Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 22 shownotes – The new Dip variant Renaissance

Newstead Brewery, BrisbaneVenue: Newstead Brewery, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner – Newstead “Out and a Bout” Pale Ale from Queensland
Amby – NBCo cabernet sauvignon from Victoria

A new Diplomacy variant Renaissance dawns! The guys talk about all the new variants coming down the pipeline at vDip, “Balkans 1860”, wrap up the recent massive Bourse game and talk Online Dip Pet Peeves about metagaming.

The new Dip variant Renaissance!

  • Big news at vDip with variant development ramping up.  The guys declare a new Renaissance while Kaner reflects on many vDip players probably never on the site when it was pumping variants out every week or two (3 mins)
  • Oli is updating the code base at vDip and is in contact with nopunin10did about bringing the 1900 variant across. Kaner then goes on to say that following the Balkans variant release, the Napoleonic variant is next to come to vDip. How fucking awesome! (4 mins)
  • Amby gives his take on a slight tweak to the Napoleonic variant at the greatest extent of Napoleon’s reach. Amby reflects it would be very unbalanced but would be historically correct. The guys then go on to discuss whether you could do it as a 1 v 1 game with France vs the Sixth Coalition. Kaner then goes on to discuss how much even better the map would be if it included Egypt and northern Africa. Amby then gives Kaner a history lesson on why Napoleon invaded Egypt. Kaner then educates Amby about the Mamluks… don’t worry they get back to Diplomacy eventually! (7 mins)
  • Then its onto more variants coming down the pipeline! Kaner delves into Flame’s Lab at Diplomail about the variant Classic Home Retreats. This is a really clever sounding variant. If dislodged you can only retreat backwards, not forwards.  (12 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner attempts to break news on two variants which Amby quickly puts in him in his place on the Classic Calhamer Prototype/Realpolitik and a tweak to Pirates (15 mins 15 secs)
  • After a quick battery change Kaner goes on to quickly touch on the Troy variant… but doesn’t know much about it. He mentions quickly a Westeros variant at Diplomail’s Lab, but flags Oli in the past has shied away from any variants that could be seen as breaching intellectual property ownership. Kaner then goes on to explain how code snippets developed and tested at the Diplomail Lab can then be ported across to vDip (20 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner also discusses how people can create their own Lab’s to develop and test variants before porting them across to other sites like vDip (22 mins)
  • The guys then discuss even more variants in development, starting with Michael B’s “World at War” variant set in WW2. Check out the draft map at Imgur (24 mins 45 secs)
  • They then go on to talk about Technostar’s “Divided States” variant, a 50 player game where everyone is an American state after the US has fallen apart. It is a truly mind blowing map. Amby discusses how Canada and Mexico have also collapsed in this variant, but with neutral standing armies to prevent states bordering these countries growing too quickly. The variant comes with unit transform options to allow players to better move around, in addition to sea lanes (27 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys move on a little, with Amby discussing his tournament progress, while Kaner advises he’s pulling out of the Known World tournament (34 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby’s brain starts arguing with itself (36 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner then goes on to talk about games he’s since signed up for (37 mins)
  • Then its back again to yet another variant in development, a 4 player game called the “Corsican Revolution” by Vauban (38 mins)
  • And before we know it, a revised Sengoku variant is on the books from Benjamin Hester. Amby thinks this is great, plus it’ll make it so much easier for his “Ninjas vs Samurai” variant (40 mins)

Balkans 1860

  • This brand new variant by Benjamin Hester (he’s also done the original Sengoku and Dark Ages), is a 7 player game set in the Balkan region of Europe. Amby tries remembering his Balkan history after a question from Kaner. Both of the guys have signed up for games of Balkans with Kaner in a gunboat game and Amby in a normal full press game (42 mins 45 secs)
  • In approaching a brand new map, the guys talk about their early strategy approaching this variant (45 mins)
  • Kaner and Amby disagree with each other on the nature of corner players on this new map (46 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys pick on Captainmeme before grabbing another drink (50 mins 45 secs)

Amby’s proposed variant: The Crisis of the Third Century

  • Amby kicks things off with a flashback to his earlier idea about a Roman Empire based on the Tetrachy (in the 300’s), but reflects in retrospect that it probably wouldn’t allow for good conflict between players on the far west and far east (51 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby gives a shout out to the podcast “The History of Rome” where he got the idea about instead looking at the mid 200’s, where for 50 years there was a period of great instability with generals declaring themselves emperor (around Britain, Germany, the Danube and Syria), the Senate anointing emperors, the Praetorian guard controlling emperor appointments at various stages, barbarians attacking from beyond Rhine, beyond the Danube and the Picts and also the Sassanid Persians attacking too (53 mins 30 secs)
  • Clearing things up for Kaner, Amby explains how he’s trying to get gameplay balance and history right, with the Senate and the Emperor/Praetorian guard having units dispersed the empire. Kaner gives his take (again) on how he’d like to do it (1 hr)
  • Amby then goes on to describe the non-playing player for the variant: the Plague of Cyprian, which wipes out a random territory each game turn (1 hr 5 mins 30 secs)

Roman Empire variant idea - player placement


The Bourse is over!

Furnice of Affliction WWIV game

  • The guys are in the same WWIV game and discuss how its going for them, including the “invading assholes” all around Kaner (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner tries provoking Amby on his gameplay. After a while Amby goes on to discuss how he changed his strategy for this game compared to his normal gameplay… not attacking anyone (1 hr 21 mins)
  • Amby discusses how he decided to stab Kongo, which really didn’t work out (1 hr 28 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about his safe refuge plan (1 hr 32 mins)

Online Dip Pet Peeves: Metagaming

  • Last episode we discussed NMRing and posted across vDip, webDip and playDip about players’ pet peeves (1 hr 35 mins)
  • Amby forgot about getting the admins views on the issue, so we’re not getting their take. But its ok as we don’t really need their input on this one: Metagaming.  We touched on this in Episode 16. Kaner gives a quick run through for listeners about metagaming (1 hr 35 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about ways to try to reduce the risk of metagaming before Kaner talks about his blocked player list (1 hr 41 mins)
  • Thanks to Benjamin Hester, GhostEcho and Warsmith for suggesting this topic and for their comments (1 hr 44 mins)

Other stuff

  • Amby flags how they received an email – but lost it – suggesting they cover off some of the Diplomacy aps on the internet (1 hr 45 mins)
  • Kaner does a shout out about getting different points of view on the podcast for folks interested in being interviewed on the show (1 hr 48 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby thanks AWanderingMoose for their first iTunes review and rating. Don’t forget if you’re enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out (1 hr 50 mins 30 secs)

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.

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