Review of Micropose PC Diplomacy

By Anon 6/12/99

As I bought the computer game a couple weeks ago, I can attest that the developers did give move routines for the first year for every country. The problem is that they do these moves with little or no flexibility. Indeed, I've played about 13 games, and I think I've seen these moves in every one. 

In case you're wondering, they are 

Spring 1901

Austria: A Vie-Tri, A Bud-Ser, F Tri-Alb

England: A Lpl-Edi, F Edi-Nwg, F Lon-Nth

France: A Mar S A Par-Bur, F Bre-Mat

Germany: F Kie-Den, A Ber-Kie, A Mun-Ruhr

Italy: A Ven H (or something equally pointless), A Rom-Apu, F Nap-Ion

Russia: A War H, A Mos-Ukr, F Sev-Bla, F StP-GoB

Turkey: A Con-Bul, A Smy-Con, F Ank-Bla 

Fall 1901

Austria: F Alb-Gre with support, A Tri-Ven (I think)

England: A Edi does something pointless, F Nwg-Nwy, F Nth-Nwy (yes, the computer bounces ITSELF in Norway)

France: A Bur-Bel, F MAt-Por, A Mar-Spa

Germany: F Den H, A Kie-Hol, A Ruhr-Bel

Italy: A Ven-Tri, A Apu-Ion-Tun, F Nap C A Apu-Tun

Russia: A War H, A Ukr-Rum, F Sev-Bla, F GoB-Swe

Turkey: F Ank-Bla, A Bul H, A Con H 

I'm not sure about some of these, but I'm pretty sure they're about right. Some of these are stupid, such as England's F01 moves, which I can only think is a programming problem. But a few of them, such as France's, make perfect sense, and are in fact exactly how I would play France in 1901, although maybe I wouldn't do A Bur-Bel in the Fall. 

However, the designers didn't give the countries much flexibility when it came to these moves, and so it's easy to take advantage of it. As Russia, for example, I once did A War-Gal-Vie in 1901 on my way to a solo victory in 1906. (Hard damn work, but somone's got to do it.) Austria didn't think to order A Tri to either Vie or Bud in the Fall. 

Unfortunately, 1901 is the high point for the AI, as after that the countries devolve to some retarded sniping and little alliance play. Sometimes, there will be a supported action that might take one by surprise, but in all the games I've played solo, I have never had a piece dislodged. Scary. 

Anyway, so can a better AI be done? I think so. Will it ever make me quake in my Nike basketball shoes? No.


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