MeFi Diplomacy 2014 round 2 July 18, 2014 5:05 PM   Subscribe

MeFi Diplomacy 2014 round 2 is now open for participants. If you'd like to take part, go to PlayDiplomacy and search for game 86044. Specs about the game inside.

This is going to be a very fast-paced game, with turns being processed every 12 hours (but not on weekends). Etrigan won the last game with a solo win as England; details are in this thread.
posted by jbickers to MetaFilter-Related at 5:05 PM (161 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Forgot to mention: The password to join the game is hamburger.
posted by jbickers at 5:09 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


FUCK IT, I'M IN
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:11 PM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


In for the win.

Toss for the loss.
posted by michaelh at 6:38 PM on July 18, 2014


I love reading the public press for the other ongoing games. I'd love even better to be copied on the private stuff...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:17 PM on July 18, 2014


O cruel world, it's already filled up?!
posted by threeants at 7:36 PM on July 18, 2014


I'll drop out of this one in favor of new people.

But I demand entry into the first Tournament of Champions.
posted by Etrigan at 8:03 PM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Which is to say, at the moment it's no longer filled up. Room for one more.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 PM on July 18, 2014


From what I've heard, Diplomacy seems something I'd be interested inn.

But, from what I've heard, I'm reluctant to jump in with no experience.

Mostly though, from what I've heard, I prefer to avoid ending up with newly-minted lifelong mortal enemies.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:57 PM on July 18, 2014


Mortal enemies aren't so bad. Everybody should have one or six.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:00 PM on July 18, 2014


Ignore whatever you've heard. It's a very playable game for anyone up for writing a lot of emails. You'll be fine.
posted by michaelh at 9:03 PM on July 18, 2014


I'm sorry not to be in. Especially since Cortex is in. (I reminisce about the /kick cortex days. That was, like, 4 or 5 years ago now! What the fucking fuck!)

I love games, and I love playing games with Mefites. This Diplomacy stuff, though, kinda messed with me. I went into it defiant, all based on the Metafilter post that linked to the Grantland article. I was going to prove that the people who get all worked up about Diplomacy are idiots and need lives. I was going to prove that it's just a game. But I sort of came out of it bruised.

My playing the game coincided with some relationship stuff reaching critical mass. Dealing with crap at home and also dealing with crap caused by maybe-or-maybe-not alliances in an online game proved too much for me. So I bailed. Sorry.

I love the idea of it, and I enjoyed playing while it was fun, but I now understand the Grantland article better, and I understand why this game fucks with people's heads.

Best of luck to all of you who are better at compartmentalizing that I am. I cheer you on.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:01 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Passed on this one, 12 hour turns are too short for me.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 AM on July 19, 2014


Game's ready to go, folks that signed up just need to login and hit confirm.

Anyone else wanting to try the game, it's trivially easy to go to that site and create a game with whatever parameters you're comfortable with. Feel free to post your game number here to try to get players.
posted by jbickers at 7:12 AM on July 19, 2014


Also, it looks like game 86044, The 12-Hour Stabathon, has room for one more player. Make sure that after you sign up, you sign back in and confirm. As soon as you do, the game will begin.
posted by jbickers at 3:31 PM on July 19, 2014


Beware Diplomacy leads to hate and madness. This game is evil. I think it was designed by H.P. Lovecraft
posted by humanfont at 7:10 PM on July 19, 2014


No, it's amazing, even if I did end up shouting WHY TURKEY WHY.
posted by corb at 7:11 PM on July 19, 2014


I just nabbed the final spot in game 86044. I've never played Diplomacy before and look forward to encountering new varieties of betrayal and trickery.

Currently all the players except me are listed as "not confirmed"--are people waiting until the weekend is over to confirm their participation? Should I unconfirm myself so as not to break the unanimity?
posted by DaDaDaDave at 6:31 AM on July 20, 2014


Nope, go ahead and confirm. Contra to what jbickers said yesterday, the confirmation process starts over for everybody every time the game fills up, so it's not just you but all seven of us who have to hit the go button now that we've got a full game.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:25 AM on July 20, 2014


If any of the newbs want advice, tactical* or strategic**, MeMail me.

* -- "Can I legally perform this move so it will turn out the way I want it to?"
** -- "Should I stab this person in the groin, or just in the back?"

posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM on July 20, 2014


> If any of the newbs want advice, tactical* or strategic**, MeMail me.

Hey Etrigan, what was your strategy for getting a solo win as England?

;)
posted by Westringia F. at 5:49 PM on July 20, 2014


Be lucky and evil.
posted by Etrigan at 6:01 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


AARGH! Another person dropped out, and we are *again* one person short of a game. :(
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:51 PM on July 20, 2014


Stab em in the groin? What? I believe the correct terminology is punch em in the dick.
posted by medusa at 8:08 PM on July 20, 2014


Hey Etrigan, what was your strategy for getting a solo win as England?

Convince Germany that Russia is the main priority, and ensure Italy's paranoia remains fixed on Turkey.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:52 PM on July 20, 2014


Hey Etrigan, what was your strategy for getting a solo win as England?

Convince Germany that Russia is the main priority, and ensure Italy's paranoia remains fixed on Turkey.


As my esteemed near-ally notes: Find two partners (Germany and Italy) and one target (France) early, and keep your allies distracted with secondary-slash-next targets (Germany-->Russia; Italy-->Turkey). If you're lucky, you won't really even have to do a lot of heavy lifting on that front, because they'll naturally be paranoid about it.

Take advantage of opportunities (St.Petersburg left wide open; Germany exposing its back). Identify key points that you need to hold (North Sea; Belgium). Make your major moves (stabs) in the Fall, and only when you can make real progress (two SCs from the same player; one SC from a player with no other gains and/or a vulnerable extended position).

Be very, very certain about your builds -- players tend to make mistakes with this based on what would be useful on their fronts right now vs. what will be useful on their fronts when those units can realistically arrive there. As the flip side of that coin, pay attention to what your opponents would have to lose when you betray them and take/deny SCs -- that part can be even more useful than a couple of builds way back at your home SCs in the endgame.

I genuinely meant to have an England-Germany-Italy alliance go to a three-power draw, and I really would have sued for peace if the other powers had lined up against me immediately after Germany and France were off the board (well, maybe if Austria was off as well). I just couldn't turn down a two-SC stabbing when I had nowhere else to grow, and the lack of an allied response to my further growth emboldenated me.
posted by Etrigan at 4:50 AM on July 21, 2014


We are a player down in Metafilter4 (Austria), but I don't know if it is possible to have someone take over after a player has auto-surrendered.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:17 AM on July 21, 2014


>> Hey Etrigan, what was your strategy for getting a solo win as England? ... ;)

> As my esteemed near-ally notes: Find ... one target (France) early

I was asking as a joke because I'm playing England to your France in MetaFilter3, but if you say so! :D

On a serious note, it is really interesting to have your (all your) post-mortems of the game. I've been watching the MeFi games generally and am always curious what was foreseen & what wasn't.
posted by Westringia F. at 6:35 AM on July 21, 2014


Take advantage of opportunities (St.Petersburg left wide open ...

We had a deal! Grumble, grumble.
posted by octothorpe at 6:39 AM on July 21, 2014


I altered the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.
posted by Etrigan at 6:56 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


For those interested in watching along, Metafilter 3 - which I think started as largely newbies/inexperienced players, is still going on. And, I would dare to say, there are multiple things now hitting the blender in that one.

** -- "Should I stab this person in the groin, or just in the back?"

As a newb*, I have learned this is a trick question - the correct answer is "Yes, both" whenever possible.

*With a bit more experience, I may graduate to be a nub at this game.
posted by nubs at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2014


I am shocked, by the way, at how much my participation in the 84113 game has helped me with a real-world situation with my neighbor involving a property boundary and a crumbling retaining wall. Same exact fucking skill set.
posted by COBRA! at 8:11 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


in the 84113 game has helped me with a real-world situation with my neighbor involving a property boundary and a crumbling retaining wall. Same exact fucking skill set.

Win their trust, direct their attention to a different neighbor and then stab them in the back?
posted by nubs at 8:36 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


in the 84113 game has helped me with a real-world situation with my neighbor involving a property boundary and a crumbling retaining wall. Same exact fucking skill set.

Win their trust, direct their attention to a different neighbor and then stab them in the back?


If you're sitting on it come Winter, it's yours.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Find common ground by grumbling about the goddam French.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on July 21, 2014


YOUR MOTHER-
posted by COBRA! at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2014


Find common ground by grumbling about the goddam French.

Yeah, I know, right? I mean the French are just ... Hey, wait ... I'm the French this time!
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:08 AM on July 21, 2014


If you would like to form a pact to invade yourself, just let me know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2014


Sure. You order an army to Gascony, and I'll support you from Paris.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:52 AM on July 21, 2014


Nooooo Jonathan Livengood this is your wife you have other things to DOOOOOoooooo
posted by daisystomper at 9:03 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who died in Round 1?
posted by odinsdream at 11:45 AM on July 22, 2014


Spring 1901 has been downright peaceful. Everybody seems to be more or less getting along and going for the low-hanging fruit. France did make a supported move within its own borders, though whether as a hedge against Germany or a fake show of wanting to hedge against Germany remains to be seen.

Fall 1901 ticks in a few hours, that's probably where things will get a bit more interesting, but I don't think we're looking at any year-one wipes in this game. Refreshing? Disappointing? It's hard to say.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:40 PM on July 22, 2014


Sorry about fading away. Work gets busy and it's vacation season and it's hard to type in the mountains.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:20 PM on July 22, 2014


Summer 1901. Europe. The French and Russians have maneuvered well. The English seem intent on a Scandanavian expedition, but will they get beyond Norway. The Austrian and Turkish moves in the Balkans could make trouble for Russia, but the Turks are a bit out of position for any damage in the fall of 01. The Italians seem to have escaped the early wars that so often make that position frustrating. The world waits to see what the German intentions are.
posted by humanfont at 10:02 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did Turkey miss the fall 1901 build there? Because, ouch.
posted by nubs at 4:31 PM on July 23, 2014


Spring 1902 Chaos in Constantinople. Some unknown calamity has left the Sultan short a build. Not sure about.the second russian fleet in Sevastpol.
posted by humanfont at 4:43 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fall 1902 approaches and the apparent Turkish collapse has been expoited by Austria. Russia and England appear headed for a battle in Norway, will the Germans play a determining factor? The French have pivoted east in some repositioning. Will the Austrains move against Italy with the French? A German French war seems likely, but might be avoided to fight Austria.
posted by humanfont at 6:39 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now things are getting diplomatic!
posted by 256 at 6:39 AM on July 24, 2014


So far, 256, the 84113 game you started is the only one I've played where someone didn't quit early and turn the whole thing lopsided by making for easy growth. I've been in both positions: getting to scavenge while others watched and, now, watching the corpse-stripping from afar, and neither one makes for a very fun game. In fact, the first game I played (where two players dropped early) I ended up leaving because it was no fun getting to gorge myself on the corpses that others couldn't reach.

Both the games where people quit early were shorter time-span ones - which I actually prefer because it keeps things lively, but I suppose with two or three days per move it is easier to have all the players continue the game.

I mean take this turn, for instance. I can only assume Germany failed to submit moves by the deadline, and yes, it made my strategy a guaranteed success, but that's not the spirit of the game.

Anyhow, just my ramblings from being involved in a few games now (and they are not directed at you personally, 256, it just so happened you started the one game that is working as intended).
posted by zyxwvut at 7:01 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, in the round 2 game, I have it on good authority that both Germany and Turkey remain at the helm (note that Turkey submitted a retreat move in the Spring of this year). It may be that the 12 hour deadline is hard for everyone to meet reliably, but no one has actually dropped out of this game yet.

I agree however that, though an intermittently dormant Turkey obviously advantages me as Russia, I would far rather play a game where Turkey is fighting me tooth and claw.
posted by 256 at 7:21 AM on July 24, 2014


Both the games where people quit early were shorter time-span ones - which I actually prefer because it keeps things lively, but I suppose with two or three days per move it is easier to have all the players continue the game.

I'm finding with the 3 day move limits that there are two fairly quiet days, followed by a flurry of activity in the 16-24 hours leading up to the deadline. Which might be because its summer and we all have other things to do. Or it might be because everyone else in the game is conspiring against me in the first 48 hours, and then providing me carefully crafted messages in the last hours before the deadline.
posted by nubs at 9:04 AM on July 24, 2014


I am enjoying the 12-hour time frame for the round 2 game but it does make me worry that it's hard for everybody to always have time to look at the board a couple times a day and get moves in, and I'm guessing that's partly what's bitten both Turkey and Germany. I agree that absenteeism-induced lopsidedness isn't Diplomacy at its best.

The other hard thing about the short time span is that even if you do get a chance to sneak a look at the board on a busy day, you don't necessarily have time to do much emailing, and when even for attentive players there's only so much sending-press-and-relying-on-the-reply-to-set-moves that you can responsibly get up to in that kind of time frame it must be outright daunting for someone who is busy enough with real world stuff to not have time in any given game year for even that. I personally enjoy the breakneck pace because I don't think there's a lot of anything other than lying that you can do past a couple of e-mail exchanges per tick, but I'm also someone who is likely to be at the computer for at least a half-hour in any given 12-hour block of time during the week so it's easy for me to say this porridge is juuuuust right.

I'm finding with the 3 day move limits that there are two fairly quiet days, followed by a flurry of activity in the 16-24 hours leading up to the deadline.

That's pretty universally been my experience, too. Maybe an argument that a 1-day turn is the happiest medium; less daunting in terms of raw scheduling effort compared with twice-daily communications and orders, but still quick enough that you don't end up with those dead filler days to sit and wonder what's up.

But I think ultimately the problem is (a) having players be able to realistically assess whether they have a high chance of meeting any given schedule and (b) having nothing then go wrong that fucks up that otherwise sound assessment anyway. The first is a matter of experience with the game I suppose, but the second is just a raw whammy factor that you can never really account for by its very nature. And when you've got a 7-ply whammy factor the chances of something getting mucked up is pretty good.

One of these days I would like to try an actual breakneck, 15-minute tick single-day game.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:05 AM on July 24, 2014


But my one bit of advice for I guess Germany and Turkey specifically in our current game but for folks in general in all diplo games: get provisional moves in immediately. No matter what else you do, no matter whether you expect to have hours to poke at the game before the next tick or don't know if you'll get more than two minutes to pop in. Just make some quick, workable basic orders for your units. Then if you can't get back, you at least look alive and have a chance at defending or capturing. Even if you want to just turtle and minimize damages, do that: order mutual support moves between your units to make it harder for the more active players to pick you apart while you're distracted.

(Actually, that's an interesting variant rule available on the DPJUDGE engine I've played on previously; you can make it an optional feature of the game's adjudication process that unordered units will, instead of giving the default Hold order, order a support of an adjacent friendly unit if at all possible. Makes walk-aways slightly less of a spoiler factor in the game, though only to a degree.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:10 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Note to all players: the email notifications are currently broken.

If your allies and enemies have been conspicuously & distressingly silent, you might want to check things online before succumbing to paranoia...

... of course, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you.
posted by Westringia F. at 10:11 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Exactly, cortex, provisional moves are a great idea. But they can come back to bite you as they did with England pushing a fleet into Norway after I said I wouldn't. It was a provisional move I had set up, then I made a deal, then I forgot to switch that move, but I got stabbed anyway (which I totally expected because it is hard to trust the country that is running away with a potential solo victory unless some of you pawns of Russia wake up!) so it didn't matter too much.

But my point is that while provisional moves are great, don't forget about them!
posted by zyxwvut at 10:18 AM on July 24, 2014


I've gone to provisional moves as well, after missing an entire turn because I thought I had 24 more hours. It helps a lot; forces even some short term thinking about next steps and plans.
posted by nubs at 10:32 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, with my first post about people missing turns and leaving the game, I just want to be super clear I totally understand and mean no ill will. Its just these knives in my back do hurt so and I may be in a bit of a bad temper because of them.
posted by zyxwvut at 10:34 AM on July 24, 2014


Looking at the fall of 02 aftermath it seems that the Italians and Austrians have suffered a significant breakdown in their relations. Italy seems to have gotten the better of it by gaining the supply center. Austria has gone from a near certain 1-2 build gain, to flat by failing to secure its own territory and instead made an ill considered move into Piedmont. England ls in significant peril because of Russian and French expansion. France is in a very strong position because it could either ally with Austria to contain Italy or it could enter into a nonaggression pact with Italy to allow each to expand in opposite directions.
posted by humanfont at 10:54 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Looking at the fall of 02 aftermath it seems that the Italians and Austrians have suffered a significant breakdown in their relations. Italy seems to have gotten the better of it by gaining the supply center. Austria has gone from a near certain 1-2 build gain, to flat by failing to secure its own territory and instead made an ill considered move into Piedmont. England ls in significant peril because of Russian and French expansion. France is in a very strong position because it could either ally with Austria to contain Italy or it could enter into a nonaggression pact with Italy to allow each to expand in opposite directions.

As usual, the communist, lamestream media gets it all wrong.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:10 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Russian bear may come to regret parking the fleet in Sevastepol. It restricts the options for next year. Still with 8 units the bear will be quite the terror in 1903.
posted by humanfont at 5:30 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


I apologize if my kibitzing is obnoxious, but I've long dreamt of a world where I could become a professional TV Diplomacy Commentator, if there was such a thing.

I think the spring builds and destructions were very interesting. England should be very concerned that the home isle is really vulnerable. I wish the Turkish player had built. The game is still early and while the circumstances are dire one can still recover from the disaster as the Russians and Austrians fight it out. In fact if he or she had put an Army or Fleet in Smyrna the home country could of been saved even without Austrian help. The Turkish collapse puts Russia into a really strong position. Other players may need to figure out a way to setup a truce to deal with the bear for a couple of years.
posted by humanfont at 8:49 AM on July 25, 2014


No, please, kibitz. Talking about Diplomacy is almost as much fun for me as playing Diplomacy, and one of the downsides of being in a game is that talking about it the way I want to would be a really strategically bad idea. So outside impressions are a nice release valve.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:02 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, despite my protestations, I really like the running commentary.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:26 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is a long-time until Monday. Lots of mulling and runing simulations. Plenty of time to talk someone into breaking an alliance or to covet your ally's exposed centers and betray.
posted by humanfont at 8:04 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


This American Life is doing the entire hour on Diplomacy this week. Fuck you Ira Glass for stealing my dream. :)
posted by humanfont at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man, between that Grantland piece that kicked off this recent mefi spate and TAL, maybe this is the build up for The Year Diplomacy Went Mainstream And Then Lots Of People Realized How Destructive It Was To Their Relationships And All The Old Diplo Players Laughed And Laughed And Laughed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a little concerned because I'm playing with a bunch of Mefites I don't really know, which at first seemed like a good thing. But now I'm wondering if they will just come to hate me because we played Diplomacy together.
posted by nubs at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don't worry it takes more than one game for the real hate to start, and closer friendships.
posted by humanfont at 4:24 PM on July 26, 2014


No, please, kibitz.

Looking at the game, all open SCs are taken by the Winter 1901 phase. Italy takes Tunis, France gets Iberia. England and Germany split the Low Countries, Austria takes the lion's (or double-headed eagle's) share of the Balkans, and Scandanavia goes three ways.
Builds are all faairly straightforward, too.
Spring 02 is when the fun begins. By the winter builds, a few things emerge.

Turkey is dead. Sorry, Sultan. Maybe you can finagle a spot as the junior, junior partner to Austria, Italy or Russia.

Italy's in an ok defensive position, but will be difficult to fight out of. Italy historically suffers from difficult supply lines, and it will take some diplomatic work and tactical brilliance to hang on to Tunis and Trieste. Make a deal.

Russia is in an interesting position. Established up north, with little opportunity for conflict or gain in the south. The ability to produce units, especially from Mos, will be essential. Gnaw on the corpse of the sick man: F Sev- Bla.

France has struck hard for the Med, which is bolstered by the apparent English-French detente. Probably also working with Austria to squeeze Italy.

England is focused on the North Sea, and mobility. As the sea power in the North, it'll be easy to hold a spot, but difficult to take.

Germany is starting to look like it's in the vice. Make a deal with England for support. You can offer troops against the Russians. Or crack the English-French alliance. Hard to do, with France's silver tongue...

Austria. Oh Austria. Fast expansion, fast destruction. Bulgaria's lost in two turns, more if Russia picks Turkey's bones. Regain Trieste, and see if you can beat the French to Rome.

OUTLOOK: Russian gains in the East. French gains in the West. Turkey dead, Italy reduced, Austrian outlook dependent on deals made and broken, German on tactical wrangling.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don't worry it takes more than one game for the real hate to start, and closer friendships.

Well, the whole thing is kinda confirming for me that it isn't my game - 7 sided chess with a hefty side of poker table bluffs. I'm by turns paranoid or overly confident, second guessing myself when I'm lying in bed, and often feeling like a shit for how I'm behaving. I'll play it out - and play to win, because it's go big or go home for me in games - but I don't think I'd play again.
posted by nubs at 9:08 PM on July 26, 2014


I think Austria should wait to liberate Trieste. The Italians are not going to sail into Vienna or Budapest. Good manuevering could get some nice gains against Russia or at least keep them from getting all of Turkey. Retaking Trieste this year pins down units that could be more useful against Russia.

There is even a case to be made that Italy in Trieste was consented to by Austria. Italy needed the build to fight France. If Auatria and Italy have a strong alliance then it makes sense to shift the Austrian build to the Italians to fortify that line. It also explains the move to Peidmont as a way of building a wall on the Italian coast.

France might find it easier to grab supply centers from England. The back door is wide open with multiple routes to knock them back. The English are fully commited to their attack on Germany. The Russians and French have an opportunity to gain an advantage in helping Germany hold then line.
posted by humanfont at 11:11 AM on July 27, 2014


All I know is that things have been way too quiet this weekend.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:15 PM on July 27, 2014


This American Life: Got Your Back

a cross between Risk, poker, and the tv game Survivor. It outlines a PBEM player who tries his hand at F2F. Nonhilarity ensues.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:22 AM on July 28, 2014


1903 unfolds with indications of a strong alliance between England and France. I think that Russia has put itself out of position for defending the North. Russia is going to have to be very lucky with its fall moves to avoid losing gains to Austria. The English seem certain to take Kiel. I expect the French will go for Munich, but I would expect the Austrians to support army Munch to blunt that attack. If the turkish player would please wake up and move on Constantinople that would be awesome.
posted by humanfont at 1:36 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Turkish player was dropped from the game for failing to submit too many moves. Which means that a brave substitute can take over, I believe! Countries have come back for solo wins from 2 supply centres before!
posted by 256 at 1:44 PM on July 28, 2014


It looks like new user email confirmations are not working at the moment.
posted by humanfont at 2:04 PM on July 28, 2014


It looks like new user email confirmations are not working at the moment.

As I understand it, that was supposed to be fixed as of Friday. Did you try just now?
posted by 256 at 2:33 PM on July 28, 2014


Yep.
posted by humanfont at 3:03 PM on July 28, 2014


Metafilter3 (game 84336) also just lost Turkey to an auto-surrender. That Turkey is in a much stronger position than the surrendered Turkey in 86044 was....
posted by Westringia F. at 5:24 AM on July 29, 2014


What is the password?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:22 AM on July 29, 2014


thegrey
posted by Westringia F. at 6:30 AM on July 29, 2014


humanfont: I hope that having skin in the game won't keep you from continuing the seasonal battle reports.
posted by 256 at 8:38 AM on July 29, 2014


Spring 1903 the English navy is enourmous. Where will it sail next? Probably north to Scandanavia, but all those open French ports must be tempting. Austria missed an opportunity to get Warsaw by gojng into. Instead if being tied with Russia at 7 supply centers it is 8 to 6. The Italian fleet in Apula seems to be pretty useless for the Italian-Austrian line of defense. Germany and Turkey need miracles.
posted by humanfont at 8:24 PM on July 29, 2014


Metafilter4 Round1 is still rumbling slowly on.

It's taking pretty much the maximum length between turns every time.
Possibly because Austria dropped out, or possibly because someone else is taking a long time to finalise moves.

Current State of Play:
Fall 1904: Build
  • England 8 - 3 Armies 4 Fleets
  • France 10 - 4 Armies 4 Fleets
  • Italy 4 - 2 Armies 2 Fleets
  • Germany 1 - 1 Army
  • Austria 2 - 2 Armies 1 Fleet (Surrendered)
  • Turkey 5 - 3 Armies 3 Fleets
  • Russia 4 - 3 Armies
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:14 AM on July 30, 2014


12-hour turn schedule definitely has its wrinkles, but I will say that I like the fact that our game will almost certainly be over before the thread about it closes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:27 AM on July 30, 2014


Metafilter1 is still going strong, though the thread about it has closed.

Italy was eliminated early, but everyone else is on surprisingly even footing for 1906:

France: 7 centres
Turkey: 7 centres
Russia: 5 centres
Germany: 5 centres
Austria: 5 centres
England: 5 centres
posted by 256 at 11:06 AM on July 30, 2014


Welp, I love playing this game, but it's becoming clear to me just how very much I suck at it. Round 2 is about to get really interesting.
posted by jbickers at 12:27 PM on July 30, 2014


Apologies again, jbickers. It is unfortunate, I think, that we have been more or less natural enemies in both of our games.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2014


No need to apologize! It's a crazy amount of fun, even when you get your ass handed to you. Revenge will be mine in the next game ...
posted by jbickers at 1:20 PM on July 30, 2014


Fall 1904 (build). Turkey did what it could to try to survive, but with a strong Austrian-Russian alliance there was no opportunity. It was fun and scratched an old itch but I don't think I'll be joining any new games soon; too much of a time commitment.

The Germans have published news of a surrender to the Austrians and Russians. So it is down to 5 countries.

If the Russian-Austrian-Italian and French-English alliances hold the board looks like it will end up as a stalemate. Perhaps England has some opportunity to push back Russia by holding Norway but I doubt it.

Alternatively the Russian takeover of Norway might have been a gambit to reassure their current allies of their long term intentions. The return of Norway to English hands might be the start of a new alliance as the French and Austrians are very vulnerable to the stab in the back, much more than their ability to stab the Russians or English.
posted by humanfont at 1:49 PM on July 30, 2014


For anyone interested in giving this game a try, I've set up game 86704. 24-hour turns, 12-hour builds and retreats. Password is hamburger.
posted by jbickers at 1:58 PM on July 30, 2014


I don't think you suck at it, jbickers. You just got no favors this game; a united F/E is kind of a nasty bit of news for Germany. Austria helpfully supporting you and then helpfully invading Berlin didn't, uh, help any, but in my defense you were already basically screwed and also I am a greedy jerk.

In a seven player game, losing the large majority of your games is the expected outcome. Take heart.

I always feel a bit guilty about the stabby portions of this game. Not guilty enough to stay my knife or anything, but, still.

And Neo-Turkey, I said it over press but I'll say it here too: I appreciated the hell out of your moxie. You walked into a biker bar and started shouting dirty words about mamas and motorcycles, and that's the way to do it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:42 PM on July 30, 2014


The moment England and France were attacking you and the Russians built fleet SC St Petersburg, Germany was terminally fucked. This build allowed England to throw almost everything at you.

Diplomacy should be played without any expectation of winning. In iterative games with a smaller group of players, the strong players struggle because alliances are hard to come by, weaker players struggle for obvious reasons and so the average players end up splitting up the wins.
posted by humanfont at 3:06 PM on July 30, 2014


I think I might actually feel guilty.
posted by 256 at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2014


I hope you have a really rock solid plan for 18 SCs, basically. I can respect a masterstroke betrayal, but if this is just an opportunistic grab then I'm gonna have to look up that emoticon thing with the eyes that look like a confused and disappointed dad just got home to find oatmeal smeared all over the TV.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:26 PM on July 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Winter 1905 The Russian-Austrian alliance has come to an end. I think Russia has made a significant error here. Those quick gains feel good, but further advances are going to take a while. Meanwhile England-France can get unstuck. Russia and England might have a deal, but it is always hard to make a deal to stab your own ally in the back and partner with someone who just betrayed their ally. Trust is difficult to establish under those circumstances. So figure Russia (10 units) vs Austria (4) and England (8) in the next year. France finally gets, Munich and Tunis. Italy is facing a dire situation.
posted by humanfont at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the recent This American Life episode that talked about Diplomacy, one of the things that comes up is that the person interviewed recalls stabbing someone and being told by the person he stabbed that it wasn't the betrayal that made him angry, it was the fact that the betrayal was so stupid and that the player was thus playing so badly he was ruining the game for everyone else.

I don't think that's what I've done here, but I guess only time will tell.
posted by 256 at 7:51 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


one of the things that comes up is that the person interviewed recalls stabbing someone and being told by the person he stabbed that it wasn't the betrayal that made him angry, it was the fact that the betrayal was so stupid and that the player was thus playing so badly he was ruining the game for everyone else.

That's straight out of the Dip 201 textbook. In MeFi 2, Germany told me something to the effect of "We were one turn away from a win!" when I stabbed him. In 1903.
posted by Etrigan at 8:13 AM on August 1, 2014


The near term future for Russia was not particularly great. Prior to the stab it it looked like Austria was about to take Munich and potentially begin to move the French back. Russia was at risk of losing centers in the far north (in fact they lost Sweden this turn). Russian unit mix and position in the north were going to make defense difficult. Austria was going up, Russia was going down, so there is a bit of cold logic in stabbing now before you have to start dropping units in the South.

From a pure entertainment perspective I like the move. The game looked like it was going to be stuck for a while in a near stalemate. Now we've got all this excitement going on.
posted by humanfont at 9:21 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Metafilter1, the game from the original metatalk thread, just had a player drop out. Anyone want to take over a 4 center Germany in 1906?
posted by 256 at 7:48 AM on August 4, 2014


Austria does!
posted by corb at 8:37 AM on August 4, 2014


Game 86704 still has room for five players!
posted by jbickers at 8:47 AM on August 4, 2014


Spring 1906 post build analysis. Russia must try to out maneuver Austria and stalemate in the north. I can see how Russia gets Bulgaria, but it seems difficult for them to avoid a loss in Turkey from Austria's fleet. Italy has a hard year. Tunis falls in Spring and the army is probably destroyed. Munich also dies this year finally giving France some units. England pushes Russia back this year, might get Berlin or St Petersburg. Austria probably helps out with Berlin because it takes pressure off.
posted by humanfont at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2014


This seems relevant
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:29 PM on August 4, 2014


Question for my fellow Diplomacy enthusiasts. Is dropping out pretty common with online games? Is there any way to avoid it? I feel like all of the games I've been playing had at least someone drop out and it really shakes things up in not a great way.
posted by corb at 9:09 AM on August 5, 2014


SUMMER 1906. The Italians manage one of the great maritime evacuations. A Dunkirk like move with their Austrian allies puts them in Albania. The AI alliance appears ready to push the Russian fleet out of Greece.
Speaking of Dunkirk, the English army lands in Holland. The English fleet moves East and now is in command of the Baltic. A vice grip is applied to Russia. St Petersburg may fall this year, but Russia has depth and space for defense. The most likely scenario is that Berlin and St Petersburg fall next year.

Meanwhile the French have finally taken Tunis and Peidmont. Citizens of Munich remain under German rule with supoort of the French. I expect the city wil be consumed in the fall as the Austrian-Russian war appears to be for reals.

The growth of France and repositioning turn for England does balance the EF alliance. However England's failure to build does put it a slight risk to a French betrayal. The AI alliance should be strong as betrayal is death for both. Russia is the odd man out at the moment, but there are three scenarios for survivial. Ally with England and France to destroy the Austrians and Italians. Ally with England or France. Or figure out a way to patch things up with Austria and Italy.
posted by humanfont at 9:36 AM on August 5, 2014


Well here is a puzzle for the winter. England's failure to secure St Peterburg or get position on Berlin leaves England-France at 17 supply centers. That's one short of the board domination that comes at 18. A difficult position for an alliance. Do the other three band together from necessity. Can England and France hold trust under the pressure. Does one get left at the altar of world domination?
Russia should destroy fleet Greece and rebuild a fleet in NC St Petersburg or an Army there. That cock blocks the English and makes a betrayal of France more attractive.
posted by humanfont at 1:10 PM on August 5, 2014


> Game 86704 still has room for five players!

I'm so tempted, but I hesitate with the 24h deadlines. Everything happens in the last 24h anyway with the 3-day turns, but it's nice to have the break between moves to do my job spend time with my family read metafilter feel like a decent human-being instead of a megalomaniacal asshole run WOPR simulations. I worry I'd be more likely to unwittingly autosurrender if MeatLife got in the way for a couple days. I'd definitely be up for a slow, sweet stabbing if others were, though....
posted by Westringia F. at 9:38 PM on August 5, 2014


I'm pretty sure that England + France only has 16 centers. NOTHING TO SEE HERE ... EVERYONE JUST MOVE ALONG!
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:07 PM on August 5, 2014


Question for my fellow Diplomacy enthusiasts. Is dropping out pretty common with online games? Is there any way to avoid it? I feel like all of the games I've been playing had at least someone drop out and it really shakes things up in not a great way.

I am still an online newb, but yeah, it seems like games regularly lose at least one player at some point.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:09 PM on August 5, 2014


As we count down the late night hours till the builds are posted, Russia dreams France builds Fleet Brest, Army Paris.
posted by humanfont at 11:44 PM on August 5, 2014


Well, strangely, England has decided to surrender just as the war to end all wars was getting into full swing. Unfortunately, I don't think bringing in a substitute at this point would really be the right thing to do, as the politics would be very strange. Nor do I feel comfortable with how massive an advantage a dormant England hands to Russia.

As such, I am accepting Austria's surrender draw proposal.
posted by 256 at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2014


Yeah, that sucked as an ending. I hope nothing bad has happened in real life to barring.gafner, though.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:23 PM on August 6, 2014


An unfortunate ending to an otherwise entertaining game.
posted by humanfont at 6:58 PM on August 6, 2014


I am choosing to interpret everyone's rapid agreement to the draw proposal as an admission of the inevitability of a Russian solo-victory.
posted by 256 at 7:00 PM on August 6, 2014


You can take it at least as an admission of the inevitability of Austria's, and probably Italy's, imminent defeat. If I hadn't proposed the draw I would have stuck out some sort of attempt to make sure you didn't make too much ground, but honestly it's not like I had (a) much to work with or (b) much to offer France or England so that's mostly bitter fantasia. You're like a roided up Fredo, you broke my heart.

But yeah, I honestly thought everybody would laugh and decline the draw proposal, but at the same time England's sudden late-game drop while very much in solid position is so hard to know what to do with in terms of metagame that I sort of hoped we'd just get out of it anyway. I don't know if it was England getting bored, or busy with real life, or just reading the tea leaves in something with France and/or Russia's last gains and making a really early call on a lost game or what. Let us know, hope everything is okay.

I'll neaten up my running notes and post 'em in a bit here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:06 PM on August 6, 2014


Jonathan Livengood: I'm really interested in hearing whether you were genuinely confused by England attacking me despite our agreement or if, as I suspect, that betrayal and your feigning astonishment was part of a plan that you guys concocted together as soon as I proposed switching sides.
posted by 256 at 7:16 PM on August 6, 2014


Austria's running notes, MeFi Diplomacy 2014 round 2, game 86044.

Spring 1901:
Said hello to everyone. Proposed DMZs with Germany, Italy, Russia. Wrote Turkey a note suggesting that since everyone wants me to kill him, what we should do is show them all by working together. People haven't actually said they want me to kill him, though they've sort of suggested they think I might be planning to if they had to guess.

Am planning to kill him.

Fall 1901:
Europe free of conflict, almost entirely free of implication of same. Troublingly so, maybe. England and France sprint mutually away from the Channel. Would rather they waste time butting heads. Italy, my biggest short-term worry, respects agreement to evacuate our shared border. Good. Hope we can work together in earnest, hope he gets into some shit with France that keeps him healthy but busy. German likewise respects DMZ, makes middling northern opening. MAYBE he distrusts France and vice versa, MAYBE they're just playing it slow.

Turkey the only real wild-card here; he moves army into Bulgaria, but H order for fleet and Smyrnish army? Or just no order at all? Also have gotten no press from him despite writing twice, and Russia and Italy volunteer same silence. New/distracted player? Weird gambit? Secretly in cahoots with Russia? WHAT IF HE'S SECRETLY IN CAHOOTS WITH RUSSIA. Seems more likely to just be bad/weird play. Want to trust Russia, want to believe we can take Turkey apart together. Austro-Russo-Italian troika? Why not. Why not? WHY NOT?!

Winter 1901:
A bloodless year; everyone seems to get precisely what they want; everyone builds, Italy typically drawing the short stick with Tunisia, Russia gains 2 and so remains the leader. France gives England support (unneeded, as it turns out) into Belgium; they may as well get matching tattoos. Germany...on good terms with Russia and chilly with F/E? Very little to go on when nobody is contesting anything yet.

Turkey still silent. Holds on all units, presumably automatic. It will be a nasty surprise if he suddenly rejoins the game, though if he does not do so in the next two turns the relative level of potential nastiness will plummet. I faked a misclick order on the off chance he came back last turn. Am torn between writing him followup press for fun and desperate illusion and respecting the reality that if the player has dropped they may just feel angst/stress/guilt about continuing to receive press on a game they've been distracted from by real life matters. UNLESS IT'S A MONSTROUS GAMBIT. Probably not that though.

I have proposed a Austro-Russo-Italian troika after all. Why not! Diplomacy is a game of endless backstabs; what could be deadlier and more unsettling than an actual, firmly-held alliance played to a three-way draw? Solo-only players may scoff, but they'll scoff while losing if we can make it happen. I want it to happen.

I'm going to get stabbed, probably.

Spring 1902:
Russia and Italy are on board. Claim to be on board. The distinction between what is and what is claimed to be is so unresolvable in this game that one could reasonably choose to qualify every statement with "or possibly not". So. Let's say Russia and Italy are as on board as they say they are, which is very.

Arranging a staged conflict with Italy complete with a SC-swap performance for the sake of hijinks -- he ends up in Trieste, I end up in Venice, all looks in disarray while in fact we are mutually planning to go after France in 1903. Russia wants to stay on good terms with Germany this year; my biggest worry is that he wants to stay on said terms a good while longer though perhaps would not mind if Germany and I got along less well? It is hard to say. I am playing to the grand vision of the troika; Russia could hardly be blamed for playing along in good spirit while actively eyeing a Plan B as well.

Grand vision. This whole troika thing could fall apart easily, and so the old paranoia creeps in: should I hedge? Should I plan for betrayal? But hedging is dull. I think I would rather go in with full heart and clear eyes on the assumption that my allies are my allies and let that come to fruition or ruin on the basis of what others choose to do than to play it safe by displaying a sense of caginess even as I cheerlead. If the grand gesture fails, it fails, but a grand gesture's more worth failing for than another basic squabble.

I would like to be a dead cheerleader, is the thesis?

Russia reports word from Turkey. Curious. No response yet to either of my previous notes, nor to a new one sent since that news was passed on; is Turkey back but busy? Back but not back? Back but preferring secret conferences with Russia? Is Russia plotting a cooperative maneuver with Turkey? Still committed to dissecting Turkey? Is Turkey not even back at all and Russia schemes to put me on tactical eggshells through misinformation? Or possibly not?

Late Fall 1902:
Waiting on retreats, and then on builds. I have neither, so this is 24 hours of nothing for me but conversation. There is no correct speed for a Diplomacy game -- it is always both too fast and too slow.

The troika feels strong. Was glad to give Italy a build, both tactically and emotionally: felt like the strongest possible expression of commitment to this whole thing. France making entreaties to me, perhaps I can string them along? Not clear whether people actually believe my staged falling-out with Italy or just pretending to believe it to lull me into complacency, or...

But if nothing else the staged invasion of Trieste was a bit audacious. All I could really ask for.

Turkey came alive but only barely, Russia still got Constantinople and will give me Rumania as a result. They may not be out of the game but they certainly seem like they are no longer in it in any meaningful sense. Have pledged a unit to help Russia clean up those SCs, though not sure how much use my army in Bulgaria will be with Russia already in Constantinople. I can't order any helpful support orders for ANK or SMY.

Germany reports having fallen asleep last night before getting moves in, and so sat quietly in place while France and England rearranged the lowlands on his behalf but is still playing actively. Will have to devour him eventually but for now am more interested in keeping him alive and healthy and able to avoid feeding France and England free SCs. Told him as much. Well, told him latter half.

Fall 1903:
Troika continues; after the little fakeout dance with Italy last year, I do a fakeout dance with Russia this year. Still wonder who if anyone is falling for it; do people believe we are losing our heads? How many fake conflicts before it becomes a given that things are being faked? Though we're through the early portion of the game where it would matter most. And perhaps any sign of confusion, contrived or otherwise, stands in contrast to F/E's blatant cooperation.

French standoff commences presently; Italy and I have him locked in place along Marseilles, Gulf of Lyons, W. Med, and N. Africa; he can't make forward progress, and neither can we, but italy can bring his spare fleet toward Naples which will give us more to work with in principle.

And Turkey is back, or rather reborn -- after some prompting in the game's discussion thread, someone new signed up to replace the auto-resigned original player and has taken command of Turkey's single Ankaran fleet, and sent out a flurry of press suggesting that he will fight the good fight and perhaps we should all variously do questionable things that involve annoying and distracting Russia. He's doomed, but I like his moxie. Did the math on his doom earlier, in conversation with Russia and Italy; he'll lose Ankara this turn no matter what to Russia's two fleets, but his best move from there seems to be to disband that fleet and build a fleet in Smyrna in the winter and force Russia to contain him from there. It's a no-win scenario if I've done the math right -- he's still out of the game after Fall 1904 as Russia can take Smyrna under every permutation -- but in one scenario, he could in theory get in a cut of my F ION's support order as his stab from hell's heart (or at least from E. Med).

If I had bastardry in my heart, today would be the day to embrace it. I have units in position to capture Trieste, Venice and Naples from Italy, and Warsaw from Russia, in addition to the Rumanian capture already previously negotiated. Italy would be ruined; Russia would be annoyed though perhaps could be soothed on the basis that I really needed to go big or go home and after all you got lots of Turkey and let's still be friends, together we take the world, etc.

A more measured bastard move: Skip the stab at Warsaw, keep everything even keel with Russia *except* the partnership with distant Italy that, in practice, he is probably not so worried about (and with two fleets in the south would be able to get some things done in any case). Present it to him as "Austria must grow and so Italy must go" and apologize for not wanting him to be forewarned, proceed in friendship from there.

But I am dedicated to the troika. Enough so that I haven't even done the math to test the theory of how Austria would respond to a gutted Italy in such a way as to keep the French out. Trieste would be occupied under the stab rubric; it is a long way from Vienna and Budapest to the French front, and certainly not boatable. I'd be a magnificent bastard who could only build two units, neither of them fleets, to deal immediately with the destruction of the fence keeping France from eating Italy alive and growing even more. Without the math, it looks like a very bad idea; I would be surprised if the math changed anything.

Turn time has shifted from the initial 4am/4pm cycle we were on to shortly after midnight and noon, which is not nearly so good -- having only 12 hours to plan and communicate, it's difficult having more than half that go by while sleeping. Fortunately tomorrow's noontime orders will be retreats, and after that builds. So some breathing room to discuss with R and I as necessary.

Fall 1904:
Germany is going to be dinner. Sorry, Germany, you're just not putting up enough of a fight against F/E to be more useful than invading your SCs is.

I am probably too conservative for my own good, but conservative play gives me comfort. Rearranging the Italian front very carefully to get another fleet facing the Gulf of Lyons, which should be helpful for dealing with France. Which ties up Tyrolia, which means not attacking Munich with a guaranteed 3-ply invasion, which means instead *supporting* Munich with one army while Russia helps me invade Berlin instead.

I could say the hell with Piedmont and take a risk and grab Munich and probably be happier all around; letting it live while taking out Berlin gives me the same number of builds for the same number of stabs, but an angry German army is more of a problem for me than an angry German fleet. Not that either is likely to be a big problem, but small problems add up esp. when trying to maintain a locked down front.

Turkey's got a boat in the Aegean. I offered him Greece yesterday as a more interesting option than being predictably knocked out of the game. Haven't heard back, hope he takes it; France gets Tunisia if they do indeed follow through on a pincer this turn. He doesn't get Greece, of course -- I'll bounce him from Serbia and hence solve the Turkish problem for good and not have to worry about this anymore -- but something's better than nothing and short of an out-of-game cash payment or Ain't I A Stinker bragging rights, France really has nothing to offer him that I can see. F AEG-ION gets France a build but loses Turkey the game.

I wish I was sure. Sent Turkey a rambling "not sure how we get Turkey back from Russia for you" message this morning, 3+ hours till tick, that hopefully comes off as invested enthusiasm.

Maybe I should take Munich.

Fall 1904, later:
Maybe I should take Munich.

Is Piedmont such a loss? We'd have units in TYR, VEN, TUS if he does attack PIE with MAR+LYO (presumably MAR attacking, LYO supporting), since attack on PIE means no attack on TUS means F ROM-TUS succeeds on A TUS-VEN's tail. Taking PIE back against MAR+LYO would be easy enough probably; TUS is the only space France could mount a supported attack on from PIE (or support an attack to).

Maybe I should attack Munich.

Fall 1904, later still:
Not sure if I should attack Munich. Berlin attack is unlikely to fail; Berlin would be easy to defend and is more support on Munich as a followup; Russia prefers Berlin as we can ping Kiel (and on in the contra scenario a grumpy German in Berlin could fuck with the Baltic out of spite); Piedmont is safe.

Hrm.

Fall 1905:
Didn't take Munich. Took Berlin. About to take Munich.

Turkey took the GRE bait, bounced, and resigned. Germany resigned after losing BER; his orphaned Munich army sits there like a lump, auto-holding and thereby complicating the process of taking MUN because France can double-support it. But we have four armies adjacent now, so it will be Austrian property come winter.

Italy and I are looking at a plan for getting an Italian fleet into Piedmont by staging an Italian attack on my army there. Unconventional but not unheard of. Difficulty: need another fleet on the boot's west coast to replace the F TUS that would move to PIE, which means we need a build for Italy, which under the circumstances means marching an Italian army off to Serbia. Also unconventional. Alliances are interesting. Wish I could gift him a fleet. Possibly we could try and sail Russia in. Though Russia just reported internet outage at home, so probably not the time to add something new and complicated to the mix.

But we've got to do something; France has already proposed a five-way draw, which is a possible outcome if the stalemate lines become wholly established, and where's the fun in that? So we'll try to crack Piedmont, and see if having Munich helps on the north end, and Russia will continue to tussle with England in Scandinavia, and maybe something will give enough to make it clear that the troika can break stalemate and close in on Frangland for the kill.

At which point we might be able to save time by proposing a three-way draw instead of going through the tactical motions. But pride before the fall, and don't count your chickens; I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

Spring 1906:
Didn't take Munich. Tried to take Munich. Didn't. Lost Berlin. Lost Greece. Lost Rumania. Russia decided after all that to go for the boring stab, crippling me and throwing Italy under the bus. Half of me hopes he wins handily in the next couple years, half of me hopes England chews his face off while France burrows into his guts. Possibility of a three-way E/F/R draw is reasonable and infuriating.

I have largely turned my forces over to Italy for the time being; between a long weekend turn to contemplate the stab and a collection of real life distractions, my emotional response to the Russian betrayal has been less Game On, Motherfucker than the myth of tenacious Diplomatic survivalism suggests. More an "I don't want to think about this until next week" sort of thing mixed up with the kind of disappointment you can only feel foolish for feeling: that, in a game famous for stabs, the predictable stab occurred.

And so a German army still sits in Munich, waiting for orders that will never come; France sharpens his knives there; Italy tries to broker a deal by which France, instead of unilaterally consuming us via twin weakened fronts, consents to be sort of gentle and concessionary about the whole consuming us thing in exchange for favors like Tunis and Munich. Not that Munich is much of a favor at this point as I'll need to turtle for all I'm worth in Austria to keep Russia from immediately annexing my home centers, but Tunis is where we've been trying to keep France out of for years now.

Convoying Italy's Tunisian army to Albania. It works if Russia doesn't order F GRE-ALB. Who knows if he will. But convoys are fun. Fun! Is in theory what games are. O Diplomacy, o regrettable passtime.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:34 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm really interested in hearing whether you were genuinely confused by England attacking me despite our agreement or if, as I suspect, that betrayal and your feigning astonishment was part of a plan that you guys concocted together as soon as I proposed switching sides.

It was a little bit of both-and. England was telling me right off the bat that he was not on board with a three-way draw. And so, I said we should keep you around until it was impossible for Austria and Italy to do anything to us and then stab you.

But England really didn't seem to agree with me about waiting and playing along with you up front. And the moves in Scandinavia did genuinely surprise me. AND and, he really did stop returning messages there at the end. Which I'm sure was connected with the surrender. So, yeah, it was a partial truth that his attacks were stupefying to me. I thought we had agreed to wait and kill you later. ;)
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:08 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish I had taken such clear notes. I can only offer this:
To: FR, EN

SUBJECT: Now or never

This is a one time offer.

I will stab Austria fast and hard if we can come to the following agreement:

1. Immediate cessation of hostilities between our three countries (including letting my fleet into the Barents, so I can potentially build an army in St. Petersburg).

2. A coordinated effort towards a prompt elimination of Austria and Italy

3. This to be followed by an arranged 3-way draw.


If this gambit does not appeal to you, then I will advocate to Austria and Italy that they accept your draw proposal.
Earlier that same season, I had expressed to Austria my frustration with the current stalemate line and said that, if it came to it, I wasn't opposed to a 5-way draw. Basically, as soon as I wrote that I realized that I was opposed to a 5-way draw. The idea of switching sides came to me suddenly and then I couldn't get it out of my head. Surely England and France could see that they had no path to victory. If the alliances held, it would either be a 5-way draw or a very slow grindy victory for the Troika. If I could convince England and France of my sincerity, we could eliminate Austria and Italy quickly. Of course, once Italy and Austria were gone, I could either honour the 3-way draw or, depending on the situation, try to go for the solo.

My relations with France had remained very positive throughout the game, and I felt I could work with him. The only problem was England, who I knew harboured resentment against me. My read of the situation was that France would either refuse my offer or agree to it, and stick with it, at least until Austria and Italy were dead (or all but).

England, I intuited, would hate the idea but would, in the end, not be willing to piss off France by stabbing me against French wishes. If England agreed to the deal and them promptly stabbed me, I thought there was a pretty good chance that I could convince France to kick England out and go two way with me. Anyhow, an English stab could only do so much damage with an all-fleet military.

Of course, that is exactly what happened. England agreed to the alliance and then almost immediately attacked me. I was somewhat fortunate in my guesses as to his troop movements and managed to counterstrike effectively in Kiel. France attacked shocked, shocked and I had no idea what to make of it. But I was really starting to think I might be able to hold the line against England while wiping out Austria, which would put me in a very strong situation for a solo, especially if I could manage to turn France against England.

I was very interested to see what would happen next.
posted by 256 at 8:15 PM on August 6, 2014


It was a little bit of both-and. England was telling me right off the bat that he was not on board with a three-way draw. And so, I said we should keep you around until it was impossible for Austria and Italy to do anything to us and then stab you.

See, that is what I was expecting. I figured that if our peace lasted even three years, I would gain so many centers from Austria and Italy (clearly my progress in Austria was going to be much faster than France's in Italy), and an England all-fleet stab would be so shallow, that I would be in a very good position to either negotiate the draw nonetheless or go for the solo.
posted by 256 at 8:19 PM on August 6, 2014


... clearly my progress in Austria was going to be much faster than France's in Italy ...

I wanted the game to continue just to see whether this was right or not.

The thing is that if England was bent on destroying Russia, I was going to help him do it. And I think that if England had actually been keeping up communication the way we had in the first half of the game, we would have taken two Russian centers, rather than losing Kiel, and stuck Russia with promised-but-undelivered support against Austria, while France made gains in Venice or Trieste or Rome or just positionally in the Med.

But these are very hard counterfactuals to answer.

I would very much like to know what Italy's orders would have been for the fall. I was going to try my luck invading Rome.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:39 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would very much like to know what Italy's orders would have been for the fall. I was going to try my luck invading Rome.

You probably would have gotten it. I hadn't made up my mind what to do (not that anything I could have done would have done me any particular good) but was leaning toward doing another double-support in Tuscany and Venice, moving my fleet from the Adriatic to the Ionian with support from Naples, and having my army in Greece, I dunno, support Serbia or march into the ocean or something.

As a first-time player, I found the game both fun and frustrating--frustrating partly because my big idea at the beginning was to try to ally with Turkey against Russia and we all know how that turned out, partly because it quickly became apparent that I was the Lepidus of our short-lived triumvirate and had to sit there stalemated with France while Austria and Russia handled most of the actual doing of stuff, but mainly because I felt like I had very little idea how to engage in any actual, like, diplomacy, beyond occasionally sending England a letter suggesting that maybe what he really wanted to do was invade France.

This seems like the kind of game that you have to learn how to enjoy as well as how to play; I feel like I'll enjoy it more the next time I play it, which I hope is soon, so in that sense this was a very successful first game, 10/10 would get my ass handed to me again.

(Which is not to say I didn't have fun--I had lots of fun, but much of it was of the "I have no idea what I'm doing" variety, liberally sprinkled with "this won't work, but wouldn't it be sweet if it did?" and "oh man, what if I'd done that instead?")
posted by DaDaDaDave at 9:39 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I came in and took on Turkey after the first player dropped out. I hoped Austria and Russia were at war and that I might be able to reorganize. I reached out to Austria and threatened Russia with the idea that I might be annoying enough to make it hard for him against Austria. Russia offered to let me keep Smyrna. I was skeptical but I had no alternative. The Austrians mean while were suggesting some moves. I was careful to limit my replies to Austria. The moves to Aegan and Greece were things I was planning to do. I didnt reply to commit to these because I had accepted Russia's peace offer. If things happened as I hoped I would be able to tell Austria as Russia devoured him that I'd not agreed to anything. I like to avoid outright lying if possible.
When Austria bounced in Sevastapol but made no attack on Warsaw I was pretty certain that Russia and Austria were secretly allies. That truth would seal my doom. In fall of 05 I had my lone fleet in Aeg Sea. If I went back to Smyrna I would live another year because if Russia betrayed me he'd bounce. I decided that while this was the prudent move, without the Russian deal I was dead anyway. So I went were I was told and hoped for the best.
posted by humanfont at 10:15 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the alliances held, it would either be a 5-way draw or a very slow grindy victory for the Troika.

Yessssssssssss

Grindy as grinding our opponents into dust

Grindy as in grinding down the opposition through the sheer force of determined cooperation

FREDO
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:26 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay you guys, this is a friendly reminder that game 86704 still has open slots ... password is hamburger ... you know you're ready for another round ...
posted by jbickers at 5:46 AM on August 7, 2014


This seems like the kind of game that you have to learn how to enjoy as well as how to play;

Yeah, I think so. Initially, I just loved the roleplay of our long letters of diplomacy, but I found that as the games drag on, the messages get terser - and also, that some people just stop communicating once they have decided you won't be useful to them, which killed some of my enjoyment of the game. Then I started playing a friendly game with some people I knew, but my ally dropped out midway because the turns took too long, leaving me suddenly vulnerable on all sides from a formerly 2-way-draw-winning position.

I think the thing that I need to learn to love is the stupid stab. The "for God's sake, why are you stabbing me? There is no reason and you are only killing yourself as well as me auuuuuugh."

But I'll try again - it seems clear that in Metafilter 1, the sudden Turkish aggressiveness mixed with France's ambivalence has meant utter defeat.
posted by corb at 7:45 AM on August 7, 2014


Also, I've joined jbicker's new game of Metafilter Party People, waiting for only 3 more. Join me, fellow people who are essentially defeated and would like another chance!
posted by corb at 7:47 AM on August 7, 2014


In. Looks like we need one more.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on August 7, 2014


I'm going to try to document this as well, though it may well be for schadenfreude rather than admiration of my masterful diplomatic strokes.
posted by corb at 11:52 AM on August 7, 2014


These post game notes were fun to read. Thanks everyone for sharing.
posted by humanfont at 12:56 PM on August 7, 2014


Metafilter4 continues:

We have a new Austria, and Germany (understandably) dropped out.

Current State of Play:
Fall 1905: Build
England 10 - 4 Armies 4 Fleets
France 10 - 5 Armies 5 Fleets
Italy 3 - 2 Armies 2 Fleets
Germany 0
Austria 2 - 1 Army (New player)
Turkey 8 - 3 Armies 2 Fleets
Russia 1 - 3 Armies
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:30 PM on August 7, 2014


(Game 86704 is now full, just need all players to click the confirmation link as soon as they can.)
posted by jbickers at 6:53 AM on August 8, 2014


I'm hoping for Italy. I've not had a chance to pilot poor Italy yet.
posted by 256 at 5:41 AM on August 9, 2014


Hey gang I'm not the most active poster here in the MeFi world (and hence not well-known) but I am OG (so not completely UNknown) and I am an avid Dip player at PlayDip - I'll try and monitor this thread if a replacement is needed or a new game starts up, I'd be very interested.
posted by mikel at 9:59 PM on August 9, 2014


mikel: Metafilter 24 hour Party People is looking for one more player.
posted by 256 at 2:33 PM on August 10, 2014


Ah, weekend killed my entry, woe! Well, let me know if there's a drop-out.
posted by corb at 8:14 AM on August 11, 2014


I'm in; waiting for the rest of the players to confirm. By far the most painful part of the whole PlayDip process.
posted by mikel at 2:08 PM on August 11, 2014


And there's an empty spot again....
posted by 256 at 6:57 AM on August 12, 2014


...in Game 86704. There are currently 6 players waiting after one neglected to confirm his or her participation.
posted by mikel at 7:42 AM on August 12, 2014


OK we're back in the online confirmation cycle with 7 players in again. Hopefully it gets off the ground this time.
posted by mikel at 8:32 AM on August 12, 2014


You are playing as ITALY

well shit
posted by jbickers at 10:12 AM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Germany! The Austria of the slightly-farther-north-than-Austria!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:18 AM on August 12, 2014


Rule, Brittania! Brittania rules the not-many-supply-centers waves!
posted by corb at 11:16 AM on August 12, 2014


Austria, boo. As I understand it, Austria always falls to an inevitable backstab by Russia.
posted by 256 at 12:13 PM on August 12, 2014


I think I read that somewhere, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nonsense. Russia is thoroughly trustworthy and seeks solely to protect the interests of the Russian-speaking minority in Vienna.
posted by Etrigan at 12:37 PM on August 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Galicia, Rumania, Budapest, Trieste, Albania, Serbia ...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:04 PM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Galicia and Albania are of no worth to the Russian Empire. Um... because there aren't any Russians there.
posted by Etrigan at 1:39 PM on August 12, 2014


Austria, boo. As I understand it, Austria always falls to an inevitable backstab by Russia.

Deplorable untruth! In Metafilter 3 Russia and Austria were the best of friends. Russia only took over Vienna, Galicia, Budapest to ensure that the vibrant Austrian culture could continue in the face of...well, you know...just going to trail off here awkwardly...mumble, mumble
posted by nubs at 1:40 PM on August 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The eternal Diplomacy game, Metafilter 1, is in the Spring of 1907. I, the leader of Turkey, have lost my gusto for the game (even though I am leading in supply centers). If anyone wants a great chance to rule the world, this is a turn-key operation that is yours to lose!

Memail me if you'd like to take over.
posted by zyxwvut at 8:34 AM on August 14, 2014


Austria is willing to!

...sadly I don't think I can do that.
posted by corb at 8:40 AM on August 14, 2014


24-Hour Party People, First Turn: What a Mess!
posted by 256 at 9:12 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


the man of twists and turns (easterner in-game) has now taken over for Turkey in Metafilter1. Cheers!
posted by zyxwvut at 10:03 AM on August 14, 2014


Oh man. I think this might be a new record for failing at the first year of diplomacy. As far as I can tell, the only country not working to directly screw me is England, and that's probably only because they're on the opposite side of the map.
posted by 256 at 9:16 AM on August 15, 2014


yeah, that was both painful to watch and one of the most masterful set of betrayals I've ever seen. Germany and Italy, my hat is to you.
posted by corb at 10:16 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think there is some miscommunication going on...

ITALY
Trieste SUPPORT Vienna to Budapest -> Supported order does not correspond

GERMANY
Vienna SUPPORT Galicia to Budapest -> Supported order does not correspond

RUSSIA
Galicia SUPPORT Sevastopol to Rumania -> resolved
posted by 256 at 9:22 PM on August 16, 2014


Probably the start of a betrayal.
posted by humanfont at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2014


Did England quit the war?
posted by humanfont at 12:33 PM on August 17, 2014


It's possible England thought the war was taking the weekend off or something. No weekend processing is an option you can use on games (previous round of this one did so).
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:09 PM on August 17, 2014


Yeah, that is pretty much exactly what happened. I just moved so access to internet on weekends is still poor. Sorry, guys, stuff was definitely getting interesting!
posted by corb at 7:08 AM on August 18, 2014


Took over England and retreated the Fleet to Edinburgh. If you want to take over I think I can name you a substitute.
posted by humanfont at 12:53 PM on August 18, 2014


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