"All solos are thrown by someone"

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"All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Fuddin » 20 Jun 2017, 09:32

I was browsing around the forums recently and someone wrote "all solos are thrown by someone". (I can't remember who said this or where exactly I saw it, otherwise I would attribute it as a quote). I've been in 6 completed games (on this site and face-to-face total), and so far have only seen 1 solo, which was thrown to Italy by France. But this is a pretty small sample. So I was wondering - what do you people think? Is it true that all solos are only achieved because someone threw the game (either through deliberate king-making or just poor play)?

Edit: It was said by rd45 in this post: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=55715
Last edited by Fuddin on 23 Jun 2017, 00:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Strategus » 20 Jun 2017, 10:10

I would say not. Solos can be down to a player king making, or poor play, or a really good stab and/or deception.
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Cardlinger » 20 Jun 2017, 11:29

If you encompass 'poor play', then it becomes sort of circular reasoning: denying a solo is poor play, hence it's a thrown game.

I think it's possible for cumulative small errors across seasons to lead to a position where a solo is achieved without explicit king-making or end-turn 'poor play'. But those are rare and rely on someone very good at misdirecting players over many years and keeping it complex by not having early eliminations.

I'd say a lot of solos happen when one power has had enough and lets them take their 1 or 2 SCs to end it. But I think there is no 'all' in that.

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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Zosimus » 20 Jun 2017, 13:32

I would say that most solos occur when someone crosses the stalemate line and then stabs an ally in such a way that victory becomes inevitable.
Kingmaking is always a possibility when it comes to solo victories.
Other solos occur simply because the defenders screw up, make a mistake, or stop trying.
Be more aggressive.
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby rd45 » 20 Jun 2017, 18:23

Fuddin wrote:someone wrote "all solos are thrown by someone"


It was me: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=55715

It's not always deliberate. Who left themselves wide open for the stab? Who was looking the other way when the stalemate line was breached? Who was too pre-occupied with their local conflict, and missed the change in the big picture? Who sabotaged the stop-the-leader alliance? Who mis-ordered? Who NMRed? Whoever did those things at the crucial moment threw the game just as plainly as the most blatant king-maker. Maybe the key skill for the soloist is to figure out who's likely to do such things, and keep them in the game long enough for the mistakes to happen.

I don't even mean it as a criticism. It's a long game, and it's hard to concentrate the whole way through, with real life getting in the way. Winning is a feat of endurance as much as skill. But against six other competent players who are concentrating & who genuinely want to win as much as you do - you're not going to solo. There's a reason why so many games end in three- or four-way draws - those are stable positions achieved by agreement. If we assume best play by everyone, that's a perfectly good outcome. A solo win is a kind of anomaly - which is also why it's prized. Where would the satisfaction come from if it was easy?
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby StarWatcher009 » 20 Jun 2017, 18:58

rd45 wrote:
Fuddin wrote:someone wrote "all solos are thrown by someone"


It was me: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=55715

It's not always deliberate. Who left themselves wide open for the stab? Who was looking the other way when the stalemate line was breached? Who was too pre-occupied with their local conflict, and missed the change in the big picture? Who sabotaged the stop-the-leader alliance? Who mis-ordered? Who NMRed? Whoever did those things at the crucial moment threw the game just as plainly as the most blatant king-maker. Maybe the key skill for the soloist is to figure out who's likely to do such things, and keep them in the game long enough for the mistakes to happen.

I don't even mean it as a criticism. It's a long game, and it's hard to concentrate the whole way through, with real life getting in the way. Winning is a feat of endurance as much as skill. But against six other competent players who are concentrating & who genuinely want to win as much as you do - you're not going to solo. There's a reason why so many games end in three- or four-way draws - those are stable positions achieved by agreement. If we assume best play by everyone, that's a perfectly good outcome. A solo win is a kind of anomaly - which is also why it's prized. Where would the satisfaction come from if it was easy?


I very much agree with this. The idealised 'perfect play' should always lead to a draw. The soloist is he who elicits non-perfect play.
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Durkeety » 20 Jun 2017, 22:10

I would say that there are examples of people on this sight that disprove this theory. Certain players here solo more than 50 percent of the time against all types of competition.

My only issue with this theory is the broad definition you are giving to the term throwing the game. You are basically saying that any mistake at any point in the game is throwing the game. This implies that anytime you do not do the exact perfect move, you have thrown the game.

If you apply that same theory to any game ever, then it applies given such a broad definition.

In chess, if you play the exact perfect move every time, every game will end in a draw, but that does not mean that when someone wins they were thrown the game.

Soloing is a difficult feet, especially when the competition is experienced and well aware of draw lines, but I would not go so far as to say no games are truly ever won without someone throwing it to them.
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby condude1 » 20 Jun 2017, 23:00

I just soloed a game that was by no means thrown. Early on my ally got crushed, and never got above 3 units. The whole game, he and I exchanged pleasantries, and were sincerely the best of allies. Late game, he was aware of my solo attempts and tried (but failed) to stop me. A bit of poor play by the others gave me the opening I needed.

So no, solos are not always thrown. In fact, I'd argue that even in certain circumstances, with perfect play on all sides, a solo is possible. Remember, perfect play means a small player doing whatever he can to survive into a draw, including putting a strong player close to the solo (but not actually thrown).
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby rd45 » 20 Jun 2017, 23:05

Durkeety wrote: I would not go so far as to say no games are truly ever won without someone throwing it to them.


The challenge then would be to show an example of a game that was soloed despite consistent strong play throughout from the other six. A forced win, in other words. Do we have one?
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Re: "All solos are thrown by someone"

Postby Durkeety » 20 Jun 2017, 23:18

I'm in one right now that I will eventually solo. Once it is finished, I will reference it here.

Off the top of my head though I'd say look at some of Conq's games
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