What Donald Trump can teach you about winning at Diplomacy

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Re: What Donald Trump can teach you about winning at Diploma

Postby ColonelApricot » 09 May 2017, 01:39

It is hyperbole, but without descending to gratuitous insults.

Putin's penchant for suppressing and occasionally murdering his opponents is well documented. Also his greed in building his personal fortune at the expense of his country.

I find nothing to like, let alone admire, about such a person.

I find little to admire about Donald Trump either, but I suppose he is not a murderer.
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Re: What Donald Trump can teach you about winning at Diploma

Postby FloridaMan » 12 Oct 2017, 22:52

I think perhaps, hitting on what someone noted earlier, what there is to learn is the value of making a "big" opening offer.

That is, if you have some leverage, make very demanding suggestions to the powers you have some leverage over, and then the idea is that you would be able to back down from that position somewhat and still get more than you would if you were reasonable to begin with.

In theory, that's what Trump has done with nearly everything he actually discussed in his campaign. On immigration, he says he's going to "build a wall," and when people say he can't, he says it "just got ten feet higher," all of which sounds great to the base he's trying to appeal to and rather intimidating to those concerned about it. Then, once he's actually in office, he seems amenable to compromises in the area of whether something like that actually has to happen. He has also backtracked on DACA, which he initially said he would cancel on Day 1, if I remember correctly. Now he's saying he might sign legislation to continue it.

It looks idiotic if you don't realize what he's doing, and it wouldn't necessarily work in all Diplomacy situations (you have to have leverage when you use the tactic), but it is something educational.

I won't wade into the politics that have crept into this thread...
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Re: What Donald Trump can teach you about winning at Diploma

Postby Zosimus » 15 Oct 2017, 17:14

Certainly there is a psychological "trick" of asking for something, waiting to hear a no, and then asking for something smaller. For example, there was an experiment about getting people to take juvenile delinquents to the zoo. The researchers started by asking people to become a Big Brother/Sister, an assignment that would involve spending time with a juvenile delinquent and interacting with him/her over the course of a year or two. When people said that this was too much of a commitment, the researchers suggested that the people just take a group to the zoo. Most people accepted that smaller request.

However, I'm not certain that this can be applied to Diplomacy. If your goal is, for example, to negotiate a DMZ in Galicia between Russia and Austria. Do you start by asking the person to cede Galicia to you voluntarily and then try to back into a DMZ? I think this might well backfire. Or do you propose an alliance with someone and propose that you get the lion's share and then back down to 50-50? This also might backfire.
Be more aggressive.
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Re: What Donald Trump can teach you about winning at Diploma

Postby FloridaMan » 17 Oct 2017, 17:25

I would say it's more like, when you have been betrayed by someone and then they get attacked and need your help, you demand big concessions and settle for slightly smaller concessions.

Or, if you're a large power (Russia that has absorbed most of Austria and Turkey somehow, for example) seeking to make an alliance with a small power (Germany reduced to its home centers, for example), you might propose an alliance complete with a demand "I want you to go after England while I finish absorbing Austria and start consuming Italy; I'll send a couple of fleets to help and split the centers with you." Then maybe you settle for Germany getting almost the entirety of England, while you get Edinburgh or Norway. You're still possibly negotiating for something more than what you would have otherwise gotten (especially if Germany chose to work with someone other than you).

Maybe this is not exactly the same as the approach that Trump exemplifies, but I think the bottom line is being forceful when you have some form of leverage, then settling for something a bit less than what you asked for to "compromise." In his case, the leverage he has right now is the bully pulpit. In Diplomacy, it might be that you're the largest power now, or simply that you now have units you're fairly certain a specific power needs to get out of a bad situation. In some circumstances like this, negotiating "roughly" or aggressively and being demanding can be rewarding.
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