Is Turkey too powerful?

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DarthPorg36
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Is Turkey too powerful?

#1 Post by DarthPorg36 » Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:08 pm

I just finished a game as Turkey against bots, my second victory with them, and this one came almost too easily.

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=439901

Is Turkey just that strong? All their home centers can build fleets or armies, and Turkey can usually destroy Austria or Russia, and then finish off the other, pretty easily. I find that unless Russia and Austria and even Italy fight Turkey aggressively will they fall. Is this maybe just bots not playing optimally? Did I just get lucky? Would love some answers to my questions and thoughts about Turkish playstyle.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#2 Post by Bonatogether » Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:59 pm

The bots are not great at recognizing long term strategic threats like Turkey ime - once they realize they're a turn or two from being stabbed, then they'll shift around, but even then, they won't act as a cohesive group to stop any threats.
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DougJoe
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#3 Post by DougJoe » Tue Sep 13, 2022 2:14 pm

DarthPorg36 wrote:
Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:08 pm
I just finished a game as Turkey against bots, my second victory with them, and this one came almost too easily.

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=439901

Is Turkey just that strong? All their home centers can build fleets or armies, and Turkey can usually destroy Austria or Russia, and then finish off the other, pretty easily. I find that unless Russia and Austria and even Italy fight Turkey aggressively will they fall. Is this maybe just bots not playing optimally? Did I just get lucky? Would love some answers to my questions and thoughts about Turkish playstyle.
In 52 games with Turkey vs the bots, I have 37 solos (~= 71%), 3 draws (~= 6%), 9 survivals (~= 17%) and 3 eliminations (~= 6%). In 50 of those games, I have played the same opening (Con-Bul, Ank-Con, Smy-Ank) which makes the solo number 37/50 (=74%). (The two other games I played Con-Bul,Ank-BLA,Smy-Con, which both were bot solos - I should probably play a bunch more games with this opening to get more results). Being able to win that often seems way high for Diplomacy. (My next best solo rate is with Italy at roughly 55%).

I think that Turkey is very strong against the bots for a few reasons, some of which are detailed out in BrotherBored's gunboat tier list article (https://brotherbored.com/tier-list-for- ... diplomacy/).

I think is that Russia is rarely a threat because bot Russia appears to usually be much more focused on Austria - Galicia in the opening being such a potential for conflict. Plus, Russia has the choice of sending one of his armies north instead of south - a two unit Russia in the south is usually not a great threat to Turkey. So, I can't help but wonder if by playing Ank-Con instead of BLA, bot Russia sees that as a pretty positive sign of friendship and goes, "ok, that's one country I *don't* have to worry about, I'll let Turkey be". (I have been attacked by Russia early on a couple of times, but it's rare.)

Also, bot Italy has a propensity to make moves that are hostile or appear as such to Austria. I have some stats (viewtopic.php?p=308400#p308400) about what bot Italy has played in my 350+ games in another thread - the amount of times that Italy targets Austria in 1901 seems pretty high (and sometimes I think that Italy wants to play a Ven-Tri-Ser kind of thing but Austria doesn't realize it). So with conflict between Italy and Austria, getting Ser/Gre/ION/Nap/Tun/and more is usually pretty straightforward. (From what I gather, higher level gunboat players would not *immediately* attack Austria as Italy, because Italy makes gains in Austria but then gets rolled back by R/T).

So it's like you said where everyone seems to want to attack someone other than Turkey (and in Austria's case, he's usually on the defensive anyway on one side or another or both and can't think about dealing with Turkey). There have been a couple of times where Austria/Italy get things *just right* and stop the R/T but it's rare.

So for me, it's R/T (sometimes trusting Russia pretty heavily, even more than I would really like) until I find the right moment to stick the knife into the Russian bot - in fact, the last time I played as Turkey, he did a lame half-stab of me first and I made him pay for it.
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#4 Post by Jamiet99uk » Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:26 pm

Do well with Turkey in the first three years:

Wow! Turkey is so powerful!


Do poorly with Turkey in the first three years:

Dammit! Turkey is so underpowered! I'm just hemmed into this corner, there is nothing I can do!!
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DarthPorg36
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#5 Post by DarthPorg36 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:58 am

DougJoe wrote:
Tue Sep 13, 2022 2:14 pm
DarthPorg36 wrote:
Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:08 pm
I just finished a game as Turkey against bots, my second victory with them, and this one came almost too easily.

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=439901

Is Turkey just that strong? All their home centers can build fleets or armies, and Turkey can usually destroy Austria or Russia, and then finish off the other, pretty easily. I find that unless Russia and Austria and even Italy fight Turkey aggressively will they fall. Is this maybe just bots not playing optimally? Did I just get lucky? Would love some answers to my questions and thoughts about Turkish playstyle.
In 52 games with Turkey vs the bots, I have 37 solos (~= 71%), 3 draws (~= 6%), 9 survivals (~= 17%) and 3 eliminations (~= 6%). In 50 of those games, I have played the same opening (Con-Bul, Ank-Con, Smy-Ank) which makes the solo number 37/50 (=74%). (The two other games I played Con-Bul,Ank-BLA,Smy-Con, which both were bot solos - I should probably play a bunch more games with this opening to get more results). Being able to win that often seems way high for Diplomacy. (My next best solo rate is with Italy at roughly 55%).

I think that Turkey is very strong against the bots for a few reasons, some of which are detailed out in BrotherBored's gunboat tier list article (https://brotherbored.com/tier-list-for- ... diplomacy/).

I think is that Russia is rarely a threat because bot Russia appears to usually be much more focused on Austria - Galicia in the opening being such a potential for conflict. Plus, Russia has the choice of sending one of his armies north instead of south - a two unit Russia in the south is usually not a great threat to Turkey. So, I can't help but wonder if by playing Ank-Con instead of BLA, bot Russia sees that as a pretty positive sign of friendship and goes, "ok, that's one country I *don't* have to worry about, I'll let Turkey be". (I have been attacked by Russia early on a couple of times, but it's rare.)

Also, bot Italy has a propensity to make moves that are hostile or appear as such to Austria. I have some stats (viewtopic.php?p=308400#p308400) about what bot Italy has played in my 350+ games in another thread - the amount of times that Italy targets Austria in 1901 seems pretty high (and sometimes I think that Italy wants to play a Ven-Tri-Ser kind of thing but Austria doesn't realize it). So with conflict between Italy and Austria, getting Ser/Gre/ION/Nap/Tun/and more is usually pretty straightforward. (From what I gather, higher level gunboat players would not *immediately* attack Austria as Italy, because Italy makes gains in Austria but then gets rolled back by R/T).

So it's like you said where everyone seems to want to attack someone other than Turkey (and in Austria's case, he's usually on the defensive anyway on one side or another or both and can't think about dealing with Turkey). There have been a couple of times where Austria/Italy get things *just right* and stop the R/T but it's rare.

So for me, it's R/T (sometimes trusting Russia pretty heavily, even more than I would really like) until I find the right moment to stick the knife into the Russian bot - in fact, the last time I played as Turkey, he did a lame half-stab of me first and I made him pay for it.
Thank you so much for the advice! I also am enjoying starting to read your summary of the Biggest Game of All Time. As a emerging player on the site, who can now win against bots decently enough, and who's best classic game was a two-way draw, I love any advice I can get!

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#6 Post by DougJoe » Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:42 am

DarthPorg36 wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:58 am
Thank you so much for the advice! I also am enjoying starting to read your summary of the Biggest Game of All Time. As a emerging player on the site, who can now win against bots decently enough, and who's best classic game was a two-way draw, I love any advice I can get!
I'm *NOT* BrotherBored, his user name is Swordsman3003 on this site. I just referenced his article because he has a lot of interesting insights about Diplomacy.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#7 Post by DarthPorg36 » Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:52 am

ah well thanks for your advice and hist as well
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#8 Post by Jamiet99uk » Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:28 am

Jamiet99uk wrote:
Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:26 pm
Do well with Turkey in the first three years:

Wow! Turkey is so powerful!


Do poorly with Turkey in the first three years:

Dammit! Turkey is so underpowered! I'm just hemmed into this corner, there is nothing I can do!!
To expand on this in a way that I hope is actually useful:

Turkey is one of those powers that can be tricky to play in the early game, but can become powerful if it survives to a reasonable position in the mid-game. Unlike Austria, Turkey is not dependent on having at least one good ally to *survive* in the first few years, but without at least one ally, it is very difficult for Turkey to break out of their corner.

Outside of a bot game, in real play, Turkey's alliance choices, and the competence and reliability of the chosen ally, are especially crucial.

Partner with a competent Austria? Good idea - contain Italy and hit Russia in the belly.

Partner with a clever Italy? Lots of options here, especially as in this one you can disguise your intentions for several moves.

Partner with a reliable Russian? The most obvious (and initially safest) choice, except that half the board will scream "juggernaut!" and attempt to rally against you.

Turkey has lots of early choices to make, but the most important work for Turkey happens in press, not in your Spring 1901 moves.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#9 Post by DougJoe » Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:39 am

Jamiet99uk wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:28 am
Jamiet99uk wrote:
Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:26 pm
Do well with Turkey in the first three years:

Wow! Turkey is so powerful!


Do poorly with Turkey in the first three years:

Dammit! Turkey is so underpowered! I'm just hemmed into this corner, there is nothing I can do!!
To expand on this in a way that I hope is actually useful:

Turkey is one of those powers that can be tricky to play in the early game, but can become powerful if it survives to a reasonable position in the mid-game. Unlike Austria, Turkey is not dependent on having at least one good ally to *survive* in the first few years, but without at least one ally, it is very difficult for Turkey to break out of their corner.

Outside of a bot game, in real play, Turkey's alliance choices, and the competence and reliability of the chosen ally, are especially crucial.

Partner with a competent Austria? Good idea - contain Italy and hit Russia in the belly.

Partner with a clever Italy? Lots of options here, especially as in this one you can disguise your intentions for several moves.

Partner with a reliable Russian? The most obvious (and initially safest) choice, except that half the board will scream "juggernaut!" and attempt to rally against you.

Turkey has lots of early choices to make, but the most important work for Turkey happens in press, not in your Spring 1901 moves.
Agreed! My comments above were specific to my experiences with bot games. Full press games are a whole different world.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?90

#10 Post by Severinius de Monzambano » Sat Nov 12, 2022 4:55 am

The Ottoman Empire is powerful, but France will always be the most powerful country under the current conditions and rules. It all comes from the tiniest decision.

If in Spring 1901, the Ottoman fleet was in Constantinople instead of Ankara, it spell doom for all others. The Ottoman Fleet being in Ankara plays on the irrational impulse in games to use a piece on the first turn simply because its use is possible. This nearly (save for a planned bounce) always antagonizes Russia, which makes the playing field more even.

If you switch the Fleet’s S1901 location to Constantinople, it still allows for that Black Sea tension between the Ottomans and the Russians. (Unlike starting the Fleet in Smyrna, that only creates incentives to attack Austria, and more crucially Italy, quickly.) But it also creates the possibility of attacking Italy, a journey that is the mythic backdrop of the Iliad (Aeneas escapes Troy to find Rome) and rooted in historical experience (Mehmed II’s (unsuccessful) Venetian conquest.)

Turkey is very powerful, so long as its player is diplomatically, tactically, and strategically adept enough to take advantage. But that ever-so-slight decision to move the Fleet to the interior at the game’s start prevents Turkey from being too powerful.

France, on the other hand, is extraordinarily over-powered. Having the Iberian pennisula uncontested from the start gives France plus a likely Belgium gives France such an incredible lead at the end-of-1901 that is reflected in the solo/draw statistics.

Barring any changes to the map or to the rules, the only ways players can combat overpowered France is an incredibly aggressive Italy, allied with Austria, who devotes Italy’s units to take Marseilles in 1901 and then the Iberian Pennisula in 1902. Even though that may be rational, it’ll always feel uncomfortable to players.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#11 Post by VinceK65 » Mon Dec 12, 2022 6:23 pm

I am new to the site and wonder if I can find somewhere succes rates of all powers in practice-games with bots (all games played on webdip).

I played 3 games with bots the last few days and I think the games helped a lot with understanding longer term consequences of your actions (f.e. Building a F or A in a certain stage, what the consequences are of the strength of other powers on the board, etc).

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#12 Post by Trigfea63 » Tue Dec 13, 2022 1:46 am

VinceK65 wrote:
Mon Dec 12, 2022 6:23 pm
I am new to the site and wonder if I can find somewhere succes rates of all powers in practice-games with bots (all games played on webdip).
It's an interesting question. As far as I know, no one has done that analysis for the 100,000+ classic bot games played on webdip. (Yes, that's not a typo.) I believe the most comprehensive bot-game statistical analysis is the one done by DougJoe anayzing his own ~350 bot games along various metrics:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2220&start=20#p304270
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#13 Post by DougJoe » Sun Dec 18, 2022 12:37 am

Trigfea63 wrote:
Tue Dec 13, 2022 1:46 am
VinceK65 wrote:
Mon Dec 12, 2022 6:23 pm
I am new to the site and wonder if I can find somewhere succes rates of all powers in practice-games with bots (all games played on webdip).
It's an interesting question. As far as I know, no one has done that analysis for the 100,000+ classic bot games played on webdip. (Yes, that's not a typo.) I believe the most comprehensive bot-game statistical analysis is the one done by DougJoe anayzing his own ~350 bot games along various metrics:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2220&start=20#p304270
I've been sort of slowing down a bit lately, still stuck in round 53.

I hadn't really looked at the numbers in a while but I just realized that the bot has more solos as Germany than I do. (He's gotten two in this round while I haven't had one in quite a few attempts with the Germans...)
VinceK65 wrote:
Mon Dec 12, 2022 6:23 pm
I played 3 games with bots the last few days and I think the games helped a lot with understanding longer term consequences of your actions (f.e. Building a F or A in a certain stage, what the consequences are of the strength of other powers on the board, etc).
I would agree that playing the WebDip bots is good for practicing tactics and getting a feel for the game but I believe that it is a different experience than playing humans in either a press or no-press game.
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#14 Post by Bladerunners » Thu Feb 23, 2023 8:14 am

Design flaw by developers of programming Italy to attack Austria a high percentage of the time makes Turkey very powerful in lots of bots games...

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#15 Post by ShipOfTheseus » Sat Feb 25, 2023 6:40 am

Bladerunners wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 8:14 am
Design flaw by developers of programming Italy to attack Austria a high percentage of the time makes Turkey very powerful in lots of bots games...
I've been doing some analysis of a diplomacy moves dataset that includes over 20,000 games -- and 12% of the games, the first move from VEN is to TRI.

38% VEN hold
25% VEN>PIE
21% VEN>TYR
12% VEN>TRI
2% VEN>APU
1% VEN>TUS

Are you seeing it more often than 1 out of 8 times in the bots games?

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#16 Post by DougJoe » Sun Feb 26, 2023 1:24 am

ShipOfTheseus wrote:
Sat Feb 25, 2023 6:40 am
Bladerunners wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2023 8:14 am
Design flaw by developers of programming Italy to attack Austria a high percentage of the time makes Turkey very powerful in lots of bots games...
I've been doing some analysis of a diplomacy moves dataset that includes over 20,000 games -- and 12% of the games, the first move from VEN is to TRI.

38% VEN hold
25% VEN>PIE
21% VEN>TYR
12% VEN>TRI
2% VEN>APU
1% VEN>TUS

Are you seeing it more often than 1 out of 8 times in the bots games?
That's a big dataset, where/how did you get it?

I haven't done a refresh on my analysis numbers in a while, I should do that.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#17 Post by DougJoe » Sun Feb 26, 2023 5:29 am

Here's my current data on the 348 Classic bot games I have played where I wasn't Italy:

Code: Select all

A Ven->Tri.       A Rom->Ven. F Nap->ION. :  21    6.0%
A Ven->Tri.       A Rom->Apu. F Nap->ION. :  12    3.4%

A Ven->Tri                                :  33    9.5%

A Ven H.          A Rom->Apu. F Nap->ION. :  69   19.5%
A Ven H.          A Rom->Nap. F Nap->ION. :  14    4.0%
A Ven H.                                  :  83   23.0%

A Ven->Tyo.       A Rom->Ven. F Nap->ION. : 149   42.8%
A Ven->Tyo.       A Rom->Apu. F Nap->ION. :  21    6.0%
A Ven->Tyo                                : 170   48.9%

A Ven->Pie.       A Rom->Ven. F Nap->ION. :  32    9.2%
A Ven->Pie.       A Rom->Ven. F Nap->TYS. :   7    2.0%
A Ven->Pie.       A Rom->Apu. F Nap->ION. :   3    0.1%
A Ven-Pie                                    42   12.1%
 
A Ven S H to Tri. A Rom->Apu. F Nap->ION. :  20    5.7%

A Ven->Tri *or* A Ven->Tyo, A Rom-Ven     : 182   52.3%
I find the difference in the statistics interesting.

In my games, I'm seeing Ven-Tri not quite 10% of the time, so a little less than in your data ShipOfTheseus, but...

Bot Italy's favorite opening by far is Ven-Tyo,Rom-Ven,Nap-ION, which is has played 43% of the time. It's Italy's favorite by almost twice as much as the two unique moves sets with Ven H. IMHO, Ven-Tyo/Rom-Ven are just as hostile to Austria as an immediate move to Tri. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of the times Italy played that opening it followed up with an attack on Austria in one way or another (although, to be honest, I don't have the data on Autumn '01 to know what Italy did in all 149 of those cases, my move parsing code can only do S01 right now). Compared to your numbers, that's roughly twice what you have computed for Ven-Tyo. Also interesting is that, in my games, Ven-Pie is played about half as much as the data you are looking at.

...and Italy moved to Tri *or* played Ven-Tyo, Rom-Ven over 50% of the time.
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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#18 Post by ShipOfTheseus » Sun Feb 26, 2023 5:41 am

The dataset I found is here. Admittedly, it's six years old, so there may be new trends in way the game is played.

https://data.world/maxstrange/diplomacyboardgame

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#19 Post by DougJoe » Sun Feb 26, 2023 6:21 am

ShipOfTheseus wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2023 5:41 am
The dataset I found is here. Admittedly, it's six years old, so there may be new trends in way the game is played.

https://data.world/maxstrange/diplomacyboardgame
Oh, and those games are from PlayDiplomacy, which, AFAIK, doesn't have bots... So those are (theoretically) human-only games. That might make sense that there's such a difference in the percentages. I don't what games the AI bots were trained on here, but it would be interesting to see the difference in Italy play between low/high level players.

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Re: Is Turkey too powerful?

#20 Post by THC » Sun Feb 26, 2023 3:09 pm

No power is "too powerful". There are trends in Diplomacy and some powers do well for a time because players tend to play in certain ways, and as a good player begins to find a good way to play one power, others take it up.

What doesn't really happen is that players look for ways to prevent other powers from doing well. It tends to be more a case of how can I succeed. Which means that, if you don't manage to succeed, there's no back-up plan.

It wasn't always the case. Playdip's figures show Turkey leading the field; if you look at DBN's figures for the DBNI, Turkey is bottom of the field. Why? Because the DBNI features the elite players who play to stop someone else from doing well.

As always, diplomacy is the key. There's a distinct lack of diplomacy in many online games, I've found, because everyone's out to do well for themselves rather than stopping others.
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