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Subject: Negotiation rss

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Kirk Thomas
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I've only played one 2-person game, so there wasn't much opportunity for negotiation, but I'm wondering how much presents itself in a 4 or 5 player game.

Specifically, while there is the one Alliance tile that allows you to keep a person from attacking you. Do players informally agree to an alliance during the game?

The rules don't really mention negotiation - they don't specifically say that you can't pay somebody to do (or not do) something. Typically in games like this, negotiation is allowed but not binding, though you typically can't trade or pay outside the specified mechanisms defined.

I'd be interested to hear how 4 and 5 player games go in this regard.
 
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Darrell Perrins
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Benson
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I've played 4 player twice and 3 player once. Diplomacy was used in two of the games and quite effectively. There were no other alliances, but 'table talk' was vocal and prolonged. Mainly over who was going to get a stuffing on the map. Each player was eager to point out their poor position and how some other smuch should receive the coming onslaught.

There was also a good deal of surreptitious counting of cubes in waiting and checking over what technologies other players had that gave them flexibility to move cubes, generate cubes or kill opposing cubes. This was also used to encourage attacks on those with or without the potential to fight back. I wouldn't call it negotiation, just heckling.

It's not a game for non-aggressive groups. There is no choice but to fight and destroy your opponents armies. Any help you can get by persuading others to do your dirty work helps, and occasionally there was agreement to leave one person relatively unscathed in a single territory in return for vague promises to do likewise, but these never amounted to an alliance, and were soon forgotten, either next turn, or later the same turn when the next empire tile was played.
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Curt Carpenter
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Kirkland
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I just played a 5p a couple days ago. There was exactly one instance of concrete negotiation. I.e. someone formally proposing that they will do A if player X does B. I was player B, and it was worth it for me. But my concern if negotiation were embraced as an integral part of the game would be that it would add too much time to the game for what it adds. But I think a very simple offer to be either accepted or rejected, as I mentioned, is fine, and doesn't add too much. As long as the other player simply accepts or rejects, rather than entering into a long discussion about it.
 
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Don Smith
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Dannecus wrote:
I've played 4 player twice and 3 player once. Diplomacy was used in two of the games and quite effectively. There were no other alliances, but 'table talk' was vocal and prolonged. Mainly over who was going to get a stuffing on the map. Each player was eager to point out their poor position and how some other smuch should receive the coming onslaught.

There was also a good deal of surreptitious counting of cubes in waiting and checking over what technologies other players had that gave them flexibility to move cubes, generate cubes or kill opposing cubes. This was also used to encourage attacks on those with or without the potential to fight back. I wouldn't call it negotiation, just heckling.

It's not a game for non-aggressive groups. There is no choice but to fight and destroy your opponents armies. Any help you can get by persuading others to do your dirty work helps, and occasionally there was agreement to leave one person relatively unscathed in a single territory in return for vague promises to do likewise, but these never amounted to an alliance, and were soon forgotten, either next turn, or later the same turn when the next empire tile was played.


My experience has been nearly identical.
 
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Richard Young
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I suppose it depends on how you define the term. I've not played a multi-player game where there wasn't some form of "diplomacy" going on. Call it heckling, or table talk or whatever, but whenever a player uses threats, persuasion or "advice" to influence what takes place at the table you are seeing diplomacy in action. Some players are better at it than others - frankly, I suck at it. Most often I don't get too involved in such stuff - often to my peril. Even though the rules may not refer to such things as "non-aggression" pacts, "quid-pro-quo" agreements or outright "alliances," you see them, or something equivalent, in most all multi-player games of strategy.

There are, of course, games where such elements are built right into the game, Diplomacy itself being the best example. Formal negotiations also follow the appearance of a worm in Dune referred to as a "Nexus." The "Diplomacy" strategy tile in Twilight Imperium III, the "Assembly" action in Warrior Knights, and the "Regent" phase of Galactic Emperor represent built-in forms of negotiation/voting; and, forms of trading such as in Settlers of Catan, Civilization, and Mare Nostrum represent player interaction that could be seen as being similar.

So, games formalize player interaction to various degrees, but the only multi-player games where you don't see much of it, formalized or not, are such quasi-solitaire games as Dominion or Through the Ages - and even that is open to debate.
 
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Neil Helmer
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in the 4-5 player game it is a big part of survival. other games where it is a direct and necessary element - Struggle of Empires, Princes of the Renaissance. hmm... martin wallace likes this. so do i.
 
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Mark C
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I think some diplomacy is inevitable. The game has a pick on the leader element right up to the end, and winning from the front is difficult (but not impossible). It's likely you'll want to "highlight" how your position is relatively weak or so-n-so is a danger in the same way similar games encourage posturing. There will be times when it's advantageous to strike deals, especially if it allows you to travel a little under the radar.
 
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