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The posts in this thread implying that my team and I cheated, combined with the posts assuming that we cheated based on the others so implying, now number in the dozens. Thus, I have decided post some insights into my Group A Full Press 2 play for all to see.
First of all, in line with what both ghug and stefanodangello recently posted, I don’t believe for one second that any players going through to the final would sacrifice the strength of their own game or position in order to target another player solely for their team membership, as such play would certainly be exploited by competitors. This is not something strong players do, and I have too much respect for the play of those making the finals to think they would actually do this, despite the current threats.
I, myself, certainly did not and would not do that, and to my knowledge every play Team Mid-Atlantic made in Round 1 was made solely because we felt that it gave us the best chance to make the finals.
Every single decision I made in FP2 was made to achieve the best result possible in my game. As the game progressed, I made back up plans for a 2way if the solo effort failed, and of course I would have pushed for a 3way instead of a 4way if both the solo and 2way efforts failed. From the start of my game through to the end, I never gave any consideration to going for anything other than the best result I could achieve.
Secondly, I would like to address the online/last-visited indicators. I agree that hiding those from non-mod views would help “better” protect anonymity. However, with respect to Team Mid-Atlantic, I can say that in the first half of the games when each game had 5-7 players remaining, our guesses from looking at those online indicators as to who was who in each game were wrong(!) more than right. Early in games, most players are on and off the site quite often sending press to other players, and it’s very difficult to find correlation with those indicators. Plus, I think a lot of players, myself included, periodically log on and don’t send press, specifically to throw off any guesses from those indicators. Later in games, when there are fewer players per board, and as players send less press and don’t log in as often, those indicators may help better help identify which player is which.
Thus, it’s really press style from players that you have played with before that is likely the better indicator of which player is which. Still, in the Group A games where my teammates had played with others before, those guesses were usually also wrong. Remember, a strong player may be smart enough to change up and alter his press style. With anonymous games, I would argue that it is the responsibility of each individual player not to be careless with his own identity, by hiding or altering his personal style somewhat, “if” he truly cares about protecting his anonymity.
In my Group A Full Press 2 game, I had never played with any of the other players, so I did not have this player “style” insight. I did guess from the strength of press and strength of game tactics that Turkey, Germany, and Austria were the highest rated GR players. Thus, while respectfully concerned about all players, I was more “fearful” of those three players, because they were more likely to solo and cause me to lose(!), but I never specifically targeted one player for elimination because of their team.
I also did suspect that there was a good chance that the German player was peterwiggin because it looked to me like he pulled the (perfectly legal if perhaps slightly dubious) pre-game stunt that some top players frequently use of making sure that they are the last player to join a game, so that they can send out that crucial first press. On October 13th peterwiggin posted on the forum “Mine [my World Cup game] only has 4 joined too. Hurry up people!”, implying that he had joined but others had not. I had joined and started checking the site probably 10 times a day to make sure the game didn’t launch and leave me out cold with late first year press. This waiting/checking went on for days until October 17, when 6 of 7 players had joined and peterwiggin finally posted: “My brother WeterPiggin borrowed my computer for the weekend. I just got it back, so we'll be starting tomorrow morning.” Then, I kept checking when I could, but the delay continued a bit longer, and finally when the game did launch, I was a bit annoyed to be hours behind the early press of the German player and French players.
Moving on to FP2 game specifics, Germany (who actually was revealed at the game’s conclusion as peterwiggin from Team California) made it very clear to me in Spring '01 (I was England) that he would not accept a Western Triple because he does not consider it a good option for Germany. To me, while other countries can have some impact on E/F/G, that basically meant it would be two of Germany, England, and France against the other to start. My main early goal then was that I not be the odd man out among Germany, France, England, and instead to eliminate one of those two. (So statistically, there was now a 50% chance that I would “target” France and a 50% chance that I would “target” Germany -- not quite low the odds implied by numerous meta cheating allegations made against me and my team.)
In an attempt to target France for early elimination, I sent early press to Italy, trying to encourage a 3 way England Germany Italian blitz on France, but Italy’s reply was that ”it is much too early in the game for such talk”, and I had no lucking getting any early commitment out of Italy. Similarly, I sent press to Russia trying to incentivize an attack on Germany. I did not get a lot of press back from Russia either, but he did seem open to the idea of attacking Germany under depending how things went.
With respect to Germany himself, I got the clear sense from year one, right or wrong, that Germany was trying to manipulate me (England) and France into a fight, so that he could take advantage. Other strong players had used this tactic against me in the past, so I was very wary of getting tricked into drawing the early wrath of France so that Germany could take advantage. Therefore, I decided to out-wait Germany and not attack France or move to the Channel unless Germany would first move to Burgundy. But he would not. Germany even told me that he believed through press with France that Burgundy would be open the first two turns, yet he still refused to move to Burgundy. Moreover, not only did Germany not move to an open Burgundy in Spring or Fall of year one, but he then even refused to build an army at Munich in Spring 1902 that could help attack and force Burgundy.
Meanwhile, quite contrary to forum the claims of meta-gaming against Team California, each of Italy, Austria and Turkey all started asking me to ally with each one of them and Germany. All three of them seemed enamored with Germany’s friendly press, somewhat less enamored with France’s press, and almost completely turned-off by the Russian player’s infrequent press. Thus, England-Germany plus one of I/A/T was a longer term alliance for me to consider, depending on how the near term would play out with France and Germany.
I also noted to myself in year 1 that Russia could be a tremendous ally to me, since it seemed that none of the other players wanted to work with him because of his short and infrequent press. (In fact, Russia did turn out to be my most crucial ally throughout the game. So much so, that while I do not “regret” stabbing him for the result, it actually did sadden me to betray his loyalty in the end.)
Spring ’01 played out without any conflicts, but fall ’01 would change all that.
To my good fortune, Germany made what I consider his fate-sealing strategic mistake -- bouncing Russia out of Sweden in Autumn 2001! Now I had Russia in my corner (as he was naturally mad at Germany), and if I could get France on my side, then we could make Germany the first one eliminated in the west, instead of me.
I had already put a lot of press effort into getting both Germany and seperately France on my side, but now I put everything I had into getting France on my side and against Germany. I offered to leave Belgium and give it freely to France, if he would join me and Russia against Germany and I even offered the crucial Munich center to France to try to close the deal.
My plan worked, and I was able to eliminate Germany with the help of France and Russia (despite press resistance from Italy and Austria). It had nothing to do with a team “meta” plan. I attacked Germany because it turned out to be my best early game option. I then went on to “target” every other player in my game, one or more at a time when it made best sense for me to do so, so that I could try to solo the game.
I decided to open my imagination I prayed about something recently. I asked God to give me signs. God gave me all the wrong signs. Therefore I submit this as Exhibit A, God is eother an asshole or doesnt exist. Discuss
Conservatives- Resistant to change, confident in the status quo. Liberals- Supportive of change, dissatisfied with the status quo. If we stopped attacking each other for a few minutes these traits could be complimentary.
Must be exciting to be an american today. Prosperity and optimism and winning are so much more fun than divisive bullying and globalist theft and war with russia. Plus Barron is hilarious. Glorious stuff! Good on you democracy.
www.PlayDiplomacy.com is hosting a cross-site Diplomacy tournament. We have *eliminated* the paid premium membership requirement to allow us to invite members from other sites. WebDiplomacy players with strong reliability ratings and ratings in the top 10%+/- on this site are invited to participate in this event .