LessWrong Diplomacy Game 2015

Re­lated: Di­plo­macy as a Game The­ory Lab­o­ra­tory by Yvain.

I’ve been float­ing this idea around for a while, and there was enough in­ter­est to or­ga­nize it.

Di­plo­macy is a board game of mak­ing and break­ing al­li­ances. It is a semi-iter­a­tive pris­oner’s dilemma with 7 pris­on­ers. The rules are very sim­ple, there is no luck fac­tor and any tac­ti­cal tricks can be learned quickly. You play as one of the great pow­ers in pre-WW1 Europe, and your goal is to dom­i­nate over half of the board. To do this, you must ne­go­ti­ate al­li­ances with the other play­ers, and then stab them at the most op­por­tune mo­ment. But be­ware, if you are too stabby, no one will trust you. And if you are too trust­ing, you will get stabbed your­self.

If you have never played the game, don’t worry. It is re­ally quick to pick up. I ex­plain the rules in de­tail here.

The game will (most likely) be played at web­diplo­macy.net. You need an ac­count, which re­quires a valid email. To play the game, you will need to spend at least 10 min­utes ev­ery phase (3 days) to en­ter your or­ders. In the mean­time, you will be ne­go­ti­at­ing with other play­ers. That takes as much as you want it to, but I recom­mend set­ting away at least 30 min­utes per day (in 5-minute quan­tums). A game usu­ally lasts about 10 in-game years, which comes down to 30-some­thing phases (60-90 days). A phase can progress early if ev­ery­one agrees. Like­wise, the game can be paused in­definitely if ev­ery­one agrees (e.g. if a player will not have In­ter­net ac­cess).

Join­ing a game is Se­ri­ous Busi­ness, as miss­ing a dead­line can spoil it for the other 6 play­ers. Please ap­ply iff:

  1. You will be able to ac­cess the game for 10 min­utes ev­ery 3 days (90% cer­tainty re­quired)

  2. If 1) changes, you will be able to let the oth­ers know at least 1 day in ad­vance (95% cer­tainty re­quired)

  3. You will be able to spend an av­er­age of 30 min­utes per day (stan­dard nor­mal dis­tri­bu­tion)

  4. You will not hold an out-of-game grudge against a player who stabbed you (ad­just­ing for stab­by­ness in po­ten­tial fu­ture games is okay)

If you still wish to play, please sign up in the com­ments. Please spec­ify the ear­liest time it would suit you for the game to start. If we some­how get more than 7 play­ers, we’ll dis­cuss our op­tions (play a var­i­ant with more play­ers, mul­ti­ple games, etc).

See also: First game of LW Diplomacy


Well, the in­ter­est is there, so I’ve set up two games.

Game 1: http://​​web­diplo­macy.net/​​board.php?gameID=164863 (started!)

Game 2: http://​​web­diplo­macy.net/​​board.php?gameID=164912 (started! First phase will be ex­tended to end on the 4th of Au­gust)

Pass­word: clippy


Please note a cou­ple im­por­tant rules of the web­diplo­macy.net web­site:

  1. You can only have one ac­count. If you are caught with mul­ti­ple ac­counts, they will all be banned.

  2. You may not blame your moves on the web­site bugs as a diplo­macy tac­tic. This gives the site’s mods ex­tra work to do when some­one ac­tu­ally re­ports the bug.

  3. Should go with­out say­ing, but you are not al­lowed to ille­gally ac­cess an­other player’s ac­count (i.e. hack­ing).