Backstabbed for Loose Lips

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swordsman3003
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Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#1 Post by swordsman3003 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:56 am

Hello again friends. It's been a while since I contributed via my blog. Life got busy and difficult...but on the other hand, it is invigorating to contribute to a community that I enjoy so much. Sometimes I should remember that I feel better after I finish writing than before I started!

The Top 5 Reasons You Get Backstabbed #4: Loose Lips

I hope you learn something! Enjoy!
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teccles
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#2 Post by teccles » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:23 am

Thank you for another excellent article; though this particular lesson is one you taught me firsthand. A few words on my perspective on the example stab on me in the article:

I had made a series of strategic and diplomatic misjudgements that made me think that this stab wouldn't happen. Particularly - I had not guessed the extent to which swordsman (Germany) had formed deep relationships with so many players, and I though Italy would not turn their back on Austria to attack me. However - this doesn't detract from the point that there was simply no good reason to tell Germany my moves. I did so to give them the confidence to attack Russia quickly rather than slowly; but for this purpose my general plans would have been quite sufficient without the details of moves.

I also undervalued what you call a "soft backstab" - the leaking of moves to other players. At this time, I thought that this manoeuvre had the potential to backfire and ruin alliances. Which it probably does, but I am now convinced that this is a rare and manageable risk. In the same situation today, I would be much more worried about Germany telling Italy my plans, even if I thought there was zero chance of a German attack.

I do have another answer to this rhetorical question from the article: “BrotherBored, that’s nuts! Why did France tell you all their moves? Wasn’t this a high-level tournament match? And you said this is a rookie mistake!”. I was, in fact, a rookie; this was the first truly painful stab of my Diplomacy career. I learned a great deal from this game, and our conversations after it - thank you for sharing your wisdom about the game, both on your blog and in private.

(I'm slightly sad the article leaves me at my nadir in this game, when my play from 1905 onwards was rather better and more successful - though of course I never recovered from this stab)
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mhsmith0
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#3 Post by mhsmith0 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:27 am

Worry not, dear reader! There is yet one more entry to come in this series. In my final entry, I will discuss the single-most-compelling reason for why you got backstabbed—a reason so all-encompassing that I think I could fairly say that each of the preceding four reasons are really just special cases of this one over-arching reason. I will explain why this is, and what you can do to overcome the danger!
starts thinking...

because it's in your rival's best interest to stab you? Trying to guess what could reasonably qualify as an "over-arching" reason, that's the only one i can come up with, but I'm certainly interested in how this will conclude!

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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#4 Post by Octavious » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:14 am

Because it's Diplomacy and players ultimately have to stab someone sooner or later if they want to win, and some players just really enjoy stabbing (no names mentioned ;))
teccles wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:23 am
this doesn't detract from the point that there was simply no good reason to tell Germany my moves.
Yes there was. Sharing move information can be a excellent way to boost trust between yourself and an ally. It can also provide lots of exciting opportunities. An ally who has become used to receiving regular and accurate reports of your intended moves generally starts to assume he will always get regular and accurate reports, and supplies you with information about his own. So not only do you know where he's going, but you can supply him with a totally false picture of where you are going at any phase you wish. You are at higher risk of being stabbed yourself, certainly, but faint heart never won fair solo

In Swordsman's position I probably wouldn't have stabbed you. Well, not for loose lips at least. A player with that level of trust I find far more useful taking to the end game. If I had stabbed you then the unit movement info would have certainly made it easier, but the decision would have been primarily about the wider game dynamics and the strength of relationships built between myself and others.
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Octavious
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#5 Post by Octavious » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:33 am

Indeed, Swordsman goes on to talk about the benefits of sharing move information further down in his article. As in all things diplomacy related, it is a good idea to do something except for when it isn't ;)
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teccles
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#6 Post by teccles » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:26 am

Indeed. I do not think I said that it is never right to share move information! There are several good reasons for doing so. But I do think that Swordsman makes a strong argument that the default should be not to share moves; and in this position I don't think there was a good reason for me to do so. It was not necessary to build trust - we had a healthy relationship without sharing moves unnecessarily, and I had played it safe on other occasions without hurting that. There was nothing to coordinate on. The idea of telling your ally your moves repeatedly, and then lying... well, possibly. But to me, that seems a weak enough reason that it should only be used when the situation is really very safe (including from your ally leaking your moves).
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teccles
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#7 Post by teccles » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:07 pm

mhsmith0 wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:27 am
starts thinking...

because it's in your rival's best interest to stab you? Trying to guess what could reasonably qualify as an "over-arching" reason, that's the only one i can come up with, but I'm certainly interested in how this will conclude!
My guess is similar, but with a greater emphasis on your responsibility. Something like "You didn't give your ally an option that was better than stabbing you". But pithier.

Also, I'm hoping that in the final instalment we get an instance of swordsman as stabbee, rather than stabber.
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#8 Post by Yigg » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:23 pm

teccles wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:07 pm

Also, I'm hoping that in the final installment we get an instance of swordsman as stabbee, rather than stabber.
I completely agree! It would be nice to get a story of the Swordsman suffering as a mere mortal with the rest of us. ;)
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swordsman3003
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Re: Backstabbed for Loose Lips

#9 Post by swordsman3003 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:05 pm

If you are sharing your moves with your rivals, and you want to be stabbed less often, you can reduce the amount you are being stabbed by reducing the amount that you are sharing.

There are strategic reasons for sharing (as I explained in my article), but you should have that reasoning in mind when you share. Don't share as a matter of course. That's giving your rivals opportunities to stab you for no benefit to yourself.

Being more circumspect might reduce your chances of solo winning, but it will also reduce your chances of being stabbed. And I'm not even sure about the solo win, since getting stabbed usually means you will not solo win. In any case, my series is focused on how to avoid being stabbed, not how to solo win (different series).

------

It's hard for me to give examples of why I was stabbed, since I don't know the underlying reasoning process of the person who stabbed me. I can guess, and I can tell you what they might have said at the time, but I don't really know.

Also, as I think about it, I am not successfully stabbed very often in my press matches.

If you've played against me and stabbed me, what if you reference that match and explain why you did it? Does your reasoning fall into any of the categories I've already outlined?
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