Information vs Disinformation

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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby Strategus » 04 Dec 2018, 14:59

condude1 wrote:One message in and of itself is hard to read. I get my tells on people from consistency of messaging and leaks from other powers.

I rely on my spidey sense. If that starts to tingle, I know they are lying.
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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby MrShed123 » 04 Dec 2018, 16:16

Lukan wrote:@jay
So, I'll explain the reason for my very narrow definition of information.
Basically, if somebody says he is inexperienced he tells you his moves will be mediocre, dumb, bad, etc. etc.

I personally would not want to base my decision on that, because I am confident that I can outplay any moveset and that I can predict the general direction of his pieces no matter what. So I don't care if he will make me believe his moves will be perfect or worthless, I am confident I can outplay them.

However, there is one aspect I completely left out of my argumentation and that would be inexperienced players being completely unpredictable. My post is written with the assumption that every player on the board would at least make logical moves.


I actually really disagree with this, although is a really interesting conversation and depends upon your viewpoint (there is NO right or wrong answer to this).

So from my viewpoint, you are assessing something whether it is information or disinformation based upon your reading of it and your assessment of it. Fundamentally I think this view is incorrect. Whether something is information or disinformation can only come from the motive and mind of the sending player, NOT the receiving player.

You may make a decision that information is less relevant to your style of play, or to make some information more important than other information - of course, this is most of the point of the game. But discounting or ignoring "information" doesnt make it "disinformation" as it is based upon the receivers judgement not the senders intent.

Your example is important information, as:
1) if it is truthful, then you have a view that the player could be naive and adjust your style of play accordingly.
2) If it is a lie, then you know that you have a player who is minimally duplicitous in negotiation, and potentially a strong player, and again adjust your style of play accordingly.

Either way, it is important information. You may decide that you cannot decide whether it is 1 or 2, in which case it may be important, but not ACTIONABLE. But it is nevertheless important information.

I work on the basis that most players, excluding some language quirks and pleasantries, would usually have an intention in mind with every piece of content in a message. This isnt exclusively true (as someone said above, for many this is a social experience) but it is broadly true. When you take this view, every piece of information is important.

I also fundamentally agree with what someone said above that you simply cant digest a single message and decide what is information and what is disinformation. This comes from a pattern of behaviour - moves, trends in messaging, etc.
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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby jay65536 » 04 Dec 2018, 17:13

Lukan wrote:For me, in this message Austria asks Russia for specific orders 3 seperate times. A bounce in Galicia, a fleet in Rumania and building a second fleet. To me, that is what you can base your next moveset on. All the rest is pretty pointless, Austria trying to make you feel sorry for him, whilst threatening with a central alliance. Who cares? I am not going to base my next orders on vague ideas of others maybe working together in the first turn.
But what I can do is follow up on a very simple question: bounce in Galicia. That is the only info I need. From there I can decide to take Rumania with a fleet, which would make Austria trust me a bit more and encourage him to do moves I tell him to do.
But broad statements like ''taking down Turkey'' and the dreaded ''two-way draw'' which worked out well for him is completely useless information for my movesand only aimed at making an emotional connection with me that has no reason to exist.

That is the way I read the message anyway.


I'm sure Zosimus's reply is going to be different than mine, but I think based on your response to both me and him, I would follow up by asking you this question:

What is your definition of the "game state"?

If your definition of the game state is nothing other than the current position, or the position after one more turn, then I think that's far too narrow and is the reason why you're getting pushback on that idea.

For me, the "game state" includes a lot more than that. It includes things like knowing each player's victory plan, knowing each player's intended alliance structure, and probably much more that I'd have a hard time putting into words. Anything that gives me more clarity about how the game is going to proceed long-term, I would think could be considered "information".

I see that you marked as disinformation almost the entirety of Zosimus's example message. I'd go the other way--I think almost all, but not all, of it can be perceived as information. I'd mark it like this:

(Hi, Russia.)

[I hate playing Austria. I've never really had much success with the country other than reaching uninspiring draws.] (The problem seems to be that it's hard to get an alliance going. Now, I'd like to trust you, but I suppose that I can't so maybe we should go for a) [bounce in Galicia. That doesn't mean I don't want to work with you — I definitely do.] [Pairing up with Italy is too problematic because it's far too easy for him to put a knife in my back while I think we're going after Turkey.] [I could pair up with Turkey too, but once Turkey gets going I'll never be able to take him out. I need someone with fleets], (and you have one sitting conveniently in Sevastopol. So if you're interested, maybe we could agree to a) [bounce in Galicia, you could also bounce with Turkey in Sevastopol and then take Rumania with a fleet in the fall]. (From there, it should be pretty simple for you to) [build another fleet] (and we can take Turkey apart. From there, we could work together.) [It's pretty straight forward for Russia and Austria to get a two-way draw.] [In fact, my last game ended in a two-way draw and it was a good point pick-up for me.]

(I hope you'll give it some thought.)

(P.S.) [Italy proposed a central triple alliance], and [Germany seemed somewhat interested in the idea]. [I'm all for encouraging Italy to look west to France as far as that goes.] [If we try to split Turkey three ways, there won't be enough to go around.]


(Note: I marked different pieces of information in different brackets.)

So let me go through each piece of what I'd classify as information:

[I hate playing Austria. I've never really had much success with the country other than reaching uninspiring draws.] So this player is starting out the message by trying to be self-effacing and downplaying himself. This doesn't tell me much by itself, but combined with what comes later in the message it actually says a lot. More on that later.

[bounce in Galicia. That doesn't mean I don't want to work with you — I definitely do.] So we agree that asking for a bounce in Gal is vital information. But we seem to disagree on the next sentence. The information I get from that is that this player is experienced enough at the game to be aware that a bounce in Gal doesn't mean Austria and Russia must be fighting.

[Pairing up with Italy is too problematic because it's far too easy for him to put a knife in my back while I think we're going after Turkey.] This player is claiming that he thinks it's too easy for Italy to stab Austria in an A/I. I don't know whether this player believes that or is being deceptive. It would, however, be useful to find out.

[I could pair up with Turkey too, but once Turkey gets going I'll never be able to take him out. I need someone with fleets] Now, however, it seems clear that the player is probably lying about the above sentence (about not wanting to work with Italy). This player is experienced enough to know that taking Turkey out requires a strong fleet force, but is also trying to claim that Italy shouldn't be involved. These two statements are completely inconsistent. I am starting to get the feeling that this player is trying to set me up.

[bounce in Galicia, you could also bounce with Turkey in Sevastopol and then take Rumania with a fleet in the fall]. (From there, it should be pretty simple for you to) [build another fleet] This is obviously all useful (other than the little flourish in the middle) because it's Austria's proposal for what I should do this turn and next turn--he wants me to move War-Gal and Sev-Bla, then move Sev-Rum in fall. I notice, by the way, that this player is implicitly assuming that Turkey will move Ank-Bla to bounce me. There is not even a thought of trying to trick him into moving Ank-Con so that my fleet move will work. Based on the previous tenor of the message, I assume this is an actual oversight, and not an attempt at deception. I'll explain why at the end.

[It's pretty straight forward for Russia and Austria to get a two-way draw.] [In fact, my last game ended in a two-way draw and it was a good point pick-up for me.] Now this is where you claim that there is no information to be gleaned here, and I completely disagree. Here the player is claiming that he got a 2way in his last game. The tone of the message has completely changed from the beginning. In the beginning, the player is trying to talk himself down; now, however, he is trying to talk himself up. The inconsistency of it makes me more certain than before that this player is trying to deceive me in some way. Furthermore, I now have the information that this player is trying to talk up the possibility of a 2way draw from the first turn. This also is a big clue that I'm being deceived.

[Italy proposed a central triple alliance], and [Germany seemed somewhat interested in the idea]. [I'm all for encouraging Italy to look west to France as far as that goes.] [If we try to split Turkey three ways, there won't be enough to go around.] So here, Austria is claiming that I/G seem interested in a central triple, and is also claiming--once again--that he wants Italy not to get involved in taking Turkey out. This is actually a lot of information about what Austria is planning. Furthermore, if I believe Austria actually wants to work with me and is being honest about this, then it implies that he believes A/R can take Turkey out without Italian involvement. This is actually a very tall order from a tactical standpoint. Does this player know this, or is it an honest mistake?

Based on what Austria has said in this message, the picture I get is that Austria is probably an intermediate-level player whose plan for the game is to take Turkey out first, and then stab me. He clearly crafted this message to deceive me about his long-term--but not short-term--plans, based on the contradiction in tone between the beginning and end of the message. Nevertheless, he does actually seem interested in taking out Turkey as his primary target. I think the actual moves proposed are an honest attempt at an attack plan. He probably just assumes Turkey will move Ank-Bla and also assumes that I will "know" this. And he knows that I need 2 fleets to crack the Black Sea. But very tellingly, he has revealed that there are plans for a central triple while omitting his reasons why, after Turkey is dead, he would turn on I/G with my help rather than the other way around. So I take that as a very clear signal that Austria is trustworthy in the short term, but not the medium or long term.

The content of this message gives me a lot of things to try to talk to the other players about, especially Turkey and Italy. Specifically, I want to see if I can glean what Italy's plans are.

The point is, if I'm ignoring everything in this message that isn't about the moves, it's much more likely that I'm going to fall into a trap later in the game.
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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby blazebbc » 04 Dec 2018, 19:54

I agree with much of what is said here, but I disagree with the premise. I would suggest that everything you are sent in press is information. However, that information is only useful if you can figure out what it really means. And, of course, what a piece of information actually means may or may not be what it appears to mean.

The first example OP gave was this:
----------------------------
"Hi there,
It's been a while since I played this game, looking so much forward to starting over again, learning the board and all the moves xD
Anyway, I feel the two of us should not fight at the start of the game. I will move north, away from your border, you go south?
Seems like an idea that would make us both very happy"
--------------------------

Here is how I interpret it:
* The player is claiming to have a lack of experience and confidence. This could be true or false. I need to know if I am playing next to a potential puppet, somebody whose home centers I can capture by the end of 1902, somebody who is going to be scared to actually do anything, or someone a little more devious looking to take advantage of any confidence I might gain by being next to a weaker player. In order to figure this out, I need to exchange more messages with him. I might send some ideas of questionable (but not blatantly terrible) strategic merit and see how the player responds. I might ask for the player's opinions on set of moves, etc. In the context of our conversation, I should be able to figure out what type of player I really am dealing with.

* The player has asked for peace. Great! He's not a complete fool. If he had asked for war, I would immediately know that I have a nincompoop next to me and would have to figure that into my other negotiations. However, whether or not he actually wants peace is a totally different question. I likely be able to sort that out through the course of negotiations.

* He promises to move in the opposite direction of me. Okay, he is not looking to join me in an attack. If I am France and this is England, I am concerned as any initial conversations we have should at least mention Germany (attack him together now, grab initial centers then re-assess, Western Triple). If I am France and this is Italy, I like it - though it goes without saying that future messages would be needed to know if he is actually telling the truth.

Emotions play a huge role in this game. We can all say that "we" don't get emotional, but anybody who doesn't realize that your opponents often do has not been cursed out frequently enough. The emotions your neighbor displays suggest the types of reactions s/he might have to your response and next moves.

Here is another example from above:
----------------------------------------------------
(Hi my friend,)
(I noticed you did not move the way you said you would, which makes me a little bit worried. I feel we had a great alliance going on here and I would really like to continue this way.) [Can we agree you move your two armies back west again?]
---------------------------------------------------

* He called me a friend. This suggests that he wants whatever alliance we had to continue, but that if I am not careful, he will likely feel betrayed.
* He has called me out on doing something unexpected. Did I harm him or prevent him from advancing? Or was in innocuous? He has just told me that he does not fully trust him (anymore?). If I value that trust, I need to regain it. If not, I had better be ready to hit him hard.
* He has express worry, but that he really likes what we had established: he wants to talk this out and save our alliance. In other words, I have not lost the ally - yet. It's up to me whether or not to work to keep the alliance, but building trust back does mean work.
* He has asked me to change the direction of my forces. This is a demand, however nicely he has phrased it. My choices are clear: Pull Back or War.

Overall, he has expressed an emotional attachment to our alliance. I will not be able to pussy-foot around. I am either going to apologize and pull back, hoping to keep our alliance strong. Or, I am going ot have to apologize, promise to pull back and attack him with everything I can. There will not be a "half-war" here. He will not forgive me if I attack - maybe not even we need to band together to stop a solo. If I can't commit enough forces to bring him down, I'd better be ready to have an enemy for the entire game.
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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby condude1 » 04 Dec 2018, 22:45

Strategus wrote:
condude1 wrote:One message in and of itself is hard to read. I get my tells on people from consistency of messaging and leaks from other powers.

I rely on my spidey sense. If that starts to tingle, I know they are lying.

This too. It's hard to keep tone right after a bunch of messages if you're lying.
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Re: Information vs Disinformation

Postby Zosimus » 04 Dec 2018, 23:45

Well, the message that I composed was an off-the-cuff message that I might send to Russia as Austria at the start of a game. In reality, the entire first paragraph was true (yes, even about the two-way draw... check my history if you don't believe me) whereas everything in the P.S. was designed to be disinformation. Of course, I am wooing Italy if for no other reason than to ensure that he doesn't stab me in the back. I'm also reaching out to Turkey to suggest that he open aggressively against Russia.

And no, there's no reason for Austria to stab Russia if Russia agrees (at least in principle) to the two-way draw. After all, the Juggernaut line would put everything south of Sevastopol into Austrian hands. So Austria hopes to gain Rumania, all of Turkey, and Russia's friendship through negotiation alone. It's balsy, but it could work. I've granted the same to Austria before as Russia, so if I would do it then surely others might be willing to do so as well.

So if it works, Austria gets a two-way draw and the possibility of outracing Russia to Paris for the win. It doesn't seem like a bad proposal to me at all.

P.S. The last time I granted the above proposal to Austria, I got kingmade for a solo victory. Nothing wrong with that either.
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