Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 24 shownotes – Diplomacy Chats & Boozy Rants

View from Riverland, a bar in BrisbaneVenue: Riverland, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner – Hills Creek Cider from the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Amby – Kurtz Family Vineyard “Seven Sleepers Shiraz” from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

The guys get into some serious Diplomacy chats and boozy rants covering new variants, Dip news on the web, current games (including a special guest!) & mouth off about a range of Dip topics.


  • Riverland BarThe guys introduce Riverland – a bar based around shipping containers – and their excellent view before describing their drinks (0 mins 05 secs)
  • We have received feedback that the last podcast was a bit too quiet. Amby apologies and also mentions that things have been busy for Kaner which has caused a bit of a gap between podcasts (2 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys discuss the new mobile interface at vDip and discuss plans for it to be rolled out on webDip (5 mins)
  • They go onto discuss how vDip players can now also change the look and feel of the site from the old world feel of vDip and the webDip look (8 mins 15 secs)
  • Next up they discuss new and revived variants. Amby describes how we was keen to play Imperium, a variant based on the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire, but it had been taken down due to bugs. And then out of nowhere, Oli fixed it! Kaner describes how the River rule works and how some of the coding changes to Pirates flowed onto Imperium. All players begin with no supply centres and need to grab the available Roman SCs. Amby discusses the challenges of this variant if you were playing gunboat. Amby then rides his historical hobby horse on whether the Eastern Roman Empire should have been included in the variant.  (9 mins 30 secs)
  • On top of this a revised version of Sengoku called Sengoku: Nagashino, created by Benjamin Hester. The variant goes from 8 players to 5, and has a new set of rules around the coastal areas regarding convoying (15 mins 30 secs)
  • Then they discuss how Flame in the Diplomail Lab is developing a 4 player Punic Wars variant based around the central Mediterranean during the classical period. Some folks have commented that the game play is a little similar to Sail Ho II. Amby goes on another pathetic historical bent around the geography of the map. Amby gives another shout out to the History of Rome podcast (21 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how Reddit is show casing WebDip which is a great way of getting more folks aware of the game and playing it online (25 mins)
  • Amby also mentions how Lifehacker had a story about Diplomacy (although it was more board related) (29 mins)
  • Amby also discusses a series of Diplomacy blog posts by Edwin Turnage which are very insightful  (30 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk a bit more about cider and the podcast intro music (33 mins)

Around the Grounds

  • Kaner is just in one game at the moment, a WWIV sea lanes game using rulebook press. Kaner teaches Amby about what rulebook press means. Kaner gives a run down of the players, with a number of newbies around him where he’s playing as Japan (35 mins)
  • Kaner then goes on to discuss his recently finished Known World 901 Tourney game 6 where ended in a draw as Turan. Kaner is frustrated about the stalemate line being broken at the end of the game and discusses a decision made by mouse as Wagadu that he wasn’t happy about. Basically the issue related to throwing a game to better position yourself more broadly in the tournament scores. The guys give their general perspectives on the tournament  (39 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby is in 5 games at the moment. He talks about the anonymous Pirates game he’s in with the rule change for clipper retreats working well with no glitches (52 mins 30 secs)
  • He’s also in Known World games 7 and 8 but is on a slippery slope in both. He admits he NMRed in these games and how it impacts badly on your strategy (55 mins)
  • Amby then reflects on all 5 games he’s in are anonymous, and ponders the advantages and disadvantages of playing anonymously. Kaner discusses how some players can still identify who players are based on the way they play, write and other traits. Kaner accuses Amby of double standards (57 mins 30 secs)
  • Next up is Amby’s recently finished game Napoleonic communication skills where he played as Spain and scored a draw. Amby gives a blow by blow account of the game from his perspective and how a strong Russia (played by LovelyPinkEgg) was prevented from winning a solo with a cessation of hostilities with Britain (played by slypups) and how Mr. Finkelmuiyer was a great ally in Italy (1 hour 2 mins 30 secs)
  • Finally Amby talks about the 1066 game Welcome back Tadar. Tadar Es Darden was the co-creator of 1066 with Amby and dropped off the vDip radar many years ago. Well he’s now back and is playing this game with Amby and one other player: vDip’s very own admin, Oli. This is in fact only the 2nd game Oli has played on the site (the other being when 1066 was launched in 2011) (1 hour 9 mins)
  • Kaner announces that gopher is now a Mod at vDip. The guys discuss having him on for an interview and reflect on the lack of recent interviews (1 hr 14 mins 40 secs)
  • The guys share a couple of jokes (1 hr 20 mins)

Online Diplomacy Pet Peeves

  • We’ve already discussed Kaner’s pet peeve, so Amby talks about in the Pirates game he’s in. A player CD’ed and held no supply centres, but during the build phase a new player bought in, even though it meant guaranteed elimination. They talk about why a player would do this and as a result whether this is a ethical practice. Kaner explains that it may not have the benefit the new player hoped for (1 hr 29 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby talks about the original intent of this segment and how the feedback from players don’t require an admin’s perspective (1 hr 36 mins 30 secs)
  • They next discuss the pet peeve of players getting angry with you when you stab, but get onto the stab wagon issue (1 hr 37 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner whether a Mod could do some analysis around the behavior of new players and their drop out rates. That way if there’s a high drop out rate perhaps they need more education up front about the stabbing nature of the game and what to be prepared for. Kaner suggests perhaps a basic welcome guide. Amby suggests some user centered design, getting feedback from new players about their experience and what they in retrospect would like to have known before playing a game. He goes on to suggest as new players need to provide an email address, perhaps an email auto-responder could send them some info to prepare for games and the community  (1 hr 46 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys discuss their own thoughts on the “sense of joy” of stabbing players before wrapping things up (1 hr 53 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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