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Ranior August 22nd, 2017 04:51 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Unfortunately gunboat is almost certain to be broken for some of us--even without us truly trying to. Kevindola, scorp, and myself have played far too much CoN and know each other's writing and posting styles too well to truly hide from each other. It's a near certainty that after a few back and forth messages we'll be all but certain as to the other's identity.

Still I do agree and appreciate the rules you've laid out and trying to enforce that style. CoN occassionally does something similar with Masquerade rounds which are widely regarded as some of the most fun and interesting since all players are given fake HSers accounts to use for the duration of the CoN. That way you don't neccessairly know who is who. (Although players like scorp and myself often are instantly deduced as our posting styles continue to be too discernable among the CoN vets).

Anyhow excited to be playing another game. Let's see if I can avoid first out this time :P

Dad_Scaper August 22nd, 2017 07:04 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Yes, like I said, I completely understand that sometimes Gunboat is broken. That, alone, was not the problem.

Carry on.

scorpiusx August 22nd, 2017 08:43 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Btw, may I ask who all is in this game? I know kevindola, Ranior, wriggz, Kinseth. But who is the last one?

Thanks.

-scorp

marrowick August 22nd, 2017 09:11 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I'm in the game.

kevindola August 23rd, 2017 03:40 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Just as a reminder. The deadline is set in GMT. So I believe the deadline is tomorrow evening.

Dad_Scaper August 24th, 2017 12:02 AM

Re: Diplomacy
 
It's been very quiet, fells. Send some press.

Kinseth August 24th, 2017 12:22 AM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Can we make deadlines more in line with US time zones?

Dad_Scaper August 24th, 2017 12:46 AM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I'll look into it. For now I'll push this S1901M deadline to early next week, because that's what I normally do for S1901M anyway. Nobody asked and we had a full week so I hadn't done it here, but now is the time.

edit: Done. Now it's Monday evening. Get busy, fellas.

Dad_Scaper August 24th, 2017 12:42 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
^ You may ignore this post. I'd forgotten that in the last game, I flipped the switch to see all partial press, meaning the press you send to each other. In this game, I haven't done that yet. So all I'd seen were the broadcasts.

Carry on.

kevindola August 24th, 2017 01:52 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
So if I am ignoring the previous post, does that mean the deadline is reverting back to tonight?

Ranior August 24th, 2017 02:08 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I think he meant that we can ignore the post about how it's been very quiet and we should all send some post. But I agree it would be good to get clarification.

Dad_Scaper August 24th, 2017 02:49 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
No, I'm leaving the deadline. Ranior is correct. :up:

kevindola August 30th, 2017 04:26 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2157395)
I still need to finish my EGS, but it won't be till sometime next week.

This a lost cause or are you still planning on posting Part 2?

Kinseth August 30th, 2017 11:57 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kevindola (Post 2160817)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2157395)
I still need to finish my EGS, but it won't be till sometime next week.

This a lost cause or are you still planning on posting Part 2?

When golf season is over, I will likely finish...

kevindola September 14th, 2017 04:02 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2160855)
When golf season is over, I will likely finish...

When does golf season end?

Kinseth September 14th, 2017 04:03 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kevindola (Post 2162095)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2160855)
When golf season is over, I will likely finish...

When does golf season end?

I don't see snow on the ground yet.

Kinseth September 26th, 2017 09:28 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
This latest game is crazy, Dad_scaper has to love being a fly on the wall in this one.

quozl September 26th, 2017 10:53 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Just took a look! Looks awesome!

kevindola October 2nd, 2017 05:37 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Thanksgiving has come a bit early. Who has the carving knife?

wriggz October 3rd, 2017 09:36 AM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kevindola (Post 2163817)
Thanksgiving has come a bit early. Who has the carving knife?

This week is thanksgiving fore some of us.

kevindola October 3rd, 2017 10:12 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
@France

kevindola October 24th, 2017 03:20 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
The Final Four!

Kinseth October 30th, 2017 05:02 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Fighting is over! Peace comes to Europe.

Kinseth October 30th, 2017 08:44 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Interested in seeing who all the players were.

I was Russia in this one.

I still have a EGS to finish for the other game, and now one for this game. Hope everyone enjoyed it.

Dad_Scaper October 30th, 2017 09:05 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I can tell you I would have been disappointed with a second carebear draw. This was much more satisfying.

I look forward to a discussion about the role of minor powers when there is a runaway leader, or runaway leaders.

quozl October 30th, 2017 09:20 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2166913)
Interested in seeing who all the players were.

I was Russia in this one.

I still have a EGS to finish for the other game, and now one for this game. Hope everyone enjoyed it.

Congrats!

Ranior October 31st, 2017 10:17 AM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Great game Kinseth, very well played.

I was France in this one. I'll have a lot more thoughts to share later, but here are my main ones:

--Thanks England for being a great ally to work with. It was a fun time, and had Russia/Austria taken even one more season to advance through Turkey, I believe the game would have flipped with us being the dominant powers gobbling them up at the end. Instead they got the slight upper hand and Russia forced the win.

--Russia played extremely well throughout the game. You were in control for most of it, and I personally thought it was extremely clear even at the midpoint of the game. I'm very glad you went for the solo win as I too would have been extremely disappointed if you carried Austria to a draw when they were leaving the solo open to you so easily.

--Austria you played pretty well, but I'm glad you lost. I tried pointing out numerous times that this was the likely outcome and that you were not safe or defending your home centers against a Russian stab, and you were in no position to stab Russia yourself. Essentially I think you played the alliance and early part of the game extremely well, but you needed to make a pivot to working with England and myself to go for a win I believe. To be fair though, I stopped pressing this hard and kind of gave up on the game, which may have led to you not really feeling like you could rely on me. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on how close you actually were to taking up England and I on our offers during 1904-1905 when we really had the chances to flip the game.

--Italy....I'm going to probably lay into you a little bit. I honestly don't understand what you were doing this game. In the very early game, 1901, you were doing your best not to anger anyone, but had no hope for advancement. When it became clear that Austria/Russia and France/England were the powers eating up Germany/Turkey instead of trying to actually get in with one of those groups you did....nothing. Then when I spent a lot of talks with you trying to set up an alliance, and England and I made every concession we could with you, and we really did need your help and couldn't afford to just stab you as we'd still lose in the long run.....you made moves that made no sense to me. You actually were in great position as you had taken one of Ausria's home centers--even better the only center that Austria can build more fleets out of. If you build an army to help defend there and actually worked with me, I could boslter naval power in the south to take over, we could have worked together to take over MUN and more Austrian centers and a real alliance could have been forged. Admittedly working with me was going to be tough as you were going to have to extend trust....but your other option was nothing in my eyes. Yet you took that other option--work with Austria who made zero concessions to you. You couldn't possibly break through my fleets. So instead you just went back to defending your four centers simply biding your time until Austria wanted to take your centers which he obviously eventually did. I just did not get those decisions since there was really zero chance of you growing by making those moves--your only hope for gaining ground in the game was rolling the dice and working with England and France to slow down the Russia/Austria alliance. But I guess this gets into the discussion Dad Scaper wanted to have about the role of minor powers against dominant ones. And I look forward to having it.

Like I say I'll lay out a lot more of my thoughts, including a discussion of why I made my opening moves and what I tried so hard to do during the midgame. Finally just a quick apology for essentially giving up these last few seasons and being slow on moves. It was hard to stay motivated after Italy turned on me and Austria season after season acted like they were considering working with me but continually just seemed to be stringing me along.

kevindola October 31st, 2017 01:32 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Congratulations to Russia on total victory. Well played on both diplomatic and maneuvering fronts!

I was Austria. I have about 3/4 of an EGS written (written as I went), but will take at least few days away in order to let everything soak in before I can finish it off and post it.

In the interim I will be active in any direct discussion or questions relevant to me. So in that spirit

Quote:

Originally Posted by France
--....I tried pointing out numerous times that this was the likely outcome and that you were not safe or defending your home centers against a Russian stab, and you were in no position to stab Russia yourself.I stopped pressing this hard and kind of gave up on the game, which may have led to you not really feeling like you could rely on me. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on how close you actually were to taking up England and I on our offers during 1904-1905 when we really had the chances to flip the game.

I'll preface by saying that, for good or bad, I utilized my experience in my first ever diplomacy game (a 2WD as Italy with Turkey (Kinseth)) to dictate my decision making processes for my 2nd ever diplomacy game.

-Firstly, while you did warn me several times about a Russian stab, you didn't really elaborate with specific potential moves. I made one message that countered Russia's alleged dominant position with my potential countermeasures that you also did not address, I assume either due to checking out or because my view of the board was so off it wasn't worth explaining.

-Next, referencing my preface statement, I knew France was Ranior. In the first game I thought Ranior was quick to cry fire when there was none (in regards to a Juggernaut, and in regards to a western Triple). He also warned me repeatedly that Turkey was going to run over me as Italy. Again, which never happened. So I took his warning as mostly a self serving declaration to get me to change sides. After all, France was telling me as early as spring of 1904 that Russia was in a dominant global position and was poised for an easy solo without major actions. I just didn't see it that way. I am very possibly just too shorted sighted for this game, but I needed more details than just that to make that kind of call so early as to dictate a panic maneuver by me.

-In regards to in game context of joining with France + England, I never bought the French fleet retreat lukewarm promises France made me. I just didn't, because I didn't believe France would pull back any fleets and would have naval dominance in the Med and as soon as Russia was damaged, he would rejoin with England and their 2 way alliance would start anew. I could extrapolate on that if pressed. In reality, I was actually much closer to an Italy/England alliance. But not really that close even (except for a few hours in the Fall of 1905)

-Finally, due to my familiarity with some people's writing sytle, the fact scorpiusx spilled his country so early, and my observations of playstyle, I reasonably early pegged Kinseth as Russia. This would dictate a significant portion of my communication and moves based on solely our interactions in the first game. There were a half dozen or more plays that Russia made that I was very upset with. A couple of them egregiously so. However, the player of Russia did some of the same types of things in my first game with them, but never acted out on the one-sided moves, so I was willing to let it go in this game as kind of a paranoia induced, but ultimately harmless mindset. I do apologize if this kind of playstyle reduces the nature of the game for people, but it is the way I operate.

I think that answers your question about how close I actually was to joining in a France/England alliance. The answer is not very due to previous game experience, my assessment of the boards state, and my concerns of actually making something with France work out with my high concerns of the alliance's endgame.

Ranior October 31st, 2017 02:06 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kevindola (Post 2167002)

I think that answers your question about how close I actually was to joining in a France/England alliance. The answer is not very due to previous game experience, my assessment of the boards state, and my concerns of actually making something with France work out with my high concerns of the alliance's endgame.

Yeah, that is mostly what I figured. I agree that I knew you were Austria as well--it's unfortunate, but given that many of us know each other's writing styles quite well from CoN, there really is no hiding. (Not to mention masquerade guessing games have specifically trained me to get pretty good at identifying tells in writing styles).

In some small way I'm kind of glad to hear that though--it at least validates my hunch that I was screwed by around 1905 when Italy flat out admitted we were doomed to war in a press with me and you continued to show zero signs of actually making any effort beyond talk to work with me. Really was a very very dull end game for me to play through given these situations since I could see the outcome, knew what was coming, and yet couldn't find anyone besides loyal England with which to work with.

I'll admit your concerns about making something with France and England work are also a real concern at least, but that is what tough diplomatic negotiations are all about. Plus you're playing with great players who hopefully won't be too vengeful. Work with England and I to solidify your position, then switch back to working with Russia. I dunno. Somehow I'm sure there is a path that could have worked.

Instead from my perspective you clearly were just playing along helping Russia get a win without any hope for winning yourself. I just could not see a logical path to you getting 17 or 18 centers, while Russia constantly had the upper hand to force the win.

With all that being said, I agree that it isn't always easy to see these things and you're pretty new. Dozens of games, including many dominant Russian victories made me pretty certain of the outcome on this one, but alas. I don't blame you for going with what worked so well for you last time which was sticking with a solid ally enjoying mutual growth. I'll be more upset though if you don't learn from this game.

By the way though, I do want another game. My inactivity towards the end should not in any way be read as a sign I didn't really enjoy most of this game and still love playing Diplomacy. I just want a chance now to stop Kinseth/Kevindola :P

Kinseth October 31st, 2017 02:26 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Mittens, this game was very different than the first game on the site. I know there was alot of flak in the first game for the Carebear approach, this wasn't in anyway a response to that game. Results in Diplomacy are much like views on Art. Playing to win at all costs, often ends the game in a ~4 way draw. Solo's are not the usual outcome. I think I have more of a distaste for LARGE draws than I do for a solid 2way draw. As I have mentioned before, playing until a 2 way draw is achieved, can be just as satisfying as the solo.

The Beginning

As Russia, I REALLY like a northern opening. I dislike being forced to play in the southern corner. But as diplomacy was going on, It soon became clear I was going to really need to focus my attention to the south.

Turkey was showing positive ovatures to Austria and Italy was being very non-commital. It was playing up nicely for Austria to be in the driver seat. When that happens, Russia really needs to focus on the south. I think had Italy or Turkey shown to be the stronger players, dictating action, I could have gone with a northern opening.

As Russia, you always want to try to secure Swe, and play on the troubles in the south. Germany was willing to allow me Swe. When I play Germany, I never give Russia Swe. I don't care if I feel like I am playing against an EF alliance, nothing good ever comes from Russia getting Swe when you are germany.

I thought early on that England was on the fence, but France did very little to play the F-R up.(Surprising since it was Rainor.) One of my favorite alliances in Diplomacy is a FR alliance. This lead me to believe there was a EF from the get go.

I worked Italy pretty hard to keep Venice where it was incase Austria Turkey were indeed in an allinace. Instead he moves Venice to Tus??? Putting no pressure on Austria for Russia. Russia-Italy need to be working together incase of an AT alliance.

Realizing I wasn't on great terms with Austria, he had Italy in his back pocket it seemed, and Turkey played a friggin Bottleneck opening(Where Smy goes to Con and Con to Bul. ) This is very restrictive for Turkey and what he can do.

I put out a huge olive branch to Turkey, offering him RUM so he could build 2 fleets , one at Con and one at SMY and combat the AI Alliance I thought had formed.

Well it looks like Austria has Turkey on his side too, as Austria supports Bul - Rum while I forgo taking it and give it to Turkey. As Negan would say, got your crapping pants on? Because you are going to be crapping your pants really soon.

Oh and I supported myself to Gal breaking our Bounce agreement.

So I do some back peddling with Austria, and draw up a game plan to attack Turkey together. I get Rum and he gets Bul. I can see that Turkey will just keep stringing me along and never fully commit to the alliance. Austria agrees to the plan and we inflict a crushing blow to Turkey, and the R-A alliance is born.

I later find out from Turkey, that he wanted to stay loyal to his word about an alliance with Austria that was formed before S01 even happened. I was late to the game since I had something going on that week and because Turkey and Austria talked before I could send comm's to Turkey, he was going to be Austria's ally until the end... WOW, okay. Ever heard the term, Actions speak louder than words? I forgone a build at Rum and gave it to Turkey to show him how serious I was about a R-T alliance. Anyways...

While the southern stuff was happening, I was working both the German and English lines, trying to help both before I had to choose one or the other. It became clear that EF was going to run through the board(Rainor was right, it was really close to doing so.), So I had to prop up Germany. I fed him English moves to block the move to Hel in s02. But germany didn't listen to me. England offered me Denmark, but I saw through the deception and made a play for NWY in A02, it was a bounce.

Germany was in very much of a debt to me and wasn't going to let EF have the game. At this point I got a northern fleet build to put pressure on England and convince Germany(With Austria's help) that we needed to disband armies in germany over fleets. This kept the fleets in the north to England 4 and Germany 2 and Russia 2. Allowing us to put pressure on England. This would be HUGE going forward. Austria and myself moved our armies in to prop up Germany and prevent him from falling.

Austria joked that it is better to be the alliance coming to the aide of a power than the one attacking sometimes. And it really was in this instance.

Growth in the south continued at Turkey's expense, and he was now hellbent on doing as much damage to Austria as he could before he was snuffed out. He unpredictably attacked Bul while giving me Ank. This helped me continue to get builds in the north as I soon took Con.

Part 2 to come--- I really mean it!

Dad_Scaper October 31st, 2017 02:31 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Interesting. It looks kind of like Kevindola's metagaming - seeking out Kinseth; rejecting Ranior, based on past experience with the players - proved costly, and ultimately limited the playing of the game, in that he turned a deaf ear to France based on who the player was. Which was unfortunate, for France and England, who were both doing what they could to stop a growing Russia, but the player in the best position to work with them was refusing to engage in diplomacy for reasons beyond their control.

That must have been frustrating, and helps explain Ranior getting irritated.

Also, reading Ranior's post, I wonder what the IR press was like. Because it looks like Italy had a powerful position, diplomatically, with an opportunity to split Austrian centers with Russia, and get a piece of Turkey, too, and then could, maybe, have had a nice opportunity to carve up up France, given a willing England. I'm curious to hear from our Italy about his perspective, and also Kinseth's sense of his relationship with Italy and what Italy was trying to do.

wriggz October 31st, 2017 03:09 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I was Italy.
So this is my first time playing diplomacy and I think it showed a bit. There were a few things that surprised me: 

1. I’m not use to zero sum games. I didn’t realize that Austria’s expansion was so bad for me, until late in the game. I should have pressured them for more gains when they took Turkey, and risked the alliance with France if they would not offer them.  

2. How much the mind state changes when you see no way of “winning”. Once the door to Turkey was closed and France moved into the Mediterranean my game was over. From then on I felt I was competing for survival.  

3. I was way too tempted by the Spanish peninsula. It looked so inviting and open. Looking back it would have been too hard to realistically capture it without additional help. Diplomacy is a slow game and it is tough to really surprise someone or force moves without considerable planning.  

4. This game took up a lot of brain matter. It was a lot more mentally demanding than I thought it would be. It is a great example of the prisoner’s dilemma and game theory, but trying to guess what others think you will do will drive you crazy.  

The Story: 
Austria and I got on really well at first, and Turkey/Russia seemed like a legit threat. Making a move on Turkey seemed to make the most sense, but in the end stalled me completely when Austria sided with turkey rather than Russia. At the time Russia seemed very aggressive, so it made sense how Austria was playing. In hind sight I should have taken Russia's offer and go against Austria early, but thought I could trust Austria for the long haul. This allowed Turkey to close the door in against me, so I would have to turn West for expansion. At this point Russia was spread thin, and working with Austria still seemed to make sense.  

Then England and France made an excellent play against Germany. France also moved into the Mediterranean, which was highly aggressive to me, making it clear that I would be their next target. From then on it would become next to impossible to trust France. Austria offered support while France made promises I feared they would not keep. The way I looked at it any in roads France would make against me would strengthen their positon without leaving them open to counter attack. This is when I was in negotiations with both France and Austria, trying to feel out which would be better for me in the long run. I was messing around with Movements and checking if they would work when I got called to a meeting at work, this lead to my folly which caused me to lose all initiative and even got a comment from Russia asking if I was throwing the game.  

I just couldn’t find a way to help France get past me, leaving myself open, since they would not leave themselves equally exposed. I don’t think France realized that as soon as Austria noticed I was working actively against them, they could move against me, and my game would have been quickly over. As said my largest mistake is not holding on to TRI and demanding that Austria let me hold it until France was destroyed, but by then I had made my folly move and I don’t think my heart was totally in it.

After that I spend the whole time trying to get back to my pre-folly position to try to force my way. Russia’s dominance was becoming apparent and I felt that England and Austria could be convinced to work together to end France and take on Russia. Of course at this point Austria turned on me, and the game was over. At this point it seemed like Austria was going for a “Care bear” win, which never occurred to me as a viable option. I was very surprised that Austria went this route, even after Russia warned me they would. Then my game was over. I really think that if Austria had not attacked me, I might have stayed around long enough to see some spoils form France, and they flip on Austria when moving my fleet against Turkish soil. I really believed that the smaller nations could work together against the common foe. Oddly the move against me seemed to be Austria’s undoing in the end. 

Conclusion: I was far too timid against Austria, and made one big technical error. I really wanted to work with France at one point, but I kept working myself up, fearing that they would back stab me at their earliest convenience, and I would lose my only ally at that time. I should have rolled the dice and sided with France, but I thought I could stay around a bit longer and pick up some pieces of a late game alliance. Frances fleets and unwillingness to either leave themselves equally open or slow down made them very hard to trust. Additionally if I did side with France I would have France on all sides and no way to protect myself, while they would only have England on their boarders, meaning I would trade one master for another. I really thought the Russia threat would bond us together and would allow me to grow later, I was mistaken. Italy is tough to make gains with once you are surrounded, and all too easy to play the wait and see game. I fully admit I was working for Austria for the bulk of the game, I kept looking for a good way out, but the other options simple looked worse. I learned lots, and lots I would have done different if given the chance.


quozl October 31st, 2017 03:28 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
There's a saying in the game of Go. In order to learn to play, you need to lose your first 100 games. I think that applies to Diplomacy as well (but maybe only 10 games). If the game intrigues you at all, keep playing. You will get better.

wriggz October 31st, 2017 03:36 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by quozl (Post 2167021)
There's a saying in the game of Go. In order to learn to play, you need to lose your first 100 games. I think that applies to Diplomacy as well (but maybe only 10 games). If the game intrigues you at all, keep playing. You will get better.

Thanks, this game really fairly unique and the human interaction is considerable. I enjoyed myself, and would likely play again. I'm disappointed in a few my actions, but between Austria and Russia Cutting up Turkey and France's fleets showing up on my door step and basically forcing me to protect my home centers, I felt like any movement was dangerous. as noted I think not demanding more concessions from Austria ("with the blood of my people we defend against France") was my greatest error.

Dad_Scaper October 31st, 2017 03:44 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
It is a demanding game, Wriggz. You are right about that. The best way to play is to assume that each power will act in its own best interest, which means sometimes two or more powers will make common cause and work together, because that is in the best interest of each. The challenge is to find a way to persuade the other powers that what's in your best interest is also in theirs. Whatever your personality, there are ways to make it work.

As for a "carebear victory," there is no such thing. There is winning, and there is not-winning. You do not get credit for a victory when you did not have one. You can have a "carebear draw," which is the saddest kind of draw, because it means that (for instance) Russia, Italy, and Turkey did not really get the chance to compete fairly in the game, because while they wiped out Austria, England and Germany wiped out France and would not ever turn on each other, no matter what. If EG are a team and neither is playing for a solo then that dramatically limits options for everyone playing, and that's sad.

[edit: For instance, in this imaginary situation. Russia cannot realistically turn against his southern partners, because he needs their help in the middle in order to keep from getting steamrolled by England in the North. If the EG alliance is unbreakable, then there is nothing to be gained from trying to negotiate with England to get a little space in which he can get Italy to turn with him against Turkey. To do so would be his own doom, because fighting with Turkey would mean a two-front war which would be too costly. So, because EG have elected not to play for solos, Russia's hands are tied in the East.]

Here is an article about the experience of playing. I read it when it first came out - over three years ago - and I still remember this line, shouted at the journalist when his carebear alliance was dooming the whole board: "'Are you going to be paid for writing this story?' a Scottish player asked me. 'Because I am losing three days’ wages to be here so that I can get screwed by you.'" That was a guy yelling at France, because he was playing carebear-style, thinking that England was with him until the end. As he found out - and as Austria found out, in Mittens - his own carebear style was not shared by his partner, which led to him getting yelled at by most at the table and then getting shamefully discarded by his one-time ally. The worst of all worlds.

So. There is no such thing as a "team win," or a "carebear win." There is a solo, there is a draw, and there is getting eliminated. Getting eliminated while playing to win is, IMHO, far, far more respectable than surviving to a draw when you were never trying to win.

Wriggz, I'm glad you dipped your toe in the water. I hope you enjoyed it, and based on your EoG I suspect you did. I will make a deal with you: If you will participate, I will run another one.

If I do so, I want you all to remember what I've written. I was never a guy to stab early and often, but I was always playing to win. Some guys stabbed early and often, and *they* were always playing to win. Even in the games where I knew who the other players were, and even if I knew I could not trust them long term, I knew they would act in their own self interest and therefore I could work with them toward mutual goals. I just had to watch my back and protect myself, and sometimes take the first strike. If you're a minor power, figure out how to make yourself valuable to somebody and play on; maybe not the guy you were helping before but somebody else. Maybe if the other minor powers are trying to eliminate you, make good on a threat to help the leader. That might force the other minor powers to reconsider. Sometimes the worm turns and you will grow back into a major power. It can happen.

So. I'll do this again, if you guys would like. But I hope you will go in with open minds, open to working with others while protecting yourselves, even if you've figured out who is whom. I also hope you will go in with the understanding that it's a big game. As Kinseth has shown in both of his EoG statements, a successful player will pay attention to detail. Both diplomatic and tactical detail.

Wriggz, there are some good resources out there on how to play, and even one or two articles will be enough to help you understand deeper. Here is one collection of articles and here is a piece that I always found interesting. You don't have to read all of these or any of these, but these links will help you get an idea of the size of the game, if you catch my meaning.

So. I'll happily run another one. I'm not asking for you all to commit to anything to me, other than to play so I don't have to find a sub, but I hope you've read and thought about my discussion of the game.

Ranior October 31st, 2017 03:49 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2167022)
Quote:

Originally Posted by quozl (Post 2167021)
There's a saying in the game of Go. In order to learn to play, you need to lose your first 100 games. I think that applies to Diplomacy as well (but maybe only 10 games). If the game intrigues you at all, keep playing. You will get better.

Thanks, this game really fairly unique and the human interaction is considerable. I enjoyed myself, and would likely play again.

Thanks for the detailed thoughts and explanations. As I said above, I was pretty forthright in my thoughts above about how Italy's play didn't make sense to me, but it makes a lot more sense now. It was a combination of factors, partially being a new player, partially trusting Austria more, and me not doing a good enough job of making concessions or finding our what you really wanted.

Now knowing that Italy and Austria were largely inexperienced players, I probably should have changed up my negotiation tactics a bit more if I really wanted them to work with me against Russia. Given that I didn't get either of them to side with me, the result is not shocking.

I'm still working on typing up my thoughts including why I sided with England and rebuffed Russia's offers throughout the game but it's taking awhile. It'll be up within the next few days.


And finally wriggz, you are correct that you wouldn't have been in a great position if you worked with me in terms of your ability to stab me vs my chance to stab you. We could have tried to work that out though. As is, you chose to stick with Austria, but what had Austria ever given you? One turn in TRI, on a turn where they didn't even have the forces to defend TRI anyhow. In return you effectively shielded them from my attacks. And you just spent the game stalled since there was zero way your forces could get past my southern fleets. That is what confused me so....while I agree that working with me would have been hard and put you at risk, you were defending a losing position--your only chance at growth was to ally with me and try to make an attack against Austria work. For what it is worth I genuinely would have expended a lot of effort into working with you and actually seeing you grow in power. I would've attempted to move 1-2 fleets past your southern shores towards Turkey and then just left one fleet sitting in WES or MAO for my own defense. Trusting me to get to that point would admittedly be hard for any diplomacy player, but I'd like to think there was some hope for growth by working with me that might have led you to yet further opportunities (including turning on me by working with England!)

Kinseth October 31st, 2017 03:57 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Naval Battles in the North Sea.

I thought Germany was a total goner, but I couldn't tell that to him to his face. Instead I was telling him that we will battle back England and work on getting your centers back for you.

There was more of a wink-wink going on with me and Austria at this stage, but we were not going to let a good bargaining chip like Germany go to waste.

Putting pressure on the NTH sea is huge when facing england, and this allowed us alot of freedom. It had to come at the expense of germany trying to defend his home territories, and this was the key I needed in setting myself up in position to succeed, dominating the northern seas.

Germany took the NTH while I moved a fleet and army in position to take NWY. There was nothing that England could really have done to stop this in S03.

After this, Germany continued to be the thorn in the English side, that allowed me to keep putting fleets into play in the north and get into position. This allowed me to stay on the offensive in the NTH instead of defensive vs England. England lost a fleet that got crushed and an army at one point. This put his builds several spaces away from the fight each time, I thought this was overall, one of the most crucial parts of the game. Eventually Germany lost enough home centers that he was at the point we could just cut him out and continue on.

Farewall to thee Germany, you won't be forgotten.

As the game continued on, Austria and I had some tense moments, and discussions on how to we could split up the board. I see that Rainor and Kevindola picked up on who was who in this game. I honestly had no clue, I thought Kevindola was England. I honestly didn't really want to know who was who, and after stabbing for the win, I sent KD a text saying I hope he wasn't Austria...

Anyways back to the point I was attempting to make, Austria did try to offer splits on units, but I didn't like some of those splits as they left me in position that I could be vulnerable. This lead to some of my paranoia that Austria was really in this to try to win. I know some of you are ragging on Austria about lack of pressure on Russia, but it would only take a good season of builds to be attacking RUM and putting pressure on Russia. I thought Austria was working his way to doing that, he kept asking things like (Move AEG - EAS), Give me Smy or Ank to even us out.

I was able to fight off his requests just long enough to stay in the driver seat, and kept putting pressure on England with my builds.

Another thing I was very suspicious about, Austria kept reporting about talks with France and England, asking me for info that I could give him to them as misinformation. Brilliant plan yes, but had me on my toes. Just how well do I know this Austrian fellow? Could he be setting up for me to fail by exposing myself at Kie or Hol and turning sides to EF to stab me, and then while they occupy me in the north and central, he attacks my weak underbelly for the win?

He's going the distance, hes going for speed!

I was getting close to make my play for a solo, it is always tough to gauge when the right time is, and can you fend off the alliance that is going to try to thwart you. Then Austria made a key blunder, and didn't bounce me in Galicia but instead left Budapest WIDE open, I mean like Open in the endzone, without anyone around you for 30 yards kind of open. I was at 13 units, and had already snagged EDI and could hold it. I was in position to take Munich, Greece and if I got lucky at London, I could win the game in one single turn.

I had a good read on England, Like a poker tell. All game, he would ignore places he had no hope of taking, no attempt to keep someone honest. If you go watch all his seasons, when I had NWY and it was a 3x3, he would completely ignore it. This happened over and over, so it gave me the opportunity to go for London and leave EDI exposed, because I didn't think he would even make a play on it, and I was right! I like to sometimes do a Crazy Ivan in diplomacy, where you do something so completely different, it keeps your opponent guessing just how you will play the next season. I Think England would have been smart to attempt to keep me honest a couple of times.

So the key Blunder on Austria's part, was the signal to go for it. I was wondering if he was using this to band EF together to say something like "Hey look, Russia is moving on me, he broke our agreement and went to Gal." But that clearly wasn't the case. I kept speaking to him about future growth, splitting of supply centers etc to keep him hooked into thinking I was still for the 2 way draw. I lull'd him to sleep I think, allowing me to make the play for the game and win.

wriggz October 31st, 2017 03:58 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
I recall playing Risk in my teens and one of my friends would play yellow the other black. They always went for a Team Bumble Bee win. It was annoying and made playing for 3rd the true victory.

Its funny. I couldn't trust France since I thought they would take one of my centers at their first opportunity and slowing chip away at me or surround me to take me out later. I trusted Austria since there was always (to me at least) a bigger fish to fry (EF then Russia). It seems I was wrong in both situations.

Maybe it is the Canadian in me, but I have noticed that there are cultural differences. IT seemed both Austria and France were "annoyed" when I didn't just come out and say what I wanted or expected. I noted it cause in games I have played my rivals also often have a softer approach, which also works well in non-zero sum games like Catan. When I play with my South African or Spanish friend, they communicate much more direct, as the players here did as well. Open threats and demands feel unnatural, where as fence minding is.

Kinseth October 31st, 2017 04:03 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranior (Post 2167024)
For what it is worth I genuinely would have expended a lot of effort into working with you and actually seeing you grow in power. I would've attempted to move 1-2 fleets past your southern shores towards Turkey and then just left one fleet sitting in WES or MAO for my own defense.

Also note, Diplomacy doesn't end just because the game ends. There is always the next game, don't let Rainor butter you up for his solo next game :)

wriggz October 31st, 2017 04:05 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranior (Post 2167024)
It was a combination of factors, partially being a new player, partially trusting Austria more, and me not doing a good enough job of making concessions or finding our what you really wanted.

- see my comment about Canadianess

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranior (Post 2167024)
Trusting me to get to that point would admittedly be hard for any diplomacy player, but I'd like to think there was some hope for growth by working with me that might have led you to yet further opportunities (including turning on me by working with England!)


I think this was my thinking, but Flop England for Russia and Austria for you. You are correct I needed to demand more from Austria (even at the possibility of loosing my alliance). I think I both underestimated the power I could weld over Austria, and overestimated my ability to grow late in the game.


Oh and I was close to siding with you, Like really close to siding with you. England was the real problem. You were so friendly with them, that you would have no reason to maintain a strong relationship with me. Austria seemed to always be under Russia thumb, so I assumed they would want to stay friendly with me as they expanded into Germany and prepared for Russia going for the win (obviously this was an error). Even when it was clear they were lining up to attack me in the end and Russia even gave me a warning (not that it was required) it still seemed foolish to throw away an alliance with England and I to side with Russia.

Dad_Scaper October 31st, 2017 04:10 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
It's probably the nature of the game, Wriggz. People negotiate to reach concrete short term and long term plans. They need to be able to talk about what is in your mutual interest and what is not.

As a new player, it was - as you say - bewildering. But they were looking for concrete discussions that you were perhaps not prepared to have. And *of course* they were going to take your centers if you were not protecting them. There are two ways to protect your centers: (1) Directly, with the presence of units on them or near them, and (2) Diplomatically. The first way is obvious. The second way is pretty simple. As, for instance, Italy, you can either (a) leave your army in VEN in S1901M, or tell Austria you are doing so, in order to keep him out; or, (b) explain to Austria that you want to work with him, and that if he tries to take VEN then you will spend the rest of the game fighting him. So he better be sure, if he does, that he has Russia and Turkey as friends, because if they aren't, then they will open him like a tin of sardines while you throw everything you can at him.

Those are two ways Italy can protect VEN in S1901M. Tactically and diplomatically. Both work.

Remember Hyman Roth, from Godfather 2? "Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners. One by one, our old friends are gone. Death, natural or not, prison, deported. Hyman Roth is the only one left, because he always made money for his partners." As long as you are making some money for your partners, they have some incentive not to stab you. It doesn't protect you perfectly or constantly, and sometimes you have to change gears. But figure out how to make money for your partners, or persuade them that you're making money for them, and they may not dot you for one center at the first chance.

Kinseth October 31st, 2017 04:21 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
This notion I believe is false, that if you never go for the solo, you aren't playing to win.

Not every game, does it unfold for an opportunity to solo. Sometimes you gotta weigh being apart of the draw, vs chances of elimination. Some might value going for the solo as a better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. But everyone values things differently. There is no one way to play diplomacy, and I think that a DIAS can be very rewarding. Sometimes it is the mexican standoff situation, and there is no opening, you can try to your hardest, but it would only be folly to attempt it.

I've played well over 40 Online/email games since 2003. This is I think now my 5th or 6th solo. When I have "Gone" for the solo, I have never failed. Perhaps I only go for it when I know I got it, or the odds are really stacked in my favor. When it isn't in the cards, I usually settle for the draw.

Dad_Scaper October 31st, 2017 04:26 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
It is one thing to play well and end up in a DIAS situation. That’s most games. It’s another to decline to play to win.

edit: I agree with @Kinseth that I should have been more clear on this point in my earlier posts.

wriggz October 31st, 2017 04:27 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinseth (Post 2167038)
This notion I believe is false, that if you never go for the solo, you aren't playing to win.

Not every game, does it unfold for an opportunity to solo. Sometimes you gotta weigh being apart of the draw, vs chances of elimination. Some might value going for the solo as a better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. But everyone values things differently. There is no one way to play diplomacy, and I think that a DIAS can be very rewarding. Sometimes it is the mexican standoff situation, and there is no opening, you can try to your hardest, but it would only be folly to attempt it.

I've played well over 40 Online/email games since 2003. This is I think now my 5th or 6th solo. When I have "Gone" for the solo, I have never failed. Perhaps I only go for it when I know I got it, or the odds are really stacked in my favor. When it isn't in the cards, I usually settle for the draw.

This really changes the Metagame however. If it ever occurred to me that Austria would go for a draw, I would given up the goat much earlier. I suppose, the key is to convince your partner that you want the draw, then go for the solo.

Kinseth October 31st, 2017 04:30 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Marrowick = Germany?
England = ?
Kinseth = Russia
Kevindola = Austria
Scorp=Turkey
Rainor=France
Wriggz=Italy

kevindola October 31st, 2017 04:50 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

As is, you chose to stick with Austria, but what had Austria ever given you? One turn in TRI, on a turn where they didn't even have the forces to defend TRI anyhow.
This is misleading. The move to Trieste was one of the defining moments of the game (for me) for a variety of reasons. Regardless, I negotiated with Italy the move for him to take Trieste after he moved to Venice. He did not take it by surprise, and I could have defended it with a bounce from Tyr. (and how THAT would have changed things as it would have meant a bounce at MUN retaining Germany their army at Berlin) I can't speak for Italy's communication with France, but by far this was more than they received in reality from France. This is in addition to a clear support of TYS the previous season. That's 2 clearly pro Italy written orders by Austria. How many of France's moves were executed pro Italy orders?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranior
That is what confused me so....while I agree that working with me would have been hard and put you at risk, you were defending a losing position--your only chance at growth was to ally with me and try to make an attack against Austria work. ........ Trusting me to get to that point would admittedly be hard for any diplomacy player, but I'd like to think there was some hope for growth by working with me that might have led you to yet further opportunities (including turning on me by working with England!)

I will have to disagree here. I think that an Italy/Austria/England alliance was workable and would have been more desirable than Italy/France/England from an Italy perspective. It would have provided better and quicker opportunity for growth with England applying sudden pressure to take away French centers and weaken their presence on the board.

I believe Italy should have demanded to retain Trieste once they took it claiming I didn't need fleet builds as he would be that force for our alliance to succeed. Had he taken that stance, I would have been forced to turn on Russia and very likely would have unless Russia offered substantial concessions at Turkey. That would have been the best leverage to have England join in.

Dad_Scaper October 31st, 2017 04:57 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2167041)
the key is to convince your partner that you want the draw, then go for the solo.

Yes, but this is oversimplifying a bit. A good player will work with you while it is mutually beneficial to do so, so there is no need to tell him or her that you are "playing for a draw," which may ring false. Make money for your partners, like I wrote above. Just do your part to make sure that, if a split comes, it is at a time when you are ready for it and are not hurt by it. And benefit from it if you can.

The devil is always in the details.

All Your Pie October 31st, 2017 08:18 PM

Re: Diplomacy
 
Oh geez, I didn't realize y'all had already gotten so far into it. Hello! I was England, which seemed like a reasonably simple country to get for my second game, so my initial thoughts were optimistic. When France spoke very frankly and honestly with me about wanting to work together, I had very little reason to suspect anything untoward--and that call was correct. To start with, things looked very promising for us. Two things turned it:

1. A lack of relationship management with countries outside my direct alliance. I have a tendency to not engage communications with countries when I perceive there to be no need, but of course silence in and of itself speaks volumes. I tried to pay lip service to Russia and Austria but their ability to read me wasn't surprising in the end.

2. A crucial mistake against a strongly-weakened Germany, where I underestimated them and allowed them to punch through into the North Sea. Instead of reinforcing to hold that position, I had my fleets off doing something bizarre in the Netherlands. Even with Russia and Austria's quick conquest of Turkey, France and I might have been able to hold the line had I not allowed that fleet to slip through my defenses and harass me for the next few years. But, I may as well try and defend my mistake, even though I know it was a blatant one.

DS mentioned earlier something about the role of small powers in larger conflicts, and this is a part of the game mentality that I don't really understand. If I'm in a position where I have 2 centers and everyone around me has 6 or 7, I perceive that as a hopeless position--the only way to win from that much of a disadvantage would be several mistakes from all of my direct neighbors, which I'd prefer not to insult them by expecting. Such a situation checks me out of the game because I have no desire to play kingmaker in a game that I've already lost. Even if I could affect some change in the result, all that would mean for me is losing to someone else.

I don't contend that my way of playing that situation is objectively correct, of course, but as the only experience I have it was what I drew on. I anticipated a "checked-out" Germany, and so did not properly consider the moves that they could make. Past that point, it was clear France and I were going to lose. Austria pretended to offer an AIE alliance, which I suspected was probably a trick, but I took the bait anyway because it was my only chance. Once I knew Austria wouldn't turn, I made my broadcast indicating that the game was effectively over, since that would have been the only alliance available to me.

So yeah, that's the ball game. I'm always exhausted by these games as they drag out near the end, but at the same time I find them very engaging the rest of the time. Kinseth noting that I have a certain predictability in my unit movements is interesting, and something that I'll have to keep in my mind if I play another game.


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