|Dc122, The Ancient Art of War in Fog â€“ started way back in August of 2007, has finally come to a close nearly 500 days later. An unconventional ending, the game is called a DIAS by the GM. Congrats to Jorge, Isaac, Mike and Rolf for sharing in this marathon 4-way draw!
* Isaac: 23
* Jorge: 21
* Mike: 13
* Rolf: 1
The game was called a draw as a result of no progress, a warning 2 years ago that it would come to this, and no attempt by the players to tell of the progress they intended to make. As the GM, I offered 4 possible endings to the players, or if they did not want the game to end immediately, they had to explain to me how they planned to get something else. Nobody chose to do this, and so the game is over. The proposed 3-way, 2-way, and solo were voted down, so the game is a 4-way DIAS.
This was an unexpected way to have to end a game, but it was necessary, as the only strategy I was being given was that two of the three larger players were trying solely to eliminate the third â€“ while leaving a 4th player on 1 undefended dot, alive. Though possible in theory, it was a common consensus that this would have taken many more years, while at the same time a player who could actually win the game was passing up an uncontested victory turn after turn. About 2 years of possible wins simply by walking into the appropriate centers were dismissed. The 4th and final player was left in a situation with 1 unit and 1 center, but the unit on a separate island and completely unable to stay alive aside from by anotherâ€™s will for him to live by not walking into his last center.
That is ultimately the reason I called the game â€“ and while of course everyone will maintain that they play the game for different reasons, and for different goals â€“ and everyone will agree winning isnâ€™t everything, we do have to agree unanimously that we are here to play Diplomacy, and the very clear and explicit goals laid out by the rules of the game, state the goal of playing is to try to get the majority of centers on the board to win. Once players stopped playing for the actual game goals, the game became pointless and it was time to call it.
Some did allege that I did not want to run the game any more, and that is not true at all â€“ I loved running the game, had a great time, and really do enjoy a hard-fought marathon! However a marathon does need to have a purpose, so as to not spin your wheels fruitlessly â€“ like when players have the opportunity to actually win the race yet they donâ€™t take it for some ulterior goals that have been added to the game. Running a race not to win, but simply to try to trip the guy next to you is no longer a race.
End-Game-Statements (EGS) are encouraged and appreciated from all, particularly reflecting on the first half of the game before it reduced down to the slog it became for the latter half.
Pleasantview stats: www.diplomaticcorp.com/country_stats.php?map=Pleasantview
Congrats to all â€“ it was fun making the map, and seeing it play out in two playtests! Iâ€™ll release the results of both in a subsequent email.