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Ratings for non judge players

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Anonymous
February 11, 2005 10:16:35 PM

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

In the past I've occasionally mentioned my Dip interests lie with The
Grey labyrinth (www.greylabyrinth.com), and also with Interpretation of
Law (from my Tournament Director bridge background). We've now played a
good dozen very indolent games (1 year/ 2 weeks) with a player group of
about 25 players. With possibly one exception none of us uses the
judges, but we do have RP files for all the games.

The question is: What validity do these games have in the real(!) world
and if we decide to rate the games how should we set about it? I hope
you don't mind me asking here, but as a lurker I follow the group
closely.

Best regards, 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

More about : ratings judge players

Anonymous
February 14, 2005 4:35:04 AM

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

Rather than a rating system, which will only encourage draws and cause
people to play for points, rather than enjoying each game and striving to
win, I would suggest a *ranking* system.

Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names for
each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second rank. To
advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the fourth rank,
a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank players
(or better).

Simple, straightforward, and only winning counts, which is the object of the
game, after all. It encourages people to play against tough, experienced
opponents rather than attempt to clean up against newbies and players who
are not dedicated, because tough, experienced players will be the ones with
higher ranks.

"John (MadDog) Probst" <john@asimere.com> wrote in message
news:hdbZrOCTSQDCFwvK@asimere.com...
> In the past I've occasionally mentioned my Dip interests lie with The
> Grey labyrinth (www.greylabyrinth.com), and also with Interpretation of
> Law (from my Tournament Director bridge background). We've now played a
> good dozen very indolent games (1 year/ 2 weeks) with a player group of
> about 25 players. With possibly one exception none of us uses the
> judges, but we do have RP files for all the games.
>
> The question is: What validity do these games have in the real(!) world
> and if we decide to rate the games how should we set about it? I hope
> you don't mind me asking here, but as a lurker I follow the group
> closely.
>
> Best regards, 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
February 14, 2005 11:01:28 AM

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

David E. Cohen wrote:
> Rather than a rating system, which will only encourage draws and
cause
> people to play for points, rather than enjoying each game and
striving to
> win, I would suggest a *ranking* system.
>
> Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names
for
> each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second
rank. To
> advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
> entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the
fourth rank,
> a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank
players
> (or better).

That's an interesting idea. I suspect there would be lots of
second-rank players, but not very many higher than that (simply because
it's hard to put a game together comprised completely of previous
soloists). But you'd get a few games like that at regional
competitions and in the finals of national and worldwide conventions,
so there would be a handful of third-rank players. I doubt there are
many fourth-rank players -- there are lots of people who *could* be,
but there have probably been very few games with all third-rank
players.

But I really like the idea!

> Simple, straightforward, and only winning counts, which is the object
of the
> game, after all.

Hey, look everyone! It's an opinion, presented as fact through means
of assertion! :-P

As long as the rules specifically mention draws, then they're part of
the game -- whether you like it or not, David.

> It encourages people to play against tough, experienced
> opponents rather than attempt to clean up against newbies and players
who
> are not dedicated, because tough, experienced players will be the
ones with
> higher ranks.

'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games until
they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until they're all
third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)

Doug
Related resources
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 3:03:00 PM

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

<masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1108396791.993578.130640@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> David E. Cohen wrote:
> > Rather than a rating system, which will only encourage draws
> > and cause people to play for points, rather than enjoying each
> > game and striving win, I would suggest a *ranking* system.
> >
> > Everyone starts out at first rank
> > When a person wins a game, they advance to the second rank.
> > To advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board
> > composed entirely of second rank players (or better). To
> > advance to the fourth rank, a player must win against a board
> > composed entirely of third rank players (or better).

> > It encourages people to play against tough, experienced
> > opponents rather than attempt to clean up against newbies and
> > players who are not dedicated, because tough, experienced
> > players will be the ones with higher ranks.
>
> 'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games until
> they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until they're all
> third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)

Yup. The first three games would be fights for a Solo, then they'd
start gaming the system by throwing the game to players who
haven't won, yet, so that they can start working toward third rank,
sooner. There would be no point in forming Stop-the-Leader
Alliances, and more early concessions, since the higher ranked
players would want the lower ranked players to advance, so that
the higher-ranked players could then advance to the next level, and
the lower-ranked players would have no motive to fight together to
prevent the Solo when they could instead concede and start a second
game where they might have a chance to Solo. In short it would
truly be a rank system. (Rank - adj. : offensively gross, putrid,
malodorous) ;-)

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 7:28:49 PM

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

I haven't tried such systems, but I'd worry that any scoring system
in which only solos count will lead to the abandonment of many
games by those who see no chance for a solo.

One of the aspects of Dip that I enjoy is struggling back from
a crummy position to get into the draw. (Sometimes I feel I
spend too much time doing this, but hey, it beats losing.) If
there is nothing to aspire to from such a position, why not quit?

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 10:11:27 PM

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

Hi,

I'm adding my two cents to this thread, though my remarks
are not specifically related to Mary's just above.

I'm reading through the book, Calhamer on Diplomacy,
and although it is hard to look through it to find a quote,
and even if quoted I might miss some context, my general
impression is that a Power should certainly prefer drawing
to losing since this means that the Power survived. But,
if a Power thinks it might win, then ideally the Power should
try to win, that is, think about the risks involved in trying
to win and then make a decision.

In short, Diplomacy is designed with the assumption that
every Power will always try to win, and that failing this,
a Power will try to draw, and that a Power never, ever
will accept a defeat if it can help it. Anyway, that's my
impression from his book. So, if at some point in a game
a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
to survive.

Thanks
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 11:35:40 PM

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

<masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote [edited]

> > Simple, straightforward, and only winning counts, which is the object
> of the
> > game, after all.
>
> Hey, look everyone! It's an opinion, presented as fact through means
> of assertion! :-P

Winning *is* the object of the game.



> As long as the rules specifically mention draws, then they're part of
> the game -- whether you like it or not, David.

Sure they're part of the game. Players don't have to be rewarded for
drawing, though.



> > It encourages people to play against tough, experienced
> > opponents rather than attempt to clean up against newbies and players
> who
> > are not dedicated, because tough, experienced players will be the
> ones with
> > higher ranks.
>
> 'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games until
> they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until they're all
> third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)

Hey, if they're all trying their hardest, why not? It would get a little
monotonous, though.
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 11:37:11 PM

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

People like that abandon whether there is a scoring system or not.

Why not quit? Because you may win, or you may learn something, or you may
get revenge, or...


"Mary K. Kuhner" <mkkuhner@kingman.gs.washington.edu> wrote in message
news:cuqjk1$lcp$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu...
> I haven't tried such systems, but I'd worry that any scoring system
> in which only solos count will lead to the abandonment of many
> games by those who see no chance for a solo.
>
> One of the aspects of Dip that I enjoy is struggling back from
> a crummy position to get into the draw. (Sometimes I feel I
> spend too much time doing this, but hey, it beats losing.) If
> there is nothing to aspire to from such a position, why not quit?
>
> Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 14, 2005 11:40:02 PM

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

Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted (or perhaps
*per*-verted), if people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
system?

None at all. Of course.


"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> wrote [edited]

> Yup. The first three games would be fights for a Solo, then they'd
> start gaming the system by throwing the game to players who
> haven't won, yet, so that they can start working toward third rank,
> sooner. There would be no point in forming Stop-the-Leader
> Alliances, and more early concessions, since the higher ranked
> players would want the lower ranked players to advance, so that
> the higher-ranked players could then advance to the next level, and
> the lower-ranked players would have no motive to fight together to
> prevent the Solo when they could instead concede and start a second
> game where they might have a chance to Solo. In short it would
> truly be a rank system. (Rank - adj. : offensively gross, putrid,
> malodorous) ;-)
>
> Eric.
> --
>
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 12:25:16 AM

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

> > Hey, look everyone! It's an opinion, presented as fact through means
> > of assertion! :-P
>
> Winning *is* the object of the game.
>

Ah, but there's the rub: one person's definition of winning (or conversely,
losing) may not necessarily be the same as another's. If I have 14 SCs but
fail to take a solo, I might consider that a "loss", whereas my opponents
who managed to prevent my solo would no doubt consider my failure to solo an
unqualified success on their part!
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 12:33:30 AM

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

> So, if at some point in a game
> a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
> designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
> to survive.
>

I wonder... I've seen "hopeless" powers deliberately support another
power's solo attempt, if nothing else for revenge upon former allies who
stabbed them, or failed to come to their aid when they still had a chance.
The problem is that irrational behavior is not necessarily punished in
Diplomacy; elimination merely means you need to look for the next game...
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 6:29:40 AM

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

In article <cqcQd.15$nn.10@fe12.lga>,
David E. Cohen <zendip18AToptonlineDOTnet> wrote:
>People like that abandon whether there is a scoring system or not.

>Why not quit? Because you may win, or you may learn something, or you may
>get revenge, or...

I have never abandoned a game, but speaking only for myself as
a player, I would find a scoring system that gave no credit to
any outcome but a solo a strong incentive to abandon. Or
ignore the scoring system and just play the way I do anyway
(trying to get into the smallest possible draw) but presumably
that's not what you want either.

I also think it would make gaining new players for the hobby
really hard, because (a) a solo is so unlikely as a beginner,
and more importantly (b) if you hope to gain rank from a game
you can't have any beginners in it (if you have rank yourself).
So beginners would become unwelcome because their presence
makes the game not count for ranking. Is this what you want?

But why take our word for it? Propose it to a Dip community
somewhere (on or off line) and let us know how it works out!

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 7:44:49 AM

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

In article <O9eQd.345$1P.83@fe61.usenetserver.com>,
Frank Bell <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> wrote:
>> So, if at some point in a game
>> a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
>> designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
>> to survive.

>I wonder... I've seen "hopeless" powers deliberately support another
>power's solo attempt, if nothing else for revenge upon former allies who
>stabbed them, or failed to come to their aid when they still had a chance.
>The problem is that irrational behavior is not necessarily punished in
>Diplomacy; elimination merely means you need to look for the next game...

The behavior may even be considered rational if you expect
to be playing with the same people repeatedly; having a rep for
being a vindictive minor power may deter attacks on you. (Or
it may mean that the attacks are always to the death! I know
one player who refuses to participate in stop-the-leader
alliances if he has ever once been stabbed, and I make sure that if
I stab him, I *kill* him.)

It's not really possible to pin down the "winning conditions" of
Diplomacy, though a lot of effort has been expended in trying.
In my view, one of the nuances of being a good player is being
able to discern your opponents' victory conditions and play to
them.

At WacCon I played England in round 4 and found France in the
Channel in S01. I took him aside and said, "You know that I'm
a good defensive player and very stubborn; I've crawled back
from two lost positions already this tournament. You can
kill me, but it will be long and gruelling. Support me into
Belgium and we'll romp on Germany, who won't be expecting it--
we can play fast, exciting, dynamic Dip instead of attrition
war." I knew the player would go for this, and he did.

A couple of years later the puppet Germany stabbed us, spoiling
the immediate 2-way or solo chances. I went to France again
and he seemed very morose, so I talked him into 'ending his
misery' by throwing me dots, and came moderately close to a
solo. (I just don't play the late midgame well enough yet.)

This player has different "victory criteria" than I do, and I
had a lot of bad experiences with him--expecting him to
support stop-the-leader alliances, for example--before I
figured this out.

Edward Hawthorne is the master of this. It's like he reads your
mind. It's a pleasure to play with him even though one always
ends up on the short end of the stick....

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 11:45:53 AM

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

Frank Bell wrote:
> > So, if at some point in a game
> > a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
> > designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
> > to survive.
> >
>
> I wonder... I've seen "hopeless" powers deliberately support another
> power's solo attempt, if nothing else for revenge upon former allies
who
> stabbed them, or failed to come to their aid when they still had a
chance.
> The problem is that irrational behavior is not necessarily punished
in
> Diplomacy; elimination merely means you need to look for the next
game...

Hi,

I don't have enough experience to speak from experience. But, there
are probably other games out there where one wants the players to
behave in a way in which the game is modeled. Sticking to Diplomacy,
here is such a model, though it may not be very realistic, the point is
to attach a real human cost so that the dynamic of the game is played
"as desired" (depending on how one desires to play):

1. All players are isolated in a Diplomacy game playing camp.
2. If you win the game, you can eat as much food as you want.
3. If you draw the game, you can eat reasonable quantities of boring
food.
4. If you lose the game, you cannot eat for N days, or you can
only eat dog food, or what have you.

So, the above rewards in real human terms those Powers which survive.
I've tried not to reward with money, because that depends a lot on the
income of the individual.

Whether or not the above, fantasy-like rewards and costs result in a
game modeled "as desired" is always open for discussion, but my idea
was only to bring up this idea as a concept. For I think I have come
across this situation before, or at least thought about it with respect
to other games, where you want someone to play "rationally" or
"realistically" and you try to find incentives which bring about the
play desired.

Thanks
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 11:56:31 AM

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

Hi,

I might add, perhaps somewhat humorously to the above fantasy scenario,
that while the game is being played some delicious feast is slowly
being
cooked that only the winner, if any, will eat, and the vapors are
always
present, thus always motivating each player to win (perhaps each player
should not eat for four hours before the game begins).

Now that every player is highly motivated to win, each player must
temper their lust for "power" with reason and logic to determine
when and if they should make a "move" or "stab" to bring about
their desired goals.

Assuming the food product, Spam, was considered horrible and
was considered the punishment for losing, you would put cans of
(unopened!) Spam around the playing area as a reminder of the
"punishment" for losing.

Thanks
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 12:41:27 PM

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

Hi,

In short, I suspect that one would want to find human incentives
such that, in a nutshell:

every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing.

Thanks
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:37:23 PM

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

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:


><masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
>news:1108396791.993578.130640@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> David E. Cohen wrote:
>> > Rather than a rating system, which will only encourage draws
>> > and cause people to play for points, rather than enjoying each
>> > game and striving win, I would suggest a *ranking* system.
>> >
>> > Everyone starts out at first rank
>> > When a person wins a game, they advance to the second rank.
>> > To advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board
>> > composed entirely of second rank players (or better). To
>> > advance to the fourth rank, a player must win against a board
>> > composed entirely of third rank players (or better).

>> > It encourages people to play against tough, experienced
>> > opponents rather than attempt to clean up against newbies and
>> > players who are not dedicated, because tough, experienced
>> > players will be the ones with higher ranks.
>>
>> 'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games until
>> they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until they're all
>> third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)

>Yup. The first three games would be fights for a Solo, then they'd
>start gaming the system by throwing the game to players who
>haven't won, yet, so that they can start working toward third rank,
>sooner. There would be no point in forming Stop-the-Leader
>Alliances, and more early concessions, since the higher ranked
>players would want the lower ranked players to advance, so that
>the higher-ranked players could then advance to the next level, and
>the lower-ranked players would have no motive to fight together to
>prevent the Solo when they could instead concede and start a second
>game where they might have a chance to Solo. In short it would
>truly be a rank system. (Rank - adj. : offensively gross, putrid,
>malodorous) ;-)

>Eric.
>--

Devious Diplomacy Denizens have no end of machinations that they
can design to exploit the incentives in a system..... do they?

;-)

Thanks, Eric, I think you have to be a bit more complicated to
make a rank system work. Another idea in this same genre is the
concept of tennis (or racquetball etc.) ladders where you have
bands of people and challenge people above you to move up.
Everything is SOOO much harder in the seven player environment
though.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:37:24 PM

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

Jim Burgess wrote:
> "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
>> <masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1108396791.993578.130640@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>>> David E. Cohen wrote:

>>>> Everyone starts out at first rank. When a person [Solos], they
>>>> advance to the second rank. To advance to the third rank,
>>>> a player must [Solo] against a board composed entirely
>>>> of second rank players (or better).

>>> 'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games
>>> until they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until
>>> they're all third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)

>> Yup. The first three games would be fights for a Solo, then
>> they'd start gaming the system by throwing the game to players
>> who haven't won, yet, so that they can start working toward
>> third rank, sooner. There would be no point in forming
>> Stop-the-Leader Alliances, and more early concessions, since
>> the higher ranked players would want the lower ranked
>> players to advance, so that the higher-ranked players could
>> then advance to the next level, and the lower-ranked players
>> would have no motive to fight together to prevent the Solo
>> when they could instead concede and start a second game
>>where they might have a chance to Solo.

> Devious Diplomacy Denizens have no end of machinations that they
> can design to exploit the incentives in a system..... do they? ;-)

Well, as the person who almost single-handedly eliminated the
semi-final round of the Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament,
I'd have to say, no. ;-)

> Thanks, Eric, I think you have to be a bit more complicated to
> make a rank system work.

I'd say the problem is more fundamental than that, though. The
rules say, "As soon as one Great Power controls 18 supply
centers ... The player representing that Great Power is the
winner. However, players can end the game by agreement
before a winner is determined. In this case, all players who
still have pieces on the board share equally in the draw."
David, in his zealotry, ignores this last sentence, and ignoring
it changes the game much more than any ratings system that
rewards Draws could ever do.

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:39:15 PM

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

"NewsGroupUser" <Google2007@mailinator.com> writes:

VEry concise and the tone is just right. You would want to
add the concept of balance of power to the discussion,
another favorite theme of Allan's.

Jim-Bob

>Hi,

>I'm adding my two cents to this thread, though my remarks
>are not specifically related to Mary's just above.

>I'm reading through the book, Calhamer on Diplomacy,
>and although it is hard to look through it to find a quote,
>and even if quoted I might miss some context, my general
>impression is that a Power should certainly prefer drawing
>to losing since this means that the Power survived. But,
>if a Power thinks it might win, then ideally the Power should
>try to win, that is, think about the risks involved in trying
>to win and then make a decision.

>In short, Diplomacy is designed with the assumption that
>every Power will always try to win, and that failing this,
>a Power will try to draw, and that a Power never, ever
>will accept a defeat if it can help it. Anyway, that's my
>impression from his book. So, if at some point in a game
>a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
>designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
>to survive.

>Thanks
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:40:32 PM

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

"Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> writes:

>> So, if at some point in a game
>> a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
>> designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
>> to survive.
>>

>I wonder... I've seen "hopeless" powers deliberately support another
>power's solo attempt, if nothing else for revenge upon former allies who
>stabbed them, or failed to come to their aid when they still had a chance.
>The problem is that irrational behavior is not necessarily punished in
>Diplomacy; elimination merely means you need to look for the next game...

It is very, very, very, VERY dangerous to think of such reactions
as irrational, for a whole host of reasons.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:44:50 PM

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

mkkuhner@kingman.gs.washington.edu (Mary K. Kuhner) writes:

> In article <cqcQd.15$nn.10@fe12.lga>,
> David E. Cohen <zendip18AToptonlineDOTnet> wrote:
>>People like that abandon whether there is a scoring system or not.
>
>>Why not quit? Because you may win, or you may learn something, or you may
>>get revenge, or...
>
> I have never abandoned a game, but speaking only for myself as
> a player, I would find a scoring system that gave no credit to
> any outcome but a solo a strong incentive to abandon. Or
> ignore the scoring system and just play the way I do anyway
> (trying to get into the smallest possible draw) but presumably
> that's not what you want either.
[...]

Hm, what if you can not only get a higher rank, but also loose your
rank? Playing for a draw would than mean (w.r.t. the rank system) that
you strive to stay where you are without loosing.

Oliver
--
27 Pluviôse an 213 de la Révolution
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 5:53:08 PM

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

"Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> writes:

>> So, if at some point in a game
>> a Power simply sees no way to win, then the game
>> designer would expect that Power to be rational and attempt
>> to survive.
>>
>
> I wonder... I've seen "hopeless" powers deliberately support another
> power's solo attempt, if nothing else for revenge upon former allies who
> stabbed them, or failed to come to their aid when they still had a chance.
> The problem is that irrational behavior is not necessarily punished in
> Diplomacy; elimination merely means you need to look for the next game...
[...]

If extinction is ahead, you don't have a goal left to evaluate possible
goal-means relationships (that's what rationality is about), so
whatever you do: it is neither rational nor irrational, so you could
at least get the fun of sweet revenge out of it.

(Of course, that's different, if you still have a chance of survival.
In a sense the possibility of a perfectly valid revenge is important
for small powers to survive: "I have nothing to loose. Cooperate with
me or I throw the game to the leader.")

Oliver
--
27 Pluviôse an 213 de la Révolution
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 9:18:21 PM

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

>
> It is very, very, very, VERY dangerous to think of such reactions
> as irrational, for a whole host of reasons.
>

Yep, that was kind of my point; since there is no real disincentive to
acting irrationally (within the context described in this thread, anyway),
you can't depend on anyone to act "rationally."
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 9:22:17 PM

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

> In short, I suspect that one would want to find human incentives
> such that, in a nutshell:
>
> every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing.
>

I wonder if this isn't at the heart of the "problem"- I for one do not dread
losing, since I can always find another game. It's not as if I'm the REAL
leader of a REAL nation; if I'm eliminated as Germany in '08, I don't have
to worry about what will happen to me or my countrymen in '09 :-)
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 9:35:40 PM

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

In article <1108485953.821397.155840@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
NewsGroupUser <Google2007@mailinator.com> wrote:

>1. All players are isolated in a Diplomacy game playing camp.

Any analysis that starts with this *has* to deal with metagaming
(issues that continue from game to game or spill over from the
game into other activities). If you told me that my opponents
wouldn't eat if they lost, for example, I wouldn't play to win--
partly out of empathy, partly because they might be vindictive!

Abstract theoretical analysis works better with anonymous games
(common on the Judges) where what you do in one game doesn't
affect other games. I'd suggest trying to reframe your analysis
in that context. Non-anonymous games can hardly avoid metagaming.
Many groups have social contracts that try to limit it (i.e.
it's not fair to come into the game with pre-arranged alliances)
but I don't know any group that, for example, rules out use of
prior knowledge about play style.

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 15, 2005 10:08:50 PM

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

David E. Cohen wrote:
> If you lose, your country is not destroyed, and you are not executed.
Fear
> of losing, in a game, is silly, and rating systems which place value
on
> draws encourage the silliness, and encourage boring, conservative
play.
>
> Loosen up, drawmongers! There will always be another world to
conquer!

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your good comments. It should be noted that I am a novice,
and don't have the accumulated experience of most people here.

It is true that Bobby Fischer hated the way many Russian players played
chess because they played for a draw on many occasions instead of
playing
a rough and tumble, double-edged fight where you either win or
lose.

So, basically, Dave, I take it that you are saying that my novice
hypothesis:
"every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing"

is false, and is not considered the best outlook to have to play a
great
game of Diplomacy.

So, the best way to have a great game of Diplomacy is, for
instance, when each player has this outlook?
"every player is highly motivated to win, is satisfied with a
draw if no win is possible, and will tenaciously defend when
necessary to prevent a loss."

[where "defend" may have many meanings depending on the
context, including a counter-attack.]

Thanks


>
>
> "Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:vswQd.458$1P.400@fe61.usenetserver.com...
> >
> > > In short, I suspect that one would want to find human incentives
> > > such that, in a nutshell:
> > >
> > > every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing.
> > >
> >
> > I wonder if this isn't at the heart of the "problem"- I for one do
not
> dread
> > losing, since I can always find another game. It's not as if I'm
the REAL
> > leader of a REAL nation; if I'm eliminated as Germany in '08, I
don't have
> > to worry about what will happen to me or my countrymen in '09 :-)
> >
> >
> >
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 12:44:59 AM

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

I didn't ignore it. The object of the game is to win. Not to draw.

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> wrote in message
news:78Kdnaqm34xJrI_fRVn-vA@comcast.com...
> Jim Burgess wrote:
> > "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
> >> <masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
> >> news:1108396791.993578.130640@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> >>> David E. Cohen wrote:
>
> >>>> Everyone starts out at first rank. When a person [Solos], they
> >>>> advance to the second rank. To advance to the third rank,
> >>>> a player must [Solo] against a board composed entirely
> >>>> of second rank players (or better).
>
> >>> 'Course, I could also see the same seven guys playing games
> >>> until they're all second-rank -- then continuing to play until
> >>> they're all third-rank, then fourth, then fifth . . . :-)
>
> >> Yup. The first three games would be fights for a Solo, then
> >> they'd start gaming the system by throwing the game to players
> >> who haven't won, yet, so that they can start working toward
> >> third rank, sooner. There would be no point in forming
> >> Stop-the-Leader Alliances, and more early concessions, since
> >> the higher ranked players would want the lower ranked
> >> players to advance, so that the higher-ranked players could
> >> then advance to the next level, and the lower-ranked players
> >> would have no motive to fight together to prevent the Solo
> >> when they could instead concede and start a second game
> >>where they might have a chance to Solo.
>
> > Devious Diplomacy Denizens have no end of machinations that they
> > can design to exploit the incentives in a system..... do they? ;-)
>
> Well, as the person who almost single-handedly eliminated the
> semi-final round of the Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament,
> I'd have to say, no. ;-)
>
> > Thanks, Eric, I think you have to be a bit more complicated to
> > make a rank system work.
>
> I'd say the problem is more fundamental than that, though. The
> rules say, "As soon as one Great Power controls 18 supply
> centers ... The player representing that Great Power is the
> winner. However, players can end the game by agreement
> before a winner is determined. In this case, all players who
> still have pieces on the board share equally in the draw."
> David, in his zealotry, ignores this last sentence, and ignoring
> it changes the game much more than any ratings system that
> rewards Draws could ever do.
>
> Eric.
> --
>
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 12:54:12 AM

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

If you lose, your country is not destroyed, and you are not executed. Fear
of losing, in a game, is silly, and rating systems which place value on
draws encourage the silliness, and encourage boring, conservative play.

Loosen up, drawmongers! There will always be another world to conquer!


"Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> wrote in message
news:vswQd.458$1P.400@fe61.usenetserver.com...
>
> > In short, I suspect that one would want to find human incentives
> > such that, in a nutshell:
> >
> > every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing.
> >
>
> I wonder if this isn't at the heart of the "problem"- I for one do not
dread
> losing, since I can always find another game. It's not as if I'm the REAL
> leader of a REAL nation; if I'm eliminated as Germany in '08, I don't have
> to worry about what will happen to me or my countrymen in '09 :-)
>
>
>
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 1:21:15 AM

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

The chess analogy is not apt. The top players can make a living at it,
which breeds a different attitude. Diplomacy players play only for the
love of the game. If you play for love of the game, why play halfway? Let
it all hang out, and go for the win, even at long odds, rather than settle
for a draw. You will likely have more fun.

I quote Theodore Roosevelt:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and
shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the
great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy
cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and
who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that
his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither
victory nor defeat.


"NewsGroupUser" <Google2007@mailinator.com> wrote in message
news:1108523329.988903.178920@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> David E. Cohen wrote:
> > If you lose, your country is not destroyed, and you are not executed.
> Fear
> > of losing, in a game, is silly, and rating systems which place value
> on
> > draws encourage the silliness, and encourage boring, conservative
> play.
> >
> > Loosen up, drawmongers! There will always be another world to
> conquer!
>
> Hi Dave,
>
> Thanks for your good comments. It should be noted that I am a novice,
> and don't have the accumulated experience of most people here.
>
> It is true that Bobby Fischer hated the way many Russian players played
> chess because they played for a draw on many occasions instead of
> playing
> a rough and tumble, double-edged fight where you either win or
> lose.
>
> So, basically, Dave, I take it that you are saying that my novice
> hypothesis:
> "every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing"
>
> is false, and is not considered the best outlook to have to play a
> great
> game of Diplomacy.
>
> So, the best way to have a great game of Diplomacy is, for
> instance, when each player has this outlook?
> "every player is highly motivated to win, is satisfied with a
> draw if no win is possible, and will tenaciously defend when
> necessary to prevent a loss."
>
> [where "defend" may have many meanings depending on the
> context, including a counter-attack.]
>
> Thanks
>
>
> >
> >
> > "Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> wrote in message
> > news:vswQd.458$1P.400@fe61.usenetserver.com...
> > >
> > > > In short, I suspect that one would want to find human incentives
> > > > such that, in a nutshell:
> > > >
> > > > every player is highly motivated to win, but will dread losing.
> > > >
> > >
> > > I wonder if this isn't at the heart of the "problem"- I for one do
> not
> > dread
> > > losing, since I can always find another game. It's not as if I'm
> the REAL
> > > leader of a REAL nation; if I'm eliminated as Germany in '08, I
> don't have
> > > to worry about what will happen to me or my countrymen in '09 :-)
> > >
> > >
> > >
>
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 3:59:45 AM

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

"Frank Bell" <frank999@fastmail.co.uk> writes:

>>
>> It is very, very, very, VERY dangerous to think of such reactions
>> as irrational, for a whole host of reasons.
>>

>Yep, that was kind of my point; since there is no real disincentive to
>acting irrationally (within the context described in this thread, anyway),
>you can't depend on anyone to act "rationally."

But I was saying even more, I think most or all of the behavior being
described is quite rational, in the wider context in which it needs
to be taken. And like the shark Ed Hawthorne that Mary described,
good players work with this and even exploit it, ruthlessly, or
less ruthlessly.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 3:59:46 AM

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

> But I was saying even more, I think most or all of the behavior being
> described is quite rational, in the wider context in which it needs
> to be taken. And like the shark Ed Hawthorne that Mary described,
> good players work with this and even exploit it, ruthlessly, or
> less ruthlessly.
>

I see your point... I guess we wouldn't see so much of that kind of behavior
if it weren't somehow "rational" :-)
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 8:33:45 AM

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

In article <S1zQd.113$ad1.99@fe12.lga>,
David E. Cohen <zendip18AToptonlineDOTnet> wrote:
>If you play for love of the game, why play halfway? Let
>it all hang out, and go for the win, even at long odds, rather than settle
>for a draw. You will likely have more fun.

While this is a nice theory, it is only true for some players
and I don't happen to be one of them (proven by experiment).
So I'm going to continue playing the game the way *I* have the
most fun.

I think this one-size-fits-all attitude is just as useless in
Dip as it is anywhere else; people just aren't all the same,
and don't all enjoy the same things. Even if they all enjoy
Dip.

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 11:54:41 AM

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

David E. Cohen wrote:
> Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted if
> people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
> system? None at all. Of course.

Well, I would argue that it is the one which most accurately reflects
the rules of the game, the game designer's intentions, and the way in
which the game is actually played by most people. It would take into
account the skill of the players, so you can't inflate your rating by
beating newbies; your rating wouldn't increase just for playing more
games, you'd have to win to improve your rating, and it would reflect
the fact that a Solo is better than a Draw, AND a Draw is better than
being eliminated, or surviving in someone else's Solo. Hmmm, funny,
that sounds like the JDPR. ;-)

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 3:42:55 AM

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

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:

>David E. Cohen wrote:
>> Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted if
>> people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
>> system? None at all. Of course.

>Well, I would argue that it is the one which most accurately reflects
>the rules of the game, the game designer's intentions, and the way in
>which the game is actually played by most people. It would take into
>account the skill of the players, so you can't inflate your rating by
>beating newbies; your rating wouldn't increase just for playing more
>games, you'd have to win to improve your rating, and it would reflect
>the fact that a Solo is better than a Draw, AND a Draw is better than
>being eliminated, or surviving in someone else's Solo. Hmmm, funny,
>that sounds like the JDPR. ;-)

>Eric.
>--

Yeah, I was thinking precisely the same thing. If you go down this
path, you can do much, much worse than the JDPR. David will argue
that point though, I'm sure.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 3:42:56 AM

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

Jim, should I bother? If they really want to muck up the Game, they will
get no more and no less than they deserve.

I'm feeling quite tired today, and don't feel much like preaching the good
word--and I am reminded of Louis Armstrong's response when he was asked to
define jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll never know".


"Jim Burgess" <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
news:cv0paf$66e$1@pcls4.std.com...
> "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
>
> >David E. Cohen wrote:
> >> Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted if
> >> people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
> >> system? None at all. Of course.
>
> >Well, I would argue that it is the one which most accurately reflects
> >the rules of the game, the game designer's intentions, and the way in
> >which the game is actually played by most people. It would take into
> >account the skill of the players, so you can't inflate your rating by
> >beating newbies; your rating wouldn't increase just for playing more
> >games, you'd have to win to improve your rating, and it would reflect
> >the fact that a Solo is better than a Draw, AND a Draw is better than
> >being eliminated, or surviving in someone else's Solo. Hmmm, funny,
> >that sounds like the JDPR. ;-)
>
> >Eric.
> >--
>
> Yeah, I was thinking precisely the same thing. If you go down this
> path, you can do much, much worse than the JDPR. David will argue
> that point though, I'm sure.
>
> Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 3:42:57 AM

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

David E. Cohen wrote:
> Jim, should I bother? If they really want to muck up the Game,
> they will get no more and no less than they deserve.
>
> I'm feeling quite tired today, and don't feel much like preaching
> the good word--and I am reminded of Louis Armstrong's response
> when he was asked to define jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll
> never know".

Yes, by all means, David, rather than conceding the point, resort
to an Ad Hominem argument.

The richness of the Game comes from the fact that people
approach the table with different goals and different motivations,
and the ability to understand those differences, and being able to
shift a player's goals as the game proceeds is key to being able to
play the game to its fullest. You're welcome to your limited view,
but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to play
the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
own small chance to Solo to do it. Sometimes a Draw is the best
result you can rationally hope for, and playing for a long-shot at
a Solo amounts to not doing what's necessary to stop someone
else who has a much better chance.

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 4:03:15 AM

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

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:

>David E. Cohen wrote:
>> Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted if
>> people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
>> system? None at all. Of course.

>>Well, I would argue that it is the one which most accurately reflects
>>the rules of the game, the game designer's intentions, and the way in
>>which the game is actually played by most people.

If a rating system appears fair and reasonable, and there is no
big profit in trying to subvert it, most people won't. There are
plenty of ways to "game" the tournament chess rating system, but
until there was a substantial financial incentive it didn't seem
to be a problem. (At one point--I haven't followed events in
that community for a few decades--an organization started offering
large cash prizes to "best player in rating category X" where
X went down to rather weak levels. Suddenly, considerable subversion
of the rating system ensued, at least in the circles where I was
playing at the time. But I think this was more due to the big
money than the rating system pe se.)

If a rating system appears unfair or unreasonable, people *will*
subvert it--why not? It won't have any value to them, so why
not treat it as a cheap toy and try to break it?

After the first time or so when a group of players said to me,
"Mary, we don't want you to play--this is a category 4 game and
you're only category 3" I would be strongly motivated to break
the rating system, probably by rounding up six category 3 friends
and round-robining us all into category 4. I don't get all that
many chances to play FTF Diplomacy and I'd be really angry if a
rating system took some of them away.

One definite goal of any rating or ranking system for a game should
be making the game more fun to play, and a system that requires you
to exclude players from your games in order to advance has
big problems in that regard.

If you wanted a variant that would be at least a bit better, you
should take notice of solos against at least one category X
player, not just against all category X players. Having tried
to get a solo on a board consisting of Edi Birsan and some
relative newbies, I can vouch for the fact that this is not a
gimmie (they not only stopped me, they eliminated me!)

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 8:34:41 AM

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

In article <0ZednR19xrVAtYnfRVn-jg@comcast.com>,
Eric Hunter <hunter90@comcast.not> wrote:
>You're welcome to your limited view,
>but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to play
>the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
>stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
>own small chance to Solo to do it.

Perhaps the real crux of the matter is that by playing as we
do, players like you and me are getting in the way of David's
solos! So unreasonable of us....

Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 11:15:53 PM

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

"David E. Cohen" <david_e_cohen@yahoo.com> writes:

Awwww come on, David, you just picked up a bit in a private E-mail
exchange we're having, I'll return the favor publicly here.

It most definitely IS worth it to try to pick up the tired, the
downtrodden, and the heavy laden, and give them THE GAME again.

I like discussing these things with you (all of you) and we all
have our hot buttons. It pretty much is impossible to get the
words "gunboat" or "anonymous play" by me on this forum without
commentary from me, and so it has been for 15 years or more.

But we all have bad days....

Jim-Bob

>Jim, should I bother? If they really want to muck up the Game, they will
>get no more and no less than they deserve.

>I'm feeling quite tired today, and don't feel much like preaching the good
>word--and I am reminded of Louis Armstrong's response when he was asked to
>define jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll never know".


>"Jim Burgess" <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
>news:cv0paf$66e$1@pcls4.std.com...
>> "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
>>
>> >David E. Cohen wrote:
>> >> Which only proves that ALL systems can be subverted if
>> >> people want to do it, so what is the best rating/ranking
>> >> system? None at all. Of course.
>>
>> >Well, I would argue that it is the one which most accurately reflects
>> >the rules of the game, the game designer's intentions, and the way in
>> >which the game is actually played by most people. It would take into
>> >account the skill of the players, so you can't inflate your rating by
>> >beating newbies; your rating wouldn't increase just for playing more
>> >games, you'd have to win to improve your rating, and it would reflect
>> >the fact that a Solo is better than a Draw, AND a Draw is better than
>> >being eliminated, or surviving in someone else's Solo. Hmmm, funny,
>> >that sounds like the JDPR. ;-)
>>
>> >Eric.
>> >--
>>
>> Yeah, I was thinking precisely the same thing. If you go down this
>> path, you can do much, much worse than the JDPR. David will argue
>> that point though, I'm sure.
>>
>> Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 11:22:40 PM

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

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:

>David E. Cohen wrote:
>> Jim, should I bother? If they really want to muck up the Game,
>> they will get no more and no less than they deserve.
>>
>> I'm feeling quite tired today, and don't feel much like preaching
>> the good word--and I am reminded of Louis Armstrong's response
>> when he was asked to define jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll
>> never know".

>Yes, by all means, David, rather than conceding the point, resort
>to an Ad Hominem argument.

>The richness of the Game comes from the fact that people
>approach the table with different goals and different motivations,
>and the ability to understand those differences, and being able to
>shift a player's goals as the game proceeds is key to being able to
>play the game to its fullest. You're welcome to your limited view,
>but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to play
>the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
>stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
>own small chance to Solo to do it. Sometimes a Draw is the best
>result you can rationally hope for, and playing for a long-shot at
>a Solo amounts to not doing what's necessary to stop someone
>else who has a much better chance.

>Eric.
>--



Since Eric, at least, is willing to debate, let me pop off on my
view of the flaw in this argument. It is the difference between
raw random uncertainty and risk. None of the chances you face
in this game are static. And there is gain in manipulating other
players (or gently urging them... whatever works) to change the odds.

In many cases, perhaps even nearly all, stopping another player from
soloing is part of the way of increasing one's own chances to solo.
About the only exception I can think of is when one player is near
an 18 center win, and you trail them by 2-4 centers. If the "little
guys" put all their units into stopping the leader, while you eat
them up from behind, you might increase your chances of winning,
but very much risk the solo, especially if the little guys DON'T
stop the leader. But in all other cases I can think of, you
actually get positive outcomes for both stopping solos and increasing
your own chances of soloing by good balance of power play that
well... stops the solo.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 1:00:23 AM

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

Jim Burgess wrote:
> "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
>
>> The richness of the Game comes from the fact that people
>> approach the table with different goals and different motivations,
>> and the ability to understand those differences, and being able to
>> shift a player's goals as the game proceeds is key to being able to
>> play the game to its fullest. You're welcome to your limited view,
>> but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to
>> play the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
>> stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
>> own small chance to Solo to do it. Sometimes a Draw is the best
>> result you can rationally hope for, and playing for a long-shot at
>> a Solo amounts to not doing what's necessary to stop someone
>> else who has a much better chance.

> Since Eric, at least, is willing to debate, let me pop off on my
> view of the flaw in this argument. It is the difference between
> raw random uncertainty and risk. None of the chances you face
> in this game are static. And there is gain in manipulating other
> players (or gently urging them) to change the odds.

Oh, certainly. The "game-state" changes with each set of moves,
and indeed with each piece of press sent or received, and you
should be continuously re-evaluating your position, your
objectives, your opportunities, and your risks, but if your opening
goes sour, I think it's irrational to continue to fight for a solo.
Your better off securing your position in a Draw, and then looking
for opportunities to solo in the endgame.

> In many cases, stopping another player from soloing is part
> of the way of increasing one's own chances to solo.

Hmmm... That's true in the sense that stopping the leader makes
everyone else's solo more likely, but I feel it is often the case
that playing to solo is different on a tactical and strategic level
than playing to stop someone else from soloing is.

> About the only exception I can think of is when one player is near
> an 18 center win, and you trail them by 2-4 centers.

Depends on your definition of near, I suppose. If the west is 8-5-4,
and the east is 7-4-4-2, I think it can be very dangerous for the
smaller powers to fight with each other in an attempt to "improve
their position".

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 5:05:25 PM

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

>Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names
for
>each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second
rank. To
>advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
>entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the fourth
rank,
>a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank
players
>(or better).

I'm actually mucking around with the data in 15 years worth of Judge
games to see what this ranking system might have done.

There are a lot of second-rank players, of course.

The first third-rank player is Jamie Dreier, in 1996, after his win in
'dsi95' (which was a game that specifically invited the top players).

Glenn Ledder comes close in 1999, defeating five second-rank players in
'tim11'.

Roger Yonkoski became the second third-rank player in 2001, defeating
six second-rank players in the 2000-2002 Vermont Group Full-Press
Tournament semi-final game 'moose' (and he won the tournament in the
next game).

Tim Goodwin came close later that year, defeating five second-rank
players in the Vermont Group game 'lock'.

William Murphy came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players
(including Tim) in 'a5merigo' on USOS.

Rod Spade came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players in
'gutxy' on NZMB.

Scot Peterson came close in 2003, defeating five second-rank players in
the 2002-2004 Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament semi-final game
'foot'.

No data yet for 2004, but I think I can safely guess that there are no
fourth-rank players. :-) The two guys who made third rank were both,
at one point, the #1 player in the world according to the JDPR
rankings.

Doug

(This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games, where the
soloist played the entire game, and the six "defeated" players were the
original players for each power -- although in both cases where a
third-rank player was crowned, the others played the whole game anyway).
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 5:51:24 PM

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

"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:

>Jim Burgess wrote:
>> "Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> writes:
>>
>>> The richness of the Game comes from the fact that people
>>> approach the table with different goals and different motivations,
>>> and the ability to understand those differences, and being able to
>>> shift a player's goals as the game proceeds is key to being able to
>>> play the game to its fullest. You're welcome to your limited view,
>>> but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to
>>> play the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
>>> stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
>>> own small chance to Solo to do it. Sometimes a Draw is the best
>>> result you can rationally hope for, and playing for a long-shot at
>>> a Solo amounts to not doing what's necessary to stop someone
>>> else who has a much better chance.

>> Since Eric, at least, is willing to debate, let me pop off on my
>> view of the flaw in this argument. It is the difference between
>> raw random uncertainty and risk. None of the chances you face
>> in this game are static. And there is gain in manipulating other
>> players (or gently urging them) to change the odds.

>Oh, certainly. The "game-state" changes with each set of moves,
>and indeed with each piece of press sent or received, and you
>should be continuously re-evaluating your position, your
>objectives, your opportunities, and your risks, but if your opening
>goes sour, I think it's irrational to continue to fight for a solo.
>Your better off securing your position in a Draw, and then looking
>for opportunities to solo in the endgame.

That being said, the debate would only be a matter of degree,
but I just wanted to make that point.

>> In many cases, stopping another player from soloing is part
>> of the way of increasing one's own chances to solo.

>Hmmm... That's true in the sense that stopping the leader makes
>everyone else's solo more likely, but I feel it is often the case
>that playing to solo is different on a tactical and strategic level
>than playing to stop someone else from soloing is.

I do think that is dependent upon the situation.

>> About the only exception I can think of is when one player is near
>> an 18 center win, and you trail them by 2-4 centers.

>Depends on your definition of near, I suppose. If the west is 8-5-4,
>and the east is 7-4-4-2, I think it can be very dangerous for the
>smaller powers to fight with each other in an attempt to "improve
>their position".

>Eric.
>--
I was thinking of one player at 14-17 and you at 10-14, with only
small other powers remaining. I completely agree that the situation
you describe is the most common "problematic" situation when goals
and objectives vary.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 9:38:42 PM

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

Sorry about that. I actually meant for it to be a private message, not an
argument to anyone.

But I'll go through your points.


"Eric Hunter" <hunter90@comcast.not> wrote in message
news:0ZednR19xrVAtYnfRVn-jg@comcast.com...
> David E. Cohen wrote:
> > Jim, should I bother? If they really want to muck up the Game,
> > they will get no more and no less than they deserve.
> >
> > I'm feeling quite tired today, and don't feel much like preaching
> > the good word--and I am reminded of Louis Armstrong's response
> > when he was asked to define jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask, you'll
> > never know".
>
> Yes, by all means, David, rather than conceding the point, resort
> to an Ad Hominem argument.
>
> The richness of the Game comes from the fact that people
> approach the table with different goals and different motivations,
> and the ability to understand those differences, and being able to
> shift a player's goals as the game proceeds is key to being able to
> play the game to its fullest.

Some part of it comes from that, but certain attitudes do detract from the
excitement of play, among them easy readiness to accept a draw, the bizarre
concept that somehow a 4 way draw is better than a 5 way draw, and so forth.


You're welcome to your limited view,
> but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to play
> the Game.

You can play the game any way you want. What I am trying to do is to
influence people to play in a way that result in more exciting games and a
higher caliber of play.

Most of us understand that there is always value in
> stopping someone else's Solo,

There is.


even if you have to give up your
> own small chance to Solo to do it.

Not that much.


Sometimes a Draw is the best
> result you can rationally hope for,

Yes.

and playing for a long-shot at
> a Solo amounts to not doing what's necessary to stop someone
> else who has a much better chance.

This does not necessarily follow from your previous statement.
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 9:40:12 PM

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

No, you are getting in the way of *your own*!


"Mary K. Kuhner" <mkkuhner@kingman.gs.washington.edu> wrote in message
news:cv1adh$uml$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu...
> In article <0ZednR19xrVAtYnfRVn-jg@comcast.com>,
> Eric Hunter <hunter90@comcast.not> wrote:
> >You're welcome to your limited view,
> >but you really shouldn't try to sell it as the only proper way to play
> >the Game. Most of us understand that there is always value in
> >stopping someone else's Solo, even if you have to give up your
> >own small chance to Solo to do it.
>
> Perhaps the real crux of the matter is that by playing as we
> do, players like you and me are getting in the way of David's
> solos! So unreasonable of us....
>
> Mary Kuhner mkkuhner@eskimo.com
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 9:51:07 PM

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

Why not include variants (including the no-press variant)? And why not
include games where there are replacements other than the soloist? Just use
the lowest rank for anyone playing the particular position. This would
probably generate more "up-ranking".

This makes me want to play Jamie Dreier. I have already played against
Roger, and wouldn't mind doing so again either. -[:^)


<masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1108764325.335398.243570@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> >Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names
> for
> >each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second
> rank. To
> >advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
> >entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the fourth
> rank,
> >a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank
> players
> >(or better).
>
> I'm actually mucking around with the data in 15 years worth of Judge
> games to see what this ranking system might have done.
>
> There are a lot of second-rank players, of course.
>
> The first third-rank player is Jamie Dreier, in 1996, after his win in
> 'dsi95' (which was a game that specifically invited the top players).
>
> Glenn Ledder comes close in 1999, defeating five second-rank players in
> 'tim11'.
>
> Roger Yonkoski became the second third-rank player in 2001, defeating
> six second-rank players in the 2000-2002 Vermont Group Full-Press
> Tournament semi-final game 'moose' (and he won the tournament in the
> next game).
>
> Tim Goodwin came close later that year, defeating five second-rank
> players in the Vermont Group game 'lock'.
>
> William Murphy came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players
> (including Tim) in 'a5merigo' on USOS.
>
> Rod Spade came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players in
> 'gutxy' on NZMB.
>
> Scot Peterson came close in 2003, defeating five second-rank players in
> the 2002-2004 Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament semi-final game
> 'foot'.
>
> No data yet for 2004, but I think I can safely guess that there are no
> fourth-rank players. :-) The two guys who made third rank were both,
> at one point, the #1 player in the world according to the JDPR
> rankings.
>
> Doug
>
> (This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games, where the
> soloist played the entire game, and the six "defeated" players were the
> original players for each power -- although in both cases where a
> third-rank player was crowned, the others played the whole game anyway).
>
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 2:34:04 AM

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

masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com writes:

Fascinating.... I would have guessed there were more third rank players...

>>Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names
>for
>>each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second
>rank. To
>>advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
>>entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the fourth
>rank,
>>a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank
>players
>>(or better).

>I'm actually mucking around with the data in 15 years worth of Judge
>games to see what this ranking system might have done.

>There are a lot of second-rank players, of course.

I'd actually be interested in an order of magnitude count of that.
How many people actually have won games? In the regular games you
defined (correctly, of course, you can't count anonymous/gunboat
games for this) that must be 1000 people by now. Given that, and
the tendency for good players to want to play other good players,
you'd think there were more games with seven second rank players.
Could you give us that number easily? Obviously many, many of them
ended in draws, but given the subject of the thread, that would
be interesting to know. I'd like to know, e.g., what players have
been in many many all second rank games, but never won.

>The first third-rank player is Jamie Dreier, in 1996, after his win in
>'dsi95' (which was a game that specifically invited the top players).

Yes, of course. But didn't Dan Shoham also win some of those invite
games around that same time? Or Conrad Minshall? Or a host of other
players? This is the part that surprises me. Despite the contention
by all participants that a three way was "more likely" and many of
these games ended in one, I seem to recall a lot of wins in these.

>Glenn Ledder comes close in 1999, defeating five second-rank players in
>'tim11'.

>Roger Yonkoski became the second third-rank player in 2001, defeating
>six second-rank players in the 2000-2002 Vermont Group Full-Press
>Tournament semi-final game 'moose' (and he won the tournament in the
>next game).

Yes, I thought Roger would be in there from that game. But no one
else from any of the other tournament games? That is a bit more
surprising.

>Tim Goodwin came close later that year, defeating five second-rank
>players in the Vermont Group game 'lock'.

>William Murphy came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players
>(including Tim) in 'a5merigo' on USOS.

>Rod Spade came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players in
>'gutxy' on NZMB.

>Scot Peterson came close in 2003, defeating five second-rank players in
>the 2002-2004 Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament semi-final game
>'foot'.

Glenn, Tim, William, Rod and Scot then seem to have much to crow about.
Hurray for them!! Too bad that last players in each of these games
hadn't won. I suspect in each case (or most of them) the player
HAD won, just not in a regular, open, full press game.

>No data yet for 2004, but I think I can safely guess that there are no
>fourth-rank players. :-) The two guys who made third rank were both,
>at one point, the #1 player in the world according to the JDPR
>rankings.

>Doug

Yes, two good choices and ones I would have bet were third rank
players before you started.

>(This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games, where the
>soloist played the entire game, and the six "defeated" players were the
>original players for each power -- although in both cases where a
>third-rank player was crowned, the others played the whole game anyway).

I think that is the right standard.

Jim-Bob
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 2:34:05 AM

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

Jim Burgess wrote:
> masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com writes:
>
>> There are a lot of second-rank players, of course.
>
> How many people actually have won games?
> that must be 1000 people by now. Given that, and
> the tendency for good players to want to play other good players,
> you'd think there were more games with seven second rank players.

I think you underestimate the effect of the Judge tendency toward
anonymous play. Invitational games, and games for restricted
ratings like 'over1200' and 'gutsy', and the Vermont Group
Ratings-Class Game Queues are fairly recent occurrences, and
still the exception, rather than the rule.

> I would have guessed there were more third rank players...
> didn't Dan Shoham also win some of those invite
> games around that same time? Or Conrad Minshall?
> This is the part that surprises me.

Yes, I would have expected them to be third-rank, as well.

>> (This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games,
>> where the soloist played the entire game, and the six
>> "defeated" players were the original players for each power

This limit might account for it though. Judge games without
replacements are uncommon outside of the Vermont Group.

Eric.
--
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 6:52:27 AM

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

OK David. First you need to get 3rd ranked. (I guess that would mean
playing on a Judge! :-) Try not to make a bad face ;-)

Then wait for 4 more people to make it.

Then talk Jamie out of retirement and me out of my sabatical
and you are on! :-)

It was surprising that ghods or ghod2 or games like that would not have
gotten a third ranker. Perhaps they were draws or one player in the
game had gotten his rep from a bunch of draws? The rating system at the
time did favor volume over quality of wins.

Probably the only way to move people up rank would be to require that
they only play with others of the same rank, once there were sufficient
numbers at a given rank. (Most people would like a bit more flexibility
than than, so perhaps a mix of these games and unofficial ranking games
would be required.)

The ranking system is an interesting idea.

Roger

David E. Cohen wrote:

> Why not include variants (including the no-press variant)? And why not
> include games where there are replacements other than the soloist? Just use
> the lowest rank for anyone playing the particular position. This would
> probably generate more "up-ranking".
>
> This makes me want to play Jamie Dreier. I have already played against
> Roger, and wouldn't mind doing so again either. -[:^)
>
>
> <masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1108764325.335398.243570@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
>>>Everyone starts out at first rank (feel free to assign amusing names
>>
>>for
>>
>>>each rank). When a person wins a game, they advance to the second
>>
>>rank. To
>>
>>>advance to the third rank, a player must win against a board composed
>>>entirely of second rank players (or better). To advance to the fourth
>>
>>rank,
>>
>>>a player must win against a board composed entirely of third rank
>>
>>players
>>
>>>(or better).
>>
>>I'm actually mucking around with the data in 15 years worth of Judge
>>games to see what this ranking system might have done.
>>
>>There are a lot of second-rank players, of course.
>>
>>The first third-rank player is Jamie Dreier, in 1996, after his win in
>>'dsi95' (which was a game that specifically invited the top players).
>>
>>Glenn Ledder comes close in 1999, defeating five second-rank players in
>>'tim11'.
>>
>>Roger Yonkoski became the second third-rank player in 2001, defeating
>>six second-rank players in the 2000-2002 Vermont Group Full-Press
>>Tournament semi-final game 'moose' (and he won the tournament in the
>>next game).
>>
>>Tim Goodwin came close later that year, defeating five second-rank
>>players in the Vermont Group game 'lock'.
>>
>>William Murphy came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players
>>(including Tim) in 'a5merigo' on USOS.
>>
>>Rod Spade came close in 2002, defeating five second-rank players in
>>'gutxy' on NZMB.
>>
>>Scot Peterson came close in 2003, defeating five second-rank players in
>>the 2002-2004 Vermont Group Full-Press Tournament semi-final game
>>'foot'.
>>
>>No data yet for 2004, but I think I can safely guess that there are no
>>fourth-rank players. :-) The two guys who made third rank were both,
>>at one point, the #1 player in the world according to the JDPR
>>rankings.
>>
>>Doug
>>
>>(This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games, where the
>>soloist played the entire game, and the six "defeated" players were the
>>original players for each power -- although in both cases where a
>>third-rank player was crowned, the others played the whole game anyway).
>>
>
>
>
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 7:52:34 AM

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

In article <cv5u1c$nbn$1@pcls4.std.com>,
Jim Burgess <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote:

> masseydNOSPAM@gmail.com writes:

>> Roger Yonkoski became the second third-rank player in 2001, defeating
>> six second-rank players in the 2000-2002 Vermont Group Full-Press
>> Tournament semi-final game 'moose' (and he won the tournament in the
>> next game).

>> (This only took into account full-press, regular Dip games,

I think Doug is including anonymous white-press-only games, as Roger's solo
was in moose.USVG, which was anonymous no-grey-press. I know Jim-Bob
considers anonymous games to be deficient in the levels of play they allow,
but I think the set of third-rank players under Jim-Bob's criterion is null,
which doesn't say much about players' relative skills.

The Vermont Group tournament games have never allowed grey press, as that
has been deemed to be unfairly favorable to native English speakers.

--
Randy Hudson
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