Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 9 shownotes – Diplomacy etiquette & the variants Atlantic Colonies & Mate Against Mate

The Stock Exchange HotelVenue: The Stock Exchange Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner – Stone and Wood Pacific Ale from Byron Bay, Australia
  • Amby – Yalumba Patchwork shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Food of choice:

  • Kaner – Braised squid with Aioli
  • Amby – Rump steak and salad

Time to open the Diplomacy Christmas crackers! The guys discuss game etiquette and look at the variants “Atlantic Colonies” and the Australian “Mate Against Mate”. Enjoy!

  • Kaner starts by discussing his drinking Christmas tradition (1 min 30 secs)
  • Amby talks about his recent cruise ship holiday and why his mental age is younger than his physical age (3 mins 10 secs)

Diplomacy game etiquette 

  • Being away for his holidays Amby discusses how being on holidays with no internet on the ship (well there was but it was expensive and from talking to others onboard it was pretty crappy), Amby put in place various measures for his games. So the guys start discussing etiquette relating to when you’re away on holidays and can’t play Dip (7 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys talk about using a sitter with the practical example of Amby calling on Kaner to sit for him in the American Conflict game “2017 The Trump Wars“. Amby discusses his approach on using entertainment as gameplay by taking on the persona as Donald Trump as the USA. If you’ve got some spare time read the public press history posts  (11 mins)
  • Amby talks about the importance of riding instructions for handing a game over to a sitter. Then the guys talk about how to deal with riding instructions if the dynamics in the game changes (15 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner discusses etiquette issues he’s having in one of his games where a player has stopped putting in proactive orders, just submitting Hold orders for all units. And then another player dropped out after being stabbed (19 mins 30 secs)

General chit chat

  • The guys flag that the Known World Tournament has its games 3 and 4 now commenced (25 mins)
  • They briefly talk Bourse but give it a break this episode (25 mins 45 secs)

Atlantic Colonies variant

  • After refilling their drinks Kaner and Amby discuss the Atlantic Colonies variant, a 4 player game (England, France, Spain and Portugal) set during the time of colonisation (28 mins 45 secs)
  • The map is well crafted to provide good balance in gameplay, plus its a beautifully elegant map you’d expect a 17th century cartographer to draw  (30 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys give a shout out to Safari for creating the game. Amby discusses the variant is well balanced, although in achieving this it loses historical accuracy eg France not having Detroit and New Orleans. The guys also discuss how some places they’d expect as SCs but are not eg Paris and Buenos Aires (33 mins 20 secs)
  • The map has neutral territories to limit some movement eg Sahara, Amazon, Rockies and Europe east of France (38 mins 35 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how it’d been good for Holland to also be included, including its Boer African possessions. If the map was set before 1664 the Dutch could also have New Amsterdam (modern day New York) (39 mins 25 secs)
  • This variant is given the guys thumbs up with such a beautiful and well balanced map (43 mins 20 secs)

What the Doctor Recommended

  • Continuing our series, the guys go through the vDip hall of fame from the 45th ranked player to the 80th (44 mins 30 secs)

The guys celebrate Christmas 

  • Spontaneously the guys exchange Diplomacy themed Christmas gifts to each other (47 mins 40 secs)
  • They then make their suggestions on ideal Christmas gifts the Diplomacy player in your life. Kaner discusses a beautiful book called “Maps that Changed the World” and Amby recommends the book “Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna” by Adam Zamoyski. It covers the diplomatic realpolitik between the great powers of the time swapping coalition alliances during the Napoleonic wars and afterwards when they jockey for power over Europe. Amby discusses how well the French foreign minister Talleyrand is portrayed in the book as the ultimate Diplomacy player (50 mins)
  • The guys discuss how they’d love to find a good book on Bismark and the Thirty Years War. PM us your recommendations! (55 mins)

Mate Against Mate variant

  • This Australian based 8 player variant has 6 Australian players, New Zealand and Indonesia. This variant is based on an alternate history where each of the British colonies never federated and become their own independent countries (57 mins)
  • Set in the early 1970’s it draws on supply centres not just being cities but major resource areas, some of which are sea-based eg oil, minerals etc (59 mins)
  • Kaner starts discussing how each of the player generally go eg Tasmania never seems to win, but often doesn’t get killed off (1 hr 00 mins 30 secs)
  • Indonesia provides a good balance to Western Australia. Kaner gets a history lesson from Amby about how modern day Northern Territory was part of South Australia prior to federation. Likewise Queensland owned Papua in real life in 1883 (Port Moresby) (1 hour 02 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys discuss how they played a Mate Against Mate game recently in “Australia Day Jan 26-2” with Amby as Indonesia and Kaner as Western Australia. They discuss how these two countries usually come into conflict, likewise New South Wales and Victoria (1 hr 06 mins 15 secs)
  • New Zealand, Tasmania and South Australia can generally expand out in the first game year without coming into conflict with any players, but often in the second year on South Australia tends to get attacked by someone as its squashed between everyone. Amby discusses strategies a South Australia player can employ but it doesn’t guarantee success (1 hour 07 mins)
  • Amby discusses how if the game could be remodeled how South Australia would need to have its position improved. He also discusses how some of the borders could ideally be changed. Kaner suggests ideas on how to better use the river systems  (1 hr 09 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys give a “no update” update on the vDip Lab replacement with no news from Captainmeme. Likewise Kaner flags how the new variants promised for webDip still haven’t turned up (1 hr 10 mins 45 secs)
  • Getting back to the variant Kaner discusses as Western Australia he pretty much was talking to everyone on the board (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Being Australians the guys go through all the supply centres they’ve been to on the Mate Against Mate map. Kaner thrashes Amby with 23 SC’s to 17 (1 hr 13 mins 50 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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