Drawing is the new winning?

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dyager_nh
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Drawing is the new winning?

#1 Post by dyager_nh » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:13 pm

Recently, I have returned to the site to scratch the old Diplomacy itch. I have played in a few lower cost games and am stunned with the general concensus that playing to a "draw" is viewed as a win. Back in my day a Draw was the equivelent of "not losing".

What makes this belief even more insane to me, is that often someone chooses to play towards a draw instead of a win. I recently witnessed a 17-17 draw.

This new generation of wussy Diplomacy players have forgotten their roots.

nopunin10did
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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#2 Post by nopunin10did » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:20 pm

I recommend playing games scored with Sum-of-Squares to avoid that phenomenon. Draw-Sized Scoring creates a conflict of interest whereby players understandably aim for the best possible draw result rather than push for the solo as the strategies benefiting either path differ.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#3 Post by Jamiet99uk » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:26 pm

I strongly agree with the sentiment expressed by dyager. Far too often people here on webDip are happy to settle for a 4-way (or even 5-way!) draw when the game is nowhere near stalemated.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#4 Post by jmo1121109 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:08 pm

"Drawing is for Art majors not Diplomacy players!" -The Czech

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#5 Post by Restitution » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:37 pm

I play to the score condition, not some theoretical 'moral high ground solos only' condition. I just want to maximize my GR.

If people aren't playing in a fun way, then that's the fault of the game's incentive scheme and not their moral character.

Basically, SoS is a lot better than DSS. Knocking more players in DSS gives you 1/nth of the value of their elimination (where n is the remaining players), whereas SoS always just encourages greed and aggression.

I do believe that 2-way draws are always wrong, you should always do the thing which increases your score. And likewise, most of the time in a non-stalemated draw, someone is making a mistake.

I don't have an issue with multi-way draws and I don't consider it "not winning". according to the DSS scoring rules, surviving to the end of the game gives you score, and it counts as winning.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#6 Post by jmo1121109 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:57 pm

No no no, each of the scoring systems incentives 1 goal above all others and that is winning the game with a solo. They all reward a solo above all else, so playing to do anything other then win means you’re not playing correctly for that system.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#7 Post by RoganJosh » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:16 pm

Restitution wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:37 pm
[...] whereas SoS always just encourages greed and aggression.
This is false. In SoS, your score is relative the board leader. If being aggressive allows the board leader to also make gains, then it will probably reduce your score.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#8 Post by yavuzovic » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:34 pm

Sometimes it's too hard to betray an ally that stayed loyal to you all game. This game is a game of backstabs, but still sometimes I do god for draws just to make people happy. (Or to be honest I usually can't go for solo because I can't dare attacking them :razz: )

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#9 Post by Yigg » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:30 pm

My involvement in this hobby came from a place where fellow wargamers would get together to play a game. There were no points to be had or scores to maintain, just the thrill of fight and the braggadocio to be had. So the debate of point systems has always felt foreign and irrelevant to me. What I've always cared about it enjoying the game and playing to win. Is getting a draw better than being eliminated? Absolutely. But I don't accept that a draw is as good as a win. Anyone can personally value a good draw because of some moral code as much as they want. Yet a win-loss-tie record is measured according to wins. Consult any local sportsball enthusiast and they'll tell you.

Besides, I can't respect another player who genuinely doesn't try to win. I mean, your Connor MacLeod, of the clan MacLeod, may ally with Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez against the rising power of The Kurgan. But in the end, there can be only one.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#10 Post by Magnetic24 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:26 am

In the defense of two-way drawing, it's ideal for the lesser power in the situation. If you're a power sitting on 17 centers and NOT going for the solo, the lesser power in that situation has to approach you diplomatically to convince you to draw with them. As an example, dyager, let's take a look at War Games 2019, the game which I bet you're alluding to.

(http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel)

This game was a waste for France, this is true, but really well done by Italy. The two-way draw was a diplomatic effort by Italy because there was no way they were going to win. France literally waited around for the draw to happen, which was a diplomatic blunder.

As another example,
(http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel)

This game was a waste for Russia in this situation. They stood and didn't move their units, waiting for the 2WD in this situation. Personally, I would've advocated for the solo run for Russia, but hindsight 20/20 I guess.

But, overall, dyager, you are right. I am definitely defending my position because personally I have a lot easier time putting myself in the draw rather than winning. ;)

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#11 Post by swordsman3003 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:39 am

Sum-of-squares scoring is miserable. Players give up and stop participating, or throw games, as soon as they're attacked or backstabbed. I recently played a SoS game where 2 players did this (one gave up and one tried to throw) after making bad openings in 1901. Nihilism is always the creeping problem in those matches. It's unbearable.

I encounter a lot of players on this site who talk about Diplomacy like it's just a crapshoot, games full of players who only put in orders to avoid cramping their RR and players who try to play kingmaker or employ self-destructive revenge before the match even gets going. I feel like we aren't even playing the same game...and then I realize: we aren't.

Draw-size scoring is a completely different game. The players are very likely to take every turn seriously, no matter the number of SCs they have. Playing for a solo win in a draw-size scoring game is amazing. Every last player, even players lingering on with a single center, fight like their very lives depend on it.

I play draw-sized scoring in a private league and we get a solo win about 50% of the time, so to me a solo win is quite common with DSS. Just more interesting, hard-won, and less arbitrary (because players rarely give up, throw, or take revenge).

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#12 Post by yavuzovic » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:55 am

Actually if there are three countries and one of them goes to CD, and the other two aren't stronger than each other, it's too dangerous to go for solo and before someone takes over the best option is drawing. That's a very rare instance though.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#13 Post by Smokey Gem » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:04 am

Or you can make draws DSS worth half the value rounded down.

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David E. Cohen
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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#14 Post by David E. Cohen » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:46 pm

dyager_nh wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:13 pm
Recently, I have returned to the site to scratch the old Diplomacy itch. I have played in a few lower cost games and am stunned with the general concensus that playing to a "draw" is viewed as a win. Back in my day a Draw was the equivelent of "not losing".

What makes this belief even more insane to me, is that often someone chooses to play towards a draw instead of a win. I recently witnessed a 17-17 draw.

This new generation of wussy Diplomacy players have forgotten their roots.
This sad crap has been with the Hobby for decades and won't be going away any time soon. The justifications are just as sorry as they ever were.

All you can do is try your damnedest to win, and if that is impossible, throw the game if anyone tries to draw-whittle. Lol

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#15 Post by Hellenic Riot » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:44 pm

Having a history of occasionally two-way drawing can be of great use in Non-Anon games, where you can point to such examples to prove what a fantastically loyal ally you are. So from a (legal) meta perspective, there's certainly a reason to occasionally utilise them.


But, far more importantly, there is nothing that tends to enrage a defeated player more than people actually going through with a two-way draw. Therefore you maximise your vindictiveness in a glorious fashion just to wind people up, and then sit back and eat popcorn as their "I told you so's" fall away into general rage that they can't even put words to in the postgame.

So no; while there are reasons to occasionally do it, two-way drawing is not as good as soloing. But occasionally, it's even better. ;)

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#16 Post by Restitution » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:34 pm

Hellenic Riot wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:44 pm
Having a history of occasionally two-way drawing can be of great use in Non-Anon games, where you can point to such examples to prove what a fantastically loyal ally you are. So from a (legal) meta perspective, there's certainly a reason to occasionally utilise them.
Oh, yeah, non-anon is obviously going to have way more draws. The value of your eternal reputation is far more valuable than increasing your score in any given game. It's basically just a repeated prisoner's dilemma.

This is why I don't like non-anon.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#17 Post by nopunin10did » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:19 pm

swordsman3003 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:39 am
Draw-size scoring is a completely different game. The players are very likely to take every turn seriously, no matter the number of SCs they have. Playing for a solo win in a draw-size scoring game is amazing. Every last player, even players lingering on with a single center, fight like their very lives depend on it.

I play draw-sized scoring in a private league and we get a solo win about 50% of the time, so to me a solo win is quite common with DSS. Just more interesting, hard-won, and less arbitrary (because players rarely give up, throw, or take revenge).
It sounds like you have an excellent group of friends that are dedicated to solo play. That's great, and when that's the case, it doesn't really matter what scoring system you play with. More power to you.

SOS has its downsides, as does any scoring system. The difference is that DSS rewards draw-oriented play. It provides an alternate path to quasi-victory that does not align with the tactics normally required to achieve a solo. As I said before, it's a conflict of interest.

Some people prefer to play the game that way. It's how the game has been played for a long time; more power to you! I just find it surprising when people who only play that way are then somehow confused about the following...
dyager_nh wrote:that playing to a 'draw' is viewed as a win
...because in DSS, a small draw pool is a sort of win. If you don't want people to treat a draw as a win, you have to stop rewarding them for draw-oriented tactics.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#18 Post by nopunin10did » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:23 pm

David E. Cohen wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:46 pm
This sad crap has been with the Hobby for decades and won't be going away any time soon. The justifications are just as sorry as they ever were.

All you can do is try your damnedest to win, and if that is impossible, throw the game if anyone tries to draw-whittle. Lol
It was frankly inevitable as soon as players started to treat differently-sized draws as different tiers of performance. So long as a 2-way is treated as inherently better than a 3-way, and so on, people are more likely to approach the game. Even if a game is unscored, if players believe that a small draw is better than a large draw, then many will aim for the small draw rather than for the solo.

People play for the draw because those tactics work. The risk/reward equation is much more favorable toward steadfast alliances that aim to split the board two ways or three ways. It only takes a couple people playing in that manner to dominate the map and severely diminish anyone else's chances at the solo.

Face-to-face has largely avoided this conundrum by migrating to non-DSS scoring systems. But at Dixiecon, the only major F2F event that still uses DSS, even the best face-to-face players in the world, who normally play for the solo at every tournament, will usually switch to draw-size-oriented tactics.

The reason more people don't sign onto the soloist manifesto is because they are incentivized not to.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#19 Post by nopunin10did » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:44 pm

Smokey Gem wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:04 am
Or you can make draws DSS worth half the value rounded down.
The number of points awarded at the end would be less than the points input.

That would be a net-negative scoring system, which doesn't work terribly well in an online environment like this.

What could work, if you want the approximate feel of DSS but not to drive people toward draws as a tactic, is to have an only-count-solos system.
- If a game ends in a solo, that winner still gets the whole pot.
- If a game ends in a draw, then all players that didn't quit the game (or get booted for NMRs) get back the points they invested, even if they were eliminated. Effectively it becomes an unrated game.

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Re: Drawing is the new winning?

#20 Post by Restitution » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 pm

nopunin10did wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:44 pm
Smokey Gem wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:04 am
Or you can make draws DSS worth half the value rounded down.
The number of points awarded at the end would be less than the points input.
Not necessarily, just award those points to the losers.

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