Illegal Move Order question

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Illegal Move Order question

Postby ruffdove » 17 Jan 2020, 23:56

If a unit is supported to hold (say by one other unit), and the unit attempts an illegal move (e.g., English Channel ==> Paris) does it forfeit the support and defend with a strength of 1 (as a unit attempting and failing at a legal move would), or does it default to a hold order and defend with a strength of 2?

I ask because according to the rules: "A unit that is given an illegal order (or no order) must stand in place. (The unit holds)."

To me, this sounds like the unit should be treated as if under a hold order and not a failed move order.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby TTBen » 18 Jan 2020, 00:12

Interesting question I never considered, but according to the order solver the illegal order space can be supported to hold. It's the best thing to use to check when you aren't sure about an order or adjacency... Used it a couple times with the new War of Americas map.

https://www.playdiplomacy.com/judge/new_manual.php
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby UM85 » 18 Jan 2020, 00:22

Superb question! I created a hypothetical situation in Order Solver to mimic this situation. Here is the result:

FRANCE
Paris MOVE Armenia -> Illegal order replaced with Hold order
Burgundy SUPPORT Paris to HOLD -> resolved

GERMANY
Picardy MOVE Paris -> Bounced
Brest SUPPORT Picardy to Paris -> Supported unit has failed


The illegal order converts to a Hold and the Support is maintained.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby Pope Pius IX » 18 Jan 2020, 00:54

Following this along, if a unit is given a VALID move order, and a second unit is ordered to support the first unit in holding, and the first unit's valid move order does not succeed, is the first unit supported in holding by the second unit?

E.g.,

Player 1:

A Par-Bur
A Mar S Par Hold

and, from Player 2::

A Bre-Par
A Pic S A Bre-Par
A Bur Hold

Does Paris remain in the possession of Player 1, because the Parisian army didn't move and the Marseilles army supported it in remaining where it was (defence strength 2), or does it go to Player 2, because the Marseilles army was ordered to support the Parisians in doing something that they didn't originally intend to do, and therefore the order given to the Marseilles army did not correspond? If the latter, it could perhaps be argued that the order given to Marseilles didn't correspond to the other orders, but did correspond to the reality of the situation.

By the way, I'm fully aware that in this example, Player 2 could secure Paris anyway by better use of their Burgundian army, but that's not really the point I'm interested in...
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby ruffdove » 18 Jan 2020, 01:03

Thanks guys! I agree that's the best interpretation of rules-as-written. I've been away from the site for a while and forgot about the solver.

I wonder if it's rules-as-intended? Obviously I don't expect an answer to that unless someone's aware of Calhamer speaking to it. It just seems *wrong* that a unit attempting to move should benefit from support when attacked.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby ruffdove » 18 Jan 2020, 01:04

@Pius

No. A unit that attempts a VALID move and is bounced cannot then benefit from support in defending its original space.

EDIT: In your example, Paris falls.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby dib » 18 Jan 2020, 01:09

a mis-ordered unit holds and can be supported
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Jan 2020, 03:42

It turns out this question is not as trivial to answer as one might think. However, in this site’s adjudication method, a move of that sort would be converted to a hold, meaning the unit could therefore receive support to hold.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Jan 2020, 04:00

For some background reading, I suggest having a look at the Diplomacy Adjudicator Test Cases, where it explains why this is not as straightforward an issue as it may seem.

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/L.B.Kruijswijk/#4.E

In section 4.E.1, the DATC describes how the response to an illegal order has always been to convert it to a hold, but that the definitions of legal and illegal move orders are themselves in dispute. It walks through four interpretations, some that are more widely in use than others. The important distinction to be made here is whether "illegal" is interpreted to mean "impossible," and to what degree. In definitions A and B below, some orders might always be impossible but are not necessarily illegal. Under definition C, only orders that are impossible all of the time are illegal. Under definition D, any orders that are impossible right now are considered illegal, even if they might be possible in other circumstances.

a. Every order in the right format of an order must be treated as a legal order. Even when the areas of the order are not places on the map

Almost nobody uses this definition, though it was part of the 1998 Diplomacy Players' Technical Guide. "Army Paris to Japan" is a legal order under this definition and therefore could not receive support to hold.

b. All orders that are in the right format and uses only valid places on the map, are legal.

This is one interpretation that is still in use today and is currently present online on Backstabbr. Legal orders were explicitly defined this way in the 1979 Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy. "Fleet English Channel to Paris," your first example, would be legal under this definition.

c. Only orders that can be valid in a particular game situation (not necessarily the current situation) must be treated as legal orders.

This isn't used online anywhere that I know of, but you may find it in face-to-face settings. In it, "Army Brest to Wales" would always be legal, no matter whether a fleet is present to convoy that army.

d. Only orders that can be valid in the current situation are legal.

This is the currently most popular interpretation, and it is used here at PlayDip. It is also in use at webDip, vDip, and Conspiracy, albeit in a backwards manner, since their interfaces don't permit impossible orders to be input at all. (I have not played Conspiracy personally, so correct me if I'm wrong in this instance). Using this interpretation, an order like "Army Brest to Wales" is only legal when one or more fleets are present to make a hypothetical convoy chain.

The important thing to take away from this is that there is no single correct interpretation of what is a legal order, though clearly some are more preferred than others. A website or judge simply needs to state which interpretation they are using.
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Re: Illegal Move Order question

Postby ruffdove » 19 Jan 2020, 03:31

Those are some interesting points, NoPun. I've never had the opportunity to play Diplomacy FTF, so it hadn't occurred to me how improperly written orders would factor in.
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