Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 57 – Interview with Jon from Backstabbr

Venue: The Stanton and then post-game the Hornblower Bar, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner – The Hills Cider from the Adelaide Hills

Amby – Little Creatures Pale Ale from Freemantle


This episode we have an interview with Jon, one of the developers at Backstabbr. Plus we talk recent news, around the grounds and our latest face-to-face Diplomacy game.


  • The Stanton, BrisbaneThe guys introduce the show, their drinks and plans for their face to face game that day (0 mins 15 secs)
  • They discuss what to do if you get 8 players, with Kaner bringing along maps for the USA variant (classic Europe but with the USA and wrap around world) and Celtic Britain. He also brought some other maps including Ancient Mediterranean (5 players) and 1600 (9 players)  (3 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby makes a mess (7 mins 15 secs)


  • They discuss the news before teasing the interview. Amby talks about the WDC 2021 website in Bangkok, Thailand is now live! They talk a little about the event and how playes should start thinking of putting aside some coin if you’re a bit short of cash (8 mins)
  • Amby goes onto discuss the new Asia Pacific Diplomacy Association. This is a replacement to the less active Diplomacy Association of Australia and New Zealand (DAANZ) but with Asia now included. Its planned to be similar to the North American and European equivalents. There’s plans for a Grand Prix of events across the Asia Pacific (12 mins 45 secs)
  • He then discusses how as part of the Grand Prix its planned to have a Brisbane/Queensland tournament (14 mins 30 secs)
  • Gary (Phlegmatic at PlayDip) got in touch about the upcoming MaccCon3 in the UK on the 14-15 March 2020. Its going from invitation only event to an open event. Gary also said MidCon was coming back in November 2020 and would act as the UK Championship for that year. Plus they’re looking at a larger Tour of Britain with multiple tournaments (16 mins 45 secs)

Interview with Jon from Backstabbr

  • Amby gives the preamble to the interview (20 mins 45 secs) – NOTE: there are some very small glitches in the recording where a word or two drops out due to Skype lag
  • The interview starts (Amby only – the tech didn’t work for Kaner) (22 mins 15 secs)
  • Jon explains his role at Backstabbr and discusses what the site is all about and the difference between it and the other online Diplomacy sites (23 mins)
  • He starts outlining the sandbox mode in Backstabbr and what you can do with it with adjudication, showing the orders in a face to face game etc (25 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss the Backstabbr community and use of Discord and sub-Reddit and the developers’ intent to focus on the core game (30 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby asks how players involved in the Diplomacy Nexus use Backstabbr (32 mins)
  • Amby asks about the number of players using Backstabbr – this has a one of those nasty recording dropouts, sorry! (33 mins 40 secs)
  • They discuss plans for the future (35 mins)
  • Amby asks why there’s no “e” in Backstabbr (39 mins 10 secs)
  • They discuss whether the site’s developers play face to face in the Seattle scene (seeing they’re based there) (40 mins 40 secs)
  • Jon discusses the games the developers are now playing – while balancing real life commitments (41 mins 30 secs)
  • They talk about whether the developers play Diplomacy online (42 mins 15 secs)
  • After a rather vague question from Amby about beers, Jon leaves his parting thoughts, particularly about taking Diplomacy into different places (45 mins)
  • The interview wraps up before the guys return with their thoughts (48 mins 30 secs)
  • They talk about using Backstabbr during tournaments (53 mins 30 secs)

Around the grounds

  • They touch on anonymous games they’re both in. The first one is Kicking Butts which is a gunboat fog-of-war Classic game (55 mins)
  • Next up is Cry God for Harry! where Amby is still slowly growing while Kaner says things aren’t looking promising (58 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks for Amby’s advice for a game Amby is almost out of (59 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about two Renovatio Europa games he’s in and his psyche around detaching himself in a whimsy. Amby seems to be following instead a bitter strategy in some of his games (1 hr 0 mins 30 secs)
  • They move onto Amby’s Undivided States game which he feels is starting to head toward the end game (1 hr 2 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss having a post face-to-face game wrap-up and then a bonus podcast episode for Patreon supporters of the show. They also decide to hold over the newbie episode to the Christmas show (1 hr 3 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys discuss the idea of having a Brains Trust segment of the show with the leading players of the online sites and possibly face-to-face. Then they wrap up the segment (1 hr 5 mins)
  • But just as quickly… they’re back! Amby remembers his WW2 Global Boogooloo game is over and forgot to talk about it. One of the players (RanseStoddard – who was playing Portugal) after finding out about the podcast covering the game, gave Amby some feedback: on Kaner’s panhandle discussion  (1 hr 8 mins 20 secs)

Post face-to-face game chat

  • The guys return post-game with Laloma who played Austria and got the most SCs at the end of the game: going from 5 SCs to 10 in the final year (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Kaner asks about Laloma’s approach at the start, particularly her dealing with Turkey over the Balkans (1 hr 14 mins)
  • In the game Amby played as Russia and Kaner was Italy. They discuss the start of the game with Germany doing a reverse Alpine Chicken sending Munich towards Venice (1 hr 15 mins)
  • They discuss how Ty and Beth drew neighboring countries again as France and England. They discuss Ty’s big beaming smile towards the end of the game when he was in the lead, until 3 players threw SCs to Laloma to spite Ty and ensure he didn’t come first  (1 hr 16 mins 15 secs)
  • Laloma talks about her plans to take Tristan (Turkey) off the board. Kaner asks Amby about a Russian northern game and his plans there, before quickly changing to a southern game. Amby talks about being stabbed (1 hr 18 mins 30 secs)
  • Laloma’s lift turns up and she has to go. Kaner and Amby continue the show. You can check all the orders from each player in Backstabbr (1 hr 20 mins 40 secs)
  • They discuss Fall 1902 when everyone seemingly independently moved into Germany (1 hr 21 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner discusses his thoughts stabbing Austria at one point in the game (1 hr 23 mins)
  • They discuss Ty’s “Line that can’t be crossed”, which Kaner broke (1 hr 24 mins 55 secs)
  • The guys have a yarn about drinking and different generations’ take. They discuss their Piss Fit plans for Thailand in WDC 2021 (1 hr 28 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner returns to his anti reverse Alpine Chicken rant (1 hr 32 mins)

Presidential campaign update

  • Kaner discusses his next election plank (1 hr 34 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby provides some Vice-Presidential advice on another plank, before Kaner stamps his presidential authority on the situation (1 hr 35 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss having some reasonable planks – learning Diplomacy and geography in Year 10 (1 hr 40 mins)
  • The guys wrap up the show before reminding listeners you can hear bonus podcast episodes for Patreon supporters of the show (1 hr 42 mins)

Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. And don’t forget if you want to help improve the audio equipment… or get the guys more drunk, you can also donate at Patreon or you can also shop at Amazon using our affiliate link. It costs exactly the same to you, but Amazon give us a small cut and it doesn’t cost you a cent more!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone.

Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka “The General” for his rockin’ intro tune.

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