Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    4
  • comments
    112
  • views
    9,769

Unfortunate implications and coalltion war treaty chess

I feel the need to comment on this issue due to this possibly being the most egregious case of treaty chess I have seen in some time.

Treaty chess is the cynical exploitation of treaties built around trust, common interest and friendship between two or more alliances in order to negate the ability of an alliance to receive assistance from their allies. This can take two forms:

1) Chain-baiting.

Chain-baiting is the result of an alliance having a treaty or treaties that make it extremely inconvenient to directly attack, thus triggering all manner of defensive treaties. The treaty-chess player instructs an alliance or alliances to attack the desired targets less well connected allies in order to compel the target alliance to "take the bait" and attack the bait alliance. Due to agreements made prior to the war, this relieves obligations of defense due to non-chaining clauses, opposing coalitions, or whatnot.

2) Treaty Conflicts.

The second and more commonly used exploitation of treaties in treaty chess is to get alliances to counter or attack a target alliance where the attacking alliance has treaties which are also held by the target alliance, therefore making it impossible for the target alliance's allies to defend them without violating their treaty with the attacking alliance.

The first instance I find more acceptable than the second, as the target in the first instance, their allies should recognize what is going on and defend their ally regardless. The second instance I have long considered to be an abuse, and alliances should not agree to be used in that way.

The rationale for treaty chess and the arguments as to why treaty chess is ok that I have heard largely involve the treaty web, and how offensive action is inherently more difficult than defensive action (due to there being a hell of a lot more mutual defense clauses than optional aggression clauses) but ultimately treaty chess involves exploiting the ties that bind alliances together for cynical ends. This goes both ways. Not defending an ally because they are obvious bait does not diminish the fact that they are still your ally, and they signed their treaty in good faith with you.

Treaty chess is the ultimate dehumanizing element of coalition warfare, it reduces your alliance down to a NS value and a treaty list. Alliances that do not contest being exploited or sacrificed for treaty chess abandon their sovereignty in exchange for better odds for "the coalition", but where will the coalition be when the war is over? Your coalition partner today ordering you to hit your ally's ally instead of defending your own ally is your enemy tomorrow, who rejoices at your diminished state, fewer allies, and damaged credibility.



47 Comments


Recommended Comments



Exploiting treaties is an old practise, nothing new. Such 'tactics' (including but not limited to those mentioned) have been exploited and shaped several coalition-based wars - not just this one.

Is it reasonable to expect victims of such Realist/Cynical tactics to ignore a clear opportunity for wielding them against their foes? It's a very strong temptation, you'd have to admit. Especially when the enemies are more or less the same and the memories are still clear in their minds.

Knowing this, both sides play the same game, fearing to be outwitted by those opposite, or performing 'damage control' to limit the losses on their side. Or, at least the members on their side they actually care about (don't worry Aftermath, I'm sure daddy polar loves you as deeply as their other BAEs).

I look forward to you bucking the trend in the future, rather than stating what everyone knows.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Well worded.

I have a way bigger problem with #2 as well, and it's one of the reasons I try to get to know allies' allies. #1... I mean going after less connected alliances makes sense for the naive reason of wanting to limit counters, if nothing else. It's like an incredibly benign form of pixel-hugging.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Treaties are political tools, first and foremost. I've been beating this drum for what seems like an eternity now, but this is not a friendship simulator. If you want one of those, go hop on facebook and play some words with friends. CN is a game of war and politics, and the people who actually engage in the kind of treaty maneuvering that you describe are the people who actually tend to win at the game.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Treaties are political tools, first and foremost. I've been beating this drum for what seems like an eternity now, but this is not a friendship simulator. If you want one of those, go hop on facebook and play some words with friends. CN is a game of war and politics, and the people who actually engage in the kind of treaty maneuvering that you describe are the people who actually tend to win at the game.

I have to agree with this. Yes, it helps to not hate an alliance you're treatied to, but alliances who treaty solely for friendship are doing it wrong. If there isn't a practical element behind it and if you aren't willing to use that element, you shouldn't sign it.

It just so happens that my allies, are awesome. So there is some enjoyment out of them as well :D

Share this comment


Link to comment

Back in the day this was just as big of a problem. In my opinion when allies use a treaty to bar entry into a war that is grounds for immediate dissolution of the treaty. It's ridiculous behavior but common in those backchannel war planning rooms.

"If we send X to attack Y then A, B and C can't enter that front."

Right at that point it's the responsibility of alliance X to step up and make it known they won't put their ally in a no-win situation to where they can't help another ally because they've been treaty blocked. And if you have too many treaties causing this, that's your fault.

Share this comment


Link to comment

LW is completely right but the fact that I think he's generally right shouldn't be a mystery at this point. We're gov in the same alliance ffs.

I see optimal treaties as friendship + politics. That means you're legitimately friends yet also share the same political goals. While it may seem tough to find other alliances like that, know what? You can probably find anywhere from 2-5. In excess of that, why do you even need more treaties? I guess it can be fun to maneuver Diplomacy-style but I personally hate Diplomacy so I'm not the best person to comment on all that. I mean hell, to me a realpolitik stance for tJL would be this: we are who we are, we won't change, we aren't going anywhere, our alliance model works, roll us, we don't care, we'll come out in the black in the end. Ultimately, when alliances get rolled in cycles every 1-3 years, what more can you want?

On the whole, I think using allies as shields in ridiculous, but if you're willing to be that shield, I can't stop you. I know if DS wanted to hit AI, or AI wanted to hit DS, I would be throwing a !@#$fit so loud it would be heard halfway across the world. Unlike LW above, I'd admonish A, B and C for allowing such ridiculous behaviour even more than I'd admonish X for being such an awful ally.

Share this comment


Link to comment

So essentially we need to abandon faux legal spinning of treaties and get back t the good old values of just beating the !@#$ out of each other.

Isn't that DBDC's war motto?

Share this comment


Link to comment

So essentially we need to abandon faux legal spinning of treaties and get back t the good old values of just beating the !@#$ out of each other.

Isn't that DBDC's war motto?

Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Nothing stops you from setting the example

If one alliance leads and nobody follows, that alliance becomes a very easy target.

The treaty web is basically all about mutually assured destruction. If you don't play the game, you make yourself and your allies vulnerable without connections. If you do, you are just allowing yourself to be used by others for this kind of thing.

The treaty web is a serious problem, but you can't have one alliance "set[] the example[,]" you need many alliances to act together to really change it. But there's too much inertia to do that.

Share this comment


Link to comment

This is why I always led TLR with a willingness to hit allies of allies once committed to a coallition... it does not enable the other side to play use my allies on either side to play treaty chess.

Share this comment


Link to comment

This is why I always led TLR with a willingness to hit allies of allies once committed to a coallition... it does not enable the other side to play use my allies on either side to play treaty chess.

At a certain point you have to be willing to tell your allies that you can't refrain from picking a side just to preserve their allies, so GG to you there.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Everyone has the option to ignore the coalition and focus on their allies instead. Fight the enemies of your allies and let the chips fall where they may.

You will be criticized, as it is impossible to "win" if you fight on both sides of a large coalition war. But you will likely maintain the goodwill of all your allies instead of just those who also fell on side A. Of course, some people value their pixels so much they would never be willing to fight on both sides of a coalition war. It can also put a big fat target on your back for coalition mates on side A who take issue with you for fighting in defense of an alliance on side B.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Coalitions have assembled and fought this way since the beginning of CN. What's changed, is now we've progressed to a new chapter where some alliances don't look just for a win, but to win and to see others do the heavy lifting for them.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Coalitions have assembled and fought this way since the beginning of CN. What's changed, is now we've progressed to a new chapter where some alliances don't look just for a win, but to win and to see others do the heavy lifting for them.

Okay, and? Why exactly are we opposed to alliances doing whatever they can to win at a minimum cost to themselves? They don't exactly hand out trophies for Pyrrhic victories.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Everyone has the option to ignore the coalition and focus on their allies instead. Fight the enemies of your allies and let the chips fall where they may.

You will be criticized, as it is impossible to "win" if you fight on both sides of a large coalition war. But you will likely maintain the goodwill of all your allies instead of just those who also fell on side A. Of course, some people value their pixels so much they would never be willing to fight on both sides of a coalition war. It can also put a big fat target on your back for coalition mates on side A who take issue with you for fighting in defense of an alliance on side B.

Which is what RIA does in every single war, $%&@ your coalitions, we're in this for our friends.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...