3 Way Draws are for Sissies

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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Jack007 » 24 Aug 2016, 21:41

I Love Italy wrote:
WHSeward wrote:
ThomM wrote:In any event, this thread has sold me on the idea of the secret ballot draw option.

Secret ballots is definitely the way to play in any game, but especially so in a noDIAS game. They create the most competitive environment.


I'd never use Secret Ballot in DIAS, but agreed on noDIAS. Makes the endgame much more interesting.

Secret Ballot is not completely secret. The proposer of the draw is revealed. This should not be so, and could easily be corrected (by our beloved Dipsy :) ).

But please consider that Secret Ballot was not part of the original Diplomacy game, neither has it an equivalence in real world politics. For my part, I prefer Open Ballot, but no big deal if it's secret though.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby WHSeward » 24 Aug 2016, 23:10

Jack007 wrote:But please consider that Secret Ballot was not part of the original Diplomacy game...
Jack, that is misleading. No version of the rules has ever specified the mechanics of voting upon a draw, open or secret. The original rules did not provide for voting for draws at all. The 2nd edition eliminated draws altogether! It was the 3rd edition that introduced the idea of draws that have been in every version of the rules since; the players can agree to end the game in a draw, but the method of reaching such agreement is not broached. Players have always just had to figure out how to do it on their own.

Experience has resulted in secret ballots becoming the overwhelming favorite among competitive face-to-face players today. They are particularly important in noDIAS games - once you alter the DIAS rule, you need secret ballots to limit anti-competitive draw proposals.

nanooktheeskimo wrote:Secret ballot, in my experience, leads to more solos rather than fewer--so if you play DIAS in the hopes of more solos, it seems to me that secret ballot would help that cause, rather than hurt it. I don't have numbers on that though, so it could very well just be my experience combining with what seems intuitive (that if you can veto a draw anonymously, it would help solos rather than hurt them).

So it was easy enough to collect some data, so I did. Unfortunately, my data set isn't large enough to draw any conclusions, but it points in the direction I'd expect. Looking only at classic map & rules, ambassador-only games, the percentage of solos is as follow:

open, noDIAS: 85/257= 33% solo rate
secret, noDIAS: 31/86= 36%

not enough games to statistically differentiate between the two (that is, the difference might just be due to chance) but it appears open ballots may cause about 10% of solos to be draws instead.

open, DIAS: 96/282= 34%
secret, DIAS: 45/132= 34%

again not enough games to say anything confidently, but it appears there is little-to-no effect on ballot type in a DIAS game on solos.

@GPD, my apologies, we have really hijacked your thread, and I am at least partially responsible. (I hope this thread served your purpose anyway.) Good luck getting your game together.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Jack007 » 25 Aug 2016, 00:34

WHSeward wrote:
Jack007 wrote:But please consider that Secret Ballot was not part of the original Diplomacy game...
...

Experience has resulted in secret ballots becoming the overwhelming favorite among competitive face-to-face players today. They are particularly important in noDIAS games - once you alter the DIAS rule, you need secret ballots to limit anti-competitive draw proposals.

That's interesting, WHSeward, I didn't know that.
Btw: what are anti-competitive draw proposals?
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby WHSeward » 25 Aug 2016, 01:12

I can't give a hard and fast definition of an anti-competitive draw proposal, but I can suggest some minimum conditions of this class of draws and give some examples.

Roughly, any draw offered in order stop a game when there is "still play left in the game" (for example, outside of a tactical stalemate) has the potential to be anti-competitive. Some examples of what to my mind are egregious anti-competitive draw proposals:

1) The losing powers offer a conceded draw to the members of a leading 2-power alliance in an effort to expose a potential soloist
2) The weaker power in the leading alliance (especially a 2-power alliance) offers a draw to coerce the larger power(s) to accept it
3) The leading alliance offers a draw excluding everyone else to identify those players that won't surrender and then focus on eliminating just those powers that voted "no".

In these kinds of cases, the draw proposal is being used strategically to try to gain information or break up alliances, but it has the effect of reducing competition by exposing soloists or punishing players that don't want to give up.

However, if the game is being played with secret ballots, strategic draw proposals such as these examples are less useful since you don't know how people voted, giving those that have reason to keep playing some cover.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Carebear » 25 Aug 2016, 01:22

Whseward, well put.

Of course, in an open ballot game, I would not be above trying any of the aforementioned tactics. :shock:
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby WHSeward » 25 Aug 2016, 01:33

Carebear wrote:Of course, in an open ballot game, I would not be above trying any of the aforementioned tactics. :shock:
Me too. It's not that I find any of those unsportsmanlike. (Well, maybe #3 is unsportsmanlike...). Use every tool at your disposal, right? But we are better off setting up games that maximize competition. DIAS is a good rule, but if you don't want to play with it, secret ballots pretty much solve the problems introduced by noDIAS, and helps keep games from being boring or too drawish.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby I Love Italy » 25 Aug 2016, 02:20

WHSeward wrote:
Carebear wrote:Of course, in an open ballot game, I would not be above trying any of the aforementioned tactics. :shock:
Me too. It's not that I find any of those unsportsmanlike. (Well, maybe #3 is unsportsmanlike...). Use every tool at your disposal, right? But we are better off setting up games that maximize competition. DIAS is a good rule, but if you don't want to play with it, secret ballots pretty much solve the problems introduced by noDIAS, and helps keep games from being boring or too drawish.


I would completely agree with this sentiment.
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Re: 3 Way Draws are for Sissies

Postby Strategus » 25 Aug 2016, 12:53

WHSeward wrote:@GPD, my apologies, we have really hijacked your thread, and I am at least partially responsible. (I hope this thread served your purpose anyway.) Good luck getting your game together.

No problem. I don't think, given the response so far, that the game will proceed, but you never know. I am glad that at least the thread has been useful for something, and I have found it interesting and informative.
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