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Dad_Scaper July 14th, 2017 06:11 PM

Re: Diplomacy
Erm, I don't accept that. Though I do think you were both very deft correspondents.

Kinseth July 14th, 2017 09:35 PM

Re: Diplomacy
EGS - Part 1.

For this game, I decided to just allow my country to be given to me at random. But of all the countries, I dislike Turkey the most. Many like Turkey because of the defensive position it offers from the get go. My biggest worry is that I will be railroaded, limited options. I often thrive in the central powers, and sputter out as the outside powers.

I've played 20-30 games of online diplomacy since 2003. Mostly over at Dip2000.com (Which has just shut its doors.) I've never played a Face to Face Diploamcy game, oddly enough.

You can find my record here http://www.psamtek.co.uk/D2k/ look up Brian Koon.

Record in 21 games(Dip2000)
4 Solo Wins
4 2-way draws(AR, AI, FR, EF)
2 3-way draws
2 4-way draws
1 7-way draws
8 Eliminations

So first think I will note, that my philosophy when playing Diplomacy isn't always "Win" at all costs. I find the most enjoyable part is working as a team with a partner and dominating the board together. Most of the time when I have grabbed a solo, it is due to mistrust of my ally and the feeling that he will not live up to the end of his bargain and go for the solo himself. This is due to how negotiations are going over the course of several seasons. As Dad_scaper has mentioned, going for 2 way draws is a feat on its own, it is hard to build that level of trust as you both are nearing 14+ Supply centers. One bad move away, one player who decides he wants to play King Maker, and you are toast.

I try to make note of my history of being able to pull off 2 way draws, and how I value playing as an alliance over Solos. I feel over time, it is better way of playing and is going to get you more success. I am use to playing in a game where all players are known to eachother, so I can draw on my past games as evidence of my commitment to 2-way draws.


This start of this game, I had some very good communications with Italy, Austria and Russia. Thinking this was a "newbies" game, I think all the experience players were on my side of the board. Russia was very insistent that we bounce in the black. I was wanting to work a Juggernaut with him, but he wanted to "Tip Toe" around at the beginning. I will make mention early, that I like decisive action from the onstart, and am looking for a partner that is willing to commit. I opened to Arm, because I just didn't see me working with Russia and his style. It also shows the board there is no fear of a Juggernaut and that you can work with Turkey. When people see the Juggernaut show up, they figure they have to do their best to stop it. Which I am fine with, but if it isn't there, must as well make sure people understand that.

Italy/Austria/Russia all have bounces with eachother. I start talking to Italy about offering him a convoy into Greece as an alliance opener. I was worried about the Italy/Austria alliance, especially with Russia being an issue for me. I decided to bounce Italy out of Greece. Blamed it on miscommunication I think, I don't remember how I played that one off.

But the Net Result, Italy didn't get a build.


I am in the corner, all alone. THIS is why I dislike playing Turkey. If you don't make a friend, you are in trouble. Somehow, Austria has both Italy and Russia doing his dirty work. I spoke with Italy, and he referenced that he has read/heard much about Italy and Turkey cannot work together. I said that is a bunch of Hogwash, any country can work with any country. (I think this is part of what Dad_Scaper was mentioning in his EGS comments.) Here is some of our discussions...

Italy/Turkish Exchanges

Italy to Turkey
Spoiler Alert!

Me(Turkey) to Italy
Spoiler Alert!

The Tide is turning...

As we approach the deadline for 1902A, I am resigned to the fact that Italy and Russia are the pawns of Austria, I have little hope... Then a bird calls out, and it is Austria messaging me. He feels like Italy and Russia are closing in on him and they are poised to pinch him as I am destroyed. He wants to offer a chance to turn this around, an Olive Branch! I am eager, eager, to side with him.

His communication

Message from Austria to Turkey in agentcarr:

Spoiler Alert!

Message from Turkey to Austria in agentcarr:

Spoiler Alert!

So the adjudication comes out, and the stab on Italy and Russia works almost perfectly, there was one issue with Ser giving too much support to attacking RUM and it should have helped attack Gre. Italy kept Greece. What I wouldn't have given to see the look on Italy and Russia's faces after that adjudication came out.


Austria , who I can tell is a very very good player, is in great position. I am a pawn at this point. We start discussing things more indepth, and it realy becomes clear to me how well Austria is setup in this game. He has hooks into all the powers, England/France/Germany. As the negotiations start to unfold, I think Austria has a really strong chance to solo. I don't want to play a game to be the 2nd place loser. I decide I have to act now, and look to Italy about working together again. If I know anything in diplomacy, when someone is stabbed, they are hellbent on making the stabber pay. (hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!)

I start working with Italy on a masterful plan to stab Austria. I know all of Austria's moves, and we can gut him easily. My requirements were that I was allowed to continue to attack Russia(While leading Russia to believe I was sincere in working with him.)

The Plan
Austria's moves were going to be the following.
Tri - Ven, Alb - ADR, Ser S Rum, Gal S Rum

Italy would "pull" the rug out from underneath Austria, by allowing austria into ADR. Italy agreed to support me into Ser while Russia would move Sev to Rum. In the fall I would move Sev to Rum while supporting Russia to Bud. (That was the lie part, I never intended to vacate SEV and used my own fleet to take Rumania, netting myself a +3 build season of +Ser, +Rum, +Sev and seeing my enemies crippled)

Message to Austria after the stab.

Spoiler Alert!

Part 2 later...

Dad_Scaper July 15th, 2017 12:25 AM

Re: Diplomacy
I think Kevindola's decision to stay in Galicia, over fierce and reasonable Russian objections, changed the course of the game. Maybe more than any one thing, as this excellent timeline demonstrates, from the Turkish perspective.

quozl July 15th, 2017 06:22 PM

Re: Diplomacy
I'll try to post my thoughts when I get time. I was more abrasive in this game than in any other I've played and I was wondering how it came across to everyone.


quozl July 15th, 2017 10:59 PM

Re: Diplomacy
OK, I have some time. I've been playing Diplomacy a long time. As a kid, I played with family and friends face to face and then after growing up, played quite a bit online. I haven't played for about a decade or so though so I decided I was just going to be blunt this go-around and see where it got me.

I got Russia randomly. I started off individually asking all of my neighbors if they wanted to ally with me and everyone else if they wanted to exchange information. I usually make my long term plans depending on how people respond.

England responded by saying they wanted Norway. To me, this just seemed oppotunistic and I didn't see much potential here in a long-term ally. But maybe... so I left options open.

France readily agreed to an exchange of information, which seemed promising.

Austria gave a very long response detailing many thoughts. It was a little intimidating but seemed very workable. I had been in some very successful A-R alliances before and saw real potential here. At this time, we agreed to bounce in GAL.

Turkey responded favorably but also as vague as possible. I was disappointed that no orders were mentioned as I had talked about DMZing BLA and ARM and dividing BUL and RUM. So I asked that we bounce in BLA.

Italy responded favorably to exchanging information, then proposed an alliance against Austria and Turkey. I told Austria I was getting mixed signals from Italy and then Italy told me that Austria had relayed that information to him.

Germany agreed to an alliance but was even more vague than Turkey.

And then I see Turkey move to ARM and Germany got to BAL. Well, I guess I don't have an alliance with either of them. I did keep talking with Turkey but Germany pretty much brushed me off from then on after telling me he did it because I moved to GAL against the wishes of his ally Austria.

So, in desperation, I tried to rally Italy and Austria against Turkey saying there was an EFG alliance and we need to quickly take Turkey and the Balkans in order to combat this threat. They seemed to agree.

Fall orders came in and Austria supported me into Rum but also moved into GAL. Talk about mixed signals! And Italy was still attacking Austria.

There was tons of press being sent between me, Turkey, Austria, and Italy after that and alliances seemed to change with every press sent. It seems none of us trusted anybody. I took the Black Sea and Italy took Greece in the Spring and things looked good. Then Austria took RUM and Turkey took BLA in the Fall. and Turkey tried to support an Austrian attack on Italy, which I cut saving Greece for him. Also, England went incommunicado at this point and decided to help Germany attack my fleet in Sweden. At this point, I knew I was sunk and was just going to try eke out as much entertainment out of the situation as possible before I was eliminated.

I hit Austria the next year and Turkey the year after that. I supported France into Norway. I was just trying to do the most damage possible. It seems to have worked pretty well. I believe I was quite the thorn for the rest of the game. Sadly, Germany and England never did respond or we might have had a game going allying against the I-T alliance. But sometimes that's how it goes and so I did what I could to have fun.

Dad_Scaper July 15th, 2017 11:27 PM

Re: Diplomacy
Q, I wonder if you agree with my thought that Austria's insistence on staying in GAL had a singularly powerful affect on the shape of the game from then on.

quozl July 15th, 2017 11:35 PM

Re: Diplomacy
Well, I did give Austria an ultimatum that if he wanted my help, he needed to move out of GAL. Of course, I did the same with Turkey and ARM. Either one could have changed the game for me.

Ranior July 16th, 2017 09:46 PM

Re: Diplomacy
Well I will admit that in hindsight I really missed out on an opportunity to work with Russia. This stemmed from my early feeling that a juggernaut was occuring. Reveiwing some of my correspondence it seems I believe my most compelling reason for doing so was how Russia was saying so little and didn't really seem to want my help--with hindsight it seems that was his general style he was going for this game, but it did make me fear the Juggernaut greatly in the early game, which is what lead me to try to work with Italy where I was getting good vibes from.

Given I was never feeling great about Russia, and I was putting too much faith in Italy early, I figured holding GAL would be very beneficial for the long term. I was alos still fearing if I told Russia I was leaving GAL that he would just move in--and I may just be too paranoid of that since I have in the past been burned fast as Austria with a Russian in GAl. (As that is a good quick way to die as Austria).

By the time I swapped to working with Turkey, I once again didn't think I would be needing or wanting Russian aid, so I just didn't try hard to make it happen. By the time then I was betrayed and the IT alliance was going, it was practically too late for Russia and I to amount to much, especially since France couldn't help offer much aid given what was happening in that section of the map.

I do wonder if I had just left GAL sooner if I wouldn't have had a willing ally in Russia in that Fall of 1902 who would have just helped me into Bulgaria and all would have continued on fine. In hindsight it liikely would have worked as only Italy was working with Russia at that time and the three of us could have gotten along fine for awhile. Then again perhaps that path would have led to an Italy Russia alliance that I feared who would have quickly taken me out anyhow--such is the plight of Austria though for the early game is deadly, but they are one of the stronger nations if they get a chance to grow as they have some of the shortest distance to travel to grow centers for much of the midgame.

Thanks all for submitting some post game thoughts. Always fun to dissect games and plans especially when the game takes months to play!

kevindola July 17th, 2017 12:52 PM

Re: Diplomacy
So I don't know that I ever got a truly objective answer to whether me moving into Bulgaria in the Fall of 02 and relinquishing Greece to Austria would have been a good move or not.

Turkey was telling me how Russia and I were just being Austria's pawns, but he had quite a bit of reasons to be saying that.

I don't really know if my request for Austria to wait until 1903 was reasonable or not, but what I did know was that I didn't completely trust him. I thought his call to arms to battle the Juggernaut was a ploy to rally the other countries to his assistance. And he was also giving me the line that the reason we needed to move so fast against Turkey was because E-G were creating an indomitable western combined force. So based on my observations I was taking all his reasoning with a grain of salt and I felt like I was being forced into a position that couldn't be supported at the time and that I wasn't comfortable with.

I actually stated those reasons to Austria the morning orders were do and told him I would not be supporting those moves. I probably didn't give him enough time to give a reasoned response at that time, but at the end of the day I'm not sure I could have been talked into vacating Greece for Bulgaria.

If curious here was our exchange:

Spoiler Alert!

Dad_Scaper July 17th, 2017 01:55 PM

Re: Diplomacy
It depends on the situation. My reading of Austria's & Russia's partial press were that they were both the type of player who is looking for a long-term ally, and as Ranior said, he thought he had that in you. In your situation, I would have gone to BUL.

On the other hand, I think you did a masterful job of painting Austria as deceitful and a problem, when in fact (as far as I could tell) he actually *hadn't* been deceitful with you. But it did help you in your communications with Russia and then with Turkey to have this running theme, even if it wasn't actually grounded in truth.

So, I would have taken BUL there, but I would not have landed the game in an excellent 2WD, either. So I'm not saying you did anything wrong but I would have played that one thing differently.

All the new players made this a much more open game, I think, then I remember seeing when I played regularly. It was unsettled, and exciting to watch.

I'll happily run another one, if people want. Or not, if the interest isn't there.

Ranior July 17th, 2017 10:33 PM

Re: Diplomacy
I agree with much of that analysis as well DS. This game had a bit different flavor and the newer players were a part of that. I gladly would play again.

As for kevindola managing to twist my words and paint me as decietful...well what do you think we spend all that time in the CoN forums doing? :)

kevindola July 19th, 2017 12:40 PM

Re: Diplomacy
I would be happy to play again. I would prefer a site that allows nations to surrender to a contingent of countries rather than forcing them to play it out to the bitter end, but I understand too why that might be desirable as it ratchets up the tension with the remaining players allegedly striving for a draw.

I am also curious to the general nature of a competitive Dip player's mindset. Is going in with the goal of a draw considered distasteful? What about bypassing a certain solo to honor an agreed upon draw? Things I was pondering on, especially as Turkey/Kinseth was repeatedly telling me in the past he plays for the draw and has a documented history of doing so (in order to get me to trust him more)

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