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Flame (1052 D (B))
23 Oct 17 UTC
Austrian question once again!
Please help with testing a map "War of Austrian Succession"
http://lab.diplomail.ru/board.php?gameID=51

Fast gunboat.
1 reply
Open
Flame (1052 D (B))
05 Oct 17 UTC
(+1)
Classic 1898 Variant adaptation
I do the adaptation for 1898 variant. Who knows the author of the variant to mention him in the description. Or it's Hasbro itself?

http://lab.diplomail.ru/board.php?gameID=43
7 replies
Open
Tactics
In year one when you just meeting everyone, maybe there anonymous but for sure you don't know any of them. How do you know who to trust?
They can be lying through their teeth and text doesn't show tone of voice or eye contact so you have no idea. If you believe them they may stab you. If you don't you venture into a DMZ and piss them off. Ask around to others and you get rumors or nothing. This game seems so much better suited to face to face.
15 replies
Open
Enriador (1507 D (B))
17 Oct 17 UTC
Classic Mini-Tourney - Is there interest?
I thought about making a mini-tourney - comprising a single game - using a similar scheme to most Face-to-Face scoring systems.

Basically it'll be a Classic game, running until Fall 1907 and a PPSC structure. The bet would be 100 points - for a ultimate pot worth 700 points.
26 replies
Open
Grahamso1 (1513 D)
13 Oct 17 UTC
Unable to enter certain orders. How to contact GM
Can someone help. I am playing one of the odder variants. New for me. I’ve read the variant page repeatedly and seems I ought to be able to enter a certain order. But it’s not available as an option. (Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe a bug). Emailed the mods. But how do I contact GameMaster min a gunboat game?
Thanks
2 replies
Open
The Ambassador (1614 D (B) (B))
09 Oct 17 UTC
(+5)
I love vDip
Enjoying this new golden age of variant development.

Hat tip to Oli and those building variants and supporting their development in the background.
5 replies
Open
FafevPlinskv (1072 D)
10 Oct 17 UTC
Taking over
Need help with a gunboat game, good position but sadly don't have time for it for a moment. PM for more details
0 replies
Open
The Ambassador (1614 D (B) (B))
08 Oct 17 UTC
Napoleonic
Hey, where are the neutrals?

;-)
0 replies
Open
Jamie_T (895 D)
10 Sep 17 UTC
vDiplomacy Forum Mafia
Would anyone be interested in playing forum based Mafia / Werewolf here, on the vDip forum?
154 replies
Open
Enriador (1507 D (B))
04 Oct 17 UTC
Reliability system
I looked over Google but couldn't find any topic explaining the reliability system - can anyone hand out an example, and explain how noobs are handled? Thanks a lot in advance!
10 replies
Open
nopunin10did (1041 D)
19 Sep 17 UTC
Win Conditions less than majority
Some of you with a bit more experience at vDip can clue me in here.

How does vDip currently adjudicate when more than one player meets the SC requirement for victory simultaneously? More details below.
38 replies
Open
brainbomb (681 D)
01 Oct 17 UTC
Variance
Varients my style Skippin paddy wagon rattle dash colum mile Flyin off the handle and I dial Clone pile vna for my DNA Rabid as a rattler in a CNA gettin paid like the Destin Pa Handle this festive kudza On a fish. Get you lil bliss Gimme smooch. Im a wish.
4 replies
Open
Flame (1052 D (B))
28 Sep 17 UTC
Habelya variant bug?
In Habelya-variant: Fleet from Bay of Holgii can support move S.Holgii (Sc) from Holgian Sea.
Is it bug or normal situation?
6 replies
Open
Anyone else have hobbies outside of Diplomacy or gaming in general?
I am into model railroading as well as fine scale modeling (military), and balsa & tissue aircraft building. What are you all into?
52 replies
Open
Argentinean Empire (1221 D)
27 Apr 17 UTC
(+3)
Word Association Thread
Hello! I saw a thread like this on WebDip. We start with a word, and you then post the one word that pops into your mind after you read that word. The first word is FIRST.
838 replies
Open
Major Problems (1165 D)
23 Sep 17 UTC
(+1)
Live game anyone?
If anyone likes live games (gunboat, anon) let's see if we can get one going. Only an hour to sign up!
2 replies
Open
BenjaminHester (1035 D)
14 Sep 17 UTC
While I'm going through the long slog of rebuilding Sengoku...
...any interest in a vDip implementation of my most recent, and arguably best balanced variant that rolled off the assembly line before my last long Dip sabbatical?

http://dipwiki.com/index.php?title=Balkans1860
21 replies
Open
NManock18 (977 D)
18 Sep 17 UTC
(+1)
Variants
Are there any tips on software to use for designing a variant? Thanks!
5 replies
Open
faded box (1101 D)
05 Sep 17 UTC
live
anyone up for a live 1v1? u can choose map if u dont like one i got posted
2 replies
Open
Vauban (953 D)
17 Sep 17 UTC
Colour for Neutral Province
Check below
4 replies
Open
Cometk (1278 D)
15 Sep 17 UTC
Replacing Inactive Member
how does my group go about replacing an inactive member?
1 reply
Open
President Eden (1588 D)
13 Sep 17 UTC
Is England* vs Turkey truly balanced?
The stats spread on England* vs Turkey is innocuous enough. England* wins 55% of games which do not end in a draw, Turkey wins 45%. England is favored, but not to the extent that Turkey can't win; the game is not balanced, but it also isn't drastically skewed either way.

However, I have recently encountered an opening from England that I'm struggling to counter as Turkey.
8 replies
Open
Anon (?? D)
12 Sep 17 UTC
Gunboat with me
Hey, if anyone is interested in playing a beginner gunboat with me (I suck at gunboat) holla at me for the password http://www.vdiplomacy.com/board.php?gameID=32229
4 replies
Open
Anon (?? D)
12 Sep 17 UTC
"...tuesday" game sequel is out...
Pls play this WWII map...
Remember, only on Tuesdays!
http://www.vdiplomacy.com/board.php?gameID=32223
8 replies
Open
michael_b (952 D)
11 Sep 17 UTC
Strong British Position
http://vdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=31381
0 replies
Open
The Ambassador (1614 D (B) (B))
06 Sep 17 UTC
Online Dip Pet Peeves
We're introducing a new segment to the podcast. Have your say (more below)...
53 replies
Open
Jamie_T (895 D)
16 Aug 17 UTC
Hello!
I have been banned from webDiplomacy because Zultar wants it to be a safe space for neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

You nice people will have to put up with me instead (until I get banned here, I guess).
42 replies
Open
TheatreVarus (874 D)
09 Sep 17 UTC
Dueling
Looking for someone to play a few friendly duels on the Cold War map. Just picked the game back up and I want to get some practice in. Anyone interested can DM me.
0 replies
Open
kaner406 (1259 D Mod (B) (B))
24 Sep 16 UTC
(+3)
I've been Boursed!!! 2016
Hi all, when Amby and I were recording our recent podcast (diplomacygames.com) the topic of Bourse came up, and I got really excited and thought that I would try to get another game of this variant running...
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kaner406 (1259 D Mod (B) (B))
04 Sep 17 UTC
@all, Captainmeme has some developed a really interesting rule-set to deal with the end-game issue, but we'll let him publish that when he's good and ready.

Bozo? Ruffhaus 8? Doctor R? EoGs?
Dr. Recommended (1506 D Mod (B))
04 Sep 17 UTC
(+2)
Thanks very much kaner for running this, you're a machine! Seriously, enormous respect and gratitude.

I don't really have much of an EoG to contribute, just glad there finally is an end. The game went pretty lifeless for me a long time ago, stuck with few and poor choices between groups that I was not going to be able to impact in any way that would make a positive difference for me. This long period came after a stage that had me about as frustrated as I ever get over Diplomacy, so it hasn't been my favorite game.

Which is totally fine, because that's Diplomacy. And because I didn't start this game expecting a chance to win - it was about learning what a Bourse game was. I wanted to establish a good enough position to last the whole game, settle into some stalemate lines, and continue playing and learning the Bourse. I essentially accomplished that.

I know there's been talk of a WWIV Bourse. If bringing on new Bourse players, I think it would be a wise idea to hold a School of Bourse game, unrated and ending after so many years. Just long enough for first-time bourse players to get their feet wet and gain some understanding of what they're doing before firing up the next competitive Bourse game.

Captainmeme, to your point about my breaking bloc rules - In a game where I was just learning in real time how to play Bourse, I wanted to be able to negotiate with everybody. I didn't think I'd learn as much as fast if I limited myself strictly to one option. It is definitely not my style to turn over control of my units or currency to anyone. I do understand the reasoning you laid out, and I really appreciate the amount of thought and effort you put into this. You've been instrumental in my Bourse education. I understand the vassal/puppet concept (demonstrated well in this game) and I certainly know there are times when 100% loyalty and cooperation are necessary and warranted. To me, the start of a game is not it. Anyone who's played WWIV with me knows I like to analyze the game with every player who's willing to respond in kind, and the possibilities that sometimes develop from remote corners to become reality years later are among my favorite aspects of Diplomacy. Plus, I knew you wanted to win. I was willing to go along with the bloc to a great extent, but not leaving myself room for some self-determination seemed too much to ask.

Amby, I'm not going to respond to your comments on The Bathtub Wars, and we'll both be better for it. On to other games and opportunities for better times...

Thanks all for your commitment to this long, strange game!

bozo (2320 D)
05 Sep 17 UTC
Thanks kaner for running the game, I will have some EoG comments soon.
Really like Doc's suggestion for a limited period unrated School of Bourse game to get folks up to speed before a WWIV Bourse.

And yes, onto other games and other opportunities :-)
Unstupid (1130 D)
05 Sep 17 UTC
Firstly, I got annihilated in this game, missing out upon most crucial things, though I felt pleased merely to be included in it. It was a lot of fun, and emphasised to me the gap between myself and good players (Bozo is a good early-game example). Bourse-wise, things got a lot more interesting towards the middle of the game as earlier on it was overwhelming for me. I was especially interested in the VP-farm aspect (only natural due to my in-game defeat). To prevent long, stale endgames, why don’t you assign a VP-point value to the dollar, as it would prevent stocks from increasing too high, thus counteracting the ever-expanding monetary supply. It would still be possible to overcome a long deficit, but if combined with a draw rule of some arbitrary portion of SCs agreeing to draw, it would necessitate some skill on the board in order to truly manipulate the Bourse.
Not much to contribute EoG wise here...

I started this game playing two games: bourse and dip. Big mistake. Then I got into a land war with Russia and it took all my negotiation skills to save my own ass and convince him to let me grow as I could help him get the bourse win if I was still in the game.

Once that alliance was finally locked in, my goal was to break into the top 10 in the bourse (I ended up 8th - exactly center of the pack- as there is no 2nd place when there is a tie for first) and felt I was pretty solidly part of the draw. Considering I was damn near eliminated, I am very happy with the end result.

I would suggest a bourse of an anonymous game with a rule it must remain anonymous.
RUFFHAUS 8 (2454 D)
06 Sep 17 UTC
(+1)
Thank you to kaner for hosting this game, and the considerable effort undertaken in managing it. As with the previous Bourse game I played (also on the KW901 map) this one was one of the memorable and competitive games I've played at VDip. Thanks to friend and foe for making it so enjoyable.

I approached this game on the board in a fairly typical fashion, expecting to find much less cooperation than I did initially. Germany, Byzantium, and Khazaria were all very friendly and accommodating, and interested in forging alliances after building trust. Those relationships found their way into bourse relationships, and things were looking pretty good.

France offered a pigpile scenario on Germany, which would have neutralized a major contender immediately, but I had an existing arrangement with bozo, which I valued more. This precluded my participation with France. I needed to grow somewhere as we all do, and set my sights on Denmark, who did nothing wrong, except his press was less frequent and less engaging than my other neighbors. I gained a quick advantage on the Danes, but then I had a problem. Germany was allied to Denmark against France, so I had to slow roll my progress on Denmark at bozo's request. I wasn't convinced that Denmark was needed, but it did leave the option of a currency farm/trap, so I played along. I also did so as a favor to Germany, hoping that it was an investment in a long term alliance. Denmark hung around for a long time, but must have gotten bored. I got impatient with his lack of press (again) and NMRs. He was a necessary cog in preventing Wagadu's flanking move in the Atlantic, and reliability was paramount. At this point Denmark had to go. We decided not to farm Kroner, or to spring a money trap.

Byzantium was content to forge a Mediterranean campaign, which suited me well. Khazaria and I after initial agreements could not find a way forward together. We'd agreed to go east, but he was still talking about moving units into my middle, and I couldn't dissuade him with Diplomacy. I tried force. It worked at first, and YCHTT agreed to move east, but then we had a string of mini-stab seasons between us, making it very difficult for either of us to trust the other. This resulted in me abandoning any hope of working with Khazaria, and exploring new relationships to replace him. I stabbed him ruthlessly and decisively, and had him on the run. This prompted a verbal response that made *me* blush.... Honestly though it's why I love playing with/against YCHTT. He loves this hobby, and he puts his heart into it. His anger/affection always stays within the game in question too. He's a consumate Dip player who on the very same day can cuss you like a sailor in one game and sweet talk you like a $20 whore in another game. After a few seasons of swift progress, and silence, YCHTT approached me with a plan to use him as a vassal state. This was complex for me beyond appearances on the map because I'd already working diplomatic angles in the post-Khazaria era. Still the concept had some real promise, particularly as a currency and VP farm. I was intrigued and ready to enact it because of multiple failures to secure a favorable (functional) relationship with Axum, when China came around proposing the idea as a way to cooperate since he'd been plotting against me all game on the map. Even though Captain was mine main nemesis on the board and the bourse I was willing to run a deal with him on Yarmaq. I knew that he could buy more of it than me, but I was counting on Axum to help kill Turan, and eliminate Captain's currency/VP farm of Manat. Captain on the other hand would only make deals that overtly benefited himself, and this was really the end of any cooperation I would explore with him after several betrayals on the board, which I returned in kind. Turth and I never got to blow up the Yarmaq farm, but it was a very beneficial deal for both of us. China's participation was a welcome thing because it drove up the resale value of Yarmaq, which YCHTT and I both needed.

Because Captain was holding @ 75,000 units of Turanian Manat, and threatening to blow Turan up to 10-12 supply centers it was imperative to prevent this if I was to compete in the bourse. Germany and Byzantium understood this, and I think/hope offered continued loyalty and flexibility so that I could chase down Turan. Captain saw this coming, and worked very hard to prevent it. He shifted a land based refuge for Turan, to an island based one, putting Lukas' lackey unit out of my eefective grasp. This meant that I needed Axum more than ever.

I wasn't ever completely sure if it was Captain's effective diplomacy, or Leif's plodding uberconservative approach, or both, but Axum was making no progress agaisnt China+Turan in the south. I judged it to be an inherent lack of necessary ability or willingness to do so. Leif and I bickered over these for several seasons, and I grew exhausted from it. He wasn't making progress in the south, but wanted a larger than earned share of Arabia. I was willing to concede the latter *if* he did his job in the south. He failed repeatedly, and I gave up. I have no idea what' Leif's problem was here. Killing Turan was in Leif's best interest, *and* he owned an insurmountable advantage over me in owned Roubles. But Lief for some reason insisted that I was playing some psychological mind game with him, and refused to look at the map and the bourse numbers. He then offered up the same crap concept that Captain had trotted out, stating that he would only cooperate with me in deals that specifically allowed him to win. I get the concept of wanting to win... Really, I do. What I don't get is ultimatums on guaranteed victory with 30 game years left. Both Leif and Captain had excellent chances to win this game, but threw them away because they wanted absolute assurances of victory in the middle of the game. What was crazier than that though was both of them expected me to deliver them the game on a silver platter with irrationally lopsided arrangements I kept offering mutually beneficial deal and noting that there were 20+ years of game left, with 50% of the board unspoken to.

I turned Khazaria loose on Axum in Arabia along with my advance units. Simultaneously I had flipped India against both China and Axum after a great deal of diplomacy and patient appeal. India had been holding a keystone position in Captain's defensive wall. He was also facing certain doom and elimination in a slow and painful contraction. I convinced Rex that if he helped me eliminate Turan, that I'd keep him alive. Rex was in the VP lead at this point with a large advantage over me in Roubles owned. Offering India this deal was a major gamble, because it might have handed Rex the game. At this point as much as I wanted it too, I was sick of Leif's inaction, and Captain insisting on the ability to run Turan up to 12 dots and a massive VP advantage. I gambled on Rex, and honored my deal with him on the board while working with Germany to surpass/hold back India in the VP race. Rex came though brilliantly, and worked exceptionally well and unselfishly with Khazaria against Axum.

Germany had stabbed Byzantium while both were fighting back Wagadu. Doc's Wagadu fleets had sailed north and threatened Britain. He has also attempted moves into Icelandic Sea, making me very uncomfortable. To help curtail Wagadu's ambition I lobbied for Germany to take Byzantium back as a vassal state much the way I had with Khazaria. Bozo wasn't having it, but after I pressed on and on about it, I think that he was convinced that Amby would play ball. I wasn't completely sure about it, but believe it or not Amby can be damn compliant when he doesn't have the upper hand. This resulted in short term dents in Wagadu's overall position, and forced Doc to retreat to Fortress Africa. Wagadu was out of my hair at this point, and my only role in the west was to offer some token assistance to Germay in bozo's surgical deconstruction of the Wagadu position. Saving Byzantium was originally mean to defeat Wagadu, which it ultimately did, but late in the game it proved to be the path to breaking China's hold on the VP lead as Solidus emerged as a currency too expensive for China to gamble on. Since Germany and I already held significant Solidus sums in our portfolio, we could pick and choose the timing of the buys into it, only further boosting the advantage. When bozo was selfess enough to boost Amby's supply center share of Africa, the VP advantage soared for us. This meant that Khazaria would stay around 11 centers, and China could be caught.

Thanks to bozo for the meticulous planning and patience on this, and also for offering a tie in the bourse. I wanted to win, but was actually content to draw while in second place by now. Fatigue and game stalling take their toll. Some may criticize the decision to tie, but it was a wise one. Had a board war between us broken out only neither of us would have benefited from victory. If that sounds like a cop out, then you can look at the Talus and Roubles holdings of Axum, Wagadu, China, and India. I didn't want to stab my game long ally for a bourse win when he was willing to share it with me. My guess is that bozo may have felt the same way.

Well, that's a lot said, and surely some fodder for folks to take issue with. It's my perspective from Russia though, and that's what EOGs are meant to be. Some final thought are that I feel the bourse rules are fine as is. Some are going to decry the VP farming that went on, but that's a double edged sword as China found out the hard way in this game. The main factors that adversely affected this game were that the board game was unrated, and accordingly undervalued since we play in a points/ratings-driven community. Had this been a WTA game, many board and bourse decisions would have played out differently. In addition at least one third of the players were either disinterested or intimidated, particularly in the bourse play (but also on the map). I am by nature wary of elitist clubs, and invitation only games, but it's not an issue of elitism here. I didn't grasp the mechanics of the bourse until several years into my first game. By the time I did my best possiible result was to finish 5th in the standings. Still even a marginal investment in time and interest in this recent game by several of the players would have made it much more enjoyable. My recommendation is that the next bourse game moderator use a blend of first signed up and most capable to determine the game roster. Someone (captain/Amby) suggested an unrated short game test where the bourse mechanics are explored. This is a fantastic idea for gathering a larger pool of bourse players. I'd love to 'sea' it on the WW4 map sometime!
Fantastic EOG Ruff.

I agree with you on making the next big Bourse game (excluding School of Bourse) rated.

But as the rating mechanism is adjudicated automatically and based on board placement (the system doesn't know that someone winning on the board could have theoretically come last in the Bourse, and vice versa), can a Mod adjust the scores/rating after the game?

Maybe one for Cap or others...
Captainmeme (1400 D Mod (B))
06 Sep 17 UTC
Kaner mentioned above that I had made a ruleset to try to iron out the issues with Bourse (including aligning the win condition with the site rating system). I wasn't going to post it earlier because I like reading the EoGs and don't want to derail, but since the rating system came up this is probably the time to get input:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16nKdp4LrAJWzd_zm1DDpbpzPlXd3_SkEVZIXoelJSMk/edit?usp=sharing
rexgarum (1960 D)
07 Sep 17 UTC
Cap I love many of the ideas in your reworking...I am worried that elimination of the bottom player every year is harsh (though maybe it solves the problem of the game losing steam) and becomes prone to abuse when the number of players left are small. Perhaps there could be a tax (e.g. must pay 25% of your net worth in USD and if you can't pay/raise it then you are eliminated or maybe you simply just NMR and lose trading abilities until someone's VP falls below yours). Those are just random spitball ideas - they likely fail in balance some other way, but hopefully they spark better ideas from others.
Some of us read this stuff on our phones and links to online docs (instead of copy pasting the text here) don't work well.
Captainmeme (1400 D Mod (B))
07 Sep 17 UTC
Sorry YCHTT, thought it was a bit long to post here. I guess I'll do so anyway:

Elimination Bourse

Variant Rules

Elimination Bourse is an expansion to the traditional Bourse variant. It uses the standard ruleset for Bourse, but changes the victory condition and adds several new knockout mechanics.

The standard Bourse ruleset can be found here: http://www.dipwiki.com/index.php?title=Bourse

There are two slight changes to the above ruleset which are standard in the vDiplomacy Bourse scene and are also used in Elimination Bourse:

1) The ‘Investors’ are the players on the Board.
2) Any variant board can be used by adding/removing currencies in accordance with the nations present. The recommended board for Elimination Bourse is Known World 901, as it works much better with a large group of players. I could also see it working well on World War IV, but getting enough players for that would likely be impossible.

Victory Condition

The objective of standard Bourse Diplomacy is to have the largest number of Victory Points when the game is drawn or soloed. As such, the winner of the Board is not necessarily the winner of the Bourse, and as a result the game must be played in unranked mode to prevent conflicting objectives.

The objective of Elimination Bourse is to solo the Board (either by concession or by reaching the required SC count), and thus, games can be played in Ranked mode without any conflict of interest - the winner of the variant will also win the board and will win the vPoints as a result.

There are no draws in Elimination Bourse. It is a high-risk, high-reward game with only one victor. If played in Ranked mode, it must also be played as a Winner Takes All game - there are no prizes for Survival in this variant.

Eliminations

In Elimination Bourse, a player can be eliminated in two different ways:

1) If the country under their control loses all its SCs.
2) If, at the end of any Spring phase after the first two years, the player has the lowest Victory Point count of the non-eliminated players.

An eliminated player:

1) Must vote concede and leave that vote in for the remainder of the game.
2) Loses control of all of their units still in the game, and must enter all Holds for the remainder of the game. (The player does not have to enter orders - any NMRs or CDs caused by this will be removed by a Moderator.)
3) Has their stock of every remaining currency reset to 1000, which affects currency prices - for example, if a player with 2000 Yarmaq is eliminated, the value of the Yarmaq will drop by 10c, as 1000 Yarmaq are essentially ‘sold’ back. Equivalently, if that player also has 0 Solidus, the value of the Solidus will rise by 10c.
4) May no longer trade on the Bourse and is removed from the Victory Point Ladder.



Design Principles

If you’re just looking to know the rules, this section isn’t important. It describes the aims behind the design of this variant.

Bourse Diplomacy was never designed to be played by the players on the board - the original idea was for separate ‘Investors’ to play the Bourse side while spectating a game being played by other players. That version is incredibly lackluster and it was massively improved by the combining of the two roles.

Combining the roles created a variant with intrigue and negotiation which far surpasses that of Standard Diplomacy. There are many more factors to consider, and thinking outside the box is almost a necessity - many players who understand the variant will agree that the Bourse side adds a huge amount to the strategic aspect of the game.

However, combining the roles also brought some problems which have not yet been solved. Elimination Bourse is designed to solve the following two issues:

Ranked Play

Bourse in its current form cannot be played Ranked due to the conflicting objectives. Making a game ranked gives a tangible reward for winning or drawing on the Board side in the form of vPoints, whereas no points are ever given for victory on the Bourse side. Thus, the Bourse aspect is made essentially irrelevant as players will play towards the objective that gives them a reward (a solo/draw) rather than that which does not (doing well on the VP ladder).

Quite often these two come into conflict, and it’s much easier to do well on the Board if you are ignoring the Bourse entirely and making alliances and decisions based strictly on working towards a Board solo.

The current solution to this is to make the Board unranked, so that the only real reward from the game is the recognition of having won a Bourse game. This really is not ideal, because it also means there’s very little on the line either way, which results in some players not putting much effort in and not trying to do well.

Additionally, this disconnect from the actual board performance means that players often don’t have to try to do well on the Board in order to do well in the Bourse, leading to strategies like VP Farms and Stalemate Victory being extremely overpowered. This is not necessarily a problem in of itself - the fact that Bourse creates unusual strategies is great - but these specific strategies often mean a much less enjoyable game for all.

Elimination Bourse solves this by aligning the objective of the site’s Ranking system with the objective of Bourse Diplomacy, so a victory in the Bourse aspect of the game gives a significant reward. The further integration of the Bourse and Board aspects also force players to try to play well on the board - VP farming is extremely dangerous due to the possibility of the vassal being eliminated and entrapping the overlord with units that cannot move, and Stalemate Victory is extremely unlikely because of players making up the stalemate line being eliminated and the line breaking as a result.

It should be noted that these strategies are still possible in Elimination Bourse, just much more dangerous and unlikely to pay out as effectively when compared to strategies which involve the player attempting to do well on the board. In my view, that is a good thing.

Player Dropouts

Traditional Bourse has always had a big problem with players failing to submit orders after some time in the game. Usually, that is due to their elimination either on the board, which prevents them getting notifications regarding phase turnovers and often makes other players view messaging them as a lower priority, or their effective elimination on the Bourse - quite often players have no chance at getting first place after 10 or so game years, so they either invent other objectives (such as coming 5th, or beating a specific player), or just drop from the game completely.

Elimination Bourse attempts to solve both of these. Players are eliminated from the Bourse as soon as they lose their last center on the board, so nobody suffers from the lack of notifications upon defeat and the lower priority negotiations from other players that a defeat in Standard Bourse brings. The game is also relatively short for players who are not doing well - for example, in Known World 901 the maximum game length is 16 years (2 to start + 1 Bourse elimination every Spring after that until 1 player remains) which is still a long time, but players who are not doing as well will be eliminated earlier. Consider that in the last KW901 game, the top 8 players entered orders consistently until the end - if we assume this is the standard, then every player who is likely to stop entering orders will be eliminated by 909, which is a pretty average game time and is probably short enough that said players will enter orders throughout.

Finally, it also solves the (admittedly much smaller) problem of locked-up currency. In Bourse, currencies have a tendency to be pushed higher and higher anyway, but locked-up currency (the stock in possession of players who are no longer trading) amplifies this effect and contributes quite a lot to the snowballing effect of players who are behind not having any chance at catching up because all the currencies become unbuyable for them. Elimination Bourse puts that currency back into circulation upon a player’s elimination, which not only stops this effect, but also means that the price of currencies is much more dynamic - which in turn means that players who are behind have more of a chance of getting back into the game.


Strategic Diversity

The best part of Bourse is the Strategic Diversity it offers in comparison to ordinary Diplomacy & board variants. Currency Farms, VP Farms, Stalemate Victory & Bloc Buys are just a few examples of interesting strategies that have been used specifically in Bourse games, and Bourse also makes some strategies from Standard Diplomacy much more viable - Vassalisation, both as a large power keeping a vassal and as a small power being one, is a strategy sometimes used in Standard which takes on a life of its own in Bourse, and Information Trading is another one.

Elimination Bourse aimed to expand this diversity even further. Although some strategies, like VP Farming and Stalemate Victory, are heavily nerfed in this variant, they’re still possible and could be used to great effect. Bloc Buys and Currency Farms are still strong and important, and Vassalisation & Information Trading are also still strong - but all of these now have extra considerations. If you’re a vassal, you can consider trying to knock your overlord out using the Bourse and taking their centers, if you’re an overlord, you need to consider whether it’s worth keeping said vassal around if there’s a risk of this happening. If you’re Currency Farming, do you want to keep the players who also invested alive to keep the currency value high, or do you want to knock them out because they’d be dangerous competition? If you’re in a Bloc, how much do you trust the ‘Leader’? If you’re the ‘Leader’, you might be a threat - how much do you trust the other Bloc members not to try to knock you out?

Additionally, many, many more options open up for planning purchases, deceiving other players, and attempting to win. Knocking players out, both on board and in bourse, can have huge consequences on the state of the Bourse, which then has consequences on the board. Do you want to try to knock out your neighbours to give yourself an easier start? Or try to knock out members of an opposing Bourse Bloc? Or neither, because both of those things could make you a target? Do you want to try to rush the win on board by gaining the required SC count, in which case you just need enough VPs to keep yourself alive until the year you win? Or do you want to put everything into Bourse and try to win by the elimination of every other player?

My hope is that this variant will be extremely interesting without being extremely long-winded as a result. The only problem I can see is high risk/high reward of solos only putting players off - I hope we can get enough players who are willing to play such a high stakes game involved.

Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them - please PM me.

CaptainMeme
Captainmeme (1400 D Mod (B))
07 Sep 17 UTC
@Rex - Just to get this clear - you're thinking of a tax on the player at the bottom of the VP ladder only?

In my mind that would take the Bourse aspect out of the picture. The idea of this variant is to solo, so why not just sell all stock at the start of the game, keep it all in float, use it to pay off taxes forever and play a normal game? That also forces everyone else to play a normal game, because suddenly there's no point in having VPs anymore - the player at the bottom of the ladder will never be eliminated so you have nothing to fear.
When simply being last after two years (even if all players are within a few SCs of each other as they may well be) results in your elimination, then I'm out. That is way to risky.
@Cap, the bottom of the ladder is also forced to submit all holds. They can't play. I never like that approach. If the nation is viable, it is viable and should be in play, not in forced pseudo CD.
RUFFHAUS 8 (2454 D)
07 Sep 17 UTC
Captain, to be clear my preference to leave the bourse rules alone are not that i don;t appreaciate what your doing or the concepts behind them. In fact I think they favored me in the last game, and I like them as they match my play style. The trouble I'm seeing is that we already have a limited pool of players that can comprehend the basic bourse system. The proposed revisions (from Captain, and YCHTT) are great, yet significantly more complex, and I worry that players will be scared away from playing or simply fail to understand the new rules. ANother concern is that in weighting the bourse scoring with owned supply centers, eliminated players will stop playing. We already saw that in this last game where eliminated players were still somewhat competitive if they bothers. Introducing a new owned center scoring boost, will basically push eliminated players out of bourse contention, and they wil stop participating in trading.
rexgarum (1960 D)
07 Sep 17 UTC
@Cap Yes I think the tax would only be on the bottom player, a penalty for having low VP. Keeping float would mean you likely have low VP so you could pay the tax but would continually lose money and it would become harder and harder to pay it. And if you can't pay it you are removed so there would be incentive to maintain VP.
bozo (2320 D)
07 Sep 17 UTC
(+1)
I have enjoyed reading the other EoG game comments, they have filled me in on some things that were going that I was not aware of during the game. Here is a list of significant events in the game from my perspective:

901: France broke an agreement with me immediately and got an early jump on me. Also, a France/Spain alliance was apparent. Wagadu, Byzantium, and Denmark all agreed to fight France and Spain, but I was at risk of getting tied up with France and falling behind the other players in the west as they took centers from France and Spain.

902: Russia agreed to support me into Borussia so that I could get a build to gain an advantage on France. This extra unit at a critical time allowed me to start taking centers from France. This move and Russia’s agreeing to hold off on Denmark were the beginning of a long process where Russia and I were able to successfully expand in opposite directions while leaving our border relatively unprotected.

906: China and Turan buy large quantities of Manat, setting up Manat as a source of VP. This makes stopping the expansion of China and Turan the top priority, but I did not have any direct involvement in the east, so I counted on Russia and Axum to lead the effort.

907: I moved against Byzantium. As France and Spain were close to elimination, Wagadu and Byzantium started fighting. As I needed a new place to expand as well, I agreed to join Wagadu instead of Byzantium for two reasons: 1. Axum was important in defeating China and Turan, and Wagadu seemed tightly aligned with Axum. 2. I had an opportunity to make some quick gains against Byzantium.

910: I reversed course and attacked Wagadu for two reasons: 1. I was concerned about the strength of his forces on my border, considering he would need a new place to expand soon. 2. Wagadu was ahead of me by a significant amount in the bourse, and I felt it would be very difficult to catch up to him in the bourse while continuing to work with him on the map. Axum had not joined Wagadu in fighting Byzantium, so by this time it seemed moving against Wagadu would not affect Axum’s effort in the east. Byzantium agreed to help against Wagadu. I was not sure Byzantium would go for it after stabbing him earlier, but Byzantium’s willingness to work together again would become critical in the bourse.

916: Russia stabbed Axum, which was the beginning of a change in strategy to defeat the eastern alliance. I was not involved with the details in the east, but Axum moved to help Wagadu establish a stalemate line in Africa, so I ended up fighting Axum with Byzantium.

920: India stabbed the eastern alliance, what I considered the second part of the new eastern strategy. This eventually led to the elimination of all but the five players in the final draw.

925: The first large Solidus buy, setting up eventual VP gains in Solidus.

931: The second large Solidus buy and the distribution of supply centers to establish bourse positions for the five players still active on the map, leading to the draw.

In the end, Russia and I agreed to tie for first in the bourse, essentially a two player bourse draw. If we had tried to fight for a solo on the map, it would have made it difficult for either one of us to win the bourse. We both still had other options for trying to get ahead in the bourse, Russia could have held out while selling off Yarmaq, I could have gained VP by giving Byzantium more centers, Russia could have gained VP by giving Khazaria more centers, etc., so I think the draw was a good compromise.

The Captain’s thorough EoG was very informative, but I have to say that I disagree that establishing the eastern stalemate line was a viable strategy for winning the bourse. Even if the line had been established and held successfully, there would have been a number of bourse options and unlimited time to counter the Turan VP advantage.

Thanks to all for making the game so interesting, and I look forward to the next bourse game.


198 replies
d-ice (1969 D)
06 Sep 17 UTC
Force drawn games
Games with fixed end year are (for ranking purposes) treated like solo victories for the power with the largest SC tally (even when PPSC scoring is used). Is that intentional? Not that I think it matters much to me, but I do find it rather odd, it would seem like the more logical approach would be that they are treated as force drawn, or possibly use affect ranking differently depending on scoring system used.
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