This is a history of the Newbie setups that mafiascum.net has employed over the years. The current one is 2d3.
Original Newbie Setup
Originally, the setup for Newbie Games had two Mafia, three Townies, one sane Cop and one Doctor. All of these games start with the Day phase, to give all players a chance to play before any night kills are made. They almost never last more than three days of game time due to the small size.
After some experience with this setup, it became obvious that there was a real potential to have a Breaking Strategy in Newbie Games: with the small size and short possible duration, number crunching became simplified, and a strategy of having the Cop roleclaim on Day One and then engage in a series of Investigations while automatically protected by the Doctor until the Doc was found and killed by the Mafia became de rigueur. In response, a variety of other options have been used since then.
The first major variation was a semi-open setup, collectively known as 'C9' (see below):
- 1 Town Cop, 1 Town Doctor, 3 Vanilla Townies, 2 Mafia Goons (identical to the original setup);
- 1 Town Cop, 4 Vanilla Townies, 2 Mafia Goons
- 1 Town Doctor, 4 Vanilla Townies, 2 Mafia Goons; or
- 5 Vanilla Townies, 2 Mafia Goons,
with the players unaware of which variant was chosen for that particular game. Officially this should be done at random, with a 25% probability for each of the four, although some game moderators did not follow that instruction.
This setup was introduced in Newbie 97 and reintroduced some variability into the games, leading to better play by both sides and a new vitality into what had become stale. However, C9 was eventually found to be more difficult and demoralizing for town, and swingy to boot.
The name 'C9' comes from Norinel, the List Moderator for Newbie Games, who used it as a hexidecimal shorthand for the binary sequence 11001001 - and if you have to ask more than that, look at this post.
Starting with Newbie 576, a 9-player variant that re-added variability to the role selection was tried. It added two townies for a total of 9 players, and makes the Mafia Roleblocker a partial chance, in addition to the Cop and Doctor.
Starting with Newbie 1097, a new variant was tested to repair balance issues in F11 -- it raised the Mafia Roleblocker to a permanent position and changed the town PRs, adding a possible town Jailkeeper and removing the mountainous option. Beginning with Newbie 1102 the Mafia Roleblocker was changed to a Mafia Rolecop, largely to avoid possible Jailkeeper/Roleblocker action resolution issues.
After extensive discussion, a wider variety of role distributions was incorporated into the new Matrix6 setup - there are now 6 possible setups, with the exact variant being chosen by the List Mod due to continued problems with game moderators favoring certain distributions. Player role assignment is still the job of the Game Moderator. The inaugural Matrix6 game was Newbie 1370.
Matrix6 did quite well statistically, with a stable winrate for both factions. However, eventually a strategy was developed for town in which the 1-shot Bulletproof would claim immediately, which while not definitively helpful for town was a detrimental newbie experience. While 3d3 was the first-developed candidate for a new setup, public reaction was mixed to its merits and complexity, and 2d3 was the eventual replacement beginning with Newbie 1845. 2d3 is the first Newbie setup with daytalk as the standard for the scumteam.
Newbie 68 deviated from the usual setup by having either a Doctor or a Cop but not both (but with Cop Head Start), with a fourth Vanilla Townie added in place of the role that was not present. Newbie 69 deviated by adding a Vigilante and a Serial Killer, for a total of nine players. Both these games preceded the adoption of the C9 setup.
Pre-game Night Talk
One common variation with very little effect on gameplay is to allow the Mafia to communicate by PM or private topics during the confirmation stage of the game, before Day starts. There are still no Night Choices before the game actually begins; this just allows them to strategize a bit. This was originally to compensate for the fact that the game was Day Start, which was abnormal at the time.