NMR idea

Play a Diplomacy variant with a human GM using either forum PMs or Discord for communication. PbF games include a wider variety of maps and rules than what our site (or any site) can support!

Moderator: Morg

Forum rules
Questions about variants being run on the main site go here.

NMR idea

Postby Mouse » 22 Sep 2012, 07:20

I had a dream…

OK, that is a bit misleading, but is a good start for an idea.

From what I have gathered, it is pretty standard to have “reserves” in a forum game. These players which are brave enough to be on stand-by, waiting for a person to NMRs 2-times (in most cases – depends on the house rules) or officially gives up control of their country. OK, reserve could mean waiting for a person to drop out prior game start - but lets stay cynical!

Still, 1 or 2 NMRs early in a game can have very devastating results. Hell, I have currently been playing in a few that had NMRs in the second year. The impact is significant. Not directly upon my country, but on the game overall.

So what is the answer? Well, there isn’t an “answer” because no matter what, there is a compromise. I propose a half-solution for GMs to consider (especially those plagued with NMRs). Of course it will require more work and is really concentrated on those GMs that are already fast at order resolution. Those that take a couple days, probably should not be considering the below proposal.

So, enough with the introductions. What I propose is when a country NMRs a message is sent to the “reserves” immediately (within reason). This message is sent privately from the GM and later disclosed after the orders to the other players. The first reserve that responds with unit orders is accepted. The idea is that orders are hopefully received within 12-hours thus the delay would be minimal. The one condition is that the orders are not ridiculous. Ridiculous is defined as obviously self-destructive (like all units move off supply centers). The reserve is honor-bound not to contact another player prior submitting orders. Ridiculous is not defined as maintaining any sort of previous alliance. Frankly the reserve should have very little information about the country. If orders are not received in 12-hours (or perhaps 24-hours depending upon the GM and size of the game) then the country does NMR.

When a country NMRs a second time, the same procedure as above follows. Afterward there is a solicitation of an alternate – pretty standard. The GM of course takes into consideration anyone that has previously submitted orders on behalf of the country.

Such an idea is not for a global “rule”, but is something to consider as a “house rule” when: 1. the game is fairly large in size; 2. there are an overflow of interested parties i.e. multiple reserves.

This would accomplish a few things namely it preserves the game integrity overall (well, at least more than a NMR or two) and it can be also cool for those that are on the reserve list. Currently the reserve list is for countries that have NMR’d themselves to death or is in such bad straits as the government gives up!

It is not perfect. I have also been drinking… Still, it is something for GMs to consider for house rules!
Rape, Pillage, and Cheese!
User avatar
Mouse
 
Posts: 259
Joined: 03 Mar 2012, 19:11
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (937)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: NMR idea

Postby UpQuark » 22 Sep 2012, 17:14

The use of Emergency Generals used to be popular here (before my time, but that is the impression I get) - who would submit alternate orders in such a case. They were supposed to try and keep the spirit of the owning player alive (no stabbing of allies). This has fallen into disfavor - not sure why, but there are probably forum posts on this if you search.

Some GMs have paused their games, some for rather an extended period, to try and obtain orders for an NMR'd country. I have been strict with my deadlines. I am not sure if one is better than the other - everyone will have an opinion - but I will likely not change from a strict adherence to deadlines and 2 NMR limit. I will try to obtain orders in a last minute flurry of notes close to deadline, and once was about to hit the submit button to post results and accepted orders - changing the whole adjudication I had already put onto PlayDip - as I said, I got a message as I was moving the mouse to hit the submit button. It doesn't get closer than that. I also run longer deadlines (4 days) with speed rules and 24 hour reminders and do believe this has helped reduce the NMR rate.

Immediate substitution as you suggest also poses problems - usually for the neighbors, who have no idea it is occurring and find suddenly their plans are forfeit because the new player has different ideas. This may occur anyway, but a diplomatic period before a new player submits orders seems to be preferred. This situation occurred recently in Viking - less than 24 hours prior to deadline, a player resigned. The first reserve declined. At 12 hours to deadline (and I was unavailable) the second reserve accepted and made vague posts on the forum, and then submitted orders exactly at deadline which included a stab of an ally. This caused some consternation among the affected players. So even getting orders in from a new player to meet the deadline may not be optimal to all.

There was also a call for NMR's to include automated Support orders instead of CD (H). This seems difficult for a GM as definitive methodology which is immune from any sort of GM choice, due to the large number of variations - which unit is double supported and which is not with 3 in a row? How to manage Fleets? This becomes an issue when attacks may or may not cut that support... This could be randomized, but could be rather burdensome and someone may still be upset... House rules typically call for CD (H), with specific rules for Builds & Retreats (no builds and disbands in specified order). I think that House rules must be adhered to for this reason - predicted response to a situation. If you object, do so before the game begins (GMs may be amenable to unanimous modification to house rules).

The assumption is typically that a player who NMR's once is for some reason unable to get in orders, but intends to continue the game. This is why I have a 2 NMR max rule - after 1, if deadlines are an issue, decide - commit (and use Provisional orders) or resign.

The problem of NMRs is site wide (and goes beyond this site), and many GMs have become more selective in allowing players into their games. I will become more so, but we must also balance the need to introduce new players to the FG and allow spaces for new members to try them out - earning respect as a reliable player, or not, and discovering for themselves the joys of this game across more diverse situations (maps and rules). I was given the chance by asudevil to participate in Imperial with only a month on site, and was very appreciative. I am still very much enjoying that game. I have had some other new players who are earning their place in our community in FG in my games, and will increase the player pool here for other games to come. In the end, I have had 1 player NMR out of 2 games, and 1 other player who is about to NMR out of Modern (and is new to the site). In addition, 2 have resigned due to school obligations when school started. Out of 26 positions.

The 3 games I am running are mostly base rules, with some minor modification (canals, neutral armies in place, player count/map size/map configuration, and in the case of Modern we introduced Wing units for this round of playing it here).

At any rate, I have allowed new players to the FG into my games to bring in some new blood. There is demand out there, but the game selection was limiting - and many regulars like some of the more advanced variants. I chose the 3 games I introduced to allow for some new players, but NMRs have occurred. 1 person was in 2 of those games and NMR'd in both. In fairness, a perfect stab by 2 neighbors on the first turn in Sengoku meant he was done anyway, whether he NMR'd or not, and that was the only player who succumbed early. It is down to 4, soon perhaps 3, fighting for the title of Shogun as the end game is now occurring. I think it has been a good game, though not everyone recognized how the map configuration and distribution impacts strategy in that one. I think it should be run again... I find it an interesting situation.

I think now that you have established a record of reliability, you should consider which games you are involved in just as on the main site - with using forum advertised/password protected signups, or Classicist games. In the case of forum games, you can be more selective in which games you join by GM and fellow player. I expect if anyone takes on the task of World Dip, it will not include new players. Same for the next ones I will offer.

I don't have a good answer for the problem, other than we have to accept that it sometimes occurs. House rules are in place to minimize the impact, but the impact will still be there.
Last edited by UpQuark on 22 Sep 2012, 22:52, edited 1 time in total.
practically massless elementary particle
User avatar
UpQuark
 
Posts: 617
Joined: 29 Feb 2012, 23:53
Location: 1 mile up
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (986)
All-game rating: (898)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: NMR idea

Postby Mouse » 22 Sep 2012, 17:49

Good post.

I have been in all three variants that you have recently hosted, namely: Sengoku, Viking, and Modern. You have touched up the maps and made these variants beautiful & appealing. Each one has a definite character. I would play any of them again. My preference is in the reverse order i.e. Modern, Viking, and Sengoku. Still, I could see a person having as their favorite Viking or Sengoku since they each have their own "flare".

The NMR situation is tough without a real solution. GMs being more selective is very doable. As a player I do plan on being more selective on what games I join based on GM and players, but it is more difficult since it is a "GM Market" i.e. few GMs and thus a smaller set of hosted games. Hey, I sure don't plan on being a GM! Too much work.

Reserves that could submit orders for NMR countries could potentially encourage NMRs. A reserve that submitted orders for a NMR country that went opposite to the previous alliance could cause another player to rage-quit the game. It could be a domino effect. I can see how a reserve should follow the intent of the country.

Still, it could be a house rule especially in games where the player-base is uncertain. It could also be considered important when the variant itself is being tested.

Good idea? Maybe. Bad idea? Maybe.
Rape, Pillage, and Cheese!
User avatar
Mouse
 
Posts: 259
Joined: 03 Mar 2012, 19:11
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (937)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: NMR idea

Postby asudevil » 22 Sep 2012, 18:04

The EG was something that has come and gone. We even had it in WW4 when it started, but its tough if you make orders and an EG looks at the map and decides a stab is in his countries best move.

I hate NMR's. I dont have a whole bunch though. Im with UpQuark where I send 24 hour reminders and I usually pause a game for 12 hours or so while I try to get orders from someone who is missing.

But really your best choice it to make sure that you check out the players you are playing with. As a GM I dont run first come first served to pick the players, I generally take people who want to play, then I pick the players. But there are people I wont play with so I try to just avoid games with those people.

Most GM's on site are pretty reliable though, because with the new rules we put in after the rash of GM's bailing early has really tightened up reliability from that side.

You will always have NMR's the advantage of Forum games is since you PM people and there is a more limited group, you know who is who and its easier to figure our reliable vs non-reliable...
Captain FANG, forum team championships WINNER
Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.
User avatar
asudevil
Premium Member
 
Posts: 16573
Joined: 18 Jul 2011, 02:20
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1351
All-game rating: 1497
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: NMR idea

Postby UpQuark » 22 Sep 2012, 22:58

See also this post:


For situations in which GM's need help filling low SC count positions abandoned, and are much harder to find a substitute player to tackle the position.

Perhaps you should consider signing up... :shock:
practically massless elementary particle
User avatar
UpQuark
 
Posts: 617
Joined: 29 Feb 2012, 23:53
Location: 1 mile up
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (986)
All-game rating: (898)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: NMR idea

Postby Mouse » 23 Sep 2012, 05:05

I truly admire those folks that take on low SC countries.

For myself, taking over a country that already has the wagons-in-a-circle and is a breath from extinction... Well, I say let them die in peace. Let's not be the dealers of false hope.

OK, I am teasing. A new player just might allow a country to hold on for another year which means the aggressor would have to fight to obtain the rewards. This "could" have a major impact upon the game. I could see myself doing it for fun.

I am in a lost cause, turn one, as England in a game of Milan. I didn't read the fine print after joining the game. It is a Winter 1900 variant. Not much crueler then rolling England when Russia can start with an army or fleet (nc) St. Pete. I just want the game to end and it is only 1903. Sort of bitter, lol.
Rape, Pillage, and Cheese!
User avatar
Mouse
 
Posts: 259
Joined: 03 Mar 2012, 19:11
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (937)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: NMR idea

Postby Pedros » 24 Sep 2012, 12:54

Personally I'm utterly opposed to the use of EGs. When I started GMing I followed what was then the fashion on the site, to use them. It was awful. As often as not the moves the GM put in were worse than an NMR (that was the view of players in the game, both the player concerned and their neighbours.) Sometimes they undid the move which the player had made the turn before, throwing a whole raft of plans into chaos.

There are probably a few players around who take the role of EG seriously and watch the game very carefully so they have an idea of what's going on (I only know of one such); and no way do players want to wait a day or two while the EG studies the history so they can (hopefully) make a sensible move.

The practice which UpQuark described - send out not only a reminder 24 hours in advance, but a separate alert to anybody who hasn't yet submitted, has reduced NMRs enormously in games I've GMd since we introduced it. Best by a very long way.
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
User avatar
Pedros
 
Posts: 12465
Joined: 25 Jan 2009, 12:59
Location: Somewhere full of gorse and brambles, West Cornwall
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1085)
All-game rating: (1314)
Timezone: GMT

Re: NMR idea

Postby Mouse » 24 Sep 2012, 15:21

Yeah, 24-notice rules
Rape, Pillage, and Cheese!
User avatar
Mouse
 
Posts: 259
Joined: 03 Mar 2012, 19:11
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (937)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: NMR idea

Postby Magmaniac » 29 Oct 2012, 19:00

Some people may disagree with me, but I think it's not OK to have NMRs in the first couple years at all. Every move in the early stages of the game is so critical that missing one turn can pretty much doom a country for the rest of the game in many cases. I would rather continually delay adjudications and posting results maps to allow for everyone to get orders in for the first two years or so than allow the rest of the game to be soiled by one of the powers crumbling due to an NMR. That being said, if someone is always late getting orders in it would probably be best to find a replacement player.
User avatar
Magmaniac
 
Posts: 1028
Joined: 27 May 2008, 07:41
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-6

Re: NMR idea

Postby Pedros » 05 Nov 2012, 17:55

Sorry - only just seen this.

I agree about the importance of the first two years, but I wouldn't go with that solution. Delaying a game simply so that unreliable players can get their orders in has been, over the years, one of the two biggest factors in failing games (along with GM unreliability.) If a player can't get orders in at the beginning, when you'd hope they'd be excited about the game, what are they going to do later on?

I'd accept there may well be a case for extending the usual "first turn NMR and you're out" at least to the second turn as well. It's a question of balance, and I don't feel strongly either way.

Actually, one of the worst things of all (I've met it at least three times in the last couple of years in games I've been GMing) is the player who has a good first year then fails to order the Winter builds. I even had one player (who shall be nameless) who did this in a rarely-played variant, didn't order two builds in Winer 01, then had the nerve to tell me that his country was unplayable!! Failing to order builds seems to me to be a huge handicap to a country - very often much worse than a movement NMR.
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
User avatar
Pedros
 
Posts: 12465
Joined: 25 Jan 2009, 12:59
Location: Somewhere full of gorse and brambles, West Cornwall
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1085)
All-game rating: (1314)
Timezone: GMT

Next

Return to Play-by-Forum Dip

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 1 guest