Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

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avoran
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Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by avoran » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:10 am

Just noticed a certain player here looking for a game. This same person abandoned a game with me mid-stream without even a word, notably when things weren't looking too good for his side. Am very tempted to comment on that publicly, but don't want to start a nasty argument.

Should I just forget about it? Let others find out for themselves?

lannes06
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Re: quitters

Post by lannes06 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:50 am

hum yes i know too :( i like write the good or fun players,,,,,capitan,,schurri,noel60,stauffenberg, supermax.....sorry for all i forget but beetwen id and mail i dont remenber...
i have 85% good players for pbem

elazraq
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Re: quitters

Post by elazraq » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:21 pm

I've had several players quit on me mid-game without explanation. Sometimes when things are going horribly for them and other times when it is up in the air. Probably best to just move on and find a different player. I've quit games a couple of times when the opponent is obviously reloading in a super blitz strategy to lock up the world before the Russians or Americans can get in to make a difference. Nobody can win a critical battle every single time - things just go badly sometimes. So, those guys I just block their email and play with someone else.

rkr1958
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Re: quitters

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:01 am

OK guys let's be careful here. It's ok to discuss "quitters" in the abstract but posting specific names (which no one has done yet) then you've gone too far. If you have a personal problem with a player quitting then you need to handled with that player in private (e.g., via PM ) and not in public on the forum. But even in private you're expected to handle it with dignity and class. Personal attacks, even in private (e.g., via PM), will NOT be tolerated!

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:49 pm

I thought I'd co-op this topic so we can discuss this subject in the abstract. That is; no references to specific persons allowed.

In my own view (i.e., opinion) the following are the acceptable circumstances under which resigning is proper. Again, this is only my opinion; but is the code that I play by.

1-2 cover special circumstances.

1. A family, personal or job event pops up and of such a nature that you honestly don't have the time or the focus to continue.

2. Players agree before hand that either can stop whenever they want.

3. If you're obviously losing and your opponent offers you a chance to stop. On the flip side, if the game has reached steady state and I'm obviously winning, I generally will offer my opponent the choice to stop or continue. Especially if my opponent has tried something different and it flopped or if my opponent is learning the game.

4. As the axis player, 1942 and prior if you've really honked things up. I had one axis opponent over two years ago that went for a knockout blow against me in Russia. I lost most the Russia (well the part that's on the map) and my army but I also inflicted horrendous losses on the axis and force them to run out of oil. Also, the western allies had been untouched and had amassed an impressive army and air force. I easily stormed ashore in France and was poised to knock him out no later than mid 1944. On the turn that I landed in force he resigned. I felt a bit cheated. Here I had been on the receiving end for the entire game; but just had successfully executed my plan to seize the initiative, become the aggressor and have the fun ... and he resigns. :( I really think it's poor form as the axis to resign after the initiative has shifted the allies. You've had your fun early on being the aggressor now it's time to let the allied player have their fun ... unless the allied player offers you the chance to stop (e.g., #3).

5. As the allied player, after the surrender of Russia. Also, if it's obvious that Russia will survive and you have no hope of landing in Europe. That is; the game has reached steady state and there's no question that Russia will survive.

avoran
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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by avoran » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:05 pm

And I would add: Regardless of which one it is, at least have the courtesy to say that's what you're doing instead of disappearing into thin air. (Granted, if a #1-type issue is serious enough then I can understand that a person might not even remember he has a game going on... but if that's the case he wouldn't be coming back to play another one with someone else.)

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by joerock22 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:19 pm

I think people should ask for surrender rather than resign. Tell your opponent that you want to surrender, but also say that you will keep playing if your opponent wants to. Most of the time your opponent will accept, but at least you didn't just up and quit on the guy who wants to keep playing. Maybe he just wants a few more turns to finish up his campaign, and then he will offer surrender. And if he makes you finish the whole game, then just don't play with him anymore.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by zechi » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:49 am

rkr1958 wrote: 2. Players agree before hand that either can stop whenever they want.

3. If you're obviously losing and your opponent offers you a chance to stop. On the flip side, if the game has reached steady state and I'm obviously winning, I generally will offer my opponent the choice to stop or continue. Especially if my opponent has tried something different and it flopped or if my opponent is learning the game.
I'm wondering about these rules/guidelines and they seem a little bit harsh, as in most games it is fully acceptable to surrender/give up a game at any point during the game. For example if you play chess, any player may give up the game at any time during the game.

From my point of view it is fully acceptable to surrender a game, even without an offer by the opponent. Of course a player will have to inform the other player that he surrenders the game and accepts defeat.

I also think that if one player wants to give up a game, especially because the game it not fun to him anymore, then it does not make any sense to force him to play until the end. Both players should have fun with playing the game. If this is not the case anymore, then the game should not be played until the end, as it will be less fun for both sides. Nobody wants to play against an opponent who is not fully committed to the game anymore. Nobody should be forced to play a game which is no fun to him anymore.

Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by richardsd » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:19 am

I do remember one game where my opponent reached the mental point of no return in 42 - and as the Axis and committed to an all out Sealion as his 'protest', took me two turns to figure it out!

For my part I consider any cease of play by an opponnet as total surrender :D

I also think its better not to 'beat on' beginners too much - we want them to learn and enjoy the game, not be crushed into submission early on

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Diplomaticus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:35 am

A couple of thoughts:

Rule #1 for everybody is to please, please don't just vanish and stop answering emails. If you're not having fun any more and want to resign, it's simple courtesy to say so and not just disappear. That, to me, is the equivalent of standing somebody up.

Rule #2. When you get discouraged, try to play on and tough it out. So many guys seem to just give up in the dark days for the Allies, but that's part of the game design. Just hang in there and you may be amazed at the comeback you can stage. I speak from experience!

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Samhain » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:57 pm

It's not over until Omsk falls and that's apparently near impossible with the latest GS.
In spite of the Final Fantasy character it's pronounced sao-win after the Irish pagan god of death. I'm not a pagan but we're on a wargames website so I thought it fitting.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Cybvep » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:23 pm

Rule #1 for everybody is to please, please don't just vanish and stop answering emails. If you're not having fun any more and want to resign, it's simple courtesy to say so and not just disappear. That, to me, is the equivalent of standing somebody up.
Exactly. Random disappearances without an explanation are probably the worst way of ending a game. I always interpret them as the Ultimate Victory for the non-quitter side.
I think people should ask for surrender rather than resign. Tell your opponent that you want to surrender, but also say that you will keep playing if your opponent wants to. Most of the time your opponent will accept, but at least you didn't just up and quit on the guy who wants to keep playing. Maybe he just wants a few more turns to finish up his campaign, and then he will offer surrender. And if he makes you finish the whole game, then just don't play with him anymore.
I agree with this, too. When one of the players surrenders and the other player accepts the surrender, then no harm is done. I'm quite sure that in case of most totally one-sided games neither the winning side nor the losing side are having fun, as it's usually the result of big disparity between the skill level of both players, a random boneheaded game-ending mistake or some unexpected gamey exploit/balance problem.

Anyway, I think that as long as both sides agree to end the game, everything is perfectly fine.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:03 pm

I think it's a problem when one side asks to surrender as the Axis once his offensive has halted and the tide has turned. How can the opponent refuse to accept the surrender? You can't force a player who has mentally given up on the game to continue to make moves.

I think the game playing terms should be determined before the game begins. Then you should mention that you want to surrender if the game goes against you.

To me it's poor sportsmanship to surrender as the Axis once you understand you can't conquer the world. You've had the fun expanding and seeing how far you can get. But as soon as the offensive is over the Axis player wants to surrender. By doing that he denies his Allied opponent the fun to actually turn the tide and push the Axis back towards Berlin. The Allied player has been pushed hard, but survived. Then it's not fair that he won't be able to see the fruitition of his good defensive skills.

The current GS victory conditions gives both sides a chance to play on for longer than until the tide turns. So it's a bit better.

I can't understand players who just quit when they realize they can't win the game. OK, you're about to lose, but at least you can try to keep the other side down to a minor victory. If that doesn't work you can try for a major victory etc. You won't improve as a player if you fold when the going gets tough. If you stick to the game while losing you might learn a lot about the game mechanisms so you can do better next time.

Just look at the game between Morris and Joerock. Morris was only a few hexes away from Omsk and Joe had fought a valiant defense in Russia against the overwhelming Axis forces. He struggled back into the game when nobody believed he had a chance. Morris was pushed back and suddenly we saw that Joe could actually win. Morris then showed great defensive skills and people started to think he could actually make it after all. Only now we believe Joe will eventually win (6 months before the end), but Morris keeps on playing. He knows he will only lose a minor defeat and that's not a bad result against Joe. Morris fights on with the best of his abilities despite the final outcome. He's learning a lot about how the Axis front lines crumble late in the game. I know he will use that information to avoid it from happening in his next game. So even in defeat you learn a lot.

I believe too many players are only concerned about their own fun. Once they feel the fun is not there anymore they bail out of the game, ruining the fun for their opponents in the process. I don't like such players at all. If you decide to play a game you commit to the game for good and worse. If you can't stand losing then you should not start the game in the first place.

At least have the decency to tell up front what kind of player you are so your opponent has a choice to play under those conditions or not.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Cybvep » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:05 pm

To me it's poor sportsmanship to surrender as the Axis once you understand you can't conquer the world. You've had the fun expanding and seeing how far you can get. But as soon as the offensive is over the Axis player wants to surrender
You realise that this happens in many WWII games, right? Especially in the ones that make "real" Axis victory actually possible to achieve. As soon as the Germans tanks stop and have to go on the defensive, many players simply stop playing (this often happens even in SP games!!!). The players also know basic history and count on easy Fall Gelb, because they figure that if the Germans suffer high casualties in the West, then they will have no chance in the East. This is why the French OOB is usually the most inaccurate one in most WWII games and why French units are often so weak that the Germans can win by simply pushing forward. Therefore, it's a more general problem IMO.
Just look at the game between Morris and Joerock. Morris was only a few hexes away from Omsk and Joe had fought a valiant defense in Russia against the overwhelming Axis forces. He struggled back into the game when nobody believed he had a chance. Morris was pushed back and suddenly we saw that Joe could actually win. Morris then showed great defensive skills and people started to think he could actually make it after all. Only now we believe Joe will eventually win (6 months before the end), but Morris keeps on playing. He knows he will only lose a minor defeat and that's not a bad result against Joe. Morris fights on with the best of his abilities despite the final outcome. He's learning a lot about how the Axis front lines crumble late in the game. I know he will use that information to avoid it from happening in his next game. So even in defeat you learn a lot.
You cannot seriously believe that an average player will get even close to this. Most players will surrender long before that, realising that they have no chance to win (and they are right, because what JoeRock did was spectacular and would be rather hard to replicate for an average player).

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:22 pm

I'm not saying that a regular player would be able to replicate Joerock, but that game shows how much fun the Axis side can have even when victory was within their grasp and the "empire" is crumbling.

I don't want to play against people who fold once they realize they can't win as the Axis. Why would people play the Allies if all they need to do is to defend long enough to snatch the initiative. Both players want to be on the offensive side.

So if players who play the Axis fold prematurely then I think it shows lack of sportsmanship against their Allied opponent unless both have agreed upfront that folding is ok. I don't buy that this is what players do. I know of many players who will NOT fold and those are the players I want to play against.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by ncali » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:38 pm

I completely agree with Stauffenberg's comments. Often, players do surrender or quit games too soon. It can be a worthwhile experience to play out a game that you will ultimately lose.

If the game has a timetable for Allied victory (as this one does), the Axis can and should soldier on in most games. The different levels of victory in this game help provide an additional incentive to continue. There are exceptions where the game is essentially over - but they are not all that common, I think. I've seen the Axis collapse rather spectacularly in this game and others! On the other hand, as the Axis it is fun making the Allied path to Berlin more challenging - once you have resigned yourself to being on the defensive. It certainly makes for a better game for the Alllied player to have an Axis player willing to see the game through to the bitter end.

That being said, there are different personal preferences. My own preferences are for (1) a game that moves rather quickly [I hate waiting for turns, and I have to constantly reassess what's happening in a slow-moving game], and (2) a willingness for both sides to play to the end in most games [with exceptions where the game is completely hopeless, if both players agree to quit early]. If both players have agreed they don't mind ending games early and that works for them - it's OK. I just think maybe they are missing out on something interesting.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Diplomaticus » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:26 pm

IMO, this is a very important discussion we're having here. I get the sense that a lot of us have been disappointed by having our opponents quit on us.

I propose that we add a section to the game manual, or maybe create a 'brochure' on this subject. We could discuss game etiquette, let new players know that the ebb and flow is what they should expect, maybe with some maps/examples of some of the amazing reversals of fortune we've seen in AARs, etc. Getting discouraged when the tide of battle has turned against you is natural and normal, but I think we can constructively suggest a different way of thinking about "defeat"--along the lines of what's been said in this thread--and perhaps this will encourage some players to rethink giving up.

If you guys think this is a good idea, I will volunteer to work on the text of whatever we decide to add.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by TotalerKrieg » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:58 am

Cybvep wrote:
Just look at the game between Morris and Joerock. Morris was only a few hexes away from Omsk and Joe had fought a valiant defense in Russia against the overwhelming Axis forces. He struggled back into the game when nobody believed he had a chance. Morris was pushed back and suddenly we saw that Joe could actually win. Morris then showed great defensive skills and people started to think he could actually make it after all. Only now we believe Joe will eventually win (6 months before the end), but Morris keeps on playing. He knows he will only lose a minor defeat and that's not a bad result against Joe. Morris fights on with the best of his abilities despite the final outcome. He's learning a lot about how the Axis front lines crumble late in the game. I know he will use that information to avoid it from happening in his next game. So even in defeat you learn a lot.
You cannot seriously believe that an average player will get even close to this. Most players will surrender long before that, realising that they have no chance to win (and they are right, because what JoeRock did was spectacular and would be rather hard to replicate for an average player).
I don't think that Joerock started playing the game at the skill level he has now (he can correct me if I wrong of course :) ). As Stauffenberg says, you become a better player by playing on even when it appears clear that you will lose. Part of the learning curve is playing through tough situations, trying to determine the best strategies for defense, and looking for weaknesses even when you are at a severe disadvantage. If you always throw in the towel when you suffer a defeat playing the game then IMO you will never advance yourself as a player. My favorite part of these games actually is when I am on the defensive (early game as Allies, late game as Axis) and trying to delay/harass the advancing opposing armies.

I too have been disappointed by opponents who have suddenly decided to not play anymore. Do you guys think it is worthwhile to have a classification system for players so like-minded players would be able to find each other more easily? It could go something like this:

Experience level: Beginner/moderate/advanced
# of turns per day (on average):
players replays turns to maximize combat results: Y/N
Approximate % of games which the player has abandoned/surrendered before the end:
Reason always given to other player when game is abandoned/surrendered: Y/N

It would depend on the honor system, but what would be the advantage in not telling the truth? If you lie, you would only hurt yourself in trying to find suitable opponents.

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by Cybvep » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:27 pm

Experience level: Beginner/moderate/advanced
# of turns per day (on average):
players replays turns to maximize combat results: Y/N
Approximate % of games which the player has abandoned/surrendered before the end:
Reason always given to other player when game is abandoned/surrendered: Y/N
This could easily turn into libel campaigns. Also, how do you know when the player maximises combat results? Unless their does it all the time, it would be rather hard to prove it, I think. Experience levels can also be a bit hard to gauge

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Re: Proper Game etiquette -- or -- when is it ok to resign?

Post by TotalerKrieg » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:45 am

Good points. And the system also wouldn't take into account that players can change over time. So it wouldn't be useful. I think what all this does mean is that it is probably worth discussing what your expectations exactly are with new opponents. :)

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