World Influence AAR

Large-scale game on a world map, with major and minor powers. Created and GMd by asudevil.

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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Antigonos » 06 Aug 2015, 18:23

AardvarkArmy wrote:
Yes, I am venting.

Because I actually was EXTREMELY angry at you for meddling and squelching that deal. I had held a vendetta against Germany for 10 years for - in my opinion - not allowing the game to progress toward a more satisfactory outcome. Some of that displeasure rolled into Israel in the waning years. But you took the mantle in the final 2-3 years.

I had wanted far less "petty" criteria. I had wanted nations to keep fighting rather than go armadillo. I had wanted a draw of 4 or 5 who had all topped 30 centers and truly earned victory.

But thus is what we got


I will most likely post one more comment focused on my three European neighbors as well as Egypt and Israel and perhaps one on the game design but I can't resist a comment on AA's post.

It really is fascinating, funny and perhaps a bit sad. AA played a very successful game defeating and eliminating every other West Hemisphere power and finishing far, far ahead of any other power in the supply center count. He did fail to achieve a solo but by his own account never saw this as realistic.

But he seems to be deeply unsatisfied and even angry with the outcome. Why? Because despite his vendetta against me for
not allowing the game to progress toward a more satisfactory outcome
which means not playing the game the way he wanted it played and doing what he wanted? Because others such as Israel and China may not have done what he wanted in order to obtain a draw that achieved
far less "petty" criteria. I had wanted nations to keep fighting rather than go armadillo
? Because the draw had 6 instead of
4 or 5 who had all topped 30 centers and truly earned victory
? All of the above it seems.

But Diplomacy is a complex game and played with a complex mix of motives, strategies and even game objectives. There is no "correct" outcome, only allowed by the rules outcomes and these arise out of the actions and motives of all of the players in a given game. The AARs allow us to learn something of what other players thought of the game and in this case the game design. They also can tell us something of why other players did what they did and what they thought of you and other players.

One thing I have learned is that along with having exceptional skill in the area of strategy and enormous ability to be an effective and often charming communicator AA seems prone to an almost solipsistic conception of what is going on in a game. He was Venezuela but behind the sometimes engaging and sometimes bullying facade he seems to have actually thought he was something like the God-Emperor of Dune directing the game, beyond the actual rules of the game, along a path and toward a result that he alone understood and was therefore entitled to determine. He genuinely seems to feel that his view of proper play is the only legitimate one and that anyone who did not meet his standards in this regard (as opposed to criticism for NMRs, surrender or no communications) should be castigated, perhaps for lèse-majesté.

In a recently started thread on lying in Diplomacy there has been some discussion of the psychopathology of successful and (to a lesser extent) unsuccessful players and what qualities (including pathological ones) might make a player a stronger or weaker player. AA would seem to be worthy of an entire thread in this regard.

By the way thanks for the charts AA. It is good to see that even an irate God is willing to bestow gifts on the rest of us mere mortals.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 19:05

Two VERY short comments on Antigonos' comments:

1) part of what has vexed me has been double-speak from others regarding THEIR view of acceptable play/outcome. Nowhere is this more true than with China. Publicly, he posted that scathing quote against settling into a comfort zone - presumably directed at Antigonos - then he proceeded to settle into his own little cocoon. Privately, he had been as vocally annoyed by the UK-German alliance as I and seemingly as committed to breaking through, then he destroyed the best chance to cone along in 10 game years. So my irritation is not just that he didn't do what I said to do, he didn't do what HE said.

2) Yeah, as the world's dominant superpower, I did try to lay claim to the ability to dictate global direction and outcomes (see also, real world - USA). Put differently, I hoped my immense military might could be leveraged to influence activities far beyond my borders. I believe that's called... Diplomacy!

:mrgreen:
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DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Antigonos » 06 Aug 2015, 21:10

AardvarkArmy wrote:Two VERY short comments on Antigonos' comments:

1) part of what has vexed me has been double-speak from others regarding THEIR view of acceptable play/outcome. Nowhere is this more true than with China. Publicly, he posted that scathing quote against settling into a comfort zone - presumably directed at Antigonos - then he proceeded to settle into his own little cocoon. Privately, he had been as vocally annoyed by the UK-German alliance as I and seemingly as committed to breaking through, then he destroyed the best chance to cone along in 10 game years. So my irritation is not just that he didn't do what I said to do, he didn't do what HE said.

2) Yeah, as the world's dominant superpower, I did try to lay claim to the ability to dictate global direction and outcomes (see also, real world - USA). Put differently, I hoped my immense military might could be leveraged to influence activities far beyond my borders. I believe that's called... Diplomacy!

:mrgreen:


A short surreply .

1.
So my irritation is not just that he didn't do what I said to do, he didn't do what HE said.
That is just awful! To do such a thing in Diplomacy!

2. Frankly if I were you I would rather see myself as the god-Emperor of Dune than George W Bush. As to using your "immense military might" ("It's big AA, it's so very big...please don't hurt me with your immense military might!") to influence activities far beyond your borders... where has that gotten the real world USA? It might also be useful for you to remember that it is a game called Diplomacy that we just completed and that you did not possess nuclear power, drones or other means of projecting your power into areas far from your oh so enormous military might. Which might be why the game is called Diplomacy and not Big Boy Throws His Weight Around. ;)

Less focus on imagined throw weight and more actual diplomacy might have led to your surpassing the already first rate result you obtained. Even the great and near great often do not achieve their full potential. :)
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 21:57

No reply whatsoever. This could drag on longer than the game. So the sage advise and cutting critiques of the wise and wondrous Antigonos shall stand as the final verdict and commentary upon all my failings at diplomacy - such lack of even basic grasping of the game being so vividly and abundantly self-evident in my remarkably consistent failures at the game.
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DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Antigonos » 06 Aug 2015, 22:35

AardvarkArmy wrote:No reply whatsoever. This could drag on longer than the game. So the sage advise and cutting critiques of the wise and wondrous Antigonos shall stand as the final verdict and commentary upon all my failings at diplomacy - such lack of even basic grasping of the game being so vividly and abundantly self-evident in my remarkably consistent failures at the game.


No reply? Surely what you wrote constitutes a type of reply even if it comes in the form of sarcastically dismissing my last comments. A valid if limited form of argumentation.

But I suppose it is no surprise that you would insist on giving your own meaning to even the word "reply". In a somewhat similar inventive twisting of meaning you suggest that a post in which I wrote of you
surpassing the already first rate result you obtained.
and put you in the ranks of
the great and near great
I was saying that you lack,,,
even basic grasping of the game
or have
remarkably consistent failures at the game
.

No one need teach you anything about Diplomacy but you might want to take a refresher course on close reading of texts.
Last edited by Antigonos on 06 Aug 2015, 22:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Alman » 06 Aug 2015, 22:39

This AAR makes me thinks two things:
First, I think perhaps more blood is being spilled after the battle than during. :D :) :lol:
It seems one battle has been replaced with another and the war goes on. Maybe this is where we vote to return to the field and pick up where we left off (except that in this reality, Russia is resurrected :) )
I think its clear, even with the differences of opinion, approach, philosophy, and etymology, that it is clear why China, Germany, and Venezuela all became major powers one war or another. The strength of the passion of their owners.

Enjoying the AAR and taking notes. :D Respect to all of you.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Antigonos » 06 Aug 2015, 22:44

Alman wrote:This AAR makes me thinks two things:
First, I think perhaps more blood is being spilled after the battle than during. :D :) :lol:
It seems one battle has been replaced with another and the war goes on. Maybe this is where we vote to return to the field and pick up where we left off (except that in this reality, Russia is resurrected :) )
I think its clear, even with the differences of opinion, approach, philosophy, and etymology, that it is clear why China, Germany, and Venezuela all became major powers one war or another. The strength of the passion of their owners.

Enjoying the AAR and taking notes. :D Respect to all of you.


And it is always a pleasure to hear from you. In fact I would love to reboot the game and see what might happen if I did not stab you. Of course it might simply be a quick stab by you and quick exit from the world stage Germany.
:o
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby VGhost » 06 Aug 2015, 22:48

I normally try to keep my AAR comments fairly judgment-neutral. However, in this case AardvarkArmy is flinging out a lot of critiques of other players' failures and inconsistencies without (as Antigonos suggested fairly mildly) appearing to have any interest in examining whether his own play demonstrated any faults. This is addressed mainly to him, as a sort of reversal of that trend, though if anybody else has useful comments I don't mind hearing about it. (Particularly, marsman57 may have input my questions at the end.)

I'm going to start with the latest post, because it nicely reveals one of the central problems:

AardvarkArmy wrote:Yeah, as the world's dominant superpower, I did try to lay claim to the ability to dictate global direction and outcomes (see also, real world - USA). Put differently, I hoped my immense military might could be leveraged to influence activities far beyond my borders. I believe that's called... Diplomacy!


Diplomacy is far more than the threat of the "big battalions". The fear of force can produce two reactions: cooperation, or stubborn resistance. Successful diplomacy can include - in fact, I would say, at times requires - making the case that the course of action presented would be good for the other party. It also requires at least the illusion of honesty. By your own admission, you had all but given up the latter in your (relatively speaking) whirlwind conquest of the Americas. The only survivor was France, and by the end of the game you even turned on him. In regard to the former, the vast majority of your appeals regarding plans weren't directed in any real sense towards another party's success, but instead had a generally negative tone. "We need to knock this guy out," or, "You don't want the board to stagnate, do you?" were about the extent of your arguments.

And in the face of that kind of bean-counting, and related to your aggravation with Germany, I'd suggest that UK & Germany ought to get credit for sticking together, rather than stabbing each other and (almost certainly) both falling out of the final result as you, I, or Israel swept through the remains. A statement I saw in a post quite a while ago seems to apply here:

Can you carve out a niche that is both geopgraphically defensible and politically valuable in order to thrive while surrounded by powers 3-5 times your size? Can you withstand ten years of brutal attacks by multiple enemies? Yes? Then does that earn a place at the table? Yes.

Diplomacy is politics, which more-or-less by definition is the art of compromise. Make the very, very best deal that you can with the tools available to you. If you can get three larger powers to agree that you deserved a place at the table, then you've accomplished something.

If your carefully considered judgement is that you probably would not be a winner in a smaller draw or a solo, then lock in a spot in a larger draw diplomatically. That is the name of this game!

Favoring, lobbying for, or accepting a draw does not somehow makes you a player less worthy of respect. Proposing draws, arguing for and against draws, and deciding when it is a good deal to accept a draw is pure diplomacy - it is achieving goals with words and arguments alone.


In contrast to this kind of open-to-all-things approach, you created an aura of short temper and personal vendetta, and those are both turn-offs for a lot of people. For me - I can't speak for others, but I suspect they may think similarly - numbers in a draw are not a great concern. I told you during the game I'd have been fairly content with eight or nine in the draw. And as for stagnation - a lull in play is to me entirely acceptable. Thus when you make this accusation,

AardvarkArmy wrote:1) ...China [publicly] posted that scathing quote against settling into a comfort zone ... [and] had been as vocally annoyed by the UK-German alliance as I ... [but] destroyed the best chance to cone along in 10 game years. ...[H]e didn't do what HE said.


What I hear is, "I don't like the way China played". You haven't, as far as I can tell, taken any notice of my explanations for how I made that decision and what influenced me. You are, in charging me with that hypocrisy, ignoring the fact that later in the game I was talking with you about resurrecting the UK deal (once it was clear to me that Germany was unlikely to move) and the fact that with Israel and India I had re-activated my own German front. I much prefer an active game, but for several years there weren't any options which seemed to me good ones. What was the principle I stated? My principle was that, "The correct question to ask is always, 'How can I profit from this?'" My principle is not "attack" (though attack is more fun than defense) or "stab if possible" (though a nice stab is wonderful) or "create chaos" (though in general I prefer a chaotic board to a stratified one - but then, apparently so did you, one of my chief rivals, so perhaps good play would look for a different style?). My principle is that I want to do well out of the situation. If that involves attack, great! If that involves sitting for a while, that's fine too.

The difference between us appears to me mainly to be that you don't consider stalling (for time, for position, for diplomatic developments, etc.) a legitimate tactic. I would suggest that, ironically, this is one of the main reasons we ended up with the relatively early draw: because by always pushing, pushing, pushing you made your "immense military might" appear a much greater threat than it really was, limiting other players' willingness to take their own risks.

All of this is of course a bit theoretical. Now let me take a practical tack. I've suggested a couple times that there were things you did which contributed to some of the "failures" in this game. Particularly, I want to ask some question about the deal with UK, this time with a focus on your diplomacy. These are all questions implied by people's AARs, or by the messages I quoted in previous posts, that haven't really been answered yet.

- Why tell me UK would be attacking Germany? Certainly I'd mentioned that Germany was being inactive, but I'd had a much better relationship with Germany than with UK for most of the game - which should have been evident from moves, at the very lest.
- Why include me in the planning at all? I had a fairly small and very stalled border with Germany; and any movement would be created by UK.
- You encouraged me to contact UK; when I did so, why was he evidently unprepared to talk? Either he didn't want to give the show away (if he was set to go as you claimed then and now), in which case you and he weren't communicating clearly or he would have known I knew about there being a plan already; or he was in fact not certain about his plans.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Alman » 06 Aug 2015, 23:03

Antigonos wrote:In fact I would love to reboot the game and see what might happen if I did not stab you. Of course it might simply be a quick stab by you and quick exit from the world stage Germany.
:o

As I mentioned in my AAR, I was honest in my approach to you. I had really hoped we would stablize the border between us. I had NO desire to get caught up in European intrigue and was more than happy to leave that theater to you. My "dream" list was, 1) Conquer China and establish a beachhead in Alaska. 2) Subdue India with Iran and unite the two halves of Russia with OMS. 3) Expand into North America, sharing with Japan.

At that point, if all had gone "according to plan" I probably would have stabbed Iran to finish my conquest of Asia. You would have been master of all of Europe and North Africa. Japan would have Australia and the Pacific and probably be fighting the Generalissimo.

But the dream is dead. In the harsh reality of reality, Russia was the first to exit the Eurasia stage and so I now have no basis to make esoteric arguments on whether I should have done one thing or another in the mid to late game. Treasure your arguments. They are a gift denied the dead. :)
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Aeschines » 07 Aug 2015, 03:17

Alman wrote:My "dream" list was, 1) Conquer China and establish a beachhead in Alaska. 2) Subdue India with Iran and unite the two halves of Russia with OMS. 3) Expand into North America, sharing with Japan.


What?!?! You Devil ( :evil: ) I consider that admission to be tantamount to a stab! I shall return the favor by altering my "Dream List" to include obliterating Russia myself rather than having China do it!!! You knave!!!

:D
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