And so it came to pass that on Christmas Day 1911, the three Great Powers of Europe signed a treaty to divide the continent between them peacefully, ending what future historians would call the Great War.

The sun truly never sets on King Jack's British Empire, which stretches from Spain to Stockholm, from Casablanca to Copenhagen, from the fringes of the Sahara to the coast of the Arctic Ocean. They rule fourteen major world capitals, and innumerable smaller towns and cities, the greatest power of the age and the unquestioned master of Western Europe.

From the steppes of Siberia to the minarets of Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire is no longer the Sick Man of Europe but stands healthy and renewed, a colossus every bit the equal of the Christian powers to its west. Its Sultan calls himself the Caliph, for the entire Islamic world basks in his glory, and his Grand Vizier has been rewarded with a reputation as one of the most brilliant and devious politicians of the age. At his feet grovel representatives of twelve great cities, and even far-flung Tunis has not escaped his sway.

And in between, the Austro-Hungarian Empire straddles the Alps and ancient Italy. Its lack of natural borders presented no difficulty for its wily Emperor, who successfully staved off the surrounding powers and played his enemies off against one another while building alliances that stood the test of time. Eight great cities pay homage to his double-crown, and he is what his predecessors could only dream of being - a true Holy Roman Emperor.

And hidden beneath the tricolor map every student learns in grammar school are echoes of subtler hues. In Germany, people still talk of the mighty Kajser Sotala I, who conquered the ancient French enemy and extended German rule all the way to the Mediterranean, and they still seeth and curse at his dastardly betrayal by his English friends. In Russia, Princess Anastasia claims to be the daughter of Czar Perplexed, and recounts to everyone who will listen the story of her stoic father, who remained brave until the very end; at her side travels a strange bearded man who many say looks like Rasputin, the Czar's long-missing adviser. The French remember President Andreassen, who held off the combined armies of England and Germany for half a decade, and many still go on pilgrimage to Liverpool, the site of their last great victory. And in Italy, Duke Carinthium has gone down in history beside Tiberius and Cesare Borgia as one of their land's most colorful and fascinating leaders.

And the priests say that the same moment the peace treaty was signed, the blood changed back to water, and the famines ended, and rain fell in the lands parched by drought. Charles Taze Russell, who had been locked in his room awaiting the Apocalypse, suddenly ran forth into the midwinter sun, shouting "Our doom has been lifted! God has granted us a second chance!" And the mysterious rectangular wall of force separating Europe from the rest of the world blinked out of existence.

Pope Franz I, the new Austrian-supported Pontiff in Rome, declares a month of thanksgiving and celebration. For, he says, God has tested the Europeans for their warlike ways, isolating them from the rest of the earth lest their sprawling empires plunge the entire planet into a world war that might kill millions. Now, the nobility of Europe finally realizing the value of peace, the curse has been lifted, and the empires of Europe can once more interact upon the world stage.

Chastened by their brush with doom, yet humbled by the lesson they had been given, the powers of Europe send missionaries through the dimensional portal, to convince other worlds to abandon their warlike ways and seek universal brotherhood. And so history ends, with three great powers living together side by side and striving together for a better future and a positive singularity.


On to the more practical parts. If you think you've learned lessons this game worth telling the rest of Less Wrong, you should send them to either myself or Jack. I say either myself or Jack because Jack had the most supply centers and therefore deserves some karma which he could most easily get by posting the thread which the other two winners then comment on, or if you insist that three way tie means three way tie, I'll post the thread and the three winners can all comment and get up-voted. We'll talk about it in the comments.

Thanks to everyone who played in this game. I was very impressed - it's one of the rare games I have moderated that hasn't been ruined by people constantly forgetting to send orders, or people ragequitting when things don't go their way, or people being totally incompetent and throwing the game to the first person to declare war on them, or any of the other ways a Diplomacy game can go wrong. Everyone fought hard and well and honorably (for definitions of honor compatible with playing Diplomacy). It was a pleasure to serve as your General Secretary.


All previous posts and maps from this game are archived. See this comment for an explanation of how to access the archives.


289 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:32 AM
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Please help downvote old comments in this thread down to zero or so and upvote comments from the current turn so they don't get lost.

People realize comments can be sorted by how recent they are, right?

They can, but it's sufficiently bothersome to switch to that and then switch back every time you want an update that in practice few people will do this often even if they know.
I always have the comments sorted by New except for occasional exceptions in open threads, quote threads and the like.

Since you are doing this by updating the original, I hope you are also saving the earlier versions someplace so that a complete narrative history with maps, headlines, and orders can be reconstructed after the game is finished.

Seconded. I'm not much of a player myself, but would love to read about who deceived whom when.

Although Duke Carinthium was originally receptive to the offer, negotiations fell through after it was discovered that "Kevin" may have been a front-man for an organization of malevolent robots dedicated to transforming Italy's land and populace into paper-clips. An international committee is investigating the incident with a view to ensuring it does not happen again.

I'm glad I hadn't upvoted this post yet. I just had to reward you for this brilliant paragraph somehow.

4Scott Alexander12y
And updated.
Oh, and I know that this game is ahistorical enough that this really shouldn't bug me, but... the League of Nations? In 1901? Really? :)
2Scott Alexander12y
I need something to be General Secretary of!
League of Nations is fine with me, but please do not meddle in the Russian line of succession. The Tsar's younger brother and heir to the throne, Duke Michael, threatened to have me shot for treason after you carelessly referred to me as the crown prince. I claim the hereditary title of prince, but am not in the line of succession as Tsar of the Russias, nor am I closely related to the Romanov royal family. Prince Kropotkin
0Scott Alexander12y
And updated.
0Scott Alexander12y
And updated.
0Scott Alexander12y
0Scott Alexander12y
And updated.
I like the graphics indicating the new builds. It's like they suddenly materialize into existence, teleported in from somewhere.
Brilliant writing, once again. I assure everyone who's worried that the spoils from Denmark and Marseilles are already on their way: they should fix help the truth shortage. Also, huh. France, Turkey and Italy all managed to surprise me with their moves. Even though I spent a good while in Realpolitik trying to simulate France's moves, this one in particular took me by surprise.
In your concern with your own domestic troubles with truth (which no doubt are the real cause of your aggressive acts against pacific foreign nations; nothing like an external enemy to unite the people behind the government, eh?) you apparently missed the French announcement of the discovery of large new deposits of surprise in the Pyrenees. While the exploitation of these deposits has not yet gathered full steam, the spot price on the Paris Bourse fell by 30%.
I really like the newspaper headlines. I was planning on doing something similar, but similar payoff for no effort is rather welcome!
2Scott Alexander12y
Very well done with the headlines!
0Scott Alexander12y
And updated.

The League of Nations cares so much about world peace it gets bored when we stop fighting for a turn?

The situation in Southern and Central Europe leads Austria to make this public declaration.

If German moves do not literally violate our treaty, Austria will still feel obliged to respect its terms, which includes not invading Warsaw. As a further concession, we do not consider German support to Italian attack as a violation of the treaty, if the attack does not aim to seize an Austrian home centre. We also do not object to direct German attack against Austrian units if the Austrian unit is stationed in Italian territory (Rom, Nap, Apu, Ven, Pie, Tus) or Ty... (read more)

A series of flashing lights seen from the moon have been discovered to be Morse code and translated into the following telegram:

Several interrogated eyewitnesses in Berlin report that the huge explosion that the invaders witnessed from a distance was, in fact, the flame of a so-called "rocket" taking the Kajser to safety along with a hand-picked staff. Long the personal project of Herr Prof. Doktor Weltschmerz (Dr.phil,, D.Sc, D.Occ Psych, Eng.D, etc.), it was completed at the last moment and sparing no expenses. The last remnants of the

... (read more)

Yvain, it's a little difficult to see what's going on in the East side of the map, since it's behind the LW sidebar. Would you mind scaling down the image a little?

I usually right-click on the image, pick "copy address of the picture" (or whatever it's called in English, my Firefox is in Finnish) and then paste the address to a new browser tab to see the picture in full. But this is a bit cumbersome.
Does your firefox not have "view image" as a right click option? My firefox and chrome both provide the option you are emulating by default...
Huh. You're right, it does. For some reason I've always only used that feature when a picture has refused to load at all: it didn't occur to me to use it for this.

As the former Duchy of Venice is now ascending to Great Power status, it is my pleasure to announce it's abolition. We are hereby taking up the title abandoned by the Austrian Emperors and henceforth declare the Holy Roman Empire!

The Duchy of Venice will continue to exist in Venetia, but as a subordinate title. Also, it is worth pointing out that the Duchy of Italy covers the area commonly known as "Rome" and not the entire state.

-Emperor Carinthium

Germany is glad to announce that even though the conflicts of the recent times have led to some unfortunate bloodbaths, this has also been a great time for Science. Under the lead of our brilliant Minister of Internal Security, Herr Prof. Doktor Weltschmerz (Dr.phil,, D.Sc, D.Occ Psych, Eng.D, etc.), we conducted a number of experiments in the former French territories, leading to breakthroughs in the field of Occupation Science. As an example, we ran a number of randomized, double-blinded experiments on e.g. the comparative effectiveness of treatin... (read more)

England will be sending an expedition north to investigate rumors of Russian battle ships in Norwegian harbors. Lines of communication are unreliable and borders sometimes unclear. The Russian fleet may have mistaken Oslo for Gothenburg. As there has not been any serious damage to English interests we will not rush to war. But should we find any Russians when we arrive, the snows of St. Petersburg will be ash by 1905.

Mistaking Oslo for Gothenburg. Fog in the Skagerrak. Yeah, that's the ticket. It was an error in navigation. I hope I don't mistake Copenhagen for Malmo on the way back. Or Shetland for Jutland.

Now I don't understand anything, especially the English moves.

I predict an alliance between England and Turkey while they absorb their former mid-European partners; Austria will be the first to go.

Such prophecies fortunately rarely become true.

While the British Empire understands the the Treaty of Hler could not last indefinitely we have the following complaints.

A) Germany failed to notify England and Russia of their decision to terminate the treaty, if that is their intention.

B) Germany's move destabilizes Russia, we believe a capable Russia is essential to English security.

C) While the treaty recognizes Sweden as Russia's domain, our Norwegian citizens long for the days of the Union. As such we believe that if Sweden is not to be held by Russia its right and proper place is under English domai... (read more)

Beg pardon. Don't you mean Russian control?
Yes. That is what I mean.
Ah! What a relief! I had been beginning to worry that there might be Great Powers out to get me.

Yeah, eight units against three. It was never going to go well. Even with perfect information about enemy moves I would still have gone down. :(

Yup. Well played though. Sorry it went down that way. Someone has to lose first I guess.
C'est la vie, or c'est la mort, as it seems.

OK, thanks Yvain for moderating the game and all the amusing comments after each turn. If somebody deserves karma, it is the moderator, who, in contrast to the players, had no chance of resigning after being fed up.

I have started writing a detailed description of my moves and motivation, to provide a complete account of the Austrian part of the game, but will finish it soonest on Wednesday (latest on Friday, I hope, if akrasia steps in).

Edit: I forgot to thank my opponents, enemies, allies and whatever the other players may have been, for a fair and challenging game.

Edit: I forgot to thank my opponents, enemies, allies and whatever the other players may have been, for a fair and challenging game.

Thank you for being an awesome host!


As Austria recently pointed out, the last turn should have had Apulia moving to Rome, which means that it bounced with Italy and Italy did not move into Rome. That means Italy is still in Venice, which means it needs to issue a retreat order.

EDIT: Italians can't retreat into Rome. Italy, please send retreat order and revised move orders. Austria, please send revised move orders.

I know this turn is late. I didn't get Italy's orders until several hours after the deadline. Sorry.

I hesitate to mention this now, but doesn't Italy also have the option of disbanding, rather than retreating? And if the army disbands, doesn't Italy get to build - perhaps in Rome?
3Scott Alexander12y
@#$!$#@. By which I mean yes. Okay, I will just wait for Italy to do something and then figure out what happens from there.
Uhhhhh, I don't think Italy is allowed to issue that retreat order! Since he was already bounced from Rome his choices are Piedmont and Tuscany. Jdip won't accept other imputs.
2Scott Alexander12y
Darnit, quick rule check says you're right. Okay, I want an Italian retreat order, and new Italian and Austrian orders for this turn AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If Austria wants to send me two new move orders (one contingent upon retreat to Tus, one on retreat to Pie) so I'm only waiting for Italy, that's fine too. Anyone else may also send me changed orders in the "conditional upon retreat to Piedmont/Tuscany" format if they think it's important. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I am sorry for finding out so late. Even if I have planned my previous move carefully, I fell victim to my laziness combined with belief in the moderator's infallibility and wasn't even surprised that Italy succeeded into Rome. Thanks to Douglas Knight [] for pointing that out.

Your speculation regarding English acquiescence in the Russian occupation of Norway is interesting. Perhaps even prescient.

However, I think that you are misinterpreting the treaty. German obligations do not require me to lose Scandinavia, St. Pete, and one other SC. Just Norway, Sweden, and a single additional SC. Germany is not required to continue destroying Russia beyond that point. St. Pete is not part of Scandinavia.

However, it remains correct that it may take years for Germany to accomplish this, if it can be done at all.

Prince Kropotkin for the Tsar.

I have expected a separate discussion thread for this, but since there is none, here is my diary. Well, not exactly a diary, since it has been written after the game, but I have tried to put it in a diary format and to avoid hindsight bias as much as I could.

A very interesting read, this one as well. With two players having written game diaries, I'll now have to reciprocate with writing one of my own as well. (Well, not a diary technically since it'll be a recount of the game afterwards, but still.) Expect one relatively soon. Thank you! But I think I mostly just got lucky. :D I probably did. At this point, I had made offers of support to both you and Italy, figuring I could keep the promise to the side who it turned out to be more advantageous to support. You breaking our treaty and invading Italy when you did ruined my plans, though: I had been hoping to keep you out for a turn or two more, enough that I'd get to establish a strong position in Italy. With your invasion, I pretty much lost out on all of Italy's spoils. And then I lost your support for an invasion of Warsaw, as well. I was probably being too greedy, and should've just moved against Russia instead of trying to grab pieces of both Italy and Russia.
Three. Russia was the first to publish his record, even if shorter.

I say either myself or Jack because Jack had the most supply centers and therefore deserves some karma which he could most easily get by posting the thread which the other two winners then comment on, or if you insist that three way tie means three way tie, I'll post the thread and the three winners can all comment and get up-voted. We'll talk about it in the comments.

DIAS draws are unordered.

Agreed- a draw is a draw.
Yes, this is what I understood us to have agreed upon. A draw is a draw.
The game is over, you can stop trying to ruin me! (I agree though)
I never said my precommitment would be limited to within the game, now did I? (Kidding.)

Burgundy disbands.

Austria-Hungary unilaterally declares cessation of hostilities towards the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and expresses sincere desire to end the war in Europe as soon as possible. We should enjoy at least one year of peace before the world ends.

Swe disbands; also, Ruh disbands in the upkeep phase.

the new, technologically advanced British ships

Please tell me I get some kind of force multiplier.

4Scott Alexander11y
You get a force multiplier of one.

I didn't get e-mail notification for this turn or the previous one. Did you stop sending them?

0Scott Alexander11y
No, I'm sending them as normal. Has anyone else had this problem?
I haven't been getting them either (this winter turn I did though).
It happened to me two or three times around 1906/1907. I have explained it as a malfunction of my spam filter, since few other times the notification ended in the spam folder. (The same happened to some e-mails send by Russia during 1901, which is the main reason I am now allied with Turkey.)
[Diplomacy diary - Only the first few years strike me as interesting. I append my lost messages to Austria - their failure to arrive pretty much determined what later happened in the East. If there is any interest in Russian archives regarding the origins of Russo-Turkish hostility or the preliminary negotiations leading to the Treaty of Hier, I would be happy to make those available as well] *Pre-spring 1901 I haven't played more than a couple games of Diplomacy in my life, and they were thirty years ago. So I spend the first part of the negotiations completely confused about basic rules and tactics. My first confusion was that I was under the delusion that coastal fleets resided on a particular ordered pair of land-province and ocean-province. So that, for example, a British fleet on the North Sea coast of Norway would take several moves to get to the Barent Sea coast of St. Pete. Once that was cleared up, I still didn't understand that Sweden (unlike St. Pete) has only a single coast. Once I had that finally cleared up, I was able to negotiate non-aggression agreements with England and Germany. They won't hold for long, but maybe long enough so that I have time to deal with the mess in the Balkans. The first annoyance is that Turkey wants us to pretend hostility (by bouncing in the Black Sea, for example) but later turn together against Austria. Austria doesn't respond to my emails suggesting that maybe we should ally against Turkey. My original intention was A Warsaw->Galatia, A Moscow->Ukraine and F Sevastapol->Rumania. In fact, I told Austria and Turkey that this was my intention. I also suggested ways (German verbal threats against Russia, basically) that Austria could be assured that my army in Galatia was not a threat to Vienna and Budapest. Alas, no response from Austria until too late. Austria claims that he never got most of my emails. I'm not sure whether to believe this or not. In any case, it gets me thinking about how I am royally (imperially?
I'm interested in everything- and am anxious to discuss what everyone has learned (I've learned a ton). Unfortunately, the other nations persist their bloody and pointless war against the British Empire.
Same here. (Though I'll only provide analysis of my own actions after the game is over, even of the early game ones.)
[BEGIN ARCHIVES OF CORRESPONDENCE] Greetings to Austria from Russia, You and I have a problem. I want Rumania. You probably don't want me to have it. Too bad. If you try to prevent it, you will have difficulties with Germany, Turkey, or Italy. If you move against Warsaw, you will earn my lasting enmity. On the other hand, if you permit my occupation of Rumania, then we can be allies, working together against either the Turks or the Germans, with me doing much of the work and you grabbing most of the spoils. I may even be able to offer you diplomatic support against the Italians, since both the French and the Turks are presently friendly to me. PERPLEXED Greetings to Austria from Russia, I believe it is wise to inform you of my intentions, so that my moves are not misinterpreted. My strategic intention is to sieze Rumania and Sweden, and then to adopt a defensive stance for several turns, to see what happens elsewhere on the globe. If these rather peaceful intentions are resisted or thwarted, then I may respond with extreme hostility immediately. Diplomatically, my doctrine is to avoid all entangling alliances and only to make simple agreements of non-aggression and demilitarization of certain strategic regions. Tactically, for a variety of reasons related to establishing a Russian presence in Rumania, it is my intention to move my Warsaw army into Galicia this Spring. Please understand that my purpose is simply to limit the amount of force you can bring to bear against Rumania. It is my intention to move the Galicia army on to Rumania in the Fall, should the tactical situation permit this. Once the Rumanian situation is stabilized, there is no reason we cannot be friends, and even allies - at least for a few years, until our common enemies are sufficiently weakened. PRINCE KROPOTKIN FOR THE TSAR. Greetings to Austria from Russia. Yes, I am interested in cooperation. My proclaimed intentions, from which I do not intend to waver unless I am threatened or att
As one of the Eastern players in the other game, I'll give some feedback. This feedback will be about stuff which may or may not have mattered considering that your emails were not received. And it also may be stuff that you've already figured out, but which could benefit others. In 1901, Russia tends to be viewed as having a reasonable claim to Rumania, so it was correct for you to lay claim to it. Austria's feelings about you taking it will probably depend on whether he is thinking of working with you, and he may not have even decided yet in Spring 1901. He might like it for himself, but he would be ambitious to think it reasonable to actually get it, and he would need to feel confident that Turkey would back him up. While there is a time and a place for brinksmanship, you really don't need it in 1901. Everyone knows that if Austria foils you from getting Rumania, and/or Austria moves to Galicia, it's starting a war. Since diplomacy is a zero-sum game with limited territory, it's very hard to remain neutral. Russia especially is so big that it can't really remain neutral in the early game, especially not for a few turns (which is a massive amount of time). Everyone is asking who they are going to get centers from next, and who is going to help them do it. Let's look at this from Austria's perspective. Who is he going to attack? Germany or Italy? No, center powers attacking each other is a risky strategy. Positions in the center are harder to defend because of multiple fronts. Austria turning his back on the East will make him and the Balkan centers a very tasty target for a Juggernaught. Even if the East let him move West, taking over German or Italian territory will result in Austria being treated like a pinata mid-game. So, Austria has to go after either Russia or Turkey. To go after Turkey, he needs either Russian or Italian help. Italy being unwilling to attack Turkey meant that the had to work with either you or Turkey against the other: a classic tria
And here I thought it was my good looks and winning personality! cries in corner

Austria protests! The order was Vie-Bud, not Vie-Boh.

0Scott Alexander11y
I'll check and if you're right I'll fix it over winter.

Spring movement orders are due 1700 GMT on Thursday, 20 January.


Paparazzi managed to take a rare photograph of the Grand Vizier and Emperor resting in between an afternoon frolic and tea party during which plush animals were pushed around a map of Europe to better plan their domination of the continent.

Stp retreats to nwy

Silesia retreats to Prussia.

Also, the set of orders I submitted (just rechecked) had the fleet in Sweden moving to Bal, that doesn't seem to have happened?

0Scott Alexander11y
You're right. I've updated the second map to take account of both these points.
I hope the Spring deadline is not in the past; when did you mean for it to be?

Hm, I was going to let Kropotkin live (but still put the rest of the royal family to death), letting him try out his ideas in a Siberian commune. I guess I should have ordered that beforehand. (Also, it isn't called Istanbul yet.)

0Scott Alexander11y
Fixed. Feel free to include role-playing points like that in your orders in the future if you want.

To promote better understanding of history, Austrian government has decided to declassify the documents describing the preparation of invasion to Italy (code name Operation Odoacer). The analysis of the situation can be accessed here.

The file compares several reasonable Italian and German strategies and it was used to select between seven variants of play. I have taken into account only the number of supply centres controlled after the last turn and have practically assigned the same probability to all possible Italian moves. Of course, any comments or criticisms of the strategy are welcome.

The move you actually made, with Apulia holding, isn't on the table, is it? Waste of a move, isn't it? It would be simply better to support the attack on Venice. Also, you don't seems to have considered that many options, like attacking Tyrollia to cut support.
Attacking Tyrolia was prohibited by the treaty with Germany. Army in Apulia was ordered to move to Rome. I am not sure why the army held in Apulia. Maybe some mistake they made in League of Nations? I failed to notice that. Thanks.

From here on, Germany guarantees the Holy Roman Empire's safety, conditional on the Holy Roman Empire assisting the German/English alliance against France. Presuming that the Holy Roman Empire assists the GE Alliance in the taking of Marseilles, Germany will consider any hostile actions against the Holy Roman Empire as declarations of war against Germany and will retaliate accordingly. As a further repayment for their help, the Holy Roman Empire will also be allowed to claim Marseilles as its own.

These guarantees will last until France has been eradicated from the whole continent of Europe, after which further agreements may be negotiated.

It is a sad moment when neither Germany nor Austria are able to punish the outrage caused by Italian dictator's arrogance and pride. I mean, it's true that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, but at least it was of the German Nation. Damn, if Greece can block the accession of Macedonia to NATO because of the country's name [], Austria considers it obligatory to protest against the Duce's new title.
Austria gave up the title of Holy Roman Emperor, and there is a good case the Germans never deserved it in the first place. By contrast, the Venetians have at least moved our capital to Rome and control the heartlands of the old Empire.
I must protest; clearly His Supreme Majesty Mehmed V hold the best claim for this title, as our capital is Nova Roma, which has been the capital of the empire for longer than the provincial city of Rome was.
From it's roots the Roman Empire was made for the Romans themselves- moving the capital from Rome was a betrayal of what the Empire stood for. The Empire began in Rome- it is fitting that it should be rooted there.
Hardly! The virtues of the Romans was not their ethnicity, but democracy, honor, and learning; one could hardly deny that a Spaniard such as Marcus Aurelius deserves mention as a Roman! Constantine's decision to move the capital from the place of the Empire's birth to its natural seat of government, from which all the empire could easily be accessed, was surely the pinnacle of wisdom. When Italy had reverted to barbarism, the Empire remained strong and centered in Constantinople. When the lights of learning had gone out in Italy, we kept the Greek and Latin works alive. It is only in Constantinople where Roman rule can be said to continue unbroken.
Much as we pride ourselves on our ancestry, you flatter us too much- our ancestors did not have a democracy, although they came uniquely close to their age. The historical evidence suggests they would identify people as Romans based on ethnicity, not virtue. Constantinople was a well-defended city, but it was too far east to be an efficient seat of government. In addition, it further seperated the Roman people from the Empire they had earned. Finally, the true ancient Romans of the Republican era would not have considered Marcus Aurelius a Roman.
Yet it is the Russian and German empires which continue to style their emperors "Caesar".
A mistake we are now correcting.

The following treaty is made between Germany and Austria:

Facing the possible invasion from the East, the leaders of the German Reich and Austrio-Hungarian Empire recognise that the sacred fates of the German nation, as well as the Hungarian nation and other nations of the Dual Monarchy, are at stake. To protect the rightful interests of both countries, this treaty of friendship and cooperation is signed:

  1. Austria-Hungary and Germany will not attack each other, nor help other countries in offensive against either Austria-Hungary or Germany. The signatories
... (read more)
Germany has continued attacking Austria after French armies have been eliminated from the continent, and the German move to Marseille clearly shows that German motive for that was not protection of Italy in terms of the Italian-German pact. We thus observe that Germany has abused the treaty with us and our willingness to maintain peace to achieve goals which were not in accordance with the original spirit of our treaty. The subsequent negotiations with Germany showed that continued cooperation would need us to betray Turkey who proved to be a reliable ally. Therefore we do no more feel bound by any earlier commintments to Germany, and declare our Treaty, as given in the parent comment, null and void.
Germany confirms.

The Holy Roman Empire is outraged that the League of Nations would try to warn anybody? We declare war on them!

First, the Turkish fleet in the Black Sea received orders to support an attack on landlocked Ukraine, puzzling more than one frustrated ship captain.

This is what I get for writing orders while sleep-deprived! But at least Russia didn't try to take back Sev.

Don't be too put out by it; it wouldn't have done all that much to help you / it's the wrong move to hope your opponent makes massive mistakes like that.

came together to prepare a series of easy-to-understand pictorial guides on how to differentiate Scandinavian countries based on their food, ...

I am surprised they didn't mention lutefisk. And ammonium chloride.

Obligatory link: an American trying out the pleasures of ammonium chloride [].
This makes me want to visit Finland. If it was not winter, I would be buying a ticket now.

For some reason I don't seem to be getting any emails- could people PM me anything they've sent lately?

Darn, I missed Spring 1902, and now the post is getting overwritten. Here's what I suggested in our other game thread:

Is there any way we can update the map without erasing what is here? That's what the other game is doing, and the problem is that there is no way for viewers to see the history; furthermore, the witty summaries by the GMs are getting destroyed. I missed Spring 1902's update in the other post, and I'm already confused. Even worse, when the players write their end-of-game summaries about what happened, readers won't have any record to refer... (read more)

I haven't mentioned my online archiving system, but it does exist. You can get to any file for any turn by going to:[$TURN-NAME][$SINGLE-LETTER-MARKING].[$FILE-EXTENSION]

where $TURN-NAME is the year plus the letter "s", "f", or "w" for spring, fall, or winter and $SINGLE-LETTER-MARKING is "m", "f", "t", or "p" for movement map, final map, text of orders, or posted headlines, and $FILE-EXTENSION is .jpg for the maps, .html for the order lists, and .txt for the posts. Note that the posted .txts are probably hard to read on some browsers.

For example, the movement map for fall 1901 would be at

After the game ends, I will publish all my correspondence, all orders and positions of all units turn by turn (together with commentaries about my thoughts and plans). The history of Austria in the game will be possible to reconstruct. But I do not believe that the older versions are lost. Yvain is certainly keeping an archive. Well, I hope so.
If not, everything but the headlines can be reproduced from the turn orders (which hopefully he's keeping so we don't have to pull out all of our emails).

The other game of diplomacy is seeking another player for Italy, since the first person signed up appears to have dropped out. If you want to play, please respond in that thread to let others know that the slot is taken; please have your orders in Wednesday, 2200 GMT, to

Edit: We've got the last player- thanks Alexandros!

the unusual nature of a springtime betrayal

Edi Birsan prefers springtime betrayal.

Ils ne passeront pas! With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each man must fight to the last. You can always take one with you. Better the gun than the Hun!

Congratulations to Germany on a successful campaign, and I hope you don't begrudge me for using you as an example. But since this is supposed to be a form of rationality training, would anyone (player or otherwise) care to speculate on what bias might have prevented Germany from maximizing its gains this turn?

I'm thinking of a specific named bias, and unless the Kaiser is doing something very clever I can't understand, there was a move available to him that was better than the one he took (if he does have something very clever in mind, I certainly hope he'... (read more)

I assume you're thinking of loss aversion but I think you're wrong. Position can count for more than supply centers.
0Scott Alexander12y
I was thinking loss aversion. Mostly for the reasons Vaniver mentioned above: since the chance of Italy taking Munich is < 1/2, but the chance of Germany taking Holland = ~1 as long as England acts rationally, I thought Germany's main reason for moving Kie - Mun was because it valued keeping the center it had more than gaining a new center. I acknowledge position can be important, but if Italy did take Munich, Germany could have built in Berlin and Kiel and taken Munich back in spring guaranteed as long as Austria didn't act really out of character. So while I guess I can't say with complete confidence that loss aversion was the only reason for Germany to choose that move, unless Germany valued costing Italy a build more than I can see any reason for at this point, I feel like Holland would have been a better idea. EDIT: Never mind, I'm convinced Germany had a reasonable explanation.
Italy builds in Venice, moves the new unit to Tyrolia the same spring that Munich is recaptured. The Italian unit retreats to Bohemia, and Italy now has two units bordering Munich. Preventing Italy from recapturing Munich in fall ties up two German units and bogs down the French campaign. Austrian assistance could help avoid this, of course. But that assumes no secret alliances between Italy and Austria.
0Scott Alexander12y
This assumes Italy wants Munich enough to commit two units long term to a plan that still doesn't gain them the city (which would better be interpreted as having some reason to want to bog you down). If they wanted it that much, they could just move Tyr -> Boh and Ven -> Tyr next turn (this being in the counterfactual you assumed where they would have one build next year). So if Italy really wants to set up an annoying stalemate around Munich, they can do so whether or not you defend it this turn.
That's true. Also, Italy declared (both in public and in a private message) that he was going to invade Munich, so the chances of an invasion seemed higher than just 1/3.
True assuming German success against Marseilles. I rated that as no more than 2/3 assured. And loss of Munich to the Italians would have definitely have tempted the Russians to head over in that direction to say hello to our friend from Venice.
Meh. I love being the center of the attention, and was looking forward to an extended thread speculating on my actions. :)
I suspect you're either talking about Den-Swe or Kie-Hol, but I'm having trouble naming a bias with regards to either of them. Kie-Hol isn't just loss aversion because if Italy had gone to Munich, Italy would have grown- but if one assumed a 1/3rd chance of Italy going to Vienna, Munich, and Venice (which ignores the possibility of moving to Trieste), then moving to Hol would have been a 1/3rd gain (counting Italy's gain as negative), whereas moving to Mun returns 0. So perhaps this is "shut up and multiply" or "visibility bias"- only looking at the possibility that Italy would move to Munich, and ignoring the other three spots that would be good to go to?
Not to pile on, but I believe that it is considered bad for Germany to get three builds the first year. It draws too much attention to a centrally located power that is easy to ally against.

Death to the perfidious Saxons! Treaties have been broken, trusts betrayed. The international community will not stand for this outrage!

Incidentally, it's Andreassen, with an 'e'. :)

We didn't lie, we were just economical with the truth. German coffers have lately become rather empty, so we couldn't afford investing in you what little we had left of the truth budget. We had spent all of it negotiating with the other countries of Europe, you see. Fortunately, annexing France should help patch things up quite nicely. We're so grateful for your assistance. :-)
I'm not sure truth is an exhaustible resource :P

$20 to SIAI or Village Reach if a country other than Turkey or Austria drops out and lets me play.

2Scott Alexander12y
Why don't you instead organize the people named in this post [] to play a game on ?
As a lesson in game theory for the blog readers, I think it will be more interesting if the community just has one game to occasionally follow... I could picture myself following along with one game, but two games at the same time seems like an overwhelming amount of information. Of course, as a lesson in game theory for the participants, the more the better. I'm still hesitant to start another game online.
0Scott Alexander12y
Well, if you do it on PlayDiplomacy then there's no reason you ever have to post it or talk about it here.
This makes me a sad Grand Vizier. :'(
Sorry... nothing personal, I just don't really like playing as Turkey.
I can't think of a reliable way for you to pay me the money personally, but I'd drop out and let you take Italy for a reliable $20.
Note he is offering to donate the money to a charity of his choice, not to you.
I knew that- I was just pointing out my view of the matter.
Italy being my fifth least favorite country to play, I would take you up on this offer (to donate $20 to SIAI or Village Reach), but only if you are truly having second thoughts about playing. If you would like to play, please play.
Wouldn't be good enough anyway- I'll keep playing.
Good luck!
If you two are going to swap, please do so quickly: various plans are already being made, and having to redo them because a player swapped out and has different declared intentions than the original would be rather annoying.
I'd definitely continue to honor Piedmont as a neutral zone.

Upon thought, I'd like to request the title Duke of Venice. This game is very ahistorical to begin with anyway, so I may as well choose titles for the hell of it.

Quick note: since the diplomacy map is actually ~1912 instead of ~1900, I'm going to place my Turkey after the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, and so I will play Grand Vizier Vanaturk, in charge of Parliament and speaking for the powerless Sultan Mehmed V.

Because, who wouldn't want to play secular liberals when they've got the chance?

Some people like to play the bad guys?
[-][anonymous]12y 1

The sun rises on the year 1901 AD. Since time immemorial, the European people have lived a nomadic life. Now, your people have vested absolute power in you, trusting you can build a civilization to stand the test of time!

Sorry I know this is wrong. But I simply had to up vote this for the Civilization reference :)

So, should we have a thread where we recount lessons and experiences? Should it be in Discussion or the main site? And should I post it, or should Jack?

So the draw is unordered. I don't deserve any more karma than prase or Vaniver. That said, you've done a ton of work and I would have no problem putting lessons together for a post. On the other hand, you totally deserve more karma for the work you put in moderating this- so if you want it, take it. If I posted in the discussion section it would be pretty easy to make sure all players got the same karma. If I post on the main page that gets a lot harder. I also think losing players should be awarded with karma if they can recount important lessons. People shouldn't have to give away insight without getting karma in return. So maybe we should just have a discussion thread where players talk about what they learned (and where the three of us can get victory karma)? And then you could just quote the worthwhile/top voted insights and put them in a post for the main page. ETA: The other thing is the second game is still going. Since they might have their own lessons, the top level post could include those too- as they'll probably have their own discussion thread for their winner/winners.
0Scott Alexander11y
My preference is to not be the one who has to arrange this, but if no one else wants to I will take the responsibility. If everyone else agrees on you, I'd support that.
I'm opting for one comment instead of a host of small comments carrying on various parts of the conversation, so this may be a little difficult to read in the future. I care about victory karma. I maintain my original position, though, that the victory karma should come from providing valuable lessons and data. While I sympathize with the argument that players that provide insight shouldn't go uncompensated, my impression of the game was that everyone was collectively agreeing to put together notes and insights and then the winners of the game would get the karma from the group effort- i.e., the compensation was the chance to win. I am busy today, but should have the time in the next few days to put together a thread. My preference is for main, but the karma issues there are somewhat problematic. I like the idea of you making the thread (with content supplied by the players) and players having comments voted up, but if this is worth putting on the main page it seems like the victory karma should be scaled to the main page. Given my fellow winner's opinions, though, that seems like a good all-around option.
If the focus is going to be about lessons, then here is one way to find those lessons: Let the victors point out mistakes - tactical or strategic - that they noticed had been made by other players in the game. Then let the accused mistake-makers analyze the lapse in rationality that led to the mistake being made. Or if they wish, they can provide an analysis showing that there was no mistake - only bad luck. I know that my own mistakes arose from a variety of correctable causes - ranging from simple carelessness, through character flaws, to use of wrong decision-making algorithms.
This seems difficult because of imperfect information. I remember being flabbergasted when Germany didn't bounce you out of Sweden (the standard play), but was that a mistake? I can't tell without knowing what information he had at the time he made the decision. A core principle of decision analysis is that you don't judge by outcomes but by the decision made ignorant of the outcome. For example, one decision I'm ambivalent about was not moving to Tys when England vacated Tun (the same turn I took StP after saying I wouldn't). I was >90% confident England would vacate both Tun and Tys, and taking both of them would have put me in a solid position. But, if I took Tys, I opened Austria and myself up to losing Rome, which would have been unrecoverable. I played the maximin strategy but suspected the expected utility strategy was to move to Tys. That's the place to say whether or not I made a mistake, before we know that England did tell the truth.
I'm actually confused about what you're endorsing.
I've finished my diary and uploaded it here []- sorry about the delay! My emails will be collected and posted once I figure out a good way to do that from gmail. (There are a lot of them, so I'd like for it to be automated.) It seems like we should try to have some sort of central repository for everyone's stuff that wouldn't fit into a post- like, the last page and a half of my 17 page diary is my summary of the game, and even then that might be a little long if everyone wrote that much.
Quite an interesting read. Also a bit surprising. From the way you played, I got the impression of you as this coldly detached Vulcan chessmaster veteran player who had no trouble always going for the move that was calculated to be the most effective. I didn't expect to find out that you were as nervous about things as you were. :D Regarding the Swedish bump - basically what happened was that I went looking for Diplomacy articles online, and came across this one []. It claimed that and I figured that I might as well go along with the advice offered, since I didn't know the game well enough to contradict it. Actually, I never thought anything about this. Because, well, at that point I was at such a position that talking about me in the third person was fully justified. I have more comments as well, but I'd prefer for somebody to make a separate thread for the post-game discussion to make things more clear...
I missed this comment - it would be better to place it as a top-level comment rather than here, because it isn't apparent when checking for new comments here. Here [] I link to my diary. Edit: I have finished reading of your diary, and it is brilliant. I was afraid of your stab in 1907 and later on, but I haven't probably realised how close it was.
I think there should definitely be a separate thread, rather than this thread. I don't really care where. Also, another idea I'll throw out for the future of LW diplomacy: create a winner's (or survivors) bracket from this game, and our other game ("Rationalist Diplomacy Game 2") once it concludes.
With game hosts/moderators granted status as honorary survivors?
First, I don't want any karma from that. Playing Diplomacy on LessWrong was fun, and I feel enough rewarded by my survival until the end. The karma system, despite its occasional non-standard uses (polls...) should remain what it was designed for: a tool for maintaining high quality of discussion. The decision between Discussion or main should depend on the number of interested people, and the fact whether some more general rationality-related insights were gained. I don't have any particular preference.
I second not caring much about victory karma. The bragging rights are worth a lot more. If Van doesn't care we can just forget about it.

England agrees to a draw.

Austrian agreement to a draw persists.
Inshallah, HIH Sultan Mehmed V consents to a draw. -GVIV
My congratulations to the victors on their survival. (Or is that congratulations to the survivors on their victory?) My particular congrats to the Austrian emperor, for whom survival no doubt feels like victory. Peace at last, just in time to stop the clock that had been ticking toward Armageddon or the Singularity, or whatever it was that was expected to happen in 1914. ETA: And particular thanks to Yvain for his hard work as host and commentator.
Thanks for congratulations, although I doubt that the draw feels like victory. But I can't tell for sure, because I haven't experienced victory in Diplomacy yet.

It looks to me as though Turkey and Austria have a stalemate line running south of St Petersburg, which will keep England from the two centers it needs for victory. I don't think England can credibly commit to not taking those two centers if either of the eastern partners betrays the other. Consequently a DIAS or continued partnership is the optimal strategy for Austria and Turkey, and England cannot force a victory.

Yes, but they don't yet have all the units in place to defend it.
They don't have the units in place, but they can put them in place rather quickly. South of the Alps they can order: F Ionian Sea S F Tunis H; F Tyrrhenian Sea H; F Tuscany S F Tyrrhenian Sea H; A Rome-Venice (which will then support A Piedmont); A Piedmont H; They could stalemate North of the Alps fairly easily. It is impossible to hold St Petersburg. Munich and Berlin may be defensible, if the Eastern Powers guess correctly, but if they can at least hold Berlin they can form a stalemate similar to John Beshera's Position II [] north of the Alps. A Munich retreats to Bohemia and Warsaw moves up to Prussia, and St Petersburg holds out long enough to move A Budapest up to Warsaw to support A Livonia H. To get the units in position: A Tyrolia S A Munich H; A Munich H (retreat to Bohemia if dislodged); A Berlin H; A Silesia S A Berlin H; A Warsaw-Prussia; A Livonia S A Warsaw-Prussia; A Moscow S A St Petersburg; A Budapest-Galicia, followed by A Budapest-Warsaw; After the units are in position: A War & Mos S A Livonia H; A Pru & Sil S Berlin H Would tie up the line

Austrian fall orders are specified in this subcomment.

lyo retreats to spa

Note that the fleet in the Norwegian Sea did not participate in the attack on Norway because it was listed in the orders as A nwg instead of F nwg, and all players previously agreed I should be strict with mistakes.

Not that it matters but... when did this happen? You fixed mis-written orders in the past and I don't believe I ever agreed to anything.

In any case, the mis-communication was due to saboteurs loyal to King George.

Movement orders for the Fall 1911 turn are due 1800 GMT on Friday, 4/2/2011

Turkey and Austria... can we mak... (read more)

We can send movement orders before the retreats are processed? But no problem. These are official Austrian orders: * A Boh-Sil * A Mun S Sil-Ber * A Tyr S Mun * A Rom H * F Nap S Lyo-Tys * A Pie S Lyo-Mar * A Bud H Also, Austria officially accepts draw after the Fall turn. Edit: I hope it is not illegal to send orders this way. If any objection occurs, I will resend them by e-mail.
0Scott Alexander11y
I'm thinking of a time Germany mixed up Burgundy and Gascony and I auto-corrected it. I made a post asking if I should continue doing so, and of the people who responded, all were opposed.
The Glorious German Empire may occasionally be the victim of cowardly backstabbing or deceit, but we do not mix up things, nor have we ever done so.
Yeah, there was this []. But... response bias. Oh well.

I don't have Turkey's build orders yet, so I am giving them a 24 hour grace period. If they don't have them in by the time I get home tomorrow, they waive the builds. Sorry for not being able to post the new turn tonight.

Sorry about the delay- just sent it in.

F tun retreats to naf

Because of the possibility of England and Turkey doing exactly that, I am asking them to email me their retreat orders instead of posting them publicly for the other to see.

That is impossible, as England cannot retreat to the province it was attacked from. Tun retreats to Ion.

This is right. F tys retreats to lyo. A bur retreats to par.

Can we bump the deadline back to 1800 GMT? I get home at about 1650 GMT and would like to be able to go over things and send in my orders after that, rather than the night before.

(i.e. I plan to send them in late like last time but would feel better with a sanction :P )

0Scott Alexander11y
Go ahead.

I am still waiting for Austria's orders.


Turkish negotiations with the Western Alliance, in which the Ottomans would betray their Austrian allies in exchange for recognition of their dominance over Eastern Europe, proved an elaborate ruse as Turkey's plan to trick Austria itself proved a trick perpetrated on the English and Germans. But in fact, it appears the Westerners knew this all along, and in fact conned Turkey into thinking it was conning them into thinking it was conning Austria; the Germans did not even make the moves they told Turkey to support. It seemed the only on at all taken in by

... (read more)
If it were, I would learn facts that I didn't know from it. Apparently, the League can't be discreet and veracious at once.

England feels really bad about this :-/

Are there any games where I just get to be nice to everyone? Betrayal makes my tummy hurt.

I'll consider believing this after the game ends. :P Yes; my favorite cooperative game is Arkham Horror, where you are nice to everyone besides the monsters and Ancient One. However, such games are rarely good training about uncertainty and interpersonal affairs.

Although a four-player draw is probably considered a failure by Diplomacy enthusiasts, I am surprised that nobody has yet initiated a discussion about this option.

forces moved an entire nine inches east ... further into Western territory

Looks like a contradiction.

I am missing Germany and England's orders :(

Sorry, I didn't notice that today's deadline was at 12, and I also got stuck waiting for a response from one of the players.

Could we have longer turn deadlines for a while, after this one has been processed? Christmas and all that.

0Scott Alexander12y
Sure. I'm going to be away a bit around New Years too, so that will take a while.

I am awaiting Austria's build order.

Sent. (I got no notification that the turn has proceeded by e-mail, therefore I am sending the orders late.)

GERMANY may build TWO units, plus one more if it disbands A Venice instead of retreating

...except that I'd need three free home centers for that, and Munich is currently occupied?

Germany can also retreat Ven -> Apu.
Ah, thanks for the catch, I didn't notice that myself. I'll retreat Ven -> Tus, though.

I'm screwed anyway, and the idea of checking on my rival's moves is not appealing. Resigning.

5Scott Alexander12y
In the interests of reducing uncertainty for the other players: I officially accept Italy's resignation. Italy has not sent in any orders for Fall 1905, and any future orders sent in by Italy will be disregarded. Italy is now under civil disorder rules. All Italian armies will hold position and not support one another. If Italy loses supply centers, it will disband armies furthest away from its capital first. As you may have noticed, I have finished my travel for this weekend a bit early and will update the turn as soon as I get everyone's orders.
Really? It's unlikely you're going to win outright, but I think you've got a good shot of making it to a draw. That last round went as well as could be expected for you.
1- I play to win. 2- I gave up Marsallies when I could have held position, making that idea somewhat ridicolous.
And if you can't win, you ruin the game for everyone else?
So, my understanding is the standard for resigned players is that their pieces all hold. It would be very useful to know whether or not you are planning to submit orders for the Fall of 1905, and ideally that would be a strong commitment. (I haven't heard of it, but it strikes me as possible to declare that you resign and then still submit orders, where your enemies are all thrown off-balance by expecting that you would just hold everywhere).
2Scott Alexander12y
I only meant by this that you should make sure I didn't make a mistake that hurts you and helps your rivals. You don't have to if you don't want to.

The second map reports the actions of the previously turn, not the positions for the new turn as it usually does.

2Scott Alexander12y

I received an order from Italy to support the German advance from Burgundy to Spain. Seeing as the Italians probably meant the German advance from Burgundy to Gascony and I wasn't able to contact Carinthium to confirm, I changed the order on my own initiative.

If you would like me to not do this sort of thing in the future, let me know.

I have a moderate preference against fixing these screwups (even though I've made them), but not high enough to insist on it.
I would prefer you not doing this.

I have noticed that the icons for armies on the map are not all identical, and the same hold for fleets. Does it have some reason?

0Scott Alexander12y
It's done automatically by jDip. I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean anything.

Austria hereby declares that the move to Apulia was motivated by our desire to protect the rights of the Albanian and Greek minorities in the province. It certainly is not a hostile action against the Holy Roman Empire, even if our enemies will certainly try to interpret it as such. Austria expresses strong wish of maintaining peace with Germany, according to our Treaty of friendship and cooperation, which we signed before we have known about the German guarantees.

An army in Apulia is highly worrying for the Empire due to it's potential (even if unintended) for hostile action. Therefore, I would strongly urge you to pull out. I am willing to accept an Austrian-selected government of Apulia and a DMZ in the province in exchange for such a pullout, with Germany as enforcer.

In the interests of mutual security, I propose a DMZ with Austria in the Adriatic, Ionian, and Tyrolia.

What if this is only a trick which may lead me to leave Adriatic?
I am willing to leave the Ionian Sea first as long as I can move to Apulia. We can then use a system of both sides patrolling the Adriatic (OOC: We bounce every turn) to keep the peace.
Anything? I need to know if this agreement is accepted or not.
I am afraid that the agreement cannot be accepted. On reflection, it would not be wise for me to have too many peace treaties. You have not proposed limited duration, and signing such a treaty would mean we are forever friends, which would avoid any offensive in the south later (I am not breaking explicit treaties, as a matter of principle) and it would be looked at with suspicion by Turkey. Moreover, steady bouncing would block the fleet and it could not be used in the future. So, even if it is probably impossible for either of us to succeed in an offensive agianst each other now, I reject your proposal. That does not mean that I will not be willing to sign a similar proposal in the future, if it was given a limited duration.
Proposed amendment: Agreement limited to the end of 1905, fleets not required for bouncing purposes. Will you accept now?
In 1905 I am still bound by alliance with Turkey, and have a relatively secure position. I gain nothing from your proposal. I would be forced to leave the Adriatic in fall 1904, then there would be two turns when I would not have chance to do anything, and in spring 1906 you would occupy the Adriatic with your two fleets - that is a pure loss for me. What I have meant is that similar treaty would be acceptable later, when either my alliance with Turkey breaks down, or I am in war with Germany, or there would be some interesting movement on the Russian front. I am quite confident that a Demilitarised Adriatic Agreement would be accepted for 1907-1910 or so, but not for 1904-1905. Now I can defend my borders relatively easily and do not need the fleet for other purposes. (Also how would you prevent Turkey from moving into Ionian, if you were to leave it?)

Is anyone else having trouble accessing the site? It seems to take an inordinately long time to load something from google, presumably the search bar. I also can't access my email at the moment.

F MAO retreats NAO.

Also, I won't consider Italy in breach of our treaty if his army retreats to PIE.


Early in the morn tomorrow, I go on vacation; inshallah, I will return on the 8th. I intend to check my email at least twice a day while on vacation, so I expect no slowdown in issuing orders, but I may be somewhat slower when it comes to returning emails.

I have returned, Allah be praised!

Haven't been contacted by Austria yet. Is something going on?

0Scott Alexander12y
I just got the last order in, but it's midnight my time and I'm going to sleep. I'll post results Friday afternoon GMT. Feel free to send in changes to orders until then.
Me neither. He claims computer problems. We shall see.
The computer problems were real (my laptop refused to work for longer than five minutes, after which it spontaneously shut down without warning). Trying to find out a possible hardware problem, I opened the case and ripped off the keyboard cable, securing a second reason why the computer cannot be used. As a result, I bought a new laptop, and used that opportunity to finally switch to Linux, which was not without problems either (sound card driver incompatibility and similar things). Of course, when such a thing happens, why not use it to gain some small advantage in Diplomacy.
I can verify that he isn't as responsive as normal. Of course, there could be other reasons for that glare

The Turkish move to Serbia has caused upheaval in Austrian society. The Hungarian nobility is speaking about second battle of Mohács. In Prague a large public manifestation has expressed support to the throne of Habsburg; the crowd was lead by a fresh conscript Josef Švejk, who frenetically shouted "let's go to Belgrade!" and "long live the Kaiser". Gavrilo Princip was released from prison. The government in Vienna is now waiting for reaction of the international community in a desperate hope of defending the encircled monarchy.

Wasn't there a treaty or something about Serbia?
Certainly there was, you can find it among the comments. There is little remaining of the treaty now. That is probably what Diplomacy is intended to teach: value of any treaty approaches zero over time, and often it does quite quickly.
Also, since the treaty was signed in public, players should take the extend to which the treaty was honored into account when deciding who to ally with.

Due to various information recieved from spies, we have reason to believe the security of Tunis is under threat. Therefore, Venice hereby is issuing a guarentee of the country's political security- anybody who invades will be at war with Italy.

[-][anonymous]12y 0

Due to various information recieved from spies, we have reason to believe the security of Tunis is under threat. Therefore, Venice hereby is issuing a guarentee of the political security of Tunisia- anybody who invades will be at war with Italy.

There seems to be consensus that Germany's move to Munich was well founded, and I think I agree. But what of England's attempt on Brest? It seems to me that A WAL-PIC or A WAL-BEL would have been better moves, especially when you take into account that I had specifically assured England that I would defend Brest. Of course I might have been bluffing, but why take a chance when Belgium and Norway were practically guaranteed gains? Also note that having an army in Belgium is more useful than having a navy there, while having an army in Picardie threatens no less than two French centers and could not have been defended against.

It seems like a bad idea to try to explain people's decisions given that nearly everyone in the game has incomplete information. ETA: Or we can talk about how France protected neither Paris nor Marseilles even though he thought England wouldn't attack Brest.
Well, the ultimate defense is, "it worked". :) But my moves were the result of careful triage. Facing two enemy nations, something had to give, and by abandoning Paris and Marseilles - noting that Germany could only attack one of them - and defending Brest, I could guarantee myself a build. Indeed, if I had decided to use my Gascony army to defend against Germany, I would have guessed he would attack Paris, and I would have been mistaken. Finally, having told England that I would defend Brest, I felt obliged to follow up, to demonstrate that I was not bluffing.
My invading Brest was a way of guaranteeing that you couldn't get two builds. If you took Portugal with your fleet and defended either Paris or Marseilles, if Germany guessed wrong you'd get two. I actually didn't assign too high a probability to you giving up the chance at two builds as you ended up doing.
Yes, those sort of recriminations are delightful.
Anybody got any on me?
Why convoy to Albania?
I do believe that one was covered by the newspapers :P
It still seems reckless, especially considering Austria and Turkey appear to be allied.
You invaded Tyrolia only to turn around?
That actually is a pretty standard play. Freaks the heck out of Germany and Austria (he made Austria give up Galicia and Germany give up Holland at no loss in dots, and is still in Tyrolia).

The following treaty is announced to the whole world at the 1901 World Fair held in Vienna:

  1. Both Austria and Germany declare that any third country attack onto either Vienna or Munich is considered an act of war against both signatories.

  2. Such a war will be waged by both Austria and Germany together until the attacking armies leave the territories of these nations.

  3. The treaty is valid indefinitely. Either Austria or Germany can withdraw from the contract, but they have to announce it one turn in advance.

Germany has chosen to withdraw from this agreement. As per the terms of the treaty, our withdrawal will be effective in the spring of 1903.
As usually, the announcement is confirmed.
I'm still moving to Munich.
Better than Vienna, of course.

The following has been agreed by Turkey and Austria-Hungary in the eyes of the international community:

Turkey and Austria will not take any action against each other during all of 1901, and both sides recognize that Serbia belongs to Austria and Bulgaria to Turkey. Turkey will not invade Greece and Austria will not invade Rumania, nor will they help any other country invade either Greece or Rumania.

Austria-Hungary confirms the agreement.

Although I won't be doing a lot of role playing here, I think I would prefer to adopt the role of Prince Kropotkin - a real person with the fictitious office of diplomatic adviser to the Tsar. Since I have been giving Phil Goetz a difficult time about group selection, it seems only appropriate to honor the author of Mutual Aid in this way.

Confirming that France and Italy have indeed agreed such.

You do realize you can reply to other people's comments and not just to the main post.
Yes, but I was in a hurry.
How long does it take you to click the "Reply" link?

France and Italy have agreed that Piedmont (pie) shall be a demilitarised zone. Whoever breaks this agreement shall know much opprobrium from the international community!

(Italy to ratify before the agreement becomes valid.)

Confirming my participation.

I prefer email, rolf (dot) andreassen (at) gmail (dot) com.

I am waiting on Rolf. As soon as I get his confirmation, I will begin.

I'm very curious to see how this plays out. Keep me posted! I would prefer to be notified on thezvi at gmail.

I'm also available as an alternate, should another be necessary.

I confirm my presence.

Either use the LW private message, or email me to . However I would prefer the mode of communication being decided before the game starts and then consistently used by all players.

Confirming I'm here. Prefer email- I'll use

I see it.

Less Wrong PM is preferred but isn't ideal for rapid back and forth. So my email/gchat, jack.noble AT is acceptable also. Skype chat, if anyone else uses it, is Jcknbl and would be really convenient for me.

Thanks for doing this.

ETA: I'd like to remove this info once the game gets started, so players should store it elsewhere.

Post acknowledged. I prefer LessWrong PM, but if I am the only one in this category, I will provide an email address to the participants.

Looks like email is the preferred medium. I'm jmenegay at

I have seen this post and am willing to participate. (Thanks for doing this, by the way!)

I prefer email at .

If you want to make it high-stakes, we could have the victory reward be a post on the main site by the victor, so the reward is ten times higher- ~20-100 karma points would only make a big difference for myself and Carinthium, but ~200-1000 karma would make a big difference for everyone playing. It should also contain a write-up so we're not diluting the value of the main site- but a karma point from 7 people plus spectators is on ... (read more)

7Scott Alexander12y
Well, it would be easy enough to get players to upvote many of your past comments to produce a large karma gain. I'm just worried that people would consider getting a few hundred karma for winning a Diplomacy game an abuse of the karma system. The only reason I included a reward was to give people an incentive to win on their own instead of jointly.
I'm sceptical about this too. Can I set up an official LW coin-toss game, played every 30 minutes, in which the loser has to upvote the winner? The coin-toss game could be made fair (ie fair to LWers who weren't participating) if the loser had to downvote themselves simultaneously, so that the karma effects of the game were zero-sum.
This objection seems misplaced- if we're treating this as an actual laboratory experiment that we plan to get data from, then that data seems like it's worth karma. (I can see an argument that it should be worth as much as a few clever comments in the rationality fanfic discussion rather than as much as a clever post on rationality concepts, but I'd disagree pretty strongly.) The coinflip doesn't contribute anything besides a Boltzmann distribution for parts of the karma scores of some members (assuming you use the fair variant). The reason I suggested bumping up the reward is I think it'll increase the pressure and make things more interesting. I fear that at the moment it's like a wager for a dollar- the amount almost makes it seem less serious- than a wager for a hundred dollars- where people start to sit up and get tense. But it also seems like it'll be easy to make it worth it (as an after-action report / example of decision-making under uncertainty and pressure). I also don't see that much of a distinction between rewarding someone 50 points and rewarding someone 500 points when it comes to use or abuse of the karma system: if you shouldn't be giving people points for playing games, then you shouldn't be giving people points for playing games. But I think there are plenty of games that you can and should give people points for playing/winning, and Diplomacy seems like one of those. We're probably talking a solid month or so of commitment here (10 turns at 3 days a turn), and if people actually keep diaries that'll be pretty valuable stuff. Final info: looking up some diplomacy stats, it looks like roughly 3 out of every 5 games end with a solo winner, and roughly 9 out of 10 have 3 or less winners. So, it does not seem like worrying about spam is worth that much effort.
Good points. I agree that having a significant reward will make the game more interesting, and that the diaries will turn out to be valuable. Mind you, most economists would say that a karma reward for the winner incentivises the wrong thing, if the diaries are the desired outcome. I don't have a real objection -- it's only karma after all! -- I just wanted to make the argument to see if people would agree.
As an outsider I would simply love if people would keep track of and eventually post their decision making process. The subsequent analysis (game theory and rationality wise) would be well worth giving all of the player a few hundred points of karma. :) Particularly good and rational thinking would be more rewarded, bad thinking could be stripped to its bare components helping the player become less wrong. It would also do away with the effect of confusing readers about the actual karma score of a particular post (up voting the last 100-1000 comments might change the perceptions about the arguments quite a bit especially unpopular or ignored ones) But if you guys are set on it, I recommend you rely on volunteer upvotes (I get to make this post for winning the Diplomacy game, X respected guy recommends you up vote this)
I think that the game is better when there are strong incentives to go for a solo victory, so I think that making it clear there will only be one such post at most will make the game better.

Post seen. Please use , and thanks for doing this. :)

For the good and wellbeing of the peoples of Scandinavia the leaders of Russia, Germany and England met this month, at a secret retreat on the Isle of Hlér to negotiate a regional peace agreement for all of Scandinavia. These three great powers agreed to the following.

1. Domains

1a. Sweden and St. Petersburg are hereby the domain of Russia.

1b. Denmark is hereby the domain of Germany.

1c. Norway is hereby the domain of England.

2. Demilitarization

2a. No armies are permitted in Sweden, Norway, Finland or St. Petersburg

2ai. Exceptions: Russia may build armies in... (read more)

Upvoted for allusion to Neville Chamberlain at Munich.
Russia confirms.
Germany confirms this on its own behalf.

Note: This is actually the Fall season, not Winter. Winter is the build season.

Yvain is giving the thread the title of the season for which the players are currently considering their orders. At the moment we are considering what to build, therefore we are in the Winter season.
Oh, I see. The convention I'm used to is that for each season, a results post is made titled by the name of that season; Spring 1901 is preceded by a game announcement or starting map post. So when I saw this post, I thought "wow, this game is going by fast..."

If any new players need help with evaluating first turn (or later moves), feel free to PM or email me, my confidentiality assured.

For those playing to win (and you should be playing to win), I recommend looking at the common openings, especially for your country.

I am also available for confidential consultation. EDIT: I must rescind this offer, because I'm playing in the second LW diplomacy game [] .

Oh well, I was kinda expecting this. Not that I really could have done anything about it.

From this moment onwards, it will be Germany's main priority to do everything it can to take England down with it. We do not expect to survive, but at least we can make an attempt to ensure that betraying us will be as unprofitable as possible.

I told you; but would you listen? No, you would not listen.
It was still the best move at the time.