What's Your Point?

Paul D. Windsor

Why do you play this game anyway? Seriously, I want to know. If you and I are talking in the pre-start phase of a game, I'll be asking you that question in every single press I send, though it's unlikely (I hope) that you'll realize that. It's very important to me to know why you play the game, because how you answer that question is going to tell me a lot about your goals, the choices you are likely to make and what I should be saying to you to influence those choices.

It's also an interesting discussion all by itself. Differing points of view on why to play the game underlie a lot of the contentious discussions on the rec.games.diplomacy (RGD) newsgroup. The perpetual arguments over whether play by email is superior to or inferior to play by mail or to face to face play; whether play on the Judges is superior to or inferior to play on other play by email enclaves; whether and when playing for a draw is an appropriate strategy; what is the appropriate reaction to playing a losing position; whether current ratings systems accurately reward best play; "carebears" v. "cutthroats"; whether role playing is helpful or hurtful, fun or annoying--all of these arguments revolve around hidden assumptions about why we and our fellow Dippers play the game. The positions that people stake out with respect to these arguments are often directly indicative of their style of play, because both behaviors are driven by their feelings regarding why they play in the first place. I'll often bring up these kinds of questions in my press, as a stalking horse for discovering why people are playing the game.

Naturally, I have my own theories regarding how to categorize people in this respect. In my view, there are four primary motives for playing the game: exploring the game design, winning, socializing/having fun or an attraction to the lying/stabbing feature of the game. The category names that I assign to these motives are Classicist, Romantic, Club Player and Deviate, respectively. I use these categories as a general guide in dealing with my fellow players. It doesn't drive my decision making, but it is an important factor in deciding with whom I should attempt to ally and in trying to predict a player's reaction to various game events.

The Player Personalities

The Classicist

The Classicist plays Diplomacy because he's attracted to the game sytem itself, but especially the tactical, strategy game elements. On some level, he recognizes and buys into the balance of power dynamic inherent in Calhamer's design. He seldom role plays. He is likely to be tactically oriented and to rely on game theory as a supplement to his in-game information and strategies. The typical Classicist often needs to feel he has an ally (or allies) through every phase of the game and will usually feel lost without one. For this reason, the Classicist is often uncomfortable as the noticeably large, single frontrunner, but especially so as the early leader.

Classicists don't mind draws and are the most likely of all player types to accept them as a natural conclusion to a game. The other player types are quick to criticize the Classicists as "draw-mongers" and overly conservative players who don't care about winning. The conservative playing style of a Classicist often elicits accusations of "carebear" play.

The reality is that Classicists play to win like everyone else, but they also play not to lose. Classicists are often unwilling to accept levels of risk that other players are willing to endure to recapture a chance at winning or reduce the size of a draw. A Classicist who does poorly in the early part of the game and falls out of contention most often becomes what I call a "Survivalist" player. He naturally shifts his goal from winning to surviving within a draw at the end of the game. This behavior frustrates players who believe that every player must play to win, regardless of risk, and who's reaction to being in a weak position is usually quite different.

Classicists are the predominant playing style on the Judges and are more likely to say that they prefer playing on the Judges to any other format, including FTF. Classicists typically approve of the current ratings systems because they coincide nicely with a Classicist's formal approach to the game. It also helps that all current ratings systems give a significant degree of reward to draws, as this is consistent with the typical Classicist's theory of the game. When it comes to their theory of the game, the most ardent Classicists tend to exhibit an intolerant puritanitcal streak regarding those who don't play the game by their theoretical standards.

The Romantic

The Romantic cares about winning. Period. To the Romantic, the purpose of playing games is to win them. No more. No less. He is unlikely to recognize any other goal as legitimate, much less important. The Romantic will often view Diplomacy as a game of conquest and is the most likely to take the contest to a personal level. Romantics occasionally role play, but seldom take it very seriously. The adoption of a persona, but without any serious masquerade or dramatic follow-through, is a Romantic tendency.

Romantics disdain draws and conservative play. They're risk takers who don't mind the downside because tomorrow is another game. Risk-taking is often enough successful in Diplomacy that this Romantic habit is reinforced by intermittent reward, especially when the failed risk is deemed an inconsequential event. Romantics are squarely on the "cutthroat" side of that great style debate and are often quick to label play which is conservative as "carebear" play.

Consistent with minimizing the pain of failed risk-taking, the Romantic who finds himself in a losing position often adopts what I call the "Shooting Star" strategy. The Romantic won't be happy for long grinding out a losing position, and the word "draw" is typically anethma to him, so he often seeks to quickly immolate himself in favor of another player. Bereft of the possibility of personal victory, the Romantic takes his satisfaction in trying to use his power to secure the victory of another. This is the "Kingmaker" rationalization for a suicidal strategy leading to the quick death that the Romantic was seeking anyway.

Romantics will almost always tell you that they prefer FTF play. When playing by email they tend to gravitate to to the non-Judge enclaves, but whether they are truly the majority in those enclaves is debatable. [I think that there are probably more Club Players in the enclaves.] There are plenty of Romantics to be found in Judge play and my estimation is that they are as large a percentage of Judge players as Classicists. Romantics vary in their regard for ratings, but they are often quick to criticize the current ratings systems for giving too much weight to draws and not enough to solo victories. Dyed in the wool Romantics have a weakness for assuming that everyone has, or should have, the same predisposition to the game as themselves and can't understand why others even want to play for draws at all. This is a different attitude than the puritanical ardent Classicist in that the ardent Romantic simply can't comprehend why anyone plays a game for any purpose other than winning it.

The Club Player

The Club Player likes to play games for fun, and he craves the social aspect of playing Diplomacy as much as any other reason for playing--here's a game that actually requires that you talk to people! He'll tell you that he is only playing over the 'net as a poor substitute for having the ability to play FTF. He'll also tell you about his date last night, his favorite books, or his pet cat. Personal chit chat is a heads up that your opponent is a Club Player. Club Players also love to role play and often do so with great thoughtfulness. If someone is role playing, and he's good at it, he's probably a Club Player.

The Club Player's style can often be difficult to differentiate from the Romantic as a practical matter. Since he's just playing for fun, he's more inclined to mix it up and take risks. Since it's more fun to win than to lose, the Club Player plays to win, occasionally at great risk (what the Classicist would call unreasonable risk), and is often as indifferent to draws as losses. One of the important distinguishing characteristics of a Club Player, however, is that he is not married to a specific approach to the game. If he draws Italy, he might decide to open against France "just to try something different." He might justify stabbing an ally simply by saying that the game was becoming too boring. In the endgame, if he can't win, he'll decide whether to participate in a draw or play kingmaker based first on which role he perceives best meets his social or entertainment goals. The Club Player can be the least predictable of all opponents.

Another important distinction between Club Players and Romantics is in their reaction to obtaining a losing position. Where the Shooting Star would rather burn out than fade away, the Club Player is willing to hang around and put as much energy into the game as before, provided only that his role be interesting. The Club Player is the most likely of any player type to take on the role of "Janissary" for a winning power or take on other game roles which are less related to his self interest than how much fun they can be for him to perform. In this same vein, Club Players are also most likely to commit acts of pure "carebearism," such as enigneering a draw when a personal victory was absolutely attainable and protecting a player from elimination for sentimental, rather than strategic or tactical, reasons. A Club Player does such things because he regards his socialization goals as paramount even over game results.

Club Players are the most likely to describe the Judge environment as cold and to seek out enclaves and other alternatives to Judge play. On the Judges, Club Players can be found in higher concentrations playing variants than playing standard Diplomacy, but you should expect to find at least one such person in any game of standard Dip that you play. Club Players will most typically tell you that they don't care the least about any issue related to ratings and are indifferent to the records or reputations of other players in the game. Club players are also the most likely to recognize that different people play for different goals and can be flexible and adaptable in this regard, as opposed to the tendency of other player types to intolerance or single-mindedness.

The Deviate

The Deviate lives to lie and stab. He thinks of Diplomacy as a grand game of liar's poker. His attraction to the game is almost entirely grounded in the fun he percieves he's going to have messing with your mind and betraying you. The Deviate believes that the primary tool of the game is falsehood and the best way to win is to lie to each and every opponent each and every turn. Deviates often role play, but typically do so to advance their game strategy, not for personal enjoyment. A good tip-off is to the presence of a Deviate is discovering that someone is role playing, but only to some players in the game, not all. The Deviate treats alliances as merely theoretical constructs and actually has the capacity to be offended by opposing players who successfully carry out an alliance beyond a couple of turns. Deviates are very ego-driven. They tend to view Diplomacy as a contest of wills and mental toughness.

Deviates most often are newbies who are fooled by the game's relatively simple rules into believing that the object of the game must be to "screw your neighbor." They usually don't last long. For those rare few who've genuinely mastered the technique, however, the Deviate is a powerful playing style (perhaps the most powerful). Like the Romantic and the Club Player, the typical Deviate is likely to count only a solo victory as an interesting or worthy effort. Deviates will be very quick to label players who maintain an alliance for any length of time without stabbing as "carebears." The reality, however, is that since the Deviate playing style is highly dependent upon preventing alliance formation, the Deviate's position on "carebear" play is little more than an extension of his in-game strategy.

Despite an obvious preference for solos, a Deviate has the capacity to play for other goals if it suits his requirements in the current game. A true Deviate enjoys testing his particular strategies in weak tactical positions as much as in strong ones. As a practical matter, however, he knows that he isn't likely to last long in a losing position, since his falsehoods have likely made him an unreliable draw partner in the eyes of others. He understands that his strategy is high risk, but properly executed, it sows dissension among all of his opponents and prevents alliance formation against him. It can result in a shocking ratio of solos to games played.

Deviates aren't hard to spot. They spend far more time telling you what others are saying than they do giving you their own thoughts on the game or making proposals to you. Deviates love to forward press and often "edit" those gifts. They care a lot less about whether you trust them than whether they can make you mistrust others. The presence of a Deviate in the group is usually more than obvious.

Deviates love the Judge environment and crave the anonymity it affords. The Judge environment allows the Deviate to reinvent himself in each new game and avoid the reputation effect of his previous efforts. Deviates like ratings systems because they are consistent with the ego-contest vision a Deviate has of the game. Where Classicists and Romantics often like to talk about the why and the how of ratings, the Deviate is exclusively focused on whether his is bigger than yours. The typical Deviate is thoroughly convinced of the superiority of his playing style and this conviction often leads him into the trap of assuming all others are playing the game the same way he is. Unlike the Romantic, the Deviate does recognize that other persons employ different syles for their own reasons. Unlike the Classicist, the Deviate is not intolerant of those other points of view. The Deviate simply believes that all other approaches are inferior and will assume that he can prove that over the board.

Using the Playing Styles to Predict Play

Like those ubiquitous personality profile tests, the above descriptions depict tendencies, not absolutes. It's possible for someone to show strong attributes of both a Classicist and a Club Player, for example, or a Classicist and Deviate. In fact, all of the tendencies are likely to be mixed into an opponent's style in some degree. Nevertheless, my experience is that most players exhibit strong tendencies in a certain direction and those tendencies can tell you a lot about the likely future direction of the game. That's because the different player types have reactions to game events and to each other that fall into patterns.

The Classicist Playing Pattern

The Classicist pattern is to presume that a successful game is dependent upon forging alliances. He spends his early game trying to nail down a neighbor to an alliance commitment and then playing to the success of that alliance. Classicists strongly prefer other Classicists as allies and when two Classicists are neighbors whose alliance is naturally powerful (England and France for example) the two can make a formidable pair. The early success that naturally follows on such a pairing can quickly strengthen ties and feed a long-term alliance mentality. In very short order, the sole issue in such a game becomes how the other five players choose to deal with the dominant alliance, which they bleatedly discover is extremely difficult to break apart.

In my view, this is the root cause of complaints by non-Classicists that the Judges are dominated by "draw-mongers" and boring play. It only takes two Classicists to dominate the flow of a game in this fashion, which is why I earlier remarked that the Classicist is the dominent playing style on the Judges. I don't think that they are the numerical majority, but it only takes two of them as neighbors to make a strong impact on a game.

Classicists are typically not nearly so successful when they are not able to pair up with another Classicist. Their strictly rational playing style clashes strongly with the Romantic and is usually compatible with the Deviate only in the short term. The Club Player and the Classicist can often forge good medium term alliances, but sooner or later, the Club Player's devil-may-care attitude is going to cause a rift with the Classicist that undoes any long-term relationship. The strongest Classicist is one who can display enough tactics and tendencies of other playing styles (but especially Deviate tactics) to advance through shifting alliance structures and who has outgrown the need for having a long term alliance as the only path to success.

The Classicist who does not prosper in a game is likely to react to this failure by adoption of the "Survivalist" playing style, which is the "squat in the corner" behavior that drives the other player stylists to distraction. The Classicist who gets stabbed is less likely to react with vengence and more likely to react by seeking a more personally survivable position, often without regard to how his behavior affects the winning prospects of the other remaining players. Thus, the Classicist is often as personally unpopular in adversity as in prosperity. Nobody ever said surviving as a small power was easy, though.

The Romantic Playing Pattern

The Romantic playing pattern is most likely to involve playing for conquest. If the Classicist is the "draw-monger" then the Romantic is the "war-monger". The Romantic typically approaches early game alliances in terms of offering one neighbor the opportunity to gang up on and destroy another neighbor. Romantics tend to focus more on maximizing personal growth, regardless of what alliances nominally exist at the moment, and eliminating rival powers (usually in that order). Since the contest is between rival armies (in the Romantic view), then success is measured by growing the size of your own military and reducing your opponents' to ashes.

In the early game (and even in the not so early game), the Romantic seeks alliances as eagerly as the Classicist, and for essentially the same reason. Both players know that strong alliances represent an advantage over non-allied players. The difference between the two is that the Romantic is much more inclined to think of his ally as a rival power throughout the term of the alliance. Whereas the Classicist is encouraged to continue an alliance by it's success, the Romantic is encouraged by success to stab his ally, lest that ally become too powerful a rival. Romantics tend to prefer Club Players or Classicists for allies, and after that, fellow Romantics and Deviates in that order. These preferences are based on the Romantic's impression that Classicists and Club Players are more easily duped into leaving themselves open for a stab within the context of an alliance. This is a failing that Romantics and Deviates rarely indulge, so they're less preferable as allies for the Romantic.

The Romantic loves the one center grab ("if you don't protect it, it doesn't belong to you"), the pre-emptive stab ("you were getting too big") and the stab of frustration ("we were getting bogged down and I hate going two years without growing"). The player allied with the Romantic in the beginning of a game can bet the farm that, if the alliance is successful, he'll become the Romantic's second target. When calculating stabs, the Romantic gives minimum value to positional considerations and maximum value to doing damage to potential power rivals. The Romantic has a strong preference for eliminating weak powers and ganging up on the middling powers in the middle game, as he always has a strong focus on reducing the number of players at the board. By the time he gets to 10 SCs (if he's been successful) he has generally dispensed with anything other than one-turn alliances. In the Romantic's view, long term alliances and failing to eliminate players when the opportunity occurs are "carebear" play.

Win or lose, the Romantic is consistent in his view that the game is a power struggle. A Romantic who is losing will very often try to flame out as a Shooting Star, seeking to throw his centers to the most "deserving" of his rivals. If it's late in the game, a Romantic who is a minor or waning power often thinks it is not merely his right, but his obligation, to attempt to throw the game to someone. Since the Romantic view is that vitory is best, then even the victory of another is to be preferred to a personal share of a draw. This is a strategy which other player stylists often find as incomprehensible and deeply frustrating as the Romantic is confused and frustrated by anyone who admits to an in-game goal other than winning.

The Club Player Playing Pattern

The defining pattern of a Club Player is that he has no defining pattern. This should not be taken as meaning that the Club Player is either a weak player or has no goals. To the contrary, a Club Player often enters the game with very specific goals, usually along the lines of trying something new to enhance his enjoyment of the game. Sentences that begin with "I put power X at the top of my preference list because I've always wanted to try . . ." are usually written by Club Players. Further, though a Club Player is less likely to excel at tactics (but I've encountered Club Players who's main strength was tactics, so overapply this generalization at your peril), his play is also more inclined to be unpredictable and unpredictability is an extremely valuable asset in Diplomacy.

Club Players will get along with almost everyone, ally with most anyone and try most anything, provided that the pitch is oriented towards their goal of having fun. The exception to this rule is when the Club Player encounters the Deviate. The Deviate's playing style can rarely be reconciled with the Club Player's social goals. Club Players are the most likely to take the lying and stabbing parts of Diplomacy personally and the Deviate will, almost invariably, very quickly alienate the Club Player by word and deed. A true Classicist can also potentially alienate the Club Player if he doesn't moderate his techno-wonk approach to the game with some friendly social dialog, respond to role play or otherwise create a pleasant atmosphere for the relationship.

A Club Player who is tactically sound and a skilled diplomat can often have an effect on a game that is remarkably similar to the effect of a skilled Deviate. By presenting a highly social demeanor, the Club Player seems trustworthy and can collect more information from other players by his social style than should seem rightly possible amongst suspicious Dippers. At the same time, the other players tend to view the Club Player as a reliable source of information. The end result of disseminating truths can be the same as disseminating lies, i.e. alliance formation is frustrated by the broadcasting of individual goals through the information hub of the Club Player. The Club Player who is a skilled tactician can take advantage of the resulting tentativeness and confusion of his opponents to clean house. I've seen these "nice guys" grow their SC counts into double figures before the remaining players began to identify him as a rival or a risk.

A Club Player who finds himself in a poor position is more likely than any other player type to be creative in death. He's also more likely than a Romantic or a Deviate to be group minded and respond to the Classicist's call to participate in a stalemate effort. At all times, however, the Club Player is responsive first on a personal level. The Club Player is most likely to set aside self interest and to become the willing Janissary of the largest power simply based upon the fact that that person made the game most interesting for him and he wishes to reward that person with a victory. The flip side of this coin is that the Club Player in a strong position is most likely to respond to an appeal to commit an act that would be viewed by any other player as "carebearism". The sentimental streak of the Club Player can prevail over tactical arguments, strategic considerations and even ultimate game goals.

The Deviate Playing Pattern

To borrow a phrase: there are liars, there are damn liars and there are Deviates. Employing lies as a fundamental playing strategy is inherently different from using lies as part of a playing strategy. Everybody lies in Diplomacy; even the Club Players lie. The difference is that the other three player types define their strategy first, then do their best to construct lies that will further that strategy, while the Deviate lies first, then constructs a strategy based on his best assesment of who is believing which lies. The Deviate doesn't lie to further his strategy; his strategy is the lie. The other player stylists typically lie only selectively and, in some cases, only occasionally. Deviates lie constantly, to everyone, about everything.

The point of the Deviate's playing style is the prevention of alliance formation. All other player stylists rely heavily on their alliances in the early game and most rely on them to some degree through the middle game as well, so the Deviate seeks to create a game sociology within which alliance formation seems impossible. He is sowing mistrust. He wants to leave the six other players in a state of great doubt regarding their prospects for cooperation among their neighbors. The only person the Deviate wants you to trust is himself and he only wants you to do that long enough to show him your back.

The Deviate seeks his expansion on a turn by turn basis through a constant series of shifting alliance structures or, ideally, no alliance structures. He is master of the effective one center stab, because his lies can create conditions of conflict and mistrust across the game board that make effective retaliation against such "petty" stabs impossible. An effective Deviate creates a game where he is the wolf in the fold and the sheep are all too busy bleating at each other to protect themselves from him. For this reason, Deviates tend to prefer to keep weak powers in the game (to enhance confusion) and aren't afraid to take on the other big powers early (to eliminate competition). Deviates are most deadly when they have enough of a Classicist streak to have become interested in tactics and have a highly evolved sense of the tactical game. Skilled Deviates accumulate a lot of solos because the mistrust that they cultivated persist through to the last phase of the game, interfering with the formation of "stop the leader" alliances.

It almost goes without saying that a Deviate has no particular preference for alliances with other player types, because a Deviate prefers not to have alliances beyond the extrememely temporary. To a Deviate, a "carebear" is anyone who maintains an alliance for more than two turns. On the other hand, when a Deviate falls into a poor position, he naturally gravitates to the Classicists, as they are the most receptive to the alliance he will require at that point to meet his personal goal of survival.

An Once of Prevention, Taken With a Grain of Salt

I've described the player styles in strict and absolute terms to now. Reality, of course, is more slippery to deal with. Most players tend not to be the caricatures that I describe above, but to exhibit characteristics of more than one player type, since more than one reason drives them to play the game. Were I to describe myself, for example, I would say that I was a Classicist at my core, but with a very broad streak of Club Player in me and more than a little of the Deviate. In actual play, I tend to be in Classicist mode at most times, but I'm also pretty social and it's not hard to appeal to my Club Player nature if you try to reach me on that level. I have had my greatest success when self-consciously ramping up my Deviate capacities, while supressing my Club Player tendencies and keeping my Classicist sensibilities.

The predictive ability of this mode of analysis is more in the way of describing tendencies. As I said in the introduction to this article, I try to pin down people's playing styles before the opening moves. My theory in the year 1901 is to play the person, not the power. Classicist that I am at my core, I'm looking for an ally and my ideal choices are a fellow Classicist or a Club Player. If I find an ideal candidate in the vicinity, I'll cultivate an alliance with him, even if the "book" says that alliance is inadvisable.

Example: In a recent game, I drew Turkey. My analysis of Russia was that he was a pure Deviate and my analysis of Austria was that he was primarily a Romantic. As a consequence, neither appealed to me as an ally. Italy, however, came across strongly as a Club Player--and one with a solid streak of Classicism. Consequently, I worked very hard to cultivate an alliance with Italy, even though an I-T alliance is not exactly playing "by the book". I used both Club Player pitches ("think outside the box," "it'll be fun, because it's different") and Classicist pitches ("it's a tactically powerful alliance with no more risk of stab than any other") to woo the Italian. Only the Italian can say for sure why, but he bought into the I-T and we had a functioning alliance through 1904; long enough to sweep Austria and Russia off the map. That indirectly points to another aspect of style predictability that I was counting on in that situation. The Romantic Austria and the Deviate Russia never allied or cooperated in their mutual defense, just as I had assumed from my pre-game analysis of their playing styles. A well coordinated I-T attack quickly overcame the uncoordinated individual defensive efforts of the incompatible players of the A-R powers.

The above example illustrates that analyzing playing styles can help you both decide who will make a good ally and who among your fellow players will likely make poor allies, not just for you, but for each other as well. The uses to which this kind of data can be put are limited only by your imagination.

Another important pre-game activity for me is in determining who my most dangerous adversaries in the game are. In my experience, the most dangerous single player type is the player who is equal parts Deviate and Classicist, though I take extra care whenever I find anyone of strong Deviate tendencies in the group. If the Deviate appears to be a strong player, I'll spend a lot of extra effort diplomatically isolating him from our fellow players and trying to ensure that his pattern of lies comes back to haunt him. After that, the most dangerous thing to find in a game is two Classicists who are neighbors. If you don't put extra effort into breaking up such relationships early, they can become love affairs that give everyone else in the game a headache. That's when your own Deviate skills must be employed--to ensure that there is always too much distrust between those two to ally. Romantics can be difficult and dangerous neighbors, but having them on the other side of the board can be a blessing. Having two Romantics for neighbors can be a blessing in disguise, as they can often be played off of each other while the player in between shifts sides.

I make all of my plans assuming that those players whom I have identified as Deviates and Romantics will be stabbing early and often. I do my own stabbing in accordance with an analysis of many factors, but one is always the playing style of the stabbee. A Romantic will seek to avenge himself--can I pay that price? A Classicist will seek shelter--will that help or hinder me? More flexible players can be appealed to according to their nature--an offer of entertainment for the Club Player; an appeal to the Machiavellian side of the Deviate. Romantics who are inclined to flame out against others, I let roam. If they appear to blame me for their ruin, I seek to eliminate them. I've seen many players despair that they're affraid to stab so-and-so because they don't know how the player will respond. One never knows, but intelligent guesses are certainly within the realm of possibility. With a firm grasp of what the stabbee values in mind, one can even conduct fruitful post-stab Diplomacy with one's stab victims.

With respect to press, I seek to fine-tune my approach by reference to the player type that I percieve my fellow player to be. By way of example, I always respond to personal chatter and am amazed at the players who steadfastly ignore my personal chatter in their own press. It's one thing not to value it for yourself, but it's quite another to ignore the value it holds for others. Since players of certain types can often be motivated to (what are in my view) sub-optimal strategic or tactical maneuvers, I try not to miss opportunities to plant the ideas for such maneuvers in their heads. Arguments should strive to appeal to the nature of the player you are seeking to sway. These are often very different from the kinds of arguments you yourself would consider convincing.

The End of the Beginning

Psychology is no small part of Diplomacy. Knowing what people want is no small part of psychology. Knowing why your fellow Dippers Dip is no small factor in your own success. This article is not intended as the final word, but the beginning of thought. I've shared with you my perceptions of player's motives and how to spot them. It's my experience that these motives can predict patterns of play. As to the uses to which such observations and predictions may be put, I've barely touched the tip of the iceberg. You'll never know what uses you can put these kinds of observations to until you start making them in your own games and thinking about how to make meaningful use of them within that context.

Paul Windsor


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