Pouch Deposits

The Editor and the Readership

Simon Szykman and Manus Hand's Paradox debate is STILL generating mail, and that dominates the Pouch Deposits for this issue. But first, last issue's Trivia Question was:

In Standard Diplomacy, what property to Vienna and Smyrna have uniquely in common?
David Cohen has forgotten the intended answer. :)

But here are some of the answers we received....you figure it out for yourself.

From "Tarzan" (TarzanMonkeyMan@Earthlink.net):

Both these provinces are reachable and can be reached by/from ALL the other Home SCs for their respective powers.

From Graham Rodda (glrodda@pcug.org.au):

They are the only two home central home provinces on the board eg. all other of the countries home have a border with the either Vienna or Smyrna respectively.

From Alexander Lomski (lav@tut.by):

My Guess: They border all other native provinces of their respective countries. However on many maps Russia is drawn without Finland being Russian. In this case, Moscow also fits. But since Finland was Russian in 1900 and it is drawn this way on standard Diplomacy board, I think this is not the case. Just to contribute a little: List all provinces with minimal amount of SC's accessible for an army in one move? Answer: Bohemia (Vie and Mun) Warsaw (War and Mos) Paris (Par and Bre) Note that since no restrictions are given, assume all seas are full of fleets ready to convoy our army. :)

Mail Received Concerning
Eliminating the Paradox in Diplomacy

From Michael Halpin(HighXLR8R@aol.com):

I know I'm probably not the first to say this, but I also like Resolution Number Two because to me, a unit that effectively destroys ITSELF by successfully supporting an attack is more than somewhat perverse.

From Elliot Wood (E.Wood@cbs.curtin.edu.au):

Dear Manus, I like your solution the best, and have just begun reading these pages - very comprehensive.

A friend of mine and I used to play this game years ago when we were in school - here is how we would have worked this one out:

The key here for us would have been the French Army York - since it supports the move into London, it is effectively attacking Eng Fleet London and therefore Eng Fleet London has to deal with THIS before it can support Eng Fleet Wales to ENG.

Given that English F Wales (now on its own) attacks French F ENG, F ENG cannot convoy since it is under attack and has to deal with the attack first. This having happened, this is a stand-off between F ENG and F WAL.

BUT, the German F BEL - ENG, supported by F NTH means that the Germans have the support, F BEL goes to ENG and French F ENG has to be dislodged.

This probably goes against some of the rules, since I don't have a copy on me and it was a long time ago, but the logic would have worked for the two of us in any case! Hopefully I will be able to get a copy from somewhere to have a good look through and start playing the game again on the net.

From David Newbold (newbold1@swbell.net):

I have read both Resolution 1 and Resolution 2. I hate to say that I am not comfortable with either one. However, I have another solution that seems to make logical sense but I am not certain as to how it would be written as a new rule.

>From my point of view, French Army Brest can only attack London if it makes it there. While it is in the process of being convoyed the army is simply hitching a ride and cannot participate in the battle that will ensue in the English Channel. French Army Yorkshire can only assist French Army Brest in the actual attack on London. Again, this can only occur if the French Army Brest actually makes it to London. Meanwhile, French Fleet English Channel is being attached by four fleets. English Fleet Wales is attacking French Fleet English Channel with support from English Fleet London. At the same time, German Fleet Belgium is attacking French Fleet English Channel with support from German Fleet North Sea. French Fleet English Channel has no support in order to hold its position in the English Channel against the barrage of attacks from two enemy fronts.

I think that the result of the scenario should be that the French Fleet English Channel does not succeed in convoying the French Army Brest. In fact, French Fleet English Channel should be destroyed. Therefore, the attack on London cannot occur even though it would have been a supported attack if French Army Brest had made it across the English Channel. The support can't occur since the army never even makes it to London. French Army Brest should be "stuck" in Brest because the convoying fleet has been destroyed and cannot complete the job. Both England and Germany are attempting to move into the English Channel and both fleets are supported by one unit. In this case, I believe that a stalemate condition exists and neither England or Germany gets to move into the English Channel during this turn. The English Channel ends up vacant at the end of this turn.

Final positions:

French Army Yorkshire
French Army Brest

German Fleet Belgium
German Fleet North Sea

English Fleet Wales
English Fleet London

Incidentally, if French Army Brest is aboard French Fleet English Channel when the fleet unit is destroyed, it would make sense that the army unit would also "go down with the ship". However, the game rules do not call for destroyed convoy units to cause the unit being convoyed to be destroyed as well. Therefore, in an attempt to stay as within the original rules as possible, I do not think that the convoyed unit should be destroyed in the paradox solution.

Simon Szykman's response: On what basis do you think the fleet in the English Channel should be destroyed? Even if we ignore the issue of the convoy in your example, proposing that the fleet in Eng should be destroyed violates the basic rules of beleaguered garrison: a standoff does not dislodge a unit in the provice where a standoff takes place, even if the armies involved in the standoff attack have more support than the defending army in the province.

David Newbold's follow-up: I understand your position. I just think that even though the existing rules state that the Fleet in the English Channel would not be dislodged it seems more logical that it should be dislodged. The French fleet is attempting a convoy with no support in place to keep that fleet from being dislodged. Meanwhile, that fleet is being attacked by two enemies both of which have supporting units in the attack. This creates a 4 against 1 battle in the English Channel. In a real battle I think it would be highly unlikely that the convoying fleet would survive the simultaneous attack by Germany and England. The paradox has everything to do with the status of the French fleet in the English Channel. If the fleet cannot complete the convoy then Germany and England stalemate against the French fleet in the English Channel. If the fleet completes the convoy then Germany should succeed in taking the English Channel. I think the original beleaguered garrison rule is flawed and needs to be revised rather than adding exception rules. Again, I think that it would be more logical that an outnumbered unit should be dislodged but if multiple units have equal support for moving into the dislodged space then none of the units should move into that space. This change would eliminate the paradox and I think that the reasoning is rational. However, since this rule must be invoked quite often, I am not certain that the change would not have an adverse affect on regular game play. The change may present a new set of problems that I have not yet considered. Not paradoxal problems but rather issues with successful game play in general. Once again, I understand the rationale behind your solution as it is applied to the existing rules. I just question whether or not the original rules themselves should be reconsidered. Its just a thought and not one that I am interested in pursuing at any great length. Any solution that does not adversely affect game play and is understood by everyone at the onset of the game is a good solution in my opinion. The players must take that solution, whatever it is, into consideration when planning their strategy / moves.

Simon Szykman's response: Regarding your followup message about the beleaguered garrison rule, while your suggestion would address the paradox in the example that Manus and I originally used in our article, not all convoy paradoxes include beleaguered garrisons. Your suggestion for modifying the beleaguered garrison rule would address the paradox Manus and I had presented, but would not be a complete solution to the problem of paradoxes. A discussion of the beleaguered garrison issue can be found in the W199A Pouch Deposits. A specific example of a paradox that does not involve a beleaguered garrison can be found here. Lastly the one point I would have brought up if you hadn't already addressed it in your message is the issue of how such a change would affect gameplay in general. Beleaguered garrison is used in both offensive and defensive situations, and I suspeect that eliminating that rule would have a significant effect on the tactics of the game.

From Richard Harris(richharr@web.de):

Me myself i'm too interested in both Diplomacy and (Astro-)Physics, but en plus also in Litterature, Art (1st of all Architecture), History and espacially the Music of the <>, i mean of the Time round 1900 and a little Bit earlier (Late Romantic, of this especially Gustav Mahler), so i usually sleep 3 or 4 Hours a Day (by the Way - Napoleon Bonaparte said: "6 for Women, 5 for Weeklings!", but then again he was a Sleepapnoetic who oftenly fell asleep for some 15 Minutes during the Day, then everything round him had to freeze until he woke up again...). I'm German, that's why i start every Noun with a capital Letter!

Concerning the Diplomacy Paradoxon explained by you, i first say about your little Text on Time Travel Paradoxons: These are the most complex, a metaphysical (Did I mention I'm interested in Philosophy or Philosophics ore whatever is the english Expression for that?!) Paradoxon in combination with a physical one. But as you ought to know, it's impossible to just travel some Matter through Time (just like - concerning Beaming - through Space) because you either have to move the whole Universe (and perhaps some Universes more - for what we don't have enough Energy or just Matter to be converted in Energy, as Einstein's theory of relativity says) or let it be.

Now I concentrate on the Diplomacy Paradoxon, a pure metaphysical one just like to say "I'm lying!": To solute or at least handle such Situations, the final Section of the Rules should say: "If there occure any Situations leading to a Paradoxon between these rules, no Unit involved in the Conflict moves." This rule will lead to "Oops - nothing happens?!"-Situation in those extremely rarely occuring Situations of Paradoxons (which therefore can't be provocated, in our Case: By England, to hold the Fleet in London in order to at least gain Time), which i consider at least really funny!

Just campare this to the physical Problem of having two rotatable Sticks stuck through a Board and on either Stick on the one Hand Side a hugh Gearwheel and one the other Hand Side a small Gearwheel and the small Gearwheel of one Stick always being beneath the hugh Gearwheel of the other Stick: Board

|  |  |  /-\
|  |--|--|  | <Stick with huge Gearwheel on the left Hand Side and small
Gearwheel on the right Hand Side
|  |  |  \-/
\-/  |  /-\
/-\  |  |  |
|  |--|--|  | <Stick with small Gearwheel on the left Hand Side and Huge
Gearwheel on the right Hand Side
\-/  |  |  |
now when you turn the hugh Gearwheel on the upper left Section of my gorgeous Painting, the small Gearwheel on the other Side of the Stick should turn with the same Speed. Then the Gearwheel on the lower right Section of the Image should turn somewhat slower, because at the same time it has to move less of all its Teeth compared to the small Gearwheel to which it is connected. So the small Gearwheel on the other Side of the Stick should cause the Gearwheel to which it is connected to turn even two Times slower than it (in our Considering) originally did! You can also view it the other Way round, than it should turn two times faster. The Solution: "Oops! - nothing happens?!" - Just believe me, i tried this out with my Lego Technic already when i was 10 and i found out: Indeed, when you try it with Gearwheels of all the same Size, it works (when you turn one Gearwheel, the others turn too), even when you combine the two big Wheels on one and the two small Wheels on the other Stick (what means that one Stick will turn faster and the other one slower, of course). So this is a technically justified Explanation for Solution Number 2 of our Diplomacy Paradoxon! My God, how am i reliefed! No Aporia! I forgot to add what i believe to be the main Realism-Problem of your Diplomacy Paradoxon: When 4 Units (2 of either Country) attack an Area, no-one enters! Of course in Diplomacy there could only be one Possibility: if there is a Unit in the Area of this Conflict, it shall be removed.

Simon Szykman's response: Thanks for the messages about the Diplomacy paradoxes. The system of gears that you included in your message is an example of an overconstrained system. It is perhaps not exactly the same as a paradox, but it is the nicest bit of ASCII artwork we've received in response to the paradox articles :-) As the solution you mentioned at the end of your message:
I forgot to add what i believe to be the main Realism-Problem of your
Diplomacy Paradoxon: When 4 Units (2 of either Country) attack an Area,
no-one enters! Of course in Diplomacy there could only be one Possibility:
if there is a Unit in the Area of this Conflict, it shall be removed.
this had been suggested by others in the past. Although it your suggestion would address the paradox Manus and I had presented, it would not be a complete solution to the problem of paradoxes because not all paradoxes involve a beleaguered garrison (the multiple balanced attack).

As always, please feel free to comment on any of the articles in the Pouch, and we'll be glad to include your comments in the next issue.