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When is diplomacy worth the cost?

 
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When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/22/2020 3:05:48 PM   
mdsmall

 

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In general, I find myself reluctant to spend MPPs on diplomacy towards Minors in the War in Europe game, playing either side. Especially in the first couple of years of the war, the opportunity cost of the MPPs per chit seems very high relative to the 5% chance of a swing per chit and the size of the swing if it happens. (I see from the patch notes that it is now 4-24% for Minors - but my guess if that 90% of the time, it will be something like 4-10% with only a 10% chance of a swing of 10-24%). Compared to investing in tech, where you can see some result every turn from each chit invested, diplomacy often seems like an expensive long shot.

Clearly winning any Minor over to your side - especially the large ones like Spain or Turkey - can have a big strategic effect on the game. But your opponent can see that risk coming from a long way off, especially if he tracks your diplomacy expenditures looking at the Reports page and sees where any swings have happened that are not explicable by campaign events. And if your opponent is investing in diplomacy, you always have the option to counter that, within chit limits. Investing in diplomacy does seem slightly more appealing for the USA, given that its diplomatic chits enjoy a 7% chance per turn of a swing. But the USA has a lot of units to buy and lot of tech to invest in, so against other uses for those MPPs, I tend to invest in those options when playing the Allies.

However, from reading this Forum, I often see references from more experienced players to investing in diplomatic chits, especially vis-a-vis Spain, but probably towards other Minors as well (perhaps Majors too). So, maybe I am underestimating the cost/benefit of diplomatic investments - hence the question in the title of this post. I would be interested to hear other players views on when and where they invest in diplomacy, especially pro-actively, and how they view the trade-offs for using MPPs this way versus investing in new units or tech.
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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/22/2020 5:52:51 PM   
Will952

 

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The way I see it - at the very least you force your opponent to spend the same amount, effectively cancelling out your own investment.

As Axis Spain is the big one, definitely worth it in my opinion. And because the Soviets can't diplo Spain Axis have the advantage until the USA enters. Plus the ability to get big swings by making gains in Egypt, for example. I'd say your odds of getting Spain as Axis if you invest 3 chits ASAP as both Germany and Italy and keep them topped up are pretty good.

Saudi Arabia is an obvious one for the Allies. 40mpp per turn makes a 100mpp investment easily worthwhile and it's unlikely to be countered.

Finland can be a fun one as Allies, especially if combined with a successful Finnish expedition to resist the USSR. Theoretically this can keep the Finns out of the war indefinitely.

You don't need to actually get the country 100% mobilized to reap the benefits a lot of the time...

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/22/2020 8:55:32 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Will952

You don't need to actually get the country 100% mobilized to reap the benefits a lot of the time...



Very helpful comments. I was interested in particular in your comment above. I can see where that is the case in terms of convoys.
- If the Allies can swing Norway, Sweden and/or Finland to any level above 0% in favour of the Allies, I believe the convoys from those countries to the Axis shut down;
- However, I don't know if the Norwegian convoy shifts to the U.K, if Norway becomes Allied aligned. Does anyone know?
- I believe this is also true for the Saudi Arabian convoy to the USA, which is triggered when SA is 10% Allied aligned.
- It is also true in terms Axis access to two ports in Spain when Spain become Axis aligned at 25% or higher (subject of my last thread).

Are there other examples in the game of benefits that accrue to diplomacy with Minors at less than 100% mobilization?



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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/22/2020 10:07:40 PM   
The Land

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

Are there other examples in the game of benefits that accrue to diplomacy with Minors at less than 100% mobilization?



IF the Axis can move Iraq into their column, the UK no longer gets a 50MPP convoy. That's a pretty big deal.

If we're talking Spain we should also mention Turkey, which swings to the Axis on the conquest of Cairo and Sevastopol.

Though late-game with Italy out, the Allies can pretty much diplo as they wish - the US plus USSR plus UK overwhelms Germany even if they try to counter.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/23/2020 6:02:13 AM   
mdsmall

 

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Many thanks for those additional examples. My main take-away from the discussion so far is that diplomacy can play an important role in economic warfare in the game, by shutting down existing convoys or triggering new ones. In most of these cases, the tipping point is simply a switch in the alignment of a given Minor around 0% mobilization. That's a much easier lift for diplomacy to achieve than pushing a minor to 100% mobilization for your side.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/29/2020 11:29:40 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: The Land

IF the Axis can move Iraq into their column, the UK no longer gets a 50MPP convoy. That's a pretty big deal.



Playing the Axis, I succeeded in doing exactly this using diplomacy chits in my current PBEM game. Iraq flipped to being 7% Axis aligned two turns ago, in late July 1940. The blue convoy line from Basra to the UK has disappeared. But looking at "Convoy Income" for the UK under Reports, there has been no drop at all in UK convoy income. Any idea what might be going on here? I think the U.S. has recently started lend-lease (at least the convoy line from the USA to the UK is blue). But unless the incoming income from the USA compensated exactly for the 50MPP lost from Iraq, I can't figure out why there is flat line showing in Reports for the UK convoy income.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/30/2020 12:39:37 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

Playing the Axis, I succeeded in doing exactly this using diplomacy chits in my current PBEM game. Iraq flipped to being 7% Axis aligned two turns ago, in late July 1940. The blue convoy line from Basra to the UK has disappeared. But looking at "Convoy Income" for the UK under Reports, there has been no drop at all in UK convoy income. Any idea what might be going on here? I think the U.S. has recently started lend-lease (at least the convoy line from the USA to the UK is blue). But unless the incoming income from the USA compensated exactly for the 50MPP lost from Iraq, I can't figure out why there is flat line showing in Reports for the UK convoy income.


Hi Michael

Can you ask your opponent about this, maybe they can compare their end of turn MPP income summary with the report?

It should be the quickest and easiest way to see if there is a bug or (hopefully) that the US convoy accounts for it.

Thanks

Bill


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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/30/2020 7:27:55 PM   
mdsmall

 

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Hi Bill- I asked my Allied opponent about this and he kindly sent me a screen shot of his latest MPP income report. He is not receiving any convoy income from Iraq - which I was glad to see. The Reports page for his latest turn also now shows a drop in his convoy income - not by the full 50 MPPs from Iraq, but I assume that loss is being partially offset by new convoys from the USA. So while I remain a bit puzzled why his convoy income did not drop sooner, things seem to be working out overall as I expected.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/30/2020 8:12:31 PM   
ReinerAllen

 

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On another note, if playing the allies don't worry too much about Turkey. If it comes in on your side they're worthless. Your only goal in expending diplomatic points is to keep Turkey out of the war.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/30/2020 8:26:12 PM   
mdsmall

 

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I used to think that about Turkey, as upgrading their units is a huge drain on MPPs for whichever side controls them. But now that there is a rail line from Russia through eastern Turkey connecting through to Ankara and Istanbul that might change the equation for the Allies. I am not sure if Soviet units can operate with full supply on the territory of the UK minor (which is what Turkey would be if it joins the Allies). But if they can, then the Soviets could rail units through allied Turkey and open a new front against the Axis in Bulgaria and Greece.

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RE: When is diplomacy worth the cost? - 12/31/2020 10:15:25 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

Hi Bill- I asked my Allied opponent about this and he kindly sent me a screen shot of his latest MPP income report. He is not receiving any convoy income from Iraq - which I was glad to see. The Reports page for his latest turn also now shows a drop in his convoy income - not by the full 50 MPPs from Iraq, but I assume that loss is being partially offset by new convoys from the USA. So while I remain a bit puzzled why his convoy income did not drop sooner, things seem to be working out overall as I expected.


Thanks Michael, hopefully it is all working correctly but it's something to keep an eye on.

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