It took a few years but I get it now!!

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It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby springbutt46 » 08 Aug 2017, 03:18

A few years ago... here in this very forum, there was a debate about "Going for the Solo vs. Going for the Draw".
I had come down on the side of going for the draw... with the caveat that I try for the solo. I see now that I was inexperienced, and very likely uninformed.

I just finished playing in a tournament. To be frank I loathed it. The reason I loathed it was because the larger percentage of the people in the tournament were "Gamers". A gamer is someone who plays all games with the idea of obtaining the most points. The idea of playing for points comes from what is likely many years of other games, and I would hazard a guess it is primarily video games ( I have ZERO evidence of that... it is pure conjecture on my part) and that playing for points is the measure of success that these gamers not just grew up on but were never exposed to anything else as measure of success. NOW... I can see the red flush of your skin as you gamers read this... I can feel the tension in your fingers as you prepare to BLAST back a response to this missive, and I can see the gears in your craniums turning as you scream at the screen... "Isn't the point of playing ANY game, and especially a TOURNAMENT to get the most points to WIN the tournament??!!"

The answer to your challenge is yes... of course... but no.

This site is for playing Diplomacy. When I started playing this best of all games... my friends and I would gather... with supplies... and nothing to do in the following 24 hours... and play until someone crushed everyone else... or until the game was hopelessly deadlocked. The longest game I can recall took more than 15 hours. It was brutal. It was also totally satisfying. I was eliminated from the game, by a vicious and well timed stab. Congrats DonK... and it was beautiful to watch the rest of the game. DonK eventually dragged the game into a a two way draw, but it hurt to get there... and there was no other solution. DonK made deals... took chances with players who got angry at other players... scratched and clawed into other players' centers while the other eventual winner did the same! He played hard and masterfully and he never considered getting a draw until there was no other way to conclude the game. THAT is playing Diplomacy.

What I witnessed in the tournament was one or the other player wedging themselves into a position that could not be assailed without at least three other players having to assault them at once, and then demanding a draw. There was literally NO effort to go for the jugular vein, and destroy the other players. All the wedging player did was bad mouth other players until they could weasel into that wedged position and force a three or four way draw. There was no chance taking, no deal making... nothing but crap talk and slime slides into positions that couldn't be challenged.

And that brings me back to my topic... I get it now... back when the topic of "Going for the Solo vs Going for the Draw" was being debated.... I was wrong wrong wrong.... going for the draw as a design purpose of playing this game, Diplomacy, is the worst kind of gaming possible. Going for the solo is the only way this should be played. IF and only IF a draw is the only way out... then so be it... but going for the draw from the outset... just to get points... is a perversion of this the best of all games.

The worst Diplomacy game... any draw with more than two players.
An acceptable Diplomacy game... a two way draw.
A good Diplomacy game... a solo.

THAT is my opinion... and you gamers out there are sure to tell me all about how it stinks.
But you Diplomacy players... you know what I mean... and I am so sorry I said otherwise back when this debate happened before
Sincerely
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby StarWatcher009 » 08 Aug 2017, 05:08

Why is a two-way acceptable? Most are on uneven stalemate lines and thus are results of failing to go for a solo.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby b1wein » 08 Aug 2017, 05:15

I have to disagree a little bit here. Going for a draw is a perfectly acceptable way to play. Sometimes when I ally with 2 other countries I tell them that I want to wind up with a 3 way draw, and a lot of the time I mean it. Of course, there are games where a stab can win a solo, and if I'm in that position, of course, I will take it. I hate people who don't make any effort at all to solo. However, trying to eliminate people so your alliance will get the draw, I see no problem with that.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby Tarsier » 08 Aug 2017, 05:34

b1wein wrote:I have to disagree a little bit here. Going for a draw is a perfectly acceptable way to play. Sometimes when I ally with 2 other countries I tell them that I want to wind up with a 3 way draw, and a lot of the time I mean it. Of course, there are games where a stab can win a solo, and if I'm in that position, of course, I will take it. I hate people who don't make any effort at all to solo. However, trying to eliminate people so your alliance will get the draw, I see no problem with that.


He isn't saying it isn't acceptable, but that having a solo mentality adds to the quality of the game. I agree. When games have a decided alliance that will not break, it steamrolls over the others, dialogue often dies, and fun risks are ignored.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby StarWatcher009 » 08 Aug 2017, 05:54

Tarsier wrote:
b1wein wrote:I have to disagree a little bit here. Going for a draw is a perfectly acceptable way to play. Sometimes when I ally with 2 other countries I tell them that I want to wind up with a 3 way draw, and a lot of the time I mean it. Of course, there are games where a stab can win a solo, and if I'm in that position, of course, I will take it. I hate people who don't make any effort at all to solo. However, trying to eliminate people so your alliance will get the draw, I see no problem with that.


He isn't saying it isn't acceptable, but that having a solo mentality adds to the quality of the game. I agree. When games have a decided alliance that will not break, it steamrolls over the others, dialogue often dies, and fun risks are ignored.


I agree with Tarsier here. You don't need to necessarily have the shifting alliances; but the willingness to have them makes the game a lot more fun. A game I was in recently got to a stage where one alliance was crushing another for about 5 years. It would have been boring if that alliance expected to stay together. However, that I was actively trying to set up a solo-oppurtunity made it very fun.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby springbutt46 » 08 Aug 2017, 13:50

Ah yes QUALITY! Hang on I am working on my motorcycle here...

A two way is "acceptable" because it is for the most part the result of a hard fought series of alliances that in the end were discarded because someone wanted the solo... but juuuust couldn't get it.

My point throughout was in fact that the quality of the game suffers when someone isn't trying to dominate everyone else. And that someone could be all seven players of course... but someone gotta wanna! ..(thank you George Carlin for articulating "wanna" so well)

Another point I may have failed to get across... is that when players see a solo as a possibility... I believe everyone else should band together if possible and stop it. Now that situation could inevitably lead to a draw of three or more players. That I believe should be viewed as unfortunate, but not unacceptable. I would hazard a guess in that case that the player who was going for the solo simply stabbed just a wee bit too early to get to that solo. Pure conjecture there also.

Spring

Thank you one and all for your comments. I appreciate them.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby V » 08 Aug 2017, 15:34

Back to this debate. I hope consensus finally realises "It's All OK"! This splendid game is not about "players" vs "gamers" vs "carebears" vs "any other label someone wants to apply to an opponent". Each to their own based on temperament & ability.
Every game will have a mix of individuals each with a style, approach, objectives that will almost certainly differ from your own. If you can't stomach that tough. I keep hearing folks trying to prove their style is in some way superior to others & should be adopted. Firstly it ain't gonna happen & neither should it.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby joe92 » 08 Aug 2017, 15:37

V wrote:Back to this debate. I hope consensus finally realises "It's All OK"! This splendid game is not about "players" vs "gamers" vs "carebears" vs "any other label someone wants to apply to an opponent". Each to their own based on temperament & ability.
Every game will have a mix of individuals each with a style, approach, objectives that will almost certainly differ from your own. If you can't stomach that tough. I keep hearing folks trying to prove their style is in some way superior to others & should be adopted. Firstly it ain't gonna happen & neither should it.

Amen! Preach it. Many different personalities playing this game. Not one is right. Deal with it. #teamV
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby Pootleflump » 08 Aug 2017, 18:18

V - you have a bit of a fanclub developing (woop woop). Whilst I was trying to work out how to articulate how I felt, you nailed it. Couldn't agree more. The adventure is the diversity of people and personalities. Each game is different. Different challenges, different skills. That is its beauty.
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Re: It took a few years but I get it now!!

Postby springbutt46 » 08 Aug 2017, 19:13

I think it is possible that there is an unexpressed fundamental, that further details my quest for quality games of Diplomacy.

Diplomacy was not designed to be played in a in Tournament.

Now, not having known the inventor of the game I cannot in any way be able to tell you the reader if that statement is true all by itself. But if you look to the rules of the game, as the game is played in tournaments, on this site and on other sites, one of the fundamental directives of playing Diplomacy is that "each and every game is to be considered a separate entity. Game to game alliances are if not forbidden expressly, then objected to vehemently, just as game to game hatred of one player or the other is just as vehemently objected to and you shouldn't carry your anger from one game to the next. "

That spirit of playing each game as an individual should on it's face encourage players to not consider what their points value will be for certain conditions... and thus Diplomacy as it is played is not designed for tournament play.

I am however not ignorant enough to think that Diplomacy should never be played in a tournament setting. As a matter of fact, as I started this discussion, I came to this mea culpa because of a tournament. It is the nature of all human beings to compete, and to compete in front of a crowd for the honor of success is even far more human. What i am saying is that playing THIS game for the sole purpose of points without considering the game's intent to play for that one game and that one game only takes away from the quality of the game itself.

You diversity folks are not wrong about the game being for everyone and their abilities. I am hopeful that Diplomacy will one day replace Chess as the game of choice to decide who really is the best player on the planet. But even you folks can see that as each game should be taken as an individual event, and the goal of the game as per the rules is to get eighteen supply centers that playing the game with the sole intent of playing to a draw was not what the inventor intended. The inventor intended that there be a winner, otherwise the inventor would not have built the game itself with a condition for victory.

That is the separation that I seek when playing. The separation provided within the very rules of the game. To seek a victory, an individual victory, in each individual of a game.
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