EuroDipCon III/MasterCon II

by Shaun Derrick 

For those of you who didn't know, this took place in Cirencester over the last weekend in February. The convention was successful in terms of quality of players, particularly in the Diplomacy tournament. I would have liked a few more Diplomacy players, though in the end this did not detract from the competition. Each game was very hard-fought, the toughest tournament ever, perhaps. The previous two EuroDipCons had a number of no-hopers whereas this one had a class field throughout!

There was generous support for the convention from the non-Dip players which was pleasing considering it was essentially a Diplomacy event. At least Sunday provided the non-Dip element with a few extra opponents as there was a limit on places for the Diplomacy Final that day. 

From comments made to me there were very few complaints, the car parking was a problem and some of the hotel rooms were a little dingy, but to counter that the 'banquet' meal on Friday night was excellent value, though I had hope that the hotel would put us all together instead of scattering us throughout the restaurant. 

Of the incidental tournaments there was an 18xx trophy won by DAVID SMITH ahead of Geoff Hardingham and Steve Jones. The Skittles tournament was won by DUNCAN ADAMS only after I had won the first game, but decided I was not allowed to win my own award. Last years 10-pin Bowling winner, Bob Kendrick was out of form this year. The Intimate Diplomacy attracted 13 players - the biggest ID tournament at a convention! This was won by STEVE JONES in the final against Nick Kinzett who, incidentally, ran the tournament for me. Thanks for the help, Nick! 

We seemed a million miles from WorldDipCon! There was no fixing of games and very few queries, the only two incidents of note were regarding the rule of having to write the country of the piece you are supporting or convoying. One was crucial as it meant an 18 centre win was achieved through none of the players being aware of the rule or ignoring it, until an observer queried the order that would have supported a unit preventing capture by, In this case, Italy. I had to rule the order illegal even though the whole game had been played without using this rule. The player that lost out was a Frenchman, Sebastian Scherr, for which I was expecting taunts of anti-French behaviour, although Sebastian was not happy with the decision at the time he later said that he understood my ruling and accepted it. 

The actual Diplomacy rules do not state clearly whether one should name -the country or not. I do think that the Implication is very clearly that you should, but it does go against the rule that an order should stand so long as their Is no ambiguity; players quite rightly opined that there can be no ambiguity just because you don't state the country being supported/convoyed. I will reconsider this rule for MasterCon III. 

I will be publishing the full results booklet shortly, and will be with all who attended MasterCon II by the end of March - barring any unforeseen circumstances. 

The top 7 Diplomacy players were:

1st Inge Kjol (Norway)   Best Italy - outright win
2nd Simon Bouton (UK)   Best England
3rd Johannes Nesser (Sweden)   Best Germany
4th Xavier Blanchot (France)   Best Austria
5th Borger Borgersen (Norway)
6th Bjorn von Knorring (Sweden)
7th Richard Williams (UK)

Other best country awards went to:

Francois Sommaire (France) Best France
James Hardy (UK) Best Russia
Sigurd Fskeland (Norway) Best Turkey

It was particularly pleasing to see four of the five different nations taking part took the top 4 positions. I just hope that the experience of this EDC has convinced people that the nations of Europe, particularly the British and French can play together In a fair manner. 

The European Diplomacy Association meeting took place on the Saturday night. My motion to dissolve the association was not supported by any of the dozen or so In attendance. I did state that as the EDA is bound to exist then I want to be part of It. To keep It brief the main Issues discussed were the site for EDCIV. Norway was the only bid and was duly accepted by all In attendance. It will take place at the end of June 1996. Xavier Blanchot also put forward a preliminary bid for Belgium In 1997. The Belgian hobby is quite large considering the size of the country, but of course, there is a lot of French Influence and help when organising conventions. The ethics of Diplomacy was high on the agenda, but no firm decisions were made on how to combat this scourge. There were various Ideas put forward but a hope that this will sort itself out without the need for drastic measures in each conventions' rules. 

Talking of rules, there was a motion to standardise all rules for the European Diplomacy Championship along with a regular acceptance of English and French notation for order writing. This would need to be reviewed once EDC goes to Germany or Austria for instance. There was an inconclusive discussion on standardising the EDC scoring systems. I voiced my opinion against this as I want to play different systems, that is one of the joys of playing Diplomacy abroad! Of course, if all EDC's were standardised I would still take part, but I think different scoring systems allow us the opportunity to try different styles -maybe most players don't do this, perhaps they just play to win whatever the scoring system? 

The EDA now has a bank account In Paris for which donations would be gratefully received! I said I would give 5 as It was the only way to get the registration fee out of Xavier! He duly handed It over to Francois Rivasseau! ! Francois has sent out a lot of Information, having put a lot of work Into arranging the EDA up to now, it Is obviously a costly business sending out letters to other European countries, so a little financial help Is not too much to ask. 

A data 'cell' Is to be introduced at some stage with names and addresses of Diplomacy players Europe-wide as well as a bank of statistical information to Include all Diplomacy results from any convention or tournament which comply with the minimum requirement for inclusion. This, to me, is a very worthwhile project, as any hobby with a recorded history has more appeal than one that has no recorded details of events. 

I am still at a loss as to why we need an assembly or a "desk". I think that this is something we probably won't need until there are two bids for EDC in the same year, or we have a split decision on an Important matter such as standardisation of rules, perhaps. There was a decision to change the British component - out went Stephen Agar and in came Mark Stretch. ((I wouldn't worry about it Stephen, in fact I'm sure that you are not, but there was French resentment to your comments in SO after WorldDipCon!!)) 

MASTERCON III will probably take place at the same venue. I said that last year about the Forte Crest in Coventry, but unless there is a drastic change in cost I would like to try the Kings Head again. For 1997 I will probably consider another venue. Details to be advised. 

Reprinted from Spring Offensive 32

 

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