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Inspired by the School of War series run by ghost and others last year, I'd like to start a similar initiative for the gunboat variant. The gunboat variant requires subtlety and intelligent deduction of opponent's moves, and against good players can be extremely difficult to survive in.
There has been a good amount of interest recently in how to play good gunboat and I would like to have a game with the crew of gunboat veterans on this site and use this thread as a commentary thread. A final list of players will be published here and they will not be allowed to comment on the thread although anybody following the thread can contact them via pm for opinions.
Unfortunately, I don't think including new players in the game is the best idea since I'd like to keep the dynamics as fiercely competitive in a high bet WTA. Please PM me if you are interested in playing or commenting. I need 6 players and at least 4 or 5 commentators.
The game is below: http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=32686
I am thinking The Czech, V+, podium, Barn3tt, 5nk and jimgov?
I was thinking, since its a day per turn, why not allow the players to comment, but not in the 1st person? We could comment on the entire board and at the end of the game comment on what we actually thought as we played our country. The end comments would be like end of game statements EOGS.
Each player would comment on what they thought ALL countries were doing and why. It would show that even experienced players sometimes disagree on what the intent of a certain move was. Since 7 players would be commenting on 7 countries it shouldn't give anyone an advantage. It's just a thought.
I think there should be one official commentator. Each player should be free to PM the commentator to explain moves or motives. The commentator would not disclose who said what, but would use that information to confirm their own thoughts. Players would be on their honor not to use the commentator as a conduit to get messages to other players.
@ jc, how would confirming our moves to you be any different than 7 other players doing that in the forum? If we listed in abc order the countries and then gave our thoughts on each country, there would be no advantage. If 6 players said "It looks like France wants to be England's friend" and one disagreed it would be an obvious red herring. A Opened "Houseboat" playing it safe. Blocking a possible War-Gal and thus preventing a 3 on n against Rum. E blah blah bla F you get the idea G I R T
Oh I don't want any role. I think I need to learn more than I need to teach.
@Czech: It'd be different for a number of reasons, but I don't think my idea is any better than yours. The one advantage mine has is neutrality. Obviously you're aware of the problem of neutrality, as you try to mask clues by listing countries alphabetically. I love that idea. But you may still have clues--some will have more focus on particular areas of the map because that's where their country is. I think opening moves will be simple, but later in the game it may be easier to spot who is who. Another worry is that players may (inadvertently or not) convey messages, which would be a variation of your 'red herring' issue. More along the lines of "It looks like France wants to be England's friend ...and would be willing to if England supported them into Belgium." My final issue for your idea is that it requires extra work for all 7 players. In my idea they have the option of writing to the commentator, but don't have to.
But ultimately, I like your idea and don't suggest mine is any better---just different.
I have received numerous requests for the password already, but let's get the commentary issues set up before starting. I think I tend to agree with jcbryan about commentary. One or two official commentators, but I don't see the need for having players message them (i.e. it can be optional). I'd rather even the commentators didn't know which player was who. The point is that in anon gunboat there are no messages, no communication - your moves speak for yourself. So with that in mind, here's what I envision for commentary:
1. One or two official commentators, who are experienced and reliable. 2. A handful of 'speculators', who are either new to the site or would like to engage in constructive viewership of this game so as to improve their gunboating. 3. Players will not be allowed to post on the thread anything pertaining to this game specifically. They will be allowed to post if it does not relate to the game. For instance, if I want to point out a general truth about gunboats that will help anyone following learn something, such as "In gunboat, your opening moves are your first diplomatic statements. The next few moves will be carried out according to how screwed or not screwed the opening moves make you." - this is ok. What is not ok is if a player says: "In gunboat, your opening moves are your first diplomatic statements. England has opened to NWG, but finds a French fleet in ENG and Russian army in STP. England is screwed." - this is NOT ok. 4. Any other debate/banter/speculation from people not in the game is ok, but please keep such talk germane to the topic of the game.
The point is to ask as many questions and learn as much about gunboat as possible.
ava, i like your idea. are you ok with the players answering questions about their moves posted on this thread privately? i think it may be more beneficial if new gunboaters, or people who want to understand the game better, have direct access to the players.
their idenities wouldn't be revealed on this thread, only to the person who asked the question. obvioulsy, that person would have to show a little class and not let slip with who is who and what their intentions are.
to truely make this a teaching tool, it should probably be two day phases with no finalizing for move turns, and finalizing after 24hrs on build and retreat phases (unless the unit retreating can only disband). that makes the game very slow, but easy to follow for people who want to read the commentary and ask questions.
you keep talking about a commentator. would that be a player, or a third party? it'd make much more sence for a third party to come in and post unbiased comments partaining to the game in a set thread(i.e. this one) then a player making comments in-game.
I had an idea on the way home. 8 games with 8 people. Each person sits one game out as a commentator. Lower the points per game, but keep the total 1001 (for the 7 games that you play in) if you wish. Also keep it password protected. The commentator would run the thread (8 threads) for the game he/she is sitting out. It would give the noobs a chance to see how the same players react in different situations. You can keep the PM between spectators and players and NO player posts on the thread unless it's generic as you suggested above. What do you think?
Wonderful! Although I'd love to have Barn3tt in the game because it's a pleasure to watch him in action, I think his commentary will be much more valuable. All, Barn3tt has 250+ games under his belt, many (if not most) of which are gunboat.
One nice option would be to get each player to send in their thoughts to <someone>, who would then collect them all together into one email. This would then be sent out to all the people observing. Each player would be expected to be honest with their opinions, and the commentator/compiler would be free to add their own thoughts.
Also, if around I'd be happy to play, although we both know how little I'm here :/
I like trip's idea of people being able to directly question the players. Maybe there could be email accounts set up (e.g. ClassyItaly@gmail.com) so that anonymous players aren't "outed" in the forum by ne'er-do-wells looking to wreck the experiment.
I think figles' centralized compiler idea is awesome, but I'd like to do it in such a way that it goes onto the forum rather than by email. Any volunteers for compiler? Barn3tt, since you're very much into this honor system business, would you be willing to compile player statements and post them here with confidentiality?
Ok so here's how this will work. I will send out passwords to more players. Then the game starts, and after each turn, Barn3tt will provide his thoughts and answer any questions out there on the forum. I have second thoughts about the player statements because that is obviously against the spirit of gunboat. So let's keep it simple and wait for the game to start. I will publish a list of players once the game has filled up.
Sorry for the late answer. Yes, I might be interested, but I need to know specificly what are the players supposed to do /comment/teach (not really sure if I'm qualified to teach anyone). Some games are coming (leagues and webdip world cup final). I just need to know if I'll have the time to dedicate to this. Is it defined yet how it os going to work?
@Troodonte: The way this is designed is different from School of War as it is anon gunboat and talking would defeat the purpose. So the players have no commitment aside from playing well and being a total badass. Barn3tt, figles and others shall lead the commentary/teaching. As of now there is only one game. If this is successful we will do more installments in a similar manner maybe switching up commentator lineup etc.
I hate them because not only are they an interfering bunch and war mongerers, but also because they are loud mouths, can hear them from Oz with their loud talk, but they are arrogant, more than the french, and pompous... that's for starters
To everyone playing this game http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=31461, I would like to ask for a pause. I'm going away for the weekend and will be back approx Sunday 9 am AEST (Saturday 11 pm GMT). Please don't flame me as I can't ask this in game as it is a gunboat, and I would rather the players decide than ask for a moderator to do it which could leave some players confused.