DixieCon 32 is underway!

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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Jack007 » 29 May 2018, 10:49

NoPunIn10Did wrote:
Jack007 wrote:
NoPunIn10Did wrote:That’s as may be, but it’s not wrong. Dixie’s scoring system is one of the few tournament systems left that uses draw size as a component, but that’s still a type of variant.


Please explain.


First and foremost, the original Diplomacy rules give no explanation or numerical value to the value of a draw as compared to a solo. Nor does it clarify whether one type of draw is better than another.

So, as a result, any scoring system applied to a game of Diplomacy has to make judgment calls about the relative values of those results. Those judgment calls will shape trends in the way the game is played.
...



NoPun, I beg to disagree on the statement, that the Diplomacy rules don't state how a draw is counted. They state clearly, that all players share EQUALLY in a draw.

This means explicitly that center count is NOT a criterion for a players outcome. And that each player in a draw share equally, thus making a 2-way draw superior to a 4-way draw by double, for each player in the draw.

Center-count and turn-constraint SIGNIFICANTLY alter the game, as they change the strategies to win the game completely. I've seen that at WDC. So this is not Calhamer's Diplomacy anymore, but just another game which may use some of the rules of Diplomacy, but otherwise substantially different. In the best case you can say it's a variant. Like Gobang is another game than Go, despite it has in parts the same rules, as for to put down stones alternatively without moving them, or maybe using the same board.

I wasn't aware that DixieCon involves center count in such an extent as it does, which is clearly more than simply a tie breaker (which I could maybe accept, though I don't recognize the need for the use any tie breaker mechanism). But at least there's no turn/time constraint at DixieCon, which makes it ways better than other "Diplomacy" tournaments. Anyway, I would now correct my statement DixieCon being the REAL world diplomacy championship. It isn't neither, sadly.

The problem with WDC is, that they hijacked the name of the Diplomacy game for their tournament of something else. You wouldn't accept the term "World Chess Championship" for a tournament of Blitz chess, would you? Or a major Tennis tournament which constraints the play time to 60 minutes, then counts the aces played by each player?

It's clear, once somebody has succeeded at WDC with a good ranking, he will from them on praise the format and think he is one of the world's best Diplomacy players, but in reality he is just a participant of an event of mutual backslappers. And the others, not so successful players, stiffen in reference and don't dare to say anything or even to criticize the format.

In fact, these WDC promoters are not the world's best Diplomacy players, though there might be one or another Diplomacy champions among them, but not because they won WDC. Interesting is that at WDC afaik nobody has ever won the tournament twice. That's a strong sign imho that this "championship" is somewhat arbitrary and does not reflect the determination of the best Diplomacy players. A real champion would remain good for a certain time, and would likely win the tournament several times, as it's the case with gsmx or Conk, obviously.

However, you can still have fun at such events like WDC on a social base, nothing wrong with that. But they should change the name of the event, e.g. to WCCDC (World Center Count Diplomacy Championship). But I guess their vanity won't allow that. Making it almost impossible to establish a REAL world Diplomacy championship one day, sadly. :(

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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 29 May 2018, 12:35

Jack,

Let’s save the discussion of the relative merits of scoring systems for a different thread.

I will say you’re needlessly maligning WDC. To my understanding, it doesn’t have its own scoring system. It’s a floating tournament, meaning that it changes its location and timing from year to year, replacing an existing annual tournament. Dixiecon has been the host in years past, and when it was, they used Dixiecon’s scoring system.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Jack007 » 29 May 2018, 14:09

NoPunIn10Did wrote:Jack,

Let’s save the discussion of the relative merits of scoring systems for a different thread.

I will say you’re needlessly maligning WDC. To my understanding, it doesn’t have its own scoring system. It’s a floating tournament, meaning that it changes its location and timing from year to year, replacing an existing annual tournament. Dixiecon has been the host in years past, and when it was, they used Dixiecon’s scoring system.


Okay NoPun let me answer this, then I'll be quiet and let you post your DixieCon AARs.

It's not primarily a discussion about different scoring systems what I'm interested in. It's the way how Diplomacy is played in order to ensure it's incredible rich complexity, for which it is famed and has become a classic.

I'm also not maligning WDC in any way as a social event. I really had much fun in Oxford last year, and wouldn't want to miss the experience. But I criticize their claim to be the Diplomacy World Championship, implied by the name WDC and also by some of their protagonists, while playing another, much less multifaceted game.

And yes, I agree with you that this discussion merits an own thread, and I was in fact considering that, but then decided to post this here anyway, taking the risk to make me unpopular once more, because I know DQ and other authoritative people, who might be able to change something, would read here. Sorry for that, but maybe the end will justify the means.

And now I'm going to keep quiet and to enjoy your reports about this year's DixieCon. Go on!

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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 29 May 2018, 14:14

Jack, there's already a scoring system thread in the Diplomacy Lore subforum. If you want to go post there, I'll rip through some of your dumbest arguments (there are a lot to choose from). For now, though, let me just tell you that of the many things you're wrong about, the most obvious is this: there are (at least?) 3 people who have won WDC more than once.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Pootleflump » 29 May 2018, 14:32

Plus you missed the all-important invite to Glasgow. Where I can hire the fabulous Centre for Contemporary Arts, next to the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal.Conservatoire, and feed you all deep fried haggis balls (aka Glasgow's famous Haggis Pakora) and beetroot dip. Even Fatmo would eat CCA Haggis Balls.

I can even get awesome music for between rounds.

And best curry house in the world just round the corner for afterwards.

Back me up on this Mike Parrett (even though you are fake-Glaswegian)

The scoring system doesn't matter when you have Haggis Balls.

Besides Glaesga fowk have a unique way of dealing wi ony crabbit wheengers.

We want DIxie-photos. C'mon DQ. What's the hold.up. ;)
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 29 May 2018, 22:41

Moving on from what clearly has stirred up some Very Big Opinions...

Dixiecon is played in three rounds, but your final score is your best two-games-out-of-three. One nice aspect of this system is that those of us who can't commit to all three days can still compete. This was, and has been, the case for me. I played two games: one Friday and one Saturday.

Game 1, Friday: Let the Fates Decide

I was Austria at a table with several regulars, including Danny Grinnell (E), Jeff Ladd (F), Edwin Turnage (G), Hudson Defoe (R), and Jason Mastbaum (I). Mastbaum and I ended up working together quite well. Our tactics were sound, but getting into either the East Med or Aegean quickly was a sort of guessing game. Scott Crook (T), aided by Hudson in Russia, managed to guess and bounce our southern moves 3-4 times in a row, slowing our progress down tremendously.

Meanwhile, in the western triangle, Starmonkey's son Danny became a quickly-demolished England, and France was moving to claim the west Med. Russia collapsed down to just a couple centers but was still making smart tactical decisions, many of which helped Turkey pull itself back from oblivion.

Eventually, the writing was on the wall, and I stabbed Italy. It wasn't a particularly good stab, but it kept me alive for longer than I would have been otherwise. Meanwhile, Turkey had focused almost entirely on building fleets, which wasn't good for his chances of retaking much of the Balkans, but did mean that he was able to take up Italy's position in stalemating French/German advances.

Once Italy was off the map, the game had a couple possible directions. I was firmly in place in the continental portion of the stalemate line, and Turkey was in the naval part. Had he wanted to, Turkey might have been able to make a well-placed stab and then filled in the gap, but it's also quite likely that Germany would have become a real solo threat at that stage. Russia wasn't going to be able to stick around too long in either case.

One of the tricks about Dixiecon is that even though the first two rounds can hypothetically go on indefinitely, most human beings really can't keep playing for that long. This is especially true for the first round, which starts at 6:00 PM. Draw proposals that more serious players would give side-eye to are more likely to come about.

It was a little past midnight when Hudson proposed a highly irregular draw proposal.

Because he knew that the leaders (Germany & France) wouldn't accept the point loss represented by a four-way draw, he proposed a three-way with a twist. Included would be Germany, France, and the winner of a coin flip between myself and Turkey. We would let fate decide. The reasoning was that a 50% shot at a three-way draw was a really good deal, so to speak, versus a four-way (which points-wise is pretty crummy).

Scott & I were both ready to go to our respective homes (he was a local too). I could tell that Scott didn't love the draw idea, but he and I agreed to it. He was planning to play all three rounds, so it was possible he could just take this one on the nose.

Chris Martin (DQ) was the neutral party who performed the equivalent of a coin flip: one red piece in one hand, a yellow piece in another hand, and a random person across the room who yelled "right" or "left". I was so glad when DQ opened his palm, and there sat an Austrian army.

We then proceeded to officially vote on the AGF three-way draw, and it passed. Afterward, DQ commented that Scott should never have accepted that draw, that based on his position he could have fought for inclusion in a four-way. That's as may be, but it's how this game ended: a draw whose participants were decided, in part, by random chance.

With that draw vote, I achieved a score higher than my previous (three) Dixiecon games combined. I had gone into the tournament with the goal of improving on my last years' performance, and I had already achieved that goal.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 29 May 2018, 23:18

Having played a good deal of both Diplomacy and poker with Hudson, knowing that that was his idea and that you guys got that draw to pass put a smile on my face and had me shaking my head at the same time.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Fatmo » 30 May 2018, 00:01

Pootleflump wrote:Plus you missed the all-important invite to Glasgow. Where I can hire the fabulous Centre for Contemporary Arts, next to the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal.Conservatoire, and feed you all deep fried haggis balls (aka Glasgow's famous Haggis Pakora) and beetroot dip. Even Fatmo would eat CCA Haggis Balls.


Oh no...artsy haggis balls?! :o
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Fatmo » 30 May 2018, 00:02

That coin flip idea was pretty funny.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Nanook » 30 May 2018, 01:17

I was sitting at the next table playing Nations* with Chris when that happened. It was very challenging not to say anything, I could not believe that's how the game ended.



*Do not recommend this game.
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