PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

How does the site implement the rules of Diplomacy? Which rules does it follow? Has it changed any?

PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby super_dipsy » 23 Nov 2013, 20:51

The site policy is to use AH 2000 4th Edition as the base set of rules for online Diplomacy play. However, there are places where we deviate in some fashion from the 4th Edition rules:
- When the written rules are silent
- When the written rules are ambiguous
- When the written rules cannot be implemented
- When the written rules do not fit with online play
- When our site members demand deviations

It may surprise some to realize that there are any examples of the first 3 categories, but sadly the later sets of rules have been written with little thought and attention to detail. However, since these are the 'official' rules we follow them as much as possible.

Here is a list of deviations
1. Country selection; random is required but we actually allow FCFS or Preferences too (Member-driven)
2. Draws:
2a. DIAS is required, but we only offer DIAS as an option (Member_driven)
2b. The rules (DIAS) say only countries with units on the board share the draw; we include countries with SCs but no units (Common sense)
2c. Draws that have not been rejected are considered approved when all countries that still have SCs and/or units have approved (Common sense)
3. Illegal orders; legality is determined at the point in time based on all possible order combinations. Illegal orders are replaced with Hold orders BEFORE adjudication (Rules unclear)
4. Timings / negotiations; the rules specify time periods for order submission and that negotiations are not allowed in Retreat/Build phases. We do not do this (online play)
5. The intention of a rule can be used by the GM to determine the rule even if badly written. We go with exact order requirements, no interpretation (online play)
6. We regard a convoyed army as having come from the start location of the army (Rules silent)
7. We implement the Szykman resolution to paradoxes (Rules silent or cannot be implemented as written)
(Szykman resolution says that within the CORE paradox only, all convoys are cancelled)
8.We implement automatic disbands by calculating distance as the minimum number of moves for the unit in question to return to a home SC, and counting a potential convoy route as one move per sea square (Rules ambigious / silent) (See here for full auto_disband rules.)
9.We implement 'via convoy' which overrides the land route (rules unclear / silent)
10. We allow a deadlock resolution to close a game as a draw (online play / member-driven)
11.The rules require that in a 2-player game Italy is assigned to one of the two players at the end of the first year on a coin toss. We leave it in CD for the whole game (member-driven)
12.The 'unless a convoy is used' exception to the normal rule that units cannot exchange places does not cover all the implications. We fix this by saying that if at least one unit is convoyed, head-to-head conflict rules no longer apply (rules unclear / silent)
13.If orders have been submitted they will be executed even if the player giving them surrenders before the turn processes. Of course if a new player joins and issues new orders before processing, the new orders will be executed as normal. (rules badly worded)
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby gareth66 » 23 Nov 2013, 22:53

Good work Dipsy, a very useful summary.
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby MeatPopsicle » 24 Nov 2013, 00:54

Speaking of illegal moves, I was curious: why does the UI prevent me from ordering an army into a water space, but allows me to convoy an army into a water space? Seems arbitrary that some illegal moves are "filtered" by the UI while others are not, but most things are really well thought out here so there's probably a good reason...

Just curious,
~M.I.
Last edited by MeatPopsicle on 24 Nov 2013, 01:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby Br59 » 24 Nov 2013, 01:35

Is 9 right?
I thought land route was the default, not via convoy?
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby super_dipsy » 24 Nov 2013, 08:40

MrIncredible wrote:Speaking of illegal moves, I was curious: why does the UI prevent me from ordering an army into a water space, but allows me to convoy an army into a water space? Seems arbitrary that some illegal moves are "filtered" by the UI while others are not, but most things are really well thought out here so there's probably a good reason...

Ah, I am afraid we are running into history there :( .Basically, the people who built the software in the first place did not seem to really understand the nuances of the game, so they programmed in some simple checks and did not allow the mistakes. However they did not understand the game very well, and did not take into account all the possibilities. What I didn't want to do was to change things from what people are used to so it has been left with some illegal moves being rejected by the UI and others being allowed but picked up in adjudication.

Br59 wrote:Is 9 right?
I thought land route was the default, not via convoy?

I think you have misread 9. 9 is not talking about a convoy taking precedence over the land move; it is talking about the 'via convoy' addition to the order. So what it means is that if you enter "A Bre - Pic via convoy" and there is a fleet in the Channel then you are saying you intend to use a convoy. If the fleet does not convoy you, you go nowhere because you chose when you submitted the order to INSIST on the convoy as the route choice. The reason this is a deviation is that 'via convoy' was added to the 4th Edition rules as an afterthought; you will note that it is not even documented in the Order section. It was thrown in because of kidnapping, but with no thought whatsoever,
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby Editor » 12 Mar 2014, 05:18

One matter where you vary from the rules is over enforced adjudication for draws in long-running games.

Rather than foisting a draw on a long-running game, an alternative might be, for instance, create the Irish Free State with a single supply base in 1920. Although this si also not in the rules, it would give a possible, perhaps fairer way of determining in the event of a deadlock without the need of foisting a deadlock draw on someone who persistently won't accept it.
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby super_dipsy » 12 Mar 2014, 07:30

Editor wrote:One matter where you vary from the rules is over enforced adjudication for draws in long-running games.

Yes, this is number 10 in the list.

Editor wrote:Rather than foisting a draw on a long-running game, an alternative might be, for instance, create the Irish Free State with a single supply base in 1920. Although this si also not in the rules, it would give a possible, perhaps fairer way of determining in the event of a deadlock without the need of foisting a deadlock draw on someone who persistently won't accept it.

An interesting suggestion. If you want to follow it up, you might want to post in Suggestions; I wont move this post because i think it was asking for a rules clarification and so belongs here :) . However, I think it is worth remembering that this is a situation where one player is being extremely disrespectful to the other players. Our deadlock rules mean that to reach this situation one player has decided that by making the game last 'forever' he/she will be able to secure a better result by simply outlasting the patience or internet connectivity of other players. It is particularly vindictive when players are non-premium and this game takes up one of their 3 games allowed. My personal view is I would actually warn the player and eventually ban them from the site for this sort of behaviour, but then I always thought Stalin was a pussycat ... ;) . However since there are more sensible people than me in this community we have a less aggressive way of resolving the issue.

I guess the key question in your suggestion is 'fairer for who'? Adding an SC would indeed offer a way to resolve it, but imagine that the new SC is within the area of the player on 17 who is refusing to accept the deadlock. That player now gets his or her solo, meaning that by being intransigent and refusing to accept the deadlock that player actually benefits. That can't be right, can it? However, it is an interesting idea as I say, and might prove popular. Good lateral thinking!
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby Pedros » 13 Mar 2014, 08:43

Thought you were a fan of playing to the original rules Editor?
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby super_dipsy » 13 Sep 2014, 06:06

Number 12 has been added. See this thread for a fuller discussion http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=46253

The last part of this reference is reproduced here as a summary, but for the full discussion refer to the thread.

For PlayDiplomacy purposes, we are implementing the following addition to the rule exception (underlined for clarity)

PlayDiplomacy wrote:Two units can exchange places if either or both are convoyed. This is the exception to the earlier rule that stated "Units cannot trade places". In this situation, the head-to-head conflict rules do not apply.


I believe this clears up any confusion, and is also reasonably intuitive since if units can somehow 'cross over' then they are clearly not in direct conflict. Conflict only arises if one unit is unable to make the exchange, in which case it is left at its original location and must face the incoming force.

So what implications / changes does this have on PlayDiplomacy adjudication of orders? This list only applies to the scenario where two units are ordered to swap places and at least one is convoyed. (No Change means no change from the way the judge works today)
- If the units are ordered to exchange with sufficient force to overcome any other units trying to enter the two locations, the units swap (NO CHANGE)
- If one unit is unable to make the trade it must now defend itself with its own force, disregarding any supports (CHANGE: by default the judge used to take supports into account in defence as well as attack since it was judged a head-to-head conflict)
- If one unit bounces another force in the destination, that other force remains bounced even if the unit is dislodged by the other 'swapping' unit (NO CHANGE to the judge as written, although as stated earlier it is an explicit ignoring of the normal head-to-head rule)
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Re: PlayDiplomacy approach to game rules

Postby thewysecat » 15 Apr 2015, 12:46

super_dipsy wrote: 8.We implement automatic disbands by calculating distance as the minimum number of moves for the unit in question to return to a home SC, and counting a potential convoy route as one move per sea square (Rules ambigious / silent)

Dipsy

this has come up in a mentor game (question to me as mentor). I was able to cite this but could not definitively cite what happens in a tie-break.

I said:

"Traditionally in the event of a tie, fleets go first and in the event of a tie again it is alphabetical - I think first in list is first to go."

^ Is this actually the site's implementation? And either way can 8. be expanded to reflect how ties for auto-disbands are handled

Also, I think I am right in saying that the "potential convoy" in 8. is entirely hypothetical - no fleet(s) actually have to be there and certainly not controlled by the power involved when making this count. In essence, an army is treated as if it could move on water.

Thanks

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