PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby Strategus » 11 Apr 2018, 23:21

To agree a three way in this game at this stage, without even leaving it a turn to see what happenned is totally spineless. For all of you, including Turkey, who should know better being ranked relatively highly. Piss poor game play, diplomacy, and even piss poor meta-gaming. Just piss poor all around really. FFS.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby boldblade » 11 Apr 2018, 23:30

GPD wrote:To agree a three way in this game at this stage, without even leaving it a turn to see what happenned is totally spineless. For all of you, including Turkey, who should know better being ranked relatively highly. Piss poor game play, diplomacy, and even piss poor meta-gaming. Just piss poor all around really. FFS.


Hey MJ, I like this guy. Can I be in his league?
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby Strategus » 11 Apr 2018, 23:34

boldblade wrote:
GPD wrote:To agree a three way in this game at this stage, without even leaving it a turn to see what happenned is totally spineless. For all of you, including Turkey, who should know better being ranked relatively highly. Piss poor game play, diplomacy, and even piss poor meta-gaming. Just piss poor all around really. FFS.


Hey MJ, I like this guy. Can I be in his league?

Come to the WDC.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby boldblade » 11 Apr 2018, 23:36

I'm trying. I badly want to but its a bad time of year for me :(
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby greggybear » 11 Apr 2018, 23:54

mjparrett wrote:Onto the game. Germany again. Grrrr. Sea Lion was agreed. Good. I don't want England growing behind me so lets take him out. England at first was a slightly better communicator than France so I mulled over switching. But France was good as well and I couldn't resist the easy attack England ploy. 11th hour Russia called it off. No worries, he did the decent thing and was honest about it. I made a snap decision to then break my deal and invade Burgundy! France not happy.


Sure would be a pity for Germany to waste a perfectly good Sealion opportunity, Mike!

Congrats on another solid finish!

As to the comments about solos and 3-ways, I can promise you that I did everything I could do and then some in game 1 to solo. It wasn't going to happen, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I don't know why most games seem to be ending in 3-way draws, but I'm pretty confident any well-played game of Diplomacy (by everyone) should never end in a solo, so I'll hope that's the reason.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby Nanook » 12 Apr 2018, 00:23

boldblade wrote:I'm trying. I badly want to but its a bad time of year for me :(

If there's anything you need to make it happen (family friendly activities to convince the significant other, a roommate to diffuse the cost, transportation, a call to your boss from "totally with the governors office and your business is shut down that week," Belgium) don't hesitate to give me a PM and I can either help you or point you to the people that can!
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby V » 12 Apr 2018, 00:52

“As to the comments about solos and 3-ways, I can promise you that I did everything I could do and then some in game 1 to solo. It wasn't going to happen, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I don't know why most games seem to be ending in 3-way draws, but I'm pretty confident any well-played game of Diplomacy (by everyone) should never end in a solo, so I'll hope that's the reason.”

Using Greggybear’s comment as a starting point about well played games ending in draws, I definitely believe the board position only tells part of the story when considering if a solo attempt could fly. We all know diplomacy is the major part of Diplomacy & this doesn’t change at end game.
I’ve been in several games recently where a board leader is part of an apparently victorious 3-way alliance (I’ve usually had a junior position in the alliance). Every time, all other remaining participants have an agreed plan ready to execute should the guy with a potential solo “step out of line”. This usually includes those not yet eliminated, but who will be if the 3-way proceeds.
I’ve seen them sending optimistic messages encouraging & hoping for a step in the wrong direction, so that the “big guy gets done”.
We know this is in progress every time competent diplomats participate in a game & yet when the expected outcome (a 3-way) happens there are cries of cowardice. Unless personally involved in the ongoing diplomacy at that stage of the contest, I don’t think you have sufficient information to pass judgement.

I only have 8% solos in ranked games despite really trying hard to do better. I know I’m not good at it, but I also give credit to the opposition folks making it very hard for me.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby ColonelApricot » 12 Apr 2018, 08:41

greggybear wrote:I don't know why most games seem to be ending in 3-way draws, but I'm pretty confident any well-played game of Diplomacy (by everyone) should never end in a solo, so I'll hope that's the reason.

It's difficult to convert a 3-way to a solo so the prevalence is not surprising. You have to prepare better for the solo by leaving remnant powers in place and working with them to exert a disrupting influence and to increase the complexity. Treating these powers respectfully can pay dividends. Joining an unbreakable 3-way alliance to eliminate the others is to prepare for a draw.

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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby jimbobicus » 12 Apr 2018, 12:23

A few comments as an outsider looking in:

1. mjparrett - Germany is a great country to play for solo-hunters. You're right in the middle of the board so builds will always be relatively quick to frontline. Also you're typically in the middle of all the diplo stuff so in the best position to get reads on the other players. Sure you can also easily get sandwiched between people and eliminated. But you should embrace the challenge :lol:
On the premature end - yes it looked very premature. Looking at the board, it was calling out for an FG alliance to go all the way. And then hearing that you had good relations with France, I'd have gone for it. It's a shame, because you seem to have made plenty of ballsy plays. I like the 1901 move to Burgundy. If France doesn't organise burgundy bounce then he's always running that risk and I like the early F/I alliance. Shame Italy got thwarted on Mars but good guess work by France. If only you had gone to Paris! Then for you to build 2 fleets in 1901 - that is very brave! I'm not such a fan of that one. It's something I'd never do - regardless of the diplo. I just think it leaves you to open by land and really alienates England. But you made it work. After that, I think you played pretty well strategically. You didn't repeat the mistake of attacking Austria while there was a strong Russia and collapsing the centre of the board for instance. Going FGA was a sensible choice of 3 way alliance and by the end of 1908 you were in a great position. Just a shame you stopped there instead of continuing.
Also, weird you accepted the draw if you didn't want to - presumably there were anonymous draw proposals again? So you could have just copied greggybear's trick of saying you accepted when you didn't. I know I don't practice what I preach here - I was perhaps way too honest on how I vote in our game (I have this thing where I just hate lying sometimes), but I don't think you're one to have any such qualms?

2. It's a shame to hear that England and Russia stopped communicating when things went wrong. Sure it's frustrating when they go against you. But as long as you have units left on the board, there's always hope. You could offer to puppet yourself for one of the other powers and then stab when you get a chance. There are nearly always things you can try. Maybe they will fail. But you can at least try - you have nothing to lose.

3. On the propensity for 3 way draws instead of solos. I think a lot of is that 3 way draws are in a sense an easy and stable outcome. But it's a real shame. Also, in games with quality players like these, there shouldn't be solos where one player breaks clear and romps to a solo being 5 or more SCs clear of anyone else. In those scenarios, it should be obvious that the other players need to band together and stop it (as happened to greggybear in round 1). But what should happen is two players band together to go for a 2 way draw together. Sure there's a chance you get nothing if your partner solos, but I say man-up and take that risk. If you go for a 2 way, lets say there are four outcomes that could happen
You solo - call probability of this "w"
Opponent solos - call probability of this "x"
2 way draw - call probability of this "y"
3 way draw - call probability of this "z"

Now, best on Mike's scoring system. A 3 way draw gives you 10 points.
If z=0 and x=w then each player in 2 way partnership gets 20 points in expectation.
If z=0 and x>w then you get more than 20 points in expectation (or less than 20 if x<w)
If x-w > 0.5 then the above lottery gives you an expected value of better than 10 points.

So there should be enough incentive for people to gamble and go for 2 way alliances like this. In my opinion, people are just chicken. Although if I was being more charitable, other possible explanations:
i) Suggesting 2 ways has an image problem. It's often seen as code for "I want to solo and so you shouldn't trust me" and so makes your partner suspicious of you. This is a real shame because if a 2 way is arranged fairly so that both players are equally close to solo, then it should be fair and in both players interests to go for it.
ii) From a psychological viewpoint, many people are very risk averse because if their opponent solos, they get nothing, even if they are on 16 SC, say. I think just the fact you get 0 - the same as if you were eliminated - is a psychological for some people. I think to overcome this, the scoring system could be changed so as to reward people for SCs owned at the end regardless of result. Maybe a system like:
solo = 150 points
2 way draw = 70 points
3 way draw = 40 points
4 way draw = 25 points
5 way draw = 15 points
6 way draw= 10 points
7 way draw = 5 points
eliminated = 0 points
Players also get 1 point for each SC controlled at the end of the game regardless of the game's result.
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Re: PDL 1. Round 2 Game 2. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 12 Apr 2018, 13:22

Thanks for the comments. I'll try not to rise to GPDs posts as they aren't really adding anything. I'm not sure how much is frustration he was eliminated and how much is frustration that the game kinda wimped out. He was already out by this point though so not sure really why it matters? And I think he also needs to accepts that not everyone thinks the same as him, and he isn't necessarily "right" with his opinions. But hey ho, lets leave that one.

@JimB... a couple of things. You are right, I chickened out. Pretty much the best way to put it. I have solos to my name and will go for it if I either think I have a real good shot, or think that the worst possible outcome is still similar to the alliance I am currently in. I'm probably reading the board wrong, but near the end I just thought if I stabbed it would end as a 4 way. I agree with the comments that good quality games with good quality players should rarely (if ever) end in a solo. And I didn't want R/T joining A and us having a 5 way stalemate getting gradually whittled.

On accepting the draw... I kinda did it without fully thinking. I honestly almost posted (anonymously) if there is a way to unaccept a draw after you have agreed to it. But I'm fairly sure there isn't so didn't bother. From that point I hoped R or T would reject (trying to sow discord in the alliance). But obviously everyone agreed!

And yeah Germany is in the thick of things. I like the fact you get to talk to everyone at the beginning. I just don't have a great record. And to get it 2 league games in a row was slightly frustrating for me. I much prefer E/F - I consider those my strongest countries. I guess I should welcome the challenge of practising the other 5!
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