Four Player Diplomacy Variant

VAOhlman

Summary:

Teaming, including teaming in chat, is not only *allowed* but *expected*.
Arrows are public. Players can send private arrows and chat messages.
Note: Private chat is not saved or moderated. Chat cannot be disabled (click the speaker for muting)

Hold keys 1/2/3/4 pressed to draw arrows for Red/Blue/Green/Yellow only (and the spectators).

Type /r (/b /y /g) and then your private message to Red/Blue/Yellow/Green (to multiple: /gb etc).

If combined with anonymous, chat is not disabled, rather the players can chat as 'Anonymous' (in player's color)

Introduction

Four player chess variant ‘Diplomacy’ is based on the Avalon Hill game of the same name. It was initiated by VAOhlman, for two reasons:

1) Because there were innumerable reports of players ‘cheating’ by teaming and the more that VAOhlman analyzed the rules and the game play the more he became convinced that 4pc FFA would inevitably be plagued by these problems… as long as ‘teaming’ was considered cheating.

2) He liked to play the Avalon Hill game ‘Diplomacy’ which was predicated on the exact opposite premise: that ‘teaming’ was not only to be allowed, but to be encouraged.

Concept

In 4pc Diplomacy Variant players can, quite naturally, team up with other players; for one move, two moves, till a certain time, whatever.

In order to facilitate this the rules for teaming were obviously eliminated, and a system of ‘private’ chats and arrows were enabled. These ‘private’ chats and arrows are just that, no visible to anyone outside of the person you send them too. They are not moderated or kept in the archives.

In addition there are public chats and arrows. With the right settings even the spectators can join in and kibitz.

Recommended Settings

4pc allows for a huge range of settings. Some recommendations for these:

1) Solo play will produce a better effect for the type of game play that the diplomacy variant is meant to produce. No player should be shooting for ‘second place’.

2) Especially for weaker players a longer time frame should be used. The standard one minute doesn’t really allow for much discussion. This isn’t to say that quicker time frames, with the necessity for really quick diplomacy, might not be helpful.

3) Spectator chat allowed. Doing this will sort of allow the spectators to be part of the game, adding a fun element to the game.

Teaming

Teaming in the diplomacy variant can be simple or complex, one move or multiple. For example:

Pointing out moves:

Blue says to Red ‘xb3’

Red looks at the board and realizes that his bishop can take Green’s queen at b3. Why would Blue tell Red about it? Maybe cause Blue is busy attacking him? Maybe to distract Red. Red should know that Blue obviously thinks it would be good for Blue to have Red take the queen.B but that doesn’t mean that it is bad for Red!

Combination Moves

Blue says to Red ‘xb3 xc3’ (by means of private chat and arrows..)

Red looks a the board and realizes that if he takes b3, and Blue takes c3, they will have a mate on Yellow. Blue would get the mate, but Yellow is really bothering Red. So… do it, or not? Red has to decide.

Truce

Blue chats to Red, “Hey, let’s have a truce until we mate Yellow.”

Red thinks about that. Yellow is getting pretty strong..

Blue chats to Red, “Hey, let’s have a truce until it is just the two of us are left…”

You get the idea.

Full Blown Teaming

Two players discuss and team up in order to win.... until they don't (see 'Backstabbing') below.

Backstabbing

Backstabbing is a core idea of Diplomacy. But very, very dangerous. Teaming relies upon trust, and winning depends upon gaining advantage. Backstabbing (saying  or implying you are going to do one thing, and doing another) gains advantage, but destroys trust. So… your choice.

Moderation

VAOhlman is the moderator for the diplomacy variant. Questions, suggestions should be posted here. Complaints about player behavior should be sent by IM to him.

jaredjm

this is a good idea

jaredjm

but it should probably be a variant with a separate rating

VAOhlman
jaredjm a écrit :

but it should probably be a variant with a separate rating

Right now it is casual (non-rated). We are going to be testing it out on the test server. If it gets popular it will have its own rating.

nutsyci

Very nice.

sassybourne

is there a specific settings configuration you can search for to get actual players? i know there are very few comparatively in beta but i have only been able to get bots.

pulsar512b

I would love to play this. How do I play it however?

AwesomeRossome

Can someone link to the test server? I'd like to try this out.

SJ_SJ

Nice

I-I_I-I

Awesome variant. Works really well with Solo.

Though I guess, Anonymous mode may be enforced, or people will just end up teaming with their friends. Imagine 3 low-rated players teaming up to crush a 1800+ player. Private chat will encourage this sort of behavior greatly.

VAOhlman

The test server can be found here:https://www.chess.com/4pc-test
Unless you bring your own players, it is likely all you will find is bots so far.
I-I... what you call cheating is actually the way this game is played. Teaming is part of the game. Notice that over the long run the three players will still have to fight each other. And a good player in this game will have to be good at talking the other players into doing stuff. So the 1800 player will have to be prepared to try to split one of these three off from each other.

I-I_I-I
VAOhlman 写道:

The test server can be found here:https://www.chess.com/4pc-test
Unless you bring your own players, it is likely all you will find is bots so far.
I-I... what you call cheating is actually the way this game is played. Teaming is part of the game. Notice that over the long run the three players will still have to fight each other. And a good player in this game will have to be good at talking the other players into doing stuff. So the 1800 player will have to be prepared to try to split one of these three off from each other.

Didn't say it's cheating... Was worried that it would spoil the fun xD

I basically agree with what you said. I hope to try it on the main server soon to see what it'll be like.

Pretzel74

Teaming in Free-for-All is cheating, and so is teaming in Teams when you're teaming with a player who isn't your teammate.

GoodKnight0BadBishop

To solve the lower rated ganging up on the higher rated player problem, the ratings should also be hidden. 

Example: Anonymous (????) 

???? Represents hidden rating.

 

That way players don't know who is strong and who is weak. 

VAOhlman
Pretzel74 a écrit :

Teaming in Free-for-All is cheating, and so is teaming in Teams when you're teaming with a player who isn't your teammate.

Well, yes... except for the Diplomacy variant. That is precisely one of the points of the variant, that teaming is not only allowed, but encouraged, by the rules.

VAOhlman
GoodKnight0BadBishop a écrit :

To solve the lower rated ganging up on the higher rated player problem, the ratings should also be hidden. 

Example: Anonymous (????) 

???? Represents hidden rating.

 

That way players don't know who is strong and who is weak. 

Well, keeping in mind that 'higher rating' in the Diplomacy variant will involve being able to convince people to team with them... that that is part of the game... hopefully that will not be necessary.

amrugg

You should make it FORCED not to capture any teammates pieces for 3 moves upon a team being made. You can not capture for as long as you like.

amrugg
VAOhlman wrote:

The test server can be found here:https://www.chess.com/4pc-test
Unless you bring your own players, it is likely all you will find is bots so far.
I-I... what you call cheating is actually the way this game is played. Teaming is part of the game. Notice that over the long run the three players will still have to fight each other. And a good player in this game will have to be good at talking the other players into doing stuff. So the 1800 player will have to be prepared to try to split one of these three off from each other.

P.S. How do you add bots into a game?

I-I_I-I

> You should make it FORCED not to capture any teammates pieces for 3 moves upon a team being made. You can not capture for as long as you like

Why though? Technically it's not a team, just some sort of cooperation. Your former 'teammate' can be your enemy later. This will also make the rules overly complicated.

> How do you add bots into a game?

Currently, you can only find bots on the test server: https://www.chess.com/4pc-test

You just need to join or create some public games, and the bots will automatically join.

Or you can host a casual game, and click 'Request 4Compfuter' / 'Request Randobots' to invite bots.

VAOhlman
amrugg a écrit :

You should make it FORCED not to capture any teammates pieces for 3 moves upon a team being made. You can not capture for as long as you like.

There are a lot of variants that could be set up for a game like this. However the game 'Diplomacy' has been around for a long time and is very successful, so I think we should try this variant for a while before adding additional rules.