How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

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David E. Cohen
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#81 Post by David E. Cohen » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:07 am

This sort of thing is why the variants I design pretty much all have an odd number of dots and most have a prime number of dots.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#82 Post by gimix » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:55 am

An odd number of dots aims at making 2-way impossible?
But why a prime number?

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#83 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:14 am

Yes, as to no two way draws.

With a prime number of dots, there is no possibility of the participants in a draw all finishing with the same number of dots.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#84 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:23 am

One caveat. This assumes in each case all neutrals have been captured.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#85 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:27 pm

Usually, this is the case, all neutral SCs are captured but draw power doesn't need to be equal to draw.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#86 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:05 pm

There are scoring systems out there which reward size finishing order and/or number of dots in draws. I just like to make draw whittlers' lives as difficult as possible. :smirk: :lol:
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#87 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:14 pm

This would equal to chess being only for grandmasters. Many of the people commenting here seem almost to dislike weaker players even to believe that they shouldn't play the game.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#88 Post by Octavious » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:39 pm

It depends on how you define weak players, I guess. I have a lot of tolerance for someone who is just starting and doesn't yet have a feel for the game. I don't mind at all people who find the game difficult, but are willing to give it a go and have fun doing so. You're particular brand of weakness, by contrast, exists purely by choice. You have played far more games than I have, you are more experienced and know the game back to front. You play badly because you choose to play badly. You choose to deny yourself any chance of winning, and have decided upon a personal measure of success that is as far as possible to deny anyone else the chance of winning as well. Like the sprinter who doesn't try to win the race but takes his satisfaction by tripping up the people in the lanes next to him. That particular brand of sportsmanship is fundamentally dislikable.

Don't get me wrong, I think you're a good and decent person. But your persona in an actual game is far beneath what you are in reality.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#89 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:15 pm

Prince William, that is absolutely not true in my case. Though I do prefer to play against the most skilled opponents available, it is a pleasure to play against anyone who tries their damnedest to win. And as I have previously mentioned, the best Diplomacy players lose regularly to average or even below average players.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#90 Post by cdngooner » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:30 pm

Yeah, we're getting pretty far from the topic here. The Draw participants in the game in question were not newbies: one was "Experienced", the other a "Member." The issue isn't new players "hoping" for a Draw as a reasonable result. The issue is players "trying" for a Draw as their goal in the game.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#91 Post by e.m.c^42 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:50 pm

From someone does prefer draws; with the little press game experience I do have, it's usually nothing to do with honour and whatnot and everything to do with being a mediocre player, tired and preferring a quick end to the game, rather than ineffectively fighting for another three weeks over the same patches of centres.

In other circumstances, that would be fascinatingly fun, but often times the remaining players are more likely to go radio silent rather than banter, and none of the players in the alliance can be arsed to well, do anything lol

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#92 Post by gimix » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:48 pm

David E. Cohen wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:14 am
Yes, as to no two way draws.
Ok, my record on webDip is 2 wins, 49 draws, 29 losses/survivals - and 5 of the draws are 2-way, so you can call me a carebear and perhaps a 2-way fan :lol:

That said, your idea sounds horrible to me. You, RJ, BrotherBored and many others will now massacre me, but i believe 99% of solos are (partly) due to luck: ineffective opposition, someone throwing the game for futile reasons, or (on other platforms) simply a neighbour's NMR. In my opinion a very good game, an impeccable one, almost invariably ends in a 2-way, or sometimes in a 3-way, not in a solo.

This does not mean i'm not looking for victory: i will try to win, but i just know i cannot win without some flukes. So forbidding 2-ways seems conceptually wrong to me.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#93 Post by jay65536 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:21 pm

The idea that a well-played game should usually end in a 2way is ludicrous. It happens sometimes, but I’d say that most games (played with draw-based scoring) that are well-played will end in a 3way, a solo, or a 4way. 2ways should be rare.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#94 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:46 pm

Gimix, that comment was made specifically in reference to variant design.

In Standard Dip a "natural" 2 way draw, as opposed to an 2 way draw agreed upon by allies, is a pretty rare occurrence.

The various recent comments illustrate the unfortunate distortions to the game encouraged by scoring systems which reward draws and draw whittling.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#95 Post by gimix » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:50 am

@David, yes i realize you were talking about variants. I'm just saying that if Calhamer had asked for your advice then Classic dip would have had 31 sc's, while i'm glad it has 34 :-)
@jay, maybe i've overstated the point - after all only 10% of my draws are 2-way (and not all of them were so well played, tbh). But i believe that if all partners in the leading alliance play correctly - ie do not offer to each other the opportunity for a stab - then the game will end in a draw, 2- or 3-way depending on how the alliance is
@both, i agree that beginning the game aiming for a draw is simply wrong, though i wouldn't call it "unethical" - unless it is a pregame agreement, in which case it is not just unethical, it is outright forbidden

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#96 Post by Swede03 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:59 am

Durga wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:48 pm
I think you can be in a great position and take a draw if you think it's unlikely for you to solo, or that if you attempt it there is a chance the other player might solo.

If you can obviously solo then you should stab. Players that carebear are no fun to play with. But games aren't always that clear, and what may have seemed like a good opportunity to you might have actually been really risky for the player.

And sometimes, it's better to form a relationship or a reputation than take a risky stab (less of a problem online than in f2f).
I think my only 2-way draw was when there was a ~70% EoG and we both had 50%

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#97 Post by David E. Cohen » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:43 pm

gimix wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:50 am
@David, yes i realize you were talking about variants. I'm just saying that if Calhamer had asked for your advice then Classic dip would have had 31 sc's, while i'm glad it has 34 :-)
Or maybe 37 SCs. Also Switzerland would have been passable, Venice wouldn't have bordered Trieste and there would have been a bunch more non-SC provinces to get density down so the game would have been more fluid.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#98 Post by SimplSimon » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:52 pm

New Diplomacy player here. I'm sure other players have a much more stronger thoughts on this, but I just finished a game on another site where three players (a Western Triple) had clearly decided early on to play for a draw. Italy was stabbed and reduced to 1 center, so ended up supporting the invasion without gaining any territory. Near the end, England was sitting on 13 centers and could have walked into 3 of his allies center's with no possibility of opposition. His allies were entirely positioned in the south with no chance to build new units if he stabbed.

And...the game ended in a 4-way draw. Not even a 3-way draw by using and the disposing of Italy.

I feel like this was a completely pointless game. I can't possibly understand what England was thinking. What is the point of playing if you don't play to win?
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#99 Post by Matticus13 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:07 am

David E. Cohen wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:43 pm
gimix wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:50 am
@David, yes i realize you were talking about variants. I'm just saying that if Calhamer had asked for your advice then Classic dip would have had 31 sc's, while i'm glad it has 34 :-)
Or maybe 37 SCs. Also Switzerland would have been passable, Venice wouldn't have bordered Trieste and there would have been a bunch more non-SC provinces to get density down so the game would have been more fluid.
Sounds like a fun map!

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#100 Post by David E. Cohen » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:20 am

Not something I am much interested in! From Standard to 1900 on down, the period and subject matter has practically been done to death. I generally go for periods and subject matter which is not so well covered.

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