Rationalist Diplomacy, Game 2, Game Over

by Randaly1 min read18th Nov 201087 comments


Personal Blog

Note: The title refers to the upcoming turn.

OK, here's the promised second game of diplomacy. The game name is 'Rationalist Diplomacy Game 2.'

Kevin was Prime Minister of Great Britain
AlexMennen is President of France
tenshiko is Kaiser of Germany
Alexandros was King of Italy until his retirement
WrongBot is Emperor of Austria
Thausler is Czar of Russia
Hugh Ristik is Sultan of Turkey

Randaly is the GM, and can be reached at nojustnoperson@gmail.com


Peace For Our Time!

The leaders of the three surviving nations, France, Russia, and Turkey, agreed to a peace treaty in late August, bringing an end to this destructive conflict. Crowds across Europe broke out into spontaneous celebration, as national leaders began to account for the vast costs- human and monetary- of the wars.


All orders should be sent to nojustnoperson@gmail.com with an easy-to-read title like "Rationalist Diplomacy Game 2: Russian Orders Spring 1901". Only the LAST set of orders sent will be counted, so feel free to change your mind or to do something sneaky like sending in a fake set of orders cc your ally, and then sending in your real orders later. I'm not going to be too picky on exactly how you phrase your orders, but I prefer standard Diplomacy terminology like "F kie -> hel". New players - remember that if you send two units to the same space, you MUST specify which is attacking and which is supporting. If you make a mistake there or anywhere else, I will probably email you and ask you which you meant, but if I don't have time you'll just be out of luck.

ETA: HughRistik would like to underscore that, under the standard house rules, all draws are unranked.

Past maps can be viewed  here; the game history can be viewed  here.


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Shouldn't Russia's move to Denmark have succeeded since Germany's convoy was cut?

1Randaly10yYes, it should have. jDip seems to allow a convoyed unit to defend a territory even if the convoying fleet is dislodged, which is definitely wrong. I've submitted a bug report [https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&aid=3161239&group_id=54873&atid=475159] and updated the order results. I'm really, really sorry for the incorrect resolution.

You probably don't mean February. Cheers.

An Italian advance from Budapest to Serbia failed after supporting units from Rumania were forced to stay behind to fend of a Turkish assault. The Turkish fleet, supported by infantry from Greece, in the Ionian Sea continued to bottle up the Italian navy in the Adriatic Sea and its ports in Albania.

This doesn't agree with the map.

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 to, which partially defeats the purpose of rationalist diplomacy in the first place. Here are my ideas:

  • Make one post

... (read more)
4Randaly10yI'm hosting the maps on Photobucket, so you can see them on my account [http://s1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff471/Randaly/]- I'll add that to the main post. If nobody objects to it/has a better idea, I'm leaning towards using the wiki. PS: The Spring 1902 update was after building, so no summaries. You can see it here [http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:b8awC8qClh0J:lesswrong.com/lw/32z/rationalist_diplomacy_spring_1901/+Rationalist+Diplomacy&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a] . ETA: I've added it to the wiki.

I've extended the deadline by another 24 hours, and posted in the other thread seeking a player for Italy. If nobody has signed up by then, we'll play 6 player diplomacy, with Italy falling into civil disorder.

I'm figuring after that to give ~2-3 days per move, and 18-30 hours for retreats and building. If anybody objects to these times, tell me and I'll revise them.

18-30 hours seems a little excessive considering there isn't any game-related communication allowed during that time. However, I don't object if other people want that much time.

0HughRistik10yRetreats don't take a lot of communication, but builds actually can.
2AlexMennen10yI was under the impression that communication was not allowed during retreat and build phases. Is that rule not universally used?
2Eugine_Nier10yThat's mostly a rule for face to face diplomacy designed to keep games from taking longer then they already do. After all most retreats and builds are obvious.
0AlexMennen10yOkay. Nevermind, then.
0HughRistik10yI've never seen such a rule. In all the games I've played, communication was allowed during retreat and build phases. Diplomacy would be a very different game without it. Having communication during moves but not during retreat and builds would be very weird. It would mean that you had to plan for all build contingencies with potential allies in the Fall. Without communication, you and your ally will have trouble coordinating builds, and if you build the wrong thing, you could accidentally stab your ally (by building a unit that would be most useful against him, instead of against someone else).

I retreat my army to Vienna.

(Summer 1904)

Hmmm, it's the day before the deadline and we are missing two players. Could we get confirmation whether they are playing, or whether we should seek replacements?

3WrongBot10yIf no one else has precedence, I would be willing to replace a player that remains missing.
2Randaly10yOK, you're playing Austria. What's your email address?
0WrongBot10yThe Double Emperor of Austria-Hungary can be reached at sburnstein(at)gmail(dot)com.
0AlexMennen10yI suggest that we delay the deadline to 24 hours after we have contact information for all players.
1WrongBot10yWe appear to be still missing an Italy. I assume the deadline for Spring 1901 orders in the main post is no longer valid, and that we're waiting for a final player?
0Kevin10yI support delaying the deadline until 24 hours after we have a final player confirmed.
6Alexandros10yHi, am I too late? Where can I join?
2Randaly10yYep you're in- as Italy. I'll extend the deadline for orders for another 24 hours from now- so all orders should be in by 0100 GMT, Friday morning.
0AlexMennen10yNow we just need your contact info.
2Randaly10yI'd assume that he's this guy [http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=alexandros], and that his email is therefore a.marinos(at)surrey(dot)ac(dot)uk.
0Alexandros10ystunning what the internets know about me. I think you're better off using al3xgr at gmail.
0HughRistik10yI think you are probably in; we just need Randaly to confirm.
1HughRistik10yYeah. I think we need confirmation from all players before the first deadline can be set. Given that we haven't heard from Italy and Austria and it's the day before the deadline, I think it's safe to assume that they are busy and not checking LW. I think that we should bring people in on a first come, first serve basis, beginning with WrongBot. So we really only need one more person. To our final sovereign: If you sign up within 12 hours of this comment, I will let you have Greece. Promise. Sincerely, The Sultan

The next update will be delayed by roughly a day; the main post has been updated to reflect that. My apologies!

0Randaly10yAnd, yes, it's updated. Thanks for your patience!

Retreat to Ska, please.

0Randaly10yUpdated, thanks.
[-][anonymous]10y 0

Hey, guys, Russia is going to win if you didn't notice yet.

I retreat to A Denmark to Sweden.

Summer 1907

Retreat to Hel, please.

0Randaly10yThanks, implemented.

I unconditionally surrender to the authority of the lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

All units will hold without supporting, and disband when dislodged.

May God have mercy on your souls.

(I'm going to Asia for a two month long trip, leaving at midnight tonight and am sorry I won't be able to properly finish the game. Good luck everyone! Sorry about my finger slipping)

0HughRistik10yThat's a shame. Too bad we didn't have more communication during the game, or things might have gone differently.

I retreat to Munich.

I apologize for the delay in updating; it should be updated within a couple of hours or so.

27h 47min. past the deadline, withdrawal symptoms start kicking in...

1Randaly10yUpdated. I apologize for the wait- one player turned their orders in late, and another never replied to an email I send them requesting a correction.
0Thausler10yIt'd also be nice if the next due date was fixed. It seems that this does not get updated as consistently as the rest of the information, probably because it is at the end of the post. I know that I generally skip it when doing my first read on an update and usually have to go back later to find it. Maybe if the date was bolded it would be more visible and thus remembered more?

Well, this was probably the most spectacularly bad game of Diplomacy I've ever played, possibly excepting the first.

I'll be interested to see how the rest of the game works out.

0Eugine_Nier10yHave you ever played Austria before?
0WrongBot10yOnce, a long time ago, and I don't think we ever finished that game. Hmm, that might also be a factor...
0tenshiko10yAnd is bad describing your own conduct, or the nature of the game as a whole? The second clause implies the first interpretation, but the other was what I first parsed your sentence as.
2WrongBot10yMy own. That is to say, I played poorly, partly because I didn't devote sufficient time/energy to the game, partly because I've never done PBEM Diplomacy before, partly because of the other players, and probably partly because of chance. I have no idea how much credit to assign each of these factors. For what it's worth, I enjoyed playing and learned a couple things. I may write up some thoughts about the game after it has concluded.
0HughRistik10yIt's a shame that you weren't able to be more engaged, because we could have worked together at some point, and I would have saved you from going down so fast. I'm not sold on my choice to attack you in Serbia, but my alternative was attacking Russia, which would have been too risky without knowing that you were on board.

War is peace.

2tenshiko10yFreedom is slavery.
3wedrifid10yEverything you know is wrong Black is white, up is down and short is long And everything you thought was just so important doesn't matter Everything you know is wrong Just forget the words and sing along All you need to understand is Everything you know is wrong

I believe the deadline is no longer "Monday, December 6rd, at 0800 GMT", please?

Fix the dates. Friday is the 3rd.

3Randaly10yFixed, thanks.

Five of the NYC rationalists are starting a diplomacy game, we need two more.


The passcode is streetlight

[-][anonymous]10y 0

Wait, didn't Russia get 2 builds this turn?

thausler786 at gmail dot com

On some other rules subjects, we should think about house rules. I like the Redscape house rules.

One of the most important areas of house rules is about draws. Redscape's draw condition is a "draw including all survivors" (DIAS). A DIAS is unranked; so a country with 3 centers doesn't finish worse than a country with 10 centers. This condition is important to avoid wrangling over a few centers in a game that will be a draw anyway. I propose that we play by this draw condition unless another player who's already played some games proposes something different.

0Eugine_Nier10yI thought DIAS was the de facto standard.
0HughRistik10yMe too, but I didn't see it in the rules PDF that was sent out, and I wanted to underscore it. I used to think that draws were ranked by center count when I started playing.
2Randaly10yI've added that in.

at gmail dot com

I suggest that the GM decides a game name. People will then prefix all emails related to this game with the game name. e.g. "Less Wrong Diplomacy Game 2: Orders for England, Spring 1901". This convention is pretty common for play-by-email games, and helps for email searches.

2Randaly10ySure- 'Rationalist Diplomacy Game 2'

I recommend everyone download Realpolitik or a similar program. Compose your orders there, and then paste them out of the program when you submit them. That's a good way to avoid making mistakes.

Contact is lengachan/^^\gmail<3<3com

If you're playing with new people, you might want to use a map version that includes province names. jDip should have an option to show those.


kfischer &@ gmail (@ com