So… Liar’s Club October Bash is over… I wanted to write about it. I think it was a very interesting experience to play against a bunch of new people who I knew nothing about other than what I had heard and what I had seen. Overall, I was pretty surprised by the level of play at Liar’s Club, I really felt that town should have won just about every game I played in (if not for some basic mechanical errors).
- The set up felt so much better than I expected it to, it isn’t without it’s flaws… But it was a really fun way to engage with players that I didn’t know or have any experience with because it encouraged each player to take matters into their own hands to some extent and it included a lot of isolated formal time which really helped move the game along for the quieter players.
- I really felt, despite it being my first time playing that I had an abundance of opportunity of getting my points across and while they weren’t always taken as valid, I always found enough time to speak (probably more than my share LOL)
- I thought MOST players read the game very well overall which made it easy to get proxy reads with relative ease. I was really happy to see that because it made playing scum a bit more challenging than I expected.
- The games progressed relatively quickly once started. I thought the mods did a great job at keeping it on schedule.
- There was very little negativity carrying over to the post game, which I felt was a real problem at bird’s eye view of the last Liar’s Club full season.
- I think the games relied heavily on mechanical errors from certain (town) players in order for scum to win. As I said in my intro, I really believe town should have won every single one of the games I played in (including when I was scum)… Town exclusively lost due to blatant mechanical errors.
- Following up on the previous point, I think it’s really hard to win as scum barring mechanical errors… Despite the math favoring scum. I think that this problem is two-fold… One is that most of the players in Liar’s Club typically seem to be good at reading people and relatively easy to read. The other is that once you start playing the set up correctly, by preventing scum from nominating formals due to high risk of accuser death, I think the set up becomes very easy to PoE.
- Players typically did not read or understand the set up leading to blatant mechanical errors that decided games in both directions.
- I think the event would have been stronger if Day 1 were not part of the scoring. The main reason is that typically (for any game involving meta), an event’s meta will evolve throughout the group stage and once the main event comes around, everyone has an opportunity to be on even footing. With the set up making it’s debut during the scoring round, I think it messes with the expected win probability for each alignment.
One takeaway that I have from this event that I think is really important is to never overestimate the amount of incriminating information hanging over your head. I did this myself in my first scum game, an error that I did not repeat in the second match I played as scum. I think it’s almost always best to make the optimal scum play even if you think it’s a significant deviation from your own meta / “reads”. I have two examples of this where it really hurt the scum team:
- Rob Alloy (scum) was town read by a decent chunk of the game when he nominated a formal on CPB (town) as the third formal of the day.
- He made this play because he thought it would be outing if he let Ringabel (town) die.
- Zwangzug (scum) doesn’t vote on CPB (town) because she thought it would be outing if she did.
- CPB (town) and Ringabel (town) both survive.
- Scum get swept in the first two days.
My own example:
- I didn’t vote at all day 1 as scum because I thought it would be outing due to my strategy involving not voting. Several hammers were missed.
- I ended up being the D2 lynch anyway and basically having my partner (Hito) outed
I think understanding that most players are not at all as certain about their reads as they would like to be is such a key factor when playing scum and using that to your advantage… Abusing that even is such a strong way to play scum, don’t make sub optimal plays, it is stronger to play on the town’s self-doubt.
The other thing that I learned playing Liar’s Club is that you should never rely on a multi-step game plan unless you are sure that the players you are playing with are mechanically sound. No, I did not say they had to be good, I said they have to be mechanically sound. Chaining votes that would result in auto only works when the game is void of blatant mechanical errors from players within the game.
Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad play to plan for several lynches and it certainly isn’t a bad idea to repeat, and repeat, and repeat what the plan is until everyone is deaf in the ears. However, that plan should not be relied upon as an “auto” win. Generally playing with players prone to making blatant errors, it is better to lynch your top scum read even if it is less efficient or less automatic for the win.
Anyway, I thought I’d share. I hope if you actually read through that you can also make use of this information in your own play… I know historically I have undervalued these two “lessons”, so I hope that I am actually able to adjust my play in order to become a better player.