Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

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swordsman3003
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Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#1 Post by swordsman3003 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:39 pm

Yes, according to Dave Ainsworth! A repeat guest contributor to BrotherBored, you won't be disappointed with his analysis.

Guest Post: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

This piece is mostly about how unbalanced the map is, and what can be done about it.

Yonni
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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#2 Post by Yonni » Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:27 pm

For what it's worth, I scraped the WebDip database a year or so ago. I have a spreadsheet summarizing all of the classic map ranked games (that also met a few other criteria that I don't quite remember like last 3 years or something like that).

Out of 37,831 games (not sure how to make at table):

.................Won.........Drawn
England_____7.85%_____23.29%
France______9.50%_____24.22%
Germany____7.94%_____19.22%
Austria______6.81%_____15.99%
Italy________5.25%_____18.57%
Russia______10.90%_____17.55%
Turkey______10.80%_____23.29%

I don't think it's correct to say that "France and Russia" are considered the strongest. Russia has the highest win rate but an even lower draw rate than Italy. There are, of course, some issues with the data but it does jive with my experience. I'm a little surprised by how poorly Germany faired but am not surprised that Turkey out competes Russia.
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gimix
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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#3 Post by gimix » Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:35 pm

There's something I don't understand in your data... do you mean that almost 59% of those games ended in a solo? That contrasts starkly with my experience
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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#4 Post by Yonni » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:12 pm

That's a good point. Might be skewed by the games on the site before the draw button was added. I can try limit it to more recent ones...

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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#5 Post by A_Tin_Can » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:15 pm

Yes, around 60% of online games end in a solo (this was the same when I did a similar analysis in 2015)

However, most games are not between experienced (or even dedicated) players.
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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#6 Post by A_Tin_Can » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:16 pm

I think if you ignore PPSC games, the solo rate went down a bit but not a lot. Although, it sounds lower than I remember it, so the current scoring methods possibly have fewer solo victories.

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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#7 Post by Ienpw_III » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:48 pm

I think pretty much everyone agrees that the map is unbalanced, but for me the question is how much it matters. Reality isn't balanced either, and one of the goals of Diplomacy is to emulate certain aspects of reality.

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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#8 Post by RoganJosh » Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:13 pm

The gunboat stats are available here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/ ... e/Overview

In gunboat, PPSC had a solo rate of ~70%, while DSS has a solo rate of ~40%.

I also think everyone should note the difference if you filter on pot size >= 701
compared to including all games. (Pot size >= 701 means that each player bet more than 100 points, a proxy for players being experienced.)

I think any analysis of the map which does not filter out beginner's games, will be an analysis of which powers are "easy" to play for beginners. Nothing more, and nothing less.
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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#9 Post by TheFlyingBoat » Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:40 am

RoganJosh wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:13 pm
The gunboat stats are available here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/ ... e/Overview

In gunboat, PPSC had a solo rate of ~70%, while DSS has a solo rate of ~40%.

I also think everyone should note the difference if you filter on pot size >= 701
compared to including all games. (Pot size >= 701 means that each player bet more than 100 points, a proxy for players being experienced.)

I think any analysis of the map which does not filter out beginner's games, will be an analysis of which powers are "easy" to play for beginners. Nothing more, and nothing less.
And perhaps more important when you don't filter out beginner games, which powers benefit most from NMRs. A large part of why Russia looked so good in postal stats of yore is that when NMRs invariably happened Russia was a huge benefactor from I've heard. which makes sense.

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Re: Is the Diplomacy Map Unbalanced?

#10 Post by Yonni » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:56 pm

I narrowed the spreadsheet for DSS games with a pot >= 707. (Again, not positive how accurate this data is, I forget which spreadsheet had what mistakes on it but...)

Out of 295 games:
.................Won.........Drawn
England_____3.7%_____43.1%
France______4.1%_____49.5%
Germany____4.7%_____36.9%
Austria______3.1%_____35.9%
Italy________2.0%_____38.0%
Russia______3.7%_____34.2%
Turkey______3.1%_____38.3%

Keep in mind that the numbers have shrunk a ton so we're talking about 6 wins for the worst (Italy) and 14 wins for the best (Germany) so take it with a grain of salt. Still, the numbers make a lot of sense to me.

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