Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

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Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby Malarky » 07 Dec 2020, 13:21

Number five of seven - getting there! This one was a bit of a pain to write at times but here it is: Seven Tips for a Better Opening Strategy.

Here's the breakdown to give you some idea of what's in the article.

1. Understand your power
    - There are a range of things to consider to understand the power you’re playing: the geography, the units, the SCs available, the immediate ally, the longer-term ally, and continual expansion.
    - Although I’m thinking about the start of the game, you really ought to be considering the geography and the units throughout the whole game. Understanding both means planning what you’ll need.
    - Everyone wants to expand in 1901. Actually, I’d go as far as to say everyone has to expand in 1901! So knowing which SCs you’re going for is an important factor.
    - An understanding of the powers that could hurt you will give you an idea of the powers you need to reach agreements with - but this may not equate to the powers with whom you wish to ally.
2. Have an open mind
    - The only maxim in Diplomacy is that there are no maxims in Diplomacy. Well, almost. Turkey should always take Bulgaria because, well, what else is she supposed to do (unless she’s playing an Austria who doesn’t know their Budapest from their butt)?
    - When you go into a game of Diplomacy you’re better off going into it with an open mind. Go into it expecting to do nothing until you’ve spent time getting to know the players.
    - What, then, is the advantage of reading all these articles if you’re not going to follow them? Well, they give you knowledge about Diplomacy and they give you knowledge about what the predictable players will do.
3. Get into the game
    - You absolutely, uncontroversially, 100% no matter what the feck else you do, must communicate.
    - You’re here to play the game. Sitting around for whatever amount of time you have before thinking about the game becomes as urgent as needing to pee with a swollen prostate isn’t a good idea.
4. Find an ally
    - The only way you’re going to get anywhere in a game of Diplomacy is when you have an alliance or two.
    - You need people to help you achieve the goals you strive for along the way. And you need to keep a successful alliance going as long as it remains successful.
5. Plan to build
    - Now, although I’m going to stress how important it is to grow in 1901, I should probably say that not getting extra units on the board for the start of 1902 isn’t fatal. Let’s be honest, it’s not good but it’s not going to kill you.
    - Home SCs can, of course, also be taken. Every power has the chance to take a home SC from another and, consequently, the threat of losing one.
    - Planning for steady growth is important. Getting one or two SCs in 1901 is great; well done. Good start. It’s amazing how many players lose a good start because they haven’t considered where they’re going after 1901.
6. Being invulnerable
    - There are some key spaces on the board that make a power either vulnerable or invulnerable. Knowing and defending these spaces makes all the difference to attack and defence.
    - Land defences are also important. In this case, it is very much a case of where the attack is coming from.
7. When it goes wrong
    - The easy thing to do, online, is to walk away from the game. Don’t. Remember, you agreed to play the game, so play it; stick it out.
    - The first thing to do is try to work out what went wrong and why (assuming it wasn't just that you didn’t enter orders, of course).
    - You need to talk your way out of the situation if you can. You need to find a way to threaten the stability of the alliance working against you.
    - There is one thing you have going for you in this situation, but it isn’t a great positive, honestly. Can you take advantage of it?

If you want to read articles 1 - 4 of the "Seven Tips" series, look here:
1. Messaging.
2. Planning,
3. Understanding the Stab.
4. Tips from Sun Tzu.
Respect neither opinions nor beliefs; only respect the person and the right to express them.
Play by the rules but be ferocious.
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Re: Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby Audacia » 07 Dec 2020, 15:58

Malarky wrote:7. When it goes wrong
- The easy thing to do, online, is to walk away from the game. Don’t. Remember, you agreed to play the game, so play it; stick it out.
- The first thing to do is try to work out what went wrong and why (assuming it wasn't just that you didn’t enter orders, of course).
- You need to talk your way out of the situation if you can. You need to find a way to threaten the stability of the alliance working against you.
- There is one thing you have going for you in this situation, but it isn’t a great positive, honestly. Can you take advantage of it?


I especially like this bit. People need to understand that losing gracefully is a service to others, and the mark of a good sport. Besides, while you have one dot, you've not actually lost, so keep your chin up!

Very troubling to me is immediate surrenders when crestfallen about whom you've been dealt. You can only get better at a power by playing her out come hell or high water. That's how I eventually got better at Austria and now she's my secret wish every time I sit down at a board in chance. Please, please, please, I chant...give me the red dots again :lol: ! Though I love Italy, too ;) .

Thank you, Malarky. Wonderful advice as always - Audacia
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Re: Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby David E. Cohen » 07 Dec 2020, 23:35

Audacia wrote:Very troubling to me is immediate surrenders when crestfallen about whom you've been dealt. You can only get better at a power by playing her out come hell or high water. That's how I eventually got better at Austria and now she's my secret wish every time I sit down at a board in chance. Please, please, please, I chant...give me the red dots again :lol: !


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Re: Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby gsmx » 08 Dec 2020, 09:37

Audacia wrote:
Malarky wrote:7. When it goes wrong
- The easy thing to do, online, is to walk away from the game. Don’t. Remember, you agreed to play the game, so play it; stick it out.
- The first thing to do is try to work out what went wrong and why (assuming it wasn't just that you didn’t enter orders, of course).
- You need to talk your way out of the situation if you can. You need to find a way to threaten the stability of the alliance working against you.
- There is one thing you have going for you in this situation, but it isn’t a great positive, honestly. Can you take advantage of it?


I especially like this bit. People need to understand that losing gracefully is a service to others, and the mark of a good sport. Besides, while you have one dot, you've not actually lost, so keep your chin up!

Very troubling to me is immediate surrenders when crestfallen about whom you've been dealt. You can only get better at a power by playing her out come hell or high water. That's how I eventually got better at Austria and now she's my secret wish every time I sit down at a board in chance. Please, please, please, I chant...give me the red dots again :lol: ! Though I love Italy, too ;) .

Thank you, Malarky. Wonderful advice as always - Audacia

My favourite point as well.

No poker player is going to be successful if they're only willing to play good hands and the same goes for Diplomacy. No matter how charming of a player you are, bad starts are just going to happen from time to time. Spring 1901 it's very common for alliances to come together for very arbitrary reasons based on limited opportunity to get to know the other players. Alliances at this stage are definitely not a marriage and most the time there's still a lot of opportunity to turn things around. Often a quick and unexpected reconciliation can lead to an extremely effective blindside and a good diplomat can probably sell that quite well. Stabs can hurt, but 1901 stabs I find are the easiest to forgive simply because there's absolutely no reason to have expectations of loyalty that early on. People just need to make decisions and a lot of the time they'll jump on whichever plan is the most credible "attack anybody but me" plan. 1902 is when true relationships usually happen as you've had enough opportunity to get to get a feel for players styles and real plans start to form as you've started to see how the board is moving. Recovering from a bad start is extremely common.

And even if it doesn't work out, stick it out anyways as there's a lot of wisdom to be learned from failures.
The first quality that is needed is audacity.
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Re: Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby Audacia » 08 Dec 2020, 15:08

David E. Cohen wrote:
Audacia wrote:Very troubling to me is immediate surrenders when crestfallen about whom you've been dealt. You can only get better at a power by playing her out come hell or high water. That's how I eventually got better at Austria and now she's my secret wish every time I sit down at a board in chance. Please, please, please, I chant...give me the red dots again :lol: !


Archduke Strangelove or: How I stopped worrying and learned to love Austria


Indeed, Archduchess Strangelove ;) .
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Re: Seven Tips for a Better OPENING STRATEGY

Postby Oxmeister » 16 Dec 2020, 11:23

Malarky wrote:4. Find an ally
    - The only way you’re going to get anywhere in a game of Diplomacy is when you have an alliance or two.
    - You need people to help you achieve the goals you strive for along the way. And you need to keep a successful alliance going as long as it remains successful.
[/list]



Thank you for the share. This is the key point for me about the opening. If I'm any power except Italy, making a crucial ally for me is a more important opening objective than getting centers, although it's also true that a test of a 'good' ally is how selfish they are about said centers.
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