Author Topic: Diplomacy, anyone?  (Read 31096 times)

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2004, 09:10:56 AM »
I joined this morning. I was doing family stuff Friday and had spotty internet all day yesterday.

Entsuropi

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2004, 09:13:26 AM »
No email here. You could try sending it to [email protected] , thats my yahoo account.
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2004, 01:48:26 PM »
Okay, it turns out more than one person is having trouble getting in.  I apologize.

I've made it possible for anyone to join the group of their own accord.  I probably should have done that in the first place.  I won't send out any more invites.  Once everybody's in I'll just close off membership again.

So to join, go to the following address:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/diplomacybiscuitofkije/

I've checked it and it should let you in just fine.  When you're a member, edit your profile so that you are recognized.  My name on the site is twgkije.  (If you already have a Yahoo ID you can modify it for purposes of the site only, and it won't affect other yahoo functions.)  Also include the email address that you want to use for diplomatic purposes in the game.  If you signed up with a different email, you can change it.

GorgonlaVacaTremendo

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2004, 09:39:27 PM »
"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense."
Robert Heinlein

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
Edmund Burke

www.kinasemovestheaudio.com for a good time!

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2004, 07:06:39 AM »
I've joined, and am in.
"But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams"
William Yeats, 'He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven'.

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2004, 11:36:57 AM »
Muy bien.  Just about everyone's in (gorgon - if you didn't catch it check out the above post with the link to the site.)

So what needs to happen now is a few posts giving an outline of the rules, and we should agree to some kind of schedule for the game.  Then it's go time!

For those not familiar with the game: the files section of the site has a complete copy of the rules if you're into reading them.  They're not that bad, and the only complicated part is towards the latter end of the "how to resolve orders" section where the situations get pretty tangled.  Aside from the very general discussion here on the board, I'd look at the document called "basic rules about moving and supporting" as well as the document about resolving orders.  The latter is a summary of all the rules that apply to resolving orders, and the first bunch are pretty straightforward and I'm guessing will cover 90% of the situations you'll encounter, so getting those down will help a lot.

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2004, 11:48:46 AM »
I just noticed that the summary of rules for resolving orders isn't up yet.  Sorry - I'll upload it tonight.

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2004, 12:30:45 PM »
So, the rules Part 1.

Different copies of the game map are available on the site.  You'll notice that it's Europe circa 1900, with the seven major powers being England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, and Turkey.  Each of us will take the role of one of those powers.  You'll also notice that certain of the provinces have cities in them.  These cities are called "supply centers" for game purposes.  There are 34 supply centers on the board.  Some are within the bounds of the major powers and are controlled by those powers at the beginning of the game.  Others are independant and unclaimed.

The units of the game are armies and fleets.  The only difference between the two are where they can go on the game board.  Armies can occupy land provinces, while fleets can occupy sea zones and coastal land provinces.  Only one unit can occupy a province or sea zone at a time.  All units have the same strength.

Turns take place either during Spring or Fall.  The first turn is Spring of '01 (S01).  The difference between Spring and Fall is significant: the results of Fall turns may affect the size of each power's military, while the results of Spring turns will not.  Each power fields as many units as supply centers they control.  At the beginning each power has 3 supply centers (SCs) and thus 3 units (with the exception of Russia, which starts with 4 SCs and units.)  As the independent SCs come under the control of the powers, the number of units will increase.  As there are only 34 SCs on the board, there will almost always only be 34 units in the board, all powers combined.

When an unit occupies an SC on a Fall turn that unit's power gains control of that supply center.  Occupying an SC on a Spring turn does not grant control.  If a unit occupies an SC on a Spring turn it must remain there for the Fall turn to gain control of that SC.  After each Fall turn, the number of SCs that each player controls is counted and the number of units that each power fields is adjusted.  Sometimes powers lose units, in the which case the losing power chooses from all their units which to remove.  Sometimes units are gained, and powers gaining units must specify what kind of unit they are gaining (army or fleet) and where it will be placed.  New units can only be placed on one of the 3 original SCs (in Russia's case 4) of each power.

The first power to control 18 of the 34 SCs wins the game.  Games can also be terminated with the mutual consent of all players, in the which case all players remaining on the board share equally in a draw.  A player is eliminated when they do not control any more SCs and all their units are removed from the board.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2004, 01:04:09 PM by Lieutenant_Kije »

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2004, 01:29:14 PM »
Rules Part 2:

Each Turn has four phases: Diplomatic, Order Writing, Order Resolution, Retreat/Disbanding.  In addition, each Fall turn has a fifth phase: Gaining/Losing Units.

The Diplomatic Phase:
The first phase in any turn is the diplomatic phase.  This is the phase where players comminicate each other for wahtever reason.  A player can try to establish a treaty with another player or players, make threats, coordinate action, collect intelligence, etc.  While talking may seem unimportant, this is in reality the crucial phase of each turn.  You will notice that each power has about as many units as they have fronts, if you count each bordering power a front.  One unit per front will not get you anywhere, and so some degree of cooperation is necessary to make any progress in the game.  

The diplomatic phase is the phase that takes the longest.  For this online game, we'll establish a time for the diplomatic phase.  (At present I'm thinking a week or so tops, but it will be something we establish as a group.)  Communication will take place by means of the message board on the site, the forum here at TWG, instant messages here at TWG, private emails (the email addresses are listed on the site,) or through chat.  I suppose if you wanted to phone, snailmail, or meet in person you could do that too whenever desired/convenient/practical.  But I imagine most communication will be electronic.  

There are no rules concerning the diplomatic phase except those regarding time limits that we will set.  That means you can say whatever you want and you will not be obligated to live up to what you say.  This is essential; players must (and will) be free to write whatever orders they choose, regardless of what was agreed upon in the diplomatic phase.

The Order Writing Phase
Following each diplomatic phase is an order writing phase.  This is where each player will write down the orders they want their units to carry out that turn.  The key here is clarity.  The orders must be written spcifically enough so that it may only be interpreted one way.  Ambiguous orders must be ignored.  This is why: after all players submit orders and they are resolved and the results are revealed, a player may point to an order and claim "that's not what I meant, I wanted this army to do this."  It very well may be the case that the player intended that, but it also may be that the player is unhappy with the result sof the turn and is trying to complain his way out of a bad decision.  (Note: not that I think anyone might try cheating this way.  I'm just explaining the justification for the rule.)  So any orders that are not precisely clear will be ignored, and the armies involved with those orders will not act that turn.  For transparency purposes I (the moderator) will post all orders exactly as I receive them so that all may see exactly what each player wrote and how those orders resulted in what happened on the game board.  

So how do you write precisely clear orders?  There is a guide on the site with instructions.  If you follow that guide then you pretty much can't go wrong.  Just be sure that what you write is what you want.  When specifying locations, feel free to write out the entire name of the province or sea zone.  If you choose to use abbreviations, make sure they are specific enough to only refer to one location on the board.  One of the reference maps (I believe it's map B) is good for giving those abbreviations.  It says in the top left corner to use the first three letters of any location, or if an abbreviation is given to use the given abbreviation instead.  For places like Norway, North Sea, etc. "Nor" is not specific enough.  Hence the map gives specific abbreviations (I believe Norway = "Nwy" North Sea = "Nth".)  The abbreviations on that map are the standard and if you use them the moderator will know exactly what you are referring to.

We will decide on a set time for writing orders also.  Orders should be submitted by the deadline.  This is where slowdowns could happen.  A player can go for a turn without conducting any diplomacy, but if they don't submit orders that's a problem.  I will try not to be heavy-handed with enforcing the order submission deadline.  I'll try and give leeway, and of course if there are extenuating circumstances we'll try and work around them.  But I don't ever want the game to slow down to the point that people lose interest, and if a player just can't manage to get orders in then we'll assume their armies do nothing.  

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2004, 01:51:09 PM »
I just realized that by my own description there's a way for the moderator to cheat.  I could (as the moderator and a player) wait to receive all the orders, read them, and then write my own to the best advantage.  

I hope you would all trust me not to do this.  I hope this game is fun for everyone involved, including myself, and cheating in that way would not be fun at all.  Half of the tension of the game is trying to figure out what exactly is going to happen after all the diplomacy's taken place, and how to write orders to advance your cause and yet not expose yourself overly to betrayal.  To know whom to trust and when.

I give you my promise to never read any of the orders submitted to me as moderator until after I as a player have written my own.  If anyone can't accept that promise as sufficient evidence of my intentions let me know what will work for you.

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2004, 03:30:33 PM »
Rules Part 3:

The Order Resolution Phase
This phase is going to be the responsibilityof the moderator.  I, as moderator, will try and do this as timely as possible so that all players can see the results of that turn's orders not too long after the orders were given.  As it is the moderator's responsibility to resolve orders only the moderator needs to know all the rules concerning order resolution.  Of course, it behooves each player to have a grasp on how orders are resolved also.  Knowing the rules helps a player to predict the outcomes with greater accuracy, and to plan more effectively for a variety of outcomes.  As I have mentioned before, most of the rules regarding order resolution are fairly basic and easy to understand.  Some of the latter rules can be a bit complicated.  In any case, a complete copy of the rules is available on the site, and each of the resolution rules are given, explained, and illustrated with a hypothetical situation (including graphics.)  As I mentioned before, I'll include a summary of all of those rules which you can read and comprehend to your satisfaction, referring to the complete rules to get a more detailed explanation when desired.  But do look these rules over, and ask questions.

At the end of this phase the moderator will post all orders as they were received, as well as a new version of the game board which reflects the results for that turn.

The Retreat/Disbanding Phase
It may be necessary after orders have been resolved for some units to retreat.  Units that were pushed out of the locations they occupied need to be moved somewhere else.  If this is the case, the player/s with units that are retreating must send in retreat orders for the affected units, to the tune of "Army in Paris retreats to Picardy."  If multiple players must give retreat orders they may not consult with one another.  After the moderator receives and resolves all retreat orders the map is adjusted the phase ends.

If a unit is forced to retreat and there is nowhere for it to go, it is automatically dibanded (removed from the board.)  If two retreating units are ordered to retreat to the same province/sea zone, they are both disbanded.  A unit does have the option of voluntarily disbanding instead of retreating.

After the retreat/disbanding phase ends the turn is over and the next turn begins with a new diplomacy phase, unless it is a Fall turn.

The Gaining/Losing Units Phase
At the end of each Fall turn it may become necessary to adjust the number of units each power possesses.  As mentioned before, the number of units each power possesses depends on the number of SCs that power controls after Fall order resolution and retreats.  If a power has more units than SCs that it controls, it must remove units until the number of units equals the number of SCs it controls.  It may choose which unit/s to remove.  If a power controls more SCs than units, it may add units until the total number of units equals the number of SCs it controls.  A player may be entitled to add (build) a unit, but may decline from doing so.  

When building a unit, the new unit must be placed in one of the original SCs that the power possessed at the beginning of the game.  If all of those SCs are occupied, the power may not build a new unit(s) that turn.  Players who have lost all their original SCs but still have control over others may continue to fight, but may not build new units until they regain control of one of the original SCs.

If powers are losing or gaining units, they must write orders for which units are to be gained and lost.  Be specific; invalid or vague build orders must be ignored.  These orders are written without discussion between players.  After all necessary disbandments and builds have been completed the turn ends and a new turn begins with a diplomacy phase.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2004, 03:31:28 PM by Lieutenant_Kije »

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2004, 11:11:38 AM »
Quote
I just noticed that the summary of rules for resolving orders isn't up yet.  


It's up now.

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2004, 03:27:14 PM »
Does everyone have a handle on the rules?  Any questions?  Are we ready to get started?

Here's a tentative schedule: ~1 week for diplomacy, 2 days for order writing, order resolution ASAP after orders are in, and retreats/builds/disbands ASAP after that.  

We can work out the schedule as we go, but does that sound alright?  I'm trying to be conservative because I want these to be deadlines (flexible deadlines) that are easily met.  So does the above seem too short?  Too long?

As soon as we get everyone on the site I'll draw for powers for each player.  It will be random.  I don't have a preference, so there's no reason to fear me rigging the draw.

So now's a great time to ask any questions/give any feedback on what's been discussed already.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2004, 03:28:02 PM by Lieutenant_Kije »

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2004, 03:39:23 PM »
My SMTP servers aren't working. I'm trying to correct the problem, but it's a pain to send email till I get that going. That's just an FYI. Can we wait a couple days to start?

Lieutenant Kije

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Re: Diplomacy, anyone?
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2004, 03:42:12 PM »
No prob.  I was wanting to hear from everyone before starting anyways.