just follow this link and click on the Play button without any icon on it. Be patient, as it may take while before people start joining, mostly depending on the time of day and/or number of games in progress.
Also I suggest while you're viewing the setup to click on the star icon next to the buttons to add that setup to your favourites, so you can easily create games later. On this setup page you can also see the list of possible strategies on the right side. I would really suggest you to read those and possibly even reread them after about a week of play as you will be more familiar with terms and it will make more sense then.
The first thing to do when you start new (nonranked) game is to check the two boxes in the top line. Although you may not see the point in it, most people will just leave your game without those boxes checked. The 'Fast Game' option means the game progresses slightly faster, while the 'No Spectating' option stops other people from viewing the game while it's in progress, therefore preventing people from cheating. It's taken by the community more like a "newbie test" than anything else.
Auto kick system
Before I start describing the game itself I want to point out the Auto kick system. It had bothered me for quite a while as I didn’t know how this works. However it’s a very useful feature that forces game to move forward if someone stops responding and if most alive players agree on it. My first thought was it’s something that kicks inactive players from game... well it sort of is. When you have some actions in the right panel you MUST choose something there (with the option of picking 'noone'). This is what the system is checking, not your activity in chat. So when the autokick timer runs out and somebody haven’t voted to lynch, he/she is kicked out from the game. When a player is kicked this way it’s commonly called that he “vegs” out. This is because the game displays the message that “<PlayerA> has turned into a vegetable”.
You can read more in detail about this system in here which is something I wasn't able to find before.
For ranked games this is pretty dangerous. When somebody is kicked (and wasn’t lynched by majority), it makes the game unranked which pretty much annoys all players in there, because they must start another game if they wish to gain points. So be careful with this especially if playing a ranked game, always make sure you have voted something when the auto kick timer starts counting down.
The same goes when you leave a table during a ranked game while you are still alive. This is called suicide and also makes a ranked game unranked. You should never do this unless you absolutely have to. If you do so repeatedly or because you're about to lose, you can be punished by the moderators.
So one basic rule should be: When you want to play a ranked game, make sure you have enough time and that you can watch the game and participate fully.
So, what’s the goal?
Ok, this could be first confusing thing, because it is not exactly written what are you supposed to do to win. It’s not that hard however. There are 2 mafia players and 5 town players. In the moment when the number of mafia is equal to the number of town players, the mafia wins. That means 2 mafia and 2 townies alive or 1 mafia and 1 town alive. When both Mafia die, it’s a win for the town. So if you are a town role, you need to hunt down the mafia, on the other hand if you're mafia you must pretend to be town, so you can live longer and do more damage to town.
Mafia can kill someone at night, town can lynch (kill) someone during day. Both actions are optional and depend purely on the situation you're in and any tactics you have.
The game starts in the night, commonly referred as N1 (night 1). The two mafia players meet and can chat for a moment before picking their target to kill. As there is absolutely no idea who has what role, it will be random kill. It’s usually good to pick the person with the most points, as they have probably more experience to recognize mafia, but it’s not always wise as even a player with little points can be pretty good scumhunter, plus the doctor is most likely to save an experienced player.
Another tactic here is something called NK – No Kill. This means mafia decide not to kill anyone and try to pretend that the doctor has saved someone. In my opinion, this is not very helpful in this setup, as there is 20% chance to kill the Cop role, which makes the rest of the game much easier. NK is a tactic used more widely in advanced game setups.
During the mafia chat it’s usually good to decide which of you is going to claim the Cop role in case the real Cop is not killed. The other mafia should act as a simple Villager (also called blue) and try to blend in with the investigative part of town. There is even a slight chance that town decides to lynch one of the Mafia randomly or just because they seem scummy. Generally it’s not good idea to protect your Mafia partner too much, as it may give town clues for another lynch the next day. Even one Mafia can do lots of damage there if he has proved himself as good townie so far.
This is the first key moment (commonly referenced as D1) that is pretty much determining how the game will progress. When mafia failed or decided not to kill, it will be much easier for town as they already have one report from Cop and they can get more. However Mafia usually pretends to be Cop too, so it’s not a given thing. On other hand when the Cop dies, the Mafia has pretty good chance to win unless they do something really stupid. In the middle of that is the death of a Villager, which is not great for Mafia, but they still stand a decent chance of winning. Killing Doctor on N1 on the other hand works for Mafia even better, because they can target the Cop easily.
I am not going to elaborate much on tactics for all different situations. You may find a pretty nice overview of this right here, or as I have already mentioned above, there are a lot of strategy tips in the setup menu itself.
It's about chatting
As EpicMafia is overall about chatting with others, it's good to know some basics before trying to understand what's going on. People will sometimes be talking pretty fast and you can have a hard time to understand what they are talking about. Usually it’s better at least to admit that you are a newbie and you are trying to catch up. If you just read chat and do nothing, they can accuse you of |lurking which is considered scummy and they may pick you for the lynch in some situations. If you have a problem catching up, just go with the flow (commonly called “be a Sheep”). Even the simple Villager can discover the Mafia by reading, thinking and getting evidence together.
Now I am going to throw in some common sentences or phrases, that you can see during the day (during the night, partners know each other, so they don't need much of this). Keep in mind that a lot of the following is highly situation dependent, not just given by remaining roles, but also how other people are acting and talking.
"Cop go" or "Cop claim" This means the town is asking the Cop to claim his role publically, but without telling anything about who was investigated or what the result was. The Cop telling too much information right away can seem scummy and often it really is Mafia. In this setup it's usually good for the real Cop to claim unless the Doctor has died. In more advanced setups be careful before claiming and if you're not sure whether or not to claim, get more people to confirm that you really should claim out loud.
"Cop report" or "Cop out" This usually goes after the Cop claims are established and the town wants to know what the investigation has revealed. It is normally wise to first say whether the report was a 'guilty' or an 'inno(cent)'. If it was guilty, it is a good idea to say who you investigated. If it was innocent, it is normally better not to.
"Cop here" or "Cop here with inno" or "Cop here with guilty" "Cop here" is a cop claiming his role and telling the town they should listen to him. The other two phrases are also giving a bit more information about the investigation, namely if they found that someone was inno(cent) - side with the village, or guilty - sided with the mafia. Claiming with a guilty report is usually good thing, unless your report was on someone dead or someone who had marked you as guilty. From the town view it may seem like the Mafia are trying to protect themself and trying to make other cop (whether real or otherwise) appear guilty.
"Any ccs?" Town (or possibly Mafia) is asking if there is somebody else who wants to claim the same role as the previously given claim. If you want to counter-claim, you don't need to wait for someone actually saying that to you. Unfortunately people tend to believe a faster claim more, so if you want to claim, it is normally wise to do so as fast as possible.
"I cc Cop" or "I cc Doc" This usually goes after one person claims their role but another person wants to persuade the town that that role belongs to him. The commonly used abbreviation CC - Counter Claim is simply someone saying that the previous claim is false because they are the real person with that role.
"I am uncced" This means that someone has claimed their role and noone else has counter-claimed (cc'd). When someone is uncced, it usually means that they are definitely town, therefore they can be trusted and everything they say is for the good of the town. This could be dangerous if the real cop decides to stay hidden for another night so he can investigate more. Because of this, if the mafia claim your role it is almost always a good idea to cc as otherwise town will trust that mafia.
"We can NL" or "We have a ML" No lynch means that the town is not sure who to vote for to lynch and most importantly, they can afford to let the Mafia kill someone without the Mafia winning. It is usually used in MYLO - Mislynch and Lose situations where lynching someone can be more harmful than helpful. Mislynch. A Mislynch is a lynch that goes wrong, in other words a lynch where you accidentally kill a member of the town. "We have a ML" means that even if you lynch a member of the town that day, the mafia won't win that night by killing someone else. In this setup, if the Doctor saves someone N1, the town has a ML. This means that for example if two people claim cop D1 after the Doctor has saved, you can lynch one of them D1 then if it turns out they were the real Cop you can lynch the other D2, since you know for sure that one of the two are mafia.
"This is LYLO" This is an even worse situation for the town to be in than MYLO as it's abbreviation of [[Lynch or Lose],] meaning if the town doesn't lynch the Mafia that day, they will definitely lose (unless the Doctor gets lucky and saves someone).
"My FoS is on <playerA>" or "I FoS <playerA>" Another abbreviation, Finger of Suspicion is simply used to tell the other players that you don't trust someone, so instead of just voting without any reasoning you instead tell everyone who you suspect and can explain why.
For the great finale of this I would like to present some situations from my first games that taught me a lot in the end.
Cop investigating his cc
Meaning you as the real Cop investigate the other Cop claim on N2. Yeah, pretty dumb to do. As the cop, you already know that the other one is lying, so you know without investigating that he is the Mafia. If you do do this, you've wasted a precious investigation and town will automatically assume you must be Mafia and lynch you immediately. Of course this will then show that the other cop claim is Mafia so he will be lynched afterwards, but almost always there isn't enough time for that as the Mafia win that night. In other words, don't do this. Instead, analyse the chat and try to guess who is the partner of your scum and investigate him that night. Much more useful!
Blue acting as Cop
Occasionally this can be a good thing, because if you are good enough, Mafia can think you are the real Cop and kill you in the night. It may sound horrible for you, but actually it's good thing as the Mafia had wasted their kill on a less imporant role and the real Cop could in the meantime discover the other Mafia. However don't overact this too much. If you are blue and you see that there are other 2 Cop claims, just call out "I retract". Usually those 2 claims would mean that the real Cop has claimed and if you stay in the way and try to tell others that you are real one, it would be hard for real Cop to do anything. I did this once and got reported for "game throwing". Fortunately the moderator understood that I am just a newbie and didn't meant it to do harm. As a general rule, if you are part of the town, DON'T claim to be a role that you aren't.
Mafia killing Cop/Doc after ccing him
Another stupid thing to do, because the moment you kill the real cop, the town knows you must be mafia and you will be lynched immediately. So once you as Mafia claim cop or doc in some circumstances, you need to keep the real one alive for a day or two and focus on killing off the others.
Please feel free to add more to this list.