cheating in gunboat games?

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cheating in gunboat games?

Postby TiberiusG58 » 14 Nov 2018, 14:42

I've played many gunboat games and acts of kingmaking/throwing the game occur too often for me to believe it is just incredibly insane bad play. I have to assume spite is not a factor in gunboat, so what else besides cheating can explain such actions?

I know the admin (who do a wonderful job with the site, and many thanks to them!) are quite busy, but if anyone gets a chance, please investigate gunboat.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby super_dipsy » 14 Nov 2018, 15:32

We already have quite an advanced cheater hunting AI tool which nowadays seems to be pretty effective at spotting cheating. If you have a specific game / games where you suspect cheating, and you feel you have strong evidence, you should post it in teh Cheaters forum or send it to a Mod via PM. But simply saying you think there is cheating going on in Gunboat is not awfully helpful ;)

As for throwing games / kingmaking, I see no reason it would not happen in gunboat just as it does in other forms. If someone invades you, or attacks you, it can arouse strong emotions just the same way as when someone stabbing you. Some people react to this emotion by making it their goal in life to stop the perpetrator succeeding at any cost.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby Charleroi » 14 Nov 2018, 16:40

If anything, I would think suicidal revenge attacks or kingmaking is more likely in Gunboat. There's no chance for an attacker to explain, apologize, or try to win over the victim. Instead the victim is left to convince himself that if only his neighbor hadn't stupidly attacked, he would be in a position to win. Now that he isn't going to win, he may as well make sure that stupid neighbor doesn't win either.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby jay65536 » 14 Nov 2018, 16:45

Charleroi wrote:If anything, I would think suicidal revenge attacks or kingmaking is more likely in Gunboat.


This almost has to be true. Not only does the lack of press provide no recourse for post-stab communication, it also means that the option of joining a stop-the-leader alliance is blunted by the fact that the powers can't communicate and coordinate moves as they could in a real game. So that makes certain positions that could be drawn in a real game much more hopeless in a gunboat game.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby marotta » 15 Nov 2018, 02:09

I've played in quite a number of gunboat games (and currently ranked 3rd in gunboat on the site) and have had the experience of having an obviously drawn game turn into solos for me where if I had been playing the other side I would have suspected cheating. I am never sure what to do in that case. I wish gunboat players would keep a commentary in the notes section and then publish it after the game is over in the post-game chat. Instead there are crickets. I only got one reply which suggested they just wanted revenge on a certain country.

Having seen this crazy play from the winning side I know that it is something other than cheating. I suspect it is irrational and emotional play: "Sure maybe I could have drawn, but I just wanted to make sure that country did not win." I have been playing Diplomacy for over 40 years but I suspect many players are much younger than that.

Conversely I have had obviously drawn games that I have lost because some player seems to want to throw the game to the player about to solo. And again, after the game no one wants to talk about the game or why they choose certain moves.

In a gunboat game there is no way to report possible cheating. And after the fact I cannot gather the evidence needed. There is no way to look up all the games that a player has played and review them. So when GMs say you need to have evidence, they don't provide a way to gather that evidence. Is there a way to review a particular accounts games?

In a gunboat game, supporting another country's unit is not evidence of cheating. I do that all the time when I think I will benefit from the result. Often I guess wrong, but sometimes I am right and it is amazing.

I think a player who plays "irrationally" (not to try to be included in a draw) ought to get an email from a GM just asking them for a sentence or two on why they played the game the way they did and record the fact.

At any rate, I have chalked up the "irrational" play to the equivalent of not caring who wins so long as that country doesn't win. Additionally it gets a player out of a losing game as quickly as possible.

For my own play, I recognize that the average player is playing 1 out of 7 times for their own victory and 6 out of 7 times to put up a good fight for someone else's victory. I try to remember that when I am losing and continually try to find a draw that I can participate in. I also use every means possible to signal to someone I have been attacking for years it is time to stop fighting and hold the line against a potential solo victory. Even in gunboat games you can propose draws, use a unit to support one of their units to the capital city of the solo threat etc.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby marotta » 21 Nov 2018, 00:19

SO I read where gunboat game suspected cheating should be reported to the cheater-hunter team through private IM.
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=54352
How is that done?

And other than "Cross-power support in a Gunboat Game" what other evidence can be had in a gunboat game?

And after the gunboat game is over, where can I find the list of games where a player has played, or better yet, where two players have played in the game game?
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby super_dipsy » 21 Nov 2018, 08:32

marotta wrote:O I read where gunboat game suspected cheating should be reported to the cheater-hunter team through private IM.
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=54352
How is that done?

You had a small misprint there (but a lot less than I usually have!). It is PM, not IM. You send a PM (Private Message) by clicking on the "(n new messages)" tag on the top left of and forum page. Now you can Compose a PM and send it to either a Mod or the Mod team or the Cheater Hunters team. This is for all Anonymous type games, not just gunboat.

marotta wrote:And other than "Cross-power support in a Gunboat Game" what other evidence can be had in a gunboat game?

If you mean what other research could you carry out, you can look for games played between the players you suspect - so you click on Archived games and search for games with them both in them. If people cheat, they don't usually stop at one game....
If instead you mean how does our AI cheater hunting software detect cheating, not telling... ;)

marotta wrote:And after the gunboat game is over, where can I find the list of games where a player has played, or better yet, where two players have played in the game game?

See above.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby marotta » 30 Nov 2018, 05:03

I've sent a private message to the moderators Alman and Gareth giving them the game and the evidence but received no replies. Is there someone else I should have sent a private message to?

I track collusion in a few games helping the other player to a solo, but I think only they would have the IP eveidence.
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Re: cheating in gunboat games?

Postby super_dipsy » 30 Nov 2018, 07:00

marotta wrote:I've sent a private message to the moderators Alman and Gareth giving them the game and the evidence but received no replies. Is there someone else I should have sent a private message to?

I track collusion in a few games helping the other player to a solo, but I think only they would have the IP eveidence.

Alman and Gareth and not generally around at the moment. Send your PM to the Cheater-Hunters group (top right menu of the Compose PM page, select the group, click Add).
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