6

In my mind there were a couple of problems in this game that were unforeseeable that I want to address while its on my mind. Has nothing to do with the ass end of the raping that I have been on. Nope.

First off, I think we could really use that extra player so we could have a dedicated GM or two so if anyone not playing has been following along, please join in if and when next time rolls around. Also, a stricter schedule would be significantly more convenient, it would really help me out if I could just look at a calendar and know where we are at. In addition, changing the way diplomacy works would be great because I'd love to have a better idea if I am intentionally or unintentionally being ignored. Having something like 2 half hour diplomatic sessions on IRC would be great (though hard to coordinate). We could also go completely opposite of that and consider the telegraph lines cut and have a turn delay on communications to increase fog of war, that could be interesting.

I'm pretty sure there was one more thing I meant to mention but I had a couple drinks and now I don't remember and I'm like 20 minutes into an 8 sentence post >_>

In my mind there were a couple of problems in this game that were unforeseeable that I want to address while its on my mind. Has nothing to do with the ass end of the raping that I have been on. Nope. First off, I think we could really use that extra player so we could have a dedicated GM or two so if anyone not playing has been following along, please join in if and when next time rolls around. Also, a stricter schedule would be significantly more convenient, it would really help me out if I could just look at a calendar and know where we are at. In addition, changing the way diplomacy works would be great because I'd love to have a better idea if I am intentionally or unintentionally being ignored. Having something like 2 half hour diplomatic sessions on IRC would be great (though hard to coordinate). We could also go completely opposite of that and consider the telegraph lines cut and have a turn delay on communications to increase fog of war, that could be interesting. I'm pretty sure there was one more thing I meant to mention but I had a couple drinks and now I don't remember and I'm like 20 minutes into an 8 sentence post >_>

7 comments

[–] TheRedArmy 3 points (+3|-0)

I'm like 20 minutes into an 8 sentence post >_>

Master of efficiency right here. :p

First off, I think we could really use that extra player so we could have a dedicated GM or two so if anyone not playing has been following along, please join in if and when next time rolls around.

Yes, I really wanted to be a dedicated GM this time, but player count made that infeasible. There are a few things in particular that I think of when I think of the benefits of a non-player GM; primarily rules help and adjudication help before the phase actually processes (IE "What happens if I do X and they do Y").

Also, a stricter schedule would be significantly more convenient, it would really help me out if I could just look at a calendar and know where we are at.

Setting up a schedule a la Modern Powers' should be possible; Monday-Tuesday for Spring negotiation (Tue orders are due), Wednesday for retreats/ extra Fall negotiation day, Thursday-Friday fall negotiation (Fri orders are due), Saturday Retreats/builds, Sunday Builds/Spring negotiation phase.

In addition, changing the way diplomacy works would be great because I'd love to have a better idea if I am intentionally or unintentionally being ignored. Having something like 2 half hour diplomatic sessions on IRC would be great (though hard to coordinate).

That would be great. I've played a live game before (online live, where phases were 15 minutes; builds and retreats were 5), and it was actually quite intense. I believe I drew with some number of players that game, and I had a lot of fun with it. This game, I've been fortunate to have chats with @Jidlaph, @PMYA, and @Boukert here and there on the IRC, although those were incidental meetings more than anything else. Had I see you or @Skyrock on there, I naturally would've chatted you guys up as well.

This is another area where the F2F and Postal/online game can differ. You can't sneakily ignore someone in the F2F game; even if you make excuses for why you never have time to talk, after two or three times of this, it becomes pretty obvious. The postal game, players could never know if their letters got there or not, or if they were on time or not. I'm sure many moves have been done with a letter following up immediately after with the excuse "Your letter did not get here in time! Damn the postman!" This is an aspect you have to worry about when it comes to writing letters - for at least one player this game, I'm mostly certain I was unintentionally ignored; but I only have my own assessment to judge that.

Arranging the time really is the super-tricky bit. If you can figure out something better, power to you, but getting people arranged in F2F for a night of tabletop RPGs is already hard. Add in internet, time zones, and God knows what else, and you're sure to have complications more times than not - unless you just find that perfect group where everything falls into place.

[–] Boukert 2 points (+2|-0)

as of time we can always ask @pembo to make us a countdown clock in the CSS. so we see where we are in a round.

[–] [Deleted] 2 points (+2|-0)

so, as might be expected, i am back to thinking about next game and another thought i had is to anonymize players so that next game i am not as predisposed to hamstringing you as i might otherwise be (or @Boukert and i). i have no issue with not bothering and allowing knowledge of your opponents to influence play but anonymizing would give a fun side game of impersonating others and offers a more pure strategy game i think.

[–] TheRedArmy 2 points (+2|-0)

Anon play is something that is interesting and I've done it in the past, but it would not be easy to do on here, unless you want to just create throwaway accounts, which I'm loathe to do in general, but also I don't want to use bandwidth or server space or whatever unnecessarily.

This is a meta-issue to the game, and one that deserves some attention. Because it would be unfair to me if you (or @Skyrock, for instance), refused to even deal with me in another game because of what happened in this game. Or if @Skyrock and @PMYA decided to immediately ally one another since their alliance is working good in this game, without giving other players a reasonable chance.

In general, the rules I hold myself to are -

  • Don't carry grudges (or positive feelings) from one game to the next. Each game must be its own independent event.
  • Be aware of other players' histories, but give everyone a fair shake. Taking their past into account is fine, but be level and balanced in your dealings and decision-making.
  • Never go into a game with any kind of pre-arranged deal, or make deals across multiple games.

I think these rules handle the vast majority of the problems that arise, but some more can still crop up (not necessarily with this group, but who knows). For instance, imagine two weaker and/or newer players are in the role of Austria and Turkey, and you have an extremely strong player with several solo victories playing Russia. The two weaker players might both be of the mind that they would get out-played and out-manipulated by the very strong Russia, and after their initial communications with each other, agree to ally against Russia as a way of protecting themselves.

Is that meta-gaming? Is it fair to the Russian player, who's gonna have a hard time dealing with the alliance of these two? And the answer is, I don't know. Maybe it is, but maybe it also isn't. Maybe because he is such a skilled player, he can sow discord in the alliance and get one or the other of them to flip, or maybe call in Italian support to help him out. Sometimes even in game where everyone is basically equal, people get 2v1'd like this, and there's sometimes not a lot they can do about it. Initial communications between two people go very well very quickly, and they quickly decide that an alliance (of whatever length) is a good idea. I've been bullied out of the game early plenty of times, and sometimes there's just nothing you can do.

On the one hand, that's Diplomacy. On the other hand, it's not a ton of fun for the person who gets gang-banged early on and there's just no good way to deal with it. I mean, I think I'm able to separate the games clearly enough that everyone will get their fair shake. It's a matter of how well you can kind of untangle the person from the game, in a way. And I suppose different people have different...levels of ability to differentiate, let say...when it comes to that.

But, if we played using an off-site client (such as WebDiplomacy or Backstabbr), might be a way to provide anonymity if it's something that can present a serious issue.

I recall the main time we used anonymous games. I was in a league, where there were 4 games played a round, with one player from each of 7 teams playing on each board. So for instance, I was on board 4, and I drew Italy in round 1. And one thing we did in the league was make it anonymous games; the idea being, particularly as we got later in the league, it would keep the games interesting, instead of in round 4, everyone looks which team is in the lead, and gang-bangs those players on their respective boards. There it made a lot of sense; the anonymity ensured everyone had a fair game within the context of that one board. So if that idea, where everyone can get a fair game, is in jeopardy, then having anonymous games would be worthwhile.

[–] [Deleted] 1 points (+1|-0)

i think everyone here can separate themselves from any grudges but next game there is a 0% chance of my fleet leaving the iberian peninsula if everything were to happen the same as this game up to that point. if england was (potentially) other players, it may not necessarily be a move that is off the table to me. i imagine that small, reasonable moves like this on such a small board can make a larger than expected impact on the game even though no diplomacy would actually be done for me to reach the conclusion that leaving a hole in my defenses is a good or bad idea.

i dont really mind either way i just thought it would be good to get some consensus on the subject.

also, i dont mind using a third party for the game.

also, there is only one rule to all strategy games.

[–] Skyrock 2 points (+2|-0)

You could use an external web application which handles the processing of commands and has a built-in timer, such as Vdiplomacy.

[–] TheRedArmy 1 points (+1|-0)

Yes, that also works. I considered doing that for this game, but thought the hassle of signing up for another site would turn people off.