Player "Throwing the game"

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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby CharlieMain » 18 Sep 2020, 14:24

I think that there is a difference between threatening to throw the game and actually doing it. I've been in games where a player has left their SCs totally undefended so that another player can win. I've also had games where a player has let me take their SCs uncontested. The first case is hard to take and seems against the spirit of the game but also in the second case it is a hugely unsatisfying way to win the game.

I don't think that throwing the games is (or should be) against the rules but to my mind it unsportsmanlike. I know others might disagree but I don't like playing games where this happens.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby Mrgud » 18 Sep 2020, 14:44

CharlieMain wrote:I think that there is a difference between threatening to throw the game and actually doing it. I've been in games where a player has left their SCs totally undefended so that another player can win. I've also had games where a player has let me take their SCs uncontested. The first case is hard to take and seems against the spirit of the game but also in the second case it is a hugely unsatisfying way to win the game.

I don't think that throwing the games is (or should be) against the rules but to my mind it unsportsmanlike. I know others might disagree but I don't like playing games where this happens.


Exactly my opinion. If throwing a game to another player become widespread tactics Diplomacy as a game would be utterly ruined. Who would invest 2 month of their time and skill into the game if the winner would be decided randomly by someone throwing it out as he wishes.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Sep 2020, 15:32

So, you value draws highly, right? A 3 way draw is better than a 4 way draw, right? Or is it only better if YOU are included?

This time it is you being whittled out of the draw. You feel that negotiations will do you no good. The two draw whittlers can whittle you out of the draw, no doubt about it, IF you maintain some defense against the big, bad solo threat.

Your choice is either to be eliminated with the other players 'achieving' a 3 way draw, or to threaten to throw the game, with the possible results being losing to a solo (whether surviving or eliminated) or inclusion in a 4 way draw.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby Mrgud » 18 Sep 2020, 16:16

If you are playing for 3-wd instead of a 4-wd you are playing it wrong. For me there is no difference between x-wd and y-wd. You either win or draw the game. That is the way I see the game. If I see that the game will end in a draw I don't like to continue with the sole purpose to make the draw smaller.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby jay65536 » 18 Sep 2020, 16:58

CharlieMain wrote:I think that there is a difference between threatening to throw the game and actually doing it. I've been in games where a player has left their SCs totally undefended so that another player can win. I've also had games where a player has let me take their SCs uncontested. The first case is hard to take and seems against the spirit of the game but also in the second case it is a hugely unsatisfying way to win the game.

I don't think that throwing the games is (or should be) against the rules but to my mind it unsportsmanlike. I know others might disagree but I don't like playing games where this happens.


There is no difference. You should never issue a threat that you never intend to follow through on, and conversely, if your opponents know you would never throw the game then it is pointless to issue such a threat.

Solo-throwing is an important aspect of endgame strategy, and sometimes even midgame strategy. It is important to know how to do it, and also to know which of your opponents can and can’t do it.

I find it odd that in a game called Diplomacy, you don’t like being handed centers. Isn’t that the ultimate validation of your skill as a diplomat?
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby FloridaMan » 18 Sep 2020, 17:47

jay65536 wrote:Not only is this not against the rules, I don't even consider it poor sportsmanship.

Sometimes in Diplomacy, it will just happen that a player is in a position where they are almost lost. Think of a 4-power endgame where the center counts are something like 16/9/6/3, and if they so desired, the 3 big powers could easily collude to knock out the little one. Most of the time, in this kind of situation, the 3-center power's only leverage is to say, "If you try to eliminate me, I will give my centers to the 16-center power so that the other two of you will lose to a solo." If the 3-center power does not use this threat, they are eliminated; if they follow through on it, they lose to a solo. Either way, they lose. The difference is HOW they lose, not WHETHER they lose. The only way they can get into the draw is by issuing the threat and having the 9- and 6-center powers believe it and lay off, settling for a 4way instead of a 3way.

This is actually an important endgame tool in the arsenal of a small power: putting yourself in a position where you can bring everyone else (except for one) down with you if you get stabbed for draw-whittling purposes.

This. Exactly this. I've done this more than once. In Diplomacy, you have to use every tool at your arsenal in pursuit of victory, or failing that, survival.

I do not begrudge anyone using whatever nasty tricks they can come up with, within the rules of the game, as long as they're actually nasty tricks in pursuit of survival/victory, and not simply surrendering or ranting and raving (which is neither effective nor charming). :roll:
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby Mrgud » 18 Sep 2020, 19:32

I agree that every nasty trick should be used...but not to throw the game to someone else.

What would happen to the diplomacy hoby if every attacked player would start throwing his centers to someone else in each and every diplomacy game to spite the attacker? Who would enjoy those games? I knew one player who behaved like that and he ruined every game he participated in. I don't like the idea of everyone being like that.

There is planty of trick to use instead. Options are unlimited. Kamikaze play is not something that makes diplomacy a better game.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby AleBelly » 18 Sep 2020, 20:33

Throwing the game can also be a good long-term tactic, too. In non-anonymous games, if you've thrown a solo to your opponent because an ally stabbed you, the ally is very likely to remember that in future games. Opponents will too. They know you're likely to follow through with such a threat and that will enter the calculus of good players.
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby David E. Cohen » 18 Sep 2020, 20:50

Mrgud wrote:What would happen to the diplomacy hoby if every attacked player would start throwing his centers to someone else in each and every diplomacy game to spite the attacker?


Many more games would end when no one had a chance to win, rather than dragging on in a huge waste of valuable playing time just so that an 'n' player draw could be converted into an 'n-1' player draw. The world, and the Hobby, would be a better place. :)
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Re: Player "Throwing the game"

Postby dib » 18 Sep 2020, 23:04

My view:

I think the problem you are highlighting is really one of language.

It remains a crass threat. Dont stab or I will throw to X. However even without stating the obvious - Its implied in all calculations and remains the realpolitik of the game

As others have pointed out...

Its a natural consequence of an attack on someone that they will most likely begin working against you. In fact its the logical thing to do. How the consequence is implemented can take a few forms including kingmaking. You have to expect that and is the reason that some players will advise to stab big.

Winning by you losing may be 'schadenfreude' but in fact is how many games end up.

The other scenarios of brinksmanship with threatening a solo is an intrinsic part of the game and actually takes some skill.
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