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 Diplomacy board game

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seanand
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PostSubject: Diplomacy board game   Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:07 am

i just started playing this game with a few guys on the irish offsite, its fun and needs some thinking. link to the site well play it on http://www.playdiplomacy.com/ . theres also rules for it on there but you can read a description of it below

To describe the game, I would say it is something akin to a seven player game of chess - with every player taking their turn at the same time. It's not as chaotic as it sounds though, as the players will set their move orders ahead of the turn resolution deadline, making and breaking deals with their opponents in an effort to capture as much of Europe as possible. The mechanics are at their heart fairly simple, but a variety of different rules and situations which can arise during the game can add to the complexity somewhat.

The players take the roles of Britain (or England), France, Austria (or the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Russia, Turkey (or the Ottoman Empire), Italy and Germany. Each power has it's own unique strengths that are apparent in their starting positions and targets available to them - certainly they are not equal. Russia for example starts with four units and supply centres, while the others start with only three of each, but it's size makes it a target for many other players during the development of the game. Contrast to this is Italy, which starts with three units and has limited room to expand, but with careful negotiation and planning, it can become the preeminent power in the mediterrean, with a navy that can threaten many of the other powers. Certainly Italy doesn't win very often, but when it does, it is usually down to the political nous of it's player in making deals with it's neighbours. Winning a game as Italy is certainly the feather in any astute gamers cap.

The map on which the game is played is divided into two types of region - land and sea. Land regions are passable by armies, while their coastlines can be negotiated by navies. Sea regions are only passable by navies, but armies may be convoyed by navies across bodies of water, bring the theatre of war to new shores. A few regions have special rules associated with them - for example spain, bulgaria and st petersburg have two coastlines that are not connected so a navy in st petersburg west coast cannot travel directly to st petersburg north coast, and the barents sea is inaccessable to such a navy. Constantinople and Kiel both possess canals allowing navies to pass through them as if the seas on both sides of the regions were connected. Finally (I think!) Switzerland, Ireland and the Mediterrean islands are impassable.

For anyone interested, a copy of the rules can be found here : http://www.diplom.org/~diparch/resources/rulebooks/2000AH4th.pdf and I would strongly recommend reading up on them and familiarising yourself as much as possible with them, as a smooth running game requires players to understand the rules so as to submit orders that make sense and are possible (no building navies in warsaw for example). It might also be worth your while to take a look at the diplomatic pouch - a website for the game that discusses the various ways to play and strategies for the different powers in the game : http://www.diplom.org/DipPouch/ and http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resources/strategy.htm .

The manner in which it will be played is open for discussion - i would envisage either making use of a site that includes a judge http://gamesbyemail.com/ or http://www.playdiplomacy.com/ or else having an eight person serve as a "judge" with move resolutions being conducted through the forum, probably using a programme like jDip for posting of maps.

The game can run over a period of months - be warned, this isn't something for the faint of heart - with individual moves allowing for a day or two for the players to discuss strategy with each other and plan their moves carefully.

Let me know if anyone is interested in giving it a try.

sean
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