There has been three computer games made for Diplomacy where the idea was to have an A.I. that works against a single player. They have all failed miserably as a demonstration of the potential of the computer to reach the basic tactical ability of a retarded dolphin who was fed crystal meth for breakfast. While the commercial efforts have failed again and again, there is a hobby effort run by David Norman who advises:

There are a couple of AIs that are just starting to do negotiation - just offering and accepting Peace at this stage. But No Press, some of them are playing pretty well. The site for the project is

Meanwhile the hobby goes along and especially the E-Mail hobby is Bleeding from the lack of computer support. Game after game on the Net is hurt or ruined by players who have No Moves Received or who have dropped. Players who get interrupted by real life and miss a turn get devastating results with an all units hold in civil disorder or when playing with a block on NMR's the game is dragged out for ever waiting for the player to come back.

What is needed is for us to have a modified AI that fits in with the EMAIL play of the game not one that is designed to play against a single player in the classic computer game. We need the AI to act as a Back Up for the player to keep his position viable and to have the possibility to act to take over abandoned position to preserve the game flow.

Here is an outline of what might be a step by step for the Back Up A/I.

Once we have the AI able to step in for missed Adjustments, and retreats, and then one off situations, then we can move to it being able to stand in for taking over abandoned positions for a few turns at a clip.

Finally once the above is done, then and only then do we move toward the creation of the AI as a player making proposals and what not, starting with a basic format of who is an ally, enemy and neutral to working on specific combinations with other powers to play.

This is at least a step ladder approach that will allow the hobby to have some benefit to each of the simple small steps in the progression of an AI than waiting for someone to come up and create a total AI package from the start.

Edi Birsan

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