3 Way Draws are for Sissies

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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Strategus » 14 Aug 2016, 22:26

It's GPD. And that's exactly my point. We need to share it around a little. More solos. Less draws.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby ThomM » 15 Aug 2016, 05:44

Well, I think I know what game prompted Graham to post this message. I have to admit that I never thought about the idea of the two leading powers making a race to 18. I usually to think in terms of whether there is a stab that would put me in position to go for the solo.

In the game you have in mind, you may have had the impression that there was an agreement on a three-way from the start, but that is not the way it developed from within the alliance. While I (as England) developed a good relationship with Italy from the start, my alliance with Germany was almost forced onto me by the way France played. While he was a tenacious tactician, his diplomatic approach managed to push the rest of us together.

As England, I have tried the stab of Germany to go for the solo, and the result was to almost put Turkey in a position to get the solo. My read was that that would have happened if I had turned on him in this case. And I will say that your rather impressive and imposing point total was also a factor. I have seen discussions of this on other threads: how a high point total can make it hard to get allies. That was also a factor in that game.

I think it is also possible that you jumped the gun a bit on calling the draw to exclude you (as Turkey). I was still looking for the right tactical error, although I am a cautious player by nature. Perhaps wrongly, but when you invited the draw, I felt that if I did not agree, I would become the target. (Next time I set up a game, I will make the draw voting by secret ballot.)

Finally, I don't think that establishing solid alliances and going for a draw is incompatible with the game. As I understand the original intent of the game, it was to emulate the diplomatic situation in pre-WWI Europe. Any nation or empire that tried for total domination would have been toast. Successful diplomacy in the real world of that era required establishing the strongest enduring alliance.

Despite that last point, I do want to get a shot at a solo. So far, the only one I have pulled off was in an unrated game, which probably encourages more risk taking.

Hope you do not find my observations to be too disjointed.



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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Strategus » 15 Aug 2016, 09:53

Before I respond, I want to make it clear, that I will not criticise any individual for playing the way they do. That is up to them, and I fully respect the right of anyone to conduct themselves the way they see fit (as long as they don't break site rules of course). Nor do I want a debate about a specific game, as that should really be on the AAR forum (I'm happy to do that if you want). But I will say that there were a number of games that prompted this thread. I find that going through the motions is not the experience I want from this game.

ThomM wrote:As England, I have tried the stab of Germany to go for the solo, and the result was to almost put Turkey in a position to get the solo.

...when you invited the draw, I felt that if I did not agree, I would become the target.

This is precisely my point. No risk, no reward. In that particular game, I took the risk of offering the draw, and excluding myself to see if there was a chance of an alliance to break the 3 way. I challenged the three players to take a risk, and none would. I lost 18 ranking points for that. That's not a typo - Eighteen. Really not so bad. If someone had declared their intent, then I would have had a potential ally. Maybe I would have got a solo. Maybe they would have. But now we will never know. So it wasn't premature. It was timed perfectly IMO. I have heard it said in many different aspects of life, that you have to be prepared to lose, in order to win.

ThomM wrote:As I understand the original intent of the game, it was to emulate the diplomatic situation in pre-WWI Europe. Any nation or empire that tried for total domination would have been toast. Successful diplomacy in the real world of that era required establishing the strongest enduring alliance.

That's interesting. Really (and I am not being sarcastic). But this is a game, and I play to win. That's the challenge. That's the enjoyment. I have found that the most enjoyable games (for me) have been the ones where there was a solo. Even if it was someone else.

As a result of my experiences to date on this site, I decided to have a look at the solos only forum, to try it out. Unfortunately, it seems to have fallen into disrepair, so I decided to try to revive it. If you are interested in playing the game with this mind set, then let's go for it. I'm hoping if we can get enough interest, then we can get a few games going.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby nickjc » 15 Aug 2016, 12:00

The problem with agreeing solos only is that when you are making an alliance you are also saying "and by the way in a few moves I will go back on what I have just agreed and stab you". Its hard to believe someone when it is compulsory to double cross. Without alliances the game does not work. There needs to be uncertainty.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Strategus » 15 Aug 2016, 12:19

I agree there needs to be uncertainty. That was what prompted me to start this thread. Alliances become different, but not impossible. Far from it. You can agree to form an alliance to perform a certain task. E.G. England and France can form an alliance to destroy Germany, and agree that the alliance will end at that point. Also, if both players agree to an alliance, and they both know the other is likely to stab, it becomes a game of brinksmanship and timing. These are the aspects that make things unpredictable, and are why I love the game. Besides, nothing is compulsory. If your ally is smart enough, he will not give you the opportunity, or make it not worth while.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 15 Aug 2016, 13:25

nickjc wrote:The problem with agreeing solos only is that when you are making an alliance you are also saying "and by the way in a few moves I will go back on what I have just agreed and stab you". Its hard to believe someone when it is compulsory to double cross. Without alliances the game does not work. There needs to be uncertainty.

Often, the best soloists also make the best allies--right up until they stab you. However, at least in my experience, the best players don't form an alliance just to stab you three moves later. If they have a solid alliance, they ride that as far as it will go, and only stab if/when it will net them a solo (or a good chance at one).

The play you're describing, I have found to be more prevalent among mediocre players, that see the game in very simple terms, and fail to grasp the complexities involved in alliances and in solo bids. Not always, certainly, just broadly speaking.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Noefochesgiving » 15 Aug 2016, 17:10

GPD wrote:I have no problem with draws per se. I just have an issue with players agreeing to a draw when there is clearly an opportunity for any number of players to try for a solo. For exmple, if two powers were on 13 centres, and the third on 8, it would be reasonable to expect the two on 13 to agree to a race to 18.


I agree, if I have a 50/50 chance to solo before the other 13 then I would go for it. If the position was such there was only a low chance I could solo then I think I would try for stalemate lines. Sometimes you are just not positioned to eat up centres faster than the other guy, (and in the mid game you should try to plan to avoid that if you can.)

schocker2 wrote:I noticed that GDP has the most points of anybody posting in this thread. He must get more than his share of solos. Ha


I have only played 2 games here that we not replacements for mostly poor positions, so I hope to close on Gross Domestic Product. :)
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby ThomM » 16 Aug 2016, 05:44

GPD wrote:Before I respond, I want to make it clear, that I will not criticise any individual for playing the way they do. That is up to them, and I fully respect the right of anyone to conduct themselves the way they see fit (as long as they don't break site rules of course).


I don't want to sound overly sensitive, and I find you to be an interesting and enjoyable opponent, but you ought to acknowledge that the term "sissy" carries a certain pejorative implication.

ThomM wrote:As England, I have tried the stab of Germany to go for the solo, and the result was to almost put Turkey in a position to get the solo.

...when you invited the draw, I felt that if I did not agree, I would become the target.

This is precisely my point. No risk, no reward. In that particular game, I took the risk of offering the draw, and excluding myself to see if there was a chance of an alliance to break the 3 way. I challenged the three players to take a risk, and none would. [/quote}. I guess I did not pick up on the message of that draw. I can be a bit dense with respect to some of the subtleties of some messages.

ThomM wrote:As I understand the original intent of the game, it was to emulate the diplomatic situation in pre-WWI Europe. Any nation or empire that tried for total domination would have been toast. Successful diplomacy in the real world of that era required establishing the strongest enduring alliance.

That's interesting. Really (and I am not being sarcastic). [/quote]

I first was introduced to the game in the early 70's. We only played a few games and never finished one. Before the internet, it was difficult to get through one. Among the people I played were some who were into the Avalon Hill games that attempted to replicate the tactical situation in several important battles, such as Stalingrad or various U.S. Civil War battles. I always thought of Diplomacy in the same light: what would have happened in the early 20th century if the alliances of the European powers had broken down differently.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Strategus » 16 Aug 2016, 10:21

ThomM wrote: ...but you ought to acknowledge that the term "sissy" carries a certain pejorative implication

No pejorative implication intended. I'm not too good with PC. Supposed to be lighthearted and not to be taken seriously. If anyone is offended, please accept my apology.
ThomM wrote:some who were into the Avalon Hill games that attempted to replicate the tactical situation in several important battles, such as Stalingrad or various U.S. Civil War battles. I always thought of Diplomacy in the same light: what would have happened in the early 20th century if the alliances of the European powers had broken down differently.

I am very familiar with some of those games and fond of some, but I never made that connection with Diplomacy, even though it is the same publisher. Dip seems much more of an abstraction, rather than a simulation, IMO. More like Chess for seven players.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby WHSeward » 16 Aug 2016, 18:20

GPD wrote:More like Chess for seven players.

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