Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby Iggy » 11 Apr 2018, 16:33

The SHIV wrote:Short messages doesn't mean much. I tend to be short because I type on a cell phone with one finger. A typer I am not! :cry:

Or, if my cell is unavailable, I still have my trusty stone tablets and chisel. 8-)

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substance is more important than length - or so I've been told! :mrgreen:
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby Iggy » 11 Apr 2018, 17:06

Opening negotiations for me are fun times, imo. New game, new opportunities, everyone wants to be your friend... good times, IMO!

I actually struggle most trying to determine when to switch from current alliance to something else to get to a solo. Again, with good communicators and committed players, I think it's really tough. You need someone to have a grudge against someone else to help you or someone to either not be paying attention or be duped by your own lies or something to get past the "tipping" point to give you a chance. Or have another player on equal footing as you willing to "go for the 2 way" and thus have a shootout for the solo.

That's what I think leads to so many draws. Especially in something that is a scored event like a tourney or the PDL, etc. People like to say you "don't win" if you don't solo, but the PDL disagrees. Finishing in a 3 way draw nets 10 points. That's better than 0 by finishing second to someone else's solo. It would be interesting to see how something like that played out if you somehow awarded points for 2nd/3rd place to someone else's solo on how it might change play. When faced with a 0, it's not hard to convince yourself that a draw is the better route than to "risk it for the biscuit".
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby Cliff Dancer » 11 Apr 2018, 18:47

All,

I appreciate the feedback. Looks like there are some permutations, but general consensus on:
-Message a lot/be available
-Don't give short, one-liners without substance

mjparrett - I like the analysis on F/G/E and how you generally try to resolve it. I hadn't thought of it in those simple terms. And I am good later in the game (i.e. 1902 onward!), but I oftentimes seems to be coming from behind. I also like the idea of just offering more in 1901 (i.e. I give you Belgium for help down the line). I plan to try this general though process in my next few games and see how it goes.

Malachite - a fun game indeed! If I could have figured a way to get it beyond the 3-way draw, that would have been SWEET, but based on game dynamics and how well us tiny nations had banded together to run the board :)

CD
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby DQ » 11 Apr 2018, 19:08

Cliff Dancer wrote:OK guys, I need some serious help here - I SUCK (apparently) at opening negotiations.

From my understanding, it's generally fairly good to open very neutrally in the opening, and also typically good not to completely lie to people pre-spring 1901. So typically as England, you'll see NWG/NTH/YOR, as France MAO/PIC/SPA, as Italy VEN/APU/ION.... but in my recent games... disaster!

-Playing France.. DMZ agreed to in ENG/PIE... both broken in spring 01
-Playing England... DMZ agreed to in ENG... broken in spring 01
-Recent PDL League Game (I was not involved in), players open with a Sealion (viewtopic.php?f=820&t=57605&start=20)
-....

It seems that "team play" is becoming more the norm, and that making strong actions towards 1 nation in 1901 is commonplace. Am I somehow magically transported under a rock? When did this happen? And why?

So specific questions:
1.) What is your pre-1901 negotiation strategy... does it generally work? Can you give me game numbers and which nation you were playing so I can see how it panned out?
2.) What are your biggest "turn-offs" from a pre-1901 "proposition" message?
3.) What are your biggest "on" buttons that make you want to take your admirer to the the dance (i.e. ally with them... at least temporarily)
4.) Is "team play" just in my head, or is a real trend? And I mean picking an alliance group of 3 players and just playing down to a draw?

Am I crazy? Like on this point in particular I mean. Feedback wanted/needed/desired.

~CliffDancer



May I recommend http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resour ... iation.htm

"When you begin a game you must first learn something about each of your opponents. Sometimes you will know quite a bit to begin with, but you can also ask people who know the opponent better than you do. You want to know if your opponent is generally reliable or not, what his objective is, whether he is a classical or romantic player, and whether or not he is good at negotiations, strategy, and tactics. (This is a controversial point, insofar as some players—usually the notoriously erratic and unreliable—say that a player’s previous record should have no effect on the game. However, the more you know about another player the better you’ll be able to predict his actions. It would require a peculiar view of life for a player to knowingly ally with someone who has never abided by an agreement in 20 games! Nor would you offer to draw with a player who would “rather die than draw”.
However much some players wish to pretend that they are really government leaders and that World War I is happening just this once, most Diplomacy players recognize that it is primarily a somewhat abstract game of skill, and act accordingly.)"
Stab you soon!
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby jimbobicus » 11 Apr 2018, 22:05

Moves-wise...
In 1901 I generally believe it's good to be aggressive. Eg as France or England I like to go to English Channel. As Turkey I like the Armenia opening. This isn't to say I'll always do that - it depends on what you hear from other players too. But as a rule, it's always good to err on the side of being strong and aggressive instead of weak and passive. The principle is be strong and then if you have to change direction and make peace with the player you attacked, you negotiate from a position of strength. Promising such offensive openings can also make yourself popular with Germany (English Channel) or Austria (Armenia). Elsewhere I'd hardly ever rely on DMZ in burgundy or galicia - so if I want peace, I'd ask for a bounce there. Never leave yourself unnecessarily open for others to stab.

Communication-wise, I believe in discussing concrete plans... Say things like: "If we ally these are the moves I will make... Here is how I see our alliance progressing in the short term and long term." I like to be very specific here. Assuming you are offering the other person a good deal for them (which you should be), by being specific you enable them to see what a good deal it is. But also be open to their person's suggestions. For one thing they might offer you something which is more advantageous to you then what you were proposing :) But also, it makes people feel good about you when you go with what they suggest.

When people talk to me, personally I don't really care how chummy they are and whether they are happy to talk about non-diplo stuff etc. All I care about is the moves being proposed. If anything, I actually see it as a negative when a player is very friendly in the way mjparrett is describing since I know that they will probably be that way with other people too and might be able to use that charm to manipulate people - thus making them dangerous later in the game. But I'm guessing my point of view is quite unusual here. Maybe I'm just a cold, cynical SOB?
Last edited by jimbobicus on 11 Apr 2018, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby mjparrett » 11 Apr 2018, 22:33

@jimb - I certainly wouldn't call you cold! I know we disagreed on a few points in our last game but I genuinely enjoyed playing with you and feel like I learnt a few things. Everyone is different and there is no right answer - my "chummy" approach won't always work. It just is how I am in real life so how I play the game!
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby mhsmith0 » 11 Apr 2018, 22:48

Cliff Dancer wrote:...
4.) Is "team play" just in my head, or is a real trend? And I mean picking an alliance group of 3 players and just playing down to a draw?
~CliffDancer

Honestly, i think the biggest counter to alliance play is to... counter the alliance play. If a three-way alliance exists and others know about it, they can rally everyone else against the alliance, grind the alliance's progress to a halt, and induce an alliance breakdown (note: this happened THREE TIMES in my PDL round 1 game, and the game-ending 3-way FAT draw had very little to do with either of the first two alliance groupings, AIR then EFG). Alliance play is generically optimal if you can be assured (or nearly assured) of making the three-way draw if you enter into one. But every single 3-way alliance is substantially outnumbered units-wise by the other four powers on the board to start with, and it's fairly unusual for a 3-way alliance to be in clear control of the board by, say, the end of 1902 (and by clear control I mean 18+ supply centers and ability to attack both sides of each important stalemate line). Sometimes alliances develop late in the game... but if it's early in the game, just sniff it out and stop it.

Easy? No. Doable? Yes.
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby jimbobicus » 12 Apr 2018, 00:35

mjparrett wrote:@jimb - I certainly wouldn't call you cold! I know we disagreed on a few points in our last game but I genuinely enjoyed playing with you and feel like I learnt a few things. Everyone is different and there is no right answer - my "chummy" approach won't always work. It just is how I am in real life so how I play the game!

Enjoyed playing with me... that's not what you said at the time :)
It was certainly an interesting game. Between you, me and greggybear we had 3 players with very different styles and it led to mayhem. I made some diplo mistakes; you made some mistakes with moves; while greggybear was playing a completely different game to any I've seen before - so hard to evaluate his performance on any kind of normal metric. From a pure strategic standpoint I'd say he made lots of questionable moves but due to his amazing persuasive abilities, generally made them work. Certainly a game I'll remember for some time to come - and I too took some lessons from it.
Also, as an interesting sidenote here, you're right when you say "everyone is different". So what is successful with one person, could fail with another. Makes you appreciate how much luck there is with who you're drawn to play against.

I forgot to answer the question on team play...
I guess it depends on how you define it. I often like to organise 3 vs 1 alliances at the start. If you're part of 3 vs 1 - eg FGR vs E, then thats a very safe position for all concerned. But I also have the midset that such alliances are unlikely to last in the long term, so I'm not sure you could really call that team play. Personally in every game I play, when push comes to shove, I'm on a team of one! :)
"A friend to all is a friend to none" - Aristotle
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby hedge trimmer » 12 Apr 2018, 15:20

The SHIV wrote:Short messages doesn't mean much. I tend to be short because I type on a cell phone with one finger. A typer I am not! :cry:

Or, if my cell is unavailable, I still have my trusty stone tablets and chisel. 8-)

The SHIV

Well, as long as communication works I don't think there's anything wrong with short messages. Hard to say where the line goes, but if you aren't able to plan things with someone then it's a problem.

If they write a lot without saying anything that's not good either. :)

Cliff Dancer wrote:Malachite - a fun game indeed! If I could have figured a way to get it beyond the 3-way draw, that would have been SWEET, but based on game dynamics and how well us tiny nations had banded together to run the board

The game becomes a little bit inert once there's only 3-4 large powers with no smaller powers to cause chaos, so we should've done something before the game got to that point. We tried to help France, but that didn't work out, and I thought I had burned my bridges with Turkey and (especially) Austria so they had to go. Still, a 3 way draw was probably more than anyone could've hoped for.
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Re: Opening Negotiations... and Team Play

Postby TTBen » 12 Apr 2018, 17:56

I’m responding mostly to keep up with any additional posts....

I have enjoyed reading this and am learning from your thoughts. I have been primarily a gunboat player but I am trying to expand and be an overall better player by playing more full comm games and threads like this help tremendously.

Joining the PDL after it had been organized but before it started I was placed in league 3, probably where I belong right now but the one thing I’m noticing is how League 3 has only had 1 of 4 games end in the dreaded 3 way and I’m not sure either or the remaining 2 will if you look at their map. The point being made over and over above is that lots of comms is key and that it leads to less likely solos. My observation so far is that we in league 3 are pretty weak on communications and there is a ton of silence, which is probably why the games aren’t ending in 3 ways... we certainly aren’t the stronger players than those in league 1 or 2.
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