Discussion in 'Team CivFanatics' started by talonschild, Jul 29, 2012.
Cal, the game went down when I was in and now I cant reconnect.
My internet connection died for some reason. I was in the middle of something here so I am pretty annoyed by that. If it doesn't come back within 10 minutes I will post in the public thread.
Mind you, Aivo, there are some slight differences between us and RB - notably, we were still on our side of the line (which is roughly diagonal).
It's back now. Let me know if I need to reload the game due to you being kicked out please, 2metra. Sometimes PB doesn't like things like that happening.
The difference between them settling 1S of Oasis and us settling there is that their capital is North of the oasis, ours is south. If they had settled 1 N of Oasis I would agree with you Aivo, but where they settled is provocative, insulting, trickery, lying... etc.
But like 2metra says... We should keep quiet and play our game, we can deal with RB later.
Better to pretend like we never planned to settle there. We should settle our B and C city pretty soon. If you let them know that that made us angry or annoyed it will only encourage their aggression towards us. We should formalize the border treaty now that it has been effectively decided and seek to make nice relations now that our border has been defined. Better for them to think that we have other concerns than them.
EDIT: Just wanted to add, Caledorn, that that messenger conversation was masterfully handled. Got as much as you could without giving anything away. And pretending not to be surprised is the hardest thing for a diplomat.
Thank you very much *bows*
Wow, just wow. Cal gave me a head's up about this earlier today but I just now had a chance to read the actual chat and our subsequent conversation (I agree that the chat was handled expertly, btw). I can't believe how calm you guys are being.
This is obviously a direct challenge to us, and imo ignoring it would be a mistake. We laid claim to this land in our first messages to them! They knew this would piss us off. If we act like we don't care they'll know something is up and expect us to do exactly what we're talking about doing.
Scooter legitimately forgot to send us this message*. This was RB's one mistake, and we really should capitalize from this. Definitely demand an immediate change in diplomat (sorry Scooter, you're a really nice guy but you'll have to be the sacrificial lamb here), and leverage this to get something from them that will benefit us, but is cheap enough that they should give in to us. They'll know Scooter messed up by not sending the email, making their actions luck much sketchier, so they probably expect that they'll have to address this somehow. Maybe asking for something like permission to request use of the stone at any time. This way they will believe that they've "repaid" us and we can all move on. All the while we proceed with our revenge plans, but hopefully with a little more cover. Plus, we'll get a small benefit like use of the stone whenever we need it.
*RB PB8 Spoiler
In another game he is playing he was largely absent for some crucial war turns that will literally determine whether his team gets eliminated in the next 15 turns or has a chance to turn the game around. He is legitimately super-busy right now, and probably not paying much attention to this game the last few days.
RB knows that we are pissed (we did tell them exactly where we were planning on settling after all). They also know that we can't do anything about it right now. Yes we will continue with the diplomatic kabuki dance (oh sooooo sorry we forgot to tell you! : oh noooooo problem! ) But both teams know the real score.
EDIT: after reading Aivoturso's last post I agree that we should lodge a protest and try to make some hay out of it. If we are really lucky this will play to their bias and help them to underestimate us or even make a misstep.
It's a little too late for this, but never mind --
There's a theory that when dealing with an opponent (not an ally) you can be better off pretending to be less rational than you are.
So long as RB think we play perfectly rationally, they can take as many liberties as they like, knowing it's not actually in our interests to declare war. However, if they think we are easily offended, and with one more slight might decide "to hell with winning, we're just going to take those ----s at RB down with us", the story changes.
But the time may be past for that.
I'd perhaps be tempted to settle a B, build up some army, and then surprise them by razing their Oasis city with a little message saying ("We consider that our spot from our border discussions that you then broke and lied about 'forgetting' to send us a message*. We're removing your city from that spot. If you want to turn this into a war that takes both teams out of the game so be it, but from our perspective a wrong has just been righted.")
* yes, this'd be deliberately overplaying our offence.
But it's just half a thought, on the idea that right now they don't have too much tech advantage, but if we wait too long they might run away with the game.
Reading all this, I start to actually like the idea of making noise out of it. Plan within a plan within a plan. We are mad at them, but we wont go recklessly berserk mode. But we want to hide our feelings and most our intentions of not allowing our feelings wreck our game in going for revenge before we are ready. By making noise about it we show our real feelings, but we will hide our intentions of playing it rational and looking for the right moment for payback. By showing to RB how mad we are, they will say "this is all those losers have to come up - pathetic whining, lets just ignore them" and not suspect we are hiding anything, thus underestimating us. And I would really like if we calm them down and make the underestimate us.
Problem with this (as with any way too complex and smart plan) is that we dont know how the other side will react/see it.
Here is the place for the story for the 2 smart Athenian city guards and the Theban thief. The guards were chasing the thief, who they knew is from Thebes. The chase lead them outside of the city and the thief was running in Thebes direction. After one curve of the road the thief was not to be seen anymore, but there was an inn, on the the door of which was written: "All citizens of Thebes are welcome here!" The Athenian guards stopped to decide what to do.
The first said: Maybe he will think we will think he is inside because he is from Thebes and here all Thebans are welcome and we will decide it is too obvious and we will think he continued, while he is actually in the inn?
The other smart Athenian guard agreed this is what must have happened and they entered the inn and started searching room by room.
In the meanwhile, the Theban thief, who could not even read was rapidly running away from the justice in Thebes direction.
We dont know how RB will perceive our rant. They may fall for the deception, but they might also straightforward think: "Those guys are upset, they wont renew our NAP, so we must get allies, prepare army and plan to attack them when our t130 NAP expires.
We should have been way more vocal and irrational about the border. We choose to play it logical instead and we have lost. Now we must decide how to handle this our loss.
I do not know the amount of respect RB has for us as a team. If it was as much respect as I have for them as a team, they wouldn't fall for a trick to make them see us as irrational. If they dismiss us as not a competitive team it might work.
My thinking has changed a little bit from before. I think we should say something to them. Saying nothing would be too obvious and would actually give away more information than addressing the issue.
We want them to think this border is secure so they can focus on other areas. If they feel safe about our border they will plan to expand in another direction, so long as they do not see us a soft target.
I think it might be better to use wording that encourages them to underestimate us. They are far in the lead score-wise and it is probably easy for them to believe they are the best team by far. We should encourage this for now.
We should tell them that we view their settling as aggressive but so long as they have no further designs toward expansion in our direction we can still be friends. Maybe ask about stone and worker help. That will let them know that we have a non-disputed border and if we can make them feel we are their lapdogs proposing trade routes that help them and overlooking their aggression they will look in other directions. When it comes time we can bite them with more than they are expecting. Especially if we can get CP to agree to help carve up their empire.
When playing games I always try to assume that my opponents are at least as smart as me. I try my best to remember to avoid strategies that are based on tricking my opponent, because I assume they are smart enough to see through my deceptions. Now I am fine with us trying to outplay our opponents, but trying to trick them seems a little like folly... Let me explain...
Either RB trusts us or they don't. By trust I don't mean "likes us"... I mean believes that we will do what we say, and keep our word, honor our promises, not say things we don't mean, backup our threats, etc... trust.
If they trust us they will take our anger seriously and act accordingly (ie prepare to fight us), which we DO NOT want. If they do not trust us they will hear our anger and think "Hmmm those guys are up to something...what is their hidden agenda?" Then they will do the same sort of speculating we are doing and come to the same conclusion we are, and since they don't trust us, they will assume the worst... that we are planning to attack them in retalliation and they will act accordingly, which we DO NOT want.
On the other hand if we say nothing and they trust us then they will conclude nothing is wrong, and continue on, business as usual, which is what we want... right? Now if they do not trust us, guess what? They will think "Hmmm why arent they complaining? Those guys are up to something...what is their hidden agenda?" Then they will do the same sort of speculating we are doing and come to the same conclusion we are, and since they don't trust us, they will... Get the idea?
What I am saying is our best and only chance that RB does not smell a trap and start gearing up to fight us is to say nothing... And even then, its only a 50/50 chance. RB knows they f--ked us good. They are expecting anger and retalliation, right? Some half-a$$ed bluff is not going to fake them out. Our only chance to surprise them is to just let it go. Or... As someone already suggested, hit them RIGHT NOW, raze the city and tell them "OK so now we are even...Do you want us both to lose or do you want to let it go?"
A good poker player knows that there is no way to bluff other good players with your words or behavior or "tricks". No matter what you say or do or how clever you think you are being, talking or acting gives away a "tell" that other players can pick up on to discern the strength of your hand. The best poker players know to KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT, and show no emotion whatsoever... It is called a "Poker Face" and it is an art form in and of itself.
So perhaps a message where we complain about their new city and the way they handled the diplo. We can say something like this:
We made it clear we were planning on settling a city in that vicinity (south of the desert hill next to the river) but your new city spoils that for us! WTF RB? We have been nothing but open and honest and we have actually bent over backwards to show you that we really have goodwill towards you guys. When we look to the future of the game it seems natural that we will be allies. We have this clearly delineated desert boundary area which means we don't need to have any friction over spheres of influence- you guys look orient to your West while we orient to our East. More importantly, we are really upset that you didn't tell about your plans! That late message was a pretty lame excuse... To be continued, need to get back to work
X -Posted w/cavscout
Ninja EDIT: I was just repeating basically what I already said above... No reply is the best way to go.
I hear what you're saying Sommers, and you make some really good points. The analogy to poker is a good one, a poker face is not a "trick" face you put on, but literally just a straight face that shows nothing.
Regarding your points:
1. RB legitamtely made a BIG diplo mistake by not sending the message. Their intent was to send us the email in order to give us the "courtesy" of informing us about this city, but sending it too late for us to do anything about it. Even if we had responded immediately asking them to delay the city placement while we debate the border, they would have settled it anyways and said they didn't get our email until it was too late. They f'ed up, and that courtesy email did not get sent. In my view, taking advantage of this is our best shot at getting something from them out of this whole situation. Granted, it would be something small (like use of the stone, or another idea I had was to demand a one-sided map trade once one of us gets Paper so we'll know what they have explored). Up to the team to decide if this would be worthwhile or not.
2. RB does not trust us. Half of their team members hold personal grudges against our team from before the game even started. The other half are naturally paranoid and won't trust what any of the teams say. If we say nothing, I guarantee that they will (correctly) assume we're just bottling up our feelings. I don't think that ignoring this gives us a 50/50 chance that they'll believe future cooperation is still viable, or that they'll keep their western borders lightly guarded. The moment our NAP expires, they will have sufficient troops in the area to hold off any attack of ours, whether that is on T130 or T250.
If we are going to voice our protest, may I suggest we'll be British about it? If we are to voice a protest, we should be so subtle about it that they have to keep guessing how pissed off we actually are. Include as much hidden meanings and subtexts and double entendre as we can. I believe that would have much more impact than bluntess and all WTFs in the world could do.
This is not an universal theory but relates to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine from cold war. There are some parallels between cold war nuclear stand off and early game in Civ. As team WPC so aptly demonstrated it is easy to ruin another teams game if you are willing to ruin your's in the process. Rational teams know this and try to avoid early conflicts at all costs. If a team can convince another team that they are irrational and just might go for MAD if sufficiently provoked, a rational team may give concessions in an attempt to avoid a war. Unfortunately you are absolutely right about it being too late for that. Also, it would have been difficult to convince RB that we'd be willing to go so far in the first place with well known sane players in the team.
Smart people are actually as easy to trick as stupid people. In some cases they are actually even easier to trick, especially if they know that they are smart. Smart people have tendency to overestimate their ability to see through deception. However, trickstery is such a difficult form of art that I too believe that we shouldn't base our strategy on that. Nothing wrong in being a little sneaky every now and then, though.
I meant to address this point as well, but forgot due to going into work in between. I don't like to think Civ map in terms of imaginary lines. Civ map is a grid and should be treated as such. The fact that RB settled south of Oasis instead of north has only following direct consequence for us: We actually have more settling positions available than we'd have if they'd settled for north (namely, B3). So I wouldn't call it any more provocative position than north of Oasis would have been. Now, if it werent for Thunder Bay, I'd have to agree that settling south would have been provocative. As it is, I actually prefer their current position instead of settling north.
Very good thoughts, Aivo.
Personally, I am strongly siding with Sommerswerd on this one. I think the best thing we can do is to just keep quiet.
However, there are being made some very interesting points and thoughts here. So please keep the discussion going.
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