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I've never seen the following happen in an informal game, but tournaments appear to be different.

There, a player that is "hopelessly" lost may make a deal with another player to hand over all but one of his supply centers in exchange for being able to survive with one center (e.g. Italy is allowed by Turkey to "strand" an army in Tunis in exchange for handing over his "homeland"). In informal games, Italy would just declare civil disorder and resign/leave.

Most of the props go to a "solo" winner, but apparently some tournaments allow points for people who are still playing (not in civil disorder) when one person reaches "18." Other variations of "survivor" means that Turkey promises not to take Italy's last supply center before a certain date, thereby allowing Italy to finish with a higher standing.

How do the above arrangements work in various tournament formats, exactly?

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Not all tournaments are the same. But they all have some scoring system, which enables the various endstates of a game to be converted to a numerical score for the purposes of tournament standings. Here are some examples of scoring systems.

Most tournament games end in draws, either by agreement or time limit. Points are then scored by the players based on the supply centre distribution. In the event of a solo, under most systems the soloist gets a very large number of points and all other players score zero. Any exceptions to this rule are rare, and mostly occur in historical systems that are not in use any more.

Note that there are very few truly hopelessly lost positions in Diplomacy. The vast majority of those that are involve an elimination or a loss to a solo at the next Fall turn.

P.S. For Italy to go abandon the game and go into civil disorder in your example is rude to the other players. If this is happening in your games, you should find a place to play that has more reliable players (or at a minimum replaces players in civil disorder).

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There are several different scoring systems and it will depend on the tournament.

The best source I can find describing the main scoring systems is webDiplomacy. On webDiplomacy, players ante points to play a game and then get awarded points from that pot based on their outcome, and so players are playing in a tournament-like setting for every game (unless they chose to play an unranked game).

Web diplomacy has three scoring systems, one of which is discontinued. They're described in full here: https://webdiplomacy.net/points.php

Here's the summary:

  • Draw size scoring: if you solo, you get all the points. If you draw, each player gets 1/N of the points, where N is the number of surviving players.

  • Sum of Squares scoring: if you solo, you get all the points. If you draw, each player gets points equal to your_supply_centers ^ 2 / all_owned_supply_centers ^ 2.

  • Points per supply center: [discontinued] you get points equal to your_supply_centers / all_owned_supply_centers regardless of whether a player soloed or it was a draw.

Anecdotally, I believe draw size scoring is the most common (I have a friend who has spent a lot of time playing diplomacy tournaments and insists that draw size scoring is the "true way to play").

Under draw size scoring (or sum of squares scoring), such a deal could make sense. The Italian player is gambling that the game will be a draw and they will get a piece of it, while the Turkish player is gambling that the Italian holdings will generate sufficient momentum for Turkey to solo. But if the game does go to a draw, Turkey would have substantial incentive to backstab Italy and get a larger piece of the draw, making this deal unlikely in practice.

I have heard of tournaments doing score based on what ordinal position a player finished in the game (1st through 7th) with player elimination time being the metric for eliminated players. Under such a scoring system, this deal could make a lot of sense, as it would allow Italy to generate an artificially high finishing position in the game despite being functionally irrelevant. The potential for gaming the scoring in this way is a big reason a diplomacy tournament should avoid using ordinal-based scoring systems.

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