Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

General discussions that don't fit in other forums can go here.
Forum rules
Feel free to discuss any topics here. Please use the Politics sub-forum for political conversations. While most topics will be allowed please be sure to be respectful and follow our normal site rules at http://www.webdiplomacy.net/rules.php.
Message
Author
Octavious
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: The Five Valleys, Gloucestershire
Karma: 643
Contact:

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#21 Post by Octavious » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:32 pm

rokakoma wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:19 pm

Moreover, the higher stakes Gunboats you play, the more similar openings will look like. For eg: Italy/Austria NEVER attack each other at opening in high level Gunboats.
Thank you, rokakoma, for illustrating far better than I why Gunboat is not diplomacy. The idea of two nations never attacking each other is utterly alien to the game. All alliances and all opponents are open.

rokakoma wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:12 pm
So, if you are a good gunboat player, you will "sense", which countries read what narratives. Some of them think you are the threat, others think, others are. If you are really good, you will know who thinks what. If you are a great player, you can make them think differently.
Do you really? I can imagine games in which you have a noob who clearly has no idea what's going on having an observably different read to a more experienced player, but do you really get something similar in a quality game? It implies a high level of mastery that is unmatched by the others. Fascinating stuff.

Not diplomacy though ;)

rokakoma
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:50 pm
Karma: 9

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#22 Post by rokakoma » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:11 am

@Octavious

First of all, Merry Christmas to you and everyone!

Secondly, let me quickly reflect.
In gunboats Austria/Italy attacking each other in round #1 is almost always suicidal for both of them. It's just experience you don't do it. Technically, the option is open to everyone, practically you just don't do it.

And yes, even in high level gunboats, they read the board differently. Two players might agree on who the threat is, but they might disagree who should move into Tyrolia for example to eliminate the threat. And that's sometimes enough to win.

Finally, let me ask you to step back a bit, and focus on what constitutes "Diplomacy" for you? I hope we can agree on a definition, and then agree whether Gunboat is in fact Diplomacy.

Besides my question, let me share my opinion as well. I think in real life diplomacy show of force is in fact Diplomacy. (Fun fact, there's a wikipedia entry called Gunboat Diplomacy)

Do you think, the US constantly putting a carrier in Hormuz Strait is not Diplomacy? Is giving 200 nuclear warheads to Israel to deter Arab nations attacking them not Diplomacy? Or Kim Jong Un firing rockets, Putin annexing Crimea, NATO propping up baltic states, are not Diplomacy?
Just like body language, eye contact, touching, etc are part of in-person communication, so is moving your forces, annexing territories, and demonstrating technological superiority are part of your diplomacy.

I do think putting your money (forces) where your mouth is is in fact PART of Diplomacy. Otherwise it's just cheap talk and even this game should have a 'chat only mode' :). Consequently, if your actions are part of Diplomacy, then taking away the talking part still gives you SOME Diplomacy left. Therefore Gunboat is still Diplomacy, just not as much as with talking.

Octavious
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: The Five Valleys, Gloucestershire
Karma: 643
Contact:

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#23 Post by Octavious » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:00 am

Merry Christmas, roka!

Just a quick one as I'm on potato peeling duty.

I don't dispute for a moment that the positioning of forces is an essential part of diplomacy. As an enthusiastic amateur student of history, however, one thing that I've picked up on is that when Lord Palmerston sent the King's navy to harass the Grecians, he didn't back up the move with little more than an enthusiastic mime act. Always the gunboats are used in combination with skilled and elaborate political discussion.

It's an important tool in the toolbox, don't get me wrong. But a hammer, regardless of how beautifully crafted or skilfully wielded, does not a toolkit make.

Alas, Maris Pipers are a'calling. Toodles for now!

rokakoma
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:50 pm
Karma: 9

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#24 Post by rokakoma » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:49 pm

Let's agree positioning forces is PART of Diplomacy. Let's build on this!

So my new question is, is positioning forces a part which can individually achieve diplomatic goals? I would argue, if the answer is yes, then gunboat is still diplomacy.

Few definitions of Diplomacy I found on the net:
- Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states.
- Diplomacy, the established method of influencing the decisions and behavior of foreign governments and peoples through dialogue, negotiation, and other measures short of war or violence.
- Diplomacy is the management of relationships between countries.
- The art and practice of conducting international relations by negotiating alliances, treaties, agreements etc., bilaterally or multilaterally, between states and sometimes international organisms, or even between polities with varying status, such as those of monarchs and their princely vassals

My conclusion out of these is, Diplomacy:
- is conducted between at least two states
- shapes the relationship
- influencing and negotiation must take place
- the outcome is usually alliances, agreements

Now, my reasoning goes as follows:
The main difference in gunboats vs. chess is that you can forge alliances. In chess you don't really have any option to ally with anyone :). Now, since you have alliances, those alliances, by definition, must be negotiated. (They don't just happen serendipitously)

The way you "negotiate" in Gunboats is through support orders, building non-hostile units (eg: ships only if you are England), or simply moving out and creating DMZs (such as Venice/Trieste). You can also influence others, by entering support orders, or helping them out fighting their enemy, so they will change their behavior one round later.

If we accept, you can negotiate alliances, influence others, I think we can conclude all other aspects of the aforementioned conditions are also met. Therefore, gunboat is in fact still Diplomacy.

I'm curious what you think, or how you would define Diplomacy, which rules out gunboats being considered still Diplomacy? Or if there's a flaw in my logic above?
1

Octavious
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: The Five Valleys, Gloucestershire
Karma: 643
Contact:

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#25 Post by Octavious » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:12 pm

Right, small gap prior to Yorkshire Puddings :)

I do not accept you can negotiate alliances in Gunboat. You can support a neighbour into a territory, or suggest such a move, and indeed Germany supports Russia into Sweden on a painfully regular basis, but whilst doing so implies friendship it does not create an alliance. No promise can be made, and no agreement can be broken. It is possible to mislead, but impossible to lie.

Let us not get carried away with real world ideas. In much the same way Hungry Hungry Hippos contains no actual hippos (hungry or otherwise), diplomacy contains no nations or world leaders. A more useful definition, then, is one from Wikipedia about the game itself.

"Diplomacy is a strategic board game created by Allan B. Calhamer in 1954 and released commercially in 1959.[1] Its main distinctions from most board wargames are its negotiation phases (players spend much of their time forming and betraying alliances with other players and forming beneficial strategies)[2] and the absence of dice and other game elements that produce random effects"

As we have discussed, Gunboat has heavily limited negotiations and no real alliances. Certainly no negotiation phase. It also contains a huge helping of luck served up from turn one. It therefore falls short of this definition by a considerable margin.

If you try really hard and squint a bit you can half force the game into an extremely broad definition of diplomacy, but you can do the exact same thing with virtually every other game. Try to imagine a multi player game in which the movement of your pieces has no influence over an opponent and you will struggle. Try to think of games in which you can encourage other players to work in a mutually cooperative way and the list is long.

There is, however, only one game that is diplomacy. Gunboat can only be confused with it because it uses the same board.

rokakoma
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:50 pm
Karma: 9

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#26 Post by rokakoma » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:08 am

I hope you enjoyed the puddings ;)

Two things, negotiating alliances in gunboats and definition of Diplomacy. I would start with the latter.

When I referred to Diplomacy in my posts I referred to the real-life notion of multilateral relationships. Clearly, there was a misunderstanding here, if your definition was that of the board game. From now on I will use Diplomacy (with capital D) to refer the game, and diplomacy to refer, well, to diplomacy :)

Despite I was arguing there's diplomacy in gunboats, based on the game's definition, one would conclude it's not Diplomacy. I'm just not going to make that call. Not now for sure.

About alliances, I still disagree. Alliances in gunboats are a bit more sophisticated than Germany supporting Russia to Sweden :D Although that's a good example, it's just "Forming Alliances in Gunboats 1-0-1". You can "easily" betray partners and form new alliances during the game. That's especially true in winner-takes-all (aka: DSS) games. Whenever you see countries realizing they are in trouble of losing everything, that's essentially another event when new alliances form, to protect against the winner candidate.

Moreover, the definition of Diplomacy, you quoted, doesn't state that any negotiation is done verbally. Therefore, gunboats could still qualify as Diplomacy.

However, and you gonna like this one, in gunboats it's also true players don't spend much of their time on forming alliances, as the definition states. You spend a hell lot of time on figuring out moves, and what moves might convey your desired message to your wannabe allies. But that's hardly negotiation, rather formulating the right message, so they hopefully understand your intent and react accordingly.

Consequently, you could argue gunboats are not Diplomacy, because players don't spend time on negotiations (those phases practically don't exist in gunboats), but not because there are no negotiations or alliances. Even if we consider, one player must understand the "message" conveyed by other player's moves, and that could qualify as negotiation, there's still no dedicated time-box for it. Both negotiations and alliances exist in gunboats, there's just no dedicated time for them to take place, therefore using your definition, gunboats are not Diplomacy.

PS: but there's still diplomacy there (with lowercase) ;)

Vom Kriege
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:06 pm
Karma: 10

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#27 Post by Vom Kriege » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:16 pm

Good discussion! Sounds like a 3-way draw has developed (perhaps 2-way - I didn't contribute much). :P

It's a bit off topic but kind of similar - the Classic 1 vs 1 variants that are available on this website. Even though they reside on the webDiplomay website, they are not Diplomacy (i.e. they have lost the essence of what makes Diplomacy Diplomacy) - just a subset of the actual game.

mhsmith0
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:35 am
Karma: 71

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#28 Post by mhsmith0 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:39 pm

Whatever do you mean? 1v1 has units, moves, builds, a map, and (usually) PRESS! Clearly it has fulfilled all of the requirements to be considered true Diplomacy.

Claesar
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 am
Karma: 396

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#29 Post by Claesar » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:41 am

mhsmith0 wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:39 pm
Whatever do you mean? 1v1 has units, moves, builds, a map, and (usually) PRESS! Clearly it has fulfilled all of the requirements to be considered true Diplomacy.
No alliances though.

orathaic
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:20 pm
Karma: 71

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#30 Post by orathaic » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:23 pm

1 Vs 1s are very clearly not diplomacy. Gunboat is a variant of diplomacy, as are map variants, touch (where you can only communicate with players you have units touching) and fog of war (where the map only shows you the area around you units and SC).

Gunboat is popular, and some community members value it more than others. Whether it 'counts' as diplomacy or not, is irrelevant. It is a non-question. There is no objective answer, only opinion, and what that comes down to is how much it is valued (there is actually a separate parallel conversation here about intelligence and what society values... But I will not digress too much).

Variants are fun, that is my main reason for playing diplomacy.
I don't enjoy gunboat as much as full press/standard diplomacy. Face to face is much better than webdip (which is also a variant of the game with the board) but very difficult to arrange, (ever tried getting 6 people round for a board game which lasts up to 14 hours?).

Happy Merry one and all.
2

Claesar
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 am
Karma: 396

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#31 Post by Claesar » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:44 pm

orathaic wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:23 pm
... Face to face is much better than webdip (which is also a variant of the game with the board) but very difficult to arrange, (ever tried getting 6 people round for a board game which lasts up to 14 hours?).

...
It doesn't need to take that long. If you use a timer and play until 1908, you can finish a game in 4 hours. That's less than most playthroughs of Game of Thrones I've played, and certainly less than any run ever of Twilight Imperium.

That said, it's indeed still hard. I once almost organised a game at my place, but #7 bailed at the last minute..

orathaic
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:20 pm
Karma: 71

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#32 Post by orathaic » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:46 pm

Playing with strict limits like 1908, a popular variant in various tournaments. I like timers aswell, but with new players they usually deserve a chance to talk things through... (though added time pressure of face-to-face with strict time limits - including if you haven't written your orders down your units do nothing! - is a lot of fun...).

I couldn't comment on game of thrones, as it has been too long, but would also regard twilight imperium as too big a time sink for the enjoyment; not worth the return on (time) investment.

I failed to mention the other popular press variants, public press, and black, white or grey press - where black is no-one knows for certain who is messaging, because all messages are anonymous, white press all messages are confirmed as being from the player who sends them, and grey press is where messages may be anonymous or confirmed.

That means you could have black private press and white public press, or vica versa... I do like the idea of a game of touch, fog of war but with a public black press channel.

ziran
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 am
Karma: 60
Contact:

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#33 Post by ziran » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:19 am

i don't care what you call it as long as you join games and submit orders (and send press where appropriate). you can call it candyland if you want to.
2

MajorMitchell
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:05 am
Location: As directed by The Fire Breathing MemSahib, Her Imperiousness Indoors lying on a sofa eating​ cakes
Karma: 102

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#34 Post by MajorMitchell » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:32 pm

A prodigal blighter is back, tis Daffy old MajorMitchell. Twas only October when I had my dummy spit, the good news is my Civil Disorders equal my solo wins as a consequence. So reading these months old posts from Octavious our wise Oracle & jmo & rokakoma is fun.
I was never a fan of grubby gunboat games, but in desperation & madness given the choice of two joinable games, I took on a two sc Russia in a live gunboat game last night & got 14 points in a DSS draw.. serves them right for not using SoS.
I'm not entirely convinced there's not a touch of the patronising in the "if you haven't played in the zillions of points per game gang's games you really can't be expected to understand the possibility that there are (might I dare to suggest) "subtle nuances and variations" rather than "tenous differences" ( dearest jmo) in using choices of moves and builds to signal messages.
But those messages are there for all to see, difficult to tell different stories to different players than in traditional Diplomacy of the original board & f2f format for games, so perhaps there's less deceit in grubby gunboat but I find that proposition immediately doubtful.

MajorMitchell
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:05 am
Location: As directed by The Fire Breathing MemSahib, Her Imperiousness Indoors lying on a sofa eating​ cakes
Karma: 102

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#35 Post by MajorMitchell » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:47 pm

I might suggest that it's virtually impossible in grubby gunboat games to coordinate more complicated manoeuvres of multiple units with multiple units of an ally, or allies eg in a three way alliance,.. such as convoys using fleets of more than one player as just the simplest example
1

Senlac
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:23 pm
Karma: 111

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#36 Post by Senlac » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:59 pm

Vom Kriege wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:46 pm
I've noticed that a lot of games played on this website are set to not permit messaging - and play he game more as a pure war game. Isn't communication, negotiations, relationship-building, and so forth the essence of Diplomacy? Removing the press fundamentally changes the game. It is in fact called 'Diplomacy' and not 'War Game'. Right?

I'd love to hear people's views.
Simple, agreed. Gunboat is an interesting contest, for some, but it isn’t Diplomacy. It’s just a board game like Risk.
1

e.m.c^42
Posts: 1214
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:00 pm
Karma: 163

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#37 Post by e.m.c^42 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:35 pm

Claesar wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:41 am
mhsmith0 wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:39 pm
Whatever do you mean? 1v1 has units, moves, builds, a map, and (usually) PRESS! Clearly it has fulfilled all of the requirements to be considered true Diplomacy.
No alliances though.
Oh no, you can certainly ally with the other player...

or at the very least, I've attempted in the past lol

Yigg
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:56 am
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Karma: 79

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#38 Post by Yigg » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:15 pm

I've played a number of gunboat games, and I've done poorly in all of them. While I have faith in my tactical and strategic ability, but it's not helped me at all. I think my game relies heavily on the human interaction part. So much so that, in its absence, I struggle.
1

Magnetic24
Site Moderator
Site Moderator
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:41 am
Karma: 174

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#39 Post by Magnetic24 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:54 am

Yigg wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:15 pm
I've played a number of gunboat games, and I've done poorly in all of them. While I have faith in my tactical and strategic ability, but it's not helped me at all. I think my game relies heavily on the human interaction part. So much so that, in its absence, I struggle.
My skill never translates to gunboat, either. (I mean, I don't have that much by comparison, but what I do have always is lost, and I lose the points I've bet.
1

ziran
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 am
Karma: 60
Contact:

Re: Is it still Diplomacy if there is no press?

#40 Post by ziran » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:05 pm

while I have some tactical and strategic skill, i seem to lack the nuance to communicate via moves and interpret those of other players. one could argue that press is a crutch. for now at least, press is my preferred way to play, though i am interested in improving my gunboat skills.
2

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests