Don't take it personally...?

What are your winning tactics? Kill them all? Discuss strategy for the classic and variant games using the classic map, or visit the sub-forums for the variant maps.
Forum rules
Strategy
In addition to the general Forum Guidelines (see here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/view ... 30&t=15441), there are additional rules for posting in this forum.
1. When discussing strategy, reference should not be made to any active game. This section of the Forum is for general strategy discussion, not specific situations within games.
2. It follows that links, images, game name and/or number should not be added to a post if the game is active.
Posts which refer to a specific situation in an active game, or which link directly to an active game, are subject to editing or removal.

Re: Don't take it personally...?

Postby pjkon » 01 Aug 2016, 05:48

Dolph Shtoss wrote:I'm in a game where my ally is intolerable. I really don't like them. However, (s)he has proven to be tactically astute, and always makes the right call when proposing moves. Whenever I propose a move I am told I am wrong, which obviously I don't like, but I have to admit their way is always better. I also think I can trust them as an ally, not to stab me. It's just (s)he comes across as patronising. I also don't have any other option, because there is nobody else I can ally with, (don't want to give too much away, so please just take this as a given!)

I wonder what other players here would do? Stick with them, even though I'm not enjoying the game with them, or fly solo which I'm pretty sure will result in certain death. I've tried talking to other players, but I can't seem to break up their alliance(s).


The question (which I don't expect you to answer due to the reasons you stated) is what annoys you about your ally. There can be two types of annoying behavior that come from tactical discussions in diplomacy in my experience. 1) Where the tactics themselves are the problem 2) where the presentation is the problem.

In the first case, you have already said that your ally is "right" about your tactics which means that the only annoyance that you could draw from the tactics is that while they are indeed superior in effectiveness they benefit your ally more then you. If this is the case then it is perfectly acceptable to demand supply centers or the like as compensation for gains benefiting one member of an alliance more then another. After all both powers are contributing units and both power's cooperation is necessary for the gain making, so if one power is making all the gains then there is no reason for the other power to cooperate. You have said that breaking the alliance would be fatal for you, but in most cases it is still possible to greatly harm your ally with a suicide attack. Because of this your ally cannot simply ignore your wishes. If you can make a credible case that you will not be a part of the draw or have a chance at winning following the proposed tactics then your ally will be forced to consider whether or not he is providing you with adequate incentive not to launch such a strike and take him down with you. This can cause him to give you what you want to balance things out.

In the second case there are three types of bad presentation 1) Insulting Presentation 2) Vague Presentation 3) Demonstration that does not Camouflage Superior Skill

Each of these presentations is annoying for different reasons. In the first case no one like to be insulted and the helplessness of needing to sit there and take it because you need your ally so badly makes it worse. If your ally is doing this then he is making a strategic blunder by tempting you to act irrationally against him, and you may reveal to him the error in his ways by telling him exactly what you think of his disposition and indicating that your displeasure might be felt on the board in the form of the aforementioned suicide attack. A simple "You are making this game not fun and tempting me to end it by wrecking your position with a suicide attack" would suffice.

In the second case sending messages early helps. If you and your ally are having difficulty communicating then it is frustrating because you feel stressed and under time pressure to make the plans work out. Sending messages at the start of the phase or in the retreat phase before is a great help in this regard. You can talk to your ally and make it a policy to start negotiations early to avoid confusion. Your ally has an incentive to cooperate because a failure in communication can cause lost battles harmful to your joint efforts.

In the third case your annoyance comes not from what your ally is saying but from your discomfort with the level of skill you have thus far achieved. No one likes having a light shone on their shortcomings, not even in a game. A good diplomacy player will be able to smooth any ruffled feathers that would result from the need to correct less skilled allies, but the fact that your ally does not just means that he has not reached that level of skill. There is very little that can be done with your ally in terms of dealing with this. Your ally has ample incentive to make his messages as appealing as he can. If he is not then it is probably because he either can't or doesn't know what kinds of techniques make his messages appeal to you. Its not something that he can control. The only remedy for this situation is to get better at the game. Study the tactics of the game, spend some time going over the position on your particular map, and make the tactics you propose good. Don't be afraid to spend time on it. I consider myself to be a good tactician and I spend sometimes up to an hour finding the best possible moves for just one particular plan that I am proposing to any given ally at any given time.

I hope this helps. Diplomacy is a fun game and it saddens me to hear of anyone not enjoying themselves while playing it.
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

If you are receiving a message from me ignore this signature
pjkon
 
Posts: 375
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 22:05
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Don't take it personally...?

Postby Octavious » 01 Aug 2016, 15:40

A good diplomacy player will be able to smooth any ruffled feathers that would result from the need to correct less skilled allies, but the fact that your ally does not just means that he has not reached that level of skill.


Or that they rather enjoy the idea of keeping you in a state of misery, despair, and anger. She certainly doesn't strike me as someone who is incapable of being nice if she wants to be. It's possible, of course, just not particularly likely.

There are many reasons you may wish to give your ally a difficult life. Maybe she wishes to provoke a stab that she can use as an excuse to take your centres without looking like a treacherous player. Maybe she just wishes to keep your head down so you don't develop any thoughts of soloing yourself. Maybe it's how she gets her kicks :).
Guaaaaaaak!
User avatar
Octavious
 
Posts: 122
Joined: 02 Aug 2012, 23:18
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1242)
All-game rating: (1251)
Timezone: GMT

Re: Don't take it personally...?

Postby pjkon » 01 Aug 2016, 20:57

Octavious wrote:
A good diplomacy player will be able to smooth any ruffled feathers that would result from the need to correct less skilled allies, but the fact that your ally does not just means that he has not reached that level of skill.


Or that they rather enjoy the idea of keeping you in a state of misery, despair, and anger. She certainly doesn't strike me as someone who is incapable of being nice if she wants to be. It's possible, of course, just not particularly likely.

There are many reasons you may wish to give your ally a difficult life. Maybe she wishes to provoke a stab that she can use as an excuse to take your centres without looking like a treacherous player. Maybe she just wishes to keep your head down so you don't develop any thoughts of soloing yourself. Maybe it's how she gets her kicks :).


This might be true, but is increasingly stupid if it is the case. The mere fact that this thread was created proves that it has given the thread makes thoughts of otherwise irrational betrayal. If you don't need an ally so much that you want to provoke a stab then why do you need the ally at all? Just stab and take the scs. It will be faster. You can always lie to others saying that whatever moves the ally made were a stab even if they weren't if you're worried about reputation, or you could tell your ally (who seems to be letting you write his orders) to fake a fight with you for tactical or diplomatic advantage against common enemies who could therefore be lied to easily and then continue the fight into real territory wiping the ally out with apparent justification. The plan you propose to annoy a stab out of your ally to justify his obliteration seems imprecise and failure prone compares to viable alternatives.

As to demoralizing an ally to prevent them from having thoughts of soloing, even worse. Demoralize them enough and they end their misery by stabbing you.

Maybe this player enjoys manipulating opponents this way, but it's a bad strategy and a weakness others can exploit. You will know for instance that dependent as you may appear on them, they are more dependent on you because you can get replacement allies and they can't.
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

If you are receiving a message from me ignore this signature
pjkon
 
Posts: 375
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 22:05
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Don't take it personally...?

Postby Octavious » 01 Aug 2016, 23:21

Lol! Thoughts of betrayal are a given for diplomacy players. It is very rare that I am confident that an ally is not considering a stab :p. Assuming otherwise is borderline reckless.

You never find it convenient to provoke a stab? Such an action can have distinct advantages. Not only in maintaining a carefully crafted game image (the longer you are seen not to stab, the less likely other players are to suspect it in the future), but it does wonders for your relationship with the player who stabs you. If you stab player X and take half his centres, the chances are that you have an enemy for life. If player X stabs you and you take half his centres then the chances are greater that he will be begging forgiveness and promising to be a loyal servant. A crucial factor that can be the difference between draw and solo. Also, I rather enjoy people attempting to stab me. It keeps me on my toes and entertained. Boredom is the greatest enemy, who steals away solos and plagues us with missorders.

It will be interesting to discover how the game has actually played out when it's over. Whether indeed it bears any relation whatsoever to how we imagine it might look :p
Guaaaaaaak!
User avatar
Octavious
 
Posts: 122
Joined: 02 Aug 2012, 23:18
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1242)
All-game rating: (1251)
Timezone: GMT

Re: Don't take it personally...?

Postby pjkon » 02 Aug 2016, 03:29

Octavious wrote:Lol! Thoughts of betrayal are a given for diplomacy players. It is very rare that I am confident that an ally is not considering a stab :p. Assuming otherwise is borderline reckless.

You never find it convenient to provoke a stab? Such an action can have distinct advantages. Not only in maintaining a carefully crafted game image (the longer you are seen not to stab, the less likely other players are to suspect it in the future), but it does wonders for your relationship with the player who stabs you. If you stab player X and take half his centres, the chances are that you have an enemy for life. If player X stabs you and you take half his centres then the chances are greater that he will be begging forgiveness and promising to be a loyal servant. A crucial factor that can be the difference between draw and solo. Also, I rather enjoy people attempting to stab me. It keeps me on my toes and entertained. Boredom is the greatest enemy, who steals away solos and plagues us with missorders.

It will be interesting to discover how the game has actually played out when it's over. Whether indeed it bears any relation whatsoever to how we imagine it might look :p


Thoughts of betrayal are a given but thoughts of self destructive betrayal are not. Players will generally stab you when useful to them and not otherwise. This is the basis of all diplomacy negotiations: "he probably won't stab me because I'm pretty sure he knows its not in his best interest and therefore I'll go along with my side of the plan expecting cooperation."

As to provoking a stab to get your ally to feel indebted to you and help rather then hurt you in the end game, that can work I suppose (though I've never seen it done myself) but wouldn't it be contradicted by making your ally always mad at you? If you apparently expose yourself and make him stab out of greed he might feel guilty and be willing to help once you defeat him. If you make him stab out of frustration, and frustrate him further by defeating him it would seem that you wouldn't get that reaction.

In answer to your question I have never intentionally provoked a stab (though I have occasionally fast talked other players while not giving them anything over an extended period which I know will stop working eventually, but that's a little different and not something I do when I have another good option.) I don't think I've ever been in a game where the assumption of trustability was so high, or the emotional state of players predisposed in such a way that the tactics you described would have been useful. Nonetheless, they are interesting ideas I hadn't considered, and I can see their potential value, if not in the situation above.
It is better to have scs then allies, assuming something aproaching equal combat power in each

Your credibility with eliminated powers is irrelavant

Keep your allies happy enough that they stay allies

If you are receiving a message from me ignore this signature
pjkon
 
Posts: 375
Joined: 06 Feb 2012, 22:05
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: GMT-5

Previous

Return to Diplomacy Strategy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest