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Actaeon

Diplomacy

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Sarachim ran a game of Diplomacy on Shadow Vale once, before web versions existed. It occurs to me that it might be time to try for it again.

 

I've taken the liberty of making a new game . The password is "avernum", and it will start at noon on Monday provided six more people join.

 

After that, you can move any time. They only take effect when everyone was submitted them, and occur, effectively, simultaneously. I've set the length to twenty four hours, giving plenty of room for time zones and scheming.

 

http://webdiplomacy.net/intro.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomacy_(game)

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To avoid confusion I am "dopeybirdofprey". "Excalibur" was taken, unsurprisingly.

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There's still three slots open! Get in on the action and join and stuff.

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As with any board game, the learning curve looks intimidating, but the online interface makes it relatively quick. In any case, anyone new to the game will not be alone, and I assure you the newbies will all swarm me as the creator.

 

Edit: We've got a full group. Feel free to send me any questions, and get your moves in by 6pm on Monday.

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I made an offer to organize and arbitrate a Spiderweb Software chess tournament at CalRef (the offer, the tournament would be held elsewhere). Just thought I'd copy that over here in case anybody else was interested.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
I made an offer to organize and arbitrate a Spiderweb Software chess tournament at CalRef (the offer, the tournament would be held elsewhere). Just thought I'd copy that over here in case anybody else was interested.
Interested, but where would the tournament be held, in what medium, and with what time constraints?

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Originally Posted By: Actaeon
As with any board game, the learning curve looks intimidating, but the online interface makes it relatively quick. In any case, anyone new to the game will not be alone, and I assure you the newbies will all swarm me as the creator.

Diplomacy is easy to learn, the hard part is figuring out how to protect yourself from being backstabbed. smile

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Originally Posted By: Nioca
Originally Posted By: Dantius
I made an offer to organize and arbitrate a Spiderweb Software chess tournament at CalRef (the offer, the tournament would be held elsewhere). Just thought I'd copy that over here in case anybody else was interested.
Interested, but where would the tournament be held, in what medium, and with what time constraints?


Well, standard FIDE tournament controls (that's 90 min/40 moves +30 min iff time expires for you laymen) would kind of suck, so I was thinking maybe thirty minutes each, no delay?

The format I was thinking would be over an AIM room, where the players would post your moves, and I'd keep time and record the games at my end. That way, spectators could watch the games in progress.

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How about someone sets up a AJAX chess server or something similar that can just be done in-browser. I'd kindly volunteer to host it if this goes anywhere.

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The web idea sounds good. I'm not sure if there is software for that out there. (If there isn't, it might be a fun project to do in PHP or Python or something, maybe jQuery for the UI.) An AIM bot would be neat too, but require algebraic notation as input (even if it prints out the board after each move).

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Once again I am sad that SV is closed.

 

The obelisks look more like decorations than pieces, though. Maybe crystal souls...

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The introduction states that a holding unit will always defeat a moving unit, but what happens when two opposing units move into an uncontested area simultaneously?

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Originally Posted By: Aʀᴀɴ
The introduction states that a holding unit will always defeat a moving unit, but what happens when two opposing units move into an uncontested area simultaneously?


That's called a standoff: the units bounce off each other and remain in their original positions, unless one of them has support.

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It can actually be harnessed tactically, allowing two units to defend three spaces (with some reservations) or ensuring that you follow up on the letter of a promise without obeying the spirit.

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Originally Posted By: Actaeon
It can actually be harnessed tactically, allowing two units to defend three spaces (with some reservations) or ensuring that you follow up on the letter of a promise without obeying the spirit.


I don't quite get how either of those would work - which three spaces and what kind of promise?

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The idea is that if territories A and B, which you have units in, are both adjacent to territory C, which you don't, then you can bounce off units in territory C in order to prevent anyone else from moving into it without support while still occupying A and B yourself.

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The counter is when you see someone do that is to support the movement of unit A or B into C and then slip into the vacated territory. Depending upon the map area then you can use this to force out more units along your border on the later turns.

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I just registered, but I can't find any Join option.

 

I guess seven members is the limit. frown

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That it is. You're could always make a second game and post it here, BMA. Or wait until this one comes to an end and recruit those who enjoyed it.

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I'm surprised I've survived so far. I'll watch the second game with interest.

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It's 'cause you think more than the rest of us. You'll just have to consign yourself to being the slow one, Aran.

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s/think/sleep. tongue

 

Also, I have been betrayed most shamefully by Nioca, though I kind of saw it coming. Should've retreated and kept him guessing.

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Originally Posted By: Aʀᴀɴ
Also, I have been betrayed most shamefully by Nioca, though I kind of saw it coming. Should've retreated and kept him guessing.

Hey, all I said is that I'd get Bulgaria to roll out. I never said where they'd be rolling to. tongue

(Although that rule where you can retreat into an opponent's supply center burned me this time around. I could have gotten three armies in one turn... frown )

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Originally Posted By: Actaeon
(Two more needed for game 2.)

Is doubling up now allowed?

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There are three duplicates in the second game, including myself. I do not think it would have been filled otherwise. Henceforth, I will be creating no more games of my own, but trust that they will be provided if there is sufficient interest.

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Am I the only one who's turned off by the interface? Why not have coloured units, and have the larger map by default? I had to punch the moves into jDip just to get a feel of what was going on.

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You're not alone. The units do have colored boxes, but it's not nearly as easy to view as jDip or an actual board. I created a PSD based virtual board once that worked very well. Nevertheless, my experience is that webdiplomacy's interface is the easiest to learn.

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Germany, France called. They want their stereotype back.

 

Seriously, Germany in both games is calling for a draw. This makes sense for G1 Germany (although I doubt anyone else will go for it), but a phase hasn't even passed in Game 2 yet. confused

 

Also, yeah, the small map is cluttered and can get a bit confusing, but the learning curve on the interface is minimal. Which is good when you have a bunch of rookies.

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I'm guessing Game 2 Germany isn't totally sure what Draw means.

 

I understood the interface quickly but was confused initially about support orders. I must have missed the part that said you can't support hold a unit if it attempts to move (I had thought it support holds the unit on the condition that said unit's move order fails.)

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You can only support a unit to stay in position or support a unit in an advance into a territory.

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Your support can also be "cut" if you attack the supporting unit. Hopefully, all these things come up in play and after a game or two everyone who enjoys it can feel confident really getting into it.

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Really, the best way to learn the rules of the game is to download Realpolitik or jDip and just play around with it for a while. If you're unsure how your set of move will be interpreted, input your moves into one of the aforementioned programs and see how it plays out. Check to see if any of your opponents (or 'allies'!) can disrupt your plans while you're at it. It's a good way to catch gaps in your knowledge before it's too late. For instance, I just realized today that attacking a fleet doesn't disrupt a convoy; you have to actually dislodge it before the convoy fails.

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Whatever you do, don't base your game play on the suggested scenario moves in the instruction manual to the Avalon Hill boxed board set. I remember how quickly we tore the orders apart as leading to disaster for a few sides.

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I stumbled around a bit in the first turn, but I finally got the hang of it.

 

And I thought chatting was just a bonus feature, until I read that the game does actually depend on psychology and negotiation.

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Originally Posted By: ɮɱα
I stumbled around a bit in the first turn, but I finally got the hang of it.

And I thought chatting was just a bonus feature, until I read that the game does actually depend on psychology and negotiation.


Yeah, if you just try to play the game without talking with other players about strategy you're basically inviting everyone else to gang up on you.

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It's called Diplomacy for a reason. You can be well versed tactically without being terribly successful (see my webdiplomacy record), and a newbie with a silver tongue can go far.

 

Not that you can't study up. There's a thriving community of nerds who think they're Kasparov.

 

http://diplom.org/index.py

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Diplomacy/Alliances

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Experience at Diplomacy may gradually improve your strategy, but the effect is self-limiting, because the one liability you can't ever overcome is having won the last game. Anyone who plays much Diplomacy has to accept getting fooled more than once, but nobody wants to get fooled twice in a row.

 

My old gaming group came to prefer the 'Machiavelli' variant, which was published (I think by Avalon Hill) with its own special map and counters and whatnot, but was basically just a fancy version of the original game. It was set in Renaissance Italy, and you got to play either the major city states or some of the surrounding powers. One big change was a three-turn resource cycle, which made for a slightly less hectic pace of lunging for resource centers. Another was that cities and provinces counted independently for resources, and could also be defended separately, so that effectively the map was a lot bigger. Maybe the biggest change was that the number of units in play was not determined directly by resource sites held. Instead you got money for your provinces and cities, every third turn, and could then use the cash to hire units. But there were also other things you could do if you saved up cash, from trading it to other players, to bribing an enemy unit to convert to your side.

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Anonymous players can help with the "fool me once" syndrome. Gunboat (message free) gives an advantage to those whose strength is strategy. Webdiplomacy supports a few modifications, but if you really feel like tweaking, its sister site is where it's at.

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Originally Posted By: Actaeon
Anonymous players can help with the "fool me once" syndrome.


That could also work in Werewolf / Mafia...

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
I believe *i tried that in the 2 most recent Northern Isles games.

Yeah, although it was still a bit problematic. Some players were friends off-forum, and you could basically gauge who was who by intently watching the Who's Online list.

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Originally Posted By: Excalibur

Yeah, although it was still a bit problematic. Some players were friends off-forum, and you could basically gauge who was who by intently watching the Who's Online list.


Or by writing style, which is harder to disguise than you might think, as that one forum game where I guessed absolutely everyone's identity showed.

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Trick: Use odd writing style. Short sentences. Still get point across.

Pro: No one can guess who you are.

Con: Die first. Annoying to everyone.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Excalibur

Yeah, although it was still a bit problematic. Some players were friends off-forum, and you could basically gauge who was who by intently watching the Who's Online list.


Or by writing style, which is harder to disguise than you might think, as that one forum game where I guessed absolutely everyone's identity showed.

I tried to circumvent this by copying other people's writing from previous PMs (because I never deleted them). All that did was prevent anyone from trusting me.

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I'm calling for a draw in both games, since several countries have gone into civil disorder. If someone wants to make another game at some point, this thread will likely do for the announcement. For now, I am satisfied that several more members know how to play. Eventually, we should get seven stalwart souls to participate again.

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Originally Posted By: Actaeon
I'm calling for a draw in both games, since several countries have gone into civil disorder. If someone wants to make another game at some point, this thread will likely do for the announcement. For now, I am satisfied that several more members know how to play. Eventually, we should get seven stalwart souls to participate again.

Oh, geez, I completely forgot about this, what with all the season 2 finale stuff going on, alongside school and RL. Sorry frown

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