7-way draw?

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7-way draw?

Postby raphtown » 11 May 2011, 09:57

So I was perusing some Classicist games and I happened upon a pretty interesting one. Everyone was still in it, with the smallest power having still 3 centers and the largest being at 8. No-one was in grave danger of being eliminated and only one home center had been taken.

The only issue was that the game year was 1911 and that the match itself had ended in a 7-way draw. A western triple aligned versus an eastern quadrangle. I was quite surprised when I saw this and after reading over the shoutbox it was pretty clear that some people were less than satisfied with the outcome.

Anyhow, my question is: what, if anything, went wrong with this game? What can we learn from this scenario that might help us improve in-game experience in both Classicist and regular games?

There were some NMRs, so it is possible that the game was just stopped because it was no longer considered an actual 'game'. However, those only started after the game had been stalemated for several years, and may mask the underlying problem.

One thought is that each player appears reasonably competent and rational and may have just acted in an optimal way. The western nations saw their best bet as being the Triple, and then the East banded together for their common good so to minimize their losses. All quite rational, yet it led to a tedious stalemate by 1903. Perhaps it was just that all the players involved shared a common conservative playstyle that simply does not work when everyone playing has the same mentality? Or perhaps the lack of a weak link for one nation to prey on and use to their advantage revealed an underlying flaw in the game?

I am interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on this matter, so please weigh in if you have some sort of insight to provide. One last idea that comes to mind is that maybe the very label of the game "Classicists" made the players inherently more cautious which prompted plays such as the Western Triple and the Eastern Quandrangle.
The Classicists are a group dedicated to reducing player NMRs.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby Peanut » 11 May 2011, 10:39

I haven't looked at the game in detail, but I would say that the logical response to an obvious Western Triple early in the game is for the remaining players to band togther to fight it (in fact this is the logical response to any strong early 3-way alliance). The problem with this is that at this stage of the game it's unlikely that anyone will have crossed the classic stalemate line from Stp to Tun, so it's very easy for this line to form. Once you have a stalemate and clear cut alliances it's then very difficult to break the status-quo. Anyone who moves out of line or tries to set up a different alliance structure risks being set upon by their old allies and being double-crossed by their supposed 'new' ones.
Luckily a 7-way draw like this is fairly rare, but I would argue that it's a logical outcome with decent players and an early Western Triple.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby nedtugent » 11 May 2011, 15:22

That is an interesting case! If I'd've been in the game, I'm not sure I wouldn't have switched sides (assuming I was one of the stronger powers) to try to reduce the number of winners.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby valent » 11 May 2011, 16:08

That sounds like a great game! The outcome may not satisfying from a soloist perspective, but quite satisfying from my perspective.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby Spekulatius » 11 May 2011, 16:09

I really don't see anything wrong with this. It was not in anyone's best interest to change allegiances. It is obvious that the stalemate had gone on long enough to warrant an end to the game. I don't think that, in general draws with more than 4 people are a good thing, but there are always extenuating circumstances.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby cairoblue » 11 May 2011, 16:18

I think it depends on your outlook.

England was the best placed of the Western powers (and all of the powers) to stab his alliance partners. I was kinda hoping he would. But if he had, I'd have probably been a sitting duck for a stab from my Eastern partners.

The Western alliance was clear from the start, whereas the Eastern one was a response.

Russia took a principled stand of not accepting a draw, but when a NMR resulted in a breakthrough, then he reluctantly accepted. This isn't to criticse the NMR -it was getting pretty boring!

Not the start to Classicst gaming that I was expecting - hopefully future games will be more lively
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby PJL » 11 May 2011, 19:24

I was England in that game, and I can tell you the exact moment when I decided I couldn't stab the alliance. I was going to stab both France & Germany in the autumn of 1905 (for Brest, Belgium & Denmark), but for a move to MAO-W Med which France wanted me to do in Spring 1905, which I accepted, thinking it would never work. However when it actually worked, I knew I that I couldn't stab France, and that she was behind my line.

OTOH, I could have stabbed Germany alone, but thought that if I did that I would be exposed to a French attack. I felt that if I had to stab, I needed to weaken both my partners rather than just one. Also Germany had been more trusting of me than France, and I didn't feel like attacking my trustful ally, while leaving the more wary one unscathed.

After 1905, I felt my time to stab had passed, and there was no way I was going to be persuaded to dump my allies. I also felt that the initiative had passed over to the eastern 4, and was hoping somebody there would stab.
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Re: 7-way draw?

Postby bcvang » 01 Jun 2011, 05:26

So many questions in this game!

Spring 1903 - why does France retreat from WMed to Spain? This lost initiative for the western triple.

Fall 1906 - why does Germany take Norway from Britain? I see they made up in 1907 when England took Denmark for compensation.

Spring 1908 - why does Turkey attack Tunis instead of supporting it? Costly miswritten order?

Uncool that a classicist game ended with NMR's from two countries. Though I suppose they may have been annoyed if the others were rejecting the draw.
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