Forum game Diplomacy league

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Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby sjg11 » 12 Jan 2011, 23:00

Just an idea I had that I thought I might throw out there. My idea is to have a league of forum games but with the games being set through the eras
For example:
The Foundation of the First Cities
The Ancient World
The Fall of Rome
The Early Middle Ages
The Mid Middle Ages
the Late Middle Ages
The Renaissance
The Colonial Era
Napoleon
Just Before the First World War
Just Before the Second World War
The Modern Era

I think they'd be enough games to have a good league. The idea will need to be developed further and all suggestions will be welcome. Also I might need someone to help with creating and updating the maps since I have the artistic capabilities of a squashed hedgehog. For now just an idea.
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby cs » 13 Jan 2011, 00:47

I think it's potentially a good idea, but I know the last Forum game tournament (I was a sub) ended up being a melt-down due to players bailing. You can control for that with a normal Dip league by looking at stats to see how often people NMR or surrender, but it's a lot harder for Forum games. It's bad enough over the course of one game. Extend that over multiple games, and it's potentially a nightmare.

I'll therefore throw out the suggestion I made when we cancelled the forum game tourney, which is to enlist teams rather than individuals. The team doesn't have to be large--three players is probably enough--but that insures someone is already in place to pick up the position if someone has to quit. Because it's a team, not an individual, it also makes replacements much smoother, as you presumably maintain continuity in alliances and deals.

It might also be worthwhile to consider a team of GMs, or at least a pair, as GM continuity can be an issue at times as well.
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby Pedros » 13 Jan 2011, 20:23

I (tried to) run the last Tournament, and ended up pretty jaundiced about the idea. Not that it's a bad idea (there are some pretty keen Forum players around, and a number who play more in the Forum than main site - I'm becoming one of them). And some kind of competition between them would definitely be good.

BUT! What cs says absolutely right. Most Forum games are bedevilled with problems whether of disappearing players or GMs - or both! I haven't counted the proportion of games which come to a proper end compared to those that run into the sand, but the failures would, I think, be pretty high. The first tournament managed only a few years of Heptarchy before it disintegratged; and Heptarchy has a pretty good record for player consistency!

Then there's a different issue which you'd have to consider, which affects the reliability question as well. Forum games take longer (I suspect quite a lot longer) than main site ones. The process of communicating is slower (PMs v in-game messages), which means the average deadline is longer. But the other big factor is that adjudication takes longer - on main-site it's almost instantaneous these days; here it has to wait for the GM to have time (and if there's an error it may hold the game up further!)

Teams would certainly help with this, particularly if they were allowed to change their membership from time to time (because even a team of three or four would find itself with players who moved on, lost interest, ....) Maybe it would be some kind of rolling championship with standings updated after each game. There's a lot of work to be put in to get this right, but if we can do it it could be great!

(One final thing - the quality of Forum Games themselves, as opposed to be players, is very variable. Games in the championship should be selected carefully (bad or unbalanced games arfe a big factor in player drop-out). Which doesn't mean that a new game which gets rave rev iews from its players can't be added!)
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby sjg11 » 13 Jan 2011, 21:05

Pedros wrote:I (tried to) run the last Tournament, and ended up pretty jaundiced about the idea. Not that it's a bad idea (there are some pretty keen Forum players around, and a number who play more in the Forum than main site - I'm becoming one of them). And some kind of competition between them would definitely be good.

BUT! What cs says absolutely right. Most Forum games are bedevilled with problems whether of disappearing players or GMs - or both! I haven't counted the proportion of games which come to a proper end compared to those that run into the sand, but the failures would, I think, be pretty high. The first tournament managed only a few years of Heptarchy before it disintegratged; and Heptarchy has a pretty good record for player consistency!

Then there's a different issue which you'd have to consider, which affects the reliability question as well. Forum games take longer (I suspect quite a lot longer) than main site ones. The process of communicating is slower (PMs v in-game messages), which means the average deadline is longer. But the other big factor is that adjudication takes longer - on main-site it's almost instantaneous these days; here it has to wait for the GM to have time (and if there's an error it may hold the game up further!)

Teams would certainly help with this, particularly if they were allowed to change their membership from time to time (because even a team of three or four would find itself with players who moved on, lost interest, ....) Maybe it would be some kind of rolling championship with standings updated after each game. There's a lot of work to be put in to get this right, but if we can do it it could be great!

(One final thing - the quality of Forum Games themselves, as opposed to be players, is very variable. Games in the championship should be selected carefully (bad or unbalanced games arfe a big factor in player drop-out). Which doesn't mean that a new game which gets rave rev iews from its players can't be added!)


Thanks for the suggestions. I agree with the idea of a team of players and I agree with cs for suggestin a 2 GMs. I'd be willing to be one of the GMs but I'm not experienced and would have problems with updating the maps. I would like to have a few new games to see how players react to something different but I also agree that some more established ones would be important as well. When we have a fair amount of interest we'll move on to sign-ups.
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby mat.gopack » 13 Jan 2011, 23:46

this sounds like a good idea, but you'd need the teams... And some good maps...
but it sounds like it would be a lot of fun :D
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby sjg11 » 13 Jan 2011, 23:49

mat.gopack wrote:this sounds like a good idea, but you'd need the teams... And some good maps...
but it sounds like it would be a lot of fun :D

Yeah like I said before it's just an idea and I want some interest before I move things further

(And a map maker).
One of the people in charge of the Mafia forum.
Telleo wrote:The mafia forum, to them,
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He writes a good game,
and runs it the same,
Oh what a perfect GM!

Come on Arsenal!
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby mat.gopack » 13 Jan 2011, 23:52

well, you could use my only decent map if you wanted (continental) :D
but GL
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league

Postby sjg11 » 14 Jan 2011, 21:35

mat.gopack wrote:well, you could use my only decent map if you wanted (continental) :D
but GL

Thanks. I'll consider it.
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He writes a good game,
and runs it the same,
Oh what a perfect GM!

Come on Arsenal!
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Forum game Diplomacy league - a suggestion

Postby Pedros » 17 Jan 2011, 16:21

I've been thinking around how this might work. We seem agreed that edit -this should read 'cs'. Sorry cs! is right about teams, and teams of three sounds sensible. This would mean that we could have possibly three games running at once, which would be good.

How many teams would we get? That would affect what games we could play. We would need a minimum of seven, since most games have that number. But with more,we could include games using as many teams as we have (eg 10 for War in the Americas or Youngstown), and it would give flexibility to include games with fewer (eg Baltic or Ancient Mediterranean - 4). That would increase the variety and therefore the interest level. The big advantage of having extra teams would be that it would be easier to handle the disappearance of a complete team!

The team would need a captain/coach/call it what you will!, but team membership can change from time to time. I'm not sure whether that should be completely unregulated, with changes at any time at the captain's discretion. Even the captain could move out (though he'd have to arrange a replacement from the other two members at the time!)

Scoring I'm tackling this before games, because it could be the most difficult issue of all. We would run into exactly the same issues as are repeatedly raised in the main site ranking debates. But since it would be difficult to make sure that every team had played the same number of games at any one time, and also games would on average take so long, the idea of a traditional league, where everybody plays each other the same number of times and the winner is announced at the end, seems the wrong way to go (as Ceebs suggested, the league could take years and interest would certainly flag! We need a system where the first round of games is producing a meaningful league table). I prefer a kind of rolling championship table - each time a game finishes the score is adjusted, and the team score takes account of points earned and also the number of games completed.

This also would allow for a situation where a team dropped out of the league - the games they've played would still count, but we could carry on one team short in new games.

Games As I wrote above, games involving different numbers of players could be included, up to the number of teams currently involved. sjg11's suggestion of games from different times in history is interesting, but I think less important than some other varieties:-
  1. games which involve several different kinds of rule-changes
  2. games with 'real world' maps, games from other worlds, and totally abstract ones
  3. games (like Seismic or Deluge) where the map changes as the game goes on
  4. some games where diplomacy is highly important and games where tactical skill counts for more.
There are probably sevefral other variations!

But more important than this is that the games should be tested, balanced, and of good quality. Many of the new games here are admitted by their designers to be work-in-progress, or are found after one run-through to need modification - those problems need to be ironed-out before the games are considered. I've come across a couple of games recently where the GM, for what almost certainly semed good reasons at the time, chose to make modifications to the map or rules before the game started, with unforeseen and unfortunate consequences for the game. That couldn't be allowed to happen in the tournament - in the cases I have in mind it has unbalanced the game and made one outcome much more likely.

And finally, the games must be popular with players who have played the game previously. I would suggest that team members should be able to suggest games which would be good ones to play and which have been proved popular with themselves or other players (through comments in the AARs here, or from other evidence). Suggestions from the designer should be carefully evaluated, and those based on 'I like the look of the map' get ignored! (The last tournament usedd games voted on by a few people who admitted they had looked no further at some games than the map!)

Finally, tournament control. This tournament could become very big amongst the Forum Games players, and it needs proper direction. For the Doubles Tournament Rick established a small group - the Tournament Board, composed of respected players who were not taking part - to whom issues could be referred when necessary. In Doubles this seemed to be mostly issues about surrenders and NMRs, which might be less of an issue here, but it would be a very good idea for resolving questions especially about whether games are suitable or not; I suspect however that most of the people with the experience to be members might want to be playing! But certainly the Director or Directors need to be experienced players of a range of games (this argument feels as though it's leading to a need for more than one Director - with the same problem of who's going to want to sit this tournament out!?).

Thoughts?
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Re: Forum game Diplomacy league - a suggestion

Postby Waterice man » 17 Jan 2011, 18:33

Pedros wrote:Finally, tournament control. This tournament could become very big amongst the Forum Games players, and it needs proper direction. For the Doubles Tournament Rick established a small group - the Tournament Board, composed of respected players who were not taking part - to whom issues could be referred when necessary. In Doubles this seemed to be mostly issues about surrenders and NMRs, which might be less of an issue here, but it would be a very good idea for resolving questions especially about whether games are suitable or not; I suspect however that most of the people with the experience to be members might want to be playing! But certainly the Director or Directors need to be experienced players of a range of games (this argument feels as though it's leading to a need for more than one Director - with the same problem of who's going to want to sit this tournament out!?).

Thoughts?


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