Finished: 03 AM Thu 13 Aug 20 UTC
11. A Knife in the Dark
2 days /phase
Pot: 525 D - Autumn, 1910, Finished
Classic, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game won by MadMarx (36299 D (G))
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: As it turns out, nobody will dislocate ION...
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: That's right! I gave up, and Turkey just walked in there! :-) Have fun guys! :-)
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: NEWS ALERT! NEWS ALERT! Just in: Emperor Franz Joseph has cut his holidays short, and had to ensconce quickly to his magnificent sprawl in Budapest. He has dismissed his soldiers from official duty, and so they have hired a Chief Negotiator named BismarckAlive to run a Dutch Auction for 1904 A BUD services. "All correspondence shall be treated in confidence" he has advised to be communicated.
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Just FYI - I’ve got a busy next 48hrs. No need to pause, but I won’t ready up and may not get back to y’all for a bit.
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Says that man who said he'd respond to my lengthy inquiry in the morning
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Sorry - I'll try to get to press tonight, but I might be too drained when I get home.
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Crunch!! Crunch!! Baby!!....Crunch!! Crunch!! Baby!!...(those Bowie/Queen/Vanilla Ice songs are in my head)
18 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Just know the more you postpone the more fleets will pop up
19 Jun 20 UTC Autumn, 1903: Today has been pure chaos, will message tonight after the kid goes to sleep (around midnight)
21 Jun 20 UTC Spring, 1904: Hey all, I’m going to take a bullet here and use my one excused missed turn this phase, lots going on and I have spent my limited free time (and then some) being a whiny ass about a different game (am I right mods?!), so I probably won’t message much until the phase rolls through, got another full day ahead of me tomorrow... Apologies to those that prefer to not have another 48 hours before this phase gets resolved...
22 Jun 20 UTC Spring, 1904: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
23 Jun 20 UTC Spring, 1904: So the game was extended 24 hours rather than a full phase (48 hours)... Bummer!!
29 Jun 20 UTC Spring, 1905: Oh no, MAO is vulnerable. I wonder what the German will do about it.
30 Jun 20 UTC Spring, 1905: The German was ready for a nice vacation in London but feels he was mislead on the quality of British cuisine and weather.
04 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: Do you all mind a quick pause until Monday?
04 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: I paused it. Because I could use one as well.
04 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: Mod abuse!! ;-)
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: So, how does an unpause work when two mods decide to pause a game that the majority of people alive are not mods, the protocol is not clear (asking for a friend)?
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: We unpause when sufficient concessions are made :)
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: Or, just put your unpause vote in and Tom can put his in when he's ready
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: My friend says you’re hijacking the game, but he’s a bit of an ass lol! ;-)

If you force pause the game for your convenience, why not force unpause it for everyone else’s? The German has not voted unpause either...
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: I mean, we could. But it's a courtesy thing; I don't want to unpause it before Tom is ready. If Tom's ready he can force unpause it.
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: lol, I thought it was a courtesy thing also, funny how everyone sees things from their own unique perspective! Not a big deal, whenever you guys are ready, Tom said Monday, I think that typically means 11:59pm...
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: I’ve voted unpause. Sorry
07 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1905: Huzzah! Now I can get back to dying
13 Jul 20 UTC Spring, 1906: Mondays are chaos for me, will message before I fall asleep tonight...
17 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1906: Hey tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb, Turkey is going to solo if you keep this up. Why don't you try, idk, playing towards a win-condition
27 Jul 20 UTC Autumn, 1907: Responding to everyone tonight.
04 Aug 20 UTC Spring, 1909: Should we all just ready up and end? With Tom's destruction of GoL, I think this game is pretty clearly over.
05 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: So, if Turkey doesn't finish it this year I will gladly CD anyone who requests it before I CD myself so we don't need to sit through a futile effort.
06 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: This is a game of Diplomacy, if things don’t seem to be going the way you want, shouldn’t you use press to attempt to convince others to do what you prefer rather than threatening to use mod powers if you don’t immediately get your way?
06 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: I consider it a service to the rest of the board instead of waiting 2 days for me to NMR out
06 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: A completely stalemated game is given two full years to sort out some sort of alternate ending, as I understand it, a bit a latitude here would be appreciated.
07 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: Schrödinger's Diplomacy Game: The period of time that exists wherein a Diplomacy game is simultaneously a solo and an n-way draw
07 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: Haha the question is what is N?
08 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: Good to see Turkey now playing everyone to see how many centres he can muster over the required 18! Ha! Ha! Ha! This topic did the rounds in the Forum a while back...
08 Aug 20 UTC Autumn, 1909: LOL appearances are not always as they seem :-)
10 Aug 20 UTC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WChTqYlDjtI
10 Aug 20 UTC Great song choice
11 Aug 20 UTC GG everyone. Proud we formed a stalemate at the last second anyways :)
11 Aug 20 UTC Same. Wasn't enough for a draw, but did guarantee Tom/Marx could advance no further.
11 Aug 20 UTC GG. I should have taken NAO when it was free and clear, I immediately regretted that (you were spot on in that moment, France, being confused by your hunch that I was “unsatisfied”), hindsight is 20/20...
11 Aug 20 UTC Well won, MadMarx! 36,000 DP points well deserved! :-)
11 Aug 20 UTC Yonni is asking for EOGs in the main thread, if anyone is up for it
11 Aug 20 UTC Oooo I'll type something up. May crosspost here too.
11 Aug 20 UTC I might post something, though public humiliation isn’t usually my thing. Lol
11 Aug 20 UTC Posted here too in case anyone doesn't like the forum:
So I've only really been playing diplomacy for about 5 months, 3 when this game started), and this was really my first high quality press game where I had more than 2 people sending me good press. Clearly that went less than ideally for me.

So I started off firing messages around and connected most with Russia (TheFlyingBoat or TFB hereon) and France (goldfindgger0303 or Goldfindger hereon). Despite this connection, I made it clear to Russia that I did not want him in Galicia after S01, and would almost certainly bounce him in Sweden if he was. I did not clarify that I was fine with him bouncing Austria, and he took it to mean not to move to Galicia at all, and that misunderstanding contributed heavily to his getting stuck at 5 SCs (that plus Moscow -> Ukraine in S02 preventing a treat from Rumania and holding Sev haha).

So right away in Fall '01 I'm deciding whether to bounce Russia out of Sweden or not. England has moved against France in force, which would lean me to bounce, but I want Russia to get a build just in a general balance of power sense, and Rumania is not a guarantee. I end up letting TFB in...and he also gets Rumania. Now it's worth mentioning that in the early part of this game I was rather paranoid that Goldfinger and TFB were going to gang up and destroy me. I'm not totally sure why in hindsight - I think a message TFB sent me made me think Goldfinger was annoyed at my noncommittal messages in '01, maybe I just thought F/G/R didn't make sense long-term, maybe I was just intimidated by how many points Goldfinger had haha - but I ended up taking a move to Ska in Spring '02 that put a crack in a potential G/R alliance, while leaving the door open to cooperate with England down the line.

I immediately slammed the door on the English option in F02 as I grew more comfortable with Goldfinger, which set up the seeds for England's demise. Meanwhile, Austria (Bismarck) had invited me into Tyr, a move I happily took. Bismarck was a bit slow to respond to my initial press while others said they had heard from him, and that ended up coloring me against him (not entirely fairly, likely). This led to me attacking him in S03, as I had developed a pretty good rapport with Italy (Tom) in the meantime. Turkey (Marx) and I had been exchanging messages pretty much the whole time, mostly focused on him trying to get me to attack Russia, while I was hesitant to help him at all (smart me! If only I'd continued that way...)

S03 brings one other fateful decision - whether to stab France or not by cooperating with England. I decide against it, than in A03 ask Goldfinger if he would've stabbed him there (expecting him to answer much later). He tells me he totally would have, which influences me towards my stab in S04, with a fateful decision to convoy an army into England. As a sidenote, we'd discussed me moving into London in A03 instead of him, with a 50/50 chance of succeeding which was a nice sliding doors moment - if I had taken London I likely would've used the extra build for a fleet in Berlin and moved towards Scandinavia. As it was, I felt France had gotten a bit too strong too fast while leaving the door open for some stabbin' on my part, which is what I did. I execute the stab, but TFB is a bit annoyed at my lack of communication/slightly threatening stance, and begins taking some actions to frustrate my intentions, blocking a move to North Sea in F04 and S05, preventing me from convoying my armies back to the mainland.

Italy has made it clear he wants Vienna back, which I'm relatively ok with and don't take as a warning sign that I should be a bit less trusting of Tom. This leads to my quite fateful F05 turn. Here France sneaks into Belgium, I move into Livonia, thus leaving myself very open to Italy, and retreat to Picardy instead of to Ruhr (I think that was a Tom influenced decision, but my blindness with regards to potential hostile intentions from him was quite strong at this point - though in my defense this was partly due to thinking he needed to keep some units back to defend against a Marx solo, which I'm sure will be covered if he or Marx post an EOG). At this point the die is pretty much cast. My armies are out of position to defend against Italy.

There is one more mistake I make though. In S06 I'm still holding out hope Italy is just setting up a stalemate line, and instead of pulling back Livonia or insisting Marx help me into Warsaw before I help him into Moscow, I tap StP and let him in. We'd talked about a trade of Moscow for Warsaw for a while, but prior to this I'd been very insistent that I get into Warsaw first. Call this a moment of weakness, a lapse in judgement, what have you, but I've sown the final seeds for Marx's solo and things proceed from there.

Lastly, Tom offers that if I turn against France and get the board moving Marx may be willing to settle for a draw with me in it, but I look at the small percentage chance of that occurring against the time and effort to try to secure it, and decide to go down with TFB and Goldfinger together in a crude facsimile of a 3-way draw that perhaps could have been if a few of my moves had been different.

To the players themselves:
Austria/BismarckAlive: As mentioned earlier, we never fully hit it off and when you opened the door for me to strike I went with Tom over you. Nothing personal!
England/hthefourth: I enjoyed chatting with you, and if I were a better player you likely would've lived longer if I had turned against France in S03.
France/Goldfinger: I will miss chatting Medieval Total War with you and I apologize for my newbie mistakes that helped contribute to another Marx solo haha. I feel like I learned a lot from your press, even your dissent into nihilism as the solo became more and more inevitable.
Italy/Tom Bombadil: I hope you post an EOG as I'd love to hear your thought process behind a couple of the more critical terms. Your press was really good just in terms of influencing my moves - you convinced the potentially easy road of a F/G/T draw was a bit of a cop-out, which contributed to my stab of France and everything that followed.
Russia/TheFlyingBoat: In hindsight I feel like we could've been really great allies, and its unfortunate that my paranoia about a F/R alliance against me led specifically to Ska in S02 and more generally to a strong alliance not happening. I wonder if things would've gone better if I had blocked you out of Sweden - just allowing a little more balance perhaps. Who knows.
Turkey/Marx: Damn you're cold haha :) You don't get to 36k points without making a few enemies, to parody The Social Network's tagline. Honestly did really enjoy playing with you and enjoyed all the press. Will definitely be done for A v F sometime when I'm more familiar with the format.
11 Aug 20 UTC Hey now, what enemies did *I* make?!

I was looking forward to disappearing for a few months, but I’ll put something together. I don’t plan to go season by season or get too detailed as that can get a bit self-indulgent when you’ve done “well” but I definitely had a personal epiphany about two way draws and play in general.

Thanks for starting things off Sop, it is interesting to get a little peek behind the curtain from different perspectives!
11 Aug 20 UTC Thanks all for a fun game and congratulations to MadMarx. I enjoyed finally understanding what Turkey was actually up to, as well as speculating about the early game in such detail.

For my part I thoroughly butchered this one. Mostly, I had not thought stabbing Goldfinger through--a well-earned early exit. I was struck by the difference between the 100 D bet games that I had played and this one. You folks do not kid around.

Not playing too much diplomacy these days, but I'm sure I'll get a game in with some of you again. Looking forward to it already.

And welcome back, Tom :)
12 Aug 20 UTC So... I don’t have a lot of time or interest in getting into most of the minutiae here, as there were some complicated things going on... As far as the I/T alliance, it was very fun, interesting as well as complicated and stressful, which all were reasons it was worthwhile... Anyway, the best way to shed some light on the I/T alliance is to share about the year of 1907.

The context of spring 1907 is that Italy and I were trying to figure out how to legitimately two way draw as I/T, as complicated an endeavor as my brain can imagine, and one I could not yet wrap my head around. As I understand it, some Diplomacy players do not believe in two way draws (I see myself as someone who is good at games in general that does well playing Diolomacy, rather than a “Diplomacy player” that has a firm grasp on every nuance of the game, so I claim ignorance here), but I personally do believe in two way draws. Here’s an example, where I got a two way as Turkey with England, it was pretty straight forward, at the end both England and I tried to get France to throw us the solo (which we both failed to do), and we ultimately agreed to two way. So, in spring of 1907 in this current game, the idea was to try to figure out how to get this current game to play out similarly to that I/T two way (or to figure out that we can’t, again, in 1907 we were still merely exploring the possibility, there was lots of game yet to be played) and here’s the link for reference:

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=22163

In a game of Diplomacy, sometimes you take risks if your sights are on a big reward. I’m confident that after spring 1907 orders, Italy understood that if Turkey’s top goal in the game was to solo, that Turkey would *not* stab Italy in autumn 1907, since a grand alliance would immediately form and the end result would be a five way draw, so Italy was willing to risk his precarious position another year with his focus on pursuing this unlikely result, again, knowing we could pull the plug on this two way draw experiment at any time, knowing he’d get two builds at the conclusion of 1907 to shore up his back door a bit, etc., etc.

The reason I say I’m confident Italy understood that, is because I understood that. I did not “stab“ Italy in that moment because I felt it was my best route to a solo, largely because I understood that clearly it was not my best route to a solo (and because I was more focused on pursing the two way in fall 1907, knowing that pursuit could still lead to a solo before all was said and done), there were multiple other things going on that came to a head, that Italy and I then had a bit more incentive to address, and as far as I’m concerned all that’s between Tom and me (though of course he’s free to discuss whatever he’d like as no binding NDA’s were signed).

Clearly the orders I submitted in autumn 1907 sabotaged the I/T pursuit of a two way, something I absolutely regretted shortly thereafter, regret today and will continue to regret, it was a “rookie“ mistake that I largely blame on being a bit rusty (especially when it comes to handling nerves and the stresses of a classic full press game), and I say that to help me sleep at night, even though ironically I’m typing all this on my phone in the middle of the night while I cannot sleep. Anyway, we still had some opportunities to get on track, of course, and we tried to do so, we simply couldn’t recover, and credit goes to the competition.

One final note, if I had sent MAO to NAO in fall 1907 while Italy got two builds, etc., I think it would have opened the game up for an interesting conclusion. The two way attempt may very well have blown up in 1908, or maybe it would have continued on for several years, ideally with Italy and me unlocking unexpected secrets of the endeavor, who knows, I’m not very good at seeing into the future, I take the game one season at a time, and bottom line I failed the 1907 test miserably, definitely not a proud moment for me to say the least. I tend to be more focused on the journey than the destination, and while the destination was obviously a positive one for me, the journey could have been and arguably should have been much more rewarding, even if (perhaps especially if) the destination ended up being different.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Turkey
MadMarx (36299 D (G))
Won. Bet: 75 D, won: 525 D
18 supply-centers, 16 units
Italy
Tom Bombadil (4023 D (G))
Survived. Bet: 75 D
4 supply-centers, 6 units
France
goldfinger0303 (3157 D Mod)
Survived. Bet: 75 D
4 supply-centers, 3 units
Russia
TheFlyingBoat (1468 D)
Survived. Bet: 75 D
4 supply-centers, 4 units
Germany
Survived. Bet: 75 D
4 supply-centers, 4 units
Austria
BismarckAlive (1038 D)
Defeated. Bet: 75 D
England
hthefourth (512 D)
Defeated. Bet: 75 D
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