AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

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AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2018, 15:55

141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

This was the first filled game of the C-Diplo series. The games are unranked with respect to the site, but we are tracking performance and scores using the C-Diplo scoring system. All games terminate in a a draw after Fall Retreats of 1907 (unless the game ends in a solo or draw earlier than that). Draws must include all survivors.

Read more about the Classicist C-Diplo Series:
https://tinyurl.com/pd-c-diplo-series

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Rank/                           Year  Final
Power  Player               SC  Elim  Score
-----  -------------------  --  ----  -----
1. RU  Jackalope            16           55
2. IT  Ceasars Geezers       8           23
3. FR  Cliff Dancer          7           15
4. EN  bigj0e03              2            3
5. GE  willie23              1            2
6. TU  karadjordje           -  1905      1
7. AU  NoPunIn10Did          -  1902      1


This game was set up as a Casual Classicist game, but it turned out not to fit the full requirements for that. At the time of initial recruitment, the regular Classicist mods were on hiatus, so some leniency was given to players who, from their stats page and Play-by-Forum reputation, looked like they would qualify for at least Aspiring status. This turned out not to be the case for one player, but he was reliable throughout this game, so everything worked out in the end.
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2018, 17:05

Two Years of Play, Five Years of Commentary: The Austria Story

I drew Austria this game. My opening was standard, and I'd thought I'd done a reasonable job communicating with everyone. Unfortunately, however, Austria sometimes becomes the target of a massive dogpile, and that happened this game.

The strangest part of it was not the dogpile but the fact that Germany participated in it. As I mentioned to him a couple times, there's a good reason Germany rarely makes an anti-Austria opening. Germany rarely gets to keep any Austrian SCs he picks up in those first years, and it reduces his influence in the western EFG triangle. While an anti-Russia opening can potentially work out for a Germany player, I doubt many anti-Austria openings actually lead to German success.

I wasn't terribly mad about becoming the target of an en masse attack. Sometimes that just happens to Austria. I was a bit peeved at the quasi-gaslighting I'd received in communications, wherein the betrayal was rationalized and the blame placed on me for spurious reasons. As that tactic just makes me angry to think about, I'll try not to dredge that up further.

After being swallowed up by the end of 1902, I continued to chime in on the public press periodically. In C-Diplo, even eliminated players receive something in the event of a draw, so I decided I would do my darndest to argue for that one point.

The surviving players did manage to hold back Russia from the solo, which I am grateful for, though there was enough dysfunction between them that I'm quite surprised they managed it.

So congratulations to my opponents, particularly to Jackalope (Russia, who nearly earned the solo) and Ceasars Geezers (Italy, who seemed to take the strongest role in preventing it).
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby willie23 » 23 Apr 2018, 18:22

I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I will chime in real quick and jump back in later today. I played Germany, and, this was the most intense game of diplomacy I have ever played in my short Diplomacy career. It was hard to enjoy, and I hated it at some points and was happy at others.

To start, I sent messages to each power. I received positive responses and I told everyone that I was planning to attack Russia. Later, I realized that that plan to tell everyone of my actual plan was stupid so I changed all my plans including my actual plan...

I told Russia that I had told pretty much everyone else I would attack him, and he said that yes, he had heard from several people. We struck up a solid alliance and decided to work together. At the same time Italy became very suspicious of my “plan to attack Rusia” and questioned me further. I finally told him that me and Russia planned to attack Austria. He told me of a plan he had heard of where I Move Tyrolia and he moves anti-France to piedmont and Venice then attacks and displaced the unit in Tyrolia. I agreed and was able to help him pull the move off. By 1902 we had completely eliminated Austria, with me holding Vienna and Italy, Russia, and Turkey Holding the rest. (Later, the first sign of a Russian stab was when he took Vienna from me).

More later,
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby Ceasars Geezers » 23 Apr 2018, 18:57

A Most Violent Seven Years: by Italy
(I think the system constantly assigns me Italy because of Ceasar in my name. Ive been Italy like 4 times in 10 games.)

The story you are about to hear is true. Many of the communications have been summarized, and do not reflect the specifics of what was said (not by a longshot...)

1901: The Konnigratz Freakout
- My first communications were pretty standard. I messaged everyone right off the bat. Trying to get a feel for the board. I was able to get peace with France and was seriously considering a standard Lepanto with Austria. Russia wanted me to align with him, but I was unsure about the Tyrolia/Venice move, Russia even suggested a faked key Lepanto, which I floated to Austria, but figured he wouldnt go for it.
- The craziest thing was Germany's opening claim to be attacking the Russian. I assumed this was fake, or just an attempt to throw people off. I messaged Germany for more info and he expressed an interest in going for Austria.
- The Konnigratz Freakout (http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resources/strategy/articles/koniggratz.htm): Germanys willingness to attack Austria sparked a KF for me. I figured he would go for it, he seemed eager and up for new things. This move had few upsides:
1. I knew this would give Russia and I and extra unit to use in Austria, and would help us to avoid having to partner with Turkey to ensure the downfall of Austria. This way we could quickly swing to Turkey. Russia ahd been talking a lot at this point, so I was going to side with him. Russia took a bit of convincing on the KF, but he came around.
2. I figured this would also have the secondary roll of throwing off the board as to what was going on. Just create overall chaos.
3. Although many expressed concerns about a 3 build Germany, I figured this would tip the EF against Germany and hold him back.
- When Fall came around, it was very apparent the Chaos plan worked, because it did not seem like anyone suspected the KF. Did anyone? The other interesting development was that E had opened to the Channel. Which actually worked well, because this spurred more communications about the "Odd Triple" between me, G, and R. It also allowed me to reassure France about my movement to PIE. He was obviously like "WTF" and I told him that england sent me a last minute message about French aggression (that was a lie, but I figured France would believe since the channel move happened).
- Anyway. Fall happened, and our Triple alliance was looking pretty good.

1902: Austria, Terminated
- This was simple year for me. We had a pretty standard plans against Austria. The only unsure event was whether Turkey would help Austria stay alive. I was able to notch another center. There was discussion about me getting Emed in the spring, but I was feeling very nervous that Turkey and Austria would figure that out and align. We didnt hear much from turkey, but in the end, he went against Austria to claim some centers. I would imagine Russia had a lot to do with this... So austria was out, R was in good position against England, and Germany was starting his aggression against France. All was going to plan, and the only person who hated me at this point was Austria... sorry NoPun. Major issue going on at this point was Russia getting 3 builds...

1903: The Year Things got Crazy
- In Spring, France and England started to make serious noises about a Russian solo opportunity. He was sitting at 9 centers and looking pretty good. I wasnt convinced about that, and Russia was offering to give me Serbia, so I went along with him. France and Turkey had grouped messaged me about hitting Russia, and i played along so I could get France to not move to GoL (which worked just fine). In the end I moved very anti turkey, and even anti france, to set up for future aggression in the region. This was also when both E and F started to threaten the "throwing the game" option. I try not to play emotionally, but this always really annoys me. Also i figured that France was just faking anyway.
- Fall happened, and France had moved to MAO, and I had serbia. still looking pretty good. I was supposed to convoy to GRE, but i put in the wrong orders and screwed it up. It was pretty unfortunate, but we were still looking good. We had turkey surrounded and germany had broken ground in England. The only thing now was that russia had taken Vienna...

1904: Big Trouble in Little Trieste
- At this point, Russia had moved to Vienna, without informing me of the move. I found this suspicious, because it put me at risk in Tri. So I brought this up to Russia, and he was... not happy. There was discussion that I purposefully screwed the convoy up (I didnt). Things got very heated. Long story short, we worked it out.
- France had been upping the talk about the Russia solo, probably thinking me and G were crazy. But i stuck with Russia. Jack is very convincing.
- When fall came around, Russia had moved on Germany and me. At this point, I figured France was right.

1905: Game Theory
- I started serious talks with G, F and, E about stopping Russia. I also sent a message to Russia asking him if he had that planned all along. His response really made me question my whole strategy... he started to preach to me about game theory. At that time I had misinterpreted the rules of C-dip. Russia convinced me that I should attempt to go for second, rather than third. His solo wasnt guaranteed, so why not risk it? His convincing, paired with some, what I thought to be, crazy ideas about a French unit convoying to Trieste, and I was back on russias side. I really do not think that convoy would have been a good idea at the time. I thought Turkey and I were pretty well protected against Russia. I was considering partnering with France, but I didnt hear a great argument on why that convoy was necessary. I also didnt hear from Turkey until this last minute, and he wanted to do that convoy too. My best bet at that point was Russia.
- In fall, R and Is’s biggest issue what to do with that turkish fleet in tri (great move BTW). Eventually I agreed to let Russia move there. I was the best way to take down turkey, and notch some more centers. Plus I was getting Gre and Con.
- The two days of retreat and build in 1905, were some of the most stressful diplomacy moments for me. I was so torn on what to do. The balance of the game literally seemed to be in my hands. R wanted me to build fleets, and France wanted armies. France had Tunis on a dead lock, and I was powerless. I was so incredibly torn here. About 10 hours out, i decided I was going with France and building armies... BUT at like 1 hour out, I had an idea to do one army and one fleet. My plan was to convince both Russia and France that I was on their side, buying me time. This ended up being a great idea (mostly).

1906: The War Against Russia
- So France was cool with my builds... but Russia was... not happy. He was like "youre crazy, I dont believe you. Good luck." I figured at this point that Russia had been planning to move to Rum and Ser anyway, and he was just using my build as a moment to give reasons. I (corrrectly) guessed that he would expect me not to move to Trieste... so I did it. Me and him had discussed that Trieste move, but after he declared war, I was unsure. Anyway, my guess worked and I was in Trieste.
- Also during that turn, Germany was talking about moving against France. I thought this was absolutely nuts, but figured maybe it was a good thing. He could hold off France, so I could hope for second. Plus he didnt seem like I could convince him otherwise anyway.
- At this point I really ramped up the collaboration work with France. He trusted me, and even moved his WMed out to MAO (sparked day dreams about sunny Tunis for me...)
- During Fall, Russia actually didnt get anywhere in Turkey, which was nice. Plus he blocked France in Pie. Also nice. Further France and I were setting up a convoy of him to the Balkans. Also good for me. (TUNIS!!!! <3 <3)

1907: Old Friendships Die Hard
- At this point, we had everyone (me, F, G, E) all against russia. England was doing a lot of the strategizing, and doing it quite well I thought. Me and F were planning that long awaited convoy to the Balkans (finally), and I thought this would be great for me, allowing me to walk into second. I thought there was NO WAY he would move MAO back down...
- Fall happened and I had lost two centers, France had gone to WMed and was in PIE. Things were not good. I figured if Russia didnt solo, then I wasnt getting second for sure. So I started to think about a deal with the Devil. My old pal... Russia.
- I reached out to him. He gave me a frankly hilarious reverse psychology message. Quoting for real here: "i'd suggest an order set to guarantee you finish second -- but youd think it was another solo trick and wouldnt believe them anyway." I literally laughed out loud at this. Sorry Jack, that was funny stuff.
- We talked some more and he told me he had convinced Germany to take Hol, he would let me into Serbia, thus throwing me to second.
- It was risky but my very real serious thoughts were that I would rather have second or nothing. Sure its greedy, but it is diplomacy.
- Once germany confirmed this move, i was in. I figured Russia was lying to Germany, but I kept quiet and hit finalize.

Then I won.... second!
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby Ceasars Geezers » 23 Apr 2018, 19:05

Review of C-Dip

Such an interesting variant. When I first heard about diplomacy, I never thought a predetermined endtime would be a good idea. Boy was I wrong. This game was crazy, ruthless, exciting, difficult.... so many things. When you read the description of C-Dip, you think it is going to be a jovial experience... maybe not so when most of the players are sharks... me and Jack especially.

Jack really got me thinking with his game theory analysis. It is not always the best decision to just blindly side against the big person. You have to think about everything and how it will get you the most amount of points. This was my biggest concern with partnering with France in the end. How to ensure second while also stopping the solo. Jack's reasoning really made me reconsider the entire game, and what makes it so different from conventional dip.
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby willie23 » 23 Apr 2018, 20:12

So, things were going great for me in Fall of 1902. I had 6 centers and was planning an attack on England with Russia and France. Me and France had a decent relationship at this point as he was upset at England and I needed somewhere to go besides Russia and Italy. The attack on England was actually great for me as well.

Things started okay and I was able to take Edinburgh. Then, out of nowhere, Russia stabs me and Italy and takes at least two of my centers. Now me and Italy decide to ally with France, and, England. England had been threatening up till this point to throw the game to Russia, and now he and France both began to warn about a Russian Solo.

I, of course was extremely upset, but, this is Diplomacy and Russia had pulled off an excellent move. I then talked with England and France about how to combat Russia in the north while France and Italy worked the south. I was able to convoy an army from Edi to Den and hold off the russian invasions of German Home SCs for a season. The whole time I kept up friendly chats with Italy and I spoke to Russia several times. Russia was always a smart diplomat and very nice as well. I did become short with him a few times.

By 1905 things were looking really down for me. France became extremely upset with Italy because Italy helped Russia with Turkey and began to take my centers until Italy agree to quit!! I did not see the logic to this and became even more upset at France. France was taking my centers from behind and Russia was grabbing my centers up front. I became very upset at France and was convinced by Russia to attack France. I went for it and was, yep, stabbed again! Russia was able to get a few more centers without a fight while I attacked France.

I jumped back over to the French side and tried to hold off Russia. France took another German Center. France told me that I was basically going to end with one Center and to suck it up and help him and England stop the Russian solo. This made me more upset and I again went back to Russia, who, stabbed me yet again.

Basically this was a mess. I kept messing things up for the E/F/I Alliance and helping my good pal Russia who by the way was brilliant the whole time and was able to keep me somewhat happy with him even though he kept stabbing me.

So, anyway, this was an immensely challenging and eye-opening expiriance. I did learn a lot and I am honored that such great players such as yourselves let me participate. If I got some facts mixed up, let me know. Ceasar’s report was accurate to my knowledge. And I agree with pretty much everything he said as well.

Regards,
Willie
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby Jackalope » 23 Apr 2018, 20:15

Some great responses so far. I would like to provide a full AAR treatment and look back through messages and public press as well as provide maps, but don't have time at the moment.

However, I will say this: C-Diplo was a fantastic experience and I'd love to see it as a feature/option on the site full time. Not sure how/whether it would be including in ratings. Hopefully it'll be added at a future date. My own sense is it would help to have # of games played of C-Diplo listed accompanied by a median score.

Thanks much to Austria for putting this all together.

As a preview of full AAR to come, I will say this: my main focus really was on finishing first, not soloing. 50+ points seems like a solid showing, and didn't really feel, like classic dip, that I had to deny everyone a piece of the pie. (This contrasts my own view of classic dip, where I feel draws are worthless.) I repeatedly said I would take my shot if it was there, but then, oddly enough, I pulled up short on the last move. There was an ordered combination in Fall 1907 that made it possible--cons to ank (bounce) and bul s serb h--yet I didn't trust that I convinced Germany and Italy of the moves I suggested so I sought to maximize my gains. And yet, the solo was there for me to take. Oh well.

In some ways, I'm glad it worked out the way it did. A solo in the first C-Diplo game may have soured the pool of potential players. I also think it's so important to think about the value of points as they are distributed. For most of the game, no one wanted to discuss this, which I found disappointing.

In all a lovely affair. One of the more intense experiences I've ever been a part of. More to come some time this week.
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2018, 21:14

Jackalope wrote:However, I will say this: C-Diplo was a fantastic experience and I'd love to see it as a feature/option on the site full time. Not sure how/whether it would be including in ratings. Hopefully it'll be added at a future date. My own sense is it would help to have # of games played of C-Diplo listed accompanied by a median score.


I'm not sure if we can ever get the specific C-Diplo system on the site, since it wouldn't be something that could be applied universally across all the various rated games available.

There are other rank-based systems that are very similar to C-Diplo that could hypothetically work, however, and could even be handled within the existing Elo calculation system.

The primary difference is that a universal system wouldn't include any points per SC. SC count would still determine overall rank, but only rank would provide points in a draw.

The main philosophical discussion that would need to be had: how much should topping the board be worth, relative to the total points given out? When comparing board-topping to a draw-based score, should a board top look like a two-way, three-way, or four-way draw? Or somewhere in between?

Code: Select all
C-Diplo Ranks
Points in a Draw

Rank  Score
   1     39 + SC
   2     15 + SC
   3      8 + SC
   4      1 + SC
   5      1 + SC
   6      1 + SC
   7      1 + SC

In C-Diplo, board topping hovers around what would be the equivalent of a two-player draw depending on SC counts. I think that C-Diplo is a good ranking system for our limited series, but I'm not sure that particular measurement compares fairly to the draw-based games on the site.

For another example, here's the Carnage system (without the points per SC, which are effectively just a tiebreaker):

Code: Select all
Carnage System
Points in a Draw
(ignoring SCs)

Rank  Score
   1   7000
   2   6000
   3   5000
   4   4000
   5   3000
   6   2000
   7   1000

In a standard Carnage game, topping a board would be comparable to a four-person draw. That might be undervaluing a board-top.

What could be a happy medium would be something like this, which would equate a board-top to roughly 40% of total points, equating it to something in between a 3-player and 2-player draw.
Code: Select all
Fibonacci-Diplo
Points in a Draw

Rank  Score
   1     13
   2      8
   3      5
   4      3
   5      2
   6      1
   7      1
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby Jackalope » 23 Apr 2018, 22:31

I really like the distribution as is, tbh, and I was sincere in my comms that 50+ seemed like incentive enough. I also think for players 2-7 (if first isn't in doubt the last few years, as was the case), the decision to shoot for second or third is major. Balancing an opportunity for second against a solo is a serious dilemma.

Of course, I offered Italy this with two years left: guarantee yourself second with me a shot at soloing up north. I followed through and vacated Tri even when he built his army. But his skepticism allowed France to momentarily eclipse him and gave me a better shot at the solo than I would have had in the north. But all's well that ends well!
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Re: AAR: 141034. C-Diplo Series 2018

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 23 Apr 2018, 22:44

Jackalope wrote:I really like the distribution as is, tbh, and I was sincere in my comms that 50+ seemed like incentive enough. I also think for players 2-7 (if first isn't in doubt the last few years, as was the case), the decision to shoot for second or third is major. Balancing an opportunity for second against a solo is a serious dilemma.


I think the balance is fine for this series. My comments in that regard have to do with how this could be hypothetically reflected in the existing Elo-based rating system.
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