Master Class

Jamie Dreier

Playing the Averages

Good day, class. Consider the following position:

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France: F Wal, F Tun, F Eng, A Bel, A Bur, A Ruh.
Russia: F Bar, A Ber, A Boh, F Cly, F Hol, F Kie, F Lon, A Mos, A Mun, F Nth, A Nwy, A Sil, A War.
Turkey: A Spa, A Mar, F Tyn, F Nap, F Rom, F Ion, F Aeg, F Ank, F Con, A Smy, A Bul, A Ser, A Bud, A Vie, A Trl.

Ownership of Supply Centers:
France: Bel, Bre, Lpl, Par, Por, Tun.
Russia: Ber, Den, Edi, Hol, Kie, Lon, Mos, Mun, Nwy, Sev, StP, Swe, War.
Turkey: Ank, Bud, Bul, Con, Gre, Mar, Nap, Rom, Rum, Ser, Smy, Spa, Tri, Ven, Vie.

It is Spring, 1915, and the recent history of the game is as follows: Here is a fairly obvious gloss on the position: Your assignment, class, is to submit moves for each power. Since the powers cannot communicate with each other, you are not to coordinate the moves you submit.

I will tabulate the results of submissions. The Official DP moves for each power will be determined by a kind of "plurality" voting. You may, if you like, submit partial sets of orders; in this case, your orders get counted toward the family of orders that agree in all respects with yours, and a set of orders from within the plurality family is determined without your "vote."

You should submit a single set of orders for each of the three powers in the game; however, only one of your three order sets will be counted. This selection procedure ensures that there is no advantage to coordinating (for example) the moves of France and Russia in your own set of orders. Your choice of Russian moves should reflect what you think most other people would do as France and Turkey; likewise, your choice of Turkish moves should reflect what you think most other people would do as France and Russia; likewise for your Russian orders.

Please don't discuss your moves with others, especially if they are submitting orders of their own, or if they are discussing the problem with others who are submitting orders.

Results of the tabulation will appear in the next DP. Then each of you can see how well your orders did against the "Average" Player.

Obviously, this is an experimental sort of puzzle. It may fail abysmally in ways I cannot foresee. But it might be very interesting, too.

You now have your assignment, class. Get to work on it.

Jamie Dreier
Brown University

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