Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 2 shownotes – Fog of War, Mods & new development talk

Hipster beard and mustache central at the Gresham HotelVenue: The Gresham Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner – Four Pines Stout from Four Pines Brewing, Australia (although Kaner did call it “Ten Pints” in the podcast)
  • Amby – Massolino Barbera d’Alba from Piedmont, Italy and The Gresham Shiraz from Western Australia

Apologies up front on how the ambiance gets louder and louder as more people arrive in the pub! If this pisses you off too much a) go have a drink or two yourself or b) let us know to go somewhere quieter!

How do Moderators (Mods) work?

Both Kaner and Amby have been Mods in the past for vDip, they discuss their prior experience and how it varies between vDip and webDip:

  • vDiplomacy – link is in the top right. You can only see posts you have raised with the Mods
  • It’s the place to bring up concerns about multi-accounting with fake accounts or suspected meta-gaming. Amby discusses how he suspected this occurred in a game and how he raised this with the Mods
  • Kaner discusses contacting the Mods where there are technical problems, where a player feels another player has crossed the line with their language
  • The guys also digress blocking players, and why you’d do this – if they were obnoxious, or a player seems to CD too often, doesn’t communicate well. You can block players by going into their profile page and clicking the smiley face, turning it into an unhappy face (the same functionality doesn’t exist in webDip, only vDip)
  • webDiplomacy – you contact the Mods differently.  Go to Help and then email the mods. With a larger number of members on webDip, the moderators there tend to respond faster
  • Kaner talks about how webDip is starting to add new variants before Amby shoots him down. webDiplomacy focuses far more on Classic games with around 80-90% of all games played on the server being the standard classic game.

Variant focus – Fog of War

We then turn our attention to the Fog of War variant on vDiplomacy:

  • In this variant you can only see the territories immediately adjacent to your supply centres and your units. Here’s an example of how things would look as a game evolves as Turkey:

  • This variant was created by Oli, site owner of vDiplomacy, thanks to him for bringing this awesome variant to life.
  • As you can’t see where all the other players are, and what they’re doing (only the ones immediately around you) it presents a significant challenge.
  • This can be complicated further with a Gunboat game (no-press). Kaner talks about the subtle ways you can still send out subtle messages about working together and highlights the importance of checking the large map rather the standard small map. The supports don’t render 100% correctly on the small map, but they do on the large map.
  • The guys also talk about how in standard press games how you can lie and manipulate players with information – right or wrong – about areas of the map others can’t see.
  • Kaner talks about two recent Fog-of-War games he’s recently played in – Cold Blooded Fog and Pompey . Kaner talks about how his loss as Germany was more a result of absolutely terrible game play rather than the map’s fog-of-war element. But as Russia he had greater success getting a draw despite challenges of:
    • subtle overtures to Germany being ignored (no checking of the large map again!)
    • “partnering” with Turkey by sacrificing his southern front… whilst Turkey ignored this and kept eating him up
    • efforts to make this message stronger by attacking Italy… only for Turkey to keep ignoring it!
    • eventually getting French support with a Barents fleet support of St Petersburg to create a stalemate line, forcing Turkey to draw despite only being one supply centre short of a win – and Kaner only having 4 SC’s himself
  • In addition to playing Fog of War in classic, we talk about how it can also be played in the variants 1066 and Rat Wars (and why the technology behind coding Fog maps tends to limit the number of variants that use it)

New development server talk

Finally we talk about variant development and news from CaptainMeme (vDip mod and regular on webDip) that while the vDip Lab is pretty much dead, a new test server for development is being slowly created in the background. This is some really cool news that could see new variants created again that won’t crash vDip. The guys talk about how this could impact on new variants, including suggestions on webDip on air support, Classic with neutral armies, Kaner’s Mongolian variant and Amby’s ideas on making a massive Cold War variant.

In conclusion we tempt you again about having some of the main players from the webDiplomacy 2012 championship game being in episode 3.

If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you’d like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin’ intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.



1 thought on “Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 2 shownotes – Fog of War, Mods & new development talk”

  1. I really like the hotel bar crowd in the background in the second podcast, it adds a lot of life. Second, lolly water my ass — that is a stellar choice Amby! It’s hard to go wrong with the Barbera d’Alba or Piemontese wines in general. Barolo, particularly, is one of my favorites varietals. You just have to be sure to age it properly and let it breathe a good three hours before you start drinking it. Breathing just adds so much complexity (if you’re not a big wine connoisseur and aware of this already, be sure to take a taste before and after breathing and you’ll see what I mean). I was lucky enough to visit one of the most pristine vineyards in the world there (Cannubi, and Pira & Figli specifically) in Barolo on a trip to Italy and France last year. We did a small group tasting of aged barolos with a few Brits, a Brazilian couple, and my mother and I and it was a blast. But I digress…

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