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General Mafia theory discussion

~ Gheb ~

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"Regular" is obviously just an arbitrary label I chose for it. You can call it whatever you like. It's the name I chose for a WIFOM scenario where the caus[er] is known.

This used to be kind of a common line back in the day:

Player X: "If I really were mafia, would it make sense to do/say what I did?"


A lot of people would immediately shut down that argument and call Player X scum for defending himself with WIFOM. While it's obviously not a strong or convincing argument the WIFOM aspect doesn't necessarily make it scummy [and indeed in many cases this argument was made by townies]. In that situation it would be a townie's job to analyze the risk and the reward that lies within making such a defense and evaulaute whether it makes sense for a mafioso to argue that way. Unless the potential reward is really, really big it's a rather unrealistic assumption that any mafioso [other than newbies] would run the risk of trying to clear themselves through a WIFOM argument.

:059:
 

Swiss

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Skimmed. My two cents.

Just because a case of WIFOM has a 50/50 split does not mean you can't figure out what a person would have done. There are loads of levels of WIFOM 1st, 2nd...on to infinite levels. But when looking at certain scenarios you can make solid assumptions about who would have done what. In a similar way to how I read PR's I can see people's intentions through WIFOM and even better, use it on them to influence their thought process.

Oh god I love WIFOM

@ Vanz if you understand a player, you understand what WIFOM they would use. Although this in itself is WIFOM, if you know they know you know them, you are still one step ahead of them, unless they know you know they know you know them. The trick to using WIFOM isn't just to be one step ahead, it's to let the other player think that they are. People are nothing if predictable.

Now of course since I've never told any player in depth how I actually think, this is unlikely to help you.
 

Nicholas1024

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@Swiss
I'll just leave you with this quote from the TV Tropes page (appropriately titled "I know you know I know")

Person A: I knew you couldn't change.
Person B: I knew you'd know that.
Person A: Oh, I know. And I knew you'd know I'd know you knew.
Person B: But I didn't. I only knew that you'd know that I knew. Did you know that?
Person A: (clears throat) ... Of course.

So yeah, in general I ignore most WIFOM, and use stuff like NK's as a slight tell (i.e.: If Player A gets NK'd and is suspicious of Player B, I'll look into Player B because of it but won't use it as a INSTANT SCUM TELL)
 

#HBC | Ryker

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The thing is, if I know you know that I know, but also know that you don't know that I know that you know that I know, then I'm ahead.
 

Swiss

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The thing is, if I know you know that I know, but also know that you don't know that I know that you know that I know, then I'm ahead.
Exactly.

Here's where the confidence/arrogance comes into play. If you believe you understand a player better than they think you understand them - you can play them. But in order to do so you have to believe in yourself.

This goes for everything in mafia, don't just look for scum in scum tells, analyse everything a player does.

I know if he was scum his claim would be watertight, he must be town and playing poorly. In order for this to work you have to be one step ahead.
 

Evil Eye

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Actually, believing won't do **** if you don't. How many mediocre players are out there with maximum confidence despite that? I won't point fingers, because that's not the point of this conversation, but I'm sure you can already think of some. If you believe that you understand a player better than they think you do, but you don't, then no, you're not going to play anyone. You're going to make crap play that will expose you in the end if the town does not suck.
 

adumbrodeus

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Here's the thing, you could argue that ANYTHING that somebody does is an attempt to wiform you into believing that they're town.

But the fact is, scum has a base weakness in the game, namely the fact that they have a survival mentality. That is the avenue by which they make mistakes. The better you are and the more you know a player, the more sensitive you will be to mistakes that betray this mentality.
 

Swiss

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Actually, believing won't do **** if you don't. How many mediocre players are out there with maximum confidence despite that? I won't point fingers, because that's not the point of this conversation, but I'm sure you can already think of some. If you believe that you understand a player better than they think you do, but you don't, then no, you're not going to play anyone. You're going to make crap play that will expose you in the end if the town does not suck.
*Points to his always one step ahead post*

But I do recognise I've basically said that if you're better and smarter than someone you'll beat them more than they beat you.

NO **** SWISS THANKS FOR THIS AWESOME INSIGHT
 

vanderzant

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Skimmed. My two cents.

Just because a case of WIFOM has a 50/50 split does not mean you can't figure out what a person would have done. There are loads of levels of WIFOM 1st, 2nd...on to infinite levels. But when looking at certain scenarios you can make solid assumptions about who would have done what. In a similar way to how I read PR's I can see people's intentions through WIFOM and even better, use it on them to influence their thought process.

Oh god I love WIFOM

@ Vanz if you understand a player, you understand what WIFOM they would use. Although this in itself is WIFOM, if you know they know you know them, you are still one step ahead of them, unless they know you know they know you know them. The trick to using WIFOM isn't just to be one step ahead, it's to let the other player think that they are. People are nothing if predictable.

Now of course since I've never told any player in depth how I actually think, this is unlikely to help you.
I agree to an extent.

I defintely do get reads out of wifom stuff. But its usually player dependant. For example, when Zen faked a cop claim I took it as a slight town tell from him, and when soup faked that he found treasure while drunk I took it as a town tell. But if you did something like that I'd ignore it mostly because I know you'd do that regardless of alignment. So I'd ignore it and look at other stuff you're doing.

Point is though, it's very player dependant and therefore not really concrete, especially if you're playing people who are actually competent. Which is why I said townies should generally just stay away from it.

:phone:
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Actually, believing won't do **** if you don't. How many mediocre players are out there with maximum confidence despite that? I won't point fingers, because that's not the point of this conversation, but I'm sure you can already think of some. If you believe that you understand a player better than they think you do, but you don't, then no, you're not going to play anyone. You're going to make crap play that will expose you in the end if the town does not suck.
Yeah, but not believing will lead you not to do it and then you won't try.
 

X1-12

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Should the effect of a Roleblock stop the playing visiting their target (for sake of a tracker/watcher) or not?
 

adumbrodeus

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The theory behind the roleblocker has always been that they make the role do nothing, not that they stop the visit itself.


Keep in mind that a lot of opens are balanced based on this fact, and furthermore because this has been the standard for so long dropping it means that it will create a significant bias against town in the game unless explicitly pointed out in the rules.

In general, the tracker is pretty weak, and the potential gamebreaking scenario means that it can't be in the same game as a cop. By further gimping the role, you basically put it as about equivalent to a ton of other niche investigative roles, whereas currently it's powerful enough to be a sole investigative role. From a game balance prospective it's beneficial to have it maintain this level of power.


As far as watcher, watcher is rather powerful on it's own, so the game balance argument isn't necessarily true. I like it for consistency's sake though.
 

Overswarm

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I generally try to make investigative roles have some sort of limit, or weakness... never liked 'em much.
 

vanderzant

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From where I started playing mafia we would called the role Town Hooker instead, on the basis that the Hooker makes the target stay at home because they're... busy :b:, which is the opposite of what you're saying adum. So yeah, I have always resolved it that way.
 

#HBC | Ryker

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The theory behind the roleblocker has always been that they make the role do nothing, not that they stop the visit itself.
Please never speak in absolutes like "always" because you never know what you're talking about. Roleblocker generally stops a role from occurring. It has priority and if you're targeted, you don't go anywhere because your role was blocked.
 

adumbrodeus

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Please never speak in absolutes like "always" because you never know what you're talking about. Roleblocker generally stops a role from occurring. It has priority and if you're targeted, you don't go anywhere because your role was blocked.
By "always" I mean, "this is how it has been done historically both here and in mafiascum".

Again, why? Again, the prevailing theory which setups have historically been balanced around is that the roleblocker stops them midway so their visit attempt is still recognizable, but does nothing.

Why was this done? So the tracker could be powerful enough to function as a replacement for the cop with proper support. Removing it makes proper balance substantially more tricky, because there's really no other role that fits that "slot".

From where I started playing mafia we would called the role Town Hooker instead, on the basis that the Hooker makes the target stay at home because they're... busy :b:, which is the opposite of what you're saying adum. So yeah, I have always resolved it that way.
Glad I haven't played in one of your games before knowing this at least.

Also, hookers don't make a target stay home, they attract his attention mid-way, then either are taken home or do it in their car....
 

vanderzant

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I've only hosted one game here, but it didn't have a roleblocker (and was open set up).

On topic, if you use Natural Action Resolution, hookers have higher priority than investigative roles. That means she's going to get to our man BEFORE the tracker/watcher, by which stage he's already taking care of business :cool:.
 

adumbrodeus

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I've only hosted one game here, but it didn't have a roleblocker (and was open set up).

On topic, if you use Natural Action Resolution, hookers have higher priority than investigative roles. That means she's going to get to our man BEFORE the tracker/watcher, by which stage he's already taking care of business :cool:.
...

Of course roleblockers outprioritize pretty much everything. If they didn't it would be impossible for them to function. However that's irrelevant to whether trackers caught the role, it just decides whether in cases of loops it's possible for roleblockers to block other night actions.
 

adumbrodeus

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Endgaming conditions should be "when all threats to you faction are eliminated or nothing can prevent the same".


If there is any possibility of a combination of actions that result in any change in the outcome of the game, barring members of the winning informed minority voting for themselves/nking themselves/etc then the game should continue until there is a clear winner or happily ever after is the clear result.


Edit: At the very least it should be billed as a ******* or *******ish game, because there is simply no way to plan for it unless you actually have the role pm for the indy faction. It's not fair if you're treating it as primarily an intellectual context when there really is no way to predict that outcome.
 

th3kuzinator

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Nope. That they can use at any time. That way they could chose what was most advantageous and not using it at a seemingly crucial time would actually be a gambit to make it look like they didn't have other powers. Or they could use it and lose the ability to endgame scum.

Giving options is better an more interesting then a wincon.


Now, I don't know if it would necessarily work in that game, but they're one of a number of possibilities. Also, general mafia discussion for the rest of this? Cause it certainly isn't ontopic for this game anymore.
FFIX had this put in place. For the mafia. They had an execute that they could have saved up (they actually did save it up almost to endgame) and thus could have killed us before getting endgamed. They just used it a bit too early.

Now I already know you're going to retort "but the mafia didn't know they had to account for an indy and thus save their execute." Yeah, they didn't. But we would have had that same problem had we been given that power as indies. Throughout the entire game July and myself thought we were only going up against two mafia. Once J was dead we didn't think we even needed to worry about a 2v2 scenario because there was one mafia left. We would have used the shot, then, in advance to further us towards endgame. Just like the indies would not have known how many mafia there would be to safely hold our shot for endgame, the mafia would not have been informed about the number of indies.
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Kuz said:
I'm not worried about recognition for who won this game. I'm talking about future endgame situations in general. I also don't care in the slightest whether you consider yourself a winner or not in this game so if you think I'm fighting you for that title you're stupid.

Now during that N5 scenario, what were you planning to accomplish? Did you suspect that there was an indy pair involved and by taking the sure NK you were planning on jointing, or did you think you'd come out the victors by killing JTB?
I KNEW I had targeted you with a Night Kill and it didn't work. I also knew that you knew it. That meant I had to think out which of these two players you would be least likely to try and defend if you had something. Correctly, I figured out that it was July you would want around. I was playing night action WIFOM.

I'm talking about survivor roles in general. They're job is to be non-threats. Mafia's job is to leave non-threats alone. Town's job is to leave non-threats alone. It's the exact same thing with Jesters. They're job is to be scummy. Town's job is to lynch scummy players. Scum's job is to lynch non scums.

If the survivor/lover/sibling accomplishes their job, then they win. They're playing they're own game separate to the two main factions and end game should reflect that.
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Now I already know you're going to retort "but the mafia didn't know they had to account for an indy and thus save their execute." Yeah, they didn't. But we would have had that same problem had we been given that power as indies. Throughout the entire game July and myself thought we were only going up against two mafia. Once J was dead we didn't think we even needed to worry about a 2v2 scenario because there was one mafia left. We would have used the shot, then, in advance to further us towards endgame. Just like the indies would not have known how many mafia there would be to safely hold our shot for endgame, the mafia would not have been informed about the number of indies.
Big woo-hoo. You miscounted. You KNEW there was a mafia faction in this game. We were told there may or may not be an indy and there isn't a Jester or Contract Killer. In this scenario, assuming the indies do their job, the only way to win is to go jumping at shadows and hope you hit something. If Mafia does their job, then the town is STILL hunting mafia even if they don't find any.
 

th3kuzinator

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I KNEW I had targeted you with a Night Kill and it didn't work. I also knew that you knew it. That meant I had to think out which of these two players you would be least likely to try and defend if you had something. Correctly, I figured out that it was July you would want around. I was playing night action WIFOM.
Then if you so correctly diagnosed that, why didn't you shoot July? That also doesn't answer my question of whether you expected to joint or win by killing JTB.

I'm talking about survivor roles in general. They're job is to be non-threats. Mafia's job is to leave non-threats alone. Town's job is to leave non-threats alone. It's the exact same thing with Jesters. They're job is to be scummy. Town's job is to lynch scummy players. Scum's job is to lynch non scums.
First of all, your "non-threats" for each faction are completely different. Something that isn't a threat to mafia is not the same thing as something that isn't a threat to town. Secondly your comparison is bull and you're massaging your argument to make sense with logic that isn't there. Whereas there is only one side to playing a Jester, being as scummy as possible, survivor has to play both sides of the spectrum. They have to be non-threateningly enough so that mafia don't nk them, but they also have to play well enough that town don't think they're completely useless and policy lynch them. They also can't play too reserved as mafia may think their NK would leave town back at square one due to lack of connections and thus take them out anyway.

So your example of "mafia's job is to leave non-threats alone" doesn't always hold and your example of "town's job is to leave non-threats alone" is also not always true. This is completely different than the jester mindset which you correctly say is to "be scummy" while it's town's indisputable goal to lynch scummy players. Not a feasible comparison.

Thirdly, even though you said you were only talking about survivors in general, once you give of the indies BP status that gives them incentive not to be useless. They cant then run the game as they please without the worry of being picked off needlessly. This is why we were not a broken faction in Gheb's game (if anything we were underpowered because I could still have been killed by that execution).

If the survivor/lover/sibling accomplishes their job, then they win. They're playing they're own game separate to the two main factions and end game should reflect that.
This only holds true for indies that, once having won, are removed from the game with the game continuing. Survivors/lovers/siblings aren't jesters/lynchers. You say this because you're trying to make that comparison, but they aren't this type of indy by nature and thus shouldn't be viewed in this way. Lovers are very much playing the exact same game that the town and mafia are.
 

Asdioh

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Remember when indy siblings won pizza mafia and one of them was the cop?
idk where I'm going with this
 

th3kuzinator

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Big woo-hoo. You miscounted. You KNEW there was a mafia faction in this game. We were told there may or may not be an indy and there isn't a Jester or Contract Killer. In this scenario, assuming the indies do their job, the only way to win is to go jumping at shadows and hope you hit something. If Mafia does their job, then the town is STILL hunting mafia even if they don't find any.
We knew there was a mafia faction. We didn't know how many or what type. You highly suspected there was an indy faction, you didn't know how many or what type. In both scenarios saving up an execute or a dayvig just for such an occasion is unrealistic for both counts.

And before you say that "oh well we still didn't have confirmation that there was an indy faction" you even said yourself as soon as the game ended that you had planned on jointing. This means that you had already accounted for an indy pair and had planned on co-winning with us. Therefore the excuse that you didn't know about an indy doesn't hold in this scenario. Nich even said that he might have thought the indy pair was me/sang which is why he tried to execute sang. Once she popped town, if you had been thinking about indies (which you have admitted to doing), you would have diagnosed that July was my partner (which you also admitted to seeing). This leads back to the question, then, of why you didn't simply shoot July N5. It was this mis-shot that caused you to lose, not some arbitrary endgame decision by Gheb because if you're cognizantly faced with the endgame situation of killing a townie to joint or killing the suspected indy to win and you chose the former, then you deserve to lose.
 

adumbrodeus

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Kuz, if you had read the players better, you would've recognized that it was a three mafia team. If a player has a role, it's possible to read them based on their actions.

If it's just an edit to their wincon, it really isn't.


Remember when indy siblings won pizza mafia and one of them was the cop?
idk where I'm going with this
Wasn't that game unbalanced as all hell?
 

#HBC | Ryker

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Then if you so correctly diagnosed that, why didn't you shoot July? That also doesn't answer my question of whether you expected to joint or win by killing JTB.
I expected to joint or win. I thought you could be indy, but there was no reason to jump at that shadow. There's no reason for you logically to win over mafia. Your goal was to walk away. My goal was to get to a point where nothing could stop my hostile takeover. We BOTH accomplished those goals, it should be a joint.



First of all, your "non-threats" for each faction are completely different. Something that isn't a threat to mafia is not the same thing as something that isn't a threat to town. Secondly your comparison is bull and you're massaging your argument to make sense with logic that isn't there. Whereas there is only one side to playing a Jester, being as scummy as possible, survivor has to play both sides of the spectrum. They have to be non-threateningly enough so that mafia don't nk them, but they also have to play well enough that town don't think they're completely useless and policy lynch them. They also can't play too reserved as mafia may think their NK would leave town back at square one due to lack of connections and thus take them out anyway.
Not necessarily the same thing, but it can and did overlap which is exactly it.

Yes, Survivor is a different role from Jester and has to be played differently. No ****, Sherlock, you're on fire today. It does not change the fact that the only way to beat one who is playing well is to simply guess that the mod included a survivor instead of a VT for no reason other than he did.

I believe I mentioned before that you played a hard role and you did it well, you toed the line. That has absolutely nothing to do with why you shouldn't end game the other faction.

So your example of "mafia's job is to leave non-threats alone" doesn't always hold and your example of "town's job is to leave non-threats alone" is also not always true. This is completely different than the jester mindset which you correctly say is to "be scummy" while it's town's indisputable goal to lynch scummy players. Not a feasible comparison.
Your kidding, right? The town wants to leave non-threats alone because its win con is to stop all threats. Survivor is the opposite end of Jester and still an issue.

Thirdly, even though you said you were only talking about survivors in general, once you give of the indies BP status that gives them incentive not to be useless. They cant then run the game as they please without the worry of being picked off needlessly. This is why we were not a broken faction in Gheb's game (if anything we were underpowered because I could still have been killed by that execution).
You were underpowered, big whoop. You still shouldn't end game a faction you can't affect who did not know there was another faction that could end game them. Had Gheb announced before hand that "There is a faction who's goal is to survive that will end game the mafia faction despite them being unable to be lynched," then sure.

This only holds true for indies that, once having won, are removed from the game with the game continuing. Survivors/lovers/siblings aren't jesters/lynchers. You say this because you're trying to make that comparison, but they aren't this type of indy by nature and thus shouldn't be viewed in this way. Lovers are very much playing the exact same game that the town and mafia are.
They SHOULD be this indy by nature. I don't see why you don't see that.
 

th3kuzinator

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Kuz, if you had read the players better, you would've recognized that it was a three mafia team. If a player has a role, it's possible to read them based on their actions.

If it's just an edit to their wincon, it really isn't.




Wasn't that game unbalanced as all hell?
If I had played the game with the assumption that there were only two mafia and then there ended up being three, I couldn't have made the argument in endgame "but the setup numbers hinted at there only being two mafia. There being three mafia is *******ish because you didn't tell me beforehand."

Ryker made the assumption that he could joint win with indies in a 2v2 and chose to base his N5 choice around it. Now he's saying that the mod's decision to give indies priority in a 2v2 is *******ish because he didn't tell him beforehand.
 

th3kuzinator

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I have to go to the gym right now but I'm interested in continuing this conversation when I get back.
 

adumbrodeus

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Hinting is not the same thing as saying. You could analyze the setup and players, and figure out you were wrong, but even with perfect analysis and reading you to hell and back it was impossible for mafia to do so.


If the indies actually had an ability that ryker could read based on their play that would result in the same thing effectively, then you'd be correct. But there was no real way for him to figure it out except by reading your role PMs.

That's why it was *******ish.



Also, I'm leaving too, going out to the city to go drinking, laters.
 

X1-12

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unless the setup was open i dont see how its barstud modding. You didnt know the exact game mechanics and tried to gamble on them and lost. Such is the nature of closed setups.

@adum. How does the point 'The maf had no way to plan for it' hold up? If kuz also had a 1 shot recruit there would be no way maf could plan for that - would it be ******* modding?
 

#HBC | Nabe

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Wasn't that game unbalanced as all hell?
B-but...

Anyway, I agree that the FFIX win should've been joint, if not a mafia win. While mafia might've specifically thought trouble from a shot BP, that doesn't account for the majority of scenarios where that doesn't happen, and mafia have no clue about the factions whatsoever. We can talk about poor play and it justifying the mafia loss, but in reality an endgame win is justified if a faction can reasonably take out the other, and that wasn't the case here.

It's a balancing argument at heart. At the very least, mafia should've been informed of indies to some degree, since the indies were essentially a non-killing second mafia due to their wincon. If mafia can't anticipate the danger of that, then they can't account for it in their play and it becomes a game of chance, i.e. a bit *******ish as Ryker/Adumb have put it.
 

#HBC | Nabe

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Ryker made the assumption that he could joint win with indies in a 2v2 and chose to base his N5 choice around it. Now he's saying that the mod's decision to give indies priority in a 2v2 is *******ish because he didn't tell him beforehand.
This was the correct assumption. In this situation you would expect to able to joint, because you wouldn't expect indies to have priority in this situation, going into endgame with 2/3 of the faction intact.

Your play was fantastic, and July's as well, and you earned your wincon imo. But this should've been a joint, or, the setup needs some repair to make a sole win fair.
 

th3kuzinator

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I'd always expect indies to have priority in that situation.

And its like X1 said. These types of decisions are the nature of closed setups. He bet on a mechanical assumption and lost because of it.
 
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