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«The inanity of the treaty web»

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jerdge

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What a beautiful demonstration of the inanity of the treaty web. Of course it's fine when it stifles any political movement and allows everyone on the majority side to feel like they're on top. And as long as you don't mind being a satellite AA, it works well enough for when the actual powers decide they want a war. But god forbid the wrong alliance decides to have an agenda. This messes up everything!

Source: NoR declares war on LSF


Let's look at Prodigal Moon's post as players, i.e. from an Out Of Character POV.

This game's politics is largely dominated by the needs of coalition-level warfare, which isn't good or bad in itself.

However, I find it silly that coalition warfare is so much engineered with "treaty chaining"... A hits B and not C, to trigger what D, F and G do, while C and D pre-empt Z to prevent F and X to assist Y.

How can this sort of Mikado be even slightly funny?

As I will likely remain neutral for another long while (probably until the end of CN) I can just ignore the issue and have fun eating popcorn (which I'll definitely do), but you treaty-hoarders might want to think a bit more about it.

When you don't know which side you'll be on in a coalition war, because your choice doesn't depend on the (good/bad) CB, or on the (friend/foe/indifferent) initial combatants, or on your interest, but just on the order that will be followed in the declarations... Sorry for you, but that means that something went really wrong.

I am not talking of the "movers", which quite obviously pull the strings, but of the other people: this isn't the only way, you can choose another path as a few (too few) others already did/are doing.

(Sorry for not citing any specific example, but any example would cause arguing because of the people named and not because of its meaning. I thus chose to just avoid making them.)

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Solution: invoke non-chaining clauses, explore your allies are allied to and plan accordingly. For instance, if NPO doesn't want to follow MK around, a treaty with a long-time MK ally makes zero sense as I pointed out when the TLR-NPO upgrade happened. Same thing with the other C&G treaties.

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IMO, it's all a big chess game. The best players will play it as so, because it is well... advanced strategy. In the end, it is a game, it's all about seeing who gets rolled, rather than 'defending friends'.

But many alliances choose to have an agenda, and when war hits, they get pissed because they've been trying to use everyone else, yet are the ones who get used.

Most alliances choose to take the role/image of the loyal ally so they usually go along with this. It's just an easier way to play the game, rather than sitting around the whole day on IRC trying to plan out and force the war into a certain angle.

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I truly wish that people would operate on the premise that ODPs are essentially held with everyone, by everyone. Any alliance has the right to defend anyone they want. You think the CB is BS? Get in there and do something about it.

It's just a shame that many alliances will go against their morals or personal views just to chain in and please whoever may be leading the coalition.

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I think Mr. Muz is on point here. There is just so little to fight over, and so little ambition to be on top. It's easy to see how most alliances default to joining the web to stay safe, and then tagging along whatever chain brings them into war. The outcome from there is a mix of careful targeting and randomness, as the interconnected nature of the web means just about anyone could end up on either side of the same conflict, depending on how the counters break. I'm not that familiar with Mikado but I've been thinking that Pachinko works pretty well.

And I hear you, Roq, but there seems to be so much social pressure to chain in that those clauses aren't really a factor. In the past I've suggested much more aggressive language for treaties to the effect of: "This treaty is never intended to be used to chain either party into a broader conflict. It is solely for the treatied alliances to defend each other from a direct attack (i.e., at the center of a conflict)." An MDP no longer has any bearing on individual alliance defense. It's now just a standardized unit for measuring the force of treaty web pull in a given direction.

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I truly wish that people would operate on the premise that ODPs are essentially held with everyone, by everyone. Any alliance has the right to defend anyone they want. You think the CB is BS? Get in there and do something about it.

I thought it was generally accepted that ODPs are worthless because of this? People often sign them as the equivalent of PIATs.. to symbolize a greater agreement. Some alliances instead insist that a MDP is actually an ODP and only sign ODPs but treat them like alliances treat MDPs.

In reality, if you have two conflicting MDPs, you should actually defend BOTH alliances instead of defending neither (even though the results are probably the same). But CN chooses to take "ODP = small treaty, MDP = big treaty, MDoAP = really big treaty, MADP = stupid"

It's just a shame that many alliances will go against their morals or personal views just to chain in and please whoever may be leading the coalition.

Easier said than done. People will just hammer you with social pressure. You can't ignore them, because then they start talking to your other friends, bringing it up on the OWF, and it's just so much easier to lose NS. Which is why you see a lot of people honoring treaties, then unfriending them almost immediately after wars.

Plus, MD treaties are mandatory defense, regardless of what your moral and personal views are on the situation, you'd still have to defend someone you don't believe in.

And while non-chained treaties are meant to be optional, they don't actually work that way because it's really hard to legally tell the difference between a direct attack and a 'chained conflict'. Like the Umbrella-Fark war right now is most likely coalition warfare, and thus chained... but there's nothing in the DoW that says so.

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The treaty web is just part of what maintains the power structure. The alliances on top want to stifle any political movement and want to allow everyone on their side to feel like they're on top with them. If they're in control the system is probably going to exist to benefit them. Hasn't this always been the case? An entrenched power structure has really only been overthrown once in this game, and that was more due to internal problems than anything else. I don't know if you can fix the web.

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Thanks for the interesting comments, which probably show that I didn't make my point clear enough.

I am not against the treaty web and it's OK that leading alliances have a big pull on everyone else. My issue is with that large majority of alliances that accept to be always with their hands tied not because of how they tried to place themselves in the web - which would be logical - but because of the way someone else engineers the chaining of their treaties for the next war.

Us "hippies" aren't here for war, but it's sad that "all" the other people people that wait for months to get some "combat fun" are then manipulated into giving up what little "freedom" to choose was left to them.

Even if it's to end up fighting on the same side, people may think a bit more out of the box (basically: what Roq said), and make it their choice to do so.

Anyway, whatever! :popcorn:

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Eh my comment was more at mompson :v:

Coming to your point I guess there are alliances with ambition and some who are fine with where they are. They tend to be moved like chess pieces only because they lack the ambition to become a mover. Now that could be because they don't want to be one or they have leaders without it. That's just how this game has always been I guess.

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I have actually tried to understand "coalition-level warfare" and the more I learn, the less I want to do with any of it.

My preference would be for a system that would allow single alliances to war (or not) if they want and everyone else is free to let it happen.

"World Wars" should actually be unusual events. If they happend, oh - maybe once every three years or so THEN they would actually be worth sitting up all night for.

Now my reaction to these things is more along the lines of "again??? can't these people just play TE like we TE players do and take care of their boredom issues that way?"

Bored - play TE. Keep SE a place where actually having a reason for war matters and where people can join an alliance to actually play at running a nation and not being a soldier to be moved on some grander chess game. If I wanted that, I'd join some other game.

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