Stand-off Rules in One Sentence?

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

Article Title:
Stand-off Rules in One Sentence?

Hi,

In this previous article entitled,
Year 2000, Fourth Edition Rule Book, and DATC 6.E.4 and 6.E.5

I asserted that the elementary and fundamental rules
concerning a unit's ability to project stand-off
power could be placed into one sentence if the term
"head-to-head" battle was used.

But, I ran into some problems as revealed later in
this article. This article does not
talk about what rules were intended by what rule
books, for let it be known that almost every Diplomacy
player plays as given by the DATC. Instead, this
article solves a different puzzle: can the rules
(whatever rules we are trying to express) be
expressed unambiguously in one, though perhaps
long, sentence?

What rules are we trying to express? Well, we all know
under what conditions a unit may physically move or not
physically move. That's simple. And, it is relatively
easy to express. So, this is not the rule which motivates
this discussion.

The rule we are trying to express in one (long) sentence
is this: under what conditions does a unit project
stand-off power into a province.

My first thought here is this rule called M:

Rule M: When a unit U attempts to execute a legal
move order to province P, even if this unit fails
to physically move, or even if this unit is eventually
dislodged, it always has the ability to stand-off
another unit attempting to enter province P unless a
specific exception is cited later.

Of course, it is implied that if the unit U did move
to province P, then it did exercise its stand-off
ability, because it did so to disallow any other
potentially competing units from entering province P.

Of course any unit which did not physicall move may
subsequently be dislodged.

We will now explore what ways we can state rules in
an umambiguous fashion and hopefully in a relatively
concise fashion. We will explore this by considering
theoretical rule sets. Please note that we are not
discussing who or who does not play by any theoretical
rule set, but instead are only talking about our
ability to express any given theoretical rule set
clearly, unambiguously, and hopefully concisely.

***********************
Theoeretical Rule Set 1
***********************

Let our first theoretical rule set be nothing more
than Rule M as given above except that at the end
we say that there are no exceptions to the rule.
This rule set would have only one rule, R1.

R1: When a unit U attempts to execute a legal
move order to province P, even if this unit fails
to physically move, or even if this unit is eventually
dislodged, it always has the ability to stand-off
another unit attempting to enter province P. And,
there are no exceptions to this rule.

Because this theoretical rule set under discussion
has no exceptions to the above rule, that is, because
this rule sets grants all units maximum power, there
are no exceptions that need to be made. Therefore,
the above statement of R1 is itself sufficient to
unambiguously explain this rule set.

*******************************
Rule Sets Containing Exceptions
*******************************

When we enter into the description of theoretical
rule sets containing exceptions to Rule M, things
become more complicated.

Let us start introducing tools or new definitions.
Our final statement of the rule may or may not use
these definitions, but we will probably use these
definitions during the construction of the rule set.

Here are two definitions to be used by a unit which
could not physically move:
1. Stiffled Move or Stiffled Unit: When a unit is unable
to physically move but still projects an ability to stand-off
other units, this unit experienced a stiffled move and is
called a stiffled unit.
2. Impotent Move or Impotent Unit: When it is said that
a unit had an impotent move, the unit itself is impotent,
and this means that not only did it physically fail to
move, but that it projects no stand-off ability into the
province it desired to move to.

A stiffled move is theoretically more powerful than an
impotent move because the stiffled unit still has the
ability to stand-off other units in the province the
said unit attempted to move to.

We now have a tree for a given move:
1. Physically did move.
Subsequent dislodgement is impossible.
2. Physically failed to move.
Subsequent dislodgement is possible.
2a. Stiffled Move or Stiffled Unit.
2b. Impotent Move or Impotent Unit.

It will be noted that sometimes the rule book or rule books
seem to suggest that the only time a unit cannot move
is when it is in a generic stand-off. Let us, instead,
leave the term "stand-off" and "generic stand-off" behind
and more rigorously define all conditions under which
a unit cannot physically move.

A unit U is unable to physically move under the following
conditions:
* A failed lean: Unit U did not have sufficient
strength to move to Province P to dislodge the unit H
in provice P that was holding there because unit H
held with an equal or greater strength.
* A failed settle: Unit U was unable to
move to province P because one or more units
also attempting to move to province P attempted
to do so with an equal or greater strength.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U was unable
to move to province P because in so doing it encountered
a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy was of an equal
strength.
* A failed head of greater strength: Unit U was
unable to move to province P because in so doing it
encountered a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy
was of a greater strength.

Note that we do not have a concept called a "failed head,"
but instead have two distinct concepts, "failed head of
equal strength," and "failed head of greater strength."
Those who have worked with the rules already know how
not making this distinction allows ambiguity to creep
into the rule set.

I am trying to be all inclusive, so I hope that the above
definitions do not exclude the DATC. I do not think that
they do, because the DATC would never suggest that a unit
U engaged in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy was
of equal or stronger strength would ever have the
ability to physically move to its desired province.

We will attempt the following procedure in defining a rule
set, and through these experiments see what happens. First,
we use a definition of how a unit physically failed to move
and combine it with its status of either a stiffled unit
or an impotent unit.

Here is a generic chart used to define these powers with respect
to unit U having failed to physically move:
* A failed lean: Unit U is either stiffled or impotent,
but not both.
* A failed settle: Unit U is either stiffled or impotent,
but not both.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is either stiffled
or impotent, but not both.
* A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is either stiffled
or impotent, but not both.

Then we take the rule set as defined and try to turn it into
one, concise sentence. We may also note tricky situations and
how they are effected by the given rule set under discussion.

***********************
Theoretical Rule Set 2
***********************

Let's begin by constructing our second theoretical rule set.

For a unit U having failed to physically move:
* A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is impotent.
* A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is impotent.

We can now write this out:

A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
and unable to physically move to province P,
and even if eventually dislodged,
always has the ability to stand-off other units
attempting to enter province P
except when unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of equal or stronger strength.

We could even write it like this by using a new term:

A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
and unable to physically move to province P,
and even if eventually dislodged,
is impotent when engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of equal or stronger strength.

I feel very confident that the above is completely
unambiguous.

Now, pretending as if we were explaining
the rules to a new player, let's give some examples.

For all these examples, we assume that unit U
has a legal move order to move to province P.

Example Everyone Knows
----------------------

A unit U failing to physically move to province P
has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
province P. This is because unit U is impotent.

Since everyone knows this rule, and since this rule
will be a part of every theoretical rule set we
explore in this complete article, I may not repeat this
example in the subsequent sections where other
theoretical rule sets are discussed.

Example 1
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
The rules currently under discussion say that unit U
is impotent (which is a shorter way of saying that
unit U lacks the ability to stand-off any units
attempting to enter into province P).

Example 2
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
U's province? There are two sub-cases:
unit U either ends up being beleaguered
or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
currently under discussion, unit U is always impotent.
(because unit U is engaged in a head-to-head battle
wherein the enemy is of a greater strength).

Example 3
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
other units attempting to enter province P,
including those units having less attacking
strength than unit U?
For the rules currently under discussion, the
answer is that of no, because unit U is impotent.

***********************
Theoretical Rule Set 3
**********************

Let's begin by constructing our third theoretical rule set.

For a unit U having failed to physically move:
* A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is impotent.

We can now write this out:

A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
and unable to physically move to province P,
and even if eventually dislodged,
always has the ability to stand-off other units
attempting to enter province P
except when unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of stronger strength.

We could even write it like this by using a new term:

A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
and unable to physically move to province P,
and even if eventually dislodged,
is impotent when engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of stronger strength.

I feel very confident that the above is completely
unambiguous.

Now, pretending as if we were explaining
the rules to a new player, let's give some examples.

For all these examples, we assume that unit U
has a legal move order to move to province P.

Example Everyone Knows
----------------------

A unit U failing to physically move to province P
has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
province P. This is because unit U is impotent.

Example 1
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
The rules currently under discussion say that unit U
is impotent (which is a shorter way of saying that
unit U lacks the ability to stand-off any units
attempting to enter into province P).

Example 2
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
U's province? There are two sub-cases:
unit U either ends up being beleaguered
or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
currently under discussion, unit U is always impotent
(because unit U is engaged in a head-to-head battle
wherein the enemy is of a greater strength).

Example 3
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
other units attempting to enter province P,
including those units having less attacking
strength than unit U?
For the rules currently under discussion, the
answer is that of yes, because unit U is stiffled
(it has the ability to stand-off any other
units attempting to enter province P).

**********************
Theoretical Rule Set 4: DATC
**********************

One motivation for this article, was that I tried to take
the DATC and place it in one unambiguous sentence, and
this failed. Now I see why; the DATC is, in a sense,
"inconsistent" in its use of the elementary rule building
blocks as defined in this article.

For if we begin by constructing our fourth theoretical
rule set thus:
* A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of losing strength: Unit U is stiffled.

We essentially are granting all units maximum power, as
if no exceptions were made at all: we are back to Rule M.

What happens in the DATC as of early in the year 2005 is
this:
* A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is stiffled.
* A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is stiffled OR impotent.

Note that last line: it is building the rule inconsistent
with the rules defined in this article, allowing a unit U
in a failed head-to-head battle sometimes to be stiffled
and sometimes to be impotent.

So, that is why I could not take the DATC and unambiguously
create a one sentence explanation of it.

Okay, so we forget about creating one sentence. This is,
of course, bad, because the rules cannot be conveyed easily.

Of course, maybe the reader can place it into one sentence,
if so, please do so.

Now let's turn to the examples for clarification.

That is, pretending as if we were explaining
the rules to a new player, let's give some examples.

For all these examples, we assume that unit U
has a legal move order to move to province P.

Example Everyone Knows
----------------------

A unit U failing to physically move to province P
has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
province P. For the rules currently under discussion,
Unit U is arbitrarily considered impotent
in this example (so that it matches the behavior
stated in the rule books).

Example 1
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
The rules currently under discussion arbitrarily
allow unit U to be stiffled in this particular
situation (which is a shorter way of saying that
unit U does have the ability to stand-off any units
attempting to enter into province P).

Example 2
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
U's province? There are two sub-cases:
unit U either ends up being beleaguered
or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
currently under discussion, unit U is arbitrarily
considered stiffled (which is a shorter way of
saying that unit U does have the ability to
stand-off any units attempting to enter into
province P)

Example 3
---------

What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
other units attempting to enter province P,
including those units having less attacking
strength than unit U?
For the rules currently under discussion, the
answer is that of yes, because unit U is stiffled.

Summary of examples: the word "arbitrarily" is used
because in some scnearios when unit U is engaged
in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
a stronger force, the DATC says that U is impotent,
and in still other scenarios when unit U is engaged
in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
a stronger force, the DATC says that U is stiffled.

***********
Conclusions
***********

This was an exploration into whether the elementary
rules of the game could be stated unambiguously
in one sentence.

Thanks
6 answers Last reply
More about stand rules sentence
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Hi Lucas,

    Lucas B. Kruijswijk wrote:
    > In my decision based description, this is the PREVENT STRENGTH.
    >
    > See also chapter 5 of the DATC. In other posting, I gave a new
    > version, where the description of decisions is more separated
    > from the algorithm.
    >
    > Four strengths are identified:
    > - ATTACK STRENGTH
    > Strength of a unit to dislodge another unit.
    > - PREVENT STRENGTH
    > Strength of a unit to prevent that another unit enters
    > the area where it moves to.
    > - DEFEND STRENGTH
    > Strength of a unit to defend against dislodgement in a head
    > to head battle.
    > - HOLD STRENGTH
    > Strength of holding of an area.
    >
    > All those strengths can be described in a rather formal way.
    >
    > You make impotent and stiffled move, part of the move decision.

    Hi Lucas, thank you for pointing out this next paragraph to me:

    > This is not very smart, because you might conclude that a certain
    > unit ordered to move can cause a stand-off, while you don't know
    > yet whether the unit will move or not.

    Concerning the above paragraph, I don't think that this is the case
    for theoretical rule sets 2 and 3; because, you know immediately
    the if a unit is in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of a
    greater strength or is in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy
    is of an equal or greater strength that it will not move, and you know
    immediately that it will be assigned either stiffled or impotent,
    depending on which rule set is being used.

    However, for theoretical rule set 4, the DATC, then your point may
    be quite accurate, because whether or not a unit is assigned
    stiffled or impotent when this unit is faced with a head-to-head
    battle of greater strength depends on the circumstances (i.e.,
    it depends which Example you look at: standard, 1, 2, or 3).

    >
    > In chapter 5 of the DATC, you have the PREVENT STRENGTH, which
    > is just 1 plus the number of supports, but 0 if engaged in a
    > head to head battle and the oponent successfully moved.
    >
    > Of course, you have also to add convoys, because in case of
    > disrupted convoy, there is no stand-off power (PREVENT STRENGTH
    > is 0).
    >
    > This way is much cleaner than yours, in my opinion.
    >
    > You must also take into account, that for the ATTACK STRENGTH,
    > you must not count the supports that are of the same power of
    > the unit that is attacked. You seem to forget that in your
    > description.
    >
    > > Note that last line: it is building the rule inconsistent
    > > with the rules defined in this article, allowing a unit U
    > > in a failed head-to-head battle sometimes to be stiffled
    > > and sometimes to be impotent.
    > >
    > > So, that is why I could not take the DATC and unambiguously
    > > create a one sentence explanation of it.
    > Well, this is just your inability. JDip and Palmpolitik are
    > programmed as in chapter 5 and passes all test cases of the
    > DATC.

    Hi Lucas, concerning you statement just above. This article
    title is: "Stand-off Rules in One Sentence".

    And, an opening paragraph of my article reads:
    > > This article does not
    > > talk about what rules were intended by what rule
    > > books, for let it be known that almost every Diplomacy
    > > player plays as given by the DATC. Instead, this
    > > article solves a different puzzle: can the rules
    > > (whatever rules we are trying to express) be
    > > expressed unambiguously in one, though perhaps
    > > long, sentence?

    So, this article is about communication. If any theoretical
    rule set can be expressed simply, it has the advantage
    of being communicated more effectively either to the
    game creator to get his "yes" or "no" on it, or to a novice
    just entering the game.


    >
    > The way you want the rules (but how they are not), can easily
    > be implemented by changing the PREVENT STRENGTH, as described
    > in chapter 5.

    Above, I pointed out this article title and an opening paragraph from
    my article stating what this article was about: about communication.
    It also explored one method of constructing a rule set; I never meant
    to imply that because the DATC does not fit into this method of
    constructing a rule set that the DATC rules are "bad" and that people
    should consider using different rules.

    >
    > > Summary of examples: the word "arbitrarily" is used
    > > because in some scnearios when unit U is engaged
    > > in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
    > > a stronger force, the DATC says that U is impotent,
    > > and in still other scenarios when unit U is engaged
    > > in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
    > > a stronger force, the DATC says that U is stiffled.
    > The DATC does not use the terms impotent or stiffled.
    >
    > If you use your terminology, then the rules are very
    > clear on this. Page 9 of the 2000 rulebook.
    >
    > "A dislodged unit, even with support, has no effect on
    > the province that dislodged it."
    >
    > So, a move is ONLY impotent, when the unit in the
    > province it attacked, successfully moved. In all other
    > cases, the move just succeeds or is stiffled. You
    > should not look to the strength.
    >
    > Of course, for looking whether the move succeeds or
    > not, you have to look the strengths. In chapter 5 of
    > the DATC, you have to look to the ATTACK STRENGTH
    > and DEFEND STRENGTH. Based on these strengths you
    > can decide whether a move succeeds or not. When
    > you have decided that, you can calculate the PREVENT
    > STRENGTH.

    Hi Lucas, I'm sure your algorithm works fine and does what
    you desire it to do. The topic of this article was "Stand-off
    Rules in One Sentence." The sub-topic is communication.

    Perhaps there is somebody out there that can take the DATC
    rules and state them in one, unambiguous, relatively short
    sentence. If you can, this is to your advantage. For then
    someone can understand your dynamics in one sentence,
    see a few examples, and tell you what they think of the
    rules; that is, I'm thinking of the game creator that you
    have communicated with in the past. For it is my
    understanding that there have been communication
    difficulties. If these difficulties can be ironed out,
    then the game creator may supply you with some
    valuable information: such as his concept of how he
    believes the came ought best be played (assuming he
    has such a concept).

    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Lucas
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Hi Lucas and Everyone,

    Lucas, based upon a previous post you made in another
    thread, you stated in effect that you had difficulty
    understanding in your communications with the game
    creator exactly what the rule might be concerning
    movement and the ability of a unit to stand-off other
    units.

    Although my article was more an exploration into
    conciseness, it also has other functions: namely,
    how can conciseness be leveraged for some gain.

    So, let's assume that your goals, other peoples goals,
    and my goals are the same: we'd love to hear a
    definitive ruling from the game creator (but only
    if the game creator wishes to make such a statement).

    How to do this? Well, we can leverage different rule
    sets especially if they are very easy to comprehend.
    You present Rule Set 2, and get a yes or no. Then,
    regardless of your answer, you present Rule Set 3, and
    get a yes or no. And, that was the easy part, because
    these rule sets are very easy to comprehend. But,
    assuming you got an answer that was a no for both
    Rule Set 2 and Rule Set 3, then without ever having
    to state the DATC in one sentence, you'd be highly
    confident that the DATC rule set is the correct rule
    set.

    Here is an outline of the presentation, though you
    may have to add more text to fill it out some, or
    change the wording to wording you personally like
    better.

    This is the underlying assumption for all rule sets
    (remember we are talking to humans, we are not writing
    a computer program):

    When a unit U attempts to execute a legal
    move order to province P, even if this unit fails
    to physically move, or even if this unit is eventually
    dislodged, it always has the ability to stand-off
    another unit attempting to enter province P unless a
    specific exception is cited later.

    ***********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 2
    ***********************

    A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
    and unable to physically move to province P,
    and even if eventually dislodged,
    always has the ability to stand-off other units
    attempting to enter province P
    except when unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of equal or stronger strength.

    Example Everyone Knows
    ----------------------

    A unit U failing to physically move to province P
    has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
    if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
    province P.

    Example 1
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
    but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
    The rules currently under discussion say that unit U
    lacks the ability to stand-off any units
    attempting to enter into province P.

    Example 2
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
    and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
    with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
    U's province? There are two sub-cases:
    unit U either ends up being beleaguered
    or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
    But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
    currently under discussion, unit U lacks the ability
    to stand-off any units.

    Example 3
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
    does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
    other units attempting to enter province P,
    including those units having less attacking
    strength than unit U?
    For the rules currently under discussion, the
    answer is that of no, because unit U lacks the
    ability to stand-off any units.

    ***********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 3
    **********************

    A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
    and unable to physically move to province P,
    and even if eventually dislodged,
    always has the ability to stand-off other units
    attempting to enter province P
    except when unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of stronger strength.

    Example Everyone Knows
    ----------------------

    A unit U failing to physically move to province P
    has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
    if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
    province P.
    In other words, unit U can NOT fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

    Example 1
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
    but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
    The rules currently under discussion say that
    unit U lacks the ability to stand-off any units
    (because unit U is engaged in a head-to-head battle
    wherein the enemy is of a greater strength).

    Example 2
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
    and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
    with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
    U's province? There are two sub-cases:
    unit U either ends up being beleaguered
    or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
    But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
    currently under discussion, unit U lacks the ability
    to stand-off any units attempting to enter province P
    (because unit U is engaged in a head-to-head battle
    wherein the enemy is of a greater strength).

    Example 3
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
    does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
    other units attempting to enter province P,
    including those units having less attacking
    strength than unit U?
    For the rules currently under discussion, the
    answer is that of yes, because unit U is able
    to create a stand-off in province P when unit U
    is met only with a head-to-head battle of
    equal strength.
    In other words, unit U can fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

    **********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 4: DATC
    **********************

    If you can put the DATC rules in one sentence, fine.
    But, if not, it may not matter if you have first gone
    through Theoretical Rule Sets 2 and 3 prior to this
    point.

    Example Everyone Knows
    ----------------------

    A unit U failing to physically move to province P
    has no ability to stand-off any unit in province P
    if unit U is dislodged by a unit attacking from
    province P. For the rules currently under discussion,
    Unit U is arbitrarily considered unable to create
    a stand-off in province P.
    In other words, unit U can NOT fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

    Example 1
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemey is of greater strength,
    but unit U is not dislodged because it is beleagured?
    The rules currently under discussion arbitrarily
    allow unit U the ability to create a stand-off
    in province P. (Even though in the first example
    where it also was in a head-to-head battle of
    greater strength, it was unable to create a stand-off
    in province P).
    In other words, unit U can fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

    Example 2
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy E1 is of greater strength,
    and yet another enemy E2 is attempting to move
    with even a greater strength than E1 into unit
    U's province? There are two sub-cases:
    unit U either ends up being beleaguered
    or unit U is dislodged, depending on the circumstances.
    But, regardless of the circumstances, for the rules
    currently under discussion, unit U is arbitrarily
    allowed to create a stand-off in province P.
    (Even though in the first example
    where it also was in a head-to-head battle of
    greater strength, it was unable to create a stand-off
    in province P).
    In other words, unit U can fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

    Example 3
    ---------

    What if unit U is engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of equal strength;
    does unit U have the ability to stand-off any
    other units attempting to enter province P,
    including those units having less attacking
    strength than unit U?
    For the rules currently under discussion, the
    answer is that of yes, because unit U is only
    met with a head-to-head battle of equal strength.
    In other words, unit U can fight behind the
    "line" of the head-to-head battle (if this
    description helps).

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

    In my decision based description, this is the PREVENT STRENGTH.

    See also chapter 5 of the DATC. In other posting, I gave a new
    version, where the description of decisions is more separated
    from the algorithm.

    Four strengths are identified:
    - ATTACK STRENGTH
    Strength of a unit to dislodge another unit.
    - PREVENT STRENGTH
    Strength of a unit to prevent that another unit enters
    the area where it moves to.
    - DEFEND STRENGTH
    Strength of a unit to defend against dislodgement in a head
    to head battle.
    - HOLD STRENGTH
    Strength of holding of an area.

    All those strengths can be described in a rather formal way.

    You make impotent and stiffled move, part of the move decision.
    This is not very smart, because you might conclude that a certain
    unit ordered to move can cause a stand-off, while you don't know
    yet whether the unit will move or not.

    In chapter 5 of the DATC, you have the PREVENT STRENGTH, which
    is just 1 plus the number of supports, but 0 if engaged in a
    head to head battle and the oponent successfully moved.

    Of course, you have also to add convoys, because in case of
    disrupted convoy, there is no stand-off power (PREVENT STRENGTH
    is 0).

    This way is much cleaner than yours, in my opinion.

    You must also take into account, that for the ATTACK STRENGTH,
    you must not count the supports that are of the same power of
    the unit that is attacked. You seem to forget that in your
    description.

    > Note that last line: it is building the rule inconsistent
    > with the rules defined in this article, allowing a unit U
    > in a failed head-to-head battle sometimes to be stiffled
    > and sometimes to be impotent.
    >
    > So, that is why I could not take the DATC and unambiguously
    > create a one sentence explanation of it.
    Well, this is just your inability. JDip and Palmpolitik are
    programmed as in chapter 5 and passes all test cases of the
    DATC.

    The way you want the rules (but how they are not), can easily
    be implemented by changing the PREVENT STRENGTH, as described
    in chapter 5.

    > Summary of examples: the word "arbitrarily" is used
    > because in some scnearios when unit U is engaged
    > in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
    > a stronger force, the DATC says that U is impotent,
    > and in still other scenarios when unit U is engaged
    > in a head-to-head battle wherein the enemy is of
    > a stronger force, the DATC says that U is stiffled.
    The DATC does not use the terms impotent or stiffled.

    If you use your terminology, then the rules are very
    clear on this. Page 9 of the 2000 rulebook.

    "A dislodged unit, even with support, has no effect on
    the province that dislodged it."

    So, a move is ONLY impotent, when the unit in the
    province it attacked, successfully moved. In all other
    cases, the move just succeeds or is stiffled. You
    should not look to the strength.

    Of course, for looking whether the move succeeds or
    not, you have to look the strengths. In chapter 5 of
    the DATC, you have to look to the ATTACK STRENGTH
    and DEFEND STRENGTH. Based on these strengths you
    can decide whether a move succeeds or not. When
    you have decided that, you can calculate the PREVENT
    STRENGTH.

    Regards,

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

    Hi Lucas,

    Here is a shorter response to your message.
    My posting is not about computer programming.
    Your response to my posting might suggest
    that you think my posting is about computer
    programming.

    My posting is about human to human
    communication concerning Diplomacy and
    concerning the elementary and primary
    rules concerning movement and the ability
    to stand-off other units.

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

    Hi Lucas and Everyone,

    Previously in response to your post, Lucas, I wrote:

    =================================================
    Lucas, based upon a previous post you made in another
    thread, you stated in effect that you had difficulty
    understanding in your communications with the game
    creator exactly what the rule might be concerning
    movement and the ability of a unit to stand-off other
    units.

    Although my article was more an exploration into
    conciseness, it also has other functions: namely,
    how can conciseness be leveraged for some gain.
    ==========================================

    My last paragraph should say:
    Although my article was more an exploration into
    conciseness, it also can be leveraged to carry out
    other functions.

    Lucas, I should probably add as a reminder, if
    I haven' said it already, that my article is not
    in any way related to computer programming.

    Also, my article came to be written due to the
    following circumstances:
    1. In another article, I could not state the DATC
    in one, unambiguous sentence.
    2. I became concerned that maybe there was
    ambiguity in my own constructed sentences;
    were these also ambiguous, had I made a
    logical error in stating that these were unambiguous?
    3. This article then explored this issue using a
    exploratory framework.

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

    Hi Lucas and Everyone,

    When I first wrote this article, I said that I could not
    come up with a sentence for theoretical rule set 4;
    better to be conservative than to state a sentence
    incorrectly, I guess.

    At the end of this posting are
    two attempts by me to create one sentence representing
    the stand-off abilities as described by the DATC.

    And, in general, theoretical rule sets 2 through 4
    are given with their constructors and their one
    sentence description.

    ***********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 2
    ***********************

    For a unit U having failed to physically move:
    * A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is impotent.
    * A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is impotent.

    A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
    and unable to physically move to province P,
    and even if eventually dislodged,
    is impotent when engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of an equal or stronger strength.

    ***********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 3
    **********************

    For a unit U having failed to physically move:
    * A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is impotent.

    A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
    and unable to physically move to province P,
    and even if eventually dislodged,
    is impotent when engaged in a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of astronger strength.

    **********************
    Theoretical Rule Set 4: DATC
    **********************

    What happens in the DATC as of early in the year 2005 is
    this:
    * A failed lean: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed settle: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed head of equal strength: Unit U is stiffled.
    * A failed head of greater strength: Unit U is stiffled OR
    impotent.

    Here are two potential ways to write the theoretical rule set 4
    (the DATC) in one sentence:

    Sentence Attempt 1:

    A unit U, having a legal move order to province P,
    and unable to physically move to province P,
    and even if eventually dislodged,
    is stiffled for all cases but this: Unit U is
    considered impotent when unit U is dislodged
    solely due to a head-to-head battle wherein the
    the enemy is of a stronger strength.

    Sentence Attempt 2:

    When a unit U attempts to execute a legal
    move order to province P, even if this unit fails
    to physically move, or even if this unit is eventually
    dislodged, it always has the ability to stand-off
    another unit attempting to enter province P unless
    unit U is dislodged solely due to a head-to-head
    battle wherein the enemy is of a stronger strength.

    In short: the DATC uses Rule M with only one, very
    specific exception: unit U is impotent when unit U is
    dislodged solely due to a head-to-head battle wherein
    the enemy is of a stronger strength.

    Thanks
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