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Basically, the best stab is when another power is confident that he can trust you, and therefore leaves his border with you undefended or weakly defended. As a rule you need to be able to take and hold two SCs to call your stab a success. Generally it is best to stab in the Autumn as your victim then has less opportunity to respond, plus you get the resultant builds straight away.
I think a successful stab can occur even if no SCs are taken, so long as there is a compelling tactical/strategic advantage. The key is to look ahead a couple of moves. Is conflict inevitable? Will my advantage be reduced if I wait? If so that could well be the time to stab. Things to look for: running out growing room, either you or your ally (sometimes preemptive stabs are called for); one of you is close to being in a position to solo; shifting alliances - once I stabbed an ally because I thought it would be is his best interest to switch allegiances. But yeah, Autumn is best, and two SCs captured and held - could be compelling.
There are, of course, plenty of games in which stabbing never becomes a good idea. It is important not to be pressured into stabbing solely by the nagging thought in the back of your mind that you're not doing it enough. It is also wise to think long and hard before a stab especially if another player in the game is insisting you do so.
Should you go down the stabbing route, try to base your decision on cold hard logic. I will freely admit that this is one area in which I fail, as I have a natural bias towards stabbing the sort of arrogant tit who thinks it's his devine right to tell me where to move all of my units.
As a rule, players that have the best opportunities to stab their allies also are the most reluctant.
See: -Turkey/Russia alliances where Turkey could grab Rum and Sev in short order -France/England alliances where the border is totally open -Italy/France alliances where Italy has a plum chance to take Iberia.
Do you get angry at people who make suggestions, or just at people who tell you what to do and act like you owe your units' movement to them? I tend to offer ideas (not sure how it comes across) and like hearing ideas...especially since sometimes my ally will point out something I somehow missed, lol.
i agree, steevokun, unless its absolutely imperative that my ally makes a specific move.
i think the best time to stab an ally is when he/she is actively engaged with, or taking a center from the player/s you are working against. ( http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=9501#gamePanel ) is a good example. in 1907, italy is attacking germany in munich and taking spain from france. those two moves made it difficult for him to get either of those players to turn around the next move and and work against me. had he been able to, i could have been stoppped. fortunately for me, thanks to ppsc, i was able to convince germany to go for a strong second, and quickly wrapped things up.
I'm perfectly fine with an ally making suggestions, and will happily make suggestions myself. It's the few occasions when they've tried to micromanage my entire military with an unbearably imperious mannor that I tend to take offense. It doesn't happen often, and only in annon games, and it usually turns out to be an inexperienced oaf with delusions of grandeur.
Never underestimate the power of the pissed off one SC nation. They might help your enemy to spite you even if it costs them the game, or worse, they switch side and now work for your enemy under his/her protection.
I think you should stab when the tactical/strategical gains of doing so are better then the gains of keeping a strong alliance. So, sometimes getting 2 or 3 or even more SCs are not a good stab if you just give the advantage to other player. Also, people are vindictive, like Draugnar said, so keep in mind that a stabbed player could not always act in a logical way.
You should stab when the profit from stabbing is less than the downside of stabbing.
For example, grabbing 1 SC from a 8 SC ally is great if all his units are on the other side of the map, but idiotic if you're going to lose 3 SCs the next turn as he turns vengefully upon you.
If possible, you should do it in a way that last minute suspicions on the part of the stabbee can't stop you - but you should do some worst case analysis about what the stabbee is likely to do. If he or she can move in such a way, *ignoring the impact of other players*, that you're not going to profit, then you probably want to pass. I've seen more than a few E / G / T games where England takes Germany from behind in an attempt to solo instead of agreeing to work towards the draw, and the end result was a Turkish solo - because *hoping* another nation is going to act in a way that lets you profit in the long run is *assuming* they will, and you know what they say about assumptions
The ideal stab is one where the stabbee is both powerless to stop it and is unable to pay you back, even if they magically knew your moves
You should also, generally, stab if you feel the other player is going to solo in the game if you don't slow him down. This is less about tactical gains than about changing the balance of power. *However*, stabbing the #1 player just to give the #2 player the game is pointless - if #2 isn't going to either offer to include you in a draw or act in a way that gives *you* a reasonable chance at a solo, then why bother?
And I'm not sure why everyone likes to only stab in the fall. I find that you can bring about a more thorough stab in the spring, though I'm not saying there are instances where a fall stab isn't warranted... it just seems, for me anyways, that a sneaky stab happens in the fall. A thorough stab happens in the spring. Being able to set up your pieces in the spring to take more provinces in the fall seems to work well for other people who aren't me because I never stab.
@Amon - It looks initially like you're allied with Austria (maybe just non-aggression? maybe not even talking?) and with France, but then you dominate Austria and at the end start fighting France. I didn't notice a French move that was anti-German, so it looks like a stab from where I'm sitting. Mind shedding light on how it wasn't a stab?
trip- As I said, I understand that there are times where taking units away from the enemy has to be priority number 1. The ideal stab, however (in my opinion, for whatever that's worth) would be to stab in the spring so that you can maneuver properly into the SCs that are to be taken in the fall. if done properly, you can increase the value of your stab by quite a bit. It's all about time management, as well as damage done.
It's spring time. You find that if you move properly, you could take 4SCs in the fall if you stab RIGHT NOW... However... You wait untill the fall so that you have the complete element of surprise. You only take 2 SCs. Then you must wait 2 more movement phases before you get to build/enemy gets to disband. If you would have moved into position in the spring, and taken 4 SCs in the fall, you would have a much larger disband(enemy)/build(yourself) phase, and would have to worry about much less opposition for the next 2 movement phases. Resulting in much more rapid gains that next year. Germany-France in that example game I gave. If the friend I had playing on my account (since I never stab, this must have been the case) had stabbed in the fall, he would have taken only the 2SCs in England that year and had the full force of France on him the next year. Since he took the initiative, 3 (almost 4) SCs were gained, and less opposition could be mustered the following year, plus at that point my guys were deep enough to finish the job ftw the next year.
Always nice if other players will give you advice: if you don't like it you don't have todo anything, but you never know - might be useful!
As for stabbing, try to be clinical. As mentioned above, if you stab someone, you want to make it so they can't do anything back. I had one game where I stabbed my ally well enough that his only chance was to take another alliance with me.
However, Abge is on the money here: if you think you're going to be stabbed make sure you're ready for it
If I have a GR of 50 and I enter a game that takes days to complete... but meanwhile I am playing live games and my GR fluctuates... Would my likelihood of success be calculated when I entered the game at 50 GR, or would the rating be calculated at the end of the game, when my rating is at, say, 60?
Rich countries are rich because they exploit poor countries
Take consumer electronics for example. I can afford to buy a cheap television because some poor person in China works for 12 hours a day on very low wages. Those of us living in first world countries need poor countries to remain poor so we can maintain our lavish lifestyle. My housemate tells me this all the time. What do people here think?
I have 2 games on the go.So it really will be 101.But it will be password protected.Will start it up once some of the usual suspects commit.And maybe some new blood.State your intrest and phase lenght and bet that works for you.Was thinking of making non/anon full chat.
Independence Day Countdown, Day 2- Football vs. Football
So, Day 2 in my two-week countdown to my favorite non-December day, July 4th, and seeing as how it's also the World Cup, and there was another thread of Football and...well, Football, or, rather, Soccer, here, let's kick off (pun TOTALLY intended) this discussion of all things Football and Football. Comparisons? Your favorite teams? Moments? (And how big is the US going to win that Cup by? I admit it- didn't care for it at first, but I've caught Cup and Football Fever...)