How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

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PRINCE WILLIAM
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#41 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:00 pm

Why is okay to draw for fear of losing and it isn't as a part of an alliance?

cdngooner
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#42 Post by cdngooner » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:47 pm

Because one is draw as necessary tactic. The other is draw as goal. The goal should never be to do less than win.

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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#43 Post by North Sea » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:53 am

If everyone plays optimally a solo is nearly impossible, as has been mentioned. If you look at high-level results, they end almost exclusively in draws (e.g. viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2671). Results seem to be driven by establishing and maintaining a winning alliance, therefore. I find it distasteful as well, but to me a two-way draw is simply a variant on this.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#44 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:20 am

cdngooner wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:47 pm
Because one is draw as necessary tactic. The other is draw as goal. The goal should never be to do less than win.
Winning, by all means, is not something to be praised. It is not honourable. Besides that there are players who know they cannot win a solo. Should they stop playing?
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#45 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:14 am

PRINCE WILLIAM wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:20 am
cdngooner wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:47 pm
Because one is draw as necessary tactic. The other is draw as goal. The goal should never be to do less than win.
Winning, by all means, is not something to be praised. It is not honourable. Besides that there are players who know they cannot win a solo. Should they stop playing?
Win by all means is not what we're talking about. Winning by refusing to draw a stalemated game and waiting for other players to missorder is, for example, dishonourable. Winning because, in a well balanced game, a crucial player goes AWOL and hands you an easy steal is also, in my opinion, dishonourable. Winning because you've spent a month bullying a neighbour until they quit, again, dishonourable in my book (although I fully understand people who disagree). But agreeing a 2 way in the early game and playing it out is just as dishonorable, and just as disrespectful to other players.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#46 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:31 am

Okay, let's see a scenario. I enter a game with 9 other players (9 as my preferred version is modern Europe) and as a more than mediocre at best I agree with an ally to work it out and end the two of us or as close to that as possible. Things come and go but at the end, we get down to four and I deal first with my opponent (as I am far better in strategy than in negotiations). So I have 32 SCs and he has 31 and goes for the last of his opponent. Shouldn't be right and proper to end as equals and not to stab him?
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#47 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:58 am

PRINCE WILLIAM wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:31 am
Okay, let's see a scenario. I enter a game with 9 other players (9 as my preferred version is modern Europe) and as a more than mediocre at best I agree with an ally to work it out and end the two of us or as close to that as possible. Things come and go but at the end, we get down to four and I deal first with my opponent (as I am far better in strategy than in negotiations). So I have 32 SCs and he has 31 and goes for the last of his opponent. Shouldn't be right and proper to end as equals and not to stab him?
No, because when you enter a game of Diplomacy you enter a contest to gain 18 centres (or whatever the win requirement is for your particular variant). The assumption should always be that your ally is also trying to win, and has positioned himself as your ally in order to achieve this goal. The game is thus played to the end with a high degree of tension with both allies constantly looking for an opportunity to stab whilst also looking to deny such opportunities to the other. Thus you have a challenge, thus you have demands of skill, thus the minor powers still have the opportunity to play you off against each other and force a 3-way.

Everyone is active to the end. Everyone has hope for a result until the end. Everyone is treated with the respect they deserve.

Contrast that with the unbreakable 2 way you describe as honourable. The game is essentially over years before it ends. You and your ally have a relaxed self congratulatory ego trip over a couple of weeks, whilst the remaining players a slowly and painfully eliminated with no opportunity to make any meaningful contribution. Forced to turn up to preserve their reliability rating, forced to endure the tedius and pointless existence you have imposed on them.

Tell me again how you see honour in this.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#48 Post by teccles » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am

The central thing that makes alliances in Diplomacy interesting is cooperating with someone to benefit you both, despite knowing that you do not share the same end goals. If you and your ally both agree to a 2-way draw (and both know the other is serious), it takes away this key element of the game. I'm not going to argue what's "honourable" - but in my view, this is much less fun for everyone.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#49 Post by Sploack » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:50 am

No, because when you enter a game of Diplomacy you enter a contest to gain 18 centres (or whatever the win requirement is for your particular variant). The assumption should always be that your ally is also trying to win, and has positioned himself as your ally in order to achieve this goal. The game is thus played to the end with a high degree of tension with both allies constantly looking for an opportunity to stab whilst also looking to deny such opportunities to the other. Thus you have a challenge, thus you have demands of skill, thus the minor powers still have the opportunity to play you off against each other and force a 3-way.

Everyone is active to the end. Everyone has hope for a result until the end. Everyone is treated with the respect they deserve.

Contrast that with the unbreakable 2 way you describe as honourable. The game is essentially over years before it ends. You and your ally have a relaxed self congratulatory ego trip over a couple of weeks, whilst the remaining players a slowly and painfully eliminated with no opportunity to make any meaningful contribution. Forced to turn up to preserve their reliability rating, forced to endure the tedius and pointless existence you have imposed on them.

Tell me again how you see honour in this.
Such a good explanation.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#50 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:54 am

You have the same possibilities as others too form alliances and can eliminate yours. So the odds are even. You may die, your ally may die. Many things can happen. But if you get to the point I described there is no honour, no satisfaction in a win by betrayal. It is as plain as that, it is not a sure way to a two-part draw or a massive force that leaves others with no hope or choice.
Yet, I see I am a minority here so I won't keep the argument up annoying people.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#51 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:22 pm

Nothing annoying about expressing opinions on diplomacy, even if you're wrong ;). It's a fascinating topic and well worth discussing. Your contribution is always welcome.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#52 Post by Vasisubani » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:42 pm

When you start a game of Diplomacy, or any game for that matter, you are not starting a game to get 18 SCs. You and all the others playing with you are starting a game to "win."

The difference between 18 SCs and "winning" is that 18 SCs is an objective measure while "winning" is a social agreement between individuals engaging in a game.

While you might think 18 SCs is a "winning" condition because the map gets some text which says: "You won!" I could just as easily claim that in my game, if you want to "win," you must draw with one other person. You can then say whatever you want, but when the time comes, two people will draw and they will be the winners. No matter what the text, or you say.

The problem comes - I think - when some people in the game think that winning means getting 18 SCs, and others in the game think that winning is some other arbitrary set of goals. I think both are valid, you just have to know with whom you are playing and should seek your own "win" condition in spite of what others do.

That said, is it annoying when people in your game have different "win" conditions to you? Certainly. It means that you are not playing the same game or are playing it by different rules which makes it frustrating for everyone involved.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#53 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:59 pm

From the rulebook:

OBJECT OF THE GAME
As soon as one Great Power controls 18 supply centers, it’s considered to have gained control of Europe. The player representing that Great Power is the winner.


I can see the appeal of your argument, though. When I play chess with the win condition of disposing of my monarch so a people's republic can form, I never lose. And my win condition of achieving enlightenment by shedding all material possessions in Monopoly is ridiculously successful.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#54 Post by cdngooner » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:08 pm

You won't believe how many times I've won baseball games by my self-imposed win condition of swinging and missing 3 balls as often as possible.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#55 Post by teccles » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:19 pm

Octavious wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:59 pm
And my win condition of achieving enlightenment by shedding all material possessions in Monopoly is ridiculously successful.
This one I can get behind, because you'd get to stop playing Monopoly pretty quickly.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#56 Post by jay65536 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:29 pm

So instead of going down the poker rabbit hole about what exactly “soft play” means, I’ll just remark to the OP what I said originally: all you can do is to understand the mentality of these drawmongers so that you can beat them over the board. There is nothing unethical, in Diplomacy ethics, about refusing to take a win. It is poor play but not illegal play.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#57 Post by Sploack » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:06 pm

jay65536 wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:29 pm
So instead of going down the poker rabbit hole about what exactly “soft play” means, I’ll just remark to the OP what I said originally: all you can do is to understand the mentality of these drawmongers so that you can beat them over the board. There is nothing unethical, in Diplomacy ethics, about refusing to take a win. It is poor play but not illegal play.
It's not illegal but it is unethical in my opinion. And on some platforms it is illegal. I play diplomacy both on webdiplomacy and conspiracy and on conspiracy when you enter a game you must accept a list of 10 rules that appear. The second one is, and I quote: "Players must enter a game aiming to get the best possible result from the game".
And saying that for a person the best possible result could be a draw is just semantics. The best possible result is winning a game. Drawing is second best.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#58 Post by Sunstriker » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:11 am

I will admit to turning down a solo once. I didn’t do it because I swore to an ally that I wouldn’t turn on them or something like that.

Rather I was in a game with some new players, and one of them annoyed one of the more experienced players with their moves to the point where the experienced player decided to throw to me and got incredibly toxic about it. This wasn’t a case of “I’ve lost and there’s no way for me to win or end strong, so screw you I’m throwing!” It was “I’m pissed off and will throw because I’m throwing a tantrum!”

It ruined the game for me, and felt unsportsmanlike to take the win. This wasn’t a tactic or revenge for being screwed over by a former ally - just someone with experience being annoyed at someone inexperienced. I coordinated with the other players to cut the thrower out and ended in a Draw. I don’t regret it in the slightest.

I’ll backstab my ally for the win, but I won’t be apart of toxic behavior. Toxic behavior is how you drive away players and ruin a hobby.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#59 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:27 am

Sploack wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:06 pm
The second one is, and I quote: "Players must enter a game aiming to get the best possible result from the game".
And saying that for a person the best possible result could be a draw is just semantics. The best possible result is winning a game. Drawing is second best.
Ιf a player is not a strong one he cannot aspire to a solo he has to go with a draw.
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Re: How Do We Feel About Not Even Trying to Win?

#60 Post by cdngooner » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:31 am

Ιf a player is not a strong one he cannot aspire to a solo he has to go with a draw.
If you don't aspire to a solo, you're in the wrong game.

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