Please Restrict Follow-ups?

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Ixanian Nichols

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Oct 15, 1991, 3:39:07 AM10/15/91
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> I have seen a player leave the Viking Con Diplomacy tournament
>in anger because someone had broken his word. He claimed that this
>was against the spirit, and totally destroyed the game.


I think this is silly. If someone approached me and told me
that he had just left a Diplomacy game in anger over someone
breaking his word, I'd laugh in his face. If you take Diplomacy
to be an abstraction of early 20th century politics, then breaking
one's word is absolutely certain to be appropriate in the game. Or,
if you just take Diplomacy to be an abstraction of political man-
euvering in general, disassociated from the period in which it just
happens to be set, then breaking one's word is still absolutely
certain to be appropriate. There is no getting around it; lying
and breaking promises is an integral part of politics. One is not
required to be happy about it. I always thought the whole point of
Diplomacy was to give normal, mundane, honest peasants like myself
the chance to feel really good about lying, cheating, stealing,
bullying, backstabbing, murdering, assasinating, and otherwise
confounding one's friends and acquaintances without having to
answer later to one's conscience, just like all the really famous
politicians in history did.
Trust is power. It can be bought, sold, used, abused,
nurtured and exploited. Use it wisely, cultivate it regularly,
and bring it to full fruition before reaping it.


I think most here agree (and I'm glad to see it): vendettas
are a bitch to live with, and nobody likes being subjected to one.
People who declare them publicly and make a big deal out of a single
double-cross are being childish, and doubly so if they carry the
grudge into future games. The best way to get back a double-cross is
to simply play on and try to win. If you win, you have gotten your
revenge. If you don't, then so what? Six of the seven players had to
lose, and if the guy who hurt you didn't win either, then he didn't
really gain anything by double-crossing you and you can start the
next game on new (maybe even friendly) footing. The guy who just
freaks and crusades is only losing future games for himself. It's
hard enough to trust someone who will accept a sour deal graciously
(knowing full well he'd do the same to you in your shoes); how
can anyone feel safe with a maniacal ego-centric follower of MAD?
Not only that, but not one person who plays that way has ever, in
my experience, been a good enough player to invite into the game
as anything more than filler or cannon fodder. If I know
that a player is going to declare holy jihad against the first
player who double-crosses him, then I also know that he is a
juvenile, irrational, hot-head of little diplomatic skill, and I
will resolve to exploit him to my fullest advantage and aim him
in some direction away from myself, to unleash like a herd of
raging water buffalo against the first poor dupe I can trick into
wounding him.


Just a few observations,

- Ix

Ami A. Silberman

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Oct 15, 1991, 10:43:40 AM10/15/91
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I've found, though, that there are two types of backstabbers
in diplomacy (although each uses many different strategies, from "forgetting"
to write a particular move, to cutting support etc.) The first type, which
I find quite acceptable, stabs you in the back to help himself. He may
be changing alliances for instance, or he may have just been very
nebulous about what he was doing and have led you on. The second type
is the sort of small-minded rabid mad dog that people remember as
being a real pain. He lives just for the joy of wrecking other peoples
plans, and will stab you in the back even if it leads to him being
destroyed, just to either take you with him or even annoy you. While
this may have some justification if he is in an untenable position
(e.g., a one or two army power), it seems to be mere vitrol when done
on turn three by a player who should be spending his effort cementing
alliances etc.
--
ami silberman - janitor of lunacy
sil...@cs.uiuc.edu

Joel Hopper

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Oct 15, 1991, 2:21:04 PM10/15/91
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This is no flame, but wasn't there a discussion about changing the subjects
when the subject of a thread changed??? What does backstabbing have to do
with restricting followups??? As I said, this is not a flame, just want
to understand the ettiquite of this newsgroup.

--
Joel Hopper - Systems Engineer - Compaq Computer Corporation
Internet: hop...@compaq.com
"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."
- Anonymous

Mark Phaedrus

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Oct 15, 1991, 7:26:39 PM10/15/91
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In article <1991Oct15....@twisto.eng.hou.compaq.com> hop...@compaq.com (Joel Hopper) writes:
>In article <1991Oct15....@m.cs.uiuc.edu> sil...@m.cs.uiuc.edu (Ami A. Silberman) writes:
>>[14-line posting plus 3-line .signature deleted]

>This is no flame, but wasn't there a discussion about changing the subjects
>when the subject of a thread changed??? What does backstabbing have to do
>with restricting followups??? As I said, this is not a flame, just want
>to understand the ettiquite of this newsgroup.

You're absolutely right. It is a point of netiquette (though often
ignored) that the Subject: line of a followup posting be changed if the
contents of the followup are very different from the contents of the previous
messages in the thread.
Of course, while we're on the subject of netiquette, it's also considered
bad form to post an article that contains more quoted old text than new text.
Not a flame, just want you to understand the etiquette of this newsgroup. :)
Let's see, six lines quoted text, eight lines new text... good enough. :)
--
Internet: phae...@u.washington.edu (University of Washington, Seattle)
The views expressed here are not those of this station or its management.
"If you can keep your head while those about you are losing theirs,
consider an exciting career as a guillotine operator!"

Fred Scott

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Oct 15, 1991, 11:46:56 PM10/15/91
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In article <1991Oct15.2...@milton.u.washington.edu> phae...@milton.u.washington.edu (Mark Phaedrus) writes:
> Of course, while we're on the subject of netiquette, it's also considered
>bad form to post an article that contains more quoted old text than new text.
>Not a flame, just want you to understand the etiquette of this newsgroup. :)

Who told you that? -)

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