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Subject: 9-10 Player Game Problems... rss

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Kyle Bee

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I played multiple 9-10 player games over the weekend and saw the game fall apart. Due to random chance, player placement, leader placement, the good guys won maybe 70% of the time, and it would always go like this:

Round 1: 3 people, it passes, it succeeds.
Round 2: 4 people, guy just adds himself into the original 3 people who succeed it last time, it passes, it succeeds.

etc.

If a round didn't progress along those lines it was so clear that a leader was a minion because they wanted to include people that weren't in the first quest that passed, so good guys would just vote it down until another good guy got to pick the original group (plus themselves) and cast a success.

So, how do you fix this? If the first round just randomly includes 3 good guys, the game's practically won. I think the reason this falls apart is because they're just so many good guys and the odds are stacked against the minions at higher player totals.

My fix is this:

When the minions open their eyes, they pick the player who will start with the leader token. That way they can insure at least one minion will be within the first 3 quests and break up a clean sweep. Plus they'd have added flak to throw at players- "you gave yourself the leader token! of course your a minion! vote this quest down!" and etc, etc.

added twist...

just a thought!

Anyone else have this problem when playing in a group larger than 7 people?

 
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GeekInsight
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Noodleworks wrote:
I played multiple 9-10 player games over the weekend and saw the game fall apart. Due to random chance, player placement, leader placement, the good guys won maybe 70% of the time, and it would always go like this:

Round 1: 3 people, it passes, it succeeds.
Round 2: 4 people, guy just adds himself into the original 3 people who succeed it last time, it passes, it succeeds.

etc.

If a round didn't progress along those lines it was so clear that a leader was a minion because they wanted to include people that weren't in the first quest that passed, so good guys would just vote it down until another good guy got to pick the original group (plus themselves) and cast a success.


So, for round two, why wouldn't a minion team leader add himself to the mission? Then he can throw a fail and claim that one of the other team members was a covert minion who threw success the first time.

Maybe I'm not understanding correctly, but it seems to me that this resulted from minions trying to break up the first mission. That's just bad play - especially when the group views that attempt as evil and you can get a minion on it simply by adding yourself.
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Simon Kamber
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The situation only occurs if the first three players are clean. If the team is assigned randomly, that has less than 25% chance of occurring. In a10-player game, it is even lower. In reality, since the spies have knowledge ofeach other, they should be able to give lower-than-random odds.

So the chance of the first team being clean is low to begin with. Even if itdoes happen, though, the guy who adds himself may not be a good guy.

So the situation that you describe should be quite rare in practice.
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Dok Indigo
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Noodleworks wrote:
Round 1: 3 people, it passes, it succeeds.
Round 2: 4 people, guy just adds himself into the original 3 people who succeed it last time, it passes, it succeeds.

etc.

If a round didn't progress along those lines it was so clear that a leader was a minion because they wanted to include people that weren't in the first quest that passed, so good guys would just vote it down until another good guy got to pick the original group (plus themselves) and cast a success.

Why wouldn't a minion just do the same? That is, add himself to the first 3 guys. Then fail it.

Also chances for 3 rebels in a row from the beginning in a ten player game is only 1/6. (6/10 * 5/9 * 4/8)

Chance for 4 rebels in a row is about 7.1%.
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Rusty Patterson
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MyParadox wrote:
Noodleworks wrote:
I played multiple 9-10 player games over the weekend and saw the game fall apart. Due to random chance, player placement, leader placement, the good guys won maybe 70% of the time, and it would always go like this:

Round 1: 3 people, it passes, it succeeds.
Round 2: 4 people, guy just adds himself into the original 3 people who succeed it last time, it passes, it succeeds.

etc.

If a round didn't progress along those lines it was so clear that a leader was a minion because they wanted to include people that weren't in the first quest that passed, so good guys would just vote it down until another good guy got to pick the original group (plus themselves) and cast a success.


So, for round two, why wouldn't a minion team leader add himself to the mission? Then he can throw a fail and claim that one of the other team members was a covert minion who threw success the first time.

Maybe I'm not understanding correctly, but it seems to me that this resulted from minions trying to break up the first mission. That's just bad play - especially when the group views that attempt as evil and you can get a minion on it simply by adding yourself.


Agreed. It seems as if the OP's games have fallen into a bit of groupthink here. If you're a minion on the first mission you should never fail it. Especially in a group playing this way. Unless, of course, a few players have already mistakenly decided that a good guy on the mission is a minion. In that case, fail away, and let the poor guy take the blame and further implicate himself by swearing he's not a minion.
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Clyde W
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OP, I don't understand the issue. How was Mission 1 always clean? Are you guys amazing at reading each other? And how was the add-on for M2 always clean? What was the "spy tell" here?

The answer to your problem, of course, is to make sure the spies stop doing whatever the "spy tell" was.
 
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Kyle Bee

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Well, then, I'm shocked. We played 3 games in a row that included a clean first 3 and a then a clean 4. What are the odds of that? Then multiple other games included variations on this theme, were once you've got a tight 3 that you KNOW are good, its just impossible to get a fail in there without completely exposing yourself. Of course there were games where a minion got a fail in there and the minions won, but it was very rare when that happened. You can't even attribute this to good 'role' players, our Merlins NEVER helped, only Percivals spoke up after it was clear who was who.

I'm just not convinced in the percentages. lol. The game plays MUCH better at 5 or 6 players.

 
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Kyle Bee

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no tells of any kind, the first quest was usually just straight up "me, you and you, go" and it would pass the vote and be successful and it would go from there. Just... random... luck?
 
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Paul W
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The math is relatively simple. Take a 10 player game, for example...the odds of picking 3 good people at random is:

(6/10) * (5/9) * (4/8) = 16.666%, or 1 in 6

Given you've found a team of 3 good, the chances that a fourth person picked at random is good is (3/7), or about 42%. Overall, the probability of getting 4 people good at random is about 7%.

The chances of picking the first four people correctly at random in 3 straight games is about .03%, or 1 in 2750.

So, either your resistance members were very lucky, or they were picking up on some tells without realizing it. In any case, for this to work you also need the first two proposers to be resistance, which happens a third of the time, or a 1 in 27 chance of that happening all 3 games.
 
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Lee Fisher
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Noodleworks wrote:
no tells of any kind, the first quest was usually just straight up "me, you and you, go" and it would pass the vote and be successful and it would go from there. Just... random... luck?


If a random team is passing the very first vote, that sounds like just luck and also poor play. There should probably be more no votes in there.
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Rusty Patterson
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Apologies to the OP, I mean no disrespect, but I have to ask, were you guys using 4 minions in a 10 player game?
 
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Clyde W
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Noodleworks wrote:
no tells of any kind, the first quest was usually just straight up "me, you and you, go" and it would pass the vote and be successful and it would go from there. Just... random... luck?
So wait, spies were voting up clean missions..?
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Krawhitham B
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Noodleworks wrote:
once you've got a tight 3 that you KNOW are good, its just impossible to get a fail in there without completely exposing yourself.


Well of course if you KNOW 3 Resistance members with 100% certainty then of course it is going to swing that way. I'm just not sure how it ends up being so certain, so soon in your games.

So the first mission was clean, how can you possibly know there is no spy in there? It seems to me like you are hinging your games on M1. If I were a spy in your group dynamic I would never fail M1, because then you will "know" that the fail in M2 came from the new person.

Sometimes you do end up lucking into a clean team on both M1 and M2, but it should not be happening all the time.
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Madeline B
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After my group played a big game where resistance just kept adding people to their left and a couple spies never got in the game, we started playing by flipping a coin on every leadership change. Heads, leadership skips one person to the left; tails, skips two. Shakes things up a little without being totally random.
 
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Adam Lucas
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In these games where was Merlin? If the first mission is clean on the first vote with no information to go by then the minions should be watching whoever made that first mission like a hawk.

I also have to wonder why your quests keep getting approved on the first vote. Voting to approve a quest with no information is a great way to give the minions the easy win, so I'm wondering why the opposite was true for your games. With four minions rejecting the first quest all it should take is one skeptical servant to see a quest is rejected and a new leader is chosen (it takes a majority to approve a mission, a tie doesn't cut it).
 
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Simon Kamber
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madelineb wrote:
After my group played a big game where resistance just kept adding people to their left and a couple spies never got in the game, we started playing by flipping a coin on every leadership change. Heads, leadership skips one person to the left; tails, skips two. Shakes things up a little without being totally random.


I think this is a mistake. It is pretty random, and it is pretty unnecessary. That strategy will fade pretty quickly when the spies learn to exploit it.
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Rusty Patterson
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Dulkal wrote:
madelineb wrote:
After my group played a big game where resistance just kept adding people to their left and a couple spies never got in the game, we started playing by flipping a coin on every leadership change. Heads, leadership skips one person to the left; tails, skips two. Shakes things up a little without being totally random.


I think this is a mistake. It is pretty random, and it is pretty unnecessary. That strategy will fade pretty quickly when the spies learn to exploit it.


Skipping the next player or two in line for leadership changes nothing. You still have just as much chance of choosing a spy for the leader than you did by leaving turn order alone.
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Paul Oakes
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fizzmore wrote:
The math is relatively simple. Take a 10 player game, for example...the odds of picking 3 good people at random is:

(6/10) * (5/9) * (4/8) = 16.666%, or 1 in 6

Given you've found a team of 3 good, the chances that a fourth person picked at random is good is (3/7), or about 42%. Overall, the probability of getting 4 people good at random is about 7%.

The chances of picking the first four people correctly at random in 3 straight games is about .03%, or 1 in 2750.

So, either your resistance members were very lucky, or they were picking up on some tells without realizing it. In any case, for this to work you also need the first two proposers to be resistance, which happens a third of the time, or a 1 in 27 chance of that happening all 3 games.


The odds of these events happening in a game are even lower because the player nominating the teams may be evil, and so will always put a baddie in there. For the first team selection you have no information, so a team with one Minion is as likely to be picked as an all-loyal team.

As many other posters have observed passing the first mission as a Minion is a good move, otherwise the players involved will never be picked for another mission which improves the success chances. The biggest disaster for the Minions is to have 2 on the second mission. If they both fail it then those players are spectators for the rest of the game, and they have only 1 Minion left to fail missions 3 or 5 (mission 4 needs 2 fails so will automatically succeed), and if they both pass it then the Loyals are one from a win with 3 left (all based on a 3 Minion game).
 
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Simon Kamber
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RustyInRT wrote:
Dulkal wrote:
madelineb wrote:
After my group played a big game where resistance just kept adding people to their left and a couple spies never got in the game, we started playing by flipping a coin on every leadership change. Heads, leadership skips one person to the left; tails, skips two. Shakes things up a little without being totally random.


I think this is a mistake. It is pretty random, and it is pretty unnecessary. That strategy will fade pretty quickly when the spies learn to exploit it.


Skipping the next player or two in line for leadership changes nothing. You still have just as much chance of choosing a spy for the leader than you did by leaving turn order alone.


It changes the strategy (because you no longer know who holds the hammer), it changes the game for the one who gets skipped, and it increases the variance in how often a spy gets to propose a team.
 
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PaulinTheLion wrote:
As many other posters have observed passing the first mission as a Minion is a good move, otherwise the players involved will never be picked for another mission which improves the success chances.

At some point someone from the first mission is going to have to be picked. Unless everyone is certain who the spy on the mission was (and correct) then the rebels aren't in that good a position. The pool of people who didn't go on the first mission is 7 and 3 are spies, not great odds for the resistance!

Casting doubt whether a rebel is a spy and failing a mission is a good move in my experience, though maybe not if you clear a rebel too...
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Dulkal wrote:

It changes the strategy (because you no longer know who holds the hammer)

Agreed
Dulkal wrote:

it changes the game for the one who gets skipped

Agreed, but so would randomising the seating order.
Dulkal wrote:
and it increases the variance in how often a spy gets to propose a team.

What do you mean by that? On the face of it, you're saying this makes the length of time between spy proposed missions vary more, which is perfectly at odds with the stated goal. It sounds perfectly plausible (because it introduces the possibility of arbitrarily long streaks without spies choosing), but a quick simulation shows that it makes no difference:

This shows the probable number of turns between spy leadership. Blue is with normal passing, green is with your version. It really doesn't matter, as far as the probability of spies never getting a chance goes.

Regarding the OP: You clearly had terrible, terrible luck with the first teams, but the spies can exploit this tendency to pass the first team without question. Whenever they get on the first team (and they will, most of the time), they can pass it, tank the second mission, blame the new guy, tank the third mission and be in a very strong position to win. Make a convincing claim that "Ok, missions 2 and 3 went badly, but we've flushed out 2 of the spies with them..."

Noodlework wrote:
If a round didn't progress along those lines it was so clear that a leader was a minion because they wanted to include people that weren't in the first quest that passed

But why would a minion (who is leader in the second round) want to include anyone who wasn't on the first team? They include themselves, like any good guy would. And then fail the mission.
 
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Simon Kamber
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old_gamer wrote:

Dulkal wrote:

it changes the game for the one who gets skipped

Agreed, but so would randomising the seating order.

No. Even with random seating order, each player gets to propose roughly the same number of teams (give or take 1).[url][/url]

Quote:
Dulkal wrote:
and it increases the variance in how often a spy gets to propose a team.

What do you mean by that? On the face of it, you're saying this makes the length of time between spy proposed missions vary more, which is perfectly at odds with the stated goal. It sounds perfectly plausible (because it introduces the possibility of arbitrarily long streaks without spies choosing), but a quick simulation shows that it makes no difference:


With the normal rules, the proportion of missions proposed by spies is equal to the proportion of spies (since every player gets the same number of proposals).

If you flip coins, you may have one game where the spies got to propose more, or less, missions than the team sizes would suggest. The average stays the same, but the specific outcome varies more from game to game.
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Euan McLeod
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It's interesting to see the good team winning being a problem, because we've had the complete opposite experience. We played about seven 9-player games the other weekend (all new to this particular game, so no roles to start with, but all were veteran hidden-role game players), and good just didn't seem to have any chance of winning at all. Team evil wiped the floor with the good guys every time, with the game never even reaching the fifth quest. One of these games an evil player actually misread her card due to a reshuffle and played as a good player, but evil still won easily. Adding Merlin helped a little and it was only when we added Percival as well that good finally managed to score three quests, only to lose after all due to Merlin being assassinated.

To us it all seemed extremely luck-dependent for good to win a game, with an awful lot of guessing involved. We felt there was just not enough information available to the good players to have any chance of figuring out who the evil players were, let alone to stop them.

I'm glad other people have other experiences, it gives us a motivation to give it another shot.
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Mike M
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My group of friends has played a lot of Resistance games and the OP problem surfaced in our group too. I don't think you need to put any kind of house rule into place for this. It's a meta-game problem so a meta-game solution can be employed. After seeing the problem arise I had conversations with a couple of the people I play it with and made a point of saying that whenever I am the leader I will not follow the "standard" opening" and that I will vote to reject anyone who does regardless of which side I am on.

With Avalon I have also pointed out that there are people on the good side who have extra information, so the idea that only a minion would have reason to break with the norm doesn't fly.

We have played more games since then and it is way better now.
 
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Clyde W
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Martinmd wrote:
My group of friends has played a lot of Resistance games and the OP problem surfaced in our group too. I don't think you need to put any kind of house rule into place for this. It's a meta-game problem so a meta-game solution can be employed. After seeing the problem arise I had conversations with a couple of the people I play it with and made a point of saying that whenever I am the leader I will not follow the "standard" opening" and that I will vote to reject anyone who does regardless of which side I am on.

With Avalon I have also pointed out that there are people on the good side who have extra information, so the idea that only a minion would have reason to break with the norm doesn't fly.

We have played more games since then and it is way better now.
So spies were upvoting clean missions? This makes no sense. In a 10-player game, for a non-hammer mission to be sent all six rebels must upvote a clean mission for it to be sent (assuming spies will always downvote clean missions, which is often a bad assumption). So you have bad luck after bad luck for spies in the OP scenario:

- M1.1 is lead by a rebel
- That rebel selects 2 other rebels to go with them
- The remaining three rebels all upvote that mission with no prior knowledge about the first three on-mission rebels
- The on-mission rebels also trust each other and upvote

So again, I ask you or the OP, how are you guys reading each other so well that you can always select and approve the clean M1? I want to be that good! I've been playing since 2010 and have never mastered this particular skill.
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