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FtF vs Email

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Anonymous
September 8, 2004 10:42:25 PM

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

Here's a thread.

The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
the vast sea of email players.

What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
to F2F.

Am I missing something?

On a side note, if you're into F2F, or would like to get into it,
there is a Con coming up in Seattle Oct 8-10th. Let me know if you
want more details.

Nathan

More about : ftf email

Anonymous
September 9, 2004 2:06:39 AM

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

"Nathan Barnes" <nbarnes99@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com...
> Here's a thread.
>
> The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
> the vast sea of email players.
>
> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> to F2F.
>
> Am I missing something?
>

Good thread. In my situation, since I got out of college, there's been
fewer and fewer opportunities for me to get together with 6 others to have a
long evening just to play one game. The logistics just aren't available. I
know you can go with as few as two, but there's a much better game when you
have every country represented differently. By email it makes it much
easier, and the logistics don't create problems. Everyone can put aside an
hour a day for email. And if you like the personal side of it, you can live
for your communiqués without causing major problems in the "real" world.

--
Brian J. Whiting
CompAid2@comcast.net
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 5:55:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy,alt.fan.doug-massey (More info?)

nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) wrote in
news:7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com:

> Here's a thread.
>
> The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
> the vast sea of email players.
>
> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> to F2F.
>
> Am I missing something?

It's the time commitment factor plus the availability factor. People can't
always dedicate an evening of their lives to a face to face game but can
spare little slices of time all day, every day, to carry on their e-mail
games.

Well, truthfully, it's that *and* the hellish wrath Doug Massey would wreak
upon us all if the number of people playing e-mail Diplomacy ever dropped
below 80% of current levels.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 4:12:20 PM

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

I've first seen a Diplomacy board when my
Uncle brought it with him once he visited us.

We tried it out once, and I though it must
be an interesting game.
I convinced several friends of mine to try it out,
and I think we had a total of four or five games FtF.
Most of them weren't really interested in playing again.

In the meantime, I found the Diplomatic Pouch and started
playing on the Judges, having finished
just enough games to take part in the VGFP this year.

Recently I met the first person who knew about Diplomacy before I told
him about it. We are trying to get seven players together, but it is
hard, even though most of the interested people are students and we have
vacations right now.



Unluckily, Seattle is a bit far away from Aachen, Germany.

Dieter
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 4:35:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy,alt.fan.doug-massey (More info?)

In article <Xns955EDEFEAB7A3jfurrfurrsorg@216.168.3.44>, Joel K. 'Jay'
Furr <jfurr-nospam@furrs.org> writes
>nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) wrote in
>news:7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com:
>
>> Here's a thread.
>>
>> The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
>> the vast sea of email players.
>>
>> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
>> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
>> to F2F.
>>
>> Am I missing something?
>
>It's the time commitment factor plus the availability factor. People can't
>always dedicate an evening of their lives to a face to face game but can
>spare little slices of time all day, every day, to carry on their e-mail
>games.
>
>Well, truthfully, it's that *and* the hellish wrath Doug Massey would wreak
>upon us all if the number of people playing e-mail Diplomacy ever dropped
>below 80% of current levels.

2 posts in 2 days from a lurker. Sorry guys :) 

I play PBEM on the Grey Labyrinth - a puzzle site, with a Bulletin
Board. I don't think any of us would play a DipCon, and since we're
spread all over the world (we've had 4 continent games) we'd never get
to playing f2f. We play only 1 move a week, (2 weeks for a year), use a
GM with RealPolitik to adjudicate and send press via the Bulletin Board
or by email, so it's vary laid back by your standards.

We think it's a great game - the guy who invented it must have dreamt
about the internet when he invented it. ... and I guess out of our
pool of 20 or so players maybe one will get the bug sufficiently to take
the game to the next level. We experiment a bit with variants too.

Maybe there are lots of groups like ours feeding into the on-line and
f2f tournament game - I would have no idea. In bridge in the uk as an
example we have 50,000 tournament bridge players, but 2 million social
players who feed the tournament game.

To answer the question, you have to be good at your game before the f2f
aspect starts becoming important. While you're still worrying about "Can
a Fleet support Serbia from Albania?" or "How many points do I need to
open one No Trump?", the f2f aspect is secondary. Once you know that
Italy is incredible fun and a different challenge or you know everyone's
hand by trick 3, then f2f adds yet another dimension.

my 2p worth ChienFou

--
John (MadDog) Probst| . ! -^- |AIM GLChienFou
451 Mile End Road | /|__. \:/ |BCLive ChienFou
London E3 4PA | / @ __) -|- |john:at:asimere:D ot:com
+44-(0)20 8983 5818 | /\ --^ | |www.asimere.com/~john
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 7:58:03 PM

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

nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) writes:

>Here's a thread.

>The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
>the vast sea of email players.

>What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
>face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
>to F2F.

>Am I missing something?

>On a side note, if you're into F2F, or would like to get into it,
>there is a Con coming up in Seattle Oct 8-10th. Let me know if you
>want more details.

>Nathan

Maybe this thread benefits from the fact that I can't quite tell what
side of it you are on!!! I think FTF is THE game, any other way
of playing can approach what a real FTF game is, but never
quite gets there. I do know what the differences are pretty
well, and thus the conclusions people draw on preferring FTF
or preferring PBEM (or preferring postal, which CAN be the
best of all, but usually isn't) are usually rooted in a
combination of personality and experience.

Overgeneralizing, most people prefer FTF if they engage their
full personality into each game AND they like to embrace their
enemies over a beer after the game and laugh about the intensity
and outcomes afterward. Virtual beers are overrated, even if
you grant them no value.

People prefer PBEM if they like to compartmentalize their
game playing around their real life and think of the two
as separate. While the players are "real" in some sense,
PBEM players are more likely to think about the game as an
interaction between them and the game, rather than between
them and other people. The extreme of this is those who
prefer Gunboat/Anonymous play.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 7:58:04 PM

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

Preferences aside, I wonder if there arent a substantial number of email
players out there who might be interested in playing face-to-face but just
dont know 6 other people to play with. And with many new FTF groups
springing up around the US and Europe, I wonder if many of those people dont
have an established FTF group in their backyard and just dont know about
it...

-Adam

PS As long as Nathan is pitching the Seattle tourny, I should also mention
that there's going to be a tournament in Northern California (Fremont,
between SF and San Jose) on Nov 13-14, and anyone who wants more info should
please contact me.



"Jim Burgess" <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
news:chpuib$d73$2@pcls4.std.com...
> nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) writes:
>
> >Here's a thread.
>
> >The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
> >the vast sea of email players.
>
> >What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> >face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> >to F2F.
>
> >Am I missing something?
>
> >On a side note, if you're into F2F, or would like to get into it,
> >there is a Con coming up in Seattle Oct 8-10th. Let me know if you
> >want more details.
>
> >Nathan
>
> Maybe this thread benefits from the fact that I can't quite tell what
> side of it you are on!!! I think FTF is THE game, any other way
> of playing can approach what a real FTF game is, but never
> quite gets there. I do know what the differences are pretty
> well, and thus the conclusions people draw on preferring FTF
> or preferring PBEM (or preferring postal, which CAN be the
> best of all, but usually isn't) are usually rooted in a
> combination of personality and experience.
>
> Overgeneralizing, most people prefer FTF if they engage their
> full personality into each game AND they like to embrace their
> enemies over a beer after the game and laugh about the intensity
> and outcomes afterward. Virtual beers are overrated, even if
> you grant them no value.
>
> People prefer PBEM if they like to compartmentalize their
> game playing around their real life and think of the two
> as separate. While the players are "real" in some sense,
> PBEM players are more likely to think about the game as an
> interaction between them and the game, rather than between
> them and other people. The extreme of this is those who
> prefer Gunboat/Anonymous play.
>
> Jim-Bob
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 11:08:20 PM

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

Jim Burgess wrote:
> nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) writes:
>
>> The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
>> the vast sea of email players.
>
>> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
>> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
>> to F2F.

You're working from an invalid assumption. There are more
PBEM players because it requires less of a time commitment,
and no travel. To play F2F you need seven people in one
location, on one day, for six plus hours. In today's world, that
can be difficult to accomplish. Exchanging email is something
that millions of people do dozens of times a day.


>I think FTF is THE game, any other way of playing can approach
> what a real FTF game is, but never quite gets there.

I, on the other hand, consider F2F and PBeM to be different games
based on the same rule set. The time-scales and experiences are
different, but each can be very rewarding.

> I do know what the differences are pretty well, and thus the
> conclusions people draw on preferring FTF or preferring
> PBEM are usually rooted in a combination of personality
> and experience.

Very true. Personality is a major factor. I'm not a social person,
by nature, and find it difficult to talk to strangers, so F2F is a
challenge for me, while my analytical abilities make PBEM
quite enjoyable.

> Over generalizing, most people prefer FTF if they engage their
> full personality into each game AND they like to embrace their
> enemies over a beer after the game and laugh about the intensity
> and outcomes afterward.

Hmmm, I would say F2F fans tend to be outgoing, confident,
quick-thinkers.

> People prefer PBEM if they like to compartmentalize their
> game playing around their real life and think of the two
> as separate.

I would say my games are a part of my life, and an important
part of it.

> While the players are "real" in some sense, PBEM players
> are more likely to think about the game as an interaction
> between them and the game, rather than between them
> and other people.

I don't think any successful PBEM player thinks this way.
You have to play the people. The game is just the
environment that shapes the interactions.

Eric.
--
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 11:42:50 PM

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

In article <7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com>,
Nathan Barnes <nbarnes99@hotmail.com> wrote:

>The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
>the vast sea of email players.

>What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
>face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
>to F2F.

Are you sure of this? We see all the PBEM players in the entire
on-line world, but only those FTF players who either live in our
geographical area or come to tournaments, and even then, there can
be several disconnected groups of Dip players in the same locality,
each quite unaware of the others. I know that tabletop roleplaying
communities are often like that: my hometown had several, all
disconnected, as well as individual groups who weren't part of any
community at all.

Me, I play and enjoy both, but FTF gets the blood moving a lot quicker.
I had a game at Dragonflight where the other 5 players stopped me
at the time limit, one dot short of the solo, which was just a thrill
a minute for the whole afternoon. PBEM is more like a thrill a week.
But it's a lot easier to get a game--even in Seattle, which has an
excellent Dip community, I'm lucky if I can play more than twice a
month.

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
September 10, 2004 2:11:58 PM

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

Oh, I suppose when I say "FtF" I mean people that are attending Cons.
Put the Vermont Group listing next to the number of people that have
played a con this year, and it's staggering.

Mr. Silverman hit on what I was really asking. While I understand
that the time commitments make it difficult to spend a day or a
weekend playing, statistically speaking, I would think there would be
more PBEM people playing FtF events. Do PBEM's not know about it? Is
it simply that it's hard to contact strangers and get involved? Is it
as Mr. Hunter suggested -- the same game so vastly different in
execution that PBEM players have little or no interest in FtF? Do
people think that FtF conventions are somehow the cream of the crop
and are intimidated?

Brian and Dieter point out that they find it hard to get that many
people together, but this is the whole point of conventions. Get
everyone in one spot and play. The World Diplomacy Championships will
be in Berlin in 2006, Dieter; you should have some opportunity to play
there. Europe has 33-35 conventions a year, much more than the US.
But even in the US, every month there is a convention going on
somewhere.

To be quite honest I don't enjoy PBEM unless it's with FtF players who
just want to play a little more often. I don't have the patience for
PBEM, I like the rush and scramble. I enjoy sharing the elation of
victory with my allies, mocking my attackers until I'm vanquished, and
being an all around pain in the ass. I can't do this so much on
email.

Moreover, I can't help put approach the game from a FtF standpoint,
and it just doesn't translate well into email. I can't wrap my head
around the bizarre things people do in PBEM. Worse, these bizarre
moves are often the *right* thing to be doing, and are successful.

Point being, I agree with Jim, in that, I love the after game beer, as
it were. Nothing like stabbing the heck out of somebody, then buying
them a beer, safe in the knowledge that the roles will be reversed
someday. I guess, fundamentally, I can't figure out why there aren't
more PBEMers that want to do that. When I play online, I never feel
connected to the people I'm playing with...

Nathan






mkkuhner@kingman.gs.washington.edu (Mary K. Kuhner) wrote in message news:<chqbnq$n6o$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu>...
> In article <7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com>,
> Nathan Barnes <nbarnes99@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
> >the vast sea of email players.
>
> >What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> >face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> >to F2F.
>
> Are you sure of this? We see all the PBEM players in the entire
> on-line world, but only those FTF players who either live in our
> geographical area or come to tournaments, and even then, there can
> be several disconnected groups of Dip players in the same locality,
> each quite unaware of the others. I know that tabletop roleplaying
> communities are often like that: my hometown had several, all
> disconnected, as well as individual groups who weren't part of any
> community at all.
>
> Me, I play and enjoy both, but FTF gets the blood moving a lot quicker.
> I had a game at Dragonflight where the other 5 players stopped me
> at the time limit, one dot short of the solo, which was just a thrill
> a minute for the whole afternoon. PBEM is more like a thrill a week.
> But it's a lot easier to get a game--even in Seattle, which has an
> excellent Dip community, I'm lucky if I can play more than twice a
> month.
>
> Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 12:21:41 AM

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

> Brian and Dieter point out that they find it hard to get that many
> people together, but this is the whole point of conventions. Get
> everyone in one spot and play. The World Diplomacy Championships will
> be in Berlin in 2006, Dieter; you should have some opportunity to play
> there. Europe has 33-35 conventions a year, much more than the US.
> But even in the US, every month there is a convention going on
> somewhere.

I'd love to get involved in a FtF game some time, and had grand
intentions of getting to the big tourney in the UK this summer, until
other matters intervened around the same time. But at the same time
something makes me kind of nervous, simply because I'm not absolutely
sure I want my first FtF game to be a tournament, with the extra
pressures that that brings. That said, I don't think that would stop me
next time one comes around in my part of the world. Given the distances
I hear you guys (used in a non-gender-specific sense!) travel to get to
conventions in the US, there's really no excuse for me, is there?

Alastair
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 12:36:08 AM

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

nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) writes:

>Oh, I suppose when I say "FtF" I mean people that are attending Cons.
>Put the Vermont Group listing next to the number of people that have
>played a con this year, and it's staggering.

You mean the VG is huge, and relatively fewer have played FTF in
a Con.... just to be clear?

>Mr. Silverman hit on what I was really asking. While I understand
>that the time commitments make it difficult to spend a day or a
>weekend playing, statistically speaking, I would think there would be
>more PBEM people playing FtF events. Do PBEM's not know about it? Is
>it simply that it's hard to contact strangers and get involved? Is it
>as Mr. Hunter suggested -- the same game so vastly different in
>execution that PBEM players have little or no interest in FtF? Do
>people think that FtF conventions are somehow the cream of the crop
>and are intimidated?

I think it's a little bit of all of the above, and there are
10,000 stories in the Naked City, not one.

>Brian and Dieter point out that they find it hard to get that many
>people together, but this is the whole point of conventions. Get
>everyone in one spot and play. The World Diplomacy Championships will
>be in Berlin in 2006, Dieter; you should have some opportunity to play
>there. Europe has 33-35 conventions a year, much more than the US.
>But even in the US, every month there is a convention going on
>somewhere.

More closely, Dieter, Darmstadt is hosting the Euro DipCon THIS year,
in a few weeks, you should GOOOOO!!!! France has the most conventions.
And in the US there are at least one con a month, I think it's more
like two.

>To be quite honest I don't enjoy PBEM unless it's with FtF players who
>just want to play a little more often. I don't have the patience for
>PBEM, I like the rush and scramble. I enjoy sharing the elation of
>victory with my allies, mocking my attackers until I'm vanquished, and
>being an all around pain in the ass. I can't do this so much on
>email.

Yeah, being a pain in the ass on E-Mail is just tolerated SOOO much less.

>Moreover, I can't help put approach the game from a FtF standpoint,
>and it just doesn't translate well into email. I can't wrap my head
>around the bizarre things people do in PBEM. Worse, these bizarre
>moves are often the *right* thing to be doing, and are successful.

Hehehe, could you be more specific, that would be interesting!?!

>Point being, I agree with Jim, in that, I love the after game beer, as
>it were. Nothing like stabbing the heck out of somebody, then buying
>them a beer, safe in the knowledge that the roles will be reversed
>someday. I guess, fundamentally, I can't figure out why there aren't
>more PBEMers that want to do that. When I play online, I never feel
>connected to the people I'm playing with...

>Nathan

Or you can buy them a beer DURING the game.... like I did to Gihan
once.... that works too....

I think it really is that simple. People are different, and
different people are attracted to Diplomacy at all.... Diplomacy
is KNOWN by lots of gamers, but loved by relatively few (look
at that "top games" web site). And even within that people
are different in how they look at PBEM vs. FTF and tournament.
That's actually fun, I like that people are different....

Jim-Bob






>mkkuhner@kingman.gs.washington.edu (Mary K. Kuhner) wrote in message news:<chqbnq$n6o$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu>...
>> In article <7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com>,
>> Nathan Barnes <nbarnes99@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> >The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
>> >the vast sea of email players.
>>
>> >What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
>> >face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
>> >to F2F.
>>
>> Are you sure of this? We see all the PBEM players in the entire
>> on-line world, but only those FTF players who either live in our
>> geographical area or come to tournaments, and even then, there can
>> be several disconnected groups of Dip players in the same locality,
>> each quite unaware of the others. I know that tabletop roleplaying
>> communities are often like that: my hometown had several, all
>> disconnected, as well as individual groups who weren't part of any
>> community at all.
>>
>> Me, I play and enjoy both, but FTF gets the blood moving a lot quicker.
>> I had a game at Dragonflight where the other 5 players stopped me
>> at the time limit, one dot short of the solo, which was just a thrill
>> a minute for the whole afternoon. PBEM is more like a thrill a week.
>> But it's a lot easier to get a game--even in Seattle, which has an
>> excellent Dip community, I'm lucky if I can play more than twice a
>> month.
>>
>> Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 4:13:04 AM

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

"Jim Burgess" wrote:
....
> You mean the VG is huge, and relatively fewer have played FTF in
> a Con.... just to be clear?
I doubt if that is true. If you count the number of games PBEM
and FTF, FTF might still win. The reason is that one PBEM takes
a long time and has therefore a bigger exposure to the world than
one FTF game.

If I count the number of PBEM games in Holland, then a team that
is playing regulary can easily play more games in a year.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 4:13:05 AM

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

"Lucas B. Kruijswijk" <L.B.Kruijswijk@inter.nl.net> writes:

But what is the "truth". I'd actually bet that there are more
PBEM games in a year, WAY more, than there are FTF games. But
I can't prove it.

Jim-Bob

>"Jim Burgess" wrote:
>...
>> You mean the VG is huge, and relatively fewer have played FTF in
>> a Con.... just to be clear?
>I doubt if that is true. If you count the number of games PBEM
>and FTF, FTF might still win. The reason is that one PBEM takes
>a long time and has therefore a bigger exposure to the world than
>one FTF game.

>If I count the number of PBEM games in Holland, then a team that
>is playing regulary can easily play more games in a year.

>Regards,

>Lucas
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 4:06:22 PM

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

"Jim Burgess" wrote:
> But what is the "truth". I'd actually bet that there are more
> PBEM games in a year, WAY more, than there are FTF games. But
> I can't prove it.
If you ask how many people are currently involved in a PBEM game
and a FTF game, then the answer is clearly in favour of PBEM.

However, this observation is misleading for the number of games.
When you start counting the number of games in tournaments, then
that is quite a lot and a similar number of games in PBEM would
give a significant exposure in the electronic world.

Regards,

Lucas
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 5:06:52 PM

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

Nathan Barnes wrote:
>
> To be quite honest I don't enjoy PBEM unless it's with FtF players who
> just want to play a little more often. I don't have the patience for
> PBEM, I like the rush and scramble. I enjoy sharing the elation of
> victory with my allies, mocking my attackers until I'm vanquished, and
> being an all around pain in the ass. I can't do this so much on
> email.

Oh, I beg to differ here. I have been just about the biggest pain in
the ass possible in the past. Of course I got creamed, but it was still
fun. The key to being a pain in the ass is broadcast proclamations
about how your chief opponent at the time is in the process of screwing
the other guys on his side.

You detail exactly what you know he has to be planning, and watch the
flame. Most of it will come to you, as broadcast, so you reply with
even more trolling. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's great, especially if the
seasons are a week long. (I say troll, but there are valid diplomatic
reasons for this.)

It is comparatively difficult for me to be a complete troll in FTF.


--
Will Berry
Director of Operations, Techwood Con gaming convention
http://www.techwoodcon.com/
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 5:33:57 PM

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

Nathan Barnes wrote:

> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> to F2F.

I think no one (myself included) would play PBEM, postal, or online if
it were less of a burden to play FTF. It's just so hard to get all 8
(don't forget the GM! it's better that way) people in one place. And
four hours? Please. Eight minimum around here!

However, there are things about PBEM that are better than FTF. The
"plot", as it were, is so much more involved because the players have
time to carefully compose e-mails with the correct wording, form
intricate plans to turn two people against each other, plan out every
conceivable scenario in advance, and so on.

Face to face, by comparison, is chaos. Yes, you can make plans, and
yes, you can plan tactics, but you don't have very long to do it, and so
your plans cannot be *that* well thought out in advance. You have to
wing it a lot of the time. This is also very exciting and interesting,
and in my opinion overall more fun, but it's a different kind of fun,
requiring less patience and more instinct.

Some people find writing endless e-mails to be a chore, and couldn't we
just meet in person and have done with it. People in my PBEMs
frequently call each other on the phone, even if they did not previously
know each other. This is chiefly a time-saving measure, at least at
first, but because talking on the phone is more personal, and you can
hear the tone in their voice, etc. I have observed that the best way to
lock in a commitment to do something is to call the other guy on the
phone to confirm.

I would prefer the game to remain purely by e-mail, because doing
diplomacy this way is like writing poetry. You must deceive them all
with your written words, in the sense that you must convince them all to
let you win. And you know they will have a week each season to review
everything you said in the past, compare it with their own intelligence,
reveal it to others, and so on. So every word, every CC, every GM
question even, is critical to your success. It truly is challenging in
a way that FTF is not.

I would draw simile this way: FTF : Elimi-date :: PBEM : Survivor.

(I have recently taken to saying that Diplomacy is like Survivor more
than it is like Risk to people who have never played.)

--
Will Berry
Director of Operations, Techwood Con gaming convention
http://www.techwoodcon.com/
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 6:44:00 PM

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

Nathan Barnes wrote:

> Do
> people think that FtF conventions are somehow the cream of the crop
> and are intimidated?

FtF tournaments are the cream of the crop. Only the truly
insane^H^H^H^H^H^Hdedicated drive hundreds of miles to play several
eight-hour games of Dip in a single weekend. And if your first FtF game
in 10 years is a tournament, it can be rather intimidating.
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 6:47:47 PM

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

Will Berry wrote:
>
> I think no one (myself included) would play PBEM, postal, or online if
> it were less of a burden to play FTF.

I disagree. PBEM is a *different* game, and some people prefer it.
PBEM is thoughtful and deliberate; FTF is intense and chaotic.
Different games.
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 8:17:37 PM

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

>
> I disagree. PBEM is a *different* game, and some people prefer it.
> PBEM is thoughtful and deliberate; FTF is intense and chaotic.
> Different games.

FtF = mountainbiking/alpine skiing/whitewater kayaking...
PBEM = road biking/cross-country skiing/sea kayaking...

;-)
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 8:51:42 PM

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

Rod Spade wrote:
> Nathan Barnes wrote:
>
>> Do people think that FtF conventions are somehow the
>> cream of the crop and are intimidated?
>
> FtF tournaments are the cream of the crop. Only the truly
> insane^H^H^H^H^H^Hdedicated drive hundreds of miles to play
> several eight-hour games of Dip in a single weekend. And if your
> first FtF game in 10 years is a tournament, it can be rather
> intimidating.

My first F2F game in 15 years was at the PT&KS Tempest in a
Teapot IV. I played Russia to Chris Martin's Turkey, and Ike
Porter's Austria. I had such a case of nerves that my blood-sugar
(I'm an insulin-dependant diabetic) dropped about 40 points in the
first few years of the game. I survived and had a great deal of fun,
though. If there is a Con near you, go. It's a very different game
from PBEM, but it is exciting, and a lot of fun.

Eric.
--
Anonymous
September 12, 2004 1:51:07 AM

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

In article <2qgvb9Fu9g0rU1@uni-berlin.de>, Rod Spade <rodspade@acm.org> wrote:
>Nathan Barnes wrote:

>> Do
>> people think that FtF conventions are somehow the cream of the crop
>> and are intimidated?

>FtF tournaments are the cream of the crop. Only the truly
>insane^H^H^H^H^H^Hdedicated drive hundreds of miles to play several
>eight-hour games of Dip in a single weekend. And if your first FtF game
>in 10 years is a tournament, it can be rather intimidating.

Or if you are used to being the big fish in your local pond, and
suddenly you're a little fish in the big sea.... I remember my first
chess tournament vividly. I thought I was pretty good; I could
beat everyone in my family, my girlfriend, most of the people in the
school club. Then I found out that not only were there people who
could beat me handily, but *they* were small fish. And the people
who could handily beat them were *still* small fish. It was dizzying.
(And I was immediately hooked; but not everyone reacts like that.)

My win record is a lot higher in PBeM than it is in FTF tournament
play. The top PBeM games are just as tough or tougher, I'm sure, but
random ones from the Judges are not.

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
September 12, 2004 11:04:13 PM

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

Jim Burgess wrote:

>
> More closely, Dieter, Darmstadt is hosting the Euro DipCon THIS year,
> in a few weeks, you should GOOOOO!!!! France has the most conventions.
> And in the US there are at least one con a month, I think it's more
> like two.


Alright, you got me...


checking time: available? - yes
chacking wallet: ongoing.


I think I'll try to stab 'em there
Anonymous
September 15, 2004 9:15:10 PM

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

This is posted on behalf of Edi Birsan. He put this together. It's
just an interesting way to play FtF if you don't have 7.
----------------------------------------
WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE EXACTLY 7 PLAYERS:
ESCALATION DIPLOMACY
by Edi Birsan

Diplomacy is a time proven classic 7player game with a fine play
balance between all the countries. However, at times players cannot
assemble 7 players or there are 8 or more players. Escalation is the
system that provides a solution and a unique game experience each time
played.

The basics:
Start with a map and no pieces on it.
Each player takes a different color set of pieces, (if you have to
have an eight ‘color' then the pieces up for that player or use
coins.)
Decide who goes in what order during the 'Escalation Placement' phase
of the game.
Recommended is that the owner of the game places first and then in
alphabetical order by
player.
Decide on the number of pieces players will place during the
Escalation.
One by on, each player places one piece on the map, this is the
Escalation Phase as players react to each other's prior single piece
placement.
The piece may be an Army or a Fleet and it may be on a Supply Center,
a non Supply Center province or a Sea Zone with the classical rules of
only one piece per space.
Each player starts owning any Supply Center they start a piece on.
Continue until the agreed number of pieces is placed.
Play the Spring 01 and the Fall 01 seasons simultaneously like a
normal game.
At the Winter 01 resolution each player writes down his three 'home'
supply centers and may
build there if appropriate starting in Winter 01 and for the rest of
the game.
Players are not limited to declaring traditional home centers, nor do
they have to be adjacent, nor to they have to be owned (but you cannot
build there until you own them).
For example a player may declare that Brest, Spain and Naples are his
three home centers those centers in the Winter of 1901.

Suggested starting number of pieces:
2 players: 12
3 players: 8 recommended is that no discussions allowed (Gunboat
style)
4 players: 6 suggest that no discussions allowed or try no
private talks (Wilson style)
5 players: 5 suggest Wilson style or normal
6 players: 4
7 or more players: 3

Discussions can be banned (called the Gunboat style of play) or
limited to table side only (all discussions open to all called the
Wilson style of play and no one is allowed to leave the table), or
traditional secret/private talks. Generally it is recommended that
for 4 players or less that there be no discussions other than at the
table.

As a teaching device for two players, increase the number of starting
pieces to 17 to give players a more intense Escalation Phase of the
variant and to teach planning ahead.

Players may want to limit the time to placing pieces to 30 seconds if
it drags on too long.


-----------------------

nbarnes99@hotmail.com (Nathan Barnes) wrote in message news:<7a5a554e.0409081742.7480e15c@posting.google.com>...
> Here's a thread.
>
> The number of F2F players that I've met over the years is dwarfed by
> the vast sea of email players.
>
> What is it about PBEM that is so much more enjoyable than face to
> face? While I play an occasional game online, it pales in comparison
> to F2F.
>
> Am I missing something?
>
> On a side note, if you're into F2F, or would like to get into it,
> there is a Con coming up in Seattle Oct 8-10th. Let me know if you
> want more details.
>
> Nathan
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 1:34:02 PM

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

> Discussions can be banned (called the Gunboat style of play)

It's a rare pleasure to find the label 'gunboat' -- as in "let your gunboats
do the talking" -- used properly. How did it come to mean 'anonymous' in
PBEM?

Andy
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 11:31:57 AM

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

"Andy Tomlinson" <andy.tomlinson@removethis.zg.htnet.hr> wrote in message news:<ciraup$ti0$1@ls219.htnet.hr>...
> > Discussions can be banned (called the Gunboat style of play)
>
> It's a rare pleasure to find the label 'gunboat' -- as in "let your gunboats
> do the talking" -- used properly. How did it come to mean 'anonymous' in
> PBEM?

A "gunboat" game -- correctly defined as a no-communication-between-
players game -- almost needs to be anonymous. Otherwise, the players
can communicate outside of the medium of the game, either off in another
room (in FTF), or over the phone or by mail (in postal), or by private
email (by Judge or HA-PBEM). You can rely on the honor of the players
not to do so, but the Judges offer the opportunity to easily disguise
the email addresses of the players and enforce anonymity.

I think the original intent was to have all no-communication games be
anonymous and all games with communication be non-anonymous. However,
the Judges were the first medium to allow that distinction to be
easily blurred, since the Judge could easily "anonymify" communications
between players. So you started having games with communication, but
also with anonymity. The flag that gets set on the Judge to make a
game anonymous was already called "gunboat", and it never changed.

Too bad -- it is confusing.

Doug
Anonymous
September 24, 2004 10:54:01 PM

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

douglas_t_masseyNOSPAM@hotmail.com (Doug Massey) writes:

>"Andy Tomlinson" <andy.tomlinson@removethis.zg.htnet.hr> wrote in message news:<ciraup$ti0$1@ls219.htnet.hr>...
>> > Discussions can be banned (called the Gunboat style of play)
>>
>> It's a rare pleasure to find the label 'gunboat' -- as in "let your gunboats
>> do the talking" -- used properly. How did it come to mean 'anonymous' in
>> PBEM?

>A "gunboat" game -- correctly defined as a no-communication-between-
>players game -- almost needs to be anonymous. Otherwise, the players
>can communicate outside of the medium of the game, either off in another
>room (in FTF), or over the phone or by mail (in postal), or by private
>email (by Judge or HA-PBEM). You can rely on the honor of the players
>not to do so, but the Judges offer the opportunity to easily disguise
>the email addresses of the players and enforce anonymity.

Correct.

>I think the original intent was to have all no-communication games be
>anonymous and all games with communication be non-anonymous. However,
>the Judges were the first medium to allow that distinction to be
>easily blurred, since the Judge could easily "anonymify" communications
>between players. So you started having games with communication, but
>also with anonymity. The flag that gets set on the Judge to make a
>game anonymous was already called "gunboat", and it never changed.

Also correct. The history before that was NOT easy. I played in
the first generally understood to be anonymous game back in 1980.
This was done by having the GM retype every negotiation letter and
mail it back out by postal mail. We very clearly saw that game
as NOT a gunboat game and called it an anonymous game. But as
Doug said, it was an unhappy accident that the gunboat was
established first and then the press/nopress flag.

>Too bad -- it is confusing.

>Doug

indeed.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
September 25, 2004 5:13:42 PM

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

Thanks, Doug and Jim-Bob. It's good to understand, and to know that I'm not
alone in regretting the change.

Andy
!