Allowing Concessions

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Allowing Concessions

Postby Mr.E » 12 Jan 2020, 13:48

In a number of games, conceding when you realise that you've lost is common. Many of these games are 2-player games, of course, and Dip is much more complex than that. There are plenty of times when one player thinks the game is over and others believe there is still some mileage to go, so it would take something for multiple players to recognise that a single player is going to win, no matter what.

And that's how it should be. A draw can't be concluded unless every active player in the game (active probably isn't the best word so for 'active' read every player with a unit on the board) votes for it. It should be that games where every player recognises that a single player is going to solo are few in number, so from that point of view maybe this isn't such a big deal.

The thing is that in face-to-face games concessions are more common. That is probably to do with having a limited time to complete the game, whereas online play often doesn't face this problem. When you don't have to sleep, go home, etc, then the time factor isn't a key factor.

But there are games where players can see that a player is going to solo and there is no other option than throwing the game to that player or playing the game out. This can mean that the game is extended beyond what is needed. So I think allowing concessions, in the form of single-player draws, should be allowed... I'm just not sure how often it would make much difference to the game.

As I've said, one option in this situation is that the other players throw the game, ie don't defend that SC and don't attack the player that would, if concessions were allowed, have soloed. But there is some difference, maybe only a slight one, in throwing the game and conceding the game, if only psychologically.

I think there need to be safeguards in place, although not everyone will agree. Perhaps the ability to accept a single-player draw should only arise if one player reaches 16 SCs. This is a high number but is the highest number of SCs that could see another player soloing. In FTF games, games are conceded to a player on fewer SCs than this, but this is online play and, after all, conceding to a solo should be seen as a huge outcome. Remember, a conceded solo should mean that no other outcome can be envisaged.

For games where the victory criteria for a solo isn't 18 SCs, the allowable number of SCs where a single-player draw is acceptable should be something similar: one SC below the minimum number required for a guaranteed 2-player draw.

I know this is a big culture change here, and I know it's been turned down previously. The only reason I can see that it shouldn't be allowed in all games is when a game is ranked. In fact, in games that aren't ranked, perhaps there should be no minimum SC number. Ranked games affect the whole site so I think that these games should be protected from the "let's just give it up" scenario.

Actually, I think there is one game type where this should be included, regardless of any other consideration: Solo Only games. These games can't be shut down without a solo being achieved - no other result is allowed. I wouldn't normally consider these games because, frankly, Solo Only games are - IMO - ridiculous as a concept. But if a game has to end in a solo, without Mod interference, then surely they will be dragged on longer than necessary without the ability to concede. Of course, no other end should be allowable - if you're daft enough (sorry) to play this variant, then you either solo or concede to a Solo.

So, to summarise:
    - allow concessions, ie voting for a single-player draw;
    - in ranked games, this option shouldn't be allowed unless a player has reached 16 SCs and only players having reached this number of SCs can be voted for;
    - in ranked games where the victory criteria is not 18 SCs, the SC requirement should be one SC fewer than the number of SCs required to guarantee a 2-player draw, or two SCs less than a the solo criteria;
    - in unranked games, there should be no SC requirement.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby Pope Pius IX » 12 Jan 2020, 15:15

I don't know for certain what I think about the proposal of single-player draws, but I did just complete a game where one player solo-ed because one of the other four surviving players willingly abandoned their only remaining supply centre in order to let him take it.

There was considerable debate about the ethics of doing this, and in fairness that player had a choice between awarding one player a solo, or being eliminated by a combination of the other powers and missing out on a draw. Many times it was pointed out that either way, that player would lose, but the counter argument is that as sovereign authority over his armies, that player could do what they liked.

I'd joined that game as a sub, with a rating shield, so it didn't bother me too much, but I'd imagine the other players were quite annoyed, and I know I would have been if I'd have stood to lose points by it.

I think what I'm probably saying is that single-player draws may well be a good idea to introduce, but not at the expense of the other options, and I'm not certain that they'd solve all the issues along the lines of games like the one outlined above...

Not sure I've added much here.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby Strategus » 12 Jan 2020, 15:24

I agree with the principle. But I would not bother with conditions. Let the players decide.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby jay65536 » 14 Jan 2020, 18:30

Strategus wrote:I agree with the principle. But I would not bother with conditions. Let the players decide.


Yeah, to me this is just a natural extension of noDIAS and shouldn't come with conditions, just as noDIAS draws don't have conditions on this site.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby Mr.E » 18 Jan 2020, 12:59

jay65536 wrote:
Strategus wrote:I agree with the principle. But I would not bother with conditions. Let the players decide.


Yeah, to me this is just a natural extension of noDIAS and shouldn't come with conditions, just as noDIAS draws don't have conditions on this site.

For me, I think conditions are needed for this simply to prevent a player on 7 SCs, say, earning a solo through a concession. There's no way that should be allowed. The idea is that the game is going to end in a solo, and this is a way to allow it to happen without having to play it out. It certainly isn't about simply giving up and deciding that the SC-leader should win. After all, the number of SCs a player holds plays no part in Diplomacy unless that person wins a solo.

And I'm not sure why it should be applied to non-DIAS draws rather than any game..? What difference does DIAS make? (Maybe I should point out, as it seems that when you ask someone a question it is taken that you're automatically critical of the point of view for some reason, that I asking to clarify the point of view :? )

Pope Pius IX wrote:I did just complete a game where one player solo-ed because one of the other four surviving players willingly abandoned their only remaining supply centre in order to let him take it.
There was considerable debate about the ethics of doing this, and in fairness that player had a choice between awarding one player a solo, or being eliminated by a combination of the other powers and missing out on a draw. Many times it was pointed out that either way, that player would lose, but the counter argument is that as sovereign authority over his armies, that player could do what they liked.
I'd joined that game as a sub, with a rating shield, so it didn't bother me too much, but I'd imagine the other players were quite annoyed, and I know I would have been if I'd have stood to lose points by it.
I think what I'm probably saying is that single-player draws may well be a good idea to introduce, but not at the expense of the other options, and I'm not certain that they'd solve all the issues along the lines of games like the one outlined above...

I'm not going to comment on the ethics of Kingmaking here, but I've quoted this for the context.

You're right, in a game where players are trying to stop a solo or to force a draw, the concession isn't going to happen. But this situation isn't what the suggestion's for, really. In this situation, if you're objective is to prevent a solo, then you're certainly not going to agree to concede a game. Rather, it's about those games where the players recognise that a solo is going to happen, stopping it isn't a realistic option, and they decide there's no need to play it out.

Which is likely to be a small number of games, after all, because the most likely attitude in games is the one mentioned above... in ranked games, at least. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. So I don't think allowing concessions is going to make a huge difference to the vast majority of ranked games. I don't think that equates to there being no point to implementing it (let's face it, if I did I wouldn't be suggesting it :) ).

As I said above, I think it would be a hugely positive addition to Solo Only games (or No Draws Allowed to give the variant it's real name on site) and I think for unranked games it would make sense. Perhaps implementing it for these games first, to be extended if it was positive.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby Strategus » 18 Jan 2020, 14:22

There is nothing stopping people agreeing a two way with both players on five centres right now. You have to trust players to play the game properly.
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Re: Allowing Concessions

Postby Mr.E » 19 Jan 2020, 14:38

Strategus wrote:There is nothing stopping people agreeing a two way with both players on five centres right now. You have to trust players to play the game properly.

Good point... but only in non-DIAS games, obviously.

I'm probably going to answer my own question above about why this might only be acceptable in non-DIAS games.

Non-DIAS games are not within the published rules of Diplomacy, which state draws include all survivors equally. There is no thought towards a game ending in a draw where only nominated players draw the game and other survivors may not do so. So perhaps there is some argument that if a game is a DIAS game, then because all survivors draw the game, no one player can win without soloing - concessions should not be allowed. Which is consistent with DIAS, of course.

Many people, myself included, would argue that allowing nominated draws, meaning that not all survivors have to be included in the draw, is against the philosophy behind the published rules. Non-DIAS draws are a variation on the end of game scenario.

I've mentioned before, and I'm not going to labour the point now, but I think there are two many variables on site that are treated the same. There are three ways a player can choose a power to play, and they don't produce an equivalent outcome. There are two draw types that don't produce an equivalent outcome. And yet the result of a non-DIAS draw and of a DIAS draw are taken as being the same. Fine in no rank games, questionable in ranked games, in my opinion.

But this isn't about allowing a draw; this is about agreeing to a solo victory before it has actually been achieved. This therefore doesn't meet the criteria for ending a game in a concession, or single-player draw if you prefer (there is a pedantic difference aligned with scoring but I'm not going into that now either :) ). So we're not talking about multiple players being allowed to benefit from a draw while on low numbers of SCs, we're talking about someone being given a solo they haven't achieved on a low number of SCs.

And, frankly, you can't always trust that players will play the game properly, even in a tournament final.
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