Vote Count Analysis (VCA), originally called Voting patterns, is the process of analyzing the way players vote to help determine who is scum, usually by viewing the moderator's vote counts in isolation.
As a basic example, if someone is on a lot of bandwagons on scum, it could point to them being town, while someone helping mislynch a lot of townies could be a sign of being scum. As a result, a common "distancing" tactic is for mafia members to vote each other early in the game (particularly the Random Voting Stage) to appear that they don't know each other.
The ability to perform in-depth VCA is a unique benefit of forum mafia that is much more difficult in MeatWorld games.
A primary method in VCA is Wagon Analysis, looking at the composition of players on and off various wagons.
- Onwagon and Offwagon: Usually refers to players being on or off the bandwagon that led to a lynch on a particular day.
- Flashwagon: A bandwagon that grows very quickly, with many players voting in succession.
- RVS wagon: A wagon that grows quickly during the low-information Random Voting Stage to generate reactions from the wagoned player or from other players.
- Counterwagon: A bandwagon that grows in response to a larger wagon, usually composed of players who disagree with the larger wagon.
- Vanity wagon: A wagon that, usually over multiple vote counts, is only composed of one player (or two players in larger games). Called a vanity wagon due to its futility.
As scum have the unique ability to coordinate votes with knowledge of alignments, they often exert abnormal influence over the vote counts through the day. The goal in wagon analysis is to detect this influence.
Wagon analysis often consists of determining whether a wagon is town-motivated or scum-motivated by looking at the motivation and timing of players joining the wagon and using any available flips. Using this determination of motivation, the analyst attempts to conclude approximately how many scum were on a given wagon, or the alignment of the wagoned player.
Actions of Voters
A frequent augmentation to wagon motivation is observing the actions surrounding the voting players. What players do may thus affect whether their vote was Scummy or pro-town. For example, if someone is exibiting Wishy-Washy Voting, they may be scum.
- Flashwagons are commonly held to be more likely scum-motivated, as many votes in succession can indicate carelessness or coordination.
- If a wagon on flipped scum had a counterwagon on another unflipped player, it is commonly held that this counterwagon was a scum-motivated wagon on town to avoid a lynch on scum.
- Similarly, if a counterwagon to a wagon on flipped scum has unusual resistance over multiple vote counts, it is commonly held that this counterwagon is a town-motivated wagon on scum that scum are refusing to join.
- If a town player scumreads or votes one or more scum players, a scum-motivated Retaliatory Wagon might grow on them, to remove their reads or power from the game. If this wagon leads to a mislynch, VCA often analyzes that player's votes or their wagon to find scum.
Another method in VCA is analysis of a player's Vote Progression, or the series of a specific player's votes and the apparent motivation behind those votes.
- Trajectory: A fferyllt-ism that describes a holistic view of a player's progression and changing motivations through the game.
- OMGUS vote: A vote on a player who recently voted the original voter.
- Chainsaw Defense: When a player defends another player by voting the second player's attackers, often to start a counterwagon. Commonly considered a scum/scum associative tell.
- Bussing and Distancing: Scum voting their scumpartners.
- Softbussing: Scum voting their scumpartner without conviction, usually when the scumpartner is already being heavily wagoned.
- Wagon shopping: When a player votes multiple people through the day to see which wagons gain traction. Sometimes considered a scumtell.
- Sheeping: Following another player onto a new wagon.
- Lolhammer: An unanticipated hammer vote on a player at L-1 without consensus from the rest of the players, and often without a roleclaim from the lynched player.