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Follow the Cop

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A strategy or habit of reliance on investigative results in finding scum, rather than analyzing/playing the Day Game. This occurs when decisive investigative roles (usually Cops) cannot be easily killed (or killed at all) by the Mafia, usually due to the presence of a Doctor or Bulletproof ability.

To illustrate how this works, consider a setup where it is known (or correctly expected) that a Cop and a Doctor are in the game. The Cop claims immediately, and the Town votes No Elimination while the Doctor stays hidden. The Cop will get a result overnight, the hidden Doctor will protect the Cop, and the Mafia is powerless to stop it without first finding and killing the Doctor at Night. The Town will continue to No Eliminate unless the Cop comes forward with a guilty result, which will then be eliminated. However, by the time the Doctor is killed by the Mafia the Town should have enough reads from the Cop to finish the rest of the game via process of elimination.

This strategy is optimal for Town and can shift many "basic" setups inexorably in Town's favor regardless of the skill of the players, particularly in Open Games where it is known in advance that a Doctor is in the setup. The optimal strategy for the Mafia is to counterclaim Cop and hope that they can get the real Cop eliminated OR confuse the Doctor into protecting the false Cop while killing the real Cop at Night. Either way, the Mafia is guaranteed to sacrifice at least one member.

Some methods of avoiding this trope in setup design (roughly in order of effectiveness) include:

  • Mafia-side roles that break the interdependence of the Cop and Doctor, such as Roleblocker or a Strongman/piercing kill
  • Town-side roles that do not allow for the Cop to be invincible, such as making the Cop Macho or replacing the Doctor with a Jailer
  • Removing the certainty that there will be an investigative role or protective role in the setup (though they may both still be in the game according to the mod's discretion)
  • Mafia-side roles that allow them to find the Doctor more easily, such as Role Cop or Tracker
  • Roles that investigate incorrectly, such as Miller and Godfather
  • Changing the sanity of the Cop (though this is questionable from a balance perspective)