The Wise Old Weasel (13)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:29

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 3

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The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 3

OK, TELL ME ALREADY- HOW DO I GET AN EXPLOSIVE SCORE?
Fascinating question, and a great opportunity for me to expand a bit on the mission of The Five Factors. They are softcore analytics, meant to provide data points that help evaluate players and provide benchmarks on what makes a good (Caboosey) or great (Toppy) player. While TFF should reveal what a player’s strategic goals should be, the mechanisms to make those goals happen are a bit harder to find and require other forms of qualitative research. In other words, the Five Factors are meant to show you WHERE to improve, not how.

SO THE FIVE FACTORS ARE LIKE A REPORT CARD, BUT WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC FEEDBACK.
That’s… actually pretty accurate. This article will show you what Explosive games look like. I’ll throw some suggestions as to how to be more explosive at the end of this- I’m hoping we can discuss further in the comments.

OF COURSE IT WAS ACCURATE. NOW WHAT AM I AIMING FOR?
Well, alter ego, I created a cheat sheet for how to get the score you’re looking for. This will be really handy for people who are on the bubble heading into Weasel Pyle.

Hit the jump to know your target for each type of explosive game.

Friday, 05 January 2018 15:59

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 2

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The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 2

DOES PREVENTING BIG SCORES MATTER?
In our last installment, we established that players that make Royale have some degree of explosiveness- an ability to have good (40+ point) or great (50+ point) games. While league winners and Royale participants are about equally likely to top, league winners are much more likely to have explosive games.

In football, the sport that inspired this series, there are two aspects to explosiveness: having it on offense and preventing it on defense. Both are critical and positive factors in achieving victory.  This installment evaluates whether this is also true for diplomacy- does having an ability to stop big scores make you more likely to win the league?

The data says that Royale participants and League winners are better at preventing explosiveness. As we’ll discuss more later, figuring out the “why” behind that is a lot more difficult than it is on the “offensive side of the ball.”

NICE SETUP, JAKE. CAN YOU STOP TEASING THE RESULTS AND GET ON WITH IT?
Hey, cool it, bolded alter ego! I get metagaming makes you cranky. Just hit the jump and we’ll get into the practical data.

Hit the jump to see just the role of (explosiveness) defense in winning championships.

Friday, 05 January 2018 15:59

THE WISE OLD WEASEL-- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 2

Written by

The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 2

DOES PREVENTING BIG SCORES MATTER?
In our last installment, we established that players that make Royale have some degree of explosiveness- an ability to have good (40+ point) or great (50+ point) games. While league winners and Royale participants are about equally likely to top, league winners are much more likely to have explosive games.

In football, the sport that inspired this series, there are two aspects to explosiveness: having it on offense and preventing it on defense. Both are critical and positive factors in achieving victory.  This installment evaluates whether this is also true for diplomacy- does having an ability to stop big scores make you more likely to win the league?

The data says that Royale participants and League winners are better at preventing explosiveness. As we’ll discuss more later, figuring out the “why” behind that is a lot more difficult than it is on the “offensive side of the ball.”

NICE SETUP, JAKE. CAN YOU STOP TEASING THE RESULTS AND GET ON WITH IT?
Hey, cool it, bolded alter ego! I get metagaming makes you cranky. Just hit the jump and we’ll get into the practical data.

Hit the jump to see just the role of (explosiveness) defense in winning championships.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 15:37

THE WISE OLD WEASEL -- EXPLOSIVENESS PART 1

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The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors

Factor 1: Explosiveness

Part 1

GOOD LORD THERE IS A LOT OF CONTEXT BEFORE THIS ACTUAL CONTENT

Sorry, rookie Weasel alter-ego, I think its worth it. In 2016, the Sneak decided that one of our club goals should be developing championship-caliber players. That led to a lot of debate this past year over exactly how to evaluate Diplomacy players. This reminded me of Bill Connelly’s Five Factors that he uses to evaluate college football team -- read more about them here. The Wise Old Weasel is going to define Diplomacy’s Five Factors, then look at how important each is to winning championships.

First up, we’ve got explosiveness, aka scoring bigly. In Part 1, we’re going to take a look at how explosive players need to be to make Royale and/or win the league. Part 2 will evaluate whether explosiveness defense is valuable, and Part 3 will look into the mechanics of what makes a game explosive.

For part 1, we take a look at the league (will come back to tournaments at a later date). We’ve developed profiles for your typical Royale qualifier and your typical Top Weasel. As always, all stats pulled are since we moved to the One True Scoring System in 2011.

INTRIGUING. SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SCORE BIGLY?

In a typical season, there are about 35 boards. 54% of games feature a score of 40+, while 26% of games feature a score of 50+. We’re defining 40+ as a good score because in lands you in the upper half of tops (ish). We’re defining 50+ as a “great” score because it lands you in the upper quartile of tops (ish). 

Find out how explosive you need to be to make Royale and win the league after the jump.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:18

The Wise Old Weasel -- England

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To fleet… or not to fleet? That is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler on the land to plunder
The twists and turns of uncertain theatre
Or to bide time amidst a storm of others
And by waiting end them.

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ENGLAND 

Neville Chamberlain, shortly after deciding to convoy off the island after securing “peace in our time” with France.
He lost Liverpool the next year.

Friday, 18 August 2017 12:41

Get out of the box

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What up Weasels? I wrote an article for Diplomacy World that I figured I'd pass around. Please note that at the time of writing, i was winning the league standings. Dammit, Brandon...

 

For the full mag, click here. 

 

 

Get Out of the Box: 10 Ways to Take Your Game to the Next Level

 

First, I should introduce myself. I’m Jake Trotta, a new member of the hobby and the Minister of Public Information (or “Speaky Weasel”) for the Windy City Weasels. Our club goals are to grow the hobby and develop championship caliber players. Both objectives require players to learn and develop their game, so I’d like to share a bit about my own development in the hopes that it may help other future players (and Weasels) with theirs. After winning my first tournament, I went through a very difficult 6-month plateau in the hobby. I wanted to get better and tried to improve at the 3 aspects of the game (negotiation, strategy, tactics). I was reading articles, playing gunboat games, getting a lot of games in. But the results weren’t matching my effort level. I lost the league lead, got slammed at WDC, wasn’t enjoying the game as much, and was certainly less fun to play with. After getting eliminated first in our club title game, the Weasel Royale, I asked another player on the board where I was going wrong. “You’re just not having fun anymore,” he told me. That moment made me realize something—a fourth (and perhaps most important) dimension to the game. Attitude. What mentality am I bringing to the board? How is that impacting my negotiation? Strategy? Tactics? If I don’t establish a defined, constructive relationship between myself and the board, it is, by necessity, going to be very difficult to establish constructive relationships with my boardmates. That realization changed the way I evaluate the board, my game, and myself, sparking a rapid period of growth. The following are a set of 10 insights that helped break me out of that mental box.

Hit the jump for 10 (10!) ways to elevate your game!

Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:54

THE WISE OLD WEASEL -- ITALY

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June, the start of sundress/ wedding season, is fittingly named after the Roman goddess Juno. Juno was the goddess of marriage, but really, she was the goddess of jealousy. She’d stroll out of her Mount Olympus high rise, see all these nymphs (in the classical sense) in their sundresses holding hands with their boyfriends (or her husband Zeus/ Jupiter), and be filled with envy. That envy inspired her to turn people into cows, start wars, or send literal Furies after her enemies. Really, there are only two kinds of stories in Roman Mythology: ones where Juno aggressively seeks vengeance, and ones where she does not.

Passive Juno allowed the continent we push blocks around to be named after her husband’s slam piece.

Aggressive Juno orchestrated the fall of Troy.

You know what they say about Italians- they learn best from their mothers. This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ITALY

Image result for juno goddess

A disappointed, passive Juno surveying her four center Italy, about to be squeezed in 1908. 

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME- YOUR ITALIAN OVERVIEW

Now like Juno, Italy doesn’t have to be constantly aggressive, but it must be jealous. Italy’s great challenge is getting stuck on 4 centers, home and Tunis, until the end of time. In fact, Italy only gets out of the gate, which our stats department defines as reaching 7 centers, in 33% of games, worst of the seven powers. But a strong Italy, with its variety of weapons and targets, brings havoc across Europe.

Italy is uniquely positioned between the theatres and at the edge of the stalemate line, if you count Tunis. Early game involves a fun variety of openings and establishment in one theatre, midgame requires a strategic maintenance of tempo and unit mix, the end game a vast kaleidoscope of solo possibilities.

YOUR ITALIAN INSPIRATION-HISTORY'S MOST FAMOUS STAB

THE SECTION WHERE WE PUBLICLY ASK FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS, AT TIMES BY NAME

Drop a comment for how you best (or least best) play Italy. Brandon and Jim both had some solid results last year they could perhaps speak to. I find that Chris Kelly often does well on the boot, consistently hitting 7+ as the Italian. Perhaps Bull Weasel and Turkey superfan Matt “the Sundstrom” Sundstrom could share some thoughts on how Italy can best annoy Turkey, its biggest threat? Not to forget subprime Weasel John Gramila soloed with Italy at the 2016 WDC.

Hit the jump for stats department report on Italy, best club results, and Jake’s most recommended Italian articles.

Friday, 05 May 2017 14:54

The Wise Old Weasel -- France

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THE WISE OLD WEASEL: FRANCE
I’m supposed to say nice things about French culture here. But here’s the truth: Napoleon was a goddamn Italian, and France lost both World Wars. They invented the word “surrender.”

France is so laughably overpowered on the diplomacy board, with their embarrassment of neutrals, difficult to play neighbors, arguably second best defensive position in the game, and natural resting state along the stalemate line. In diplomacy, France is unquestionably the best. They practically always win. It's almost like the game was created for them to dominate. Wait a minute...

Folks… France is the AMERICA of diplomacy.

So fuck your cake. It’s 1917, and the real freaking heroes are finally here. Grab your bacon and apple pie, because Operation: Dip Freedom is coming through.

This Wise Old Weasel is all about TEAM FREEDOM. 

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: AMERICA

PREAMBLE
Team Freedom, World's Greatest Nation and normally the strongest nation on the board, is having a great year, winning 13 of 30 boards so far. This nearly doubles the second place nation, but still does not match our dominance in World Series Championships. You're freaking welcome, every other country.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge in playing America is the same challenge as being an American- what do I do with all this FREEDOM?

REMOVE YOUR HATS FOR YOUR PATRIOTIC INSPIRATION

We thank France for the Statue of Liberty, democratic revolutions, and pissing off England.  The greatest country in the world perfected all 3.

All right, Weasels. Uncle Sam needs you. How do you play France America?

Hit the jump for some great American history, ballads of bald eagle resurgences, how we have the best allies, and more.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:07

THE WISE OLD WEASEL STABS THE DAY

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THE WISE OLD WEASEL STABS THE DAY

Weasels, it is the Ides of March, the date of the most famous stab in human history.

Julius Caesar, renowned politician, general, diplomatic, lover and Protector of Rome took Italy all the way to 17 centers in 44 BC, with all of France, Belgium, Iberia, all of Italy, Tunis, Trieste, Serbia, Greece, Bul, and all of Turkey. (Yes, we here at the Wise Old Weasel counted the dots.)

But just before he could call himself Julius Solo, Caesar’s senate compatriots formed a grand alliance to stop him. Antony, Caesar’s most loyal ally, gave a moving eulogy… and summarily pardoned the assassins.

Today is a day we celebrate the stab, the crux of this great game we call diplomacy. Whether you are Casca, rushing into the shoulder blade first, Cassius, who swung for the face and missed, or Brutus, the beloved brother who stuck a sword in his side, we all have our memorable stabs.

On this Ides of March, do not merely beware, but relish in the thrill of stabbing and, yes, being stabbed.

So, Weasels, let us stab the day and share our great war stories and sage stab advice below.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 16:53

The Wise Old Weasel -- Austria

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The hills are alive with the sound of music- but will you be around to hear it? Greece and Bulgaria are some of my favorite things, but you need a German older and wiser keeping Russia out of Gal for you! Can climb every mountain? Will Edelweiss bless your homeland forever? Or will F02 leave you singing “so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu?”

Grab your bags and your rich Uncle Max! This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

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