Soloing as Italy

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kgray
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#21 Post by kgray » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:20 am

jasnah wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:09 pm
jay65536 wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:52 pm
Your belief that Kie-Den is automatic is a belief; that belief is not shared by many Diplomacy players, including but not limited to me.
I don't care if the belief is shared by other Diplomacy players; Kie-Den is a mandatory order. If many players believe otherwise, many players are wrong. Most players suck so what they think is irrelevant to what's correct or not.
I solo'd off Kiel-Holland once. And I only have 2 solos, so... I'd say it worked out pretty well for me :lol:
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#22 Post by swordsman3003 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:40 am

KIE-HOL is uncommon, but it is a reasonable opening for Germany.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#23 Post by teccles » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:30 am

jay65536 wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:52 pm
No. Those are not on the same level. Your belief that Kie-Den is automatic is a belief; that belief is not shared by many Diplomacy players, including but not limited to me.

Con-Bul is the most automatic move in the game. In my opinion, it goes:

1. Con-Bul. There is no valid alternative.
2. StP-GoB. The only valid alternative (Fin) is an extreme fringe case.
3. A distant third, Bud-Ser. The only valid alternatives are fringe cases.

Beyond that, I can think of a valid alternative to every S01 move you can come up with. Although just to play devil’s advocate, Kie-Den isn’t even Germany’s most automatic move. That’s Ber-Kie.
To pick up on a side point - StP-Fin actually produces slightly better results than StP-GoB, according to RJ's database of gunboat. I'm not sure, but I suspect this is because is practice, if you get bounced from SWE then in 1902 what you're going to be doing is defending StP, and Finland is the better place to do that from (or possibly because it makes Germany like you and not bounce SWE, though this seems somewhat irrational).

Whatever the reason, I think that for gunboat StP-GoB should definitely not be considered automatic, and may not even be the best option.

(I think KIE-DEN is always the best move for gunboat games, and for press I haven't thought about it)
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#24 Post by jay65536 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:27 pm

http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resour ... _lurch.htm

Other than the last sentence, this sums up my views. GoB is correct the vast majority of the time but there exist circumstances where Fin is valid. Still an extreme fringe case.

(Note: I don’t play gunboat so can’t speak to how it works there.)
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#25 Post by Enriador » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm

A Con-Bul is not an automatic move without alternative. In a world where people play the Key Lepanto and the Northern Dash without batting an eye, the Russian Floric ought to be considered by those with the guts to think outside the box.

The Russian Floric is a highly contextual, super-offensive Austro-Turkish opening against Russia:

* A Con H
* F Ank-BLA
* A Smy-Arm

* A Vie-Gal
* A Bud-Rum
* F Tri-Ven/H

By holding in Constantinople, any threats to nominally Austrian Serbia in Fall 1901 are denied. It allows the Archduke to send its two armies right away at the Tsar, with the fleet covering its rear in case Italy plays dirty. The Pope, by the way, should be steered westwards or else Greece will become green (not that Italy can hold Greece against A/T for long anyway).

Clearly not a run-of-the-mill opening but at least one better than most when A/T wanna try something new to bring down a skilled Russian player. By the way, A Smyrna H is indeed the best Turkish opening ever. http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/W2013A/Koch/smyh.htm

Back to the opening post: I really love Italy, by far my favorite country to play. But it would amount to denialist revisionism to affirm anything other than that: Italy is the weakest country in the game by quite some margin. That fact is measured up not just by over a hundred thousand games across decades and dozens of platforms (where Italy is almost invariably last in victories, from internet solos to FtF tournament top-boards), but by simple geography:

* It is the only country on the board whose "safe neutral" (Tunis) does not border any other SCs, severely harming its ability to negotiate short-term actions with other powers.
* It is the only country on the board that cannot responsibly (i.e. by not risking a buildless first year) engage in the battle for the centrally-located neutrals (Belgium, Greece, Rumania) that direct the major diplomatic triangles.
* It is the only country on the board to both be a "central power" (alongside Germany and Austria) and have only one "safe neutral" to lay claim on (Tunis). Alternatively, it is the only country on the board with just a single "safe neutral" (alongside England and Turkey) but without a nice corner to rest its back upon.
* It is one of two countries on the board with a home supply center (Venice) sharing a border with another power's home supply center (Trieste), subtly guiding them into either short- or long-term conflict or, most often in competent play, the unoptimal placement of an unit for semi-permanent garrison duty.
* It is one of four countries on the board that cannot be assured of a build irrespectively of what others powers do (only France, England and Turkey share such an advantage).

Yet it is precisely that status as the board's chief underdog whom most underestimate that makes Italy such an alluring - and rewarding - country to play with. For Italy has many strengths of its own (most already quoted here) and it is always worth it to further study what Italian tactics and strategies are there.

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#26 Post by Claesar » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:37 pm

Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
...
* It is one of four countries on the board that cannot be assured of a build irrespectively of what others powers do (only France, England and Turkey share such an advantage).
...
Can you link a game in which France and Austria conspired to deny Italy this assured build? Because outside of the exact orders Mar-Pie, Vie-Tyr, Bud-Tri, Tri-Adr, Italy cannot be stopped (provided they open to Trieste, or Tyr and Ven). While everything will eventually happen if you set enough random monkeys to the task, I'm not sure thát one has ever happened yet.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#27 Post by leon1122 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:53 pm

There are precisely 3 games* played with the given moveset. I found them using the gunboat opening database.

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=76066
http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=132634
http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=184467

Shockingly, Italy survived to the end in all 3 games, though the last one is full of banned players, so I don't know how legitimate that was.

*3 gunboat games; I imagine it's more common in press, where Austria and France can coordinate.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#28 Post by AnimalsCS » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:00 pm

Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
Italy is the weakest country in the game . . . by simple geography
I've seen people try to make this argument before. Let's break down the fallacies here:

You assume players are not conscious of the inherent strengths and weaknesses of each country when they start a game. For example, France may have more geographical advantages than other countries, but most players recognize this and are therefore more likely to form coalitions to eliminate France.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
It is the only country on the board whose "safe neutral" (Tunis) does not border any other SCs, severely harming its ability to negotiate short-term actions with other powers.
Tunis is one of the few neutral supply centers that borders the main stalemate line and is thus a key position in the endgame. Tunis also borders three sea spaces, making it a very useful position for a fleet. In addition, the fact that it doesn't border any other centers can help Italy remain neutral and increase its diplomatic options precisely because it isn't threatening to anyone. You haven't demonstrated why neutrals bordering other neutrals are inherently more useful.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
It is the only country on the board that cannot responsibly (i.e. by not risking a buildless first year) engage in the battle for the centrally-located neutrals (Belgium, Greece, Rumania) that direct the major diplomatic triangles.
Um what? Italy frequently moves their fleet to ION and can often be involved in negotiations about Greece. And it is quite common that control of these centers isn't decided until 1902 anyways.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
It is the only country on the board to both be a "central power" (alongside Germany and Austria) and have only one "safe neutral" to lay claim on (Tunis). Alternatively, it is the only country on the board with just a single "safe neutral" (alongside England and Turkey) but without a nice corner to rest its back upon.
The lack of definition for "central power" and "safe neutral" here make this point vacuous at best. Why is Russia not considered a "central power" when it borders as many powers as Italy? Why is it that you consider Russia to have two "safe neutrals" when it frequently gets neither Sweden nor Rumania in 1901?
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
It is one of two countries on the board with a home supply center (Venice) sharing a border with another power's home supply center (Trieste), subtly guiding them into either short- or long-term conflict or, most often in competent play, the unoptimal placement of an unit for semi-permanent garrison duty.
I don’t see how you consider the Trieste-Venice border substantively different from other contested borders like Black Sea, Burgundy, and English Channel. Garrisons are not exclusive to Austria and Italy. In addition, the fact that these centers border each other presents the opportunity for Italy to capture Trieste in 1901, which can provide Italy with a second build (sometimes even without angering Austria).

Also, you ignore the obvious fact that any neighbors eventually must come into conflict if they are both trying to win, or otherwise trying to survive to a draw. The potential for Austrian-Italian conflict is not special.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
It is one of four countries on the board that cannot be assured of a build irrespectively of what others powers do (only France, England and Turkey share such an advantage).
First of all, this is an extremely pedantic point, since the situations you must come up with in some of these cases are truly unlikely. And even if you get a build when attacked by 3 enemies, you are still unlikely to survive.

And anyways, both France and England can be prevented from getting any builds in 1901 relatively easily depending on the exact moves.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:23 pm
For Italy has many strengths of its own and it is always worth it to further study what Italian tactics and strategies are there.
Well I do agree with you on this point!

Edit: I didn't realize how long this post was. Apologies for that! Got a bit bothered by some of the arguments here.

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#29 Post by leon1122 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:01 pm

As for Turkey, the same database shows that opening ACon H is the third most common opening for Turkey, with 730 games played. It has an abysmal performance though, winning on average only 7.6% of the pot. I imagine it would be slightly better in press, where Turkey can communicate his intentions to Austria. It would probably still be pretty bad though.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#30 Post by jasnah » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:20 pm

leon1122 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:01 pm
As for Turkey, the same database shows that opening ACon H is the third most common opening for Turkey, with 730 games played. It has an abysmal performance though, winning on average only 7.6% of the pot. I imagine it would be slightly better in press, where Turkey can communicate his intentions to Austria. It would probably still be pretty bad though.
Most of those were probably S01 NMRs
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#31 Post by leon1122 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:05 pm

Oh yes, you're right. In fact, the particular opening I was looking at (the third most popular opening for turkey) was all holds.

The opening proposed by Enriador has been played precisely once in gunboat. The Turkish player survived with 1 center.

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#32 Post by Yonni » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:37 pm

In full press games, Turkey has not moved Con (held or supported) AND not held Ank and Smyrna in 1.15% of all games played. In those games, they drew 12.3% of the time and solo'd 3.3% of the time.

Latest solo is this one:
https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=326988

Note: Excluding games that did not make it past 1903 (I think that was the cutoff)

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#33 Post by leon1122 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:57 pm

Yeah, the Smy-Ank, Ank-BLA line seems somewhat more popular than Smy-Arm, Ank-BLA when holding Constantinople.

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#34 Post by Enriador » Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:51 pm

Ha, that's the denialism I was talking about. It didn't take long. :-D

I need to add a disclaimer here: Italy is not impossible, far from it. It is just the worst-perfoming of them all; with seven countries, one of them gotta be last.

Yet ascribing Italy's abysmal records to anything but its natural weaknesses (no mistake, the other six have those of their own) is pure denialism. If you don't face your weaknesses, how can you shield yourself as much as possible from them? Italy can be powerful and fun; pointing out its downturns does not equate disdain for the power. Those who do soon learn their mistake.
You assume players are not conscious of the inherent strengths and weaknesses of each country when they start a game. For example, France may have more geographical advantages than other countries, but most players recognize this and are therefore more likely to form coalitions to eliminate France
.

Your assumption is blatantly incorrect.

The vast majority of Diplomacy players are not conscious of those advantages and weaknesses, and thus do not explore them the way you propose. You and me think this way when playing, but webDiplomacy's own set of solo rates show people are either not making these coalitions (as you claim) or they are, but are simply not effective enough.

I concede that this is indeed the case for most cases of high-level play, but even then:

1) Italy still sucks. The Nexus Tournament and the World Diplomacy Database have plenty of data on this. Italy is the worst-performing country (or, occasionally, second-worst) in the vast majority of competitions (where, presumably, the level of play is higher than random website datasets).

2) The share of games with decent, dynamic board balancing (like the examples above) is miniscule vis-a-vis the "normal" or average board where people *maybe* know a Juggernaut is bad (thus requiring a coalition) but otherwise play without having those aspects in mind.
Tunis is one of the few neutral supply centers that borders the main stalemate line and is thus a key position in the endgame. Tunis also borders three sea spaces, making it a very useful position for a fleet.
Well said; that is one of Italy's saving graces - Tunis, as England/France/Turkey's usual last-to-18 SC is indeed a place to keep a watch on. Holding it is a crucial advantage.
In addition, the fact that it doesn't border any other centers can help Italy remain neutral and increase its diplomatic options precisely because it isn't threatening to anyone. You haven't demonstrated why neutrals bordering other neutrals are inherently more useful.
Now *that* is a fallacy: helping Italy "stay neutral" is hardly an advantage in itself; an Italy that is neutral is an Italy that does not grow beyond Tunis (or when it does, it will lag behind the "triangle winners" that grew earlier) while the other powers, mixed as they are in clusters like the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Low Countries, have superior chances to snatch more supply centers away.

The more supply centers you can access early on, the likelier you are to end the game with 18 of them before anyone else does. Crazy, right?

Italy is a fascinating country to play much because when it does strike fast (Illyrian Opening, Bohemian Crusher, Key Lepanto, Caesar Opening, etc) it can turn the board upside down and it is unlikely that anyone can do anything about it. The "wait and see" approach is still valid of course, but hardly superior if Italy has a solo in mind. Maybe about the same.
Um what? Italy frequently moves their fleet to ION and can often be involved in negotiations about Greece. And it is quite common that control of these centers isn't decided until 1902 anyways.
You quoted my words, but chose to ignore what I said about "responsibly" influencing the fate of those crucial neutrals - and since Belgium and Rumania are out of reach, obviously I meant Greece - which Italy cannot do without risking a buildless year (all it takes is a false promise of support). This is a unique characteristic among the seven great powers, all of whom can make plays for e.g. Belgium, Rumania and even Bulgaria (ah, the Bulgarian Gambit... another great opening) without sacrificing a shot at a neutral elsewhere.

As you can see here - http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/S2007R/ ... ician2.htm - Italy takes Greece in 1901 a meager ~3% of the time versus Austria's 66% (yup, it is 22 times more likely for Austria to seize it, not Italy). In 1902, these prospects do increase to almost 10%... yet Turkey has triple those chances in the same year. Damn.

Bottom line is, Greece is not Italy's playground in 1901 (three percent, buddy). It ends the year neutral once every five games, or ~20% - hardly "common" as you falsely claimed - and often it happens because Austria cannot claim it, with its fleet stuck defending Trieste (either with or without reason) which works for Turkey's advantage, as the statistics show.
The lack of definition for "central power" and "safe neutral" here make this point vacuous at best. Why is Russia not considered a "central power" when it borders as many powers as Italy? Why is it that you consider Russia to have two "safe neutrals" when it frequently gets neither Sweden nor Rumania in 1901?
You made some fair points here, yet I see another claim statistically-proven as false. I will try to elaborate.

"Central power": a country that does not have a "safe border" on at least one of its flanks. That includes Germany, Austria (those two diplomatically, but not physically, protected to the east and west respectively due to the Barren Zone making any early advances often disadvantageous) and Italy (again, protected to the west only by the diplomatic convention that France should not attack Italy early on).

Contrast it with Russia's eastern border (which is physically impossible to flank) and you have a country that works kinda like a corner power... but, like in so many other aspects, also behaves as a central power. Russia is both in the north and in the south (as Calhamer would famously draw himself) so it has many frontiers indeed, but do note that Italy is just 1 tempo away from an Austrian home center, 2 tempi away from French, German home centers and 3 tempi away from Turkish home centers (8 tempi in total). Russia is 2 tempi away from Austrian, German and Turkish home centers, and 3 tempi away from an English home center (9 tempi in total). So yeah, Italy is actually more physically (though not diplomatically) exposed than Russia. Simple geography.

Diplomatic weaknesses can be neutralized by a silver tongue. Physical limitations are permanent, and must be examined over carefully in order to have its maluses reduced in some fashion.

"Safe neutral": a center that is... what, 50% of the time in a power's hands in 1901? 55%? 60%? Your call. Check the link, read it, embrace the facts. Your claim that Russia "frequently" gets neither Rumania nor Sweden is clearly false.
I don’t see how you consider the Trieste-Venice border substantively different from other contested borders like Black Sea, Burgundy, and English Channel. Garrisons are not exclusive to Austria and Italy. In addition, the fact that these centers border each other presents the opportunity for Italy to capture Trieste in 1901, which can provide Italy with a second build (sometimes even without angering Austria).
Whoa, there is a lot wrong with this one. Hmm, let me do this in parts:

1) If you cannot see how a home supply center - the most important piece of territory a country has - is "substantively different" from border provinces like Burgundy, I need to remind you of the basics: losing a border province is bad precisely because, once taken over, home supply centers are in danger. And losing a home supply center - a permanent risk for Italy and Austria as long as the other is around - is so much worse because not only you get behind in the race for 18, but you lose the crucial strategical power of releasing new units at that province.

So yes, there is an ocean of difference here.

2) Easier Italian capture of Trieste is an early game advantage that might lead to sequential disadvantage. A weak Austria makes for a stronger Russia and Turkey, and both countries can advance on the Balkans with far better effectiveness than Italy can ever hope to do (likely having sway over Rumania and Bulgaria/Greece already, respectively). I do like the Go Fasta approach of hitting Austria hard and furious but this is not something I would ever do without the right context (e.g. Turco-Russian war right off the bat).
Also, you ignore the obvious fact that any neighbors eventually must come into conflict if they are both trying to win, or otherwise trying to survive to a draw. The potential for Austrian-Italian conflict is not special.
It is precisely because this is so obvious a fact I thought unnecessary to mention what should be crystal clear: Venice-Trieste speeds up (and ranks the stakes up) conflict between Italy and Austria. It doesn't guarantee it, but it is certainly a burden more than a blessing for both countries.

Don't take my word for it, though. Here is a challenge for my fellow database-seekers around: find me *any* total of Full Press Classic games where Italy and Austria are in positions different from 7th or 6th (or vice-versa). I suspect you won't find many.

And no, they are not invariably last (rarely, Austria gets worse than Italy) because the average player really sucks and you and me, fans of Italy, are geniuses. It is because the average player is very so-so and Italy and Austria are permanently handicapped. The skill bar is way higher.
First of all, this is an extremely pedantic point, since the situations you must come up with in some of these cases are truly unlikely. And even if you get a build when attacked by 3 enemies, you are still unlikely to survive
.

They are unlikely, true. But hey, an Italian victory between seven players of identical skill is also unlikely so I wanted to be thorough in examining Italy's unique weaknesses.

Besides: if a country has a higher theoretical likelihood of e.g. 2 builds (like Germany or France), it will also have a higher likelihood of e.g. gaining 3 builds (idem). Similarly, a country that can be theoretically attacked from many directions (to the point it can be besieged and made buildless) will also have a higher likelihood of elimination.

Still following me? Okay, now guess which four countries are eliminated the most in our Hobby? Yup, that's right. Austria, Italy, Germany, Russia (not always in that order). France, England and Turkey smile from afar.

Speaking of being pedantic, I just realized two other things that Italy may suffer from due to geography.

1) Italy has a hard time allying with Turkey. There are certain workarounds to geographically-challenging alliances like G/E or A/T, but I/T is really tough. Turkey can't build fleets in such a setup, yet how can Italy head west while Turkish armies encroach upon Italy's Austrian spoils? One wonders.

2) Italy is the only country on the board that can have one of its home supply centers (Venice) attacked in 1901 by all three units of a same power (Austria), making its fall certain. Ah, and before you tell me "this is unlikely!", such an early, quasi-suicidal Austrian attack is not the point (as should be obvious). The curious thing is how Italy has the initial upper hand against Austria, but once both grow Austria has three home centers - and thus possibly three freshly-built units - surrounding Italy's flank. Austria can invade Italy's homeland easier than the other way around once their alliance advances into the endgame.
And anyways, both France and England can be prevented from getting any builds in 1901 relatively easily depending on the exact moves.
This is another false claim - regardless of "the exact moves" it is downright impossible to leave England and France buildless in 1901. You should really think this through:

A LVP-YOR; A YOR-LON
F EDI-NRG; F NRG S F NTH-NWY
F LON-NTH; F NTH-NWY

A MAR-PIE; A MAR-SPA
A PAR-BUR; A PAR-BUR
F BRE-ENG; F BRE-ENG

No possible combination of moves by Italy, Germany or Russia can do anything about it. And look, these are under the worst possibly doomsday scenarios. As the link I gave you shows, good luck finding a game where England or France (or Turkey) go buildless. If you do, I wonder if it is the same kind of game where people build dynamic coalitions to fight against the heavyweights, so to speak.
Well I do agree with you on this point!
I live to reach consensus.
Edit: I didn't realize how long this post was. Apologies for that! Got a bit bothered by some of the arguments here.
No need for apologies, my friend. Despite our mutual passive-aggressive remarks here and there I thoroughly enjoy these kinds of exchanges - I could talk about Diplomacy game theory for hours. Always an opportunity to learn more, and I have certainly learned reading through this thread.
The opening proposed by Enriador has been played precisely once in gunboat. The Turkish player survived with 1 center.
Disclaimer: I cannot remember who created this. I found it on a long-lost 1980s Diplomacy World article, I believe; it has been since added to the Pouch's Library of Openings (which I had the pleasure to curate for a time).

A Con H is a thing with some theoretical merit behind it, if a fringe one at that. Whether it works better than the likes of A Lvp-Cly, A Rom-Tus or F StP-Fin is for us to try out.

And my goodness, what did that player drink to try such a combination of moves in a gunboat game? Gotta be some good stuff.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#35 Post by Enriador » Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:56 pm

Can you link a game in which France and Austria conspired to deny Italy this assured build? Because outside of the exact orders Mar-Pie, Vie-Tyr, Bud-Tri, Tri-Adr, Italy cannot be stopped (provided they open to Trieste, or Tyr and Ven). While everything will eventually happen if you set enough random monkeys to the task, I'm not sure thát one has ever happened yet.
I doubt it, but I can try. Sorry by the way, I should have been clearer: the early capture of Venice is not the point. Rather, the point is that Italy is more exposed than some give it credit for. It is no Turkey; once the triangles get solved and the race to cross the Main Stalemate Line begins, Italy is quite closer to France (and Germany) than you would think. :-)

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#36 Post by Hellenic Riot » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:18 am

A MAR-PIE; A MAR-SPA
A PAR-BUR; A PAR-BUR
F BRE-ENG; F BRE-ENG

Doesn't guarantee a French build unless Italy bounces Piedmont. If France is tricked into moving to Piedmont, the build is at risk.
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#37 Post by Yonni » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:03 am

There have been two FP games with Mar-Pie, Vie-Tyr, Bud-Tri, Tri-Adr. One of them ended in a 17-17 Italy/England draw.

https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=10075
https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=62662
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#38 Post by Enriador » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:34 am

Hellenic Riot wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:18 am
A MAR-PIE; A MAR-SPA
A PAR-BUR; A PAR-BUR
F BRE-ENG; F BRE-ENG

Doesn't guarantee a French build unless Italy bounces Piedmont. If France is tricked into moving to Piedmont, the build is at risk.
You are correct. My memory failed me: the army that must move to Burgundy is A Marseilles. Then you have two options:

A MAR-BUR; A MAR H/A BUR-MAR
A PAR-GAS; A GAS-SPA
F BRE-ENG; F BRE-ENG

Or;

A MAR-BUR; A MAR H/A BUR-MAR
A PAR-GAS; A GAS-BRE
F BRE-MID; F MID-SPA/F MID-POR

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Re: Soloing as Italy

#39 Post by AnimalsCS » Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:57 am

Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:51 pm
Ha, that's the denialism I was talking about. It didn't take long. :-D
Oh I don’t disagree with you that the geography of the board makes it more difficult for Italy to win or that this is backed up by data. I just think your arguments for why this is the case are quite pedantic and require some very big assumptions :)

There is a much simpler explanation: Italy sits on the East of the stalemate line. The eastern half of the map has 5 landlocked centers and a number of key land spaces like Galicia and Armenia. However, Italy needs fleets to attack Marseilles, Spain and Portugal. Italy has difficulty winning because, more than any other country, they must split their forces between fleets and armies and between the eastern and western halves of the board.

Anyways, to address some of the points you raised in your most recent post:
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:51 pm
The vast majority of Diplomacy players are not conscious of those advantages and weaknesses, and thus do not explore them the way you propose. You and me think this way when playing, but webDiplomacy's own set of solo rates show people are either not making these coalitions (as you claim) or they are, but are simply not effective enough.
That is certainly true. It is my belief that as the competitive diplomacy scene continues to grow and the metagame develops, the game will become more and more balanced. But you are right that this is not the case for beginners.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:51 pm
"Safe neutral": a center that is... what, 50% of the time in a power's hands in 1901? 55%? 60%? Your call. Check the link, read it, embrace the facts.
Your linked source does not explain where they collected their data from or when so it is difficult to draw conclusions from it.
Enriador wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:51 pm
Venice-Trieste speeds up (and ranks the stakes up) conflict between Italy and Austria.
Now here you have not provided data and I do not see why this is necessarily the case.

Yonni
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Re: Soloing as Italy

#40 Post by Yonni » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:24 pm

So the current hypothesis is that, in a high GR game, Italy will do relatively better than in the site average? I can get that data for you at some point.

If I were to bet, I'd say that it will not.

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