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-   -   Diplomacy (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=53767)

Nukatha April 10th, 2018 01:14 AM

Re: Diplomacy
No, I really don't think I can physically handle it.
I describe it as similar to when you roll for a random character in a gacha game, open a booster pack for your favorite TCG, or get a loot box on level-up in Overwatch.
This is something that you worked for. You either put game time in to get this random reward, or purchased it outright with hard-earned cash.
But then you see what was in the pack, and it is all stuff that won't do you any good, and you won't even be able to trade away to make back your initial investment.
Alternatively, you open it up and get that one card, character, or cosmetic item that you had been hoping for. It is RIGHT THERE, you actually got it. But I don't feel a sense of elation when this happens. I feel like I deserved it the whole time. It doesn't feel exceptionally good to get something that you expected anyways, although it certainly is quite nice. But I maintain that said good feeling doesn't negate the disappointment of opening pack and getting garbage. For this reason, I do not purchase any randomly packed games or toys with real money, just a philosophy of mine against such games.
Now, you might be thinking: What the heck does this have to do with Diplomacy, and who the heck is this idiot who hasn't even played before to write anything critical about it?
The biggest 'win' that I've had all game came last turn when Italy and I crushed a German army. I didn't feel 'good' about that, it just felt like it was according to plan, what should have happened.
But on every prior turn where a territory of mine was taken, it has felt like a complete punch to the gut. The difference between Diplomacy and those random packs is that when a blind box turns out negatively, all you can do is curse RNGsus and that's it. In Diplomacy, there is another, very real person to which you can direct your rage. I can safely say that I have not experienced any joy playing this game. In fact my only strong feeling this entire game has been near-hatred toward whichever one of you is playing England. Even my last play, I was banking on the hope that if Germany stabbed me that the balance of power would be tipped so extremely that Germany and England would enter total war. But that hasn't happened, these two remain perfectly coordinated somehow, and it stings most of all because I had offered exactly that type of alliance to England on the first turn. Even now, my only hope for the endgame is that anyone other than England wins, and I don't think that's a healthy way of thinking. I even went into the game thinking 'I'll see if I can play the game without ever actually lying.' England put a stop to that.
I don't regret trying it, but I'll stick to other games of intrigue. I still absolutely love uninformed majority vs. informed minority games, for there, the state of any one player is either for or against you.
Heck, even other free-for-all wargames like Risk where alliances can be forged and broken are fine with me. Cosmic Encounter is also phenomenal, with similar opportunity to make and break alliances.
I have no idea how Allan Calhamer stayed married for 45 years lol.

You all have been great, except for England.


I won't hold a grudge, but dang it, I just can't handle this game.

Kinseth April 10th, 2018 08:52 AM

Re: Diplomacy
Looks like Germany and England sold you a false bill of goods... yikes.

wriggz April 10th, 2018 09:06 AM

Re: Diplomacy
I've read some very interesting articles and analysis of this game. There is a reason it is called the game that ends friendships. I played lots of marathon risk as a teenager and I bet if one of us had this game kicking around there would have been a few less groomsmen at my wedding. In another thread I discribed DS as a sadist for running the game (tounge in cheek) but you need to be a bit of a masocisit to enjoy the game.

Also I've never seen someone write about blind purchase so clearly I feel exactly the same.

Dad_Scaper April 10th, 2018 09:19 AM

Re: Diplomacy
It’s interesting. I know because I’ve read it a thousand times that Diplomacy has this effect.

I love the thrill of it. I mean, I don’t like getting nasty surprises, but I don’t dislike them more than setbacks in other games. The scale of the game, and the commitment required, is greater. But I don’t feel this personal thing that so many people say they feel when playing.

Except, now that I think of it, once I did. But it passed soon and that was that.

Anyway. Thank you for sharing so articulately, Nuke. I’m quite sure you’d be good at this game, but don’t play it again if the personal toll is too high.

Kinseth April 10th, 2018 09:36 AM

Re: Diplomacy
I've never felt like anything done inside of a Diplomacy game was personal, and I have played probably 30+ games of Diplomacy, maybe over 40.

I do feel bad about stabbing an ally, one who has been loyal.

But most of the time I think, if we were playing Heroscape, we would both be trying to win. Why should this game be any different?

wriggz April 10th, 2018 09:41 AM

Re: Diplomacy
I do want to thank DS for running these games and exposing me to diplomacy. I had no idea it existed but now I feel like Ahab and this is my white whale, A game that incites passion and drive if not pure pleasure.

Diplomacy is unquestionably one of the "best" games I have every played though I worry I will never play it in real space.

Dad_Scaper April 10th, 2018 09:47 AM

Re: Diplomacy
Oh, I think the PBEM format is perfect for it, Wriggz. I think it shines brightest when it's played as you are playing it now.

I know exactly what you mean about inciting passion and drive. Other than competitive Heroscape, it's the only board game that's robbed me of sleep.

quozl April 10th, 2018 09:58 AM

Re: Diplomacy
No, face to face is better as you get to try to read people as you talk to them. PBEM is a constant state of paranoia.

Ranior April 10th, 2018 10:01 AM

Re: Diplomacy
One of the best things about anonymous PBEM diplomacy is that really nothing ever is personal. It is the best way to play the game. Although I still do enjoy face to face play.

But yeah the only time I've ever felt it got a bit personal was with my high school friends over the course of dozens of games. We were pretty good about staying open and working with each other and understanding it was all a game. Players were generally good about leaving games in the past and all that. But every once in awhile situations got a bit tense and a little personal.

With all that being said, I also totally understand it isn't for everyone. Diplomacy as a game manages to create more emotional heft than practically any other I play. And in some players that emotion is primarily anger/rage/etc. It's not good. I mostly just love the game. The elation of a plan well worked, the surprise of an unexpected move. The joy of correctly guessing and countering an enemies moves. The tension of trying to work with an ally and hoping you both are staying honest with each other. Without going too much in this specific game yet, one line of your's Nukatha does stand out:


But that hasn't happened, these two remain perfectly coordinated somehow
Indeed carefully working with someone in this game is very tough. Not turning on a potential ally so that you both can hopefully realize greater long term gains? Well that's a hell of a trick to successfully pull off but that is one of the other great joys in Diplomacy for me. How can I openly communicate my goals and intentions and make sure the other player also will uphold their end of our deals? What concessions must we make to each other to keep things going? Is working together still the best move or should I look for other options? Ah it is a great time.

Yet it can be really frustrating at times too. My EGS tend to have quite a bit of sharing of those frustrations as well, yet I ultimately do rather enjoy it. It's much more fun for me to play a game I care about so deeply that I get fairly annoyed by the other players I'm trying so hard to negotiate and work with rather than the standard fare where I barely care if I win or lose and hardly interact with my fellow players. Which frankly I do play a great many of those games and do enjoy them. But the experience Diplomacy provides is quite unique and I really love it.

Which ultimately is why I stick around and keep playing it. If you're not getting enjoyment out of it, never play again. But thanks for giving it a fair try and sticking with it. Sounds like England has been annoying you quite a bit. Just from looking at this game, I have to imagine in the EGS England will be cursing you a decent bit--I'm sure he thought he'd have crushed you from the map many turns ago.

Ranior April 10th, 2018 10:02 AM

Re: Diplomacy

Originally Posted by quozl (Post 2188770)
No, face to face is better as you get to try to read people as you talk to them. PBEM is a constant state of paranoia.

Sure but that's part of the downside--you also can easily be like "why is my ally spending several minutes talking to our mutual enemy?"

Dad_Scaper April 10th, 2018 10:07 AM

Re: Diplomacy

Originally Posted by quozl (Post 2188770)
No, face to face is better as you get to try to read people as you talk to them. PBEM is a constant state of paranoia.

:) What a beautiful game. You are quite right, Q, and so am I.

I'm glad everyone's had a few words here, but let's not go on too much longer here with expressions of Dip philosophy by the actual players. Ok? :twisted:

Nukatha April 10th, 2018 10:41 AM

Re: Diplomacy
Since that explanation after 1901, I don't take any of this personally. Many thanks to DS for moderating this.

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