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Finished: 12 PM Sun 26 Apr 15 UTC
Private Training Grounds
4 days /phase
Pot: 35 D - Spring, 1907, Finished
Classic, Survivors-Win Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: I wasn't reacting to any particular comment or person.

I simply find it hard to wrap my head around why some people take personally in-game decisions and events.

Deception is built into this game. It's not something added by unscrupulous and duplicitous players. The overview from the manual makes this clear: "Diplomacy is a game of negotiations, alliances, promises kept, and promises broken. In order to survive, a player needs help from others. In order to win the game, a player must eventually stand alone. Knowing whom to trust, when to trust them, what to promise, and when to promise it is the heart of the game."

The goal of the game is to stand alone, and you cannot do that without first building alliances and then ultimately breaking them one by one. With that in mind, I am of the opinion that if someone would be offended by their friend backstabbing them in this game, then they should play Candyland, not Diplomacy.
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Again.. I'm not directing this at anyone in our game. It's my analysis of how I see the game should be played... and given in the context of the anecdotes about broken friendships. Perhaps it's worth having such a discussion before beginning a game like this so everyone understands everyone else. We can establish who's trustworthy in-game and who is not. :)
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: I'd be curious to play a game whereby everyone agrees to absolute honesty. You do not make an agreement unless you intend to keep it. If you are not willing to give requested help, you state plainly. You make open declarations of war. This means no deception and may require a modified win condition. You negotiate to make alliances which will potentially endure the whole game. Of course, you can always break a treaty, but it would be communciated openly rather than by ordering a surprise backstab. This is not Diplomacy as designed, but it might be equally interesting.
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: I agree. As I wrote above, if you know your friends can't separate themselves from the game, you ought not to play it with them.
The problem is, sometimes you don't know. And Sometimes, people are more invested in a game than they initially appear to be. For some, an in-game betrayal is as serious as a real-life betrayal would be. It may seem a silly little thing to get upset about, but it happens.
It happened in the last game we played that went all of one turn. Only Richard and I were in that game, so it's not a reflection of any current players.
Germany and England had allied and EVERYONE else on the board banded together and went straight at them. That's 5 against 2 and it was very obvious what was coming.
Germany was very upset and very vocal and, IMHO, very insulting. He railed and said he would not play with us again. Admittedly, it was a very uncommon thing to have happen, and it was prompted by how these two had played in the prior game - so we were all, I suppose, a little guilty of allowing the metagame to direct our actions. But that is sometimes how this game is played.
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Wow. That Germany player should never play a game of competitive Hearts. I'd dump the queen on him just to see him howl. :)
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: The previous game that France is referring to is a prime example. In the first game, the two players formed an alliance and were on their way to victory. It was 2 against 5, but the 2 were winning because the other 5 failed to see the alliance until it was too late.

Foolishly, the following game, the same two players formed an alliance and were not particularly coy about it. It was the exact same 2 on 5, but now the 5 realized what they were up against and formed a temporary alliance to destroy the 2.

The 2 players felt that this was somehow 'unfair' and they were being ganged up on.

They simply failed to see that each game of Diplomacy is simply a chapter in a much bigger game.

Instead of denying the rationale of players taking the game personally, you should be aware of it. Telling people to go play something else is itself just as wrong as those who are being accused of not playing the way Diplomacy was designed.

This is why there isn't any comparison to other games. Diplomacy is about you, not your country, not your pieces, not your fictitious persona. It comes down to being about you, and people will form opinions about you, whether you want them to or not. And those opinions will carry over into other games of Diplomacy and even into life itself.
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: For what it's worth.. I *do* think it is valid to recommend someone not play Diplomacy if they are the type to take offense at in-game decisions. But this should be done before a game is started. If you think your friend is liable to feel hurt, then why not explain it to them and let them make an informed decision? And for the record, I wouldn't be so rude as to say "Go play Candyland." That was merely rhetoric, to make an exaggerated point. Those of you who know me, (I hope) know that I'm not like that. :)

As for the issue of taking things personally, this may not be reconcilable.

Simply put, I play games as a diversion. To have fun.

The reason I liken Diplomacy to an RPG is precisely because unless you are a lying cheat in real life, then you *have* to play a different persona in this game if you have any intention of a solo-win.

If someone would think poorly of me in real life because of an in-game decision then I'm not interested in playing said game with that person. Why? Unsportsmanlike conduct is indicative of ones character, but valid in-game decisions are not. And if someone is liable to confuse the two, then I would prefer to bow out and maintain my integrity in that person's eyes.

Because if I remain in the game, know that I fully intend to break more in-game promises in my attempt to win the *game*. (Even though I highly doubt I would win my first game.)
10 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: I do see a separation from life and the game in terms of character and willingness to break promises. I do not believe they are corollaries to real life behavior.
Playing the game requires us to adopt behaviors and attitudes we would likely not otherwise possess as Germany has pointed out.
Fortunately, life is not like a war game most of the time.
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Germany: Because if I remain in the game, know that I fully intend to break more in-game promises in my attempt to win the *game*. (Even though I highly doubt I would win my first game.)

Why would you say that out loud? Everyone knows it to be true, but saying it?
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Because I didn't realize I said it out loud? Nah. Because I lack strategic savvy? Possibly. But really it's because it was a natural conclusion to my point. I was being my honest self out-of-game or out-of-character.

Also being honest, I highly doubt I would do something like that again until further into the game when it becomes a necessity and alliances are already strained by the inevitable. This particular time was downright silly because even had I succeeded, I still wouldn't have gained an additional territory, let alone a single supply center. It was more of a curiosity to see what would happen if I could help strengthen England on Russia's front door step. As it is, England was weakened and Germany gained nothing but Russian fury. :)
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Sorry. Poe's law. I meant that remark as a comedic one.
If you are going to stab someone in the back, there are at least theserules to doing it.
1. It has to strike at the heart and be crippling.
2. You have to be 100% sure of success.
3. Do it in the Fall if at all possible.
In Diplomacy, if your opponent can still produce an effective defense or retaliation, he's not ready to be back-stabbed.
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Right.. it was an absolute amateur move.
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: That's what this is all about. Learning the game.
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Are you all finding the 4 day time limit is too much time? Or appropriate for the learning pace?
11 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Haha. I had to go look up Poe's law. Definitely.
12 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: Life gets busy, 4 days good...I think
12 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1903: 3 days would be fine with me, but 4 works, too.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: I'm finding in this game, people are quick to jump to conclusions, assume alliances and betrayals that weren't intentional or didn't exist. This game is a game of paranoia.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Not sure if any of my communications informed that conclusion, but I know for myself that part of the game is attempting to pit one country against another. So there is need to play up potential or real alliances and betrayals in order to garner sympathy/support. So just because someone speaks of such things does not *necessarily* mean it's true or even that they think it's true. That would be my assessment.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: The spreading of rumors and generating paranoia is very much part of the game.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Is it? Or are you just trying to throw us off?
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: I wasn't speaking personally. I was just passing along what someone had told me.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Haha.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: In that case, I'm pretty sure the FBI is monitoring this conversation.
17 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Well, we are plotting to dominate Europe...
19 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Remember the Build phase is radio silence for negotiations.
19 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Austria and England dropping out has suddenly ruined the experience for me because it severely unbalanced the game.

With this meta knowledge, Russia was able to completely ignore both countries and devote to offense any resources which might have otherwise been used defensively.

In particular, that Russia was able to block me from taking Norway by supporting England's army simply because he knew it was staying put. It's one thing to negotiate such a cooperation, or to guess at England's orders, but this was straight up metagaming. And Russia didn't have to worry about Austria attempting to grab Warsaw for exactly the same reason.

I'm not upset about the cooperation to take Munich. That's Diplomacy. But the metagaming leaves a bitter taste.
19 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: It is unfortunate that both these players did not submit orders. If desired, we can call this game a draw and start a new game. This has to be a unanimous decision, so getting those last two players would require their effort.
To be fair, we did not know until the last second these players would not be submitting orders it could have been a deliberate strategy to wait until the last moments and then submit, but I take your point as a valid one for sure.
19 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: And when I write 'we' I mean each of us as individual players had equal access to the information. it is true it benefited Russia more than it did you or I, but the information was there.
19 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: If we so choose, we can vote to do the following:
Call the game a draw - meaning standings are posted in our accounts.
Pause - pauses the game clock until we vote to resume
Cancel - this cancels the game and makes it like it never happened. It does not go on your permanent record.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: I'm still confused as to how you know these players didn't submit orders.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: I'll do whatever you fellers want to do. I would prefer a cancel or a draw over a pause but will go with whatever the consensus is.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: as far as the 'information was there'. I didn't know the info was there... I didn't realize those two countries had pulled out of the game... If you could explain how I could have known that besides the two !! on their names (I thought they were just really pushing close to the deadline).... it would help me play better in the future.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: Below the map it shows a list of names. Double exclamation points means orders not submitted.
Gray check means orders saved, but not ready - game will not advance until clock runs out.
Green check means orders saved & ready. Game advances when all orders ready or clock runs out.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: That's my point. We did not "know" with absolute certainty they would not submit orders. We only knew they had not yet submitted orders.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: So, doing research I found there are rules for how to handle it when a player leaves the game. It's called civil disorder. The assumption is the government has collapsed. The units do nothing but hold and do not support one another. As units are eliminated, they are removed from the furthest away from the country first. I'm assuming the game here will handle the details as this happens.
So then it comes down to whether we wish to continue or fold the game.
20 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1903: England has fallen! It's affairs of life got in the way. That plus poor play means we are to surrender. I will hold in territory until defeated. Good luck to all. I look forward to a future game!
23 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1904: With England in CD, maybe we should switch to 3 days. Since we will have to wait the full time every turn.
23 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1904: We can't switch. It's not an administered set. I set the parameters for the game and it now runs itself. I can't make any changes to speed or anything other than casting votes to end the game as a draw or cancel it.
25 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1904: If we take a second to ready our orders when we are done, the game will move faster. It's not mandatory, of course, but it would be a help if we all readied our orders when we're sure they will not be changing.
25 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1904: It seems odd that attacking a navy does not remove it's convoy ability. I never knew that. I thought units that were attacked revert to "Hold" as an action.
25 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: A convoying Fleet unit must be dislodged in order to disrupt the convoy.
A supporting unit that is attacked reverts to hold.
26 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: One of the things to learn about Diplomacy is that it is NOT a game of Risk. There is no such thing as a runaway winner in Diplomacy.

Unfortunately it appears that this lesson may have been lost on a few of our players. I'm saddened that England removed themselves from the game.

Playing a single unit, fighting to stay alive and regain relevance, can be some of the most rewarding. "Winning" in Diplomacy is a subjective thing.

There are three phases to the game. The openings, the Mid-Game, and the End-Game.

We had our openings, a bit rough and muddled, but lots of potential. We then had an extremely short mid-game phase and suddenly everyone moved to the End-Game.

In our current game the lines 'appear' to be drawn but they are not even close.

England should have stayed active. It was in both Russia's and Germany's best interest to prevent them from being removed from the game. But he didn't stick around long enough to realize how crucial he had become.

Germany, while it appears is being squeezed, with a noose tightening, is in a great position to bring some excitement to the game.

I would hope that all players can enjoy the game to the end
26 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: I agree. Early hits can be frustrating, but this is a game of negotiation and deception. Even a seemingly 'weak' position can be leveraged to good effect. It's easy to get frustrated and feeling like giving up, but it is not near over until it is over.
26 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: Germany is not throwing in his (ragged) towel.
27 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: I would like to say that I have great relations with Switzerland. I greatly enjoy their chocolate and cuckoo clocks.
27 Mar 15 UTC Autumn, 1904: England is.back!
30 Mar 15 UTC Spring, 1905: Famous last words, apparently. :)
01 Apr 15 UTC Spring, 1905: Just a quick reminder - when you are firmly set in your orders, click the 'ready' button. This way, when all players have readied their actions, the game will advance to the next round without having to go through the full four days.
If you have not decided on your orders, no need to click the ready. No pressure. Take your time.
12 Apr 15 UTC Spring, 1906: Russia has voted for a draw. If all players vote for a draw, the remaining pot will be split evenly among the remaining players. It's an equal split.
Voting for a draw only indicates your willingness to accept a draw in the game. It does not remove you from the game.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

France
Porthmeus (104 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 9 D
16 supply-centers, 15 units
Turkey
bmoy210 (104 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 9 D
8 supply-centers, 8 units
Russia
Richardbliss (104 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 9 D
7 supply-centers, 7 units
Italy
gimpel (104 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 9 D
3 supply-centers, 3 units
Germany
Jaxon (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
Austria
marsrvr (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
England
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
Archive: Orders - Maps - Messages