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Kinseth October 31st, 2017 02:57 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 02:58 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 03:03 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 03:05 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 03:10 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 03:21 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 03:26 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 03:27 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 03:30 PM

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

kevindola October 31st, 2017 03:50 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 03:57 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 07:18 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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