Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 86 – Interview with John Dansie

Blute's BarVenue: Blute’s Bar, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: Coopers Pale Ale and Young Henry’s Pale Ale

Amby: Little Creatures IPA and Angove organic shiraz


The guys interview Australian Defense Force chaplain John Dansie on using Diplomacy in professional military education of officers. Plus they talk about upcoming face to face games, their online games and Kaner makes a helluva mess.


Interview with John Dansie

  • Amby starts setting the scene for our interview with Australian Defense Force chaplain John Dansie (5 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys welcome John to the show (6 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks John how got introduced to the game (7 mins)
  • He asks about how John brought Diplomacy into the professional military education of Australian officers and want he wanted to get out of it. You can read his article on The Cove (8 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about the feedback from players after the game (11 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks about deception and lack of trust and how officers would apply that experience in a real world scenario (13 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes onto ask about players who didn’t do well and how they related to it (16 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner discusses the soft skills Diplomacy teaches when it comes to leadership (18 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss playing without deception (22 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks about the format of the games. John talks about the creative strategies used by players (24 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks what feedback John has received from the higher ups (26 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss the use of wargaming in the military (28 mins)
  • Amby asks what feedback John got on the paper published in The Cove (29 mins 15 secs)
  • They discuss what John hopes to get out of the experience (31 mins)
  • They go onto ask what John would like to see in two years time (32 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about whether any players after the game maintained an interest in Diplomacy (34 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner discusses about  his father playing Diplomacy in the Australian Navy (39 mins)
  • They wrap up the interview (41 mins 30 secs)
  • Post interview the guys give their thoughts. Amby would like to know if other militaries use the game in a similar way (43 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about the use of Diplomacy as a teaching tool in schools and universities (47 mins 45 secs)

Diplomacy chat

  • Kaner and Amby have moved to Blute’s Bar. They talk about their new drinks (49 mins 40 secs)
  • The guys talk about the first post-Covid face to face tournament – PoppyCon in Melbourne at the end of March – and whether they’ll attend. They discuss the positives and negatives (52 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby says they have five players who can make a 7 March face to face game in Brisbane. So they just need to get another two folk for a game (58 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner flags how the virtual Diplomacy League has created a map of where players are so you can organise face to face games once Covid calms down a bit. Sign up on their Google form (1 hr 1 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner and Amby are hosting their own virtual game for Patreon supporters of the show. If you’re interested why not sign up as a Patreon friend of the show (1 hr 3 mins 20 secs)

Around the grounds

  • Amby starts with the Winning is for Losers game which is now over. It ended in a draw (Amby as England on 2 SCs) with gopher pulling a strong Austrian position of 14 SC’s (1 hr 4 mins 20 secs)
  • His declaration of war game is now over in a draw, with Amby being the last knocked out (1 hr 9 mins)
  • He’s just alive in an Imperial II game (1 hr 11 mins 50 secs)
  • They move onto their webDip World Cup games. Amby’s game has just finished in a 4 way draw. Amby was England and ended on 9 SCs (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Amby discusses the liberating feeling of having 100% control of the Baltic/Gulf of Bothnia (1 hr 15 mins)

Controlling the Baltic

  • Kaner talks abut his games, but being gunboat he doesn’t want to provide game links/maps (1 hr 19 mins)
  • Amby returns to his webDip game and reflects on a recent episode of Brother Bored’s Diplomacy Dojo on how to play England (1 hr 23 mins 20 secs)
  • They grab some more drinks. Kaner starts talking about a Classic 1897 game and how it works as a variant (1 hr 28 mins)
  • Kaner gets overly excited and starts gesticulating his arms around causing a helluva mess! (1 hr  33 mins 30 secs)
  • They come back post beer incident (1 hr 34 mins)
  • Amby touches briefly on his Europa Renovatio team game (1 hr 35 mins 30 secs)
  • He’s also started a Mate Against Mate Australian variant game, where Amby is playing as Indonesia (1 hr 37 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys then wrap up the show (1 hr 40 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, plus you get extra podcast episodes!

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.

1 thought on “Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 86 – Interview with John Dansie”

  1. This use of Diplomacy to train officers is more common than most realize. I understand that Diplomacy is used for this purpose in Canada and the United States. In fact, I am observing a game of my new variant, Unconstitutional, which is being played by 6 West Point (the United States Military Academy) cadets. They told me that most of them had been introduced to Diplomacy in various history classes.

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