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Learning From History

Discussion in 'Team Mad Scientists' started by peter grimes, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    It occurs to me that many of the people on this team haven't had much exposure to the Multi-Team Democracy Game format. For one thing, why such an unwieldy name? Answer: these games grew out of the Game of Democracy format in which a team of human players competes against the AI, making decisions by polling the options for every action in the game. The first multi-team game was populated primarily by players who were participating in the Democracy game.

    The first MTDG was played under C3C. The game is now archived, and all the teams' private forums are open. It's really worth looking at some of the turn update threads to see how the teams handled things.

    The way the game shook out, there were 4 teams on 2 continents. One continent tried to live in peace, whereas the other one went to war. There were several trade agreements between all 4 nations, some more lasting than others. Here's an example of one of them.

    Diplomacy is the key to the game. KISS (sharing the peaceful continent with MIA) tried to get MIA into a sweeping alliance, wherein neither team was allowed to declare war on the other without 10 turns advanced notice, and that notice could not be given until the turn after the other 2 teams were eliminated from the game. But not enough trust existed at the time, and MIA didn't want their hands tied. Too bad, too - we found out after the private forums were unlocked that KISS was completely sincere. The game would have gone very differently had we known.

    Likewise, miscommunication can have just as large an impact on world events. In the first cIV MTDG, Piffle and Aloha were trying to work out how to stop Epsilon from winning. A plan was in place whereby Piffle would nuke several of Epsilon's coastal cities, then Aloha would invade, razing as they went. The idea was to knock down Epsilon's population to the point that one of the other teams could win the UN vote out from underneath Epsilon. But several events conspired against this. Epsilon attacked Aloha's navy (after spotting alohanese Redcoats, which could only have come from Piffle the English :mischief:), but then a turn later Aloha accepted peace! :gripe: Drat! Now Aloha can't declare war on Epsilon for another 10 turns - the plan was in tatters: Piffle had several nukes, but no army to invade with, and Epsilon was about 1 or 2 turns from completing the UN. The source of the error? Poorly written letters (by me :blush:)
     
  2. James009

    James009 Warlord

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    I'm so glad to hear this! I've seriously been longing for a good diplomatic game and, from the looks of it, you guys really did well.

    As for the miscommunication, check out Thucydides back in 400 BC he was all over this (among other things) within democratic systems.

    He states that democracies have these three faults:
    1. Impulsiveness
    2. Instability of aim
    3. Lack of solvency

    We can also look at Alexander Tocqueville, a French historian in the 1800s, who claims that democracies don't have any of the qualities in which to conduct foreign relations effectively.

    History, both in real life and likely in our own savegames, supports these theories. We must seek to avoid mistakes of the past.
     
  3. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Some of the lessons learned from my previous teams (Doughnut in C3C MTDG1, BABE in C3C MTDG2, and Innovia in Civ4 MTDG1) have been:
    • It really helps a lot to have some MP experience. For example SP players tend to do things like leave workers unattended with enemy warriors walking around. Not such a good idea vs humans. (TNT did an early worker steal against Doughnut)
    • Diplomacy is very important. If your team is the leader, get allies before they turn on you. If your team isn't the leader, make allies before they get destroyed.
    • Teams are fun when the people stick around. If they don't, it gets really lonely.
     
  4. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    BABE, huh? Do you still check in over there? Seems like Whomp is the only one left ;)

    That's very true about the team way out in front becoming a target for the other teams. Likewise, if your team is lagging behind all the others, you will become a target for a burgeoning empire. But will allies, those unfortunate circumstances can be averted :D
     
  5. HUSch

    HUSch Secret-monger

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    The same in ISDG. In the qualification wins the ally the play.
    In this game we need a winner or does an ally can win?
    What kind of treaty will be normal here?
    If there must be a winner, every turn an ally can be broken.
    Or is that not the normality at fanatics as it is with us in Germany.
     
  6. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    There are no teams in this game - only 5 independent civilizations competing for victory. Unless we sign Permanent Alliance with another civ, we can only win if Team 5 achieves victory.

    Does this answer your question, HUSch?
     
  7. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    We have to approach alliances like anyone might :backstab: at any time. And be prepared to do the same if necessary to win.

    Some people prefer to have honorable backstabbing, in the form of pledging to not attack for some number of turns after a treaty ending, or give treaties a fixed ending time. For example, we might have a 50 turn non-aggression pact. After 10 turns we discover the only path to victory is to attack our ally. We might have agreed in advance that the treaty can be honorably terminated by giving 5 turns notice.

    It's also certainly valid to take the :evil: route, and just strike when ready. If we want to play that way then the best way to protect our diplomatic reputation is to not put dates or turn limits on treaties. Then we haven't implied they are permanent. :mischief:
     
  8. Domino369

    Domino369 Warlord

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    We could strike a deal with someone to eventually create a permanent alliance lol
     
  9. Tinkerbell

    Tinkerbell Prince

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    I usually play the honorable, but I guess being a backstabber would be nice for once :devil:
     
  10. James009

    James009 Warlord

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    ... I don't know if I could backstab someone... :\
     
  11. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    My personal preference is to honor treaties, and if I don't expect to be able to honor it then don't make it in the first place. But I play as though opponents may not do the same.
     
  12. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    I am not a fan of breaking treaties - I value my reputation here as being honorable and trustworthy (or so I hope :rolleyes:)

    Like DS said - I won't agree to a treaty that I don't think I can live up to; at least without inserting tripwire language so that it's easier to wiggle out of ;)
     
  13. HUSch

    HUSch Secret-monger

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    This isn`t a normal MP, my behavior would be honorable in my MPs and if my opponent will not, I don`t forget.
    As team we have no reputation, that is also right for the other teams.
    So the best will be to do like Dave says, no treaties if we don`t want to keep them.
     

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