How to Improve?

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How to Improve?

#1 Post by Doom427 » Tue May 24, 2022 5:48 pm

I've recently felt like I've hit a peak with Diplomacy, but would like to improve past where I'm at right now. I've been trying bot games to get better but A) The bots play very strangely at times and B) it always sucks when you're in a position where there isn't anything to do but slowly die. I also get bored and complacent and end up not paying enough attention to see obvious moves (though that happens in full press games too).

What do y'all do when you run into this?

Peregrine Falcon
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Re: How to Improve?

#2 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Tue May 24, 2022 6:22 pm

Putting in the effort to not be complacent is sometimes hard, but spending the time to think through each and every unit on the board is worth it—if you can predict how the board state is likely to flow, you are better positioned to influence it.

Beyond that, tactics are an obvious place to start. Diplomacy's tactical rules are neither very complex nor super simple, but sit somewhere in between. In that, it requires some effort to figure out and understand on a deep level, but it's relatively straightforward to get to that point. I have a list of diplomacy resources that I like to share with people I'm trying to help improve. Take a look at the tactics section here: An Index of Diplomacy Resources.

Bot games are a good place to learn the basics and practice some of these tactical skills. 1v1s too, given their speed and relative simplicity (as in, there's only one opponent). However, nothing beats playing against, well, other players. Only then can you get true experience with the breadth of the game.

For improving in 'real' games, playing more obviously helps, which doesn't necessarily mean more games, but also more time devoted to each one. (That is, sending better and more frequent press, putting in the thinking work to figure out what to do and where to focus.) More games does help, especially to experience more varied situations at different points in the game, but only if you can devote sufficient effort to each one. Gunboats do tend to require less time, which can be a good way to get a feel for the strategy involved with different situations.

Finally, read articles written by other diplomacy players! Most high-level players I know got started by reading articles from the Diplomacy 'Zines', whether the Diplomatic Pouch, the Diplomacy Archive, or others. Nowadays, there's been a bit of an explosion in new modern productions, whether swordsman's excellent Brother Bored blog, the Diplomatic Briefing weekly newsletter, or various YouTube channels. (I don't follow any since in general I tend to find them overly long and rambling, although some are certainly good! Perhaps others can share which ones they like.)

Little of the advice written about diplomacy should be taken without question, in my opinion (perhaps even this advice), but they do certainly offer noteworthy insight into the thought processes that others bring to the game, and perhaps some of it can be useful.

But to finish, perhaps let me just stress that there is no one way to be good at diplomacy. Some people are tactical and strategic masterminds, and the diplomatic part is a way to implement their plans. Others are manipulative chessmasters who seem able to get people to do what they want, almost as magic. Nor is there even necessarily only one way to define "good". It is a game after all. Perhaps the greatest good is to enjoy it

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Re: How to Improve?

#3 Post by cjva » Sat May 28, 2022 10:33 am

I agree with Peregrine above. I'll follow up by posting some of my favorite youtubers that discuss Diplomacy.

Florida Man - ... PFwjAZ1ebw
DiploStrats -
Legendary Tactics -

Legendary tactics post about several other games to, but have some really nice videos about diplomacy on there.

Otherwise, Diplomacy Archive has been one of my favorites for way to long.

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Re: How to Improve?

#4 Post by David E. Cohen » Sat May 28, 2022 5:24 pm

You want to improve? Find the most skillful and dedicated players, and play against them as often as possible. Its as simple as that.
The warrior's Way is the twofold Way of pen and sword.

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Play every game like it is the last one you will ever play!

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Re: How to Improve?

#5 Post by Sandor » Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:57 am

Last edited by Sandor on Fri Jun 03, 2022 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to Improve?

#6 Post by Sandor » Fri Jun 03, 2022 11:59 am

Tactics: play and read articles. Learn the board and the stalemate lines. Understand beginning and mid game positions

DIPLOMACY: way more important. Think about how to interact with others. Get them to like you. Talk to everyone. PLAY.

Playing vs bots isn’t going to be super helpful. You need to practice interacting with other humans and getting them to work with you/believe you

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