Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 8 shownotes – Eliminations & the USA variant

Plough Inn, BrisbaneVenue: Plough Inn, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner – Fat Yak original pale ale from Matilda Bay Brewing, Australia and Bulmer’s cider from Hereford, United Kingdom
  • Amby – Pepperjack shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

The guys lament their recent game eliminations, Amby’s poor Bourse game play and discuss the variant USA, a Classic wrap around map including the United States as an 8th player. Enjoy!

Exploration variant update

  • Amby and Kaner discuss this game that has just finished. Organised by Decima Legio, it uses the Fog of War classic map but with a special rule around communication. You can only communicate with a player that you have direct line of sight contact with: supply centre to supply centre; unit to supply centre or unit to unit (2 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner and Amby talk about how they both had bad games, Kaner getting eliminated first and Amby removed later in the game (6 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby reflects on how he had a great opening as Germany, but that actually became his downfall as he was viewed by France and England as growing too strongly, encouraging them into alliance. Then as Amby attacked Kaner (Russia) at the same time Austria stabbed Amby. And in good order Amby was eliminated (8 mins)
  • Kaner discusses how he pretty much got stabbed by everyone (11 mins)
  • The guys reflect that the game wrapped up too early with 4 players drawing in Autumn 1906 with no stalemate lines formed (12 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner discusses a little more his unsuccessful strategy on trying to survive (16 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys’ lessons learnt from this game (17 mins 40 secs)

Known World 901 tournament update

  • The first game in this 15 player tournament has just wrapped up with again Amby and Kaner being eliminated. The premise of this gunboat tournament is for every player to play every one of the 15 countries on the map. For this game Kaner was Wagadu and Amyb was Egypt (19 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses how his sixth sense thought Kaner was India in this game… but clearly got that wrong (21 mins)
  • Kaner questions Amby on why he didn’t pick up his subtle gunboat support messaging. Amby makes excuses and throws insults and a few f-bombs at Kaner (22 mins)
  • Kaner discusses how Amby got his just deserts when France came and ate Egypt up (27 mins 20 secs)

Bourse update

  • After discussing two eliminations, Kaner turns the blow torch on Amby about why he missed out in the most recent big Bourse buy (31 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner and Amby both discuss how this variant game dynamic is so different with Arabia convoying Egypt deep into Arabia’s territory to pick up a safe SC (35 mins 30 secs)
  • Time for a girlie man drink and a wineAfter fresh drinks, Kaner asks Amby about his currency’s strength, and which currency represents the best value for victory points. Amby reflects on how other players are doing much better on the Bourse and on the board (38 mins)
  • Amby discusses how he was also surprised when RUFFHAUS (Russia) stabbed YouCantHandleTheTruth in Khazaria. He goes onto explain why he thinks Russia continues to represent good long term value on the Bourse and why he’s heavily invested in roubles (40 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby reflects on whether Dr Recommended as Wagadu might be a bit of a long term contender to take out the Bourse and the board, or could Leif as Axum emerge as the dark horse (46 mins)

“What the Dr Recommended”

  • The guys continue their new segment of poor pronunciations of player names, territory names and country names, as recommended by Dr Recommended  (48 mins 20 secs)
  • For this episode Kaner and Amby begin reading the names of the vDiplomacy Hall of Fame from about player 25 onwards (49 mins 20 secs)
  • During the segment Amby discusses the important role of the crappy 80’s Australian band The Chantoozies and one of its singers, Tottie Goldsmith (51 mins 20 secs)

General chat

  • The guys talk about the number of newer younger players coming into the game, and what they should be mindful of (52 mins)
  • Kaner and Amby scratch their heads over what happened to the new variants that were imminent in their launch on webDip (55 mins)
  • Amby also gives an update on not making it to PoppyCon in Melbourne, and why we haven’t yet released any new player interviews (56 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how he’s being cc’ed into a 3 seasons email webDiplomacy game – and how exactly a 3 seasons game works (58 mins 50 secs)
  • In describing this, Kaner goes into a little description around how the GameMaster function works in vDiplomacy if you need to create a game and be a GM (1 hour 1 min 30 secs)
  • Amby describes how the guys received their first Facebook message about how to respond to a tricky situation on a board they were playing (1 hr 3 mins 30 secs)
  • In reviewing the situation Amby laments how hard it must be remembering who owns what SCs on a board are owned by whom – when it is so easy to understand online (1 hr 4 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby tries explaining to our non-Australian audience what Blu-tack is (1 hr 5 mins 30 secs)
  • The boys get excited… well Amby mostly… about a brilliant business opportunity: selling Classic country mini paper flags on toothpicks to the world’s Dip players (1 hr 7 mins)
  • Kaner discusses how Diplomacy is his Facebook when it comes to internet addiction (1 hr 8 mins 40 secs)
  • While Amby was getting drinks, Kaner was reviewing the finished Known World tournament game and noticed RUFFHAUS made some post-game observations. Kaner relays these (1 hr 11 mins 50 secs)
  • In the process Amby questions why Borussia is called Borussia, or for that matter Prussia was named that when it is so close linguistically to the country name Russia (1 hr 13 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner mentions how we got a great PM from David E. Cohen about Episode 1 of the podcast when we covered off his variant Known World 901 and ideas about a new variant (1 hr 14 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner mentions his ideas about a Khmer Empire/ancient Southeast Asian variant. Amby rambles on about the lyrics for the Cold Chisel song Khe Sanh and the guys discuss countries in the region they’ve visited in real life (1 hr 16 mins)
  • Jorah_Mormont - stunning resemblance to KanerAmby talks about Kaner’s beard and how he’s looking more and more like Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones (1 hr 19 mins)

USA variant – because its not a war without the USA

  • The guys start talking about the little played now – but much loved in the past – variant “USA”. It’s essentially the Classic map but wrapped around with oceans and including the United States as an 8th player. Created by T. Moscal, Kaner adapted it to vDiplomacy a few years back (1 hr 22 mins)
  • Amby discusses how having the wrap-around effect puts players normally on the board’s extremities now at the heart of gameplay. One different aspect of this variant’s rules is the USA only needs 14 SCs to win, while European players need the traditional 18 (1 hr 25 mins 40 secs)
  • The guys discuss how this is an under-valued variant that really should be played more often (1 hr 28 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner mentions he’s signed up for two new games in variants he hasn’t played before – Africa and Atlantic Colonies; which Amby waxes lyrically on how beautiful a map it has and how well positioned territories and SCs are. The guys decide that they’ll do a deep dive on the Atlantic Colonies variant soon (1 hr 29 mins 15 secs)

Two new podcast segment ideas: “How does Bozo do it?” and “Diplomacy Dilemmas”

  • Kaner discusses his new suggested segment called “How does Bozo do it?”. Every game Kaner plays against him, Bozo either wins, draws or survives. His stats are incredible, only losing 13% of the time, meaning 87% of the time he’s won, drawn or survived (1 hr 32 mins)
  • PM Kaner or post a comment on your thoughts on how Bozo does it (1 hr 34 mins)
  • Amby suggests a segment called “Diplomacy Dilemmas” – inspired by the guy who sent a random photo of his board game and question on how to approach it. Send us a key problem from a game and Kaner and Amby will give you our advice/interesting view of the world. PM Amby or post a comment with your Diplomacy Dilemma (1 hr 34 mins 30 secs)
  • In wrapping up the guys make an observation about the massive bibs people are wearing at the Plough Inn to safeguard clothes from their spare ribs (1 hr 36 mins)

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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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