Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

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Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby JimHacker » 31 Oct 2019, 16:39

I've often noticed that sometimes, when a player gets ahead, the rest stomp on him. Diplomacy, I am told, is typically won by gradual expansion (not to mention other strategies like lying, cheating, stealing, etc.). Never expand too fast, they say.

So how fast is too fast? What is the ideal rate of expansion?
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby Martz » 31 Oct 2019, 16:53

You're not wrong, but I think it comes down to the board positions more, I'm content with one player expanding quicker than me as long as I know I could cover the stab with the help of another player if needed, or I'm in a position to prevent a solo attempt if the player expanding faster attempts it. It depends on the country a lot too, Russia is more difficult to stop than say Italy.

When it comes to my own expansion, again it is harder to put a rate on it or say what is an ideal rate of expansion, it comes more down to trying to keep another player or two happy, helping them with centers to give them their own direction to expand into and by doing that my center count won't grow as much.
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby AardvarkArmy » 31 Oct 2019, 17:24

I go with 2 builds per year - less, you lose momentum; more you attract too much attention :mrgreen:
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby JimHacker » 14 Nov 2019, 18:08

AardvarkArmy wrote:I go with 2 builds per year - less, you lose momentum; more you attract too much attention :mrgreen:


It helps if you have an inept neighbor, I think.
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby LordDwia » 15 Nov 2019, 08:53

The only food not worth eating is the food you can't digest.

Centers that require the unit you used to capture it to permanently maintain it are greedy and undigestible captures unless they are part of a stalemate line or an anchor that you will need for later. Such captures, at a time when it will make you seem fat and scary, are unwise.

But natural expansion that is sustainable? There's no such thing as too fast.

Would you rather negotiate from a position of strength, or a position of weakness?

I'll take 6 centers and a few suspicious neighbors in 1902 over 4 centers and happy neighbors any day. If your neighbors aren't worried about you at least a little bit, there's a good chance you're a microwave dinner.
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby David E. Cohen » 15 Nov 2019, 15:08

LordDwia wrote:If your neighbors aren't worried about you at least a little bit, there's a good chance you're a microwave dinner.


That reminds me of an old poker maxim: There is always a sucker at the table. If you do not know who the sucker is, YOU are the sucker.
Play every game of Diplomacy as if it will be the last game of Diplomacy you will ever play.
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Re: Expansion: How Fast Is Too Fast?

Postby gsmx » 19 Nov 2019, 10:21

Fast expansion isn't necessarily so bad. The key is to share the expansion (and heat) with a partner, ideally somebody you believe you can beat at the end. The knee-jerk reaction of everybody is to cry wolf whenever somebody gets too far ahead, but that loses a lot of impact when it's two people growing rapidly. Even better if you can convince a third that they're the necessary buffer and assured a token spot in the final three.

Individual fast/early expansion, on the other hand, is a kiss of death. You lose all diplomatic credibility and everybody else bonds at your expense. People love themselves a common devil that they can all point at as ambitious and deceitful and evil and 'we gotta go get that guy'. Don't give people an excuse to target you.
The first quality that is needed is audacity.
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