FtF vs Email

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
27 answers Last reply
More about email
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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:dot:com
    +44-(0)20 8983 5818 | /\ --^ | |www.asimere.com/~john
  5. 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
  6. 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
    >
    >
    >
    >
  7. 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.
    --
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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/
  16. 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/
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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...

    ;-)
  20. 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.
    --
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
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