For/ against draws

Question about the rules of the game? Experienced Diplomacy veterans will help you! There is also a Common Questions section.
Forum rules
In addition to the general Forum Guidelines (see here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/view ... 30&t=15441), there are additional rules for posting in this forum.
1. Members should not refer directly to a specific situation in an active game. It is usually possible to provide an example of a similar situation elsewhere on the board.
2. It follows that links, images, game name and/or number should not be added to a post if the game is active.
3. Questions should only request rules be clarified and not request advice about how to resolve a situation.
4. When answering a question, members should restrict themselves to answering the question and not give advice on how to get around the situation.
Posts which break these rules will be subject to editing or removal; see here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/view ... 13&t=42845

Re: For/ against draws

Postby andrewpmilne » 17 Jul 2020, 21:48

Thanks all - some interesting points!
I hadn't considered the idea of a 2-way draw being more 'unsporting'. I do see your point, given that 3-way+ draws are more to do with a group of people all playing well and 2-way draws do take a lot of otherwise unusual moves and trust (our game did end with the 2 of us having to orchestrate a 17-17 tie as has been alluded too, but partly because another player began to remove himself from supply centres to try and break the alliance - surely this is also 'unsporting' if there is such a thing in Diplomacy?). But equally, other players do have a right to try and ally together to try and stop a 2-way draw if they see it coming.
Perhaps banning 2-way draws is something to consider for our house rules in our next game...
andrewpmilne
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 25 Jul 2010, 20:30
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (967)
All-game rating: (966)
Timezone: GMT

Re: For/ against draws

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Jul 2020, 03:37

In response to your opening post:

In the third game, you drew, with one other person. You did not win.

Drawing is not a tactic in and of itself, and the act of drawing is neither sportsmanlike nor unsportsmanlike (though draw whittling is a waste of time and odious in the extreme). I do agree with the thought that entering into an alliance with another player or players, with the predetermined intent to end the game with a draw among the alliance members goes against the spirit/object of the game.

Absent some unusual reason, which I do not see in your post, draws should be allowed. They are a part of the game, especially since a win may be unattainable due to in game circumstances.

I am not sure what you mean by "luck", but I think you are on the wrong track with your thoughts on alliances. Just because a two, three or 'n' player alliance among players who disdain draws may only be ultimately successful (i.e., result in a solo) for at most one of them, does not mean entering into such an alliance is a bad idea. In fact, if each alliance member's chance of victory, as calculated by that player at the time is greater by reason of joining the alliance than by declining to join the alliance, then joining is the correct play. As an example, you and a similarly inclined player form a two person alliance, with the intent of "achieving" a two way draw. The other three surviving players all disdain draws but are currently each attacking the others. Let us assume that if they continue to attack each other, you and your ally will eliminate them. But if they ally and get rid of you and your ally, then they have each maintained at least a chance of victory, even though at most only one of them may eventually win.

Players may win without stabbing an ally, either in a race to 18, or if a third player unexpectedly throws one of the alliance members a dot or two. Throwing dots, which you disparage as a 'desperation tactic' which 'ideally' shouldn't be employed, is within the rules of the game and may in fact be the only tactical lever available for a player, depending upon the circumstances of the game.
Play every game of Diplomacy as if it will be the last game of Diplomacy you will ever play.
User avatar
David E. Cohen
 
Posts: 490
Joined: 28 Jan 2008, 11:30
Location: Treading the Path to Diplo-Shambhala
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: For/ against draws

Postby Latanst1 » 18 Jul 2020, 05:35

The game is meant to be a real life simulation (based on the technology available in the 1950s) which is one of many reasons that is is often used in classes teaching negotiation skills (etc.).

In real life negotiation, each party needs to negotiate their best possible outcome. In war or in business negotiations , 'solo' results are vanishingly rare, draws are much more common.

I believe that 'draws' are not only valid once the players have each given up on the idea of soloing but they are much more reflective of real life. If anything, I think the current scoring/ranking systems skews a little too much toward winner takes all outcomes. Some of the tournaments that offer two level scoring (one score for soloist/draw participant, AND a score for each surviving player's final supply center count) are much more reflective of the creators' original intent (though some sort of averaging over time mechanism would be needed...).

Ultimately, I agree with the original author of this post. Solos should be the main goal but failing that draws are equally legitimate outcomes. The criticisms aimed at the author show a lack of appreciation of what this game is meant to be about.

andrewpmilne wrote:This isn’t exactly a rules question, but here seems to be the best place to discuss it.
I’m looking for some thoughts from expert / experienced players. Please don’t be mislead by the start date I joined this site- I played a handful of games a decade ago and a handful of games recently.

I play with a group of real-life friends. None of us are experienced gamers. The first two games we played, the draw option was disabled. In the most recent game the draw option was left on. Along with one other person I ended up drawing (winning???) the game. We have been criticised by the other members of the group for using the tactic and accused of bad sportsmanship (all in a good-hearted way, but still!!) I’m pretty sure that I’m the only person in the group who has played online games with strangers as well, so I’m aware that a high percentage of games on here do end in draws.

We’re now debating about whether to make draws available in future games. My argument is that we should. I feel this because in my opinion there are quite a few flaws in Diplomacy that are actually reduced by allowing draws...
I think draws reduce the amount of luck involved. I know I’m being brave mentioning luck on a diplomacy forum and don’t want this to turn into a big debate about that! My argument is that In a solo wins only game, any alliance that forms that doesn’t involve me can only be successful for one person. Therefore anyone else in that alliance is making a big mistake being part of it because in the end they are not going to win. I am going to massively suffer by the ‘bad’ moves of that player if I can’t break the alliance. However good I am at sending persuasive emails and predicting their moves, I am eventually going to lose if I can’t break the alliance and I may well not be able to. I’m suffering from the poor play of something else.
Also, (I accept this is a slight contradiction), if I manage to make an alliance myself, I know for certain that at some point my partner is going to try and backstab me. If my partner wants to win he has no choice. In general terms There is no way I can attack someone else and also cover a potential backstab. Therefore I have to submit a set of moves and then hope that my ally and my opponents moves work well to help me. I know I may well get backstabbed, but I’ve taken the risk of not defending against it and then just hoped that I won’t be. If I have the carrot to dangle of keeping the alliance right until the end of the game and sharing a win, I can focus on one thing and not the other, therefore increasing the tactical element of the game. Of course, the alliance doesn’t have to last for ever, it just has to have the potential to.

Also draws Lessen the possibility of desperation tactics (ie moving out of supply centres to favour one person in an attempt to break and alliance). This has happened in two games I’ve played. I’m theory this tactic should always work in solo win games as the person not benefitting is not going to want his ‘ally’ to win. But may well not work if they can draw. Ideally it’s a tactic that shouldn’t happen so I’d rather there was a deterrent to using it.

Finally I think draws make the game shorter! Which is a good thing in my opinion.

Just interested in what more experienced players think. Feel free to agree or disagree.
User avatar
Latanst1
Premium Member
 
Posts: 50
Joined: 29 Apr 2018, 02:06
Location: Tokyo Japan
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1109
All-game rating: 1183
Timezone: GMT+9

Re: For/ against draws

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Jul 2020, 09:50

Latanst1 wrote:The game is meant to be a real life simulation (based on the technology available in the 1950s) which is one of many reasons that is is often used in classes teaching negotiation skills (etc.).

In real life negotiation, each party needs to negotiate their best possible outcome. In war or in business negotiations , 'solo' results are vanishingly rare, draws are much more common.

I believe that 'draws' are not only valid once the players have each given up on the idea of soloing but they are much more reflective of real life. If anything, I think the current scoring/ranking systems skews a little too much toward winner takes all outcomes. Some of the tournaments that offer two level scoring (one score for soloist/draw participant, AND a score for each surviving player's final supply center count) are much more reflective of the creators' original intent (though some sort of averaging over time mechanism would be needed...).

Ultimately, I agree with the original author of this post. Solos should be the main goal but failing that draws are equally legitimate outcomes. The criticisms aimed at the author show a lack of appreciation of what this game is meant to be about.


Diplomacy is not a simulation of real life or a war game, or at best it is a poor one. There are many other games which are better for this purpose. Diplomacy is an emulation of Great Power interaction of the period prior to World War One, and indeed more generally. At this, Diplomacy is unmatched. The concepts embodied in the rules are not based on the technology available in the 1950's. The game could just as easily have been invented a generation or two earlier or later.

In war (or business negotiations), a draw can be an excellent result. The blood and treasure of a nation is no longer being expended. People can return to their normal lives, which had been interrupted. These are not concerns in Diplomacy. The object of the game is to win, not to participate in an n-way draw. Current scoring systems do not overemphasize solos. To the contrary, there is no commonly used scoring system which places nearly enough value on a solo, as compared to a draw, which is why draw whittling is so regrettably prevalent in the Hobby.

Please note, I do not say that a draw is not a valid outcome. Participation in a draw may have required great effort and skill. But it is not the object of the game.
Play every game of Diplomacy as if it will be the last game of Diplomacy you will ever play.
User avatar
David E. Cohen
 
Posts: 490
Joined: 28 Jan 2008, 11:30
Location: Treading the Path to Diplo-Shambhala
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: For/ against draws

Postby Jack007 » 18 Jul 2020, 10:05

David E. Cohen wrote:... a lot ...


Okay. Just another soloist, who knows that he will always lose against two drawists. Which disturbs him, of course, that's why he claims so loudly for the soloplay as the only legitimate way of playing Diplomacy.
Jack007 (xxxx.) unbanned for dubious reasons
Member of the Honorables
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's,
unless it be that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…
-bushido
User avatar
Jack007
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: 08 Mar 2014, 17:34
Location: Switzerland (impassable) ⛵ Instagram @jack060856
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1545
All-game rating: 1681
Timezone: GMT+1

Re: For/ against draws

Postby Strategus » 18 Jul 2020, 10:30

Jack007 wrote:
David E. Cohen wrote:... a lot ...


Okay. Just another soloist, who knows that he will always lose against two drawists. Which disturbs him, of course, that's why he claims so loudly for the soloplay as the only legitimate way of playing Diplomacy.

Lose, or draw?
The Devil makes work for idle forces

Better to have fought and lost, than never to have fought at all
Actual Platinum Classicist
I did WDC 2017

UK f2f Champion 2019
Just say "NO!" To carebears and kittens
User avatar
Strategus
Premium Member
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: 30 May 2015, 14:30
Location: England
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1619
All-game rating: 1660
Timezone: GMT

Re: For/ against draws

Postby Jack007 » 18 Jul 2020, 10:46

Strategus wrote:
Jack007 wrote:
David E. Cohen wrote:... a lot ...


Okay. Just another soloist, who knows that he will always lose against two drawists. Which disturbs him, of course, that's why he claims so loudly for the soloplay as the only legitimate way of playing Diplomacy.

Lose, or draw?


For the soloist (= "The Romantic" in Windsor's player personalities classification) is drawing and losing the same.

See http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/S1999M/ ... point.html

Regards.. Jack
Jack007 (xxxx.) unbanned for dubious reasons
Member of the Honorables
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's,
unless it be that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…
-bushido
User avatar
Jack007
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: 08 Mar 2014, 17:34
Location: Switzerland (impassable) ⛵ Instagram @jack060856
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1545
All-game rating: 1681
Timezone: GMT+1

Re: For/ against draws

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Jul 2020, 14:47

I am am not "just another soloist".  Though there are some similarities, Romanticism as set forth in Paul Windsor's article, is most definitely NOT the same as Soloism, as set forth in the Soloist Manifesto: http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/S2002M/ ... festo.html.

Drawing and losing is not the same for a soloist.  That said, there is not  much of a difference between the two.  The quality of the game matters so much more.  I would rather be eliminated, playing against world class competition, than participate in an n-player draw playing against average players or win playing against a bunch of newbies.

When it comes to Soloism, I think you don't know, Jack.  :lol:
Play every game of Diplomacy as if it will be the last game of Diplomacy you will ever play.
User avatar
David E. Cohen
 
Posts: 490
Joined: 28 Jan 2008, 11:30
Location: Treading the Path to Diplo-Shambhala
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: For/ against draws

Postby Jack007 » 18 Jul 2020, 15:12

David E. Cohen wrote:...l
Drawing and losing is not the same for a soloist.  That said, there is not  much of a difference between the two.  The quality of the game matters so much more.  I would rather be eliminated, playing against world class competition, than participate in an n-player draw playing against average players or win playing against a bunch of newbies.


q.e.d. :D

David E. Cohen wrote:When it comes to Soloism, I think you don't know, Jack.  :lol:


I don't care about such quibblings, even not when published in a lengthy "Manifesto". And yes, I really don't see what else you want to say in that manifest, other than: I am the Romantic of Windsor, but call me a Soloist of Cohen. The Emperor's New Clothes... sorry but I can't see them.

I must be blind. :roll:
Jack007 (xxxx.) unbanned for dubious reasons
Member of the Honorables
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's,
unless it be that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…
-bushido
User avatar
Jack007
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: 08 Mar 2014, 17:34
Location: Switzerland (impassable) ⛵ Instagram @jack060856
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1545
All-game rating: 1681
Timezone: GMT+1

Re: For/ against draws

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Jul 2020, 15:26

Jack007 wrote:
David E. Cohen wrote:...l
Drawing and losing is not the same for a soloist.  That said, there is not  much of a difference between the two.  The quality of the game matters so much more.  I would rather be eliminated, playing against world class competition, than participate in an n-player draw playing against average players or win playing against a bunch of newbies.


q.e.d. :D

You either fail to grasp the concepts involved in Romanticism and Soloism or you are being willfully misleading. If the former, I can discuss the differences between Romanticism and Soloism.

Jack007 wrote:I don't care about such quibblings, even not when published in a lengthy "Manifesto". And yes, I really don't see what else you want to say in that manifest, other than: I am the Romantic of Windsor, but call me a Soloist of Cohen. The Emperor's New Clothes... sorry but I can't see them.

The Soloist Manifesto is quite succinct. Certainly, it is no longer than it needs to be.

Jack007 wrote: I must be blind. :roll:

On this, I can agree.
Play every game of Diplomacy as if it will be the last game of Diplomacy you will ever play.
User avatar
David E. Cohen
 
Posts: 490
Joined: 28 Jan 2008, 11:30
Location: Treading the Path to Diplo-Shambhala
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

PreviousNext

Return to Diplomacy Rules Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests