PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 22 Mar 2018, 14:58

Are we going to go all Andy Gray and "Top Top Player"?! Because I wouldn't describe myself as a top player. Not by a long way. Ok your rating is a little higher than mine and Greggy, but only just. So when did you become a Top Player? What about the players above you in the ratings - that are they?! Again, I can only echo Turkey and say you come across as slightly patronising, both with messages in game and this thread. If you didn't make a single tactical mistake surely you would have had a solo? Or at least a better result than me and my couple of mistakes?! ;)

You seem like a good guy so I will leave this here. I certainly don't want any bickering (we had enough in the game!) And this isn't an AAR as such, more a personality debate which no-one wants. Sure I will appreciate the tactical advice, but I think your diplomacy is lacking somewhat. And until you solve that, and can persuade people to do your bidding, then the Top Top Player bracket escapes you :)
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby greggybear » 22 Mar 2018, 15:07

There seems to be a general theme in this AAR that all I did all game was lie, lie, lie, lie, and deceive. I think it's a bit off base. Certainly I lied and deceived, but not without cause. There were a LOT of shifting alliances in the early game, and it's hard to shift an alliance without lying. One might argue I did too much alliance shifting, but more often than not it was effective for me.

When Gru came in as our replacement Turkey, I made a deal with him. I told him I'd never eliminate him as long as he worked with me and I didn't need his centers for a solo. I kept that deal literally until the end of the game, despite MANY opportunities to break it and being told to by probably every other power on the board. That would seemingly be some evidence that I wasn't just lying for the sake of lying.

Anyway, like Mike said, this isn't so much an AAR as a continuing skirmish over personality. I just thought I'd pop in and defend myself very slightly before moving on to my Round 2 solo victory.

Oh, and I really enjoyed the Resident Historian. That was a lot of fun, even the "fake" historian who tried to throw me under the bus. There was a LOT of fun in the game, which is easy to forget after the long ending.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 22 Mar 2018, 15:10

Sorry one final point (I know I said I would leave it but this needs addressed!)

Yes I figured who you were very early based on your comms. And I knew I had played you before. 1. That game didn't influence me, and I hope you aren't suggesting any meta gaming? And 2. You paint a slightly distorted account of that game. You solo'd because I kingMade you (you didn't object to it in that game!). I can't remember the other power involved, but you had a 2 way deal - my solo bid with Russia failed (I had taken over a surrendered position so was playing more bolshy than usual) and I was being fought back to nothing. I hoped the other player was clever enough to realise I could king make you and therefore force a 3 way draw. He either didn't believe me or was too tactically unaware to stop it. So yes you played well in that game, but if the 3rd player involved was astute that would have been a draw. Just thought I'd point that out as you seemed to neglect it from your version :D
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 22 Mar 2018, 15:12

Greggy - you are right and I apologise. You lied A LOT (which is fine and part of the game), but we also had some good years together.

Shit - I forgot the historian! I assume England - anyone want to properly admit it?!
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby GruGloG » 22 Mar 2018, 15:46

Fair point mr.GreG, actually towards me there weren´t that many blatant lies. But anyway, I am also going to focus on the next round where I didn´t start with an empire already in shambles :)!

Good luck in your next rounds everyone!

EDIT: The historian was indeed a very nice addition (I remember something called the Swiss observer when I played here before, is that not a thing anymore ^^) I was also guessing England? Also, people who felt the need to defend themselves against such a funny thing, SHAME on you ;)!
Last edited by GruGloG on 22 Mar 2018, 15:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby Shyvve » 22 Mar 2018, 15:49

Man, I guess I'm gonna have to find the time to go read the PP for this game.

But, then again, there's always a lot of "bread and circuses, WWF" aspect to voyeuristically savoring a good PP bickerfest (of which I'm guilty of participating in the past !). Play this game long enough, one is sure to lose one's innocence, lol.

Playing this game online can be such an emotional experience. More so than F2F I'd think simply because of the time and energy invested over the weeks.

Anyways, just rambling here. Carry on!

And Mike, my thanks too for putting the League together and seeing it become a reality. I'd like to see it succeed and count me among those who'd be willing to help you manage the thing.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby jimbobicus » 31 Mar 2018, 12:03

To defend myself here... following mjparrett's posts:

1. On being a top player. I am ranked #13 on the site and would be higher if I had played more games under the current ranking system. Or if some of the games I had played weren't from taking over surrendered powers and so the points I received scaled down to the proportion of the game I was involved in. Also, before taking a few years' haitus, I was also comfortably top 10 in the previous ranking system the site used (in the days when Avalanche instead of Super_Dipsy was in charge). In that time I played in quite a few all star matches with other top 10 players. So I think it's a reasonable claim of mine to be a top player. If you like you can call this more arrogance from me, but I'm saying it how I see it.
As for this game here, sure I made some diplo mistakes but I think I played pretty solid moves and after the collapse of Eng/Ger alliance in 1904, I was never in any serious danger of being eliminated. So the only way I could ever leave the game empty handed would have been some really extremely bad play from Germany to allow a Russian solo. Or possibly if Russia had offered me a fair enough deal to make 2 way RF alliance at the end realistic and Russia grabbed a solo ahead of me.

2. On the previous game between myself and mjparrett, we disagree... I didn't solo "because" you king-made. It merely helped speed the process up. I soloed because the other player showed me too much trust instead of asking for a better deal for himself. I wasn't even being especially sneaky or anything... at each stage, I asked him what he would like and I agreed to his wishes! :lol:
If he had have asked for moves which gave himself more security, then provided his requests were reasonable I would have accepted and perhaps he would have got a 2 way draw or at least come a lot closer to it. Your kingmaking didn't make much difference there - except to knock a year or two off how long it took. Also now you mention it, your decision to kingmake me seemed a bit odd there. Surely the point of kingmaking is to put one member of the alliance so close to solo, so that the other player has to act. And preferably make it so that it becomes hard for the 2 players involved to re-distribute power to restore a fair and even alliance, thus giving you maximum chance of a 3 way. But what you did just guaranteed that I could solo and so turned a 90% chance of defeat into 100% chance of defeat. I think you were always hard-pushed to get anything out of that game, but kingmaking me in the way you chose to didn't make much sense.

On the endgame:

Looking at this AAR, people can probably see why the game ended where it did. Based on board position, I'd have actually quite like to carry on and try RF alliance. Theoretically, I'm a believer that that is how things should go - 2 players advancing towards 2 way, in equal alliance with both having solo chances. I did the number crunching and given the scoring system, it's in both players' interests as long as:
Pr (partner solos) - Pr (you solo) < 1/2

So I was very tempted to carry on, especially as I thought the current board dynamic was good for me. But I didn't like the personality dynamic: Myself and Germany had had some serious personality clashes; while Russia was very hard to deal with - very conservative and trying to get a fair deal out of him was like getting blood out of a stone. There were also the factors of me going on holiday, having 2 other games to focus on and everybody having had enough. So all in all, I thought it was time to let this game go.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby Nanook » 31 Mar 2018, 17:11

Shyvve wrote:Playing this game online can be such an emotional experience. More so than F2F I'd think simply because of the time and energy invested over the weeks.

Sort of the opposite. In online play, if you really need to you can step away from your computer--you may not choose to, but the option exists. In FtF, you really can't just step away, not if you want people to keep playing with you, so you have to manage your emotions and keep perspective over the course of 4-7 consecutive hours without a break.

Online play you can certainly get more invested over a longer period of time, but the investment in FtF is, while a shorter one, also a more immediately intense one.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby jimbobicus » 01 Apr 2018, 11:07

Year by year analysis: I won't print any maps, but people can find the game and order history here:
https://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play ... _id=138624

Pre-match: My thoughts on playing France is that you generally want to open north. It makes a lot more sense to attack England and Germany than Italy. Especially England needs to be eliminated if France is to have any chance of a solo in the longer term. Things like western triple or long term EF alliance are not good options as far as I'm concerned. Also in general I like to look for allies on opposite side of the board - especially Austria and Russia.

1901: Early relations with Germany came very easily and so I opened north against England with move to English Channel, taking Belgium and Spain in 1901. This is a favourite opening of mine: grabs Belgium and by committing yourself against England, it tends to appease Germany. Pretty much the only thing that can go wrong is Italy attacking me - but that's pretty rare and didn't happen here. At this stage, Germany started to talk to Russia which complicated things though. We organised a FGR vs E that Germany then broke in 1901. My original thoughts were we should have kept Russia out of it and let him open south as usual. But he volunteered to do Mosc-StP and join in vs England. Having agreed those plans, I'd have preferred Germany stuck to them so we take down England safely and in record speed. But instead Germany stabbed Russia in fall 1901. I guess his fear was being sandwiched between France and Russia. But still at end of 1901 I felt good. Spain and Belgium taken. Good position for attacking England, while Germany has gone east to attack Russia.

1902: Russia set to work diplomatically trying to shape things to his will and managed to get England on side by cajoling me into a peace deal with him. We arranged for my fleet in Wales to be destroyed in return for England building defensive armies instead of offensive fleets. I agreed because of the flexibility this deal gave me. Although this was a tough break for Germany who was no doubt counting on English support after saving the Englishman in 1901. But great diplo by Russia.

1903: At this stage, I already know my northern aims are to share the north with Russia, who worked himself into a strong position up there. I attack England thinking I had RFG vs E in the bag with idea to hit Ger after defeating Eng. But things go wrong. Germany attacks me. Very annoying, but I guess I should say well played. And then Russia completely screws me over in the fall by letting England keep Denmark and Norway. I haven't a clue why he did that. Makes no sense to me. It looks like he's trying to set up E/G to take me down - but why is a mystery. I took the attitude that a strong Russia at the beginning of the game is good for me, because it's other people who border him and have to fight him. I'd have expected him to take the same attitude with respect to a strong France. So not really sure what he was aiming at here. But at the end of 1903 I feared for the worse with E/G attacking me egged on by Russia.

1904: E/G carry on attacking me, but Russia somehow uses his skills of persuasion to convince England to stab Germany, while he stabs England. Quite how he managed this I don't know. There's no chance I'd have fallen for this if I was in charge of England. But Russia has got some excellent skills of persuasion/brainwashing. And it really saved me. At the end of 1904, this put me in a decent position again, although way behind Russia who had established himself as the board's clear dominant power.

1905: I liked my position again, despite being only 5 SCs and troubled relations with England and Germany, it was clear that Russia was the board's main threat and I was in the great position of not bordering him so not being the one to have to fight him. Germany arranged for western triple. I hate western triples as already stated but was prepared to go along with it for as long as it benefited me. But longer term, I very much saw myself allying with Russia and dividng the north between us. Although at this stage with Russia on 9 SCs and even bigger if he stabbed Turkey in the south compared to my 5 SCs, I had to be careful not to let Russia race too far ahead. I went along with anti-Russia while negotiating hard to get myself a favourable deal - Belgium back and possibilities to stab E/G later.

1906: I started reaching out to Austria. I saw him as my main ally - F/A is a very natural alliance with French fleets and Austrian armies. I knew long term he was the player who my interests coincided most with. It became clear he was another player who was under Russia's spell and was prepared to attack Germany. This made decisions very easy for me. I switched from E/G to ally with Austria/Russia since a RFA alliance is pretty much a dream scenario for any France. I stabbed E/G in fall 1906 and left a position where myself and Russia were of roughly equivalent power. I thought an RFA alliance was superb for both myself and Russia while being pretty decent for Austria too. He had been quite weak before but this gave him a good shot of a 3 way draw. At this stage plan was to destroy other powers, then if Russia was willing work towards a 2 way with him where both me and Russia have solo opportunities.

1907: Russia starts plotting again. After talking to Austria, I discovered Russia had fabricated messages from me to try to split me and Austria up, destroy the RFA alliance and enable him to solo. I was furious. Firstly, I find this whole leaking/fabricating thing intellectually bankrupt. If someone leaks messages, you never know whether what they are saying is true. All you know is that the leaker is a mischievous snake looking to spin things for his own benefit. When I found out, I called Russia out on it in an attempt to make him stop and keep to the RFA alliance which I thought was very good for him to. But instead he stabs Austria anyway and tries to solo by getting E,G,T to act as his puppets.

1908: The Russian solo bid comes to an abrupt halt as Germany shows himself unwilling to be a Russian puppet - full credit to him here. We set up an FGA alliance which should be good for all involved. Board-wise it's great for both Germany and Austria. Going purely by board, I would have an incentive to break it and ally with Russia. But at that stage, I'd had enough of Russia and his lies and tricks so would have been very happy to just be a good ally to Ger/Aut and help them destroy Russia.

1909: Russia fights his way back as he persuades Germany to stab myself and Austria. In one sense, I can understand why Germany went for it, because Russia offered him what was a good deal in the short term with Sweden and Norway. But if Germany had looked at the long term implications, it should have been clear this was just plain bad for him. This made absolutely no sense from a long term strategic perspective. I'm not saying Germany should have necessarily trusted me. But it's very clear that he should have been looking to ally with Austria as a counter to Russian strength instead of vice-versa. By keeping to FGA, given I think it was common knowledge that I was in no mood to do Russia any favours, Germany would have been looking good for a 3 way draw - or if there was set to be a 2 way, then the most likely 2 way I think would have been FG. While instead he let Russia back in and conceded position where he'd always be stuck between France and Russia. Up until that point I thought Germany had played pretty well. So this came as quite a shock. I was aware that this was probably what was trying to do but I thought Germany would be too bright to fall for Russia's persuasion. But I was wrong. Elsewhere, I also stabbed Austria for Rome. While stabbing for 1 SC seems odd, I needed the build at that stage following Germany's unwise stab on me. It seems harsh on Austria but I made the calculation that F/A vs R/G/T was a sure loser for F/A. Also at this stage Turkey missed what was a golden chance to get back into the game if he had tried to ally with Austria against Russia. F/A/T vs R/G would have been a dream alliance for him. It would be interesting to hear from Turkey if he knew of Germmany switching sides - because if he did, that was a real opportunity missed.

1910: I was pretty annoyed at what I saw as some very weird diplomacy - throughout the game Russia had leaked info, lied, fabricated messages and done all kinds of crazy stuff and seems to have been rewarded for it. This has been covered already in other posts, so lets just suffice it to say that I don't see that as the way to play, but others may disagree. But at that stage, I decided it was time to make my peace with Russia's tactics and talk to him again. I tried to arrange a RFT alliance which he promptly broke. But at least I started talking to him again. I regret that I lost my cool a bit in the previous couple of years with Russia's antics. I think a better attitude waould have been to just sit back and laugh at all the dishonest stuff Russia had done instead of got on my high horse and started preaching. Although I just can't stop myself sometimes. Board-wise, things were still fine for me. Although Russia had once again overtaken me as clear top dog.

1911: Russia stabs Germany in what should have been a very obvious stab - by this I mean obvious that it had to happen at some point. Given the board position at the time, the RG alliance was not a credible proposition. Although I was a little relieved that it came then. Part of me was wondering whether Russia was persuasive enough and Germany daft enough for RG to continue for a few years with Russia getting ever more powerful and eventually stabbing Germany for the solo. Germany also really missed a trick here by not allying with Turkey before Russia inevitably stabbed him. At the end of 1911, I had an agreement with Russia to work towards a 2 way draw and what I thought was a nice position. Although just like in 1905, Russia had used his skills of persuasion to engineer a position where he was far stronger than me. So I had to be very wary of not being too good an ally to him too soon. To me it's a real shame that Russia insisted on doing this before both 1905 and 1911. It makes alliance far harder than need be.

1912: I try to discuss a fair 2 way alliance with Russia but what he asks for is just so one-sided it's crazy. It's a real shame, because I'd instinctively like to play games out and whittle 3 ways down to 2 ways where both have solo opportunities. And to cause further aggravation he tries to pretend that I was the one being awkward and preventing a 2 way alliance. I don't know how much of this he actually believed - or if it was just a ploy to try to beat me down? Either way I found it rather tedious. He also insisted that he wouldn't accept a 3 way FGR draw but would accept a 4 way FGRT draw which again I found rather tedious and pretty intellectually dishonest to try to use draw offers as weapons in that way.

1913: Russia relents and agrees to a 3 way draw. Based on board position at the end, I'd have liked to play on. But with the personality clashes, I think the humane thing to do was to accept a 3 way draw and give everyone a break from what was an exhausting game. It had occurred to me that I could have not accepted, blamed Russia for the game continuing and then look to profit by continuing F/G vs R/T before stabbing Germany at an opportune time. I thought that strategy was sound in terms of giving me higher expected points than 3 way, but also that the most likely result would still have been a 3 way and any better result could have taken a long time to achieve. I was also aware that others were not really enjoying the game which entered my decision-making process too - in a rare act of altruism.

This is certainly a game I'll remember for some time to come. The number of times Russia persuaded people to act against their interests was incredible and shows amazing skills of persuasion. Even more amazing to me was that he could carry on doing this even after being exposed as a pathological liar, message leaker/fabricator and arch manipulator. It does give me cause to re-think some of what I thought I previously knew about this game. Also, in terms of on the board play, I'd always thought that to have a chance of soloing you need to offer another country a viable 2 way alliance. Whereas his model was to try to solo by creating chaos and conflict everywhere else and solo while nobody else was anywhere near a solo or 2 way draw. I'd like to think that in high quality games this strategy simply won't work as when it comes to crunch people should be able to put aside their differences and stop him.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby V » 02 Apr 2018, 14:10

I don’t often read AAR’s, but while perusing this one, the following statement jumped out,

“I am ranked #13 on the site and would be higher if I had played more games under the current ranking system. Or if some of the games I had played weren't from taking over surrendered powers and so the points I received scaled down to the proportion of the game I was involved in.”

One of the things I love about scoring systems is that they are all the same for everyone (or maybe not in this case...:-)
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