Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

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Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby super_dipsy » 13 Jul 2018, 20:12

Nopun brought up a situation recently that has highlighted a difficulty with the Draw processing rules. It may be something we want to add to our 'deviations/interpretations' list from the written rules.

The issue relates to when a draw offer is open during a Build phase and contains a country in the draw list that is either
a) about to go down to 0 SCs and 0 units at the end of the Build phase
b) down to 0 units but still has a live and usable build SC

Suppose the draw offer is accepted by the last holdout before the Build phase processes. At the moment, the country will be in the Draw. This is because we have always taken the view that a country is still alive until the build phase reducing it to 0 units and 0 SCs processes.

Looking at the written rules, the reference to draws says that if players agree to finish, all countries with units still on the board are in the Draw (the rules state DIAS draws only). We already have a deviation in our Playdip rules that allow for agreed draws that are not DIAS (if the game settings allow them). So on that basis, it appears that we are following the written rules as far as case a) is concerned. However look at scenario (b); according to the written rules, you can't be in a draw if you have no units on the board, even though this player can build a unit this phase.

Another complication is that it could be argued accepting/rejecting Draw proposals is an aspect of negotiations, and since the written rules do not allow negotiation in Retreat and Build phases (another deviation we have at Playdip) the implication is that you can't agree a draw in a Build phase anyway.

So the question is this. Should we
1. Leave things as they are. If a draw you are in is accepted and you are not currently on 0 units / 0 SCs, you get to share the draw
2. Chuck any country out of a draw if it is a Build phase and that country is about to go to 0/0
3. Something else

If we decide to do 2 or 3, we can highlight the difference in our 'Playdip's interpretation of the rules' section, no problem. So we just need to decide what we want to do.

Opening up for discussion (if anyone cares!) ;)
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby AKFD » 13 Jul 2018, 20:28

With all of that said, dosen't it make sense to eliminate the player and not include him in the draw when the build phase happens?

Because he has 0 units or SCs. And rules say you can't be in the draw, right?

Although the problem is, say everyone has accepted it before the build phase. What happens? Do all players have to vote again?
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 13 Jul 2018, 20:52

Definitely a vote for #2. I’d even say that you should ignore unit count entirely during a build phase, relying solely on SC = 0 as the determining factor.
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby V » 13 Jul 2018, 20:55

It’s difficult to “care” much, because if I’ve understood the issues vanish after the build phase. I recall wanting to push the “ignore” button when still theoretically “owning” an enemy occupied Tunis, during a Fall retreat & with zero units. I was rather brusquely told to “wait as it was hardly a big deal” which was difficult to contest, so my suggestion would be option 1 & wait...
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby jay65536 » 13 Jul 2018, 21:01

I think there are 2 ways to go with this.

The first way is to just say "all draws are agreed upon"; and if a player has a problem with agreeing to a draw under the conditions you laid out, it's their responsibility to vote it down and then re-propose it after the turn processes.

The second way is to try to automate this in the most "fair" way. If that's the route you want to go, I'd just say this:

In a build phase where someone has 0 centers but still technically has units on the board, that should absolutely be considered an on-the-spot elimination. When I play games adjudicated by humans, we actually deal with this situation by pulling all eliminated players' units off the board before resolving the other build orders, and shaking hands with the eliminated player before we read builds. Perhaps PD could solve this problem the same way: the instant anyone's center count hits 0 (which can only be triggered in a build phase, correct?), their units are instantly pulled from the board. I honestly don't think this is any more a deviation from the written rules than the current deviation of allowing draw proposals/votes during builds. And then, everything else could stay the same.

I don't think considering a player in scenario (b) "alive" is a violation of the written rules, because in the written rules you wouldn't be able to negotiate during builds, so the build phase would process before a draw could be agreed on, and the player would have a unit on the board.

The question I want to ask, which I think is relevant since we're talking about changing the draw processing rules, is this:

How does PD treat situations where a country has no units on the board, and no ability to build more, but doesn't have 0 centers? An example--that I've seen in a real game--would be Italy owning Spain as his one center, but having his last unit blown up. So the player had no units, no ability to build more (since he didn't own any home centers and didn't have any units to reclaim them), but still maintained control of Spain. Does THAT player have the right to be included in a draw? Because by the written rules, the answer should be no...
Last edited by jay65536 on 13 Jul 2018, 22:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 13 Jul 2018, 21:18

I for one think this is a case where the editors of the written rules got it wrong. The rules are written with only a face-to-face board game in mind, they are not taking into account that there's a subtle difference between controlling zero SCs and having zero units, and that particular difference matters when negotiations are allowed during build phases.

Supply centers should be the sole arbiter of whether a player has been eliminated or not*. It's a simple, clear standard, and it's fully within the principles of the game.

*with the only exception being for variants like Escalation, where a player can legitimately start with zero centers
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby asudevil » 13 Jul 2018, 21:39

I agree with NoPun and whatever decision he maeks about this
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby jay65536 » 13 Jul 2018, 21:55

NoPunIn10Did wrote:I for one think this is a case where the editors of the written rules got it wrong. The rules are written with only a face-to-face board game in mind, they are not taking into account that there's a subtle difference between controlling zero SCs and having zero units, and that particular difference matters when negotiations are allowed during build phases.

Supply centers should be the sole arbiter of whether a player has been eliminated or not*. It's a simple, clear standard, and it's fully within the principles of the game.

*with the only exception being for variants like Escalation, where a player can legitimately start with zero centers


I would agree with this except for the exception I cited above--technically owning a center but not having the ability to ever place units on the board. That to me should also count as an elimination.
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby super_dipsy » 14 Jul 2018, 07:33

Jay has managed to put into words far better than me my concern here
jay65536 wrote:The first way is to just say "all draws are agreed upon"; and if a player has a problem with agreeing to a draw under the conditions you laid out, it's their responsibility to vote it down and then re-propose it after the turn processes.


This is what was nagging away at me. Basically, at some point someone proposed a draw including the country in question, and it ends up being accepted by everyone. Personally I think the person who was about to be eliminated (must have been pretty close to it when the draw was proposed) did rather a spiffing job of negotiation by ensuring he/she was in the draw AND that everyone ended up voting for it. If people did not want that country in because it was about to be eliminated, why not vote against and see what happens?

But I do see the logic of saying that since ownership of centres has to be done before people are offered the opportunity to Build or Destroy, it must happen at the START of the Build phase and hence if at that point a country has 0 SCs it should not be considered as in the game any more, and that seems to be the growing consensus. It's looking like that should be how we play it.

This does though leave the other edge case Jay brought up. The scenario where you have a SC but no units and that SC is not a Build one. Therefore you can never build any units any more. Can that player share in a Draw? While Jay suggested the answer should be no, I'm not sure I'm on board with that. Although it is obvious my country cannot progress now, it does technically still have a supply centre. Considering my country as eliminated means that in a sense the board has one less SC on it. In my view, if people want to eliminate a player they need to take his or her last SC. This would fit with Nopun's proposal that it is only SC count that matters when determining if someone is alive (although also taking the proposed idea that this is determined at the START of the build phase as above).
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Re: Changing draws processing (just a bit!)

Postby asudevil » 14 Jul 2018, 15:18

I think the most likely time this would apply is that a DIAS gets proposed...and accepted in winter...when everyone else figures Germany is out...but since he hasn't OFFICIALLY been eliminated yet...so he gets into the DIAS when in reality he shouldn't have been in the DIAS. Should it have been read closer...sure...but it was a DIAS...and Germany just lost his last SC...its changed colors and everything...who thinks Germany is still in.

That's where I see this as Germany not being a spiffy communicator...but a beneficiary of a quirk
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