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Rules ambiguous

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Anonymous
May 6, 2004 9:54:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

As a newbie to PBEM Diplomacy, I find it rather odd that so much
controversy surround such basic issues as whether a patently
impossible order (A Liv->Mos) is equivalent to an order to a hold when
it comes to that unit receiving support. I accept that there are (at
least) two sides to the argument, but surely the bottom line is that
the official rules are vague and poorly written.

I have two suggestions:
1) A committee of established Diplomacy experts should write a precise
legalistic statement of what constitutes a valid/legal/possible move,
etc.

2) Where possible, the legalistic rules should follow the principle of
military realism. That is, real fleets and armies are not robotic
entities that try to carry out any order that is synatcically valid.
They interpret the order and try to follow it if it makes sense.

The interpretation of 2) depends on what we imagine the fleet or army
to know. I usually imagine that the admiral of a fleet or the general
of an army has a copy of the board map and knows where he is, but not
where other units are or what their orders are. Thus, receiving the
order to move Liv-Mos, the general throws the order in the bin in
disgust and puts full effort into holding instead. Since he is trying
to hold, he can be supported in holding. By contrast, the general who
gets an order to move that would be possible with the appropriate
convoys will think it is a valid order. He may get his tanks and men
lined up on the beach, waiting for the ships to arrive, and only when
they fail to appear will he realise that he has wasted his efforts. He
is not actively defending his province, but trying to move, so he
cannot be supported in holding. (Some of you seem to think that the
general has knowledge of other unit positions, as well, which means
that he will wait on the beach if there is a fleet available, but not
if the sea is empty. That is fine, but if that is the favoured
interpretation it needs to be spelt out explicitly).

This does not solve the Stp coastal debate. A real admiral that got an
order that was only wrong in terms of the coast - and where the coast
suggested is not even reachable - would, in all likelihood, assume
that the coastal part of the message was an error, and ignore it,
carrying out the move to the suggested province (but I accept that
there are two sides to this argument).

Taken to an extreme, the principle of realism would mean that unwanted
support was not possible at all - and most of you would not want to
lose that quirk of the rules - but the principle could still be used
for cases that are genuinely unclear at present. At any rate, a clear
decision should be made on these issues so that we all know whether it
is possible to reject unwanted support by proposing a dodgy move.

More about : rules ambiguous

Anonymous
May 6, 2004 1:57:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Last I checked, Livonia and Moscow were adjacent.

But to respond to the bigger question, most GMs will rule that an erroneous
order to move (like Moscow-Paris) is NOT equivalent to a support for
purposes of receiving support. The unit was ordered to move, therefore it
CANNOT get support to hold. It obviously cannot make the movement, but if
say, there was also an order StP S Mos, that order would be invalid.

-Adam

> As a newbie to PBEM Diplomacy, I find it rather odd that so much
> controversy surround such basic issues as whether a patently
> impossible order (A Liv->Mos) is equivalent to an order to a hold when
> it comes to that unit receiving support.
May 6, 2004 3:33:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Bwwwwwwhahahahah.

First, we made sure the rules had lots of holes in them just so we would
have thing to argue about.

Second, the 'Blue Ribbon Committee', has been tried, probably several times.
Other than a good long arguement, consensus could not be reached.


"cmgoogle" <craigmccoll@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a14e80c9.0405060454.7dd756bb@posting.google.com...
> As a newbie to PBEM Diplomacy, I find it rather odd that so much
> controversy surround such basic issues as whether a patently
> impossible order (A Liv->Mos) is equivalent to an order to a hold when
> it comes to that unit receiving support. I accept that there are (at
> least) two sides to the argument, but surely the bottom line is that
> the official rules are vague and poorly written.
>
> I have two suggestions:
> 1) A committee of established Diplomacy experts should write a precise
> legalistic statement of what constitutes a valid/legal/possible move,
> etc.
>
> 2) Where possible, the legalistic rules should follow the principle of
> military realism. That is, real fleets and armies are not robotic
> entities that try to carry out any order that is synatcically valid.
> They interpret the order and try to follow it if it makes sense.
>
> The interpretation of 2) depends on what we imagine the fleet or army
> to know. I usually imagine that the admiral of a fleet or the general
> of an army has a copy of the board map and knows where he is, but not
> where other units are or what their orders are. Thus, receiving the
> order to move Liv-Mos, the general throws the order in the bin in
> disgust and puts full effort into holding instead. Since he is trying
> to hold, he can be supported in holding. By contrast, the general who
> gets an order to move that would be possible with the appropriate
> convoys will think it is a valid order. He may get his tanks and men
> lined up on the beach, waiting for the ships to arrive, and only when
> they fail to appear will he realise that he has wasted his efforts. He
> is not actively defending his province, but trying to move, so he
> cannot be supported in holding. (Some of you seem to think that the
> general has knowledge of other unit positions, as well, which means
> that he will wait on the beach if there is a fleet available, but not
> if the sea is empty. That is fine, but if that is the favoured
> interpretation it needs to be spelt out explicitly).
>
> This does not solve the Stp coastal debate. A real admiral that got an
> order that was only wrong in terms of the coast - and where the coast
> suggested is not even reachable - would, in all likelihood, assume
> that the coastal part of the message was an error, and ignore it,
> carrying out the move to the suggested province (but I accept that
> there are two sides to this argument).
>
> Taken to an extreme, the principle of realism would mean that unwanted
> support was not possible at all - and most of you would not want to
> lose that quirk of the rules - but the principle could still be used
> for cases that are genuinely unclear at present. At any rate, a clear
> decision should be made on these issues so that we all know whether it
> is possible to reject unwanted support by proposing a dodgy move.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 6, 2004 6:38:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

cmgoogle wrote:
>
> The interpretation of 2) depends on what we imagine the fleet or army
> to know. I usually imagine that the admiral of a fleet or the general
> of an army has a copy of the board map and knows where he is, but not
> where other units are or what their orders are.

I agree with Bjorn; the military analogy is not terribly useful when
arguing about these situations in the rules.

Particularly, even your detailed prescription about convoys has
problems. If there is to be a convoy from Yorkshire to Kiel, and no
fleet exists in Helgoland Bight (but a friendly fleet sits in the North
Sea), the order "A Yor - Kie" is clearly impossible; but is it "legal"?
Right now the rules don't say, nor does your proximity argument, and
my intuition allows for either interpretation; though my gut says it
should not be not a legal order because, if legal, it would allow a
player to defeat unwanted support too easily, and also because it should
not matter which fleets are missing from a theoretical convoy in
determining legality.

Also, what if England controls both A Yorkshire and F North Sea, and
orders "A Yor - Nwy; F Nth hold"? Is this outcome different than if
Germany controlled F Nth but they were ordered identically? My gut says
that except concerning the rules against self-dislodgement, the outcome
of a set of orders should always be the same no matter which Powers
control which units. But again, the rules never actually define
precisely what kinds of orders are "legal" and which ones aren't, and
intuitive thought experiments about what the generals would do tend not
to help all that much. After all, a "good general" would send his army
to drown in the sea if ordered, wouldn't he?

But I do agree with your overall sentiment. The rules are broken, and
must be fixed. However, without another official rules edition from
Hasbro/A-H that has Allan Calhamer's stamp of approval, it seems no
amount of community consensus will rectify the problem. No consensus
even exists on many issues, best I can tell, which would explain why
they are so frequently argued on this newsgroup and written about in 'zines.

I think it would be awesome for Hasbro to welcome public comments on how
to fix the rules, with IP disclaimers a-plenty, and release drafts for
public review and criticism. Hell, we would do most of the work for
them! The #1 priority for them should be to release an edition of the
rules with no ambiguities or paradox problems. Secondary to that, they
want the rules changes that seem to be the most comfortable and
intuitive (some "fixes" for the rules are more like ugly hacks), and of
course they want the rules to be as easy as possible to understand.


--
Will Berry
Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
Anonymous
May 6, 2004 8:10:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

I meant Liverpool (Liv on my map) not Livonia (Lvn on my map)...
Sorry, said I was a newbie!

As for military realism (Bjorn's post), I'm obviously aware that the
game is not supposed to be realistic, and wouldn't want it to be. It
is just that it is counterintuitive to propose that an Army in Paris
ordered to Moscow (or Liverpool to Moscow) is really trying to move. I
am not proposing that the rules refer to the principle of realism, but
that the rules encapsulate common sense (and are made so explicit that
common sense is then made redundant).

As for the German vs English fleet in Nth Sea, it comes down to
whether we imagine the army being ordered to partake in a convoy knows
the position of 1) just himself, 2) his own country's units, or 3) his
own country's units and the order set of his own country or 4) all
units, including foreign units, and the order set of his own country,
or 5) the position of all units but only the single order sent to him.
It would be quite easy to make this explicit.

I don't want to relaunch all of those arguments, anyway. My main point
is just that Diplomacy has the odd distinction of having a
disempowered community who are dissatisfied with the rules but cannot
fix them, and the official owners of the rules are apparently not
interested in resolving the problems. I get the sense that you all
like the debates, but it cannot be good for the game if there is
ambiguity about such basic matters.

Cheers all.
Anonymous
May 6, 2004 9:35:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

craigmccoll@hotmail.com (cmgoogle) writes:

> 2) Where possible, the legalistic rules should follow the principle of
> military realism. That is, real fleets and armies are not robotic
> entities that try to carry out any order that is synatcically valid.
> They interpret the order and try to follow it if it makes sense.

Diplomacy isn't meant to be militarily realistic to begin with. The
units should be seen as markers of control over an area, not as
so-and-so many actual troops. Talking about the rules in terms of
military infrastructure and stuff is thus not very meaningful, IMNSHO.

--
Björn Lindström <bkhl@elektrubadur.se>
http://bkhl.elektrubadur.se/
May 6, 2004 10:53:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Will Berry wrote:
> I think it would be awesome for Hasbro to welcome public comments on how
> to fix the rules, with IP disclaimers a-plenty, and release drafts for
> public review and criticism.

Would it be illegal to attempt a "clean room" writing of the rules? :) 
I mean, write a new set of rules without direct reference or use of
text from the hasbro rules, but write a set of rules without ambiguities
or paradoxes...

I was thinking a group of people could do this and publish it on the
web, and judges/GMs could use it at their option. But the catch is that
Hasbro would likely not be amused...
Anonymous
May 6, 2004 10:53:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

nobody wrote:
>
> Would it be illegal to attempt a "clean room" writing of the rules? :) 
> I mean, write a new set of rules without direct reference or use of
> text from the hasbro rules, but write a set of rules without ambiguities
> or paradoxes...
>
> I was thinking a group of people could do this and publish it on the
> web, and judges/GMs could use it at their option. But the catch is that
> Hasbro would likely not be amused...

Interesting idea. As long as the new rules did not actually plagiarize
the text of the original rules, and did not infringe on Hasbro's
trademarks (we'd have to call it something other than "Diplomacy"), then
I think it could be done legally. IANAL WTFever.

The requirement not to actually plagiarize might be hard; we would have
to find other ways of saying the same things, explain situations
differently, different examples, etc. We would probably have to do away
with "standard abbreviations" altogether and release the new rules for a
different map to avoid copyright problems, but if the rules are
equivalent then people could just continue to use the Avalon Hill map
with the cleaner rules.

We might even want to release the new rules under an MIT-type license,
to encourage A-H to adopt them. (I personally wouldn't mind that.) And
it would minimize legal problems to actually ask them ahead of time if
they are OK with the idea. They haven't minded house rules and all
manner of Dip-related software and publications so far...

It's a good idea, and I think all the veteran Dip players out there
could really pull this off well. Unfortunately, I suspect that no
matter how much publicity a community-based effort to revise the rules
is, new rules will be just another set of house rules, and simply won't
be generally accepted, until they have the initials "A.C." on them.

I'm willing to pitch in. Others?

--
Will Berry
Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 1:10:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Hi CmGoogle,

> As a newbie to PBEM Diplomacy, I find it rather odd that so much
> controversy surround such basic issues as whether a patently
> impossible order (A Liv->Mos) is equivalent to an order to a hold when
> it comes to that unit receiving support. I accept that there are (at
> least) two sides to the argument, but surely the bottom line is that
> the official rules are vague and poorly written.
For every issue about adjudication, you can find a resolution in my
DATC, with explanation of alternatives and why a certain resolution
is taken.

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/L.B.Kruijswijk/

>
> I have two suggestions:
> 1) A committee of established Diplomacy experts should write a precise
> legalistic statement of what constitutes a valid/legal/possible move,
> etc.
Just a committee does not work. That results in lot of debate, while nothing
will be written down.

In an open community you should start in a different way. Start with making
a document by one person, and let the committee propose changes. In this way
you avoid the endless discussions end in nothing. And when the committee can
not make a conclusion, the document remains unchanged.

I have still the plan to do this once. Then I will take the 2000 rules, convert
it in a normal document and correct all bugs and propose it to this group,
where people may suggest changes, but are ignored when they only give criticism.

I am convinced that Hasbro is not capable to correct all errors, because it is
just too much work, and they just want to sell boxes (although with my DATC,
they can do a lot). It took me quite a time to collect all problems in the rules.

About legal/valid in my DATC there is a good definition that is consistent with
the rules (I checked all appearances of legal/valid in the rules).

By the way, it is always easier to suggest that we must do this or that, instead
of just doing it.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 2:09:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

"nobody" wrote:
> Would it be illegal to attempt a "clean room" writing of the rules? :) 
> I mean, write a new set of rules without direct reference or use of
> text from the hasbro rules, but write a set of rules without ambiguities
> or paradoxes...
Just make a note, that everything of what you write, you are prepared to
give the IP to the rightful owner of the Diplomacy rules (Hasbro) and that
the rightful owner may even take IP without further notice.

And don't worry. If they really don't like it, they will first write you
a note. They will not directly start with lawsuits. Furthermore, for a
case, they have to proof that they received damage by your action. Since,
they published their rules by theirselves, this is quite difficult.

Regards,

Lucas
May 7, 2004 2:09:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Lucas B. Kruijswijk wrote:
> "nobody" wrote:
>
>>Would it be illegal to attempt a "clean room" writing of the rules? :) 
>>I mean, write a new set of rules without direct reference or use of
>>text from the hasbro rules, but write a set of rules without ambiguities
>>or paradoxes...
>
> Just make a note, that everything of what you write, you are prepared to
> give the IP to the rightful owner of the Diplomacy rules (Hasbro) and that
> the rightful owner may even take IP without further notice.
>
> And don't worry. If they really don't like it, they will first write you
> a note. They will not directly start with lawsuits. Furthermore, for a
> case, they have to proof that they received damage by your action. Since,
> they published their rules by theirselves, this is quite difficult.

Lucas,

That sounds like a very good strategy. Clearly asking for permission is
likely either (a) not going to be acknowledged or (b) denied simply
because its the easy policy. Going without permission seems underhanded.
So having a caveat acknowledging Hasbro's ownership sounds like a nice
way out of the dilemma.


Will Berry wrote:
>
> Interesting idea. As long as the new rules did not actually plagiarize the text of the original rules, and did not infringe on Hasbro's trademarks (we'd have to call it something other than "Diplomacy"), then I think it could be done legally. IANAL WTFever.
>
> The requirement not to actually plagiarize might be hard; we would have to find other ways of saying the same things, explain situations differently, different examples, etc. We would probably have to do away with "standard abbreviations" altogether and release the new rules for a different map to avoid copyright problems, but if the rules are equivalent then people could just continue to use the Avalon Hill map with the cleaner rules.
>
> We might even want to release the new rules under an MIT-type license, to encourage A-H to adopt them. (I personally wouldn't mind that.) And it would minimize legal problems to actually ask them ahead of time if they are OK with the idea. They haven't minded house rules and all manner of Dip-related software and publications so far...
>
> It's a good idea, and I think all the veteran Dip players out there could really pull this off well. Unfortunately, I suspect that no matter how much publicity a community-based effort to revise the rules is, new rules will be just another set of house rules, and simply won't be generally accepted, until they have the initials "A.C." on them.
>
> I'm willing to pitch in. Others?
>

I think, as Lucas posted in an earlier related message, that the way
to do this would be to make an initial cut with only one or a very
few number of people involved, and then when it is virtually complete,
put it out for review.

I'd be willing to work on this but both my time and my knowledge
is limited. Lets see if there are any others interested :) 

I think the basics would be very easy to write but the devil is in
the details. Lucas' "test cases" site seems to be a great resource
for this kind of thing.

Don
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 2:51:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Hi All,
Lucas referred me to the following site, which covers the issues with
just the sort of clarity I had in mind...
> http://web.inter.nl.net/users/L.B.Kruijswijk/
I think it would be a great idea to write a cleanskin version of the
rules, and Lucas's work is already an excellent start. A small
committee should get it started and then post it here for review. I do
not see that Hasbro could have any real motivation for interfering,
especially now that they have released their own rules on the net. We
could plaster it with recommendations to buy the boardgame and
transfer all IP rights to Hasbro. I for one would even be prepared to
pay 5 dollars to Hasbro for a better version of the rules.

I would be happy to proofread early drafts etc, and check that they
make sense to a novice. I am sure you will find other volunteers, as
well, amongst more experienced players. Given that writing the whole
thing would be a major task, it might be better to release it to RDG
in stages, rather than leaving us waiting for a complete copy.
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 6:10:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

nobody wrote:
>
> I think the basics would be very easy to write but the devil is in
> the details. Lucas' "test cases" site seems to be a great resource
> for this kind of thing.

We could almost just go through the test cases, pick which of the
policies we like for all ambiguities, and cut-paste into the new rules. :-)

--
Will Berry
Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 10:25:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

> I think it would be a great idea to write a cleanskin version of the
> rules,

Why? I don't want to be a pest or anything, and if people want to do
this, great, but I don't really see the point. The way I see it, the
"problem" isn't poorly written rules, its a lack of consensus on what
the rules should be.

Can someone explain (1) what the current problem is with the rules,
(2) how writing a clean version of them will solve that problem.

What I think would be valuable - and it likely already exists - is a
list of things that should be decided upon ahead of time in any list
of house rules.
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 11:38:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Yes, Lucas, the committe approach didn't work too well with the
Diplomacy Rulebook Companion group, did it. :^(

For those unaware, that group was formed a while back in order to
create a document that would supplement, clarify and regularize the
rules. The group got through just about everything, then bogged down
over the paradox issue, because people were unwilling to compromise.

The DATC is indeed a valuable resource, and while I disagree with a
fair number of your rule interpretations, it is a great effort. In a
shameless plug, a will draw your attention to the Model House Rules
For Non-Judge E-Mail Diplomacy, located at
http://diplomiscellany.tripod.com/diplomacy/id7.html . The MHR has
similar but different purpose to the DATC, but it certainly can be
used as a tool by anyone looking to "fix" the rules.



"Lucas B. Kruijswijk" <L.B.Kruijswijk@inter.nl.net> wrote in message news:<409a8e24$0$3876$19deed1b@news.inter.NL.net>...
> Hi CmGoogle,
>
> > As a newbie to PBEM Diplomacy, I find it rather odd that so much
> > controversy surround such basic issues as whether a patently
> > impossible order (A Liv->Mos) is equivalent to an order to a hold when
> > it comes to that unit receiving support. I accept that there are (at
> > least) two sides to the argument, but surely the bottom line is that
> > the official rules are vague and poorly written.
> For every issue about adjudication, you can find a resolution in my
> DATC, with explanation of alternatives and why a certain resolution
> is taken.
>
> http://web.inter.nl.net/users/L.B.Kruijswijk/
>
> >
> > I have two suggestions:
> > 1) A committee of established Diplomacy experts should write a precise
> > legalistic statement of what constitutes a valid/legal/possible move,
> > etc.
> Just a committee does not work. That results in lot of debate, while nothing
> will be written down.
>
> In an open community you should start in a different way. Start with making
> a document by one person, and let the committee propose changes. In this way
> you avoid the endless discussions end in nothing. And when the committee can
> not make a conclusion, the document remains unchanged.
>
> I have still the plan to do this once. Then I will take the 2000 rules, convert
> it in a normal document and correct all bugs and propose it to this group,
> where people may suggest changes, but are ignored when they only give criticism.
>
> I am convinced that Hasbro is not capable to correct all errors, because it is
> just too much work, and they just want to sell boxes (although with my DATC,
> they can do a lot). It took me quite a time to collect all problems in the rules.
>
> About legal/valid in my DATC there is a good definition that is consistent with
> the rules (I checked all appearances of legal/valid in the rules).
>
> By the way, it is always easier to suggest that we must do this or that, instead
> of just doing it.
>
> Regards,
>
> Lucas
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 11:45:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Thaddeus Black suggested just such a thing to me several years ago, in
the event that Hasbro (which was buying Avalon Hill at the time)
decided to crack down on the PBEM community.

Agreed as to the statements others made. With Hasbro publising the
rules, the use of an acknowledgement, and the difficulty in proving
any damages, if anyone wants to do it, I don't think they will need to
worry about legal action.



nobody <nobody@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<YQvmc.4925$uN4.2615@clgrps12>...
> Will Berry wrote:
> > I think it would be awesome for Hasbro to welcome public comments on how
> > to fix the rules, with IP disclaimers a-plenty, and release drafts for
> > public review and criticism.
>
> Would it be illegal to attempt a "clean room" writing of the rules? :) 
> I mean, write a new set of rules without direct reference or use of
> text from the hasbro rules, but write a set of rules without ambiguities
> or paradoxes...
>
> I was thinking a group of people could do this and publish it on the
> web, and judges/GMs could use it at their option. But the catch is that
> Hasbro would likely not be amused...
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 10:44:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

"salmoneous" wrote:
> Why? I don't want to be a pest or anything, and if people want to do
> this, great, but I don't really see the point. The way I see it, the
> "problem" isn't poorly written rules, its a lack of consensus on what
> the rules should be.
No, this is not true. Most people don't care how certain special
situations are adjudicated, but they want a single resolution to
avoid disputes. The adjudication of those cases, do not change
the essence of the game in any significant way.

There is no real wish to change the rules as they are written.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 10:46:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

"David E. Cohen" wrote:
> The DATC is indeed a valuable resource, and while I disagree with a
> fair number of your rule interpretations, it is a great effort.
You never tried to convince me to change some resolution on some
issues. After the Yahoo DPTG discussion I changed the preference
of two issues in favor of the outcome of this discussion.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
May 7, 2004 10:46:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Lucas wrote:
>>>Most people don't care how certain special
situations are adjudicated, but they want a single resolution to
avoid disputes. The adjudication of those cases, do not change
the essence of the game in any significant way.

That's right. I think the issue of ambiguous rules should be closed so
that everyone knows what to expect, across all modes of play (all
judges and FtF etc). That way, we don't have to worry about what was
meant by this or that vague expression in the original rules, and
don't have to scour through house rules for individual judges. As a
complete novice, I don't really care so much which way each matter is
decided, as long as it is clear and predictable. As for the problem of
finding consensus, why can't we have a vote on each of Lucas's cases
(allowing everyone with a dedication rate above X or some other
criteria to vote, or just anyone who is interested)? Are people really
so unaccommodating that they would reject the majority decision?

It would also be nice for newbies to be able to consult a single
standalone document that explained all of the rules, instead of the
current situation where we have original rules plus a number of
clarifications that are themselves not universally accepted.

Of course, if the rules were clarified, RDG would quieten down a fair
deal. But maybe that would mean we could discuss strategy or something
more interesting?
Anonymous
May 8, 2004 5:25:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Dedication rating? What's that? :^)

This newsgroup, and indeed judgedom, does not come close to encompassing all
of PBEM Dip, much less the whole hobby. Of course that doesn't mean that
someone couldn't give it a try.

P.S. It is r.g.d., not r.d.g.

"cmgoogle" <craigmccoll@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:a14e80c9.0405071421.6a92c9a7@posting.google.com...
> Lucas wrote:
> >>>Most people don't care how certain special
> situations are adjudicated, but they want a single resolution to
> avoid disputes. The adjudication of those cases, do not change
> the essence of the game in any significant way.
>
> That's right. I think the issue of ambiguous rules should be closed so
> that everyone knows what to expect, across all modes of play (all
> judges and FtF etc). That way, we don't have to worry about what was
> meant by this or that vague expression in the original rules, and
> don't have to scour through house rules for individual judges. As a
> complete novice, I don't really care so much which way each matter is
> decided, as long as it is clear and predictable. As for the problem of
> finding consensus, why can't we have a vote on each of Lucas's cases
> (allowing everyone with a dedication rate above X or some other
> criteria to vote, or just anyone who is interested)? Are people really
> so unaccommodating that they would reject the majority decision?
>
> It would also be nice for newbies to be able to consult a single
> standalone document that explained all of the rules, instead of the
> current situation where we have original rules plus a number of
> clarifications that are themselves not universally accepted.
>
> Of course, if the rules were clarified, RDG would quieten down a fair
> deal. But maybe that would mean we could discuss strategy or something
> more interesting?
Anonymous
May 8, 2004 5:29:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

As you know, I went through the whole DATC a while back, and in fact it was
the basis for some changes to the MHR, but I guess I wasn't thinking about
it from the point of view of critiquing and getting back to you with
suggestions.

One of these days, I will do just that.


"Lucas B. Kruijswijk" <L.B.Kruijswijk@inter.nl.net> wrote in message
news:409bbdf7$0$3874$19deed1b@news.inter.NL.net...
>
> "David E. Cohen" wrote:
> > The DATC is indeed a valuable resource, and while I disagree with a
> > fair number of your rule interpretations, it is a great effort.
> You never tried to convince me to change some resolution on some
> issues. After the Yahoo DPTG discussion I changed the preference
> of two issues in favor of the outcome of this discussion.
>
> Regards,
>
> Lucas
>
>
Anonymous
May 8, 2004 9:41:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

>P.S. It is r.g.d., not r.d.g.
Well, I offered to help with proof-reading a new rule set, not my own
posts!

I have had a look at the MRH, and they seem to offer a lot of
alternatives without a specific endorsement of one or the other. But,
like Lucas's test cases, it is a very good start.

P.S. (at the risk of annoying everyobdy, and in revenge for pointing
out my spelling errors, but with a disarming grin...) With respect to
the HMR as written, for the pedants out there, purists would argue
that you cannot really have Alternatives A, B and C, since the word
alternative has the same root as alternate and implies switching
between just _two_ options.

Well, we are an argumentative lot here at DRG aren't we?
Anonymous
May 9, 2004 9:57:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

> I have had a look at the MHR, and they seem to offer a lot of
> alternatives without a specific endorsement of one or the other. But,
> like Lucas's test cases, it is a very good start.
The MHR were one of the sources used to create the DATC. But I only
mentioned the official rules and the DPTG explicitely in the sources.
The reason is that the DPTG was made by a committee while the MHR was
not. Still, maybe I gave not enough credit to the MHR in my document.
I will reconsider this in my next update.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
May 9, 2004 10:07:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

David wrote:
The DATC is indeed a valuable resource, and while I disagree with a
fair number of your rule interpretations, it is a great effort.

Dear David,
I would be curious to know where you disagree,
Regards,
CmGoogle.
Anonymous
May 10, 2004 10:14:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

craigmccoll@hotmail.com (cmgoogle) wrote in message news:<a14e80c9.0405081641.126425f5@posting.google.com>...
> >P.S. It is r.g.d., not r.d.g.
> Well, I offered to help with proof-reading a new rule set, not my own
> posts!
>
> I have had a look at the MRH, and they seem to offer a lot of
> alternatives without a specific endorsement of one or the other. But,
> like Lucas's test cases, it is a very good start.

That is correct, the MHR does not endorse any particular choice where
there is more than one alternative. That is because the purpose of
the MHR is different. It is designed that way specifically to allow
the GMs who use it to decide on their own.
Anonymous
May 10, 2004 10:22:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Correct, the MHR was not literally a committe product. Rather, it was
the result of a solicitation (actually, multiple solicitations, each
time a new version has come out) of the hobby at large for house
rules, plus some unsolicited feedback as well. About two dozen people
have contributed to some extent. My function as Editor has been to
organize the material, make the language consistent, keep refining the
whole, as new material comes in, and to make the MHR available to the
hobby at large.


P.S. Thanks, the publicity would be appreciated.


"Lucas B. Kruijswijk" <L.B.Kruijswijk@inter.nl.net> wrote in message news:<409e556a$0$5066$19deed1b@news.inter.NL.net>...
> > I have had a look at the MHR, and they seem to offer a lot of
> > alternatives without a specific endorsement of one or the other. But,
> > like Lucas's test cases, it is a very good start.
> The MHR were one of the sources used to create the DATC. But I only
> mentioned the official rules and the DPTG explicitely in the sources.
> The reason is that the DPTG was made by a committee while the MHR was
> not. Still, maybe I gave not enough credit to the MHR in my document.
> I will reconsider this in my next update.
>
> Regards,
>
> Lucas
Anonymous
May 10, 2004 5:16:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

craigmccoll@hotmail.com (cmgoogle) writes:

While I agree that helping newbies is a good idea, perfecting rule
sets is NOT the most important thing. I'm not sure what the best
way is to "show" people what the game is about. I've been at it
for more than 30 years and I've not come close to figuring it out.

I think the Showcase games are an element of it, but they are
just too unwieldy to read through...... newbies help! Do you
really want someone to explain the rules to you or is it the
NEGOTIATING that you want explained to you?

Jim-Bob

>>P.S. It is r.g.d., not r.d.g.
>Well, I offered to help with proof-reading a new rule set, not my own
>posts!

>I have had a look at the MRH, and they seem to offer a lot of
>alternatives without a specific endorsement of one or the other. But,
>like Lucas's test cases, it is a very good start.

>P.S. (at the risk of annoying everyobdy, and in revenge for pointing
>out my spelling errors, but with a disarming grin...) With respect to
>the HMR as written, for the pedants out there, purists would argue
>that you cannot really have Alternatives A, B and C, since the word
>alternative has the same root as alternate and implies switching
>between just _two_ options.

>Well, we are an argumentative lot here at DRG aren't we?
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 1:20:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Once upon a time, say three decades ago, I noted to the then editor of
Diplomacy World a feature of the rules, namely that they said that if I
supported an attack on my own units that the attack failed. (The following
may be imprecise)

That is:
Me:
Army A Holds

Her:
Army B moves to A


and the command Army C supports B to A causes the attack to succeed, if
the army in C is not mine, and does not work, if the army in C was mine.

However--he was interested in variants created by literal readings of the
rules--the rule that I cannot support attacks on myself is _unqualified_.

In particular, if you took the rule as written literally, in hte extant
edition, the attack B to A would fail, if my army in C supported it, even
if she had other supports, and therefore in this odd variant I could block
her attack by using my army to support it.

The variant requires that edition of the rules, and looking exactly at
what the rule says.

It took him and his charming other half the least bits of a second to
grasp my point. Naturally we all understood this was an amusing variant.
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 1:47:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

This is the whole idea of a beleaguered garrison, sometimes the best defense
for a surrounded center.


"George D. Phillies" <phillies@WPI.EDU> wrote in message
news:p ine.LNX.4.44.0405132114230.12028-100000@ccc9.wpi.edu...
> Once upon a time, say three decades ago, I noted to the then editor of
> Diplomacy World a feature of the rules, namely that they said that if I
> supported an attack on my own units that the attack failed. (The following
> may be imprecise)
>
> That is:
> Me:
> Army A Holds
>
> Her:
> Army B moves to A
>
>
> and the command Army C supports B to A causes the attack to succeed, if
> the army in C is not mine, and does not work, if the army in C was mine.
>
> However--he was interested in variants created by literal readings of the
> rules--the rule that I cannot support attacks on myself is _unqualified_.
>
> In particular, if you took the rule as written literally, in hte extant
> edition, the attack B to A would fail, if my army in C supported it, even
> if she had other supports, and therefore in this odd variant I could block
> her attack by using my army to support it.
>
> The variant requires that edition of the rules, and looking exactly at
> what the rule says.
>
> It took him and his charming other half the least bits of a second to
> grasp my point. Naturally we all understood this was an amusing variant.
>
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 9:10:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

"George D. Phillies" <phillies@WPI.EDU> writes:

First off, are we talking about Walt Buchanan or which? Inquiring
minds want to know.... (who presently are a co-editor of DW)

>Once upon a time, say three decades ago, I noted to the then editor of
>Diplomacy World a feature of the rules, namely that they said that if I
>supported an attack on my own units that the attack failed. (The following
>may be imprecise)

I don't think the rules EVER said that LITERALLY the attack failed.
The whole history of the rules is at:

http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/diplomacy_rules.htm

and you might find it interesting to see how the wording of this
particular rule evolved.

Let's look for a minute at the wording in the 1961 rules.....
I think that's what you're referring to and the direct quote is:
"An order to move, with support, against a unit belonging to the
same country as the moving or supporting unit is of no effect"
You aren't by any means the only one to ask the question whether
the "no effect" refers to the support, the move, both, or
conditionally on either.

Thus, the 1971 rules make that a whole section with an example (IX.3)
and break the discussion into TWO pieces, one based on the "move"
and one based on the "support": go look yourself if you want to
see the exact wording.... ;-)

>That is:
>Me:
>Army A Holds

>Her:
>Army B moves to A


>and the command Army C supports B to A causes the attack to succeed, if
>the army in C is not mine, and does not work, if the army in C was mine.

>However--he was interested in variants created by literal readings of the
>rules--the rule that I cannot support attacks on myself is _unqualified_.

>In particular, if you took the rule as written literally, in hte extant
>edition, the attack B to A would fail, if my army in C supported it, even
>if she had other supports, and therefore in this odd variant I could block
>her attack by using my army to support it.

The 1971 rules revision does NOT permit that literal interpretation...
well... maybe. I guess I am going to quote it. It says: "An order by
one country which supports an attack by another country against a
space occupied by one of the first country's units does not permit
a move dislodging that unit."

>The variant requires that edition of the rules, and looking exactly at
>what the rule says.

Hmmm, I guess that does say what you think it says. The 1976 rules have
the same language, as do the the 1981 rules and the 1992 rules.
The 2000 rules are more straightforward on this point: "A country cannot
dislodge or support the dislodgment of one of its own units".

>It took him and his charming other half the least bits of a second to
>grasp my point. Naturally we all understood this was an amusing variant.

It could be fun to do that, I agree....

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 9:11:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

Jim Burgess wrote:
>
> The 1971 rules revision does NOT permit that literal interpretation...
> well... maybe. I guess I am going to quote it. It says: "An order by
> one country which supports an attack by another country against a
> space occupied by one of the first country's units does not permit
> a move dislodging that unit."

I think this is only slightly different from the 2000 rules. The order
.... which supports ... does not permit.... But the rule certainly does
not say it *forbids* the move, nor does any other rule say that to my
knowledge. Whereas a unit ordered to support a self-dislodge would be
ruled unsuccessful. In the 2000 rules such an order could be ruled
illegal, depending on the GM's taste.


--
Will Berry
Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
!