Way back in the “Year of the Floppies”, Woody said “Since collusion cannot be prevented, it will henceforth be required” and thus the alliance system we all know and love was revealed to the world.
Personally, I think the brilliant thing about this game is it can be played either way.
If you want to do 4 v 0 you can do that, though you risk the scorn of some other teams at this point. It is also a VERY trusting thing to do. You are basically placing your team’s fate in the hands of three other teams and trusting them not to mess things up, accidentally or otherwise. (One would hope that any such problems are the result of an accident and not a deliberate falsehood, but people are people)
If you want to play 2 v 2, you can do that too. Though you will come out with lower QPs in the end, it is unlikely you will be “betrayed”.
There are pluses and minuses to each approach, each team must figure out which approach works best for them. On the one hand, you have trusting co-operation which is highly rewarded. But your trust may be betrayed. On the other you have dog-eat-dog competition and may the best stack destroyer win. Because that is what the game came down to here in LA. More so, I think than the other two competitions I went to, which both had open “collusion” because they were before this whole thing “blew up”.
The whole question is just one more decision in a long series of judgements your team must make. Engineering is the science of applied judgement, get used to it. As a mechanical, there are times I make design decisions by looking at a chart generated by some professional organization and determining the appropriate number. I trust it because I trust the organization not to lie to me and because “it works”. Often times there is no way to analyze the problem without the numbers from the chart. They are there because they work, not necessarily because anybody knows why they work.
Personally, I have been on both sides of this issue at various times. I am still not sure which is the “right way”, because I keep having new thoughts about it. Therefore, while I won’t make any agreements, I won’t condemn those that do.
I just thought of this today, do people who “live together” condemn those who marry? Which requires more trust? Should we scorn or condemn those who have chosen a more trusting way?
Of course there are some teams that are more trustworthy than others. Some I would consider such an agreement with because I know them to be honorable, based on their past behaviour. Others I would definitely not, again based on past behaviour, and the vast majority I don’t know enough about.
I guess which game you play depends on your model for the game. Are we businesses competing for survival? (destroy those stacks) opportunists looking for the best chance? (do what’s best at the moment) or are we a family seeking the best for each member? (build those stacks) Your choice determines how you play the game.
Which do you choose?