The tournament was 63 people (pretty average), 6
boards on Thursday and 3 boards on Friday.
The introduction games seem to be taking off in the third year of running
it. We had 18 people on Thursday,
28 (the max I allowed!) on Friday, and 11 on Saturday (ugly number) - 57 total!
The intro may be bigger than the tournament soon.
Hopefully people will shift from the intro to the tournament in the
The only other Diplomacy being run this year was John
Armstrong and his Global Diplomacy variant. A bit strange - there's usually a couple other standard,
non-tournament games being run. 12 people fit on the Global board, and it seems
to draw a good crowd every year now. I
haven't played in it yet (sorry, John!), but it comes highly recommended by
those who have.
The new Diplomacy game from Hasbro was on display in
the exhibit hall. The board is high
quality printing and graphic work, but will probably be a bit bright for some
people. I think I'll get used to it
and like it eventually. SC's are labelled with stars in circles like capitols on
many maps. The new set also
includes square country markers to place on the board denoting ownership (a la
Axis & Allies). Probably a good
thing for novices, but I wouldn't use them - plus they're too large to
conveniently place in some of the territories.
The pieces are metal cannons and battleships.
These aren't the best. I'm a
big fan of the old wooden sets, and I think it's difficult to denote supports
and retreats with the new pieces. The
cannons will actually sit on one edge, so that could be used for support, but
the battleships are either standing up or lying on their side.
Obviously, everyone can decide for themselves after the game's release -
I think I heard February.
Since this is the first year since I've started
playing PBEM Dip, I tried to recommend both that format and this newsgroup to
anyone who expressed interest - like "I'd play more if I could get 7 people
together" and such. There was also an Edi Birsan at the con working on a
"Diplomatic Corps" concept - anyone know about this?
Anyway, if anyone is still reading I guess I can
summarize the tournament results. It
was a bad year for the finals. Somewhere
along the line, things crossed over from gaming to being personal:
Russia and Turkey seemed ready to Juggernaut across the board - possibly
as a R/A/T as Turkey circled around Austria.
England, Germany, and Italy took down France.
Austria took it's freebie neutral in the Balkans and turned on an empty
Italian peninsula with the Turk. As
the conquering of Italy was finishing, Austria and Turkey turned on the Russian
and quickly reached 15 centres in their alliance (Tunis, Italy, Munich, Rumania,
and all the other evident SC's). The
remaining powers turned to oppose A/T. There was a personality conflict between
the Russian and Austrian player and neither of A/T seemed to like Russia or
England. The northern alliance
accused Turkey of rolling over for the Austrians.
The southern alliance claimed England, Germany, and Russia were
effectively "all the same colour" and there was no point in
continuing. After some heated
arguments and harsh words from each side, the A/T alliance decided they would
rather throw the game to the Germans than play the game out - stating they had
"better things to do" that finish the finals.
Oh, by the way, this was after fall 1904!
Trying to salvage the game, I encouraged all players to play to win and
just play the game out and see the result.
Austria and Turkey did as threatened and threw the game to Germany while
Germany took any SC's offered (wouldn't you?).
England and the shards of Russia and Italy played out the best they
could, but based on A/T's insistence that they would continue to give Germany
centres, the game was called.
Afterwards, A/T agreed that it was possible England
might stab Germany later, and that it could happen that after that stab either
of the two outer powers (England or Turkey) would become the major power on the
board. Since largest power when the
game is called is the victory condition to get your name on the plaque listing
every year's "winner" and lets you take a smaller plaque home, you
would think they may have wanted to play the game out, but as previously
mentioned, personalities overruled reason in this situation. So it is with much
regret that I report these poor results.
I'm strongly considering changing the final to a DIAS-type
situation. I could still put the
names of the remaining powers on the plaque, and the smaller plaque to take was
ending as a prize anyway (too expensive under the new convention management).
Then, the fewer powers on the board, the larger the type-font your name
is in on it. Anyone with other
suggestions for the tournament is encouraged to reply to me.
A Rannestad Convention type of document for the final board would
probably be a good addition, too. One
year out of fourteen isn't horrible for this type of conclusion, but it still