SG Diplomacy League, Game 4

edited July 2010 in Story Games
I joined a game on last week with random internet strangers, and it was AWFUL. People didn't conduct diplomacy, or they did, but in a weird, inexplicably hostile fashion. Plus as soon as someone had a bad turn, they surrendered and quit. There were three new players by 1902. And the moves made no sense at all. Bleah.

So, new game!

Name: SG Diplomacy League, Game 4
Password: artemis
Turns: 24 hours for orders, 12 hours for retreats and builds

I didn't join yet, since I've played in the last three, so I'll wait and see if it fills up quickly. If not, I am all in.


  • I'm ready to give it another go. Once again, into the breach...
  • Plunged in the battery-smoke / right thro' the line they broke
    Cossack and Russian / Reel'd from the sabre stroke
    Shatter'd and sunder'd
  • I'll wait and see for a bit in case there are new volunteers as well. Anybody interested in trying Diplomacy, do step up; this is an easy game to learn and fun to play among a reasonably courteous community like this.
  • Looks like I'm going to win by default!

    I haven't even won a game yet and no one dares stand against me!

  • edited July 2010
    Seriously. If no newcomers sign up this weekend, I am so in. So far I've only managed to come up with 1/4th of a win, out of three games.

    EDIT: Eero is right! This is a fun game with not-so-terrible a time committment. Plus, playing with friendly, smart SG posters is WAY WAY WAY better than playing with anonymous internet goons, I tell you what.
  • Bam. I'm in.
  • Okay! I joined. This is my first game! I followed the S-G Diplomacy Game 3 thread, and that's about the extent of my applicable experience. Tactical "advice" from "allies" will be welcome. =)

    In case this game does fill up before Brian and Eero join, perhaps there might be enough players for a second, concurrent game? ... maybe the S-G group could turn into something of a two-tier league?
  • Considering the game had only three people in it at this point, I joined in. Now we have four, still need three. Who will fight us for the fate of Europe?
  • Joined!

    We have room for two more players. Get 'em while they're hot.
  • Tempting, so tempting. Just got thrashed in another game where I was playing Turkey (admittedly I missed three years of play, but that's no excuse!), but it's just a matter of finding the time!
  • I'm in. There's.... room for one more.
  • How much diplomacy is there between the players? Like, what kind of writing commitment has been the baseline to compete in this group? (I know silent players can't expect to do well)

    I have fond memories of Diplomacy from college, but we would all meet face-to-face in private meetings in the dorm and play over the course of a weekend...
  • I'd say that you don't have to write very much as long as what you write is business: tell the others consistently that you're not going to write a lot and stick to it, and the others will adjust their expectations. The problem with not writing much is not that the big writers somehow will drown you out, but rather that if you are always terse and never personalize the terseness, it comes off as untrustworthy: the other guy will imagine that you're talking more with the other players and not talking seriously with him. For instance, I don't consider terseness a problem if you tell me that you're going to be terse (thus nullifying the suspicion that your terseness is a subconscious signal) and then follow that up by going to the point and discussing the things we minimally need to: tell me what you want, tell me what you're willing to give, tell me what long-term cooperation we could have. Anything more is only necessary when you're trying to explain your strategy to the other guy, anyway. Heck, I'm all for bullet-points if the player is clear enough on his strategy to provide them.

    On the other hand, I am more prone to stab you if your terseness is combined with non-communication: if I don't know what you're planning and you refuse to commit to anything plan-wise, then I lose nothing by making prey of you.
  • Eero himself is quite terse much of the time.
  • ::busts out laughing::
  • When Eero stops talking to you, it's because he's afraid he's going to give something away. Your best bet is to keep him talking; just pretend that you're Flash Gordon and he's Ming the Merciless.
  • I can't commit to this right now. Maybe next game.

    But I would definitely try to form a Terse Compact. Down with the Verbose Alliance! 140 characters or death!

    Good luck to Italy... :)
  • I've signed up.

    I haven't played Diplomacy since my early 20s, and only once or twice then. I'm prepared to be used, betrayed, and left to wonder where it all went so wrong.

  • Hurrah! Game on!

    We have some new faces, some reiging SG Diplomacy champs, and some embittered has-beens desperate for our chance to prove our mettle, but destined to end up floating on a lone fleet unit in the south seas while someone takes our last supply centre.
  • I will happily provide scurrilous and ill-informed color commentary.
  • Woohoo! Game on!

    Russel, Vincent, welcome aboard.
  • Embittered has-beens FTW!
  • I'm hoping the server has been more reliable than it was last winter?
  • Yeah, it was fine during the last game. I think maybe it was just sad.
  • Posted By: Bill_WhiteI will happily provide scurrilous and ill-informed color commentary.
    Count me in for some blow-by-blow dissections; these games are seriously lacking in discussion. When's this bad boy kicking off? Who's who?
  • Posted By: PotemkinCount me in for some blow-by-blow dissections; these games are seriously lacking in discussion. When's this bad boy kicking off? Who's who?
    Well, right now I believe the players are waiting for everyone to confirm their participation. As you know, Mike, the playdiplomacy server will send each player an e-mail asking him to log in and confirm that he intends to play. Once that happens, the Spring 1901 diplomacy phase will take place--that will be a double-length phase, so 48 hours after the last player confirms, we'll see the first turn results.

    It's an exciting time, all right, and fraught with uncertainty, since it's not unknown for a player to get second thoughts during this confirmation period. Failure to confirm kicks the game back into "waiting for players" mode, with all the anxiety-making that that suggests.
  • If anyone gets cold feet, I'll step into that gap. No fear.

    I want to see Eero as one of the western trio; would make for novel commentary on my part.
  • edited July 2010
    I just confirmed participation on the site, and it seems I am the second-to-last person to do so-- waiting for one more.

  • When the countries are assigned, I would like to create a character through which to play the game. Nothing fancy; just a little flavor. I will still play to win. In large part, I feel, it will be to help distance myself from all of the deceit that the character will might be dishing out.
  • Okay, four more players in just a few hours was definitely a bit of surprise. I confirmed, so now it's game on.

    Oh, and look at that. I'm all cozy neighbors with Jamey and Eero. This should be interesting...
  • For those keeping score at home:

    TURKEY - Chris / C. Edwards
    ENGLAND - Nathan / ndp
    GERMANY - Russell / Aumpa
    RUSSIA - Eero
    ITALY - Brian
    AUSTRIA - Jamey / Marhault
    FRANCE - Vincent / lumpley
  • Can you guys put the countries played next to the point totals on the previous cumulative rankings sometime? I'm just curious. Like, that's a big deal in tournament play. Any points scored with A-H or Italy, for example: Huge.

    Vincent and Eero as Franco-Russian. Watch out for the pincer, boys... ;) Good luck everyone. :)
  • I thought, for my first game, it would be simpler to start with one of the outside countries, but I didn't get any of my three preferences!
  • Posted By: AumpaI thought, for my first game, it would be simpler to start with one of the outside countries, but I didn't get any of my three preferences!
    That happens sometimes in a preference system: you're randomized out of your first pick by somebody else having the same pick, and then your second and third picks were also first picks for some other people, landing you Germany, Austria or Italy. Happened to me in the last game.

    I'll try to open up the diplomatic channels today. Anybody feel free to write me of your own accord, of course. I won't be at IM range for the next couple of weeks, but the in-game messaging system works well enough.
  • Posted By: nemomemeCan you guys put the countries played next to the point totals on the previous cumulative rankings sometime? I'm just curious. Like, that's a big deal in tournament play. Any points scored with A-H or Italy, for example: Huge.
    • AUSTRIA - Jamey / Marhault. 2 previous games; in the draw as England, solo as Russia. With his prior solo victory, Jamey is the reigning champion and thus the player to beat, and he's playing one of the hardest countries on the board. Expect cagey, pragmatic play from this Diplomacy veteran!
    • ENGLAND - Nathan / ndp. 1 previous game, lost as Italy. Nathan is coming in with something to prove this game, having flubbed a promising position in an earlier game to spend time with friends and family in the real world. Still, the fact that he's back can only mean one thing: this time he's serious.
    • FRANCE - Vincent / lumpley. A newcomer to S-G Diplomacy but not to the Story-Games crowd, Vincent starts the game in control of a strong Power. Expectations are high for the designer of Dogs in the Vineyard and Apocalypse World; will he live up to them? Stay tuned!
    • ITALY - Brian. 3 previous games; lost as Turkey and France, in the draw once as Turkey. Brian is a solid player, a capable diplomat and sound tactician. But he's got a string of losses behind him. Has he identified and remedied his Achilles heel? Time will tell!
    • GERMANY - Russell / Aumpa. No previous games. All eyes are on this complete unknown! Can he hang?
    • RUSSIA - Eero. 2 previous games; in the draw twice as France and Italy. Eero is a known quantity--known as a Mephistophelian mastermind, that is! Playing Russia, he's got an excuse to be up in everybody's business.
    • TURKEY - Chris / C. Edwards. 1 previous game, lost as Italy. Chris is aggressive in pursuit of gain and tenacious in the face of loss; he will be a dangerous foe in this game. But as he himself recognizes, his immediate neighbors are the two strongest players in the game. What time do the fireworks start?
  • Oh, the color commentary looks like it's going to be fun this time around!

    You know, some places just call the big red dot in the middle a "bullseye".
  • Now I can see how Russia handles in the hands of a competent player.
  • Those introductions made me laugh. They're even better if you mentally read them in the voice of a NASCAR smash-em-up raceway announcer.
  • I prefer the "Let's get ready to rumble!" boxing announcer voice.
  • I was doing it in the husky stage-whisper of gymnast commentators everywhere.

    Also, will Eero and Jamey's established positions as 'ones to watch' effect how others players treat them?
  • edited July 2010
    I think "reputation" is certainly something to consider in Diplomacy. Not in the sense of "Ooh, I heard Eero say he was the Finnish Diplomacy Cage Match Champion three years running", but in the sense of "I played a couple games with Chris already, and I know he stops writing messages in complete sentences when he's about to stab you". (Not a real observation, btw).

    In fact, in the original Diplomacy discussion thread that led to these games the SG Diplomacy League, we were discussing the idea of a local Diplomacy play cultures, and how different they can be from one another.

    As to WHAT effect that has, I don't know. Will we all hustle to ally with Jamey as the reigning SG Diplomacy champ, or will we gang up on him to take him out?
  • Wha? I... uh... that's just not... whatever.

    What Brian said. I know I certainly adjust based upon actual play experience with particular folks and/or my perception of someone's knowledge of the game. For example, while this is the first game I've played with Eero, I know the likelihood of him falling for any freshman level tricks is at most minimal and I'll take that into account in my dealings with him. Basically, being surrounded by Brian, Jamey, and Eero is either going to up my game or hasten my demise with extreme prejudice.

    So, time for me to go dig those secret escape tunnels.
  • I'm very curious to see how my "rep" influences this game. I suspect it makes me a target more than anything. It's sort of the meta-equivalent of getting "too big too fast" in a single game. I'm not the best player at the table, but I'm ahead in the league because of one good game.

    Chris, I felt the same way when I saw the player draws. The East got all of the known quantities in this game, which, in this case means it got all the people who've played multiple games and are thus regarded as experienced (at least locally).
  • I'm terrified of everyone!

  • Please join me in attacking France. Sign-up sheet in the lobby.
  • "There's a foreign object in the ring! There's a foreign object in the ring! Will somebody please stop this match?! HAS THIS MAN NO SCRUPLES?!?!"
  • Just a few hours left until the first turn is complete. Is the opening highly anticipated by spectators? Or is it usually by-the-book sort of stuff?
  • I find it hilarious how early the politics starts.
  • Posted By: AumpaJust a few hours left until the first turn is complete. Is the opening highly anticipated by spectators? Or is it usually by-the-book sort of stuff?
    Rest assured that I at least will gaze long and hard at the first turn orders in order to engage in highly speculative kremlinological prognostications that amount to little more than ill-informed tea-leaf reading. As a player, feel free to laugh up your sleeve.
    Posted By: Simon CI find it hilarious how early the politics starts.
    Man what? That's like saying I find it hilarious how early playing the game starts. Yes, exactly; it begins when it begins. What else? I mean, it's not really a tactical game. It's a psychological one.
  • Spring 1901. It begins!


    Germany comes out of his corner swinging with a strong anti-'Russian opening! The fleet move to Denmark threatens to keep Eero out of Sweden, and the armies in Prussia and Silesia threaten Warsaw. England's opening is also strongly anti-Russian; expect a convoy to Norway supported by the other fleet. The French moves are temporizing, portending a rapid occupation of Iberia and an uncontested invasion of Belgium although one can imagine Germany sweating out the next 24 hours over Munich. All in all, it looks like England and Germany have agreed to throw in together for a smash-and-grab against Russia, with France either a silent partner or a fly in the ointment.

    Meanwhile, Italy's fairly traditional deployment suggests a convoy to Tunis as his most conservative fall move, since Austria's heavily anti-Turkish opening promises a supported attack on Greece; no opportunities for the Italian here! But there are some tricky judgments to be made. Russia's moves show him gunning for Rumania, but T:Arm-Sev, Bul-Rum conceivably puts Russia down to 3 SCs if Warsaw falls. To the extent that Austria is counting on Russia's big guns against Turkey, he may opt to support Ukr-Rum so that there are Russian boots on the ground pointing toward Anatolia. That being the case, Turkey might roll the dice and support an Italian convoy into Greece, since the worst that could happen from his perspective is that Austria would be denied his second build. A Greek gambit that failed would leave Italy out in the cold, though, and failing to get that first-year build would be a powerful psychological drag on the Italian player as well as potentially a flag for France to come on down to where the water's warm. In any event, the maneuvering suggests that Italy and Austria are working toward some kind of modus vivendi if not outright cooperation against Turkey from the get-go. So you might see Austria using F Adr to support Italy into Greece while A Ser supports Russia into Rumania--although both Russia and Italy would put Austria on the list as second to go after Turkey, so there's a limit to how accommodating you can expect Austria to be to his nearby rivals.

    Is it possible that Eero's reputation has caused his neophyte neighbors to gun for him in the early going? What arguments and expostulations can he deploy to forestall the deadly blow? Is the apparent Austro-Russian collusion similarly a product of the two board leaders getting each others' backs against a ravening horde of wannabes? Whose side is Italy on? Will France make an early break against his Western neighbors while they are marching eastward? The questions are many! Let the kibbitzing commence!
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