how do i improve at diplomacy?

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

How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
don't they all find out what you are doing ?

Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
to become good at this game?
18 answers Last reply
More about improve diplomacy
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Ivan wrote:
    > How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
    > being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
    > don't they all find out what you are doing ?

    Everybody tells somebody. So be vague. Give them a reason not to blab.
    If you can't, then don't say what your plans are or drop false
    gossip. And don't make deals with *everyone*. Be more tentative.

    I've found that conditional alliances work well early in the game: "if
    France attacks you then I'll flank him." Or, "if Russia and Turkey team
    up, the deal's off because I'll have my own problems."

    One of my friends doesn't play anymore :( because he says either he was
    too honest with everyone and therefore a lamb for the slaughter, or his
    opponents always saw right through him when he tried to lie. I think
    the reason for this was because he would always explain his decisions in
    detail to the other players. This is generally unnecessary and unwise.


    --
    Will Berry
    Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
    http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    In article <fbb2d818.0406020826.4d6b40c9@posting.google.com>,
    talltree0@yahoo.com (Ivan) writes:
    > How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
    > being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
    > don't they all find out what you are doing ?
    >
    > Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
    > to become good at this game?

    Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere currently
    has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination -- he's
    been in a draw every single game -- having built a reputation for being
    completely trustworthy as an ally. He never stabs anyone. That streak
    includes four games (and the championship) at the North American Dip
    Con in Portland this April.

    There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.

    Doug
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ___, Doug Massey, ASIC Digital Logic Designer
    \o IBM Microelectronics Division, Burlington, Vermont |>
    | Phone: (802)769-7095 t/l: 446-7095 fax: x6752 |
    / \ |
    . My homepage: http://doug.obscurestuff.com (|)
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    talltree0@yahoo.com (Ivan) writes:

    >How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
    >being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
    >don't they all find out what you are doing ?

    Heheh, wouldn't you like to know! Actually, the first thing you
    need to do is to view it as a process, not a solution. You're
    starting with something important, and that is a self-assessment!
    You can't improve by looking at Joe Superdiplomat and saying:
    "I'm going to play like him". You need to figure out how to
    play better being yourself! But on your specifics, maybe you don't
    want to offer deals to everyone on the board, that IS a sure way
    to get people talking about you. You also have to think about
    how they are going to view your proposal from THEIR point of view.
    If you offer someone a deal that you know they don't WANT to
    tell to anyone else, then you can be pretty sure that they won't.

    >Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
    >to become good at this game?

    Maybe you are too nice a guy, why are you playing such a mean game ;-)
    More seriously, do you want to win? If you were playing a game of
    softball, would you intentionally miss the ball because you didn't
    want to embarrass the pitcher?

    Jim-Bob
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    > Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
    > to become good at this game?

    Hi, Ivan,

    I think you have to look at it from at least three different perspectives:

    a) Getting to know the more techinical aspects of the game and different
    strategies and tactics. You can achieve this by reading articles from Web
    sites like http://www.diplom.org/ or
    http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/home.htm. For instance in their "Player
    Reference Sources" (http://www.diplom.org/Online/reference.html) you can
    find many articles about this area. Here you will learn things like how
    strongly Germany can pressure Russia by moving the Fleet of Kiel to Denmark
    as it can prevent Russia from capturing Sweden. Learning about the
    stalemate lines is also useful.

    b) Getting to learn some communication strategies which you can use in some
    specific situations. For instance, you are being attacked by your three
    neighbours and it seems that they are going to destroy you soon. You can try
    conacting them separately an threaten each of them with the possibility of
    opening the front to the other two powers and blocking only the one you are
    talking to in that moment. The problem of these tricks is that the other
    players may also have read them somewhere... ;-)

    c) Develop your general general communication skills. This is the toughest
    part. You will find articles on this topic in the links mentioned above but
    you can also benefit from training documentation on communication aimed at
    other people (sales people, managers...) An example that comes to my mind is
    how long and detailed your communications with other players are (I find
    this specially true for e-mail games). Here's an example: if you are France
    and send a e-mail to Germany saying something like "OK, let's not to go to
    war, you take Holland and I take Belgium" the impression you will give might
    be very different to the impression you will give if you give a detailed
    account of how your common enemies are threatening each of you and
    beneficial for both sides is to stay in peace and how the Italian player has
    offered you an alliance against Germany. But you don't have to overdo this
    as the other player might suspect from long messages as well! What it is
    true is that you have to learn how to sell your proposals...

    d) And connected to the above, some psychology will also help you to try to
    read into other people's minds. For live diplomacy, getting to know what
    kind of gestures people tend to do when telling lies might be of help.

    So, all this does not intend to be a perfect solution for anyone to become a
    great Diplomacy player who will win all games (hey there are other players
    at the table!). I'm just trying to give some pointers of things you might
    want to get into. It also depends a lot on how you enjoy the game. For me,
    the enjoying a good game itself is the big fun. Winning is an extra bonus
    (always warmly welcome) but not something without which I cannot enjoy. I'm
    having the fun of my life in a game where I'm reduced to one unit but other
    powers which at one point nearly destroyed me have already been eliminated.
    I will not win the game but I may decide who wins!

    I hope all this helps and it is not too boring!

    All the best,

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

    "Jim Burgess" <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
    news:c9l77j$g9p$1@pcls4.std.com...
    > talltree0@yahoo.com (Ivan) writes:
    >
    > Maybe you are too nice a guy, why are you playing such a mean game ;-)
    > More seriously, do you want to win? If you were playing a game of
    > softball, would you intentionally miss the ball because you didn't
    > want to embarrass the pitcher?
    >
    Oh, I can imagine doing this - as long as it was last-minute, perfectly
    timed, subtly disguised, and pre-arranged with the pitcher as part of a stab
    on the catcher :-)

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

    In article <c9l4b3$j9s$2@news.btv.ibm.com>,
    Douglas T. (Doug) Massey <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote:

    >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere currently
    >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination -- he's
    >been in a draw every single game -- having built a reputation for being
    >completely trustworthy as an ally. He never stabs anyone. That streak
    >includes four games (and the championship) at the North American Dip
    >Con in Portland this April.

    >There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.

    Ken is an amazing player. I was his ally in a Western Triple
    in one of those Dipcon games. The Triple would have rolled the
    board easily but England decided he wanted more excitement (the
    Eastern players were pushing this idea real hard!) and stabbed me.
    Watching Ken try to keep all of the promises he'd made to both
    of us, while we were fighting each other, was pretty funny.

    I hadn't fully appreciated how committed he was to the alliance;
    he actually never did attack me, even when my game was in ruins
    and I could no longer be of any use to him. Not realizing this
    cost me a dot, though I think I was sunk anyway.

    Most of us wouldn't go as far as that (though it clearly works, if
    you have the temperment and patience!) but minimizing your lying is
    a very viable strategy. I've taken to saying "No, sorry, I don't
    think I can work with you right now for X strategic reasons" when
    that's actually the case. People are more willing to forgive that
    later on than they are insincere promises. And this can be
    important, since the friendship of losing players is an incredible
    stepping stone into winning positions.

    Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    > Douglas T. (Doug) Massey <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere currently
    > >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination -- he's
    > >been in a draw every single game

    LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.


    > >There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.

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

    "Ivan" wrote:
    > How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
    > being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
    > don't they all find out what you are doing ?
    >
    > Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
    > to become good at this game?
    You must analyze your own personal qualities and exploit them.

    If you are a reliable person, then you can take advantage of it,
    because you make easier deals.

    If you are a unreliable person, then you can take advantage of it,
    because you don't feel the moral obligation to follow deals.

    You see?

    Being a nice guy is a good quality, but trying to be a guy that
    other people think is nice, is a bad quality. Also in real life.

    Regards,

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

    "Ivan" wrote:
    > How can I become a better diplomacy player? I am not very good at
    > being a snake and offering deals to everyone on the board. I mean
    > don't they all find out what you are doing ?

    > Also, maybe I am just too nice of a guy. i don't know. what can i do
    > to become good at this game?

    Four things that helped me:

    (1) Resolve never to give up or stop fighting, no matter how bad
    your position is. This pays off both in direct results (my second
    solo was from a completely lost mercy position in PBeM) and in teaching
    you about the game. After all, the same tricks you use to rescue a
    bad position today are the ones your victims will try against you
    tomorrow, so it's good to know about them!

    This may include working for the guy who just stabbed you, but just
    think how sweet revenge will be if you actually recover to a good
    position.

    (2) Know what kinds of game you like and don't play for something
    else just because you've been told it's better. I like to have
    solid allies and clear enemies; I also like to lead stop-the-leader
    coalitions. So I play for these situations, which means being
    nice (up to a point) with everyone. I've tried playing a shiftier
    game and it doesn't work as well for me, partly because I'm not as
    good at it and partly because I don't enjoy it as much.

    A player of different temperment might do better with the shifty
    style. It's a matter of personal style, like openings in chess.
    Try playing with various styles and see what you enjoy the most--
    that's a good guide to what will work for you, and besides, Dip
    should be fun.

    (3) Figure out how you relate to every player on the board. I used
    to be baffled about what people talked about in 1901--after all,
    you're only adjacent to 2-3 other players, right? But I've learned
    that you should try to talk to everyone. As Austria, for example,
    you care whether England puts a fleet or an army in Norway even
    though it's miles away from you, because that may affect whether
    Russia goes north or south, and that affects whether you want an AI or
    AT alliance.

    The gossip you hear from other players is valuable not only to you,
    but to others: you can spend it to get people to feel kindly toward
    you. (Carefully! If you spread things that you're told in confidence,
    you'll make enemies as well as friends.)

    (4) Read the stuff on the Dip Pouch--strategy, tactics, openings. You
    may not use it directly, but it shows different ways of thinking about the
    game. I learned a lot from the annotated games in the Showcase.

    Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    In article <0gIwc.10865$c76.6489954@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,
    "David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> writes:
    >> Douglas T. (Doug) Massey <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere currently
    >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination -- he's
    >> >been in a draw every single game
    >
    > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.

    No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact without
    elaborating with my personal opinion.

    >> >There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.
    >
    > Most definitely.

    There's your way and the wrong way, right? ;-)

    Doug
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ___, Doug Massey, ASIC Digital Logic Designer
    \o IBM Microelectronics Division, Burlington, Vermont |>
    | Phone: (802)769-7095 t/l: 446-7095 fax: x6752 |
    / \ |
    . My homepage: http://doug.obscurestuff.com (|)
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Mary K. Kuhner wrote:

    > (1) Resolve never to give up or stop fighting, no matter how bad
    > your position is. This pays off both in direct results (my second
    > solo was from a completely lost mercy position in PBeM) and in teaching
    > you about the game.

    Also, the other players will appreciate your level of commitment and
    repay you with respect as a serious player.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    "Douglas T. (Doug) Massey " <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote in message
    news:ca4bdb$5do$1@news.btv.ibm.com...
    > In article <0gIwc.10865$c76.6489954@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,
    > "David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> writes:
    > >> Douglas T. (Doug) Massey <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere
    currently
    > >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination --
    he's
    > >> >been in a draw every single game
    > >
    > > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.
    >
    > No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact without
    > elaborating with my personal opinion.

    I know you didn't *say* anything in particular about the gentleman's
    ability, but I think it is a fair inference that by specifically bringing
    his record up, you are, if not actively championing his record as the
    apotheosis of good Dipping, then at least holding it up as worthy in some
    way. Do note the "LOL" preceding my statement, as well.


    > >> >There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.
    > >
    > > Most definitely.
    >
    > There's your way and the wrong way, right? ;-)

    [cough] [sputter] LOL
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    In article <tWsxc.17654$IQ2.8817493@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,
    "David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> writes:
    >
    > "Douglas T. (Doug) Massey " <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote in message
    > news:ca4bdb$5do$1@news.btv.ibm.com...
    >> In article <0gIwc.10865$c76.6489954@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,
    >> "David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> writes:
    >> >> Douglas T. (Doug) Massey <masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com> wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere
    > currently
    >> >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination --
    > he's
    >> >> >been in a draw every single game
    >> >
    >> > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.
    >>
    >> No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact without
    >> elaborating with my personal opinion.
    >
    > I know you didn't *say* anything in particular about the gentleman's
    > ability, but I think it is a fair inference that by specifically bringing
    > his record up, you are, if not actively championing his record as the
    > apotheosis of good Dipping, then at least holding it up as worthy in some
    > way. Do note the "LOL" preceding my statement, as well.

    Well, no -- I brought it up as a counter-example to "being a snake". The
    OP thought he was playing poorly because he couldn't be a snake. I merely
    pointed out that it's not the only way to play and gave Ken as an example.
    It *is* worthy in some way. Perhaps not in your way, but yours is not the
    only way, Grasshopper. :-)

    Of course, I did miss the LOL, so perhaps I need to have another beer.

    >> >> >There's more than one way to play Diplomacy.
    >> >
    >> > Most definitely.
    >>
    >> There's your way and the wrong way, right? ;-)
    >
    > [cough] [sputter] LOL

    Saw that LOL, though! ;-)

    Doug
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ___, Doug Massey, ASIC Digital Logic Designer
    \o IBM Microelectronics Division, Burlington, Vermont |>
    | Phone: (802)769-7095 t/l: 446-7095 fax: x6752 |
    / \ |
    . My homepage: http://doug.obscurestuff.com (|)
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com (Douglas T. (Doug) Massey ) wrote
    [edited]:

    > >> >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere
    > currently
    > >> >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination --
    > he's
    > >> >> >been in a draw every single game
    > >> >
    > >> > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.
    > >>
    > >> No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact without
    > >> elaborating with my personal opinion.
    > >
    > > I know you didn't *say* anything in particular about the gentleman's
    > > ability, but I think it is a fair inference that by specifically bringing
    > > his record up, you are, if not actively championing his record as the
    > > apotheosis of good Dipping, then at least holding it up as worthy in some
    > > way. Do note the "LOL" preceding my statement, as well.
    >
    > Well, no -- I brought it up as a counter-example to "being a snake". The
    > OP thought he was playing poorly because he couldn't be a snake. I merely
    > pointed out that it's not the only way to play and gave Ken as an example.
    > It *is* worthy in some way. Perhaps not in your way, but yours is not the
    > only way, Grasshopper. :-)
    >
    > Of course, I did miss the LOL, so perhaps I need to have another beer.

    Bret Cousins called me "grasshopper". It gave me just a little extra
    pleasure to eliminate him in the next couple of games we played. :^)

    Mantises and grasshoppers do bear a certain resemblance, if you don't
    look too closely. ;^)
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    In article <f08a3e93.0406091324.4eb895cc@posting.google.com>,
    david_e_cohen@yahoo.com (David E. Cohen) writes:
    > masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com (Douglas T. (Doug) Massey ) wrote
    > [edited]:
    >
    >> >> >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere
    >> currently
    >> >> >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an elimination --
    >> he's
    >> >> >> >been in a draw every single game
    >> >> >
    >> >> > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for him.
    >> >>
    >> >> No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact without
    >> >> elaborating with my personal opinion.
    >> >
    >> > I know you didn't *say* anything in particular about the gentleman's
    >> > ability, but I think it is a fair inference that by specifically bringing
    >> > his record up, you are, if not actively championing his record as the
    >> > apotheosis of good Dipping, then at least holding it up as worthy in some
    >> > way. Do note the "LOL" preceding my statement, as well.
    >>
    >> Well, no -- I brought it up as a counter-example to "being a snake". The
    >> OP thought he was playing poorly because he couldn't be a snake. I merely
    >> pointed out that it's not the only way to play and gave Ken as an example.
    >> It *is* worthy in some way. Perhaps not in your way, but yours is not the
    >> only way, Grasshopper. :-)
    >>
    >> Of course, I did miss the LOL, so perhaps I need to have another beer.
    >
    > Bret Cousins called me "grasshopper". It gave me just a little extra
    > pleasure to eliminate him in the next couple of games we played. :^)

    You're always looking for an excuse to whittle people out of the
    draw, David. ;-)

    Doug
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ___, Doug Massey, ASIC Digital Logic Designer
    \o IBM Microelectronics Division, Burlington, Vermont |>
    | Phone: (802)769-7095 t/l: 446-7095 fax: x6752 |
    / \ |
    . My homepage: http://doug.obscurestuff.com (|)
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Bret Cousins calls me a rotten garden digging dog, which is apparantly worse
    than a snake.


    "David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:f08a3e93.0406091324.4eb895cc@posting.google.com...
    > masseyd@valhalla.no.spam.com (Douglas T. (Doug) Massey ) wrote
    > [edited]:
    >
    > > >> >> >Being a snake isn't the only way to play the game. Ken Lemere
    > > currently
    > > >> >> >has a streak of 30-some consecutive games without an
    elimination --
    > > he's
    > > >> >> >been in a draw every single game
    > > >> >
    > > >> > LOL You say this as though it is a good thing. I feel sad for
    him.
    > > >>
    > > >> No, you're inferring something I did not imply. I stated a fact
    without
    > > >> elaborating with my personal opinion.
    > > >
    > > > I know you didn't *say* anything in particular about the gentleman's
    > > > ability, but I think it is a fair inference that by specifically
    bringing
    > > > his record up, you are, if not actively championing his record as the
    > > > apotheosis of good Dipping, then at least holding it up as worthy in
    some
    > > > way. Do note the "LOL" preceding my statement, as well.
    > >
    > > Well, no -- I brought it up as a counter-example to "being a snake".
    The
    > > OP thought he was playing poorly because he couldn't be a snake. I
    merely
    > > pointed out that it's not the only way to play and gave Ken as an
    example.
    > > It *is* worthy in some way. Perhaps not in your way, but yours is not
    the
    > > only way, Grasshopper. :-)
    > >
    > > Of course, I did miss the LOL, so perhaps I need to have another beer.
    >
    > Bret Cousins called me "grasshopper". It gave me just a little extra
    > pleasure to eliminate him in the next couple of games we played. :^)
    >
    > Mantises and grasshoppers do bear a certain resemblance, if you don't
    > look too closely. ;^)
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Good points all.

    To this I might add.

    If you can't be persuasive; be amusing. If you can't be amusing; be
    unpredictable.


    "Rod Spade" <rodspade@acm.org> wrote in message
    news:2in2m1Fp2jr4U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > Mary K. Kuhner wrote:
    >
    > > (1) Resolve never to give up or stop fighting, no matter how bad
    > > your position is. This pays off both in direct results (my second
    > > solo was from a completely lost mercy position in PBeM) and in teaching
    > > you about the game.
    >
    > Also, the other players will appreciate your level of commitment and
    > repay you with respect as a serious player.
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    In article <40cf58a8$1_2@newspeer2.tds.net>, RS <idontthinkso@mail.com> wrote:

    >If you can't be persuasive; be amusing. If you can't be amusing; be
    >unpredictable.

    Yes!

    My PBeM solo came from a mercy position (3-dot England under attack
    by France). I wrote song parodies about my chief enemies and
    broadcast them, and later on people found me amusing enough that for
    a brief, glorious period I was essentially writing orders for
    England, Italy, Austria and Russia. (Austria finked out on me
    after a couple of moves, but it was long enough for us to turn
    things around.)

    I'd add: And never be passive. Work toward *something*, even if
    it changes all the time and is pretty hopeless to accomplish. If
    you have only one dot, try for two, or try to get a home dot, or
    try to wriggle toward the great stalemate line. You should be
    doing something or you have no negotiating power at all.

    Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
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