1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

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SignalsEngineer
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1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#1 Post by SignalsEngineer » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:41 pm

So I have now played my first game of Diplomacy ever.
(Ignoring the four completed 1v1 and one 1v1 still on going).

First impressions - I love it!

I would say I am a moderate board game player, about 1 day per month. I heard the stories of Diplomacy play and always wanted to play it. Don’t know why I did not google for web-based diplomacy before a few weeks ago. One day I hope to play a face to face game.

Things I learnt quickly as a Newbie :
  • Use the preview button !
  • Playing a few 1v1 really helped – thanks tobieee911
  • Gibraltar is not connected to land to North Africa.
  • Fleet movements are hampered by South Coast and North Coast (as the rules state!)
  • Do not try to be too clever with moves!
  • Count the boarders
  • Building fleets in Venice is fine, but you can not move to Piedmont
Preview - Seriously this is not obvious as you would think to find the button. Only found from “Not a game for dyslexics”

Things I did not understand as a Newbie
  • Some people did not talk to me ?
Outstanding Questions
  • (Not fishing for compliments), Was it obvious to other players I was a newbie ?
  • Is it worth disguising you are a newbie or stupid is obvious ?
  • The natural alliances – based up current state of the board – How to figure this out ?
  • When to roll with the punches – when to “complain” ?
  • Is there another resource to practice moves and see what would be successful moves ?
  • Computer vs Player 1v1 resource ?
I am off to read Full Disclosure Game 1: whilst on holiday and
The Library of Diplomacy Openings (from The Diplomatic Pouch):

Hope to play more games once I get back from holiday.

Thanks for all the players.
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mdrltc
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#2 Post by mdrltc » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:25 pm

For Newbies another word of advice; always consider your retreat options, and when attacking always consider your opponent's retreat options.
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naked
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#3 Post by naked » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:49 pm

some tips:

use (move) your troops. your first year is awful.

"Some people did not talk to me ?"

if someone doesnt talk to you he is a bad player. there are different reasons why a weak player doesnt talk to you. maybe he doesn't like to talk (much) at all or maybe he has nothing nice to tell you and so prefers not to talk with you, but with others.

"Is it worth disguising you are a newbie or stupid is obvious ?"

just be honest. lying is important in this game but i would strongly advice to lie only when necessary. it's difficult to lie good.

"The natural alliances – based up current state of the board – How to figure this out ?"

thy guys who talk with you are a good start to partner with.

"Is there another resource to practice moves and see what would be successful moves ?"

gunboat !? all without the talking.
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David E. Cohen
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#4 Post by David E. Cohen » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:59 pm

Welcome to the Hobby, SignalsEngineer! I have been playing since 1980 and I still love the game. If it gets into your blood, it is a glorious addiction. :-)

In answer to some of your questions:

Unless you are complaining for effect, all is fair in love and war. Only complain if the lie/attack on you did not make it more likely for the liar/attacker to win. That is not to say that you can't tell the player they will regret doing so.

Put yourself in the place of another player (a good way to analyze things generally). If you seem like a good ally from their point of view, then the converse may well be true. There are no "natural" alliances, or "unnatural" ones for that matter. There is just a range of difficulty in setting them up and maintaining them.

There are several forums and stand alone programs that have a "sandbox" mode or something similar .

Don't bother trying to find an AI opponent. They all stink. :lol:

Good that you are looking for reading material. There is a ton, on every Dip related topic under the sun, a fair amount of which can be helpful to a newbie. Dip has had more written about it than any boardgame other than chess and go. But take it from a serial author of Diplomacy articles: no reading material will help as much as frequent play againt the very best opponents you can find.

VillageIdiot
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#5 Post by VillageIdiot » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:27 pm

Personally, i'd suggest not to bring up the newbie status as it does have potential to invite players to attempt to take advantage of inexperience. I'd just keep it vague. I'm sure it'll be obvious your not a vet but no need to underline just how green you are.

Some alliances are easier to work then others, but don't restrain yourself to these traditional routes. If you've got a good connection with somebody by all means try to make it work. The right alliance with the wrong country is much better then trying to make something work with the wrong person simply because he's in a traditionally more practical country to ally with.

I wouldn't take the "complain" tone, you always want to be diplomatic about things. The approach here is to protect your interests and don't get pushed into things that go against it, but be open minded in hearing the other person and civil when you explain the problems you see with it. It's all just business.

For testing moves, I really like the Backstabbr.com sandbox tool. It's all very point-and-click and easy to use and rollback if you want to test out other scenarios. You have to start in 1901 and maybe take a bit of effort to setting the board up to the starting position you're trying to test, but it's not that much effort. It's also nice in that you can save your sandbox for further playing around with later. I know other sites have other sandbox tools available but the others i've seen have been drop down menus that require a lot of effort without the benefit of the visual view.

Gunboats is relatively good for getting familiar with the mechanics of the board, but it's hard when you there's six other variables who will have a major impact on the game. One bad player could end the game quickly or tank your game before you get the chance to test out some strategies. I like the 2 player game option but our 1v1 variants are different enough from a classic game it's hard to transpose what's learned from one to another. My recommendation is the PlayDiplomacy 2 player variant because all the counties are in play (divided between the two players) so you get more of an opportunity to see all the moving pieces. I found this to be a more applicable tactics sharpening tool.

SignalsEngineer
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#6 Post by SignalsEngineer » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:13 pm

Brilliant replies - thanks all.

mdrltc - Yep, there was a great move by Russia that closed all my retreating options. I need to think that a retreat can even be a (useful) extra move.

Naked - Good point about "nothing nice to tell you" Did not think about that reason. They may have been "Diplomatic" in being silent. Gun boat scares me, as I think I might miss the subtlety when someone is try to seek assistance and how I request it. But might as well give it a go. My first move (was part of a negotiation with Russia) - which I can now see was a much worse position that I thought I got at the time!

David - I suspect it may become an addiction! I actually started to check for moves before heading off for work. I tried to guess what the other players would do, but some of the alliances did not make sense (Germany & Russia, were fighting, then supporting, then fighting, then supporting...) I hope to have a chance to player with you as a frequent player sometime.

VillageIdiot - I will keep my newbie status under the radar. Might try some anonymous games. Backstabbr.com looks exactly what I wanted. WOW Sandbox is excellent. I will try playdiplomacy.com - but the interface was not as simple as webdiplomacy, when I first tried to dip my toa into the game a couple of week again.

Once again, thanks again. I am off without Internet for two weeks (how will I cope???) but plan many many more games.

Cheers,

Claesar
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#7 Post by Claesar » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:48 am

Another tip: Make sure you always enter orders before the deadline. Otherwise, your Reliability Rating will go down and it'll lower the amount of games you can join (to 0, if you continue missing turns).

So if you'll be without internet for two weeks, email the mods webdipmod@gmail.com

SignalsEngineer
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#8 Post by SignalsEngineer » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:30 am

Cheers Claesar, the only game I am active is paused. So hopefully (apart from me trying to keep up with a 5 min/turn game last night) my reliability should be high.

foodcoats
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#9 Post by foodcoats » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:50 pm

naked wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:49 pm
"Some people did not talk to me ?"

if someone doesnt talk to you he is a bad player. there are different reasons why a weak player doesnt talk to you. maybe he doesn't like to talk (much) at all or maybe he has nothing nice to tell you and so prefers not to talk with you, but with others.
To add to this: Always be talking! Talk when you're at peace, when you're allied, when you're at war, when you've been stabbed, when you're stabbing someone, when someone else is talkative, when they're silent, talk talk talk talk talk. You can win when you should not, and survive when you should be dead, through the strength of your press.

But also, be deliberate in your talk. Your diplomacy is a tool to convince others to do what you want, so try to decide what you want them to do or what you want them to think you're going to do.
VillageIdiot wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:27 pm
For testing moves, I really like the Backstabbr.com sandbox tool. It's all very point-and-click and easy to use and rollback if you want to test out other scenarios. You have to start in 1901 and maybe take a bit of effort to setting the board up to the starting position you're trying to test, but it's not that much effort. It's also nice in that you can save your sandbox for further playing around with later. I know other sites have other sandbox tools available but the others i've seen have been drop down menus that require a lot of effort without the benefit of the visual view.
Backstabbr is a beautiful interface, but I would strongly recommend jDip: http://jdip.sourceforge.net/. It's not web-based, but it has an edit mode so that you can quickly re-plot the board. I pull it up whenever I'm in puzzling scenarios or situations that call for calculated risk-taking.
SignalsEngineer wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:41 pm
I am off to read Full Disclosure Game 1: whilst on holiday and
The Library of Diplomacy Openings (from The Diplomatic Pouch):
There are some other things I was going to suggest, but you should probably just read the current School of War thread. The professors have posted some excellent lectures: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1724
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SignalsEngineer
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#10 Post by SignalsEngineer » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:27 pm

Bloody hell backstabbr.com is wonderful to use in a game.

At what point can I ask/comment on a "Classic, Anonymous players" in a forum ?

Claesar
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Re: 1st Game Played - Reflections and Questions

#11 Post by Claesar » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:59 am

SignalsEngineer wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:27 pm
...

At what point can I ask/comment on a "Classic, Anonymous players" in a forum ?
Technically, if it's Full Press, you can do so at any moment. However, many people wouldn't appreciate this so I'd advise waiting until the game is over.

Don't comment on ongoing Gunboat games.
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