Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 7 shownotes – 1066, big webDip news & many tangents

Super WhatnotVenue: Super Whatnot, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner – Mysterio IPA from Sydney, Australia
  • Amby – Mr Mick Cabernet Merlot from Clare Valley, South Australia

The guys go down many Diplomacy rabbit holes and tangents. Our main focus was the 1066 variant but we also discuss current games for Bourse, the Known World tournament, Kaner’s WWIV game, new webDip variants, an update on the vDip development server and ideas for a new variant based on the American presidential election. Enjoy!

Bourse update

  • Amby and Kaner give an update on how the Bourse game is going and the strategies being adopted by various players (2 mins)
  • Amby discusses the most recent turn went and how he’s a simple man when it comes to communicating about currency names (4 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner and Amby talk about perceptions of who’s “in” when it comes to speculation on currency buys (6 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys talk about the spreadsheet and graph the players are using to help inform their decisions. Amby describes how he applies a lens over the spreadsheet to determine value but also long term strategic value (8 mins 20 secs)

Known World 901 tournament update

  • Amby is in both of the games, while Kaner has been eliminated in one (11 mins 20 secs)

Massive webDip news!

  • Zultar has announced on the webDip forum that the site will be getting some “new” variants: Known World 901 and two 1 vs 1 variants – France vs Austria and Germany vs Italy (13 mins)
  • The changes are likely within a week and are being implemented by A_Tin_Can (15 mins 45 sec)
  • Kaner surprises Amby by discussing how he used 1 vs 1 maps to introduce his wife to Diplomacy. He also describes the rationale behind his wife’s handle (16 mins 50 secs)

New segment – “What the Doctor Recommended”

  • The guys have received a lot of feedback from listeners about our poor pronunciations of player names, territory names and country names. webDip and vDip player Dr. Recommended suggested that we introduce a segment where we play to this, reading out names in a short segment  (18 mins 30 secs)
  • For this episode Kaner and Amby begin reading the names of the vDiplomacy Hall of Fame (20 mins 40 secs)

Kaner’s WWIV game update

  • The guys discuss Kaner’s public press unrated WWIV game “Can we do this 2” (24 mins 50 secs)
  • He’s up to 52 SC’s and explains how he’s going in the game up to this point – to better understand what the guys are talking about we recommend visiting the map page for Autumn 2119 to get the context of discussions (25 mins 30 secs)
  • As things progress, Kaner asks Amby for his thoughts on how he’d approach the game  (33 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys start on their first unrelated tangent where Amby talks about his idea a few years back for a Beer Diplomacy or Alcohol Diplomacy variant (38 mins)
  • Amby pays out on Kaner for playing so well in a WWIV game, but doing so when its unrated (39 mins 45 secs)
  • In concluding this segment Amby points out the risks of stalemate lines being formed in the oceans to lock down Kaner’s progress, before they discuss what could happen if WWIV made it to webDip and was played live (42 mins)

Variant talk: 1066

  • We get onto the 1066 variant, a game that exists in 3 iterations: 1066 v1, 1066 v2 and 1066 v3 (45 mins)
  • Amby as the co-creator of the variant talks about the real life history that the game is based on. He describes how he’s physically been on the field the Battle of Hastings was fought – managing to fall over and get muddy (46 mins 20 secs)
  • This is one of the few rare three player variants with players representing the Anglo-Saxon English, the Normans and the Norwegians. To win the game you need 10 SC’s (a majority) and control over two of the three capitals (49 mins)
  • Amby describes how he’s actually won the game as the Normans, winning the game by conquering the Norwegians instead of the English. It’s also one of the few games played under Fog of War conditions (51 mins)
  • Amby created the game with Emmanuele Ravaioli and significant technical help from Oli (the site owner of vDiplomacy.) This in fact is the only variant ever played by Oli on this server – see “Deep Satisfaction” (51 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about the starting positions of each of the players, but with a significant focus on England. Amby discusses how the Norwegians start with an additional unit on Hadrian’s Wall  (52 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby goes off on another tangent explaining how his wife almost got run over by Gwenyth Paltrow while they were living in London (54 mins 55 secs)
  • Kaner extends the tangent wondering about how many celebrities play Diplomacy. The guys then discuss to what extent politicians learn some of their craft by playing Diplomacy (56 mins 40 secs)
  • Getting back to Hadrian’s Wall, a territory that can only be accessed by land (you can’t send a fleet to the Wall or convoy onto it. Amby throws in a Game of Thrones analogy, describing how the Wall acts as a defensive barrier (57 mins 40 secs)
  • As Kaner discusses how the map is visually beautiful, Amby explains how the color palette of the map is drawn from friezes in the Bayeux tapestry which depicts the lead up and aftermath of the Battle of Hastings (59 mins)
  • Just prior to getting another drink, the guys start behaving badly, arguing about their proficiency on the 1066 map  (1 hour 0 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks Amby about what his strategy would be when playing England in this variant (1 hour 1 min 20 secs)
  • We then turn to Amby’s Norwegian strategy (1 hour 7 mins 30 secs)
  • Finally we look at how to effectively play as France (1 hour 10 mins)
  • As its a relatively small map its a great variant for a fun quick game (1 hour 11 mins 15 secs)

Update on new development server talk

  • Amby gives an update from Captainmeme on the new development server discussed back in episode 2 (1 hour 13 mins 40 secs)

Amby’s idea for a American Presidential election variant

  • As we get towards the end of the podcast Amby starts throwing around his initial ideas about creating an American Presidential election variant (1 hour 15 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby explains how he’d create it initially as a 1 vs 1 game (Republicans vs Democrats), prove the concept and then roll out 3 person and then 4 person games  (1 hour 16 mins 50 secs)
  • He talks about how the variant would see players start off the American coast but without any SC’s – just like the Turkish position in Rinasciemento. This then takes the guys off on an Italian inspired tangent (1 hour 17 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys eventually get back to the American Presidential variant. Amby discusses his idea about each state being a supply centre. Kaner throws in his idea about player bids for SC’s from Greek Diplomacy and whether that could be used to determine your starting position in the Presidential variant (1 hr 20 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby tells Kaner to pause that idea as he returns to his initial thoughts, with each state’s SC having a force multiplier based on the number of electoral college votes they have eg California may be worth 50 points and Delaware 1 point. You then win the game by getting the majority of electoral college votes (1 hour 23 mins)
  • Kaner talks about how you could use some zonal form using the code from WWIV Sealanes. But with the amount of coding required, it may be a bit too much to get the Presidential variant up on Captainmeme’s development server (1 hour 25 mins)
  • The guys explains that if they have to wait until the development server could cope with the coding challenges from the Presidential variant, they both have so many “normal” variants rolling around their heads eg Kaner talks about a space-based variant he’s talked to Guroz about, while Amby raises his idea of a 1 vs 1 Cold War variant played on the WWIV map (1 hour 26 mins 30 secs)

Coming up

  • Next we talk about upcoming plans for the podcast with Devonian – as the number one 1 vs 1 vDip tournament player – keen to be interviewed about how to play 1 vs 1 Diplomacy games (1 hour 28 mins)
  • On a Chicago inspired tangent Kaner starts talking about Gary Gygax, the inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, and how he used to play postal Diplomacy. Amby raises the idea of a more highbrow podcast talking to truly successful people who have played Diplomacy that they then used in real life  (1 hour 29 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby mentions how once the development server is up and running, Captainmeme is happy to pop on for an interview (1 hour 33 mins)
  • And if Amby heads down to Melbourne for PoppyCon he plans to catch up and interview A_Tin_Can. Amby throws around the idea who great it would be if Kestas was still in Melbourne whether he’d be keen to talk about the old days of phpDiplomacy – Amby has since discovered Kestas is actually in Perth, not Melbourne (1 hour 33 mins 20 secs)

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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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